NEC Brownhills comment of the day (1 Viewer)

Jan 31, 2016
1,117
606
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A Class Rapido 9097F
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June 2016
Walking through the Brownhills stand one customer taking to a Brownhills member of staff.
"Well I like Autotrail however build quality is poor and they leak"
Response
"They've done a lot to improve the floor, obviously they still leak just don't seep in like they used to do"!!!!!

Well there you have it from one of their main dealership.

Autotrail leak and they know it
 

Stretto Boy

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Nov 6, 2016
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That’s why Autotrail are the only British MH manufacture that provides a Umbrella with new purchases.

We got an umbrella with our Auto-Sleepers Broadway. The build quality is excellent and we have no leak or damp problems :)

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PeteH

Free Member
Nov 22, 2007
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Rapido, 999M.
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18+yrs plus 25+Towing
What goes around comes around. Not that many years ago Swift where the "Flogging Horses". Bailey had big issues with their caravans at one point. In most Marques there will be Rogue `vans. Even the "Gods" (Hymer) have had problems!.

The biggest concern would be when makers go into denial. THAT it when real problems surface. Fiat are in that state, they are in denial over gearbox issues ongoing for some years now. It`s ONLY their almost total grip on the supply of chassis/cab units that is keeping them afloat (For now)
 
OP
OP
Jagtazman
Jan 31, 2016
1,117
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A Class Rapido 9097F
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June 2016
More than strange, I'm pretty sure that it was misheard or the context misunderstood.
You are prob right, I hope you are. Wife heard the same thing and could not resist posting it:LOL::LOL::LOL:
 
May 7, 2016
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Many years ago a British Leyland dealer said to me “engines are no hermetically sealed, you can expect the odd oil leak”. I could not believe their attitude to faults and we all know what happened to them.

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Blue Knight

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Aug 7, 2017
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You are prob right, I hope you are. Wife heard the same thing and could not resist posting it:LOL::LOL::LOL:

I don't think you misheard the chat at all. I've had a few conversations with a couple of trusted BH guys over recent years and both have said to avoid Autotrail as the list of issues has been overwhelming.

That said, it must be bloody annoying as a sales guy to have to try and sell a new van to a trusting punter in the knowledge that a van may be delivered with some serious issues from the outset of delivery.
 
Jan 28, 2008
10,142
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Dovercourt, Harwich, UK
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1,353
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Renalt burstner
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7 years campers before that
Many years ago a British Leyland dealer said to me “engines are no hermetically sealed, you can expect the odd oil leak”. I could not believe their attitude to faults and we all know what happened to them.
they should have put two engines in the mini it would have stoped the rear subframes royying 4 years of playing with minis and ive never seen a corrosion fault on the front as they were bathed in engine oil
 

pappajohn

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Aug 26, 2007
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Many years ago a British Leyland dealer said to me “engines are no hermetically sealed, you can expect the odd oil leak”. I could not believe their attitude to faults and we all know what happened to them.
But that was true of ANY British made engine not just BL.
Mating surfaces were matched with a file and straight edge.
There was never any point wasting money on a BL rocker cover gasket.
 

Lanerboy

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Aug 3, 2016
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Carthago 4.9 superior
I was told by BH salesman not to buy an autotrail as they leak badly I ended up buying a rapido which is a great van but just sold that for a different MH. I will not miss BH at all my dealings with them have been awful

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Cal54

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Apr 25, 2014
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my experience of dealing with Brownhills matches that of @Lanerboy ! My big mistake was dealing with a company so far away from home, which just compounded the problems.
 

PeteH

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Nov 22, 2007
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But that was true of ANY British made engine not just BL.
Mating surfaces were matched with a file and straight edge.
There was never any point wasting money on a BL rocker cover gasket.

With care and skill, you can get a seal with just a file and a straight edge too, It`s down to the quality of the craftsman. They where just the sort of skills we where taught as (proper) apprentices. If you look carefully at a gasket seal on any 1950 to 70`s vehicle you will only see the marks left by the high speed milling process, they never saw a file beyond taking off the "sharp" edge!. Often the ONLY (smooth flat) surface was the Head/Crankcase Joint that saw a surface grinder. We used to hand scrape the bearings for Marine engines, using "engineers blue" and lead wire to adjust the bearing clearance and ensure as full a bearing area as possible. Casting the White Metal onto the bearing before machining, was an art in itself.
 

GSD

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Dec 31, 2016
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Fifer Touring "M" 2017 E6
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My father as a young man served his apprenticeship in the 1930s as a motor engineer a different trade from a motor mechanic. Re-metalling bearings seemed to be one of the main tasks he performed. Before he completed his apprenticeship the war intervened and in the RAF he was trained to be a technician on the legendary Rolls Royce Merlin engine. On returning from the war he got his old apprenticeship back only to be made redundant. He left the trade and retrained as a teacher.
In the old days car salesmen were often qualified mechanics who had swapped a boiler suit for a lounge suit. so they did know what they were talking about. It seems that engineering skills are not taught to the same extent and our vehicles are looked after by "technicians" a word which conveniently gives no clue as to the level of skill and training.
 
May 7, 2016
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So there were ways of skilled people curing the oil leaks but at that time the Japanese and Germans were already producing engines without oil leaks. Perhaps British manufacturers should have just built the engines properly in the first place.

In my opinion the route of the problem was manufacturers taking customer loyalty for granted and relying on “Buy British”. Sadly I think UK motorhome manufacturers are still doing this, short term profits taking priority over investment and customer satisfaction. Do any of them make A Class motorhomes? Do any of them have significant exports?
 

Blue Knight

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Aug 7, 2017
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In my opinion the route of the problem was manufacturers taking customer loyalty for granted and relying on “Buy British”. Sadly I think UK motorhome manufacturers are still doing this, short term profits taking priority over investment and customer satisfaction. Do any of them make A Class motorhomes? Do any of them have significant exports?

I think you've banged the nail on the head with your 'British built' comment.

Autotrail seem to be pushing hard towards the New Zealand marketplace but then again NZ only has about 90 rainy days per year, over our 160, so AT is probably hoping for less warranty repairs due to damp.:D

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Steve and Denise

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Sep 26, 2011
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We do like the layout in the Chieftan so we bought one from Brownhills back in 2010 it was only then when the problems started we got rid of it a year later after most problems had been put right, abismal service!
 

GPW

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Feb 23, 2019
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Slight to minor!
I'm not convinced they are particularly organised as I asked for a brochure for the V55 panel van and they gave me an A-class motorhomes brochure. I suppose they interpreted 'a brochure' as 'any brochure'..

Then they invited me to the NEC for free if I'd check out their stand properly when i was there but failed to contact me as agreed (on the same number they rang me) with the promised details. I wasn't bothered as the show is so cheap I'd rather be a free agent, also by that time I'd decided against the V55 and only wanted a panel van so even the remarkably cute Elddis 115 was out.

As for being honest about leaky vans - I don't understand why they don't do this a lot more. It's very poor sales to sell a customer a known problem that will come back to haunt them again and again and possibly put the customer off the brand, dealer and possibly motorhomes entirely for life.

It's also not as if Brownhills don't have the size and clout to pick and choose the best makes and models that help them, if they sell rubbish it doesn't help anyone - and ultimately it damaged the manufacturer too.
 

Minxy

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Aug 22, 2007
32,737
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149
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So, Is the conclusion then, that the "Perfect Motorhome":rolleyes:. Is an Oxymoron?.:D2
Never heard of that make before ... what layouts do they do in the Oxymoron? :rolleyes:
 
Feb 18, 2010
455
213
Funster No
10,320
Why don’t boats leak, could the Motorhome manufacturing take a look at the technology , and maybe learn a thing or two ?
 
May 7, 2016
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Why don’t boats leak, could the Motorhome manufacturing take a look at the technology , and maybe learn a thing or two ?
A good point. The boats I owned kept the water out from above and below, they also took a pounding that would have shaken most motorhomes into kit form.

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Dec 23, 2014
2,204
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With care and skill, you can get a seal with just a file and a straight edge too, It`s down to the quality of the craftsman. They where just the sort of skills we where taught as (proper) apprentices. If you look carefully at a gasket seal on any 1950 to 70`s vehicle you will only see the marks left by the high speed milling process, they never saw a file beyond taking off the "sharp" edge!. Often the ONLY (smooth flat) surface was the Head/Crankcase Joint that saw a surface grinder. We used to hand scrape the bearings for Marine engines, using "engineers blue" and lead wire to adjust the bearing clearance and ensure as full a bearing area as possible. Casting the White Metal onto the bearing before machining, was an art in itself.

That describes the type of apprenticeship that I did, right down to the hand scraping of the marine engine bearings. I was also taught to hand produce flat surfaces that could be wrung together. (y)
 

EMS

Jan 8, 2010
201
182
Hants Sussex border near
Funster No
9,860
MH
Coachbuilt Low
Exp
Started 2009!
Our first van was sold by BH, they had registered it as having just two seats where it had four belted seats, luckily we were never stopped when carrying passengers( the carrying of extra passengers was so rare and only when abroad, we did not change the documentation!
It is always a good idea to check the DVLC registration paperwork.
 
Aug 26, 2008
4,790
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Van Conversion
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since 2007
I'm not convinced they are particularly organised as I asked for a brochure for the V55 panel van and they gave me an A-class motorhomes brochure. I suppose they interpreted 'a brochure' as 'any brochure'..

Then they invited me to the NEC for free if I'd check out their stand properly when i was there but failed to contact me as agreed (on the same number they rang me) with the promised details. I wasn't bothered as the show is so cheap I'd rather be a free agent, also by that time I'd decided against the V55 and only wanted a panel van so even the remarkably cute Elddis 115 was out.

As for being honest about leaky vans - I don't understand why they don't do this a lot more. It's very poor sales to sell a customer a known problem that will come back to haunt them again and again and possibly put the customer off the brand, dealer and possibly motorhomes entirely for life.

It's also not as if Brownhills don't have the size and clout to pick and choose the best makes and models that help them, if they sell rubbish it doesn't help anyone - and ultimately it damaged the manufacturer too.

The average length of time between changing MHs is about 7 years. Selling a MH with a known bad track record means that the customer will be more likely to replace the MH in a much shorter time. Bad for the customer but it keeps the trade busy. Or am I being too cynical?
 

TCG

Jul 6, 2017
1,373
2,065
Salford Priors
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49,363
MH
Autotrail Delaware
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2016
Well if a Brownhills salesman said it, it must be true.....:sick: bit like reading the sun newspaper really.... :LOL:
 
Jul 21, 2011
197
179
Up’t North West
Funster No
17,452
MH
coach built
Exp
1999
Hi Dorset Diver
I scraped the main bearings during my apprenticeship on Six leg Doxford marine engines, and I can still feel today if I didn’t get it right from my tradesman. I did make mistakes but only once. He was like my second dad kept in contact with him every week until he died at 101. Happy days

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