Heating the habitation area in transit and, roof lights

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by pizzajohn, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. pizzajohn

    pizzajohn Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    We have an Auto-Trail Frontier Comanche and, travelling back to Devon from Brownhills our passengers, in the back, found the temperature uncomfortably cold.

    Being new to motor-homing I wondered if others heated the rear of their motor-homes and, how they achieved it?

    Also, one of the roof lights is extremely ill fitting and you can jiggle the 'glass' when the light is locked. So loose is it, that wind noise is, supposedly, unbearable. Brownhills say that this is normal, they suggest that it is desirable to not have an effective seal, for ventilation, as the light is above the cooking area. What do you guys think?
     
  2. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Not sure about heat in the back but a loose fitting roof light sounds very odd, ok bullshit :D
     
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  3. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    pull the silver screen across and cut out the draught
     
  4. pizzajohn

    pizzajohn Read Only Funster

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    Tried the 'pulled screen' but the vacuum created travelling sucks the life out of the folds.
     
  5. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    The Autotrail roof lights are, in my opinion bloody awful.
    You have to REALLY crank the handle ( to the point I hate opening them as I know I will then have to close em and they scare the pants off me.. I am CONVINCED I will break one !! )
    I found that if I reset the point of closing by opening fully ( and I mean fully ) and then re-closing it is sometimes better.. but yes, they are pretty grim

    Roger, there is no silver screen on the Autotrail, just a silly concertina thing that you HAVE to have open otherwise, as the OP found, they end up in a right mess !

    Heating in the back..
    Always a bone of contention for Woman too.
    Perhaps fitting a diesel powered Webasto or Eberspacher is the answer ? No idea if they are ok to use whilst on the move though

    We always set the cab heater flat out and directed through the two upper central vents in the dash about 30 minutes before we are due to stop, just to try and get some warm air in the hab area ( though it is not all that successful to be honest )
     
  6. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    We have a Tracker but never used the heating whilst travelling but I did enquire as to how you use it and was told leave the gas turned on and put your heating on as normal they are fitted with the Secumotion system supposed to turn off automatically if involved in an accident.As for loose roof light I would take it back and ask no tell them to sort it out I believe all Autotrails have roof extractors for kitchen ventilation not loose glass.:cheers:
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  7. Daz n Tina

    Daz n Tina Funster

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    The webasto heater is ok to use on the move and keeps your water hot, we took ours out for a spin today for a 30 min drive and the van was toastie.
     
  8. pizzajohn

    pizzajohn Read Only Funster

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    It's not the vent above the cooker as that's where the factory fitted A/C is mounted. The rooflight in question is forward of that and it's not operated by a crank handle but, a U shaped lever which is held locked by a sprung button. The lever has pins which engage in tracks each side of the light.

    I have queried Brownhills diagnosis with their Customer Services department and, I'm awaiting their response.
     
  9. Daz n Tina

    Daz n Tina Funster

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    Sounds like a midi Heidi roof light they are usually a very good fit, I think Brownhills are just bullshitting. Tell them to replace it and when you need ventilation you will open it.
     
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  10. GWAYGWAY

    GWAYGWAY Funster

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    my odessee has a rear heater that is water heated from the engine it is behind the passenger seat under the table and it does produce a bit of heat to the rear. We keep a curtain closed behind the seats to keep cab and habitation separate.
     
  11. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    We had a new main skylight assembly fitted by the supplying dealer as I noticed the problem when we first saw the van
    We was early to collect it and actually saw them fit the new mechanism.. Still the same !
    I dunno what make the things are but they aint Heki and aint exactly a great bit of kit :(
     
  12. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    This problem keeps cropping up with Brit vans.
    I reckon it must be an NCC requirement to have bored, cold rear passengers who can't see what they are doing through lack of light, no power for their gadgets, no heating and draughty rooflights!

    Many vans (mostly those built on the continent, away from the mediaeval constraints of the NCC) have en-route heating, better-sealed vents and a fully operational electrical system whilst the van is in motion. The result is happier passengers!

    To overcome your problems, you need to fit an en-route heating system. This can either involve making your present heater fit for en-route use by way of a Secumotion high pressure hose and regulator plus the correct flue for in-motion use or fitting an auxillary bus type heater somewhere under your back seats.
    The bus heater will need plumbing in to your engine cooling system for its hot water supply.
    The alternative is to fit a diesel heater such as a Webasto Airtop or Eberspacher Airtronic.
     
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  13. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Probably a Remis one like ours John.
    They haven't got the best gearbox setup in the world.

    There is a fix though! You need to split the gearbox and look at the operating cables. You will find they look a bit like pipe cleaners. You have to remove a load of the bristles on the cables where they engage with the drive gears. Lubricate the gearbox with grease, reassemble and you will now have a smoothly operating rooflight which closes positively!
     
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  14. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Cheers !
    That will give a job to do while in Spain :)
     
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  15. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    I get bored on sites with nothing to fix too!
     
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  16. ivorantony

    ivorantony Funster

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  17. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Ivor, it says 3kW panel heater ? But looking at it, it appears to be just a blower and possibly a radiator ??
    Is that correct ?
     
  18. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    It looks same as we have factory fitted runs of engine cooling sytem
    And works very well
     
  19. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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  20. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Ahhh.. thanks for that.. The forst advert stating 3kW is extremely misleading ( to the point it is quite possibly illegal ! )
    So it runs from the vehicle cooling system ... All is explained :) (y)
     
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