Caravan repair

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 11:14
ThreadID: 80207 Views:9049 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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Hello All,
I must say I love reading the stories on this site,and I am looking forward to getting out there soon.
I am single and female so I will be asking a lot of safety questions along the way.
My first problem is my van,it s a 1981 poptop and has just been redone on the top.
The side cupboard has water damage and I would like to replace it.
Question.How do I do that,it seems to have a plastic cover strip around the edges.Is it glued on? how do I remove that without damage?
is the next step to take off the front of the cupboard and then it will reveal how it is held onto the frame.
Am i on the right track here,Dont want to start and then come across an unforseen problem.
Love towing my van around.
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Reply By: Goldfind (Dunsborough) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 14:32

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 14:32
Hi Carol,
In my experience with most vans, they are built from the inside out, which means that they build the framework, then line the inside, then fit all the cabinets fixing them from inside the framework/walls, then do all the pre wire for electrics and then when all the internal is complete they then line the exterior of the van.
This makes it very difficult to remove any cabinets without doing damage to the cabinet/walls
Being a builder I think its a very strange way to go about it

Hope this helps
Cheers Wayne H
AnswerID: 424747

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 15:17

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 15:17
Is very strange certainly, but if you look at the width of the doors how else would they do it. Eg a friend had a leaky shower and if they couldnt fix it the way they did the roof would have had to be taken off to remove it.

Its very hard to get a 900mm shower module through a 600mm doorway.
Same with fridges and some other appliances , they are put inside before the walls are built.

It would pay the original poster to take the van to a van repairer for an opinion as to how to fix it.

We have had a problem with wall boards and it would have been a weeks work to remove corner cuboards, if in fact they could, to repair the damaged area. Worked out another method of fixing it.
Marvelous what a shelf will hide. LOL
FollowupID: 695211

Reply By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 17:08

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 17:08
HI Carol,
As others have said caravans are built in a seemingly strange way.In most vans cupboards,beds,tables etc, actually form the structual strength of the van to minimise movement & flexing of the outer shell. Take the "furniture" out and the whole thing would collapse pretty quickly.What i am suggesting is that you can replace something as it was or very similar.
Maybe worth getting a professionals opinion, most good traders are helpful & dont mind sharing their knowledge unless they think that they are being "used".
AnswerID: 424760

Reply By: reversemulletman - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 18:04

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 18:04
Hi Carol.

i've got a mid 80's van and had to replace 2/3 of the floor. Not overly difficult, but there was a fare amount of expletives being thrown around during the process. I pulled out one small corner cupboard next to the bed to see how it was fitted. What I found was that the plastic strip you refer to was stapled to the wall from the outside, meaning that it's stapled through the internal vaneer before they put the aluminum cladding on the outside. So when the cupboard was removed i had a row of pointy staples sticking out the wall. I took to them with a grinder and then used "no more nails" to fix the cupboard back to the wall and srewed the base into the new floor. If I was going to remove anything bigger I would certainly get a professional opinion. As previously stated, it's the furniture that pretty much keeps it all together.

Good Luck

AnswerID: 424771

Reply By: casdol - Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 10:06

Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 10:06
Thanks To all who replyed.
Yes now I can see how it would be done,I will tackle the job with taking off the cover strips and placing laminex over the problem area.It is only the top of the cupboard that is damaged,so I think that will solve that problem.
I do appreciate the answers given.
AnswerID: 425246

Reply By: casdol - Tuesday, Aug 17, 2010 at 23:49

Tuesday, Aug 17, 2010 at 23:49
Hello All,
I have fixed the problem cupboard my way,I think it works well.
I got some vinyl floor covering from Bunnings that looks like wood panel,same colour as cupboard and I cut it to size ,I striped as much as the damaged veneer as possible and then got some very good glue and simply stuck the vinyl to the cupboard to cover the damage.
I asked a very friendly man who works at our local bunnings store and he was doing up a horse float as a camper and he gave me some good advice on it.
AnswerID: 427535

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