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Newly purchased campervan with leaky roof and electrics!!!

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    Newly purchased campervan with leaky roof and electrics!!!

    Hi All
    I've just bought a transit van converted with a bed, cooker, fridge etc in the back but think I may have wasted my money. I asked the seller whether there was anything major I needed to know and she said no. However I've now realised the roof is leaking and it drips into the cupboard with all the electrical bits in it. The electrics are not working at the mo and I put this down to a dead leisure battery. So I'm after advice please, from people with more experience ....

    1. Will it be dangerous to get the electrics working with risk of water being around? I'm going to try and fix the leak but difficult to know for sure that it is fixed until it's been through a few heavy showers.
    2. Do I have any grounds to complain to the seller? She must have known about the leak. Does this make it unfit for purpose as a campervan and give me any recourse?

    Feeling deceived and miserable as I've spent most of my budget on my first ever campervan and think it may be useless - not even possible to sell as I couldn't lie to potential buyers. Advice much appreciated.

    #2
    Sorry to hear that Bish. It is an awful feeling when something we have high hopes for turns bad. A times like that we tend to fear the worst but I doubt that it is as terminal as you think and needn't be too expensive to fix.

    Once you have fixed the leak, the electrics are simple and cheap to sort out. No point really trying to do anything with the electrics till you stop the leak though.

    What sort of roof is it? Don't just go spreading silicone everywhere. There are specific types for different conditions and materials.

    Edit...

    Hello and welcome btw.
    Last edited by Dapple; 28-01-2018, 10:33 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Oh groan, Bish. If we can help at all, we will, we are like that. Is yours a panel van or a coachbuilt? It sounds like a panel van. If water is actually in the electrics of course you will have to dry it out before turning them on. The 12v won't matter so much as the mains of course.

      I've bought a few cars like that so I know how you feel. One was a Volvo with a year's MOT. I did wonder why the speedo showed a different mileage to the MOT certificate. I was towing a trailer with it when it went completely out of control, spun round and nearly went in the ditch. The suspension arms holding the rear axle on to the body were completely rusted through. I went back to the tin pot garage I bought it from one evening, peered through their door and saw an identical model Volvo so I returned the next day to observe that the one they had had the mileage of my MOT. They had just swapped number plates, taken the good car for an MOT and then stuck the original plates back on my rubbish one. They were not the kind of people you would argue with unless you wanted a spell in hospital so I got the parts and fixed my car, and it was OK after that. These guys were supremely clever crooks, they could have earned good money honestly if they wanted to. They probably ended up as directors of Carillion.
      Any engine that needs 20 thousand volts to work is fundamentally flawed.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for your kind words - sympathy makes me feel less alone with my soggy van. I'm going to see a body work bloke this morning to see what he thinks. Will update on return.

        It's a panel van with a flat roof. Also several rust spots on the roof but think they are fixable.

        Comment


          #5
          Hi there , Bish ,

          I share your pain my friend , the trouble is even buying new there are no guarantees of being trouble free . Now not everyone is as lucky as me i know , but i've been looking after car's for year's , so i'm a bit handy with a few tool's . I'd be the first to admit , i'm no expert , but i am prepared to have a go at anything , so when i purchase a vehicle , i give it an on the spot mot to make sure it's safe to be on the road , and the rest i deal with myself .
          I've just purchased a 17 year old A class , and in the process spent many , many times more than i ever have before on any vehicle . Yet i've still found several things that need attention , with bit's that are , well shall we just say beyond their shelf life . It has however passed it's first mot with me , with no advisories , and i'm working through the list of issues , upgrading as i go . Some of these include bit's i've never heard of before , let alone seen , and require research to figure what my best course of action should be . The main thing's left are the heating , which though is working , is not working properly (thermostat) , and a leaky toilet flush . Part's are sat in the garage as i speak , along with a new shower head that will replace the old cracked one . I've also got to replace a window and a skylight , both have cracked , and two smaller skylight's that are old , brittle , and worn , though none of them are leaking .
          So , don't be too downhearted , my friend , in the grand scheme of things , a leak is small potatos . Beit a camper van or motorhome , there are many more things that can go wrong , and a pre purchase inspection won't pick them all up . If your happy with the van's interior , personally i think you have done well , mate .

          Comment


            #6
            I can understand how you feel , Bish, ,but don't be downhearted.The fact that it is a panel van is a big help here, as you shouldn't have any rotten wood frame to contend with. Get the leak fixed, dry out the electrics and you'll probably find its all OK.
            BTW, if you bought it privately you have no redress, other than to throw a brick through her window!

            Comment


              #7
              Hi Bish and welcome to the Small Motorhomers and Friends!

              I know exactly how you feel. Robbed and disappointed. I did the same with the caravan I bought, it leaked like a sieve, not noticeable until I had handed over the money and brought it home, as it had been stored in a garage and was as dry as a bone. Three days on the drive in the rain, and boy did I find some leaks! The most dreadful one was actually the roof, and my ex-hubbie came and sealed it with flexible black marine sealant, sort of soft and runny stuff, and the roof hasn't leaked since. Touch wood!

              It is possible to go down the small claims court route, but please read the rules around that course of action.

              I approached the seller I bought it from and pointed out all the problems, but he wasn't budging an inch, you might have more luck than I did. Try calling the seller and pointing out the damage and ask if you can either return it for a full refund, or a partial refund in order to fix the problems. Be aware though, that there is no obligation to refund money, especially when its a private sale, it's Buyer Beware! When you have a quote from the garage, you will have more idea of how much it will cost to repair, so you could approach the seller when you know what the damage is and how much it will cost.

              If you are going to do the work yourself, first fix the roof. You can't even start on the electrics until they have completely dried out.

              There are ways and means of dispensing with electric altogether. You can use battery lights, like the Rolson LED lights. If you have a water pump, simply use a water container for water. If the fridge is 3-way, it can be powered by gas. If not, a few frozen freezer blocks and a bit of frozen food and you have a freezer box. If you need EHU, you can use a camping EHU until that part is fixed.

              However, if you do have gas, do get a mobile engineer out to check the gas system and also the electrics.
              Last edited by jayjay; 29-01-2018, 11:26 AM. Reason: Added a bit more info

              Comment


                #8
                Oh, Bish, I do feel for you! I recently had a big problem with a leakage, but that was in a caravan.

                Lots and lots of lovely folk on this friendly forum who will be only too pleased to help and advise. Fingers crossed you manage to stop the water ingress soon. You can work at the other bits and pieces at your leisure then. Good luck! Wouldn't it be great if you could get your van in action in time for one of the Small Motorhome and Friends rallies!

                Cynthia.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Bish View Post
                  Thanks for your kind words - sympathy makes me feel less alone with my soggy van. I'm going to see a body work bloke this morning to see what he thinks. Will update on return.

                  It's a panel van with a flat roof. Also several rust spots on the roof but think they are fixable.
                  If it's a panel van it can't be that bad , mate . If you have extra's fitted to the roof , solar panels , tv aerial and the like , it's more likely to be one of them . As a flat roof will be welded to the sides , it's unlikely to be there , and water will only pass through a rotten area , certainly not rust .

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm bowled over by all your kind comments - thank you!

                    What a lovely bunch you are! You have really lifted my spirits.

                    Those of you who said it may not be as bad as I think may well be right. Someone had a look today and he said it's not that bad and around £300 to sort the leak and the rust spots on the roof. I can manage that The van needs to dry out before the work can be done so I'll be praying to the weather gods and applying waterproof tape along the seam for the short term.

                    In addition I got the lights working from the leisure battery.

                    All is well and feeling somewhat guilty for being so downcast earlier.

                    So much appreciation to you all for your replies. As many of you predicted, looking much more positive

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks for letting us know.

                      Don't get carried away with what a lovely bunch we are though.

                      Apparently I can be a right pain in the backside!



                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Bish View Post
                        Someone had a look today and he said it's not that bad and around £300 to sort the leak and the rust spots on the roof. I can manage that The van needs to dry out before the work can be done so I'll be praying to the weather gods and applying waterproof tape along the seam for the short term.

                        So much appreciation to you all for your replies. As many of you predicted, looking much more positive
                        Glad it's not too bad. Get a tarp over the roof and tie it down. That's the quickest way to dry it out, unless you are very sure which seam is leaking. A small radiator inside on low, if you are off the road and on a driveway.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Bish View Post
                          I'm bowled over by all your kind comments - thank you!

                          What a lovely bunch you are! You have really lifted my spirits.

                          Those of you who said it may not be as bad as I think may well be right. Someone had a look today and he said it's not that bad and around £300 to sort the leak and the rust spots on the roof. I can manage that The van needs to dry out before the work can be done so I'll be praying to the weather gods and applying waterproof tape along the seam for the short term.

                          In addition I got the lights working from the leisure battery.

                          All is well and feeling somewhat guilty for being so downcast earlier.

                          So much appreciation to you all for your replies. As many of you predicted, looking much more positive
                          Bish, I do not know your finances - but if you are any good at DIY I would consider tackling the job yourself. Of course I have not seen the rusted areas but my idea would be using Davids Isopon P40 chopped fibreglass otherwise known as "Bridge a Gap".

                          First attack the rusty area with either a grinder (if you have one) or a wire brush - then corse emery paper - until you are at bare metal - you will have a hole and it looks terrible - dent in the hole slightly 5mm - paint Kure Rust onto the metal - it'll turn black - Go inside the van - you may need to remove a part of the lining - Spread some mixed up P40 onto a piece of cardboard (old Cornflake box is good) push firmly under the hole - now tape the piece of card under the hole. Back on top mix up some more chopped fibre and hardner - now spread it across the hole and overlap the good metal by a good inch all round. When it has gone hard sand down to smooth and paint - repeat for each hole.

                          If the holes are small - screw holes etc - treat rust the same way and plug using epoxy putty - Milliputt or staff sold in Lidl is great - if you can use platacine you can use this!

                          BTW your £300 will probably buy you the same repair.
                          Jon
                          Amor omnia vincit et nos cedamus amori

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