My mother has asked me to take a look at her caravan, a Elddis Tornado 1998 . It has an internal damp problem. She took it to a professional caravan wo rkshop for repair. Then took it back for more work as she was not happy. Sh e thought it was okay second time around, but the guarantee on the work has now expired and I do not think it is dry.
The damp is around the off-side window nearest the front. I hired a profess ional damp meter and took readings of 45% about a foot below the window, 37 % between the side of the window and the front of the caravan and 27% above the window and in the above locker. Around the front windows and behind th e front off-side window the reading was 10-13%. I stripped away the vinyl w allpaper over the damp area apart from in the locker. I found dark patches, mold and soft areas of wallboard.
Using a oscillating multi-tool (thanks Aldi) I have cut away a large area o f wallboard under and in front of the window to expose the 'ribs'. These ar e discoloured in places but seem sound. Sadly the cut-away board broke up b ecause of the soft areas but the damage to the ribs and polystyrene insulat ion was minimal. The rubber strip around the window socket has taken some g rief during this process but the timbers round the socket seem okay. Extern ally the visible sealant above and below the awning rail, front rail and of f-side window hanging rail is cracked.
I think the way forward is to re-bed the window hanging rail for the off-si de window, replace the rubber window socket seal and try removing then re-a pplying the sealant above and below the other rails. I have some Caraflex c araseal IDL 99 to use to re-bed the hanging rail. Is it also good for resea ling the other rails without removal? I know some folks use Sikaflex 512 fo r this but it is an adhesive/sealant, so the other rails may not come off i f they need to be re-bedded in the future. Where is a good place to get a m atching rubber seal? Apparantly there is a company that matches samples of the old rubber to get an exact fit. If I strip the wall paper in the locker can I paint the wall board with wood hardener after it has had a chance to dry? It would be a nightmare to replace the wallboard in the locker but I do not want to melt the polystyrene or anything.