If the doors or windows in your caravan leak, you can always move things around and take your time fixing them, not so with a leaking caravan hatch. These will let the rain in from every direction and need to be fixed as soon as possible, if not sooner!
You could take your caravan into a service and repair centre and ask them to fix your problem, but if you are handy, it’s not too difficult to do yourself. The main difficulty is actually accessing the caravan hatch, which you can either do from the roof of the caravan or from inside. Hardy souls might have no problem climbing a ladder onto the roof, but most of us will most probably prefer the easier route, inside the caravan.
First of all, you will need a ladder and some neutral silicone sealant. This type of sealant is the best for this type of job, as it lasts longer than other products. Next, you need to remove all the old sealant, clean the area and apply the new sealant. Let’s look at the steps you need to follow to fix your caravan hatch from the inside.
Step 1: Make sure that your ladder is centred under the hatch and that you can comfortably reach the hatch cover. Remove the rivets from the corners of the hatch cover (there are usually eight in pairs along each vertical face of the cover).
Step 2: You now need to remove anything that has been attached to the hatch, including the flyscreen, then lift the hatch cover upwards and remove the flaps as well.
Step 3: Pop your head and shoulders through the caravan hatch, so you can inspect the immediate area. Sometimes there are screws holding the hatch cover in place and other times there are rivets, but whichever is fitted to your cover, you will now need to remove them, then completely remove the entire frame.
Step 4: Remove the old sealant from the around the base of the hatch and where it sits on the roof. You will also need to remove the old sealant from the hatch frame, but you might find it easier if you climb down the ladder and take the frame outside or into the garage to do this job.
Step 5: Make sure that the area where you need to replace the sealant is thoroughly cleaned (no sealant or debris remaining), then apply a thick layer of new sealant to the area where the frame needs to sit. Replace the hatch frame and bed it into the fresh sealant, reattaching the screws or rivets. Replace the caravan hatch cover with new rivets, and you are done!
The hatch in the ceiling of your caravan is designed to let in fresh air and ventilate the caravan. Resealing it when it is leaking is necessary, otherwise everything will get wet under the hatch and mouldy if left for too long. You can also find replacement hatch covers if your cover is damaged, and some of the latest models are available with a rain sensor, as well as opening and closing automatically, depending on the set temperature.