How to check for damp?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by michael morris, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. michael morris

    michael morris Read Only Funster

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    We're looking for our first motorohome. Because we are on a somewhat limited budget, we'll be looking for a C Class around 20 years old. All the advice we have so far (very gratefully received) keeps re-iterating the need to thoroughly check for damp. Is there a guide on how to do this?

    Thanks
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Most often the damp issues will be around the bottom corners of windows and rear corners. Make sure you lift the cusions check the lockers for musty/mushroomy smell, discoloured wood or decoration. Get a moisture tester, 2 prong affair off ebay
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Digital-M..._Measurement_Equipment_ET&hash=item4ab220685a

    cheap as chips

    take note if air freshener has been used, it might be to mask damp smell, smells like mushrooms or rotten potatoes.
    ask when or if the exterior seals have ever been replaced and watch out for mastic around the trims indicating they have not been removed to reseal.
    Check for soft spongy wood on walls and floor check inside all units any sign of new bits of wood on the floor or walls
    Most vans of that age will have some discolouration around the bottom corner of windows due to condensation so be aware of that. check the fabrics for signs of mildew indicating a damp interior.underneath the cushions is the best place t look. There are some good vans out there of that age, mainly mercedes based and Hymers, Burstners etc. Good luck with your search. If your budget would stretch to £20K I do know of a fantastic buy before it goes on ebay.
     
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  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    first thing is buy a damp meter.

    can be bought for less than a tenner.

    then follow the instructions and check as many places as possible especially around ANY openings...windows, roof vents, floor to wall/roof to wall joints etc.

    i beleive there is a small allowance for dampness but i cant remember what the percentage is...some one will know...but i think around 10%

    have a good sniff around the cupboards...get your head in and snell, any mustiness could be wood rot.

    check the floor for springiness as you walk.....this is delamination and can be very serious.

    any damp then walk away.....it could cost thousands to correct.
     
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  4. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    if it is real bad

    If it is real bad your nose will tell you. But as Roger (Wildman said.. check the various areas.. common sense really).

    We once vied an A class at a dealers that had been store for 4 months .. opened the door and boy you could smell the damp.

    Bob
     
  5. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    Best way is to get it done profesionally, but you can do it yourself with the right type of meter. The problem is most of the cheap meters have two pins which you have to probe the surface with.
    This type are pretty useless for a motorhome as the wallboard has a plasticised finish, so to get a readig you have to puncture the surface every few inches leaving holes.
    You need a non invasive meter like the one below.

    http://www.digital-meters.com/epage...h=/Shops/digital-meters/Products/"CEM DT-128"
     
  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    That looks a clever piece of kit and what's £49 compared to the cost of rebuilding a MH.
     
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  7. michael morris

    michael morris Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the advice.

    In our dreams! We're looking at £8K max, preferably less.
     
  8. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    It is, I have both types of meter, the pinless one found damp in a van I was thinking of buying that the pins one didn't, then when I applied thumb pressure a hole appeared. Time for a Quick exit.
     
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  9. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Non contact one good.

    The pin type gives a high reading on my ceiling as the inner skin is aluminium, much the same as the plastic coating error but the other way round. This is because they don't actually measure moisture directly, but electrical conductivity.
     
  10. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    Dont get confused by damp meter readings. Use the meter on an obviously dry piece of wood inside the MH...inside of a wardrobe door or cabinet, note the reading, some meters will read in percentages, some bars, some just a band going up a scale,.....whatever yours was on the dry bit of wood, use as your benchmark.
    Say it was 20, and most of the MH reads, 25, but some bits (around windows, in corners, floor near door etc) read 40-45...then you may have a problem.

    Mine was done at Newark by a pro company, cost me £35...worth every penny as you get a report. Myself, I would use a tester, then if i fell in love with a van...get the pro's in, their report will either make you walk away, get the dealer to do repairs, or get a large discount:BigGrin: (if you are a gambler).
     
  11. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    is the van back this coming weekend?

    Is the van back this coming weekend? I bet you will have that meter out.... hoping to see it at Peterborough.

    Bob:thumb:
     
  12. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    Yup, this weekend, looking forward ti it. I will be taking readings and marking them on a "map" of the van like the pro did, then i'll have something to use in the future for reference.
    Before this years lay up, about October, I,ll have all the seams resealed.
    See you at P'bog.
     
  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I can't think of any technique that would measure dampness through a metal skin. Very unusual construction for inside.
     
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