The steps into your caravan endure very hard wear and can become a slip hazard. This simple repair project will make them safe again, says Tony Brown.

Caravan steps lead a hard life and need to be kept in good condition for safety reasons.

Mine was beginning to lose the ribbed rubber surface on the leading edge of the steps, which is where they take the heaviest wear.

Stepping up

Better than rubber for this important safety point is anti-slip tape, which is like coarse sandpaper and is used quite extensively in the marine leisure industry.

Some 25mm aluminium angle makes an ideal new step edge, and this is cut to length for each step. Neatly file and sand each end to a smooth finish. It is usually best to remove the rubber step surface from under the new angles and, after using a craft knife to cut along the angle edges, the rubber can easily be lifted from its adhesive using an old wood chisel.

Mark out and use a centre punch to mark perhaps four holes, evenly spaced along the top edge, and one near each end on the front face.

Drill the holes to match the diameter of the pop-rivets that you have selected.

You now have the choice of countersinking the holes and using small countersunk bolts with nuts to fix the aluminium angle to the step, before you apply the adhesive tape, making an invisible fixing, or as I did here, using pop-rivets over the top of the tapes. Apply the adhesive, non-slip tape to the top edges, and if you wish, add adhesive reflective tape to the front edges of the angles. This is partly decorative, but could be handy if you are searching for the caravan with a torch on a dark night!

Smart and safe

A pointed bradawl can be used to poke through the tape where the rivets are to be fitted, then the taped angles can be held by masking tape while the six holes are drilled through each angle into the step. Then it only remains to set the pop-rivets in place and remove the masking tape. You now have a smart and safe step that should last years.

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