Peeling skin

Broon

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Jun 10, 2014
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Hello,

New here, excuse me barging straight in with questions!

I have been offered a Fiat Ducato camper. Free!........... Great mechanically, but it has been sat for a few years, the outer skin is peeling off it, the wood is black rotten and the insulation is sodden. I was contemplating taking it all off, rebuilding the wooden frame and boarding with ply or sterling board or something, then fibreglass inch the whole thing like they do with flat roofs nowadays. I can get a kit that would cover it for £350, but not sure if its feasible. Would it crack driving around?

Alternatively, would I be better looking for replacement skin? Does anybody know where I could buy this from?

A free van seems good, but I don't want to end up throwing good money after bad with it. Any help appreciated!
 
Feb 16, 2013
14,777
26,249
uttoxeter
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24,713
MH
ambulance conversion
Exp
50 years
Hello,

New here, excuse me barging straight in with questions!

I have been offered a Fiat Ducato camper. Free!........... Great mechanically, but it has been sat for a few years, the outer skin is peeling off it, the wood is black rotten and the insulation is sodden. I was contemplating taking it all off, rebuilding the wooden frame and boarding with ply or sterling board or something, then fibreglass inch the whole thing like they do with flat roofs nowadays. I can get a kit that would cover it for £350, but not sure if its feasible. Would it crack driving around?

Alternatively, would I be better looking for replacement skin? Does anybody know where I could buy this from?

A free van seems good, but I don't want to end up throwing good money after bad with it. Any help appreciated!

I'm all for getting stuff for free but sounds as if this could cost a fortune, how old is the van, what will it be worth when it's done, are the heaters and water all working, certainly interesting , let us know what you decide:thumb::thumb:
 
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Broon

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Jun 10, 2014
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Thanks, yeah everything works great, shower, heaters lights etc. it's pretty old, an h reg. only done 50k though, not sure what it would be worth. Fibreglass and timber maybe £600. Just not sure if it would work. They guarantee roofs with fibreglass for 30 years, but not sure about campervan shells!

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DuxDeluxe

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Jul 10, 2008
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Might be better scrapping and selling for spares. If it has been standing around for a while there will almost certainly be other expensive gremlins......:Sad:
 

Hollyberry

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Apr 24, 2011
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Ok, I can't build a thing so I'll look at it from an economics point of view. If absolutely everything else works that's a positive.

It's body bit was built in the first place-- so it must be possible to build it again.

It's low mileage, that's good.

If it costs you £1000, and it goes ok for 2 years, then you sell it for parts, scrap for say £300, you've had 2 years use for £700-- any van would depreciate more than that in 2 years.

If you can be sure of it being safe, MOT-able, insurable and you'd be happy doing the work then I think financially it makes sense.
 
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camocam1

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Aug 28, 2012
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I'm no expert but if the outer skin is peeling off would you be able to salvage it and bond it on again to new frame ??
Does it need a new floor ??
Sounds like a big job but best of luck if you decide to give it a go

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TheBig1

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Nov 27, 2011
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many many years! since I was a kid
sorry but its not feasible the way you suggest, it would be way over weight. they were built with matchstick frames and thin aluminium for a reason. good news is the working parts are worth a lot of money.

if it were me, i would strip it and convert a van with the parts. then sell the engine, gearbox and body panels etc before scrapping whats left. the engine alone is worth £500. the "caravan" parts are worth upto £1000. its a no brainer in my opinion
 

pappajohn

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Aug 26, 2007
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if the roof and walls are that bad it certainly needs a new floor which means a total strip down and rebuild.

Financially not worth it unless you have exceptional diy skills to a high level and a good working knowledge of motorhome construction.

Which, as you suggest using ply or sterling board then cover in fibreglass, you obviously dont have the knowledge.

Nearly all the wood in a motorhome is hollow....merely a pair of veneer panels with a honeycomb centre and the walls and roof are thin decorative ply (3mm), a 40mm styrene foam core and a GRP outer skin.....all glued and bonded together in a large press.

As suggested, as its free, take it and strip it of its interior appliances, gearbox, engine.....all sellable items then scrap whats left.
 

DuxDeluxe

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........and use the money toward something else that might be ok, or at least worth working on?

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Terry

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Dec 27, 2007
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Have to agree with what others are saying :Smile: The van when done would be worth next to nothing -Engine and gearbox are sought after at that vintage and are becoming valuable and scarce especially if you can GTee it as running good -Fridge cooker heater and boiler all have limited value same with the windows -Hope you have somewhere to store the parts and van while it gets striped down :thumb:Look on the bright side it's cost nothing and may keep another van on the road :thumb:
terry
 
Nov 18, 2011
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sorry but its not feasible the way you suggest, it would be way over weight. they were built with matchstick frames and thin aluminium for a reason. good news is the working parts are worth a lot of money.
if it were me, i would strip it and convert a van with the parts. then sell the engine, gearbox and body panels etc before scrapping whats left. the engine alone is worth £500. the "caravan" parts are worth upto £1000. its a no brainer in my opinion
the engine is worth 1000 alone that's the going rate strip it scrap it and wat he gets will get him a good deposit on a van
 
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Broon

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Jun 10, 2014
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Thanks for that. Sounds like you just saved me a headache. Efficient bunch aren't you? :)

Thanks!

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Nov 18, 2011
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pay the tenner subs and it could sav you even more:thumb: probably the last well her from him
 

JJ

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May 1, 2008
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over 40 years
Who cares what it is worth economically when finished?

I assume you would do it up to use not to make money on.

Have you got space to keep it and work on it?

Are you skilled and equipped to do work on it?

Are you concerned about its "image" when done?

I get more pleasure and satisfaction from using my beaten up old Iveco self build than I do from my beautiful old, classic Hymer 660.

If you have space then, as someone else said, stripping it down for spares makes a lot of sense.

Any chance of posting some pictures?


JJ :Cool:


 
Apr 19, 2008
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well over 5 years
It is wonderful you have been offered this for nothing.


Once you have sold the parts etc, why not treat the person who gave it to you to something nice, or give them a share of what you make on it.


Its rare for people to give things away, certainly vehicles no matter what condition.

Welcome to fun

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Oct 24, 2013
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Looks like all the replies you had, has made the decision for you. I would agree with virtually all that's been put forward. Welcome to the funsters. Best £10 you ever invested :thumb::thumb::thumb:
 
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