Refurbishment   of   RV Lifestyle Camper Part   2

Posted by ProDev Administrator at 5:29pm, Monday 25th July, 2016
We have now sanded all the paint off  the roof, which has uncovered a few nasty holes along the edge of the roof. These we will seal with sikaflex 227 & then cover with 3m roofing tape  before we paint. All the roof joints are suspect so they will all be sealed & then covered with the same tape.

We  removed the rib panel at the rear & panelled it on the bench .This uncovered more rusty frames which were rust treated before putting the rib panel back on. The lower rear panel was also repaired with some filler. Both top & bottom window panels were replaced due to corrosion. We are adding a new moulding  to the rear to cover all the ripples that the rivets make from the  previous repair. You would never know as we will use the same moulding that is around the whole unit but it will make a huge difference to the finished article.

The front window upper & lower small panels were also replaced due to corrosion.  We have discovered that extremely thin gauge aluminium was used over the entire unit when manufactured from new, which creates  a lot of movement in the panels, but does make it more light weight. It does however dent much more easier than the thicker gauges.  So as to keep the tare weight the same we decided to use the same gauge aluminium. We would normally use a thicker grade than this.

The lower door frame was replaced with zinc coated steel for strength as the old one was made from light gauge galvanized steel. The two panels behind the door had there frames rust treated  before the newly made aluminium sheets installed.

Even though we found a lot of surface rust in behind all the panels that we removed all the frames were structurely still very strong & sound. This is generally what we find on all steel framed caravans. Only occasionally do we need to weld a new frame brace in.

 We have put all the body mouldings back on with sikaflex227 as well as rivets. This will help to strengthen it as well.

Although the side windows will have to be pulled apart to have the internal linings replaced we need the frames in to be able to tow the unit  to the sand-blasters around the corner as the unit is now ready for  its under carriage to be resurrected.

The sand-blasters lift the caravan with two forklifts  & set up on 4 high stands so they are able to walk around underneath.  As we are not sure what is to be replaced underneath in the way of tanks etc. we have left them all in . Ideally it probably would have  been  better to have them out so the blasters had an easier task but  these will have to  be replaced at a later date if need be. The whole unit was wrapped in plastic to try & keep out as much sand as possible ,as we had no windows in at all. Once blasted they then put a sprayed zinc coating over the top. The drawbar is sprayed with a 2pack primer as this gets sprayed to match the caravan.  When we get the unit back, all that is needed to do is make & fit the door ,then it will be time for the final sand & paint.

To Be continued in the next issue...

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