During a hiatus in the project as we’ve searched for suppliers, no time has been wasted. We’ve honed down the design of the interior to best suit our lifestyle and it’s also given us the opportunity to re-think one or two things.

We’ve decided to replace the outer skin but this has proven to be very problematic as the correct aluminium  is virtually impossible to get hold of here in England. After months of searching and emails to sheet metal companies and caravan repairers led nowhere, we tried JANDI a Scottish Eriba dealer.

Jean replied with lots of useful information oh and… by the way they could supply the sheeting! Jean recommended the correct sheet to buy as the Titan’s panel size is larger than a standard Eriba Touring model. She even given us a few pointers about the best way to fix it on:

I was about to simply say you should rivet the aluminium sheeting in place, thought I would check with Sandy and the result follows: The normal procedure for attaching the sheeting is: lower panel first, starting from the front at the gas locker - from the front to the back on one side with one length, then repeat for the other side with another length.

Lightly clamp the aluminium to the frame, ensuring there is enough material to cover the whole area, top to bottom, as the curves can throw this out. Once you're sure the sheeting is correctly positioned, pop-rivet it to the frame ensuring that the rivets are going to be covered by the aluminium rails - rivets at approximately 60 cm intervals. The upper panel is done after the bottom one is riveted.

Additional rivets (i.e. closer than 60 cm) round windows and other openings, again ensuring the window rubber (or relevant flange) will cover the rivets on the finished article.

The upper panel normally overlaps the lower panel by approximately 15 mm. Any excess aluminium on the lower panel should be trimmed off prior to fitting the upper panel.

The upper panel will need to be trimmed before it is riveted and then window apertures etc. are cut out after the vehicle is panelled.

The various rails - awning/gutter rail, waist rail and bottom rail etc. are screwed on with screws every 75 - 100 mm, maybe closer on corners.

Don't screw the screws too tight or you'll have a wavy caravan.”

Comprehensive advice like this is invaluable and shows just how willing JANDI are to support the Eriba community with help and advice as well as sell caravans and parts.

It's sadly, rare these days to find customer service as good as this in the U.K. and the recent closure of the only other official Eriba dealer in England, will mean that their services will be stretched even more.

We will decide on new double glazed units or original glass windows once we’ve completed the re-skin, as it will probably take us into 2012 before the bodywork is completed with the aluminium on a 4 to 6 week lead time.

Keep your fingers crossed for an Indian summer...

The best advice is usually given freely...

4 July 2011