Blister / Cracking on Over-cab roof unit

Discussion in 'Auto-Trail' started by Alan S, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Alan S

    Alan S Read Only Funster

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    We have bought a new Auto-Trail Frontier Navajo and had it exactly a month. We have only used it once and that was to take it back to the dealers to sort out a faulty habitation door that we had found on pick up.

    We are due to go on holiday on Saturday for our usual September bash in the Loire so was cleaning the motorhome today as I always like to go away with a clean unit. Imagine my horror to find a large blister and radial cracks the size of a fifty pence piece on the sloping section of our super low line over-cab roof unit. I have e-mailed our dealer this evening, copying it to the MD as we have had other issues since purchasing the motorhome.

    We have been caravanners since 1973 and this is our first foray into motorhomes. We have always had good caravans and tow-cars and have had little if any major problems before so we are really disillusioned with our new motorhome. We love the layout and style of the motorhome and before we purchased it thought that Auto-Trail was the better build quality of those manufacturers we looked at.

    Our confidence is shattered at the moment and what we thought was going to be a great experience for us is turning sour.

    Will let you know how we get on.

    Alan
     
  2. Vic

    Vic Funster

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    Autotrails tend to get a bit of a kicking with numerous faults being reported. Hopefully they will get your van satisfactory and quickly fixed if they have any sense. Please keep us updated.

    Vic
     
  3. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    Hope you get it sorted out. I would be inclined to go over the rest of the van with a fine toothcomb given it is a new van.

    Good luck and welcome to fun! Its full of friendly knowledgeable people as I have found out.
     
  4. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I have read numerous stories about stress fractures in Autotrails. It has been a massive headache for some owners. On those that have the problem Its seems it starts on the gel coat and then fractures enough to allow water penetration. THIS IS SERIOUS. . I think autotrail guarantee the roof for two years, though a good lawyer would argue that a roof should last longer. You need to get it back for repair ASAP
     
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  5. rolandrat

    rolandrat Funster

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    Join the club, I could write a book of my past experiences, I have owned three Auto-Trail motorhomes. Why don't you take it along to the Uttoxeter rally this weekend, all the new models are on show for the 1000'th rally and the management and Directors will be there. If you don't get any satisfaction book it into the Auto-Trail after care centre, they are very good at sorting problems out. The NCC is a complete joke.
     
  6. Alan S

    Alan S Read Only Funster

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    We had a phone call first thing this morning from a very apologetic dealer Service Manager who has spoken with their MD.
    They have looked at the photographs that I sent them showing the problem and they have assured us that it is not a structural problem and the fault is within the gel coat of the fibreglass cab roof. Auto-Trail actually state in their User Manual that this may occur and that the supplying dealer will rectify once notified to them - I didn't spot this before.

    They have assured us that it is safe to go on holiday and that it will not shatter or leak - we have to take their word on that. They are putting in a claim to Auto-Trail who will then get their fibreglass cab supplier to come to our home address to effect a proper repair and which they say will be invisible. They said that Auto-trail have a 3-year warranty (2 years with them and1 year from the insurance company) for this type of eventuality. They are arranging for the repair to be carried out once we are back from holiday.

    The other issues we had were of a more minor nature but did/does incur us having to travel some way from our home address to their service centre for rectification and all bar one has been dealt with but not without lots of phone calls and e-mail exchanges. We discussed the nature of their PDI's ad they are to investigate what had gone wrong and what can they do to rectify this area for future customers.

    Anyway let us hope that this will be the last issue with our new motorhome and that we will now enjoy it in the way it was intended. Thanks for your comments and your support.

    Alan
     
  7. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    Make you wonder how many dealers and manufacturers are veiwing sites like this to head of bad PR
     
  8. Vic

    Vic Funster

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    Its about time. Due to forums such as this I decided not to buy an Autotrail even though I like their layouts. If they get their act together and help the OP and others by showing that they care and improve their product, then I may consider them with my next purchase. Until then, I wish the OP the best of luck.

    Vic
     
  9. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    Another tale of woe about a NEW MH ... :Sad:
     
  10. Alan S

    Alan S Read Only Funster

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    Apart from the cab roof problem the other problems should have been picked up on a good PDI and as I said to the dealer we pay for this to be done in the 'On the road' extra charges added to a new unit.

    Before we bought an Auto-Trail we had looked at other manufacturers and thought that Auto-Trail were far better put together and were more substantially built but at price of a higher weight. When we were on holiday we spoke to many AT owners who showed us around their motorhomes and not one could fault them and on this basis, we then went to buy one.

    What annoyed us initially was a small problem that we were told of on picking up the motorhome when only 2 days before they told us by telephone that everything was OK and ready for our arrival.

    Having purchased many caravans before, I had made up my own checklist consisting of 2 pages of items on an A4 sheet and was intending to stick to it on picking up our new purchase. However the guy doing the handover had his own method and I got side-tracked into doing it his way. Had I of stuck to my way and my sheet we would have picked up the items we have had issues with before we left the dealer rather than find them out at home. Remember, buying a new motorhome or caravan despite having done it before is an exciting time and you get swept along in the euphoria.

    Apart from the cab roof problem, we have no truck with Auto-Trail to date and when I have spoken to their customer service department for advice they have been very good. As I said previously their motorhomes appear very well put together but they do rely on bought-in items in the manufacturing process and herein lies the problems that both caravan and motorhome manufacturers have. One could say though that there should be better checks made on their suppliers equipment before installation into any unit, after all they are mostly supposed to operate to some quality control system and they have the purchasing power to ensure that everything they buy in is fit for purpose.

    Maybe we have just been a little unlucky and hope now we will be turning a corner (so to speak).

    Alan
     
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