Repairing a Static Caravan 3

Winter came and went and most of the outside work had to be put on ice…no pun intended in reference to winter. In lieu of this and before heading home to complete another building project during the Christmas holidays, it was possible to start chipping away on necessary indoor tasks with expectations to continue outside work after the holiday season and, supposedly, with a more favourable weather.

Many older caravans have two bedrooms. The smaller second bedroom of this caravan was one of the first things we tore away, creating an open interior planning but leaving only one master bedroom. This larger bedroom was less than 4 sq. mt. and hardly allowed legroom, should ordinary single beds were installed. Also,common beds would take up most floor space with a larger volume of remaining space inefficiently used. It seemed smartest to plan for two wide comfortable bunk beds as we were accustomed to this way of living from experiences in the mountains of northern Sweden.

Having removed all the old, damp, mouldy and smelly interior walling of the master bedroom, there remained the original 20mm insulation which was poorly packed between the original wooden squares of the caravan’s exterior walls. Should these squares be removed?

Using 25 mm Kingspan, I replaced the old insulation to the bedroom and filled up the rectangles of the interior wall. I also reinforced these walls where the bunk beds would be installed later. This gave the bedroom walls better strength and increased the u-value of that corner. I now had walls totaling 75 mm Kingspan insulation. Evaluating this, I decided that I would follow this path; keeping the original framework, insulating to 75mm and consequently increasing the caravan’s total u-value even more than first planned.

The interior bedroom walls were replaced with fresh plywood. Part of the original roof rafters were insulated with 25 mm Kingspan and “gortex” and finished off with 10 mm pine paneling for the ceiling. Later, the floor was covered with 6 mm laminate, which I bought locally second-hand via Internet. Bunk beds were built during wet days in March. See pics in gallery below.

After returning at the end of February and when the weather Gods were kind(er), I tore away the remaining aluminum on the second gable end, reinforced this in the same manner as the other exterior walls, added the wind/waterproof “gortex” material and finished off with the exterior cladding. I now could feel the caravan gained the stability and solidness that it needed for the harsh winds of Shetland. As a result, hardly no vibrating or tremors can be felt in this caravan’s body.

Naturally, thoughts of recycling and the environment have been a part of this project and, as a little game, I had saved all the removed aluminium siding. Recently and with the last of the siding removed, I went to the dump. Surprisingly, the aluminum weighed in at 80 kg. At today’s rate, I drove away from the dump with an extra £32 in my back pocket. I thought this was fun and gave a little back to the costs of repairs. I wonder what the aluminum roof will weigh in at when I remove it?

Soon, hopefully
I want to change the roof. I have all the necessary rafters to a saddle-shaped roof prepared and soon will have the new metal roofing delivered. As soon as weather and wind permits, myself with some friends will rip off the old roof and put on the new. This report will come later…

By the way, the extension part of the caravan has been built in a fashion that will allow it to be removed, should the caravan be moved in the future. An explanation of this engineering feat will come later.

6 thoughts on “Repairing a Static Caravan 3

  1. Wow, facinating project and looks great – cant wait to see the next instalment

  2. Looks great. Very well done.
    What is the average temperature in the room? How heated room? How many rooms are there in the trailer?

  3. Sorry for the delay. I was thinking of adding more information on the website but have been very busy. Last Dec.’12 I kept 18-20° in the place with a nightly decrease. Nice to sleep a little cool. On chilly Shetland days this last summer, I had no problems and only use a 700W oilfilled floor radiator.
    Main thing are energy costs. With the insulating work etc. I averaged £10 a week during Dec. for ALL electricity. This last spring/summer I was averaging £22 A MONTH and a little bit better depending upon my routines.
    Done right, static caravans can be a great example of sustainable living!

  4. I loved reading your caravan blog. Please upload the rest of your renovation I’m very interested. I plan on buying a static caravan to luve in permanently. I’ll only have a small amount of money so need to pick up hints and tips for winter living. Just waiting for the response from the planning permission so I can go ahead.
    Looking forward to the next instalment. Xx

  5. Thank-you very much! Just now, I’m in Sweden to paint my house but I will try to get more out on the site later. Coming up is the wet-room/WC, thoughts of hot-water heaters and the finished kitchen area. Again, glad to hear from you! TIM

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