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Sorry Sharon but I think the hubbys right.

I dont pretend to know the structure of your van but I wouldnt think any manufacturer would make joints at those two horizontal positions. It would be far easier to make the side panels in one piece.

They look decorative to me.
 

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I have to agree with hubby. putting 2 additional joints on the side of a vehicle would weaken it and add to the cost of construction so my 'guess' would be that it is decorative.

Karl
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, i really wish he was right, then my mind would be at rest, but i just went downstairs and had a look with the camera, and i'm sure it's a join, but far worse than that, it all looks to be rotten wood.

I feel sick with the stress of it all.... :cry:

I assume it's best to take it off, dig out rotten stuff and use some of that expanding foam, and then stick it back on again.

The van is fine on the inside and is at least all solid wood.

The shame of it is, i really love our little van, but it's been one thing after anther.

New carver water heater, toilet won't flush, and now this....only good thing i suppose is that if they come in threes this should be the end our bad luck.

I'm such a trusting person, but realise now that the seller saw us coming!

The only good thing about it is that i know what to look for in our next one :)
 

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I'm A bit confused
your original photo didn't show this damage
Could it be that water has been trapped behind causing it to rot


If they are joints then they would continue to the other side of the toilet locker
If you run your finger over that area you will feel a ridge

Alan H
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the first picture was one i already had on the pc.
The second one was where i had just gone downstairs.

I would say about 80% of the trim is fin and intact, but a long piece on the offside has become almost detached and obviously had been allowing water to come in.

The regular trim is still sealed fine.

Its the one that is in line with the bumper, just above the wheel.

It's a different type to the higher ones and is slightly triangular in profile.

So my original question was probably wrong, as those trims aren't too bad it's the lower ones.

I will take a better picture tomorrow in the daylight.

Is my idea of a fix feasable. as the van as a whole is not worth spending hundreds on, so rake out all the crap and fill it, then reseal it
 

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The lower trim is important as this is at floor level. It possibly controls the seal between the sides and the floor. Don't know how to cure it but I am sure someone on here will help you.
I think you are right to worry, just a pity you showed the wrong trim in the first photo.
Gerry
 

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Hi Sharon,

Two different trims doing two different jobs.

The ones in your first photo IS covering one join (the darker panel is a separate one to the white one above it), however the trims are not providing any weather sealing on this joint as the joint is self sealing (common method of construction with Autotrail).

However, the trim at the bottom IS a sealing trim, and the corrosion seen in your second photo is aluminium corrosion, which has also lead to rotting of the timber frame.

If the rot in the wood hasn't spread too far, it may be possible to remove the trim and skirts, dig/cut out ALL rotten battens then splice in new TREATED timber (ash preferrably), before replacing the skirts and trim with new sealant. Unfortunately, I doubt you can do anything about the corroded aluminium, as it is the lower edge of the side panel and replacement would mean removing the side.

With good timber behind and fresh sealant, the corroded aluminium shouldnt be a worry. Dont even think about pumping expanding foam into the joint - it will not work, it COULD soak up more moisture, and you would be surprised at how much you would use for no gain!!!!

This isnt the worse I have seen, it is repairable!!! Try not to worry, and take each stage purposefully and carefully - examine, evaluate, remove one piece at a time an replace immediately (to maintain structural rigidity).

Hope this helps,
regards
Carl
 

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Well it seems to me if you and your hubby cannot agree it is not surprising 'cos noone else can either. :D

I would get around the problem by buying another one but of course, due dillywillygence must happen on the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Pusser said:
Well it seems to me if you and your hubby cannot agree it is not surprising 'cos noone else can either. :D

I would get around the problem by buying another one but of course, due dillywillygence must happen on the dealer.
I wish i had the money to buy another one.
When Paul gets home we are going to take one of them off and see how bad it is.

We do both agree however, that we know what to look for next time.
But as for buying another one, i think that at the VERY low end of the market, it might be better the devil you know than the devil you don't.
At least with this one, there shouldn't be any more nasty surprises!
 

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expanding foam will not soak up any water as it is a closed cell, used in boats for bouyancy. it is very sticky and does go firm and is able to be shaped.
that said, it is a joint between wall and floor and would only be possible to use it in a small area as it won't have the same strength as the timber. the other major problem is that you would need to be extremely careful with the amount used due to the expansion properties. there is a type with limited expansion which would not bow out walls. replacing timber is the best bet but bigger job.
hth
simon
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all your help and advise.
I phoned my mechanic and he put my mind at rest a bit, basically going along the lines of replacing the wood. He only charges mates rates, but i suppose the question is, how much do you spend on an older van?
 

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riverboat2001 said:
. . . i suppose the question is, how much do you spend on an older van?
Assuming this van suits you pretty well and you are happy with it (apart from this) just compare the cost of getting this one fixed against changing it for a "new" one. That's a good place to start any decision making. :D

If your mate knows about vans, get him to give it a thorough check before he starts on the repair, and if you have only this one area of rot it will probably not cost a lot. If there's much more in other places, that may tip the balance between fixing or replacing.

Don't lose heart and sling it out just because it's old. The basic build quality is probably much better than modern vans, so fixing a limited amount of damage could well be the best option in both the short and long term. :D

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Zebedee said:
riverboat2001 said:
. . . i suppose the question is, how much do you spend on an older van?
Assuming this van suits you pretty well and you are happy with it (apart from this) just compare the cost of getting this one fixed against changing it for a "new" one. That's a good place to start any decision making. :D

If your mate knows about vans, get him to give it a thorough check before he starts on the repair, and if you have only this one area of rot it will probably not cost a lot. If there's much more in other places, that may tip the balance between fixing or replacing.

Don't lose heart and sling it out just because it's old. The basic build quality is probably much better than modern vans, so fixing a limited amount of damage could well be the best option in both the short and long term. :D

Dave
Cheers Dave, i like the older ones as they seem to have more character, plus they seem to have more wood, thus allowing you to personalise them easier. It does drive lovely too, even without power steering, and it's only had one owner from new. So if all goes well, this could be almost a blessing in disguise, i wonder how many people are driving around in vehicles that are rotting without them knowing. And it's giving us a chance to try motorhoming out, as we usually go to europe on our motorbikes. And lastly who is happy with their first motorhome, at least on our next one, we will know what we do or don't need or like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hopefully these photos should serve as a reminder / warning for all first time buyers, or anybody who doesn't at least give their vehicle a good check over from time to time.

Believe me, i know how lucky i am to have two good, trustworthy mechanics, to do a good safe repair job, but more importantly, piece of mind.
 
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