Motorhome Facts Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All

I've just had three weeks over the water most of which was in wonderful weather. However I had about 45 minutes of hail stones and rain. The hail stones were about the size of a thumbnail, you've guessed it, the alluminuim (???) roof and rear of the wagon have been peppered with small dents. (Swift Suntor 590RL '53 Reg). In addition the force of the ice was such that it also broke some of the plastic fittings like the gas locker holder upper thingy, the bike rack mount covers and the rooflight wind deflector fairing.

As it stands at the moment my insurance will pay, my main worries are finding a good reliable repairer who will do a very good job. I am also concerned about the method of repair because a Dutchman I was speaking to on the same site seemed to think that the repairer might just lay a new skin over the damaged one. He had a previous caravan damaged in the same way, bought the GRP one he was in which he'd been told would not suffer the same damage, well the caravan didn't this time BUT his car did. The Opel Vectra had a good number of dents on it. He was not a happy man, what do the say about lightning don't striking???

So, I'm asking whether there is anyone out there with any experience of this sort of thing (I think I've heard of similar incidents before) if so what happened, did you get a good job done, if so by who (I'm in the midlands but would be willing to travel, insurance company permitting), what's the best thing to do strip off the roof or lay another skin (don't really like the latter because of weight issues and fitting the rail thingy round the sides), what pit falls did you find. I'm interested in just about anything regarding this sort of damage so that I can discuss it with my insurance company.

I know there are a number of people out there that may be able to offer some professional advice due to their jobs, their observations would also be very much appreciated because I'm thinking that this is going to be a big and expensive job that is going to have to be done by the experts.

The one saving grace appears to be that I'll be able to use the 'van whilst awaiting parts.

Any input would be appreciated

Thanks

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
Bill,

I've seen hailstones the size of cricket balls. On that basis I guess you got off lightly. :roll:

Anyway, aluminium roof sheets were never designed to cope with hailstones so this must be a frequent basis for such a claim. I hope the insurers find the right repairer for you.

Cheers,

SD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
bill said:
Hello All

I've just had three weeks over the water most of which was in wonderful weather. However I had about 45 minutes of hail stones and rain. The hail stones were about the size of a thumbnail, you've guessed it, the alluminuim (???) roof and rear of the wagon have been peppered with small dents. (Swift Suntor 590RL '53 Reg). In addition the force of the ice was such that it also broke some of the plastic fittings like the gas locker holder upper thingy, the bike rack mount covers and the rooflight wind deflector fairing.

As it stands at the moment my insurance will pay, my main worries are finding a good reliable repairer who will do a very good job. I am also concerned about the method of repair because a Dutchman I was speaking to on the same site seemed to think that the repairer might just lay a new skin over the damaged one. He had a previous caravan damaged in the same way, bought the GRP one he was in which he'd been told would not suffer the same damage, well the caravan didn't this time BUT his car did. The Opel Vectra had a good number of dents on it. He was not a happy man, what do the say about lightning don't striking???

So, I'm asking whether there is anyone out there with any experience of this sort of thing (I think I've heard of similar incidents before) if so what happened, did you get a good job done, if so by who (I'm in the midlands but would be willing to travel, insurance company permitting), what's the best thing to do strip off the roof or lay another skin (don't really like the latter because of weight issues and fitting the rail thingy round the sides), what pit falls did you find. I'm interested in just about anything regarding this sort of damage so that I can discuss it with my insurance company.

I know there are a number of people out there that may be able to offer some professional advice due to their jobs, their observations would also be very much appreciated because I'm thinking that this is going to be a big and expensive job that is going to have to be done by the experts.

The one saving grace appears to be that I'll be able to use the 'van whilst awaiting parts.

Any input would be appreciated

Thanks

Bill
Hailstone damage is very common on the Continent. It happens every year.

Laying a new skin over the old damaged one is the professional way to do it - much better than stripping off the old skin with all the attendant problems of re-sealing etc. The dents are filled first to ensure that the new skin is supported properly and the dents don't replicate themselves.
The weight of the new skin will reduce your payload but it won't be much and the roof will be that much stronger anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
Same thing happened to me about 14 years ago. Repairs were done by a local firm who, unfortunately are no longer trading.

They stripped off the damaged skin and completely replaced it. Personally I think that this is the best option. The skylights will have to come out anyway even if you just "over skin". Also the side beadings will have to be eased away at the top to allow the new skin to be wrapped and sealed over the edges.

When I had mine done I came to an agreeement with the repairers that they totally removed the beadings and resealed them all round, not just along the roof edge.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for those replies, I take the points about over skinning and not doing so. I'll just have to see what the repairer says. The people in Luton seem to fit the bill.

The other thing is that I will certainly try and ensure that the side beads are fully removed. Brownhills Cannock tried to reseal the area going up to the luton by just pulling it away and didn't make a very good job of it. I may even be able to presuade the repairer to use stanless steel screws if Swift didn't use them at manufacture.

Anymore info on the Luton firm in the link would be appreaciated.

Thanks again

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,562 Posts
Their website is pretty good. Give them a call and discuss it with them, they are very helpful. It's a unit (several in fact) on a farm but don't be put off by that. Got a proper spray booth, dry secure barns for storage and some really keen people.

They'll also drop you off and pick you up from the station
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello All

An update for you on my hail damaged roof.

I took the vehicle to SMC (Seventy Seven Motor Company) in Newark at the suggestion of Peter at Comfort in the end just over a fortnight ago and got it back today.

SMC had stripped the roof off and and replaced it and reskined the rear wall. I've had a good look around it and the job looks first class. As it turned out I'm glad they did strip the roof rather than reskinning it, as you'll see below.

From start to finish I have been impressed with the service provided. During the first phone call I got sound advice with no waffle or sucking of teeth. The insurance was sorted by them including an inspection by the assessor. I was kept informed of what was going on throughout and had all my queries answered.

To boot, some bad damp was found around the chimney in the roof which fell outside the insurance job but was repaired for a reasonable price. (digital pictures of the damp and repair were sent to me by email) In fact the hail storm done me a favour in the end, but for it I would have been responsible for the full almost £5,000 repair. Thank you Weather Fairy.

I've to return to SMC for a damp check in six months to ensure everything is properly sealed. You all may be interested in the fact they advertise Mechanical Services from £80.00, Habitation Service from £145.00 including VAT and labour. These prices sound quite good considering some I've seen mentioned on M.Facts. I'll certainly be returning.

If you're up for some work being done SMC are certainly worth consideration, in my view.

The only connection I have with SMC is the work mentioned in this thread.

bill

Edit - Should have said they also replaced the VRN lettering I'd put on the roof without me asking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,865 Posts
Hailstone

Oh dear, sorry to hear of the problems!

We got hit by the dreaded "grélon" in Burgundy about 15 years ago.

I had borrowed my Brother-in-Law our Brand New Mitsubishi Spacewagon and were in My BMW.

On the way back from the med we stayed in a tent in a campsite. We has a terrible storm of Golf Ball size Hail and both cars looked like those old copper pub tables.

The insurance paid out on both cars and both Garages did a superb job, realy could not tell. That was cars mind.

We just missed a storm a couple of years ago that resulted in two 40ton trucks veering off the road. There was piles of

I was speaking to a Dutch caravanner a few years back and he said that he has suffered so many of these storms that he just does not bother getting damage repaired any more.

The storm hit us at 1am, we froze the hail to take a photo of to show the kids who slept through the storm. I must dig out the picture as some people just don't believe you when you tell them.

Hope you get sorted and let us know how you go on?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well they say lightening doesn't strike. In my case it has, almost.

On the way back from my Iceland trip I hit a pigeon at about 60mph, caught it with the front of the luton. Needless to say there is a dent.

Anyway, following advice taken so far I'm told that a proper repair would be to replace the whole roof panel like was done with the hail damage. Apparently this is because you can't get behind the damage, aluminium is difficult to pull out because it stretches. It is difficult to fill the damage because the filler is likely to shrink and be noticable.

Any advice / experience would be appreciated.

All the best.

bill
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top