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Hints & Tips

How to Check for Caravan Damp

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a Preloved Caravan or Camper Van, but it’s extremely important to carry out all of the necessary checks before going ahead with the sale.

One of the most vital things to look for when viewing your potential new caravan is damp. Repairing damp can be incredibly expensive – sometimes even more than the caravan or motorhome is worth!

1.    Invest in a Damp Meter

Damp detector for caravan

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You can pick up a damp meter relatively cheaply online or from your local hardware store. It’s a worthwhile investment and can detect even the slightest signs of damp and humidity. You can also pick up a specialised Damp Detector which is specifically designed for caravans. The two 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 in the Van?

old caravan

One of the very first things you should do when stepping foot in the caravan is to check whether or not you can smell damp. This can often be the most obvious tell-tale sign.

3.    Check in concealed areas

Don’t be afraid to look for damp in corners and inside cupboards. Bed boxes and lockers can also be harbourers of damp, so remember to have a good route round.

4.    External Sealing

If the caravan’s external sealing around the window frames is in bad condition, this can quickly cause internal damp. Check how sturdy the seal is by pressing it close to the window joint.

5.    External Damage

Whilst carrying out your checks on the external sealing, check for damage which may prevent the caravan or motorhome from being watertight. And crazing or cracking in plastic windows may lead to damp inside the van.

6.    The Floor

If the floor feels spongy when you walk on it, this can be a sign of damp. Make sure that you keep an eye out for all of these other signs of damp too!

How to Prevent Damp

So you’ve found your dream caravan or motorhome. How do you protect it from damp? There are a few simple precautions to take which may help to prevent your caravan from becoming damp.

1.    Don’t Dry Your Clothes in the Caravan!

Clothes airer

Use a clothes horse and dry your clothes outside if possible. Drying clothes inside the caravan promotes damp, so it’s a great idea to invest in a clip-on windoe clothes rack if you don’t have one already.

2.    Use a Dehumidifier

Switching on a dehumidifier for a few 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 few tubs of them around the van throughout the winter months when their caravans are not in use.

3.    Storing Your Caravan During Winter

Make sure that you take out all perishables, especially bottles which can cause condensation (and then damp!), and drain down all pipes with water in them.

Do you have any expert tips for spotting/preventing damp in caravans? Tweet us @Preloved or tell us in the comments below.

Adele Gardner

Adele Gardner

Creative Writer

Adele is a creative writer for Preloved. She loves literature, travelling, baked goods and is always hunting for new music.