Dampness the Curse of the Caravan Seller
Dampness or water ingress (to give it it’s technical term !) basically indicates a moist condition with no visible water at the surface. When your caravan has dampness, the walls, and the floor rot away leaving holes and a very bad smell. Not only is this bad for the van, but it can also be very bad for your health due to the germs and bacteria living there. (especially for people with skin allergies, asthma, and arthritis)
Damp can be cured and often very successfully, but the walls are never the same and unless they are repaired by a professional caravan repairer, they may end up bulging or uneven with discoloration.
Floors almost never recover from damp as they become spongy and brittle. Any caravan can suffer from damp no matter what size or age. One of the most common causes of damp is that people do not drain the water out of the boiler during storage. The problem that this causes, is that over the winter months when the van is in storage, the pipes expand due to the cold and frost, they then split and the water leaks out, another common reason is faulty seals.
What am I looking for?
Damp can be anywhere in a caravan, so check everywhere. Damp usually smells like a wet towel that has been left, but a lot of people air the caravan off before viewing so do not rely solely on this.
Look for lumps or bumps on panels, stains or mold. Look out for discoloration on panels around windows, around the kitchen sink and taps. Look out for springy floors and mats placed around the door area.
The inside is can be quite tricky, as there are lots of hidden places to check. Try to check every wall and the roof and If you have a damp tester then use it.
Just kindly ask to remove the items and do the test as normal. Another thing to look out for is new or different shaded wallpaper over the panels and roof area, particularly in the toilet/ bathroom. Also look for joins and plastic trim that don’t match. This could signify a repair to a damp area.
The ideal way of preparing your checklist is to split the inside of the on-site caravans for sale into 4 parts.
1.) The front seating area.
2.) The back seating area.
3.) The bathroom area
4.) The kitchen area.
First things first, start at the rear of the on-site caravan, shuffle along the floor, check to see if the floor is spongy. There should be very little movement. If it feels spongy, then the floor is on the way out. There isn’t a lot you can do to repair a spongy floor and it really isn’t worth repairing in my personal view, in regards to the amount of work that needs to be done. Remember to remove any rubber mats or sheets of cardboard (read tricks of traders for more info)
Now, time for those all-important checks. First up, it’s the front seating area. Test all visible walls in every area first, then examine the areas in our guide. This will result in a near-perfect examination of the caravan.
So remember, take your time, don’t rush and remember to write everything down.