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Old 28-04-2012, 17:10
Greybeard Greybeard is offline
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Default Caravan Design

As someone with a background in engineering and architecture, I've always been interested in the design side of things ... be it motor-bike engines, electronic equipment, or indeed static (and touring) caravans! OK, sad I know.

So ... what's the considered opinion on the design life of static caravans? Ten years, twenty?

And what "goes" first? The built-in cupboards? De-lamination due to damp? The skin of the caravan ... or the rusted chassis?

Or is it just the accumulated effect of everything wearing out in general that makes people decide "enough is enough"?

During my nosing around static caravan sites I have noticed that almost all chassis seem to be happily rusting away. Even on "new" ones (although I should add that some appear to be galvanized), and I wonder why the manufacturers don't just slap some "boat quality" paint on there (back to limited perceptions regarding the life-time of the unit, I suppose).

Is it worth slapping some paint on those chassis, I wonder? And in similar vein, what's the score regarding maintenance? I have seen and heard folk saying things to the effect of "you may as well just use the caravan, and [effectively] run it into the ground" ... meaning (I presume) that anything beyond basic repairs is simply throwing good money after bad, as insufficient monetary value will be added.

Also, once static caravans get to the stage when then have to be dragged off the site, surely they must have some residual value ... even if it's just the fittings and what-have-you. So what happens to them, I wonder. Or do they just get scrapped, broken up ... whatever?

Some, of course, end up at the back of farms (you know, those farms who have let out former pig pens as "industrial units") or on the side of motorway work sites ... where, no doubt, they continue to give yeoman service at very attractive ground rents!

Last edited by Greybeard; 28-04-2012 at 17:22.
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Old 28-04-2012, 17:35
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emmell emmell is offline
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We used to be on a site with some very old vans and the owner said the worst thing is the A frame, if it's rotted away from the chassis they have nothing to hook the van with for towing off.......He had lots of old vans that we could forage about in for spares (till they were removed to that great Static caravan site in the sky ).

Some of the new vans do have galvanised chassis's, but I sometimes wonder if it's a bit 'overkill' on sites that only allow vans on for 15 years......there's a van sited near ours that has a great big thick heavy galvanised chassis and the van it's self is looking very tired....but the chassis looks great, so very handy for the scrap man when he comes one day to haul it away (easy job for him).

ML.
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Old 29-04-2012, 11:15
Greybeard Greybeard is offline
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Yes ... no doubt these "Dealers" that I keep hearing about (but have yet to actually meet) always have someone on hand with reasonable welding skills - if only to tack on a temporary hitch!

OK ... the hunt is on:- for the oldest static caravan still in service!
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Old 29-04-2012, 11:38
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We are a mile from the sea, chassis, even after 20 years are fine.

I guess the other stuff is all down to the care show by the customer. Keeping gutters clear is most important if you want to stop things going wrong.
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Old 29-04-2012, 16:38
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eddiesolo eddiesolo is offline
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A van, if looked after, will last 20+ years. Chassis, is the main issue. If not kept on top it will rust liike mad. Rooflights tend to fail due to wind, sun, cracks etc. Roofs will fail eventually, seals will go. Gutter problems, as TTs had pointed out are a main issue for water not clearing the roof line and sitting, this then can cause water egress, also it can sit and freeze again splitting seals.

The panels are mostly ali so have srap value there. Most chassis are just scrap after 15 years. Fittings are uselss really as after 15 or 20 years, the doors are battered the kitchen cupboards tend to delaminate, the heating system is past its best so again just scrap value.

A van 5 years or less has uses as a source of parts that are nearly 'new'. I have seen on that had roof damage, the insurance didn't pay out so the van was stripped for salvagable parts.

Si
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Old 29-04-2012, 22:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greybeard View Post
Yes ... no doubt these "Dealers" that I keep hearing about (but have yet to actually meet) always have someone on hand with reasonable welding skills - if only to tack on a temporary hitch!

OK ... the hunt is on:- for the oldest static caravan still in service!
there is a caravan i can see from my caravan that has been one our park ( perran sands ) from new and is now 27 years old and still looks like new
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Old 30-04-2012, 07:33
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Tiamaria589 Tiamaria589 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornish rattler View Post
there is a caravan i can see from my caravan that has been one our park ( perran sands ) from new and is now 27 years old and still looks like new
what make is it Graham?
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Old 30-04-2012, 10:52
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There is a an old 'GALAXY' on our site. Looks old with style of windows etc, but is in good nick. Must be 25/30 years old.

Si
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:17
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Quote:
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what make is it Graham?
Oh now your asking im not sure, just had a look at the pics i have on my lappy but there isn't any pics of it but when i next go to the caravan i will find out
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:34
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Can you type quietly please - 'my old girl' is getting very fidgety

Any older or 'written off' caravans on my site are just broken up on the spot and thrown in the skip! - What a waste! It is very difficult to 'salvage' anything unless you manage to catch the owners

I am hoping to catch one being 'dismantled' on my mobile one day and post the video on You tube as that will be a 'first'...
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