Help with fitting external hatches on a Caravan

Submitted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 19:54
ThreadID: 78576 Views:3935 Replies:4 FollowUps:0
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I'm embarking on a project for our personal use. Today I bought an old dunger of a Caravan and will gut it. I'm not about to rip apart a $25,000 van for my first attempt.

Then I will build what we really need. Q/S bed, couch with drawers underneath, robe and shower cubicle inside. Everything else (kitchen, 2 storage drawers, and fridge will slide out for outside living. All of this is fairly routine for me. However I'm a complete novice with aluminium and hatches.

My question is this; what is the best way to fit external hatches to an existing van? I need them to seal well.

Any, and all, advice will be appreciated.



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Reply By: Member - Boeing (PER) - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 20:11

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 20:11
Hi Jim, Can't offer much advice other than a visit to a caravan repair place and pick their brains and of course tell them what you do as there must be heaps of caravaners that want drawers for their vehicles.

Sounds like a great project and it would be good to see some progressive photos over time.
AnswerID: 417181

Reply By: Dave... Adelaide (SA - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 20:15

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 20:15
G'day Jim

Sorry l cant help you with your question mate, but l am hoping you might post some pics up here as you progress along with the build up...I am planning on doing something along the same lines myself, making my own off roader, custom built chassis etc.......

AnswerID: 417182

Reply By: Members Paul and Melissa (VIC) - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 20:35

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 20:35
i am guessing it has a hardwood/meranti frame and you want to install roof hatches,and also that you are going to rip the roof lining off. frame up a square in the same size timber from the inside where you want the roof hatch,cut out the required timbers if there are any in the way and fit up,glue/screw your frame in using sikaflex on the top thus sealing between timber and ally cladding. when urethane is dry cut out ally cladding,use caulking compound or caravan silicone if you like(i prefer caulking) and put a good bead aruond the outside edge and fit your hatch,screw down with stainless screws only.clean excess sealant off and leave to skin off. thats the condensed version of what i did to our old van installing newer larger hatches.
AnswerID: 417189

Reply By: Matt(WA) - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 22:51

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 22:51

Pretty much what Paul has said above this post. I have been working as a caravan repairer lately(while travelling around aus). My biggest recommnedation is to use good quality sealer. Sika is great. MM me if you need some more info. I am leaving on route o Wiluna on Friday, so you might not get me after then for a while.


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