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Choosing and maintaining your chassis type

09/07/2024 News

Buying a holiday home is a major purchase for everyone and there are many factors to consider when making that purchase, but one of the most important is the type of chassis your holiday home is built on.

Depending on which chassis you choose, the signs of wear and the maintenance required will vary and it is important that an owner understands what they can expect from each chassis type.

There are three types of chassis coatings available, and it is important to understand what warranty is offered and what maintenance is required for each chassis type.

  • The warranty offered against each chassis type can be affected if the owner or park do not undertake regular maintenance.

Painted steel chassis

A holiday home built on a painted chassis is exactly what it states it is. The raw steel of the chassis is painted as a final operation in manufacture, and it will be cheaper than those built on either of the other two chassis types. But it is important to take into consideration how much maintenance you wish to undertake to keep the chassis in good condition during the lifetime of your holiday home. This chassis type from the three available is most susceptible to corrosion and will require more frequent checks and maintenance than the other two chassis types available.

Most chassis manufacturers do not recommend a painted chassis for a holiday home that is to be in costal or estuary areas. Although with robust maintenance many owners are happy with their painted chassis.

The warranty on a painted chassis is 1 year from your date of purchase.

Pre-Galvanised Chassis

A pre-galvanised chassis is manufactured from pre-galvanised metal sheets that are cut and formed into the required components to build the chassis. These component parts are then welded together. The pre-galvanised chassis is often mistaken for the fully galvanised chassis. Although the pre-galvanised chassis requires less maintenance than a painted chassis it does not offer the same protection against corrosion as a fully galvanised chassis.

The warranty period on a pre-galvanised chassis is 2 years from the date of purchase.

Fully Galvanised Chassis

This is the most robust chassis type for your holiday home particularly if you are on a costal or estuary park. These chassis are fully coated in the galvanising process either as a complete chassis, or as individual components that will be assembled to produce the chassis. The components are then joined together by a process that will ensure that there will be no breaks in the coating which can allow corrosion to form. This chassis type is the most expensive type of chassis, but it does offer the convenience once sited of little or no maintenance requirements.

The warranty on a fully galvanised chassis is ten years from the date of purchase.

Chassis Maintenance

If your holiday home is moved it can be subject to mechanical damage and this can affect the durability of the coating. So once sited the chassis should be visually checked for damage.

Painted Chassis

Once sited It is recommended that a painted chassis should be visually checked at the very least annually. This is essential to check for any signs of damage or corrosion. Any areas in need of remedial work should be prepared by removing flaking paint or corrosion with a wire brush or abrasive paper. Dust, dirt, and grease can be removed using diluted detergent.

Allow the chassis to dry after cleaning and only paint in warm and dry weather.

Never apply any thinners to the paint.

When applying the paint ensure all edges and corners are covered.

The affected areas should then be coated using using a proprietary rust inhibiting paint such as Hammarite.

Pre-Galvanised Chassis

Again, wherever located without the appropriate maintenance programme a pre-galvanised chassis will soon begin to develop cosmetic surface rust. This will affect the cosmetic appearance of the chassis, but the structural integrity should not be affected for a minimum of 5 years if frequent maintenance is undertaken. At a minimum annual inspection of the chassis should be carried out.

To reduce the frequency of cosmetic rust occurring, grease or oil should be applied to the welded and cut areas of the chassis.

Fully Galvanised Chassis

The initial outlay for a fully galvanised chassis will be more expensive than for a painted or pre galvanised chassis but this chassis requires little or no maintenance during its lifetime and the warranty on a galvanised chassis is ten years from the date of purchase. That initial outlay can prove to be value for money over the long term and is worthy of consideration if you don’t want the inconvenience of regular periodic maintenance.

Corner Steadies – require an annual clean and re-greasing and should be wound through their full range of movement.

Tow Hitch – requires annual cleaning and oiling.

Wheels & Tyres – Wheels and stubs require annual greasing. Tyres should be supported off the floor and protected from direct sunlight. Wheels and tyres should always be checked for pressure and damage prior to moving a holiday home. The correct pressure can usually be found on the wheel hub or the tyre itself.

Further information can be found on the Gateway Chassis ‘s web site and in the Atlas handbook.