How to Undertake Professional Caravan Panel Repairs

It is not necessary to replace a caravan panel when it becomes damaged. It can be repaired to look as good as new and at a fraction of the cost of a new panel. The following advice is directed at caravan flat panel repairs. Unfortunately, caravan textured panel repairs can only be undertaken using specialist equipment.

The first stage of the caravan panel repair is to prepare the damaged area. With a block and 80 grit paper sand around the damaged area. Take care to sand in multiple directions. This will reveal further high and low spots around the dent. Often the damaged area is bigger than what it first seems. High spots will show themselves as smooth areas. Low spots will show the existing paintwork.

Mix together some automotive filler and hardener (at the ratio of a golf ball to the size of a pea) and smooth into and around the damaged area. Dust spray over the area using black aerosol paint. Allow to dry for a few minutes. The black paint highlights any low spots during sanding.

Using a block and 80 grit paper sand in multiple directions over the filled area. Work around the edges to feather the filler into the undamaged area. Do not sand one area for too long as this just removes filler. This exercise will highlight any areas that are still low. Skim filler over the area again and repeat the process as many times as is necessary until low areas are brought back to the level of the rest of the panel. Keep applying guide coats with black aerosol paint to help the sanding process. Make sure that the filler feathers completely into undamaged areas all around the damaged area.

Use a six inch detail sander with 180 grit paper to over the area to remove the 80 git scratches. This sanded area will be up to 2 inches bigger all around the area to make sure all the scratches are removed. Repeat the process with 320 grit paper. This area will be another 2 inches bigger all around to remove all the 180 scratches. Finally go over the area again, plus an additional 2 inches all around, with red scotch to remove the 320 grit scratches.

The caravan flat panel repair is now ready for priming and painting. Mask off the area around the repair. Spray the first coat of primer just over the affected area and allow to dry for a few minutes. Spray the second coat over a slightly larger area, and the third coat over a slightly larger area still. Spray over the area with black aerosol paint and wait for it to dry.

Rub over the primed area using 400 grit wet and dry paper. This will highlight any low spots. Feather the primer into the existing paintwork at the edges of the repair. Do not leave any hard edges. If necessary respray the area to make sure all high and low spots have been evened out. Go over the entire area that is to be painted with grey scotch to remove any 400 scratches and prepare the existing paintwork for new paint.

Motorhome Body Repairs: Do You Know What Your Motorhome Is Made Of? Advice On Repair

Plastic mouldings ABS and GRP

Quite often, front panels are made from acrylic capped ABS plastic and some manufacturers have been known to use a gauge too thin for the purpose. These have been replaced under warranty in the event of failure, but this is not good news as this a standard material now for the fronts of caravans.

Different types of plastic

GRP (often called fibreglass) is usually rough on the unseen face and smooth on the other.

ABS plastic is normally smooth and shiny on both sides except when it is used for dark coloured bumpers where it tends to have a textured finish.

Although ABS can be repaired if necessary, there are far more GRP repairers out there who do a great job, partly because it is easier to match colours with GRP. Caravan repairers generally prefer to replace complete mouldings, which can be expensive. If you wish to attempt your own repairs, then in the UK you can buy Sikaflex 512 adhesive sealant and a surface filling compound. For more permanent repairs there are purpose formulated ABS repair kits which are more expensive at about £100.

Sheet GRP panels

These are often used in place of sheet aluminium which was used in the past. Skilful specialists can repair localised damage.

Monocoque body shells

These single moulded structures give massive strength and light weight. There seam free construction ensures there is never any ingress of water problems.

Aluminium skin

This was the traditional cladding for caravans, pre painted aluminium sheet. These are always full of holes as there are loads of screws holding all the external parts, like lights, number plates etc. When the bedding sealant fails, the caravan starts to leak and this is the normal demise of the previously dry van. When a caravan made like this receives damage, the normal strategy is to patch it up with a new piece of aluminium over the damage.

About campervan conversions

Campervans use their original vehicles steel bodies, so they are just repaired at a car body shop, just like a car would be. This is quite an attractive proposition when you think that any other body types may involve long waits for parts to arrive.

Make Sure Your Caravan Parts Are in Road Worthy Shape Before Heading Out

As soon as the summer season starts, it is time again for a grand road trip holiday with your family. There is nothing like seeing breathtaking vistas and gorgeous landscapes from the comfort of your recreational vehicle. Make sure your caravan parts are in working order. Getting your caravan, pop-top, or camper serviced regularly is important for the safety of your family. Once your vehicle has been looked over by a professional caravan repairs company, you will have peace of mind while driving.

When you visit a caravan parts shop, not only will they prepare your vehicle for the succeeding 10,000 kilometres, but they will also provide you with a comprehensive report highlighting any future maintenance requirement worth mentioning.

There a number of reasons why you should make this a regular habit before hitting the open road. Bringing your RV to a caravan repairs shop gives you a thorough inspection guaranteed to save you money. This can be quite useful, especially if you own a second-hand vehicle that was purchased privately.

The comprehensive test on your caravan parts helps ensure you have not purchased a lemon. This is something you should do. If you have not yet bought the vehicle, you can still decide whether or not to buy it. Knowing what is wrong gives you an idea of how much money you will have to spend and extra leverage to purchase it at a reduced price.

Some of the caravan parts that are given a thorough inspection include the following:

– Wheels, brakes, and bearings

– Tyres and wheels

– Springs and shackles for wear

– Outriggers, chassis rails, cross-members, and A-Frames for damage/fatigue

– Jockey wheel and jack lubrication

– External traffic lights and wiring connections

– Hand brake cable adjustment

Another point worth mentioning about a caravan repairs company is that they can perform insurance work on behalf of all major insurance companies. Whether it is fire, storm, or impact damage, they can help you organise your claim and repairs in the most efficient and stress-free way possible.

For example, your vehicle breaks down and you want to get right back on the road to reach your destination on time. Having your caravan parts repaired to its original state can only be achieved if you obtain a full warranty on all authorised repairs.

One important check you should make before heading out is on your caravan roof. This is one portion that is hardly ever inspected. Most people wait till the eleventh hour to get it fixed when it is already beyond repair. Why wait till then? A caravan repairs shop can reseal your roof by applying a membrane that seals, acts as insulation, and reduces damages caused by hail storms to a certain extent. Sealing the roof makes it quieter during occurrences of heavy rainfall.

Remember, a caravan roof sealant starts to deteriorate once it has rolled off the factory floor. Add in sunlight, dust, oil, moisture, and temperature variations, and it is only a matter of time before the sealant starts to crack or, at worst, has disappeared entirely.

Caravan Insurers Offer Some Great Deals

Caravan insurers offer some great deals which mean that those looking for insurance for their Caravan can save on the premiums and also get insurance that is right for them. The type of Caravan insurance you need would depend on what you plan to do with your Caravan. If you are travelling around in your Caravan then you will need different features of Caravan insurance to someone whose Caravan is static and perhaps rented out to holiday makers.

First let’s take a look at the features of insurance that Caravan insurers offer those who aim to travel around enjoying their tourer Caravan. One of the main features that someone who wishes to travel outside of the UK should consider in a policy is European cover. If you are going to be travelling for many months out of the year around Europe then take at look in the small print to find out if there is a limit as to the amount of time you can spend in Europe. Some providers will state so many days while with others there might not be a limit. European cover should be considered essential as if you were to break down in Europe and have no cover all the expenses for towing, repairing and any hotel accommodation would come out of your own pocket.

The majority of Caravan insurance would payout for you to stay in a hotel if your Caravan was unliveable. However the insurance company would normally state so many days or up to a certain amount so this is one of the many things you have to check out in the small print of the cover before taking it out.

If you have a static Caravan and rent out then you would have to check out insurance that would payout for a loss of rental income. If your Caravan was damaged and had to be towed for major repair then you could lose out on rental income for some time while the Caravan was being repaired and this could add up to a considerable sum. If the insurance policy covered this you would not have to stand to this loss.

All Caravan insurance should feature protection for personal belongings and fittings and fixtures in the Caravan. If renting out this is essential as renters could damage or break items which would need repairing or replacing. These costs would otherwise have to come out of your own pocket. If you are living and travelling around in the Caravan then your personal belongings would have to be covered. Check the small print offered by Caravan insurers as the limits on the amount you could claim or these can differ greatly. You would also have to check to find out what exclusions there were in the cover as certain items might not be protected under the standard policy. Also check to see if items such as steps, awnings and gas bottles were protected in the policy. They usually are but again there could be limits as to the amount you would be able to claim for them.