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Caravan Reseal Project

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icon8.gif Hi Everyone - Particular thanks to all those folks who advised me on resealing my Avondale Landranger.

I've now finished approximately 50% of the van and I'm get more expert and less messy with the mastic gun. I've been using paperbacked mastic tape supplemented with additional mastic from the gun when necessary. It is, as I was warned tedious and messy. It's very satisfying, however, to see the work progressing and I'm saving about ?900 on the Dealer quoted price!! My recent redundancy at least gives me plenty of time. I'm being assisted by my wife and 2 sons when they are free!!

A couple of hiccoughs in the process have been:-

(1) Corroded screws - why, oh, why didn't Avondale use stainless steel or other non-rusting screws to fix the awning and other seal rails. I've managed to get out most of the screws but with difficulty in places. I'm just wondering if anyone has any good tips on removing really rusted-in screws. They WERE posidrive type heads. I've tried drilling them out but that seems to take an AGE just to drill of the heads, with a powerful drill and new bit, let, alone further. I've, also, tried filing off the heads which was a little quicker but hard to get access. I'm now faced with difficult section of rail where 6 out of 8 screws are rusted-in. Has anyone experience of using Dremel tools I'd wondered if one of those might be worth buying to grind off or re-slot the the scres heads? I'm definitely open to suggestions!!!

(2) I'm short of a piece of rubber lipping that clips onto the awning rail BETWEEN the awning rail and the van. I need about 5 metres of grey. I'm not sure if a piece was missing or if it was thrown away by mistake!! I've tried about 6 dealers in the North West without success. Avondale still have it but only supply through dealers and the ordering times are very vague, to say the least. Obviously I want to get it asap. Can anyone suggest a mail order dealer. (Seals Direct DON'T list it)

Thanks for help in anticipation.

Tim

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Posted

Have you tried using a pozi drive bit and a hammer to vibrate the screw loose before trying to turn it?, this has the added advantage of cleaning the slots out so the screwdriver has better purchase..works for me.

It does seem strange though that a new bit should not eat the job, I would use a 4mm bit to remove the centre and the leave the bulk of the head to come free intact.

Sorry can't help with the rubber, it's quite probably special to Avondale anyway, but I know what you mean about lead times...terrible

Don't worry about the mess though as long as the void is filled, plenty of white spirit on a rough cloth will take care of the access with ease.

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icon8.gif  Hi Everyone -  Particular thanks to all those folks who advised me on resealing my Avondale Landranger.

I've now finished approximately 50% of the van and I'm get more expert and less messy with the mastic gun.  I've been using paperbacked mastic tape supplemented with additional mastic from the gun when necessary.  It is, as I was warned tedious and messy.  It's very satisfying, however, to see the work progressing and I'm saving about ?900 on the Dealer quoted price!!  My recent redundancy at least gives me plenty of time.  I'm being assisted by my wife and 2 sons when they are free!!

A couple of hiccoughs in the process have been:-

(1)  Corroded screws - why, oh, why didn't Avondale use stainless steel or other non-rusting screws to fix the awning and other seal rails.  I've managed to get out most of the screws but with difficulty in places.  I'm just wondering if anyone has any good tips on removing really rusted-in screws.  They WERE posidrive type heads.  I've tried drilling them out but that seems to take an AGE just to drill of the heads, with a powerful drill and new bit, let, alone further.  I've, also, tried filing off the heads which was a little quicker but hard to get access.  I'm now faced with difficult section of rail where 6 out of 8 screws are rusted-in.  Has anyone experience of using Dremel tools I'd wondered if one of those might be worth buying to grind off or re-slot the the scres heads? I'm definitely open to suggestions!!!

(2)  I'm short of a piece of rubber lipping that clips onto the awning rail BETWEEN the awning rail and the van.  I need about 5 metres of grey.  I'm not sure if a piece was missing or if it was thrown away by mistake!!  I've tried about 6 dealers in the North West without success.  Avondale still have it but only supply through dealers and the ordering times are very vague, to say the least.  Obviously I want to get it asap.  Can anyone suggest a mail order dealer.  (Seals Direct DON'T list it)

Thanks for help in anticipation.

Tim

Hi Tim

try these 2 links for the seal

.jacksons http://wwwjacksonscamping.com/

Parts search engine http://www.caravan-parts.com/index.asp

Regards

Dave

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Posted

Hi Everyone

As the end of resealing my van is is sight I thought I'd give a summary as a way of helping others and saying a BIG THANKYOU to everyone on the website who advised me.

I'm just nearing the end of completely resealing my van. My van is a twin-axle Avondale Landranger (97) and nearly 7.5 metres long - so quite a big job. At it's last service I was advised that there were a couple of high damp readings and a partial reseal was advised. I was rather surprised at this particularly as one of the suspect areas had had damp repaired and been resealed a couple of years ago. As I have been recently made redundant and had lots of time but less cash I read widely on the subject and decided to have a go at the job myself. I am a easonable "hand" at DIY but not a caravan expert.

The Caravan Club have a useful article by John Wickersham which they sent me, its actually a copy of a CC magazine article from Nov 2000. I, also, asked for and received a lot of advice from other folks on this website, also, Practical Caravan Mag online, caravan talk and Uk campsite websites.

From these I gleaned the job consisted of removing awning rail, skirt rail and window rails, cleaning of old sealants from rails and van, re-fixing rails with new sealants. There are various sealants available they can be bought either as a mastic ribbon with a paper backing or in a cartridge for a mastic "gun". There is, also, a product called Silkaflex 221 which John W and others mention which has very strong adhesive properties.

I decided to stick with mastic ribbon. I bought this in 2 widths from my local caravan dealer. He had available small rolls from "W4" or large much more economical rolls of unknown make both in 2 widths. I chose the latter getting both wide and narrow ribbon for different width rails. I, also, got a few cartridges of Caravan mastic sealant (non-setting). Both of these products are white spirit based and can be cleaned off with white spirit.

I began by removing the skirt rail on ones side of the van. To do this I removed the rubber strip covering the screws and undid these. The rail then came away quite easily as the old mastic was dried out and not adhering well. I cleaned off the old mastic from rail and van with white Sp, (I used plastic scrapers and rags -beware of scratching paintwork - easily done.)washed off the white spirit with detergent and water, and the applied length of mastic ribbon to rail and then replaced it carefully on the van and screwed it in place with new STAINLESS STEEL screw which I obtained by mailorder from Screwfix. I put a blob of gun mastic on each screw to completely seal the holes. I added gun mastic to anywhere where there were small gaps not filled by the ribbon. I finished off by removing any excess mastic with white sp on a rag and washed off that area with soap and water.

I then graduated to the window rail, this involved removing the windows, not difficult they slide of horizontally, and then the awning rail. My wife and sons helped with lifting this off as it is quite long and alu easily bends. Beware of bending when puling it off the van if old mastic is still gripping it.

I took the opportunity to thorougly clean all the rails and replace the infill/capping rubber which covers the screws - the original had gone very black, mouldy and ugh!! this cost ?1/metre from my local caravan dealer - he has it in a variety of colours.

Problems I encountered were:

(1) Some of the old screws had rusted, Avondale had used ordinary steel screw which rust and react with aluminium rails. I got most of the screws out by tapping them to loosen rust and then managed to screw out carefully. In one very bad section I had to drill out a number of screws - a slow and annoying process. I have read that some people have to cut off stuck screws and replace with new ones in holes drilled nearby but I managed to avoid this.

(2) Someone had at some stage used a silicone rubber sealant on top of the original mastic. This proved very hard to remove. I did buy a special silicone remover from Band Q but it was no help. I just had to pull and scrape it off - it took a very long time.

(3) The mastic, old and new, is very sticky stuff and gets everywhere. Fortunately white spirit cleans it off.

I have continued with the back and front of the van and have no nearly finished the second side. In total it has taken about 50 hours work but I am a beginner and I did want to do the job thoroughly. It is not very difficult but it is very tedious and requires a lot of elbow grease cleaning off the old mastic from van and rails and dealing with rusted screws, etc.

On the plus side

(1) I believe the van is now well sealed.

(2) I have the personal satisfaction of having done it.

(3) A BIG SAVING. The materials cost just over ?150 a ?850 SAVING on the dealer's quote of ?1000!!

I am glad it's nearly done - tomorrow should see it finished!! but I am glad that I did and I would do it again when necessary but hopefully not too soon!!

Hope this helps - This account was much easier to write than the job was to do but such is life!!!

If I can be of any further help - just post on the website and I'll do my best.

Happy sealing

Best wishes thumbup.gifcheering.gif

Tim

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Posted

I thought I'd bump this thread as I think it sounds really helpful. :yes:

I was doing a search on how to reseal an awning rail as my van has a bit of damp and I hope it's just the awning rail and/or front rail needing resealed. Having read the above post I'd feel quite happy to have a go at it myself - or at least with my son's help LOL. I knew about Sikaflex as we've used that before but I'll need to look in to the ribbon sealant. That sounds as if it'd be easier to use.

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I thought I'd bump this thread as I think it sounds really helpful. :yes:

I was doing a search on how to reseal an awning rail as my van has a bit of damp and I hope it's just the awning rail and/or front rail needing resealed. Having read the above post I'd feel quite happy to have a go at it myself - or at least with my son's help LOL. I knew about Sikaflex as we've used that before but I'll need to look in to the ribbon sealant. That sounds as if it'd be easier to use.

You should use Sikaflex on awning rails unless you intend doing them every couple of years or so - non-setting caravan CV sealant (this includes the tape) should only be used for parts that are being removed for servicing as it tends to soften and run out as it gets warm in the sun

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Don't forget to do the roof lights and the window rubbers. Both are sources of water ingress. The roof lights are remarkably easy to do. The window rubbers aren't bad, though I'd recommend investing in an electric staple gun for refitting. They're also easier to do if you can remove the window, which would of course mean redoing the window strips that you've already done ::(:

You can use mastic ribbon for the roof lights if you like, though I'd recommend gun mastic for the window rubbers. Be sure to leave the windows on the night setting until the mastic has had a chance to firm up a little. That way, they'll seal properly when you shut them completely.

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(1) Corroded screws - why, oh, why didn't Avondale use stainless steel or other non-rusting screws to fix the awning and other seal rails. I've managed to get out most of the screws but with difficulty in places. I'm just wondering if anyone has any good tips on removing really rusted-in screws. They WERE posidrive type heads. I've tried drilling them out but that seems to take an AGE just to drill of the heads, with a powerful drill and new bit, let, alone further. I've, also, tried filing off the heads which was a little quicker but hard to get access. I'm now faced with difficult section of rail where 6 out of 8 screws are rusted-in. Has anyone experience of using Dremel tools I'd wondered if one of those might be worth buying to grind off or re-slot the the scres heads? I'm definitely open to suggestions!!!

Not sure of the screw size but stud extractors may work, I would never be without them. The extractors are simply hardened steel tapered shafts with a left hand thread. Drill a hole into the jammed screw, smaller than the maximum diameter of the taper. "Unscrew" the extractor into the jammed screw. Turning the extractor anti clockwise into the screw unscrews it.

Two different types at the bottom of the page

http://www.lawson-his.co.uk/scripts/products.php?cat=Removal%20Tools

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All depends on your 'new bit' and how much you paid for it? a good quality 3 or 4mm titanium tipped bit will likely cost more than a quid each. Go the whole hog and buy Cobalt drills for best success on hardened screws, these cost around £3 each for the same sizes but instantly break if you snag them, however they cut hardened steel effectlessly.

What I do to prevent breakage is to countersink the 'pozi' out with a normal 6mm or so drill and that gives a clean start for the cobalt to do the hard work.

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The vast majority of awning rail screws are 3.5 mm diameter - smaller than any easy-out (screw extractor) that I've seen or owned.

Usually the reason for not getting a screw out is that the pozi, or philips, cross rounds out, usually due to a cheap, or the wrong, screwdriver being used (although not always) - best answer is to cut a slot in the head of the screw with a dremmel so you can use a flat bladed screwdriver to get it out - if the head breaks off once you get the rail off enough of the screw will be exposed to get a pair of grips on to undo it if the breaks off at the point it enters the wood then leave it and drill a new hole in the rail sikaflex will fill the old hole and make it waterproof when you reassemble it all.

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I recommend you use methalated spirit to clean off white spirit residue after cleaning off the old mastic otherwise the new mastic might not stick/seal properly

TD

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<!--emo&:green:--><img src='http://www.touringandtenting.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon8.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='icon8.gif' /><!--endemo--> Hi Everyone - Particular thanks to all those folks who advised me on resealing my Avondale Landranger.

I've now finished approximately 50% of the van and I'm get more expert and less messy with the mastic gun. I've been using paperbacked mastic tape supplemented with additional mastic from the gun when necessary. It is, as I was warned tedious and messy. It's very satisfying, however, to see the work progressing and I'm saving about ?900 on the Dealer quoted price!! My recent redundancy at least gives me plenty of time. I'm being assisted by my wife and 2 sons when they are free!!

A couple of hiccoughs in the process have been:-

(1) Corroded screws - why, oh, why didn't Avondale use stainless steel or other non-rusting screws to fix the awning and other seal rails. I've managed to get out most of the screws but with difficulty in places. I'm just wondering if anyone has any good tips on removing really rusted-in screws. They WERE posidrive type heads. I've tried drilling them out but that seems to take an AGE just to drill of the heads, with a powerful drill and new bit, let, alone further. I've, also, tried filing off the heads which was a little quicker but hard to get access. I'm now faced with difficult section of rail where 6 out of 8 screws are rusted-in. Has anyone experience of using Dremel tools I'd wondered if one of those might be worth buying to grind off or re-slot the the scres heads? I'm definitely open to suggestions!!!

(2) I'm short of a piece of rubber lipping that clips onto the awning rail BETWEEN the awning rail and the van. I need about 5 metres of grey. I'm not sure if a piece was missing or if it was thrown away by mistake!! I've tried about 6 dealers in the North West without success. Avondale still have it but only supply through dealers and the ordering times are very vague, to say the least. Obviously I want to get it asap. Can anyone suggest a mail order dealer. (Seals Direct DON'T list it)

Thanks for help in anticipation.

Tim

I did the same as you, with my first caravan; an Avondale Perle Orion; i also came across screws with worn or rusted away heads!

I drilled away the remaning head so i could just remove the trim strip over the screw, i then used a good quality pair of small vice grips and just twisted the screws out; theyre only into wood inside the caravan so they will come away easily enough.

Look for a company online called Seals Direct, they specialise in the kind of seals used on caravans.

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You should use Sikaflex on awning rails unless you intend doing them every couple of years or so - non-setting caravan CV sealant (this includes the tape) should only be used for parts that are being removed for servicing as it tends to soften and run out as it gets warm in the sun

Personally i'd never use Sikaflex on the awning rail!

Its too permanent! once that stuff is on; it aint coming off easily, always use non-drying bedding sealant. IDL99 (by Carafax) or caraseal (by Hodgsons).

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Posted

ok seen this now, not a diy job on a large van I guess, this is gonna hurt

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For seized screws sometimes it is not worth all the hassle of drilling the heads Etc, You also need to be very carefull not to kink the strip.Ebay or a car bodyshop supplier sell spot weld removal drills, They have a spring loaded pointed center pin, and an outer cutter circular bit, locate the sprung point in the center of screw head and it will cut the alluminium trim round the head of screw very neatly, When re fitting strips simply re drill and screw just to one side, I never nip the screws tight for a week or two, This avoids just squeezing all your new mastic out, Leave it to dry a while then just a gentle nip, maybe after say a year go round them again.I used to use a lot of double sided adhesive sponge tape, Availlable at commercial vehicle body builders, this can be stuck along the strip (using width to match) then as you go along re fitting stip peel other paper off and stick stip on, re fit screws, This is better than mastic in many cases as it will move a little and lasts for years, Many alluminium vehicle body's are built with this method,

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Hi all,

I have a damp problem in my Avondale 525/4 2007 model. Can anyone tell me what size/type the screws are that hold the awning rail on please and how many there are likely to be on the whole rail. I want to change them all to stainless steel ones. My van is in storage and it's a nuisance going up there just to draw a screw out. I think they are 30mm no 8 countersunk.

Many Thanks

Dave

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Personally i'd never use Sikaflex on the awning rail!

Its too permanent! once that stuff is on; it aint coming off easily, always use non-drying bedding sealant. IDL99 (by Carafax) or caraseal (by Hodgsons).

5 years on and I won't use Sikaflex ether - not because it won't come off easily (although this does happen occasionally) but because it rarely adheres to the aluminium no matter how much you clean it - I'm now using Caraseal....

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Hi all,

I have a damp problem in my Avondale 525/4 2007 model. Can anyone tell me what size/type the screws are that hold the awning rail on please and how many there are likely to be on the whole rail. I want to change them all to stainless steel ones. My van is in storage and it's a nuisance going up there just to draw a screw out. I think they are 30mm no 8 countersunk.

Many Thanks

Dave

I can't say what screws are being used in your caravan - they are usually about 3-3.5mm in diameter which is certainly not No 8 (they would be too big - a lot too big) 30mm long sounds about right though - a box, even of stainless steel is reasonable cheap so buy a box - lol

My van is stored 230 miles away from me - I'd still wait to check the screw size before I'd buy replacements though.

BTW make the new ones about 5-10mm longer as the wood can strip it's thread

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Posted

Morning,

Thanks for the tips guys. I have bought a box of St St screws,£10 for 250, no 6 x 30mm. I hope to give it a start on Thursday. I will take some pics and post.

Dave

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I thought I would add this link to show work I did on my caravan , there may be uesful info there to add to what has been written above

http://www.touringandtenting.com/forums/index.php?/topic/49666-curing-damp-around-window/

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