Help,Help, needed new to American RV in Scotland

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DSS

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I Have been looking for an American RV to live in while I build a house in Scotland, but all the US RVs that I have looked at ( for sale in the UK)  have been very damp inside, and the GRP finish and floors has become "De-laminated", Why is this?, Are American machines not suitable for the UK climate??? can any one advise?  please , Doug,  PS, one I have looked at is a Travelmaster Montego 1994 C Class.
 

Tom

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Hello Doug and welcome to the RV Forum.

Although the highlands have some adverse weather conditions, it shouldn't be anything an "American RV" can't handle. But, there are RVs and there are RVs.

I must admit to not being familiar with the Travelmaster line, although others here might be.

By "damp inside", do you mean mouldy? Sounds like a leak to me and this should be investigated before plonking down any money. However, friends of ours in (not so) sunny South Wales regularly get mould in their static caravan on the Gower peninsula after being closed up for the winter. Heck, even the folks down there have mould growing on them  ;D

Delamination is something I'd run from, irrespective if the RV was in the U.S. or the UK.

So where in Scotland do you live &/or are planning to build a house?
 

Shayne

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Can they get any more moisture there than they do in Oregon and Washington State?  Gosh,  I thought the state was going to float to  Arizona this year.  Mold should be very previlant this year, wouldn't you think?
 

DSS

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Thanks for your replies, Yes, I must agree that you will have as much a rain fall there as we have in Scotland.

I think your RVs are great, and I would love to have a good one, but it appears that any that I have looked at (private sales) seem to suffer from serious damp, resulting in De lamination of the ply and GRP walls, unlike our smaller British motorhomes of a similar age. maybe I am just unlucky?.

Being a Cabinetmaker to trade, I am quite knowledgeable with the construction and fittings of Caravans and Motorhomes. I have Just bought a New British (RV) motorhome for vacations. But we need also a larger and heavier  machine to live in.(During house building)

A good American RV would be the obvious answer to out accommodation needs, as the weather condition on the Isle of Lewis (just of the west coast of Scotland) is no stranger to 70-100 mph winds and torrential rain.

I am assuming? that the hotter weather in your contry, must tend to dry out, or, deteriorate the sealer used in the joints between the roof and external walls. I maybe completely wrong, but, I would like some kind of explanation to why the RVs that I have viewed ( imported to the UK)(in comparison to our Brittish made) are Damp???.

Please help, Doug Stewart (Inverness the Highlands of Scotland (just beside Loch Ness)
 

Tom

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Doug,

There are a number of possible sources for "damp" in RVs. A prime candidate would be seals around anything that penetrates the roof. The seals may be rubber gaskets or caulk, either of which could dry up &/or shrink. Many folks don't think of checking and maintaining these seals periodically, resulting in leaks.

Say hello to Nessie for me.
 

Shayne

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Gary  is Fl  still in the States?  Illinois residents would love to have Chicago and the ignorant Gov to take Fl's place as a state. Downstaters consider Chi town as an evil enemy and love love a divorce, just for sanity if nothing else.
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Doug,

It sure sounds to me like many have not maintained the sealants on the joints. It doesn't take much of an opening for water to come in and damage a coach. I had a leak that I just could not find. Cost quite a bit to have the damage fixed. They finally found 3 pinhole openings in the sealant which apparently caused the problem. I had looked that area over several times and never spotted them.

You could always come over here, purchase one and ship it back. I know it can be quite expensive but people do it. Whatever you do be sure to check out the sealants.
 

DSS

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Thanks guys for your input. We need a C Class RV , or an A Class if it has a drop down bed in cab.
Yes I would consider coming to the states and ship one over, if need be. Can you recommend one ( that has good seals) that would suit our needs, as we need to have permanent beds made up at all times for my wife and I and our twelve year old son. to form a living unit.
 

Jim Dick

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Doug,

Just about every RV has sealant and none are outstanding above another as far as I know. They all need to be inspected every year and redone if necessary. The only Class A I've seen with drop down bed is the Safari Trek which is small and probably would not work for you. The bed is in the living area and is OK for two but with a youngster there as well it would be quite difficult to utilize. I think one manufacturer made a unit with a drop down bed over the dash but that was back in the '80s. Hard to find a good one. Your best bet would be a Class C. The best out there is probably the Lazy Days which is not sold through a dealer network but you can find them at times used. These are not to be confused with the Lazy Days dealership in Florida. :)

Pancake Bill works at Lazy Days and he may know of something that is available which would suit your purpose. If you do decide to come across the pond to buy I would suggest you allow a couple of weeks, or more if possible,  to be sure everything is to your satisfaction. Also find out the repair policy should something go wrong within the warranty period and you are back home. A used warranty is usually 30 or 60 days, if I remember correctly.
 

DSS

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Hi Jim,

Thank you for your very valued comments. This now indicates to me that all the American RVs that we have looked at in the UK have been most probably exposed to very varied temperatures whilst being in the US, thus requiring a necessary check of the seals,( that they obviously never got) prior to exposure to our Scottish weather.
It may be of interest to you to know that RVs in the UK do not require the same attention to the seals as in the US, as units as old as 1984 are still fine and dry.but ( I must assume) that they are not exposed to the same temperature differences over here, and the build techniques are also a bit different.

It looks like I will have to obtain a well serviced unit direct from the US.

PS/ how do I contact Pancake Bill?. my wife makes great Scottish pancakes, but I think they would be a bit stale if sent in the post. cheers! aye yours, Doug & Marie Stewart
 

ArdraF

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Your best bet would be a Class C. The best out there is probably the Lazy Days which is not sold through a dealer network but you can find them at times used. These are not to be confused with the Lazy Days dealership in Florida.

The Class C manufacturer is LazyDaze (one word with two Zs) in Montclair, California.  They've been in business since 1955 and their website is www.lazydaze.com.  The RV dealership in Florida is Lazy Days (two words with one Z) and they carry numerous brands.  Gets confusing!

We had both a 22-foot LazyDaze and a 30-foot LazyDaze and loved them both.  Definitely well made!  We've often said if we ever go back to a smaller gas-powered motorhome, we'd definitely go back to LazyDaze.

By the way, leaks can be very frustrating.  We had one that was on the roof where the TV antenna is attached.  In our dry climate the caulking had just dried up.  We didn't realize it until up in Canada this summer and had rain - lots and lots of it! :)  Even well made RVs can get leaks.  Tracing them is the difficult part.

ArdraF
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Doug,

Just sent you a private message with Bill's address.

I sure wish our RVs didn't require so much attention to caulking. I think that's the biggest drawback. Water can enter in one area and come out a long distance on the inside. If you do decide to head over here let us know. When we are home in Titusville we're only 2 hours away from Lazy Days. Have been known to show up there for their free breakfast. :)
 

UK-RV

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Hi Doug

I have to ask the question - WHY an RV ?

If you go for a C-Class you will have limited space for the duration of a house build.

If you go for an older Class A, you will have to deal with issues like damp etc.

So, why dont you do the same as most self-builders and buy a static caravan (park model in US) ?

You would get a good quality new unit for the same price (?20,000) as an old A-class in the UK or do as most self-builders and buy an old static for less than ?5,000 - remember you will end up with half the building site mud inside your home after the first week so it makes sense to buy a cheaper "disposable" unit.

See this link from ebay HERE - there are even details for a company who transport statics.

Regards
Paul
 

Tom

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DSS said:
It may be of interest to you to know that RVs in the UK do not require the same attention to the seals as in the US, as units as old as 1984 are still fine and dry.

Doug, I'm not entirely convinced that climate is the only factor in the difference you're seeing. Do the UK models you look at have numerous protrusions through the roof, such as 2 air conditionners, refridgerator vent, bathroom vent, skylights and roof vents/fans, 2 or more arials (antennae)? Mine has 5 antennae, 2 fans, a fridge vent, skylight and ..... If there are no protrusions through the roof, there's (almost) no reason for a leak.

Leaks can also come from internal plumbing. When we lived in the UK I recall renting a brand new (towable) caravan for a week down the Gower and having to come home early because of a serious plumbing leak. I knew nothing about caravans at that time, so I wasn't about to try to fix a rental unit. Undetected plumbing leaks can be quite insidious.
 

DSS

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Hi Paul, thanks for your reply. Yes you would think that the better idea would be to opt for a static caravan, BUT, the cost of transportation on and of the island makes this option very expensive. Coupled with the fact that the siting of a static is also expensive with plumbing services and tyring to tie the thing down in a very exposed area. also static vans are also subject to planning laws and are taxable ( we did buy one to take to the island but it was cheaper to give it away for nothing ( as we did) rather than be faced with all the leagal tangle and hassle and expense.  A US type RV is heavy, Big ,self contained, movable and free from all council taxes. Thanks for your thought, Cheers, Doug
 

UK-RV

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Thanks Doug

You've made a few points there that I wasnt aware of !!

I also forgot you were building on one of the Islands and only read Inverness, oops.

Paul
 

DSS

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Dec 18, 2006
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Thanks Paul, You can probably see the dilemma that we are in!. I see that you are based in the UK. Do you own an American RV?.
If so what kind. are you able to offer any advice. cheers, Doug ???
 
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