Cold Air coming in new Autotrail

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by BOND, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. BOND

    BOND Read Only Funster

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    Hi all
    We're hoping to travel Scotland soon so went away last week in the very cold weather (-3) to test a few things & noticed two problems.
    1, lots of cold air coming from around the front seats & hab door:eek:, it got so bad that I put blankets down to stop the chill.
    2, the heater on electric is pretty much useless in cold weather, the bedroom gets warm but the front vents give cold air even when on max. Is it because the foil cardboard tubes are so long?
    Anyone had/having similar issues?

    Any help appreciated (y)
     
  2. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    If it's a Truma blown air system the electric element is generally seen as a booster rather than the principal heat generator, according to many previous posts by those in the know. If you want it really warm - use gas. (Mine doesn't have an electric option by the way so I'm never faced with the dilemma of which source to choose!)

    Concerning draughts - I seem to recall comments about vents in the floor pan of the original Fiat base beneath the seats - others will advise I'm sure. I don't think there should be any draughts from the hab. door: any obvious signs of misalignment?
     
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  3. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    Vehicle is designed as a chassis cab with big air vents in the bottom of each door. As a motorhome, these vents may not be needed
     
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  4. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    Our 2012 Autotrail/Fiat chassis also has a cold area in the front of the cab.

    I am sure the electric heating is only good for plus temperatures. Anything below zero would need either gas or both to cope with it and keep the van warm.

    Not sure where the draught comes from but it is definitely there. I usually just throw a blanket over the seats to the floor.
     
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  5. BwB

    BwB Funster Life Member

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    On our last van the hab door was very vented at the bottom with a big hole covered in mesh. I taped most up leaving a drain hole and this improved matters greatly. The cab doors also needed a bit of work too. As mentioned, there are some one way vents in the cab floor under the driver/passenger seats. Some converters will replace the vents with sealed gromets but some dont. You have to climb under the van to see them, and then just seal them yourself.
     
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  6. rolandrat

    rolandrat Funster

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    It's been mentioned that there are higher output heaters available but have to be specified when ordered from new. Are the dealers passing this information on when an order is being placed?
     
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  7. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    We've just been away for 3 weeks, never used the gas, just electric heating, had to turn it DOWN on several occasions, temps down to -5 at times. 2004 Autotrail Cheyenne. Truma heater.
    Cheers, Dave(y)
     
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  8. rolandrat

    rolandrat Funster

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    There can be a strong drought from underneath the front seats where the body joins the cab. If you remove the plastic front covers on the seats and put your arm to the back you will notice the chassis box section which can be very droughty. This can be blocked off with any soft material and an improvement will be noticed straight away.
     
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  9. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Are you using external insulated screens ie silver screens ?? They make a big difference,
    You could hang some material to seperate the cab from the back, we do this when travelling in winter through France, makes a huge difference..
    The blown air can loose a lot around the vehicle and if you are just using electric and on a low setting it may not be enough.
    I usually find a blast with the gas fire heats things up and then the electric just to keep things topped up.
    Autotrails are not winterised vans, no double floor etc...
     
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  10. BOND

    BOND Read Only Funster

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    Great tip - I'll go & look now & while I'm there I'll crawl underneath to check the one way vents. Let you know if I find anything.
     
  11. Cossieg

    Cossieg Funster

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    I think there are quite a few things you can look at based on our experience. Put the heater control to recirc so stopping air from coming in via the heater. Block up the vents in the doors & the plugs under the seat on the passenger side as previously mentioned. Look at the join between the cab & the body, I can see the ground outside looking down behind the cab seats! Get a small radiator & put it on the floor between the front seats & leave it on all the time!
     
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  12. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    The hab door on my autotrail had not been adjusted properly and 'leaked' an inordinate amount of wind in !
    Set to with screw driver and a bit of patience and no more drafts from that area..
    As others mentioned, LOTS of holes in and around the cab area.. I even put gaffa tape over the vents in the doors ( louvred vents actually on the end of the door where it closes to you cannot see them until you open the door..
    A little time and effort will cure most of the ills (y)
     
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  13. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Also another culprit can be the seat belt covers on the side pillars - these can also cover some 'gaps/holes' in the base of the cab so cold air can travel up the covers and into the cab.
     
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  14. BOND

    BOND Read Only Funster

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    Yes we have the Silver Screen & even used the internal blinds. The heater was on max all day but the front vents never got warm - your right about a blast with gas to up the temp but soon as you turn it off it gets cold in the seating area.
    Has anyone changed the flimsy cardboard heater pipes for anything else?
     
  15. MHVirgins

    MHVirgins

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    We have a 2007 Dakota and yes there are draughts coming from the front cab but like others, we put a large blanket across the ledge under the overcab lockers down to behind the front seats. This makes a great difference and we have never felt cold in the van, it was down to -3 for some nights recently down south. We always have the internal blinds down and the curtains over if it is quite cold.

    We only have the Truma heater (electric) at half a kilowatt and that it is fine for us. However, have had to switch the heating off during the night as it got too warm on some nights. I've found the insulation in the van very good and we are always toasty during the very cold weather.

    I believe there is a rigid partition available to buy, that fits behind the two front seats.......there is a metal clip behind each of the front seats, we wondered if these were designed to clip this partition on to.

    Maybe someone more knowledgeable might be able to confirm what these clips are for. We have Silver Screens, but so far haven't bothered to use them, but they would certainly help with the condensation inside the windscreen.

    Bill
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
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  16. BOND

    BOND Read Only Funster

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    Ok, I've just quickly crawled underneath, the near side has 2 one way vents that I can see with flimsy rubber, there may be more, the offside has 2 solid blanks & If I shine a torch up under the vehicle I can see some faint light. Anyone know the rules about removing the vents?
    The doors have no vents at all, the only holes are drains unless there's something behind the trim panel.
    The dust under the seats looks like its 10yrs old not 10mths!
    Oh, and there's a few sharp edges:mad:
     
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  17. MHVirgins

    MHVirgins

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    Our pipes are corrugated plastic not cardboard ones.

    Bill
     
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  18. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Hi Bond,

    It's not a good idea to use internal blinds as well as external screens, as they will only serve to cause condensation on the screen. External only in winter. (y)

    Good luck with curing the draughts. :)

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
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  19. BOND

    BOND Read Only Funster

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    I think the difference is in the age Bill, yours would prob beat mine hands down on lots of things - except the profit they made;)
     
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  20. BOND

    BOND Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Jock(y) - I did notice condensation on the screen for the first time.
     
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