By Kevin Haskell
21st April, 2014
I have been in the caravan and trailer industry for over 30 years and the general consensus of opinion is all caravans will leak eventually. Older vans used poorer grade sealants than today. These go hard over time in the sunlight with consequential failure , especially around windows.As weight is so critically important in vans all vans will suffer some flexing in transit . This flexing creates opportunity for joint openings, compounded by our hot sun conditions in Australia. Sealants have to be very flexible and cope with temperatures from - 10 to +50 degrees on roofs.
Most vans have joins in the roof as well as at the wall joint. Many have roof low spots and corrugated paneling with water sitting waiting for an invitation to get in. A policy of a full reseal every 10 years would be prudent for most vans and those in harsh conditions more often. Pop tops are more vulnerable than full vans.When buying a new van a lot of confidence in the quality of construction can be drawn from the warranty offered. You would be guarded or shocked if a car maker would only give 1 year warranty these days. Why would anybody outlaying more for a caravan than car accept a 1 year warranty.
Swift have one piece walls and roof like all European brands. They have to cope with snow on the roof for long periods. Sealants are more pliable. Window seal quality superior. Warranty for water ingress is 10 years in every country they are sold.In 2013 SWIFT developed 'SMART' technology , removing timber from the framework by using poly urethane being lighter plus impervious to water. Now they have developed 'SMART HT. A six million dollar investment in tooling to take caravans into a new era of timber free construction. GRP walls inside and out, GRP floor rated at 8 tonnes. Aluminum moulded junction floor to wall to roof for superior structural strength. Esram contoured front structure for lightweight aerodynamics.
Are you willing to outlay 10,s of thousands of dollars when being given little confidence by the warranty offered by other brands.