Damp in a caravan: How to spot the tell tale signs

The beginners guide to potential damp problems in your possible purchase.

  • NOSE
  • FEET
  • EYES
  • HANDS

In my experience over the many years of the caravan industry I dont think that I found many caravans that did not have some kind of damp or water ingress problem sometime in its life.

The construction of most touring caravans is made up of a wooden subframe made from soft wood with a coated hardbord inner wallboard which when it is in contact with water soaks it up like a sponge and this capilary action can make even a tiny entry point for water become a much larger problem.  Even if the leak is stopped the water ingress has penetrated the wood subframe and wall board the wood will dry out and dry will set in.

As I enter the caravan I use 3 of my natural senses to assist me:-

  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Sight

  • 1. When you first enter the caravan a simple smell test will tell you if there has been any historic water ingress in the caravan.  Rotting wood has a distictive damp musty smell.
  • 2. Whilst walking in the doorway and down the centre corridor of the caravan feel if the floor beneath your feet is bouncy or soft and springy or has highs and low points in it.
  • 3. Look around carefully at all the exposed wall boards and inside all the cupboards any under all bedboxes and floor lockers etc for any sign of discolouring or pimpiling to the decorative wall board.
  • 4. Touch all the wallboard surfaces for any signs of soft spongy feel or cold or damp felling on your hands.

Please see a previous video on the process of checking your caravan with a Good Quality Damp Meter as the only sure way to test for water ingress in your caravan.

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