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Repairs

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12 Feb 2018 @ 12:34:35 pm
Dean1967
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Hi All. I am new to caravanning and have just purchased a 2007 Sprite Slash. When cleaning the caravan over the weekend the door for the fold out kitchen came loose from it hinge. On further investigation I discovered that the frame of the door was full of wood rot. My question is this : how do I remove the aluminium panels from either side of the door ,without damaging them , so that I can replace the wooden frame and polystyrene inner thereof. It appears as though the aluminium panels have been glued to the wooden frame and polystyrene inner. You advice would be appreciated.
Regards
Dean
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12 Feb 2018 @ 12:53:30 pm
Danie-SLK
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Welcome on the forum. I would start by talking to people doing such repair work. It might mean cutting a piece of the skin out and glueing on a aluminium plate after the repairs to the wood rot. This is how the wood rot above my door was fixed.

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12 Feb 2018 @ 12:57:27 pm
Dean1967
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Thank you. Appreciate the advice!!!
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12 Feb 2018 @ 13:06:15 pm
Relaxed Camper
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Did you buy the caravan from a dealer? Were you aware at the time of buying the van of any woodrot? Did the seller mentioned anything?
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12 Feb 2018 @ 13:17:59 pm
Dean1967
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Hi Liefhebber. I bought the caravan privately. I don't believe the seller knew of the rot. I certainly didn't. I don't want to get involved in a dispute with the Seller . I will sort it out myself. Thanks for the concern!!
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12 Feb 2018 @ 13:50:46 pm
Fred
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Dean, I don't want to be the harbinger of bad news, but this might not be the only wood rot on your van.  I would suggest you firstly look at areas where you can see exposed wood like underneath the caravan.  Also push against the walls all around to see if there are any areas where the walls give, indicating wood rot.  Perhaps you are lucky and this is the only area, but it is a good idea to try and make sure.  I have seen caravans stripped down to the bare bones at our local Camp World so I know it can be done, but I would guess it might be a bit expensive.  Good luck and keep us updated please- we learn from each other.

Het is beter rijk te leven dan rijk te sterven
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12 Feb 2018 @ 14:09:52 pm
Danie-SLK
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Dean based on what Fred indicated I would take it to a dealer and let them check with their meter to see if there is other wood rot and then give you a quote for fixing the various areas. That way one can save a lot of labour than to do only the portion known about now and may be other areas are also affected. This quote is only to know what the extend of the problem might be.

The areas around the pop up roof could also be an area to check where the brackets screw into the movable portion. Check the area under the step below the door. The 4 corners on the caravan.

I only knew about the most wood rot around my one vent but some ant in other areas. It turm out I had rot on both corners next to the back window. I got two thirds of the roof repaired with new panels on the inside and the structure wood replaced.

Sorry you hit this problem being new to caravaning.

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12 Feb 2018 @ 14:19:02 pm
Dean1967
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Thanks Fred and Danie. am reasonably confident that there is no other rot. Be that as it make there will be a full rot inspection on the 26th being the earliest date that the Jurgens/ Sprite can accommodate me. In terms of my agreement with the Seller if any rot is found he will bear the cost of removing it. As the cost of removing the rot on the kitchen door is relatively small I will bear that. my question however still remains. How door I remove the panel without damaging it? Perhaps a hot air gun will break the bond between the panel and the wood/polystyrene???
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12 Feb 2018 @ 14:20:09 pm
Dean1967
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"do" not "door"
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12 Feb 2018 @ 16:05:42 pm
Fred
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Dean, I doubt very much whether heat will do the trick.  If glue that melts when heated was used, it might soften when exposed to direct heat from the sun and the outer skin might come loose.  I would guess it is probably a contact type of glue or perhaps an epoxy type.  Could you perhaps get a thin sharp knife in between the outside (and inside?) skin and the wooden spars to cut or saw through the bonding?  It might be possible to only loosen a small part in order to remove and replace the rotten part.  Just be very careful not to crease the aluminium outer skin as you will not be able to get the crease out again.  It should also be possible I think, to attach the new spar by glueing it to the existing wood and skins.  It will certainly be interesting and probably helpful to people expieriencing the problems if you can post some photos as you go along.

Het is beter rijk te leven dan rijk te sterven
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13 Feb 2018 @ 06:30:55 am
Hornet
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Dean, I had the same problem on my 2010 Splash when I modified my kitchen. As I removed all the plastic inside the kitchen, I could ascertain that there was no woodrot inside the kitchen itself. When I removed the inside surface of the door to replace it I found a little bit of rot on the bottom wooden section. I removed the inside plate of the door with a multitool and a special attachment (quite a job!). The plate was destroyed in the process but I replaced it with a new one. The woodrot itself I removed by cutting the wood away with a radial arm saw so that I could get as close as possible to the outside plate without damaging it. I then sanded it smooth and glued in a new piece of wood. I then glued on a new plate for the inside and properly sealed the edge trimmings to prevent further water ingress.
I believe water got into the panel initially from all the cooking done on it.
I hope your problem is not more serious! Good luck!
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13 Feb 2018 @ 08:19:19 am
Dean1967
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Hi Hornet. I have checked the inside of the kitchen thoroughly and there is no wood rot. I think this is a common occurrence with the fold out kitchens of the Sprite caravans. I will certainly follow your work method!!! Thank you.
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13 Feb 2018 @ 11:07:42 am
Chris E
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I just got my caravan back from a repair shop for dents on the side. They glued a new aluminium panel on top of the old one, it cost a ton of money ... thanks Santam.

I asked owner of the shop about this, as I thought they would take off the old panel. His reply was simply, "you cannot re-glue polystyrene". So I think in trying to salvage the aluminium you may destroy the door completely.

I would suggest if you try and find out if you can get a new or second hand door somewhere, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that you can buy the door from the factory. It is possible to get stickers made to match if you need to and you can re-use the hinges and other hardware.
Otherwise do what Hornet has suggested above cut out one side of the aluminium so you can get to the inside and repair and either patch the cut-out piece with a new sheet of aluminium or order the whole sheet from Jurgens/CI and stick it over the old one. The whole aluminium side panel of my caravan cost about R7500 so I don't think you should pay more than R500-R1000 for just the door skin. Be warned though that the texture of the outside aluminium plate may not be the same as what you currently have. But if you work from the inside you can probably use any sheet you like, even a piece of stainless steel if you want. The repairer used something called MORAD to glue the sheet, which seems to be a polyurethane glue rather than an epoxy. Which seems to make sense since it will be more flexible. But it's an industrial glue so I don't think you will find it at the hardware store.

If you still have your heart set on salvaging the panel then assuming the factory also used polyurethane rather than epoxy you can try to use acetone. But the acetone will also dissolve any polystyrene in the door and may even strip the paint off the panels.


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13 Feb 2018 @ 11:54:36 am
Dean1967
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Thanks Chris. Appreciate the advice!!!
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14 Feb 2018 @ 10:16:03 am
pietpotjie
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Caravans are an ongoing DIY affair to me anyway. I did a similar job to yours and it is a time consuming pain. What might help is I found a handle that fits on the one end of a hacksaw blade and sawed, sanded and carefully got the old wood out that way. Sikaflex is another adhesive to consider it is what they use to install windscreens. I also got a piece of the aluminium skin from a caravan dealer for a different small repair.
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14 Feb 2018 @ 15:42:09 pm
Roy
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Having just covered some 5000Km from Swaziland to Cape Town and return over 2 months with our '97 Sprite Storm which worked perfectly for us until the last day when 20Km from the border I felt something not right and on checking found a Tyre had shed its tread and I was running on the steel belt. We fitted the spare and got home so not really a problem.
However I checked the tyres and found that they were rated at 487Kg each, as the Caravn empty is 780Kg and we had a drop of wine plus tent, spare wheel and ground sheet as well as clothes and food we probably excedded the tyre rating.
When I went to get a new tyre same as the old, I was told that particular tyre had not been made for 2 years so, possibly, it had exceeded its (supposed) 5 year life. To be safe I fitted 2 new tyres of the same spec.
Has anybody either upgraded the axel on a Storm or knows if you can fit a 185 14 tyre and rim to the same hub as the 165 13 original. I have tried searching on line but failed to find an answer so thought would ask the experts.
Regards
Roy
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14 Feb 2018 @ 16:15:22 pm
pietpotjie
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Roy what you need to establish is the pcd of the wheel bolts. The easiest would be to take a wheel rim to a well equipped tyre place. They have a little device which they can quickly tell you what PCD of the rim is. Once you have established this you can then go looking for the appropriate size rim. The PCD come as 100/108/114/etc as the PCD then the number of bolts or wheel nuts 4 or 5 ? then the actual rim size. So the spec will be something like 108(PCD)/5 (no of studs/nuts)/13 (rim size). You then get the offset which refers to the position of the surface which bolts to the hub in relation to the rim. This is as a negative, neutral or positive figure. Being a load carrying rim it is most likely neutral.
Hope this helps.
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