DVLA..

A weird heading for a Caravan I hear you saying to yourself.  Well, this 2006 Bailey Discovery 100 is one of our normal ‘Restoration’ jobs, with a little more interesting history, that warranted a place in our blog pages.

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This Caravan belonged to the DVLA, and was used as a tow vehicle for anyone that passed their driving test after 1 January 1997.  As many people know, drivers that took their tests after 1997, will need to take an extra test to enable you to tow a Caravan.  This is one of the Caravans used by DVLA to test drivers.  Imagine the amount of people that have towed this Bailey!

It was booked in for us to fully Restore, and had all the usual issues that effect the Bailey’s.  Dull sides, swirly front and rear panels, and also the bonus that all the decals had been removed from the Caravan, leaving ‘Ghosting’ on every panel.

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The finished job looked as good as new, with just a few knocks and dents that you’d expect with a 2006 Caravan, and even more so, one that had been used to help people pass their towing tests.

A straight forward job, with an interesting background.

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Spotting body repairs

One of the most common issues we see pretty much on a daily basis is patch repairs.  These are only really obvious to an owner once they go wrong, but to our trained eyes, we can find most repairs from new.  We estimate that around 75% of the new Caravans and Motorhomes we see, we will find a repair in some form or another.  Repairs can be from damage during construction, or transportation, or even a careless member of staff in a dealership.  There are two kinds of repairs in our opinion, and they are the right kind and the wrong kind…

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The above repair is what we’d class as the wrong kind.  This 2008 Senator Wyoming was booked for our Restoration service to fix the dull cloudy sides, which as many other blogs have pointed out, is a very common problem for Bailey.  However, ignore the dullness of the side, and look at the top, and follow your eye down in front of the nearest window in the photo.  What you should see is a huge glossy patch, and this is two separate repairs that were possibly done at the same time.  Not only was it obvious to us where the filler work was, because it had sunk and was blistering, but the actual finish of the paintwork over the repair was done to a very poor standard.  This we suspect might not of been a manufacture repair, but more like a smart repair carried out by either the previous owner, or more likely the original suppling dealer.  If we’d of seen this Caravan back in 2008 when it was new, we’d of spotted the poor work, and rejected it.  Sadly the current owner didn’t notice it when they purchased it from the original owner at only a year old.

Thankfully the skill of our Restoration processes will not only blend this huge patchy mess back to original, but we were also able to make the finish of the repair far more expectable, and the customer was very pleased with the finished result, if you study the picture below of the finished job.

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One thing we couldn’t fix, was the poor blowing in on the repair, and the fact the filler had sunk, but if you look at the improvement above, against how it was, and the fact that fixing only these repairs correctly would of cost far more than the full Restoration on the whole Caravan.  Along with the fact that by following our aftercare advice, the poor repair will now stay as it is, and not deteriorate further.  This is a far more cost effective and sensible approach to making your Caravan look like new again.

Repairs to Caravans and Motorhomes are totally normal, and if done correctly and the surfaces maintained, they will never cause you any problems.

Neglect your exterior surfaces and the above is the result almost every time, and in as little as 2 years from new.