Help please guys We have pulled our little gypsy caravan apart down to the chassis and have discovered more rust damage than we had hoped for. Wondering if you can share any experiences with dealing with this? There are two lengths of the trailer adjacent to the wheels that are rusted through and will obviously need replacing. In a previous life the van was a dog wash and these sections were directly impacted by the water (obviously). The rest of the trailer has some surface rust in places and doesn't look too bad. I have brushed over it with a wire brush to try and get a look at it. Has anyone had any experience with rust holes in a trailer and how difficult a job it is to replace sections that are particularly bad? We are on a tight budget and don't want to spend more than we need too but want to do a good job. Thank you. I will wait with bated breathe for your replies!
I think that I can give you the answer which you are likely expecting. At the least you would need to replace those rusted pieces in their entirety. After cutting them out I would also examine the the inside of as much of the rest of the structure as possible particularly the A frame at the front. It could be best to use your current frame as a template and make a new one.
Hi brazbak When I built Cino Vardo, I went down the same track you are on, trying to adapt a second hand trailer for my purposes. It didn't work and I ended up doing what koala suggests to you - have your chassis purpose-built. Luckily I was able to on-sell the second-hand trailer without losing any money. Your pics show you have a real "bitza" chassis, which has already been extended by an amateur. I took my second-hand trailer to a trailer builder and asked them to look at it, because they are the ones who have the experience. They found problems that I hadn't seen or thought of. You should do likewise and not rely on opinions of people who are (generally) not trade qualified. Apart from the structural concerns of the old trailer, koala's suggestion is also sound because trailer builders are a bit like house builders, they would rather build new than repair old - it's much quicker and cost effective. You may be able to utilise parts from the old trailer, like axle and hubs and couplings. Perhaps even do your own wiring???
As an aside, if you do continue with the resto and write on this site, perhaps you could put it on one thread and keep things together for the one van. It will give people a good history of what you're doing to it.