Caravan!

As of Thursday evening, I am the proud owner of a caravan. A desperate seller wanted it out of his driveway as soon as possible, and let it go for the kind of price where I was happy to say “If it rolls, we’ll take it.” So now I have £100 less in my piggy bank, but I do have a caravan. It is, howevee, exactly what the experienced caravan-buyer would expect from a £100 caravan. Bits of it didn’t even survive the tow home.

When we got it back to the house, the skylight had disappeared, and the rear interior light was dangling from the ceiling. I felt a drip from the ceiling and gave it a poke only to find that it was rotten and barely solid.

light fitting dangling from caravan ceiling by wires.
Somewhere along the drive home, the light fell down. Alt: Light fitting inside caravan dangling from the ceiling by its wires.

So we ripped down the soggiest bits to see what we were working with.

Partially dismantled ceiling with metal outer skin visible. Insulation hangs out around the broken ceiling edges.
Partially dismantled ceiling with metal outer skin visible. Insulation hangs out around the broken ceiling edges.

That yellow insulation is fibreglass. It might look like Trump’s hair, but it’s evern worse. If this stuff gets onto your skin, the sharp fibres stick in, the rest breaks off, leaving these tiny points in your skin. Three days later, I’m still itching after Kitty pulled a ceiling section doiwn and I got showered in insulation and mulch from the rotten beams.

Luckily for me, Kitty had some wood spare from a project, so

we could make replacement beams. This wood has been treated so it shouldn’t ever rot. A bit of work with the jigsaw (this guynhas a tool bench to envy), and we had the right shape to fit the beams into the walls. The beams were too long to move into place without taking all of the cupboards out, though. Kitty’s a bit of a genius when it comes to building things, though, and cut them in half, then secured them back together once they were in place with another, shorter piece of wood.

The front section with new beams in to support the outer skin of the roof.
Alt: The front section with new beams in to support the outer skin of the roof.

The middle section didn’t seem too bad, but the back was like wet cake. I pulled that down, too, but by then we had run out of timber and it was late. Kitty’s away for the weekend, so I’m left with the jobs I can do without assistance: measuring for replacement parts and cleaning the roof.

Caravan roof. It's very dirty with algae and moss, and will need cleaning before the leaking seams can be addressed.
Caravan roof. It’s very dirty with algae and moss, and will need cleaning before the leaking seams can be addressed.
The ceiling at the back was so rotten it came down without much effort. It was essentially mulch rather than wood.
The ceiling at the back was so rotten it came down without much effort. It was essentially mulch rather than wood.

I have a caravan, which at the moment needs a lot of work. Step 1 is to get it waterproof again. That means measuring for and fitting a new skylight, replacing the ceiling and sealing the seams in the outer roof. After that I can worry about the walls and what happened to the front window.

Front view of the caravan. The window was broken into and the previous owner sealed it up. With what, I'm not quite sure, but there may even be a usable window under there.
Front view of the caravan. The window was broken into and the previous owner sealed it up. With what, I’m not quite sure, but there may even be a usable window under there.
That wall section between the door and front window looks a bit spongy.
That wall section between the door and front window looks a bit spongy.
Yes, it was spongy. I pulled the vinyl "wallpaper" off and found a lot of rot and not much structure.
Yes, it was spongy. I pulled the vinyl “wallpaper” off and found a lot of rot and not much structure.

 

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