The Gas Locker

The gas locker floor has been ‘plated over’ by a previous owner with a thin aluminium sheeting, i know that this will be hiding a lot of ‘sins’.

Gas locker floor and bulkhead wall

You can see from this picture the metal sheeting that has been used. If you look at the front edge between the metal floot panel and the front of the gas locker you will just be able to make out some expanding foam!

Metal floor sheeting removed

I was not disappointed! lots of rot, you can see where water has been collecting by the staining of the wood. I say wood, more like sponge cake! It is so rotten i can pull handfuls of rotten wood out!

Front left gas locker corner

I can see the light! It looks like the corner of the gas locker floor is made up from what was a solid block of wood that was then sandwiched between the plywood sheeting that makes up the floor. All of this will need to be replaced, along with the plywood floor. As the caravan floor extends into the gas locker i will need to tackle the rotten floor on the left hand side of the caravan and repair the gas locker floor at the same time.

The repair will need to be strong as the corner steady is mounted in this location.

Left hand side wall / gas locker

More rot! This is the front of the left hand sidewall where it extends into the gas locker. As you can see de-lamination of the plywood wall board, also you can see where the wood frame is missing. The front panel of the caravan is held on at the sides by this wood framework, mine is rotten on both sides at the front, all of this will need to be replaced.

With the bulkhead removed (this was done at the same time as removing the front window frame) i was then able to remove the plywood skin. I found that there are some thick wooden support / beams that had suffered from the rot so i will need to replace these.

Left front gas locker corner

The picture above shows the wooden support / beams, short vertical one and a horizontal one that runs the full width of the caravan. The curved area top left should be made up from a solid block of wood however this has completely rotted away leaving just the lower plywood skin.

To make the repairs in this area i will completely remove the short wood support /beam, then cut out the rotten section of the longer wood support beam. New wood will be joint / let in by means of a simply skarf joint. Again, i need to be mindful of how the repair is carried out as the corner steady is (or will be) mounted in this location.

Rotten Wood Beams Removed

I managed to carefully remove the rotted sections of wood beam using a Bosch Nano saw, its a mini chainsaw. I made cuts with the Nano saw then using a sharp wood chisel i was then able to remove small sections. Once the rotten sections were removed i was then able to clean up the area using a wood chisel in preparation to receive the new sections of wood.

New Wood!

The timber yard that i used did not have 30mm thick timber, so i bought a length of timber that was the correct width but was 34mm thick. So, to obtain the correct thickness i ran the timber through my Scheppach planer thicknesser. I was now able to cut my 1st piece of new wood for the floor!

Carefull measuring i then cut the small vertical beam and placed this into its location. I then cut the horizontal beam that was to make the skarf joint and placed this into its location. Next i needed to cut the curved corner section. For this i needed to make a template so, its time to make use of the thin aluminium sheet that was hiding all the rot! Template cut i then transferred the curved shape onto two sections of timber and then placed them into their locations. The new wood sits slightly proud so i will use a bench planer to take another 1-2mm off the thickness to make it fit better.