It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of shopping for a second hand caravan or motorhome, but it’s extremely important to carry out all of the required checks before going ahead with the sale.
One of the foremost vital things to look for when viewing a caravan is damp. Repairing damp is often incredibly expensive – sometimes even more than the caravan or motorhome is worth!
1. Invest in a Damp Meter
You can obtain a damp meter relatively cheaply online or from your local hardware store. It’s a worthwhile investment and may detect even the slightest signs of damp and humidity. you can also acquire a specialised Damp Detector which is specifically designed for caravans. the 2 prongs can be inserted into any wood, wood fibre or plaster walls, and a damp reading will appear on the LED display.
2. Can you smell damp within the caravan?
One of the very first things you should do when stepping foot within the caravan is to see whether or not you can smell damp. this will often be the most obvious tell-tale sign.
3. Check in concealed areas
Don’t be afraid to look around for damp in corners and inside cupboards. Bed boxes and lockers may be harbourers of damp, so remember to have a decent route round.
4. External Seals
If the caravan’s external sealing round the window frames is in poor shape, this could quickly cause internal damp. Check how sturdy the seal is by pressing it near to the window joint.
5. External Damage
Whilst completing your checks on the external sealing, check for damage which can prevent the caravan or motorhome from being watertight. And crazing or cracking in plastic windows may result in damp inside the van.
6. The interior floor
If the floor feels spongy once you walk on it, this could be an indication of damp. ensure that you keep an eye out for all of those other signs of damp too!
How to Prevent Damp
So you’ve found your dream caravan or motorhome. How does one protect it from damp? There are a couple of simple precautions to take which can help to stop your caravan from becoming damp.
1. Don’t Dry Your Clothes within the Caravan!
Use a garments horse and dry your clothes outside if possible. Drying clothes inside the caravan promotes damp, so it’s an excellent idea to invest in a clip-on window clothes rack if you don’t have one already.
2. Use a Dehumidifier
Switching on a dehumidifier for a couple of hours if you’re caravanning during winter months will pull excess moisture from the air, and help prevent damp from forming. Some avid caravanners swear by dehumidifier crystals, and place a couple of tubs of them round the van throughout the winter months when their caravans aren't in use.
3. Storing Your Caravan During Winter
Make sure that you remove all perishables, especially bottles which may cause condensation (and then damp!), and drain down all pipes with water in them.