Just bought my first caravan - Sunwagon.

Submitted: Friday, May 26, 2006 at 12:54
ThreadID: 34288 Views:8906 Replies:4 FollowUps:0
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A few of you kindly responded to my questions about this model caravan 2 weeks ago. I ended up buying it for $900 .Its a 1979 model and hasnt been registered for many years.It did come with all the original paperwork and receipts though. I knew it needed work when I first looked at it but when I got it home I realised just how much more involved the repair process will be. Three of four wooden beams running around the top of the roof are rotted and the canvas has started to come away from the staples holding it there. Ive managed to get access to the beams by removing sections of the roof im just hoping it doesnt get to difficult as my skills are limited somewhat. the vent on the roof also needs replacing, and also it does need new tyres. the stove and fridge look almost new and do work so I guess it s bonus. The curtains and pillow coverings are outdated but it looks abit retro with the help of the green laminate. The body is in pretty good condition as is the canvas (no rips or holes). The legs a that screw out and the step is rusty but nothing a bit of harwork wont fix. Im begining to see the potential it has but I guess Im in need of someone telling me it will definately be worth it once completed. I have acouple of question if anyone can help ........................................ has anyone fixed a van like this before ? what will bring life back into the canvas and also clean it ? Is there a laminate I could cover the cupboards with myself to update it ? how do i clean out the water tank that has been sitting for a number of years ? what sort of sealant can i use to reseal the parts of the roof i have taken off ? is there anywhere in sydney that i could get spare parts from or do the caravan accessory places sell universal products ? the brace that holds the jocky wheel on also broke as the thread snapped in the hole when trying to undo , how can i replace this ? should i fish oil the under of teh van after i clean it up ? any help would be much appreciated ..... thanks
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Reply By: flappa - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 13:14

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 13:14
First up . . . is it worth it ?

Well , only you can answer that. You will NEVER get back what you will pay to fix it , thats Fact , but for YOUR enjoyment for years to come . . . . What is it worth to you.

Some of the other stuff.

You can paint laminate. Just have to prepare it properly. Fail that . . . use Contact in your favourite colour.

Water Tank . . . take it off . . . give it a proper rinse with the hose , then give it a good clean with a "product" you can buy tank cleaning products , or Bicarb works well. IT might take several rinses to get the tank clean . . . fail that . . Its about $100 for a new tank.

You should be able to find Universal Parts at most Caravan Places. You can buy replacement Jockey wheel parts easily. You can either buy , bolt on ones , or , grind the old one off and get someone to weld a new one on.

Bringing life back into old Canvas isn't real easy. If its good condition then a good clean using Pure soap and a gentle brush should do wonders. Depending then on the waterproofing , you may need to apply a commercial waterproofing agent , rather then relying purely on the original canvas.

Cant really help with the roof beams , as its something I would need to have a look at to comment on. Others may be better qualified to give you info on that.
AnswerID: 174894

Reply By: Member - John C (WA) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 19:27

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 19:27
The canvas cleaning needs to be done with a proper product from a camping shop and then re-seal/waterproof it again with products easily available. Use car polish to clean the vinyl window.
When you have completed cleaning the outside, give it a good polish with auto cutting compound and paint the chassis and drawbar with galvanised killrust paint.
As I said before- replace the tyres anyway, and you should have a good end product.

AnswerID: 174966

Reply By: Jimbo - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 21:17

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 21:17
Give it a general clean to make it look good.

Spray it inside with Glen 20 to get rid of that "old canvas pong" and make it smell good.

Spray the rusty bits with silver frost.

Whack it in the Trading Post for $2200 and let someone haggle you down to $2000 and you're a gorilla in front.

Or you can suffer interminable pain and expense.

Good Luck, Sincerely,

AnswerID: 174987

Reply By: drifta - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 23:48

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 23:48
If the body and canvas are in good condition you've done well the rest doesn't sound to expensive just a bit time consuming depending on your skills. By the time your finished you will have a good understanding of your van and feel comfortable knowing you can fix things when your in the sticks. Laminate is easy to come by at kitchen places, and not a difficult thing to do. Water tanks are about $90 for 70lt plastic ones from caravan shops if the old one is no good. Or you can buy tank cleaner from the same places. Sikaflex is good for sealing things. Jockey wheel brackets are also cheap from supercheap or any caravan place just weld a new one on. Sowing up new covers for cushions is also not difficult just make ones that slip over the old ones so you dont have to put zips in. Parts are fairly universal with vans and there will be lots of suppliers in Sydney find a good one and they should be able to give you lots of free advice., Theres good underbody paints on the market that you can do underneath with just a bit messy to apply. The roof sounds a bit harder but if thats all you need help with your doing allright.
Try not to do to many things at once otherwise it can get a bit daunting. Get it lisenced so you can use it between jobs and it will keep you encouraged. You should get many years of camping out of it good luck.
AnswerID: 175023

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