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Understanding your Chassis

After a long winter and few months away, the last thing you will want to do after stepping foot back inside your caravan for the first time is go back outside and check the chassis. Although it’s not necessarily the first thing static caravan and park home owners think about at the start of the season, chassis inspection and maintenance should feature highly on the list of priorities. This is particularly true for those whose chassis are only painted steel, part- or pre-galvanised.  Owners who have a fully galvanised foundation, can take a more relaxed approach.

Depending on chassis type, signs of wear and levels of ongoing maintenance will vary and it is important to understand how this can affect the chassis warranty. The first question is, do you know what chassis type you have? Once you have obtained this formation from your manufacturer, this helpful guide from chassis manufacturer Bankside Patterson will ensure you keep the foundations of your investment in top condition.

Painted Steel Chassis 

The chassis type that is most susceptible to corrosion is one that is simply made out of painted steel. Although this is the most cost effective option upon unit purchase, in the long-term it will mean more of your leisure time being spent on maintenance. This includes regular painting when the steel becomes exposed and rusting starts to appear. It is important to regularly check for rust spots and touch-up as required using a coating conforming to specification ISO 12944 C4. (See Bankside Patterson painting tips).Understanding your chassis

2 year warranty from the date of chassis manufacture; or

1 year anti-corrosion (perforation) warranty from date of sale.

The above warranties become invalid unless touch-ups with the correct coating are carried out at least once per year (these will be required more frequently in coastal locations).

Part or Pre-Galvanised Chassis 

Such chassis are made from pre-coated galvanised steel and are the mid-range option. Although they provide a higher level of corrosion protection than painted chassis, steel edges are left exposed when cut and, over time, a fine cosmetic film of rust will appear. This will not affect the rest of the chassis. However, to reduce the frequency of this occurring, grease/oil should be regularly applied to welded areas and cut edges. 

2 year warranty from the date of chassis manufacture; or

1 year anti-corrosion (perforation) warranty from date of sale.

These above warranties become invalid unless touch-ups with the correct coating are carried out at least once per year. 

Fully Galvanised Chassis 

A fully hot-dipped, galvanised chassis provides, by far, the highest levels of protection from rust and corrosion. This should be the only option considered if siting a caravan in exposed locations such as coastal areas. Selecting a fully galvanised chassis will eradicate the need for repainting and edge protection. Although the initial outlay maybe higher for a fully galvanised chassis, it does mean that after initial maintenance upon siting, you can just sit back and relax!

12 year warranty from the date of chassis manufacture; or

10 year anti-corrosion (perforation) warranty from date of sale.

How can you keep your chassis in tip-top condition?

Although it is sometimes easy to think you know what you are doing. Following industry-standard maintenance guidelines will help ensure the best coating is achieved when painting and the important areas of your chassis stays lubricated. In-turn, this will help keep your chassis in the best possible condition and your warranties will remain valid.

Chassis painting

Only conduct painting in warm/dry conditions (8-25◦C).

Ensure the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is worn during application e.g. safety glasses, gloves, etc.

Prior to application:

remove all corrosion using a sanding disc/wire brush

remove dirt/dust/grease with diluted detergent

rinse with clean water and dry

Lightly stir paint and do not apply thinners

Apply paint with a clean brush and ensure all edges and corners are covered.

Additional painting should be undertaken periodically as and when surface rust is found

Bankside Patterson can supply the correct paint if required. 

Chassis lubrication

Corner Steadies/Jack stands

Clean/grease and wind all four through their full range of movement

Jockey Wheel

Clean and oil all moving parts

Hitch head

Clean and oil hitch handle and grease ball area

Wheel and wheel stubs                                 

Protect tyres from direct sunlight

Maintain tyre pressure at the level indicated on the wheel hub

Protect the wheel stub with grease if removed after siting

The Bankside Patterson Protech Range:

Protech 300 & 500 Series – for regular Holiday Homes

Protech 700 & 900 series – for lower weight Park Homes

Next Generation Park Home (NGPH) – for higher weight lodges and park homes

Understanding the alternatives with Shaun Gadsby – Senior Sales and Commercial Manager at Bankside Patterson

“At Bankside Patterson we are not saying never chose a painted or part/pre-galvanised chassis,” explains Shaun, “in certain inland siting situations, they can still have a place. Also, it is important to understand that money is often a factor. However, when you consider the initial outlay, paying that little bit more for a fully- galvanised chassis to not have to worry about maintenance is worth serious consideration.

“As a result of ongoing innovation, our Protech galvanised chassis is the number one fully-galvanised chassis choice. It adds resale value for the owners and eradicates the need for torepainting and edge protection. A holiday home is for relaxation time not more work.

“However, irrespective of chassis type, all should be inspected when first sited to ensure no damage has occurred. This needs to be followed up with regular checks and required maintenance.

“For anyone currently looking to buy a new caravan or upgrade, I would suggest chatting through the chassis options as part of the buying process. Making an informed decision in crucial.”

You can learn more about chassis on the Bankside Patterson website alternatively you can call the team on 01964 545454.


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