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Thread: Leaky Autotrail

  1. #1

    Member Number
    3229
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    18
    Motorhome
    Auto Trail Mohican

    Leaky Autotrail



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    Have just discovered water getting in our 2005 Autotrail Mohican, it is on the drivers side in the cupboard under the sink, the water seems to have tracked along the floor where it meets the wheel arch, not been out for a few weeks so its not water that's been thrown off the wheel.
    We have had some very heavy rain the last 48 hours after weeks of bone dry weather, my gut feeling is that the water has got in via the exterior trim in the area where it joins the wheel arch. When the sun comes out again I intend to remove the trim and reseal, from what I can gather by googling for info it seems likely I will have to renew what is described as the D section white aluminium capping strip, apparently this clips onto the extrusion that is screwed in place beneath it.
    I believe that in removing the D section capping it will most likely distort and not go back on properly, has anyone got first hand experience of this repair ? also any idea where I can purchase this capping, I'm reluctant to approach Autotrail each time I've had prices from them its almost a second mortgage!!!
    To be on the safe side its my intention to remove and reseal all the strips so I will need a few metres of this trim.

    Hope someone can point me in the right direction.

    Barry

  2. #2

    Member Number
    3243
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    54
    Motorhome
    hymer b654 wildcamp and an autotrail 696g
    Yes your right the aluminium capping isn't reusable, I got some from my local Autotrail dealer rather than going direct to auto trail
    it comes with the bottom aluminium section as well they don't just sell the top capping

  3. #3

    Member Number
    30323
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    Oct 2012
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    4,564
    Motorhome
    Auto Trail Dakota
    By coincidence I have the same problem.

    My 2007 Dakota has just had its annual habitation check and very high damp readings have been recorded on the offside behind the driver's door as far back as the kitchen area amidships. This is at floor level.

    Spinney showed me what the problem is likely to be. As you say the D-cap is a trim over the join between the side wall and the side skirts. They explained that the skirt overlaps the side wall, a poor design. It should be the other way round. The sealant in that area typically fails around the 10 year mark.

    The D-cap is not reusable. My 'van is going back in July for rectification which involves removing the D-cap, removing the skirt which is in one section along its entire length unfortunately, then assessing the damage. Hopefully the wall boards are still OK ...
    Remember - POI additions and updates can be sent by email to POI@wildcamping.co.uk

  4. #4

    Member Number
    3229
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    18
    Motorhome
    Auto Trail Mohican
    Thanks for the replies, it always amazes me how many people have similar problems with there vans, I've had a good look all round the rest of the van and it seems the water ingress is confined to this one area.
    Does anyone know of a motorhome that is least likely to leak???
    Reading the tales of whoa on the forums it seems more common on newer models, the older Hymer's etc. seem to fair much better, I am seriously considering purchasing one of these if I could find one with a layout that suits us.
    It does appear that newer models are not built as well as the older ones, surprising really with the modern sealants that are out there, I would be at a loss which van to go for if I was in the market for a new model.
    Some friends purchased a brand new Carthago last year, it would take far to long to list the faults they have had with it, not something you expect with a van that costs in excess of 90.000
    Oh well enough whinging from me I will now go and place a fan heater in the cupboard to dry the carpets !!!

  5. #5

    Member Number
    3229
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    18
    Motorhome
    Auto Trail Mohican
    Quick update, I have discovered the source of the water ingress, I don't think its as tragic as first seemed, water has got in via the storage locker door, each time I open this door water always comes off the bottom of the door recess, never thought this was a worry because the door seal sits further in , however I removed the plastic frame from inside the locker and have discovered that water has been getting past the seal, this wouldn't have been a problem if the inner frame had been sealed to the door frame, water would have still got in but would have shown itself on the locker floor instead of getting into van sides and floor.
    Have just ordered a new seal and when it arrives I will remove the complete door frame and reseal it, If your vans have locker doors ' most have I suppose" it could be worth keeping an eye on how well they are sealing.

  6. #6

    Member Number
    37959
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,937
    Location
    Teesside.
    Motorhome
    Devon Conversions Tempest.
    Quote Originally Posted by barrypat View Post
    Thanks for the replies, it always amazes me how many people have similar problems with there vans, I've had a good look all round the rest of the van and it seems the water ingress is confined to this one area.
    Does anyone know of a motorhome that is least likely to leak???
    Reading the tales of whoa on the forums it seems more common on newer models, the older Hymer's etc. seem to fair much better, I am seriously considering purchasing one of these if I could find one with a layout that suits us.
    It does appear that newer models are not built as well as the older ones, surprising really with the modern sealants that are out there, I would be at a loss which van to go for if I was in the market for a new model.
    Some friends purchased a brand new Carthago last year, it would take far to long to list the faults they have had with it, not something you expect with a van that costs in excess of 90.000
    Oh well enough whinging from me I will now go and place a fan heater in the cupboard to dry the carpets !!!
    All the above is the reason I sold my 2 1/2 year old Swift c class and bought a pvc.
    My Swift went back to the factory twice, all window seals and nearside inner walls replaced. This was a known fault with the window seals that they did nothing about whilst my motorhome was stood at the dealers only taking action after I bought it. The final straw was water ingress at the rear which I found whilst crawling underneath one day looking at the shoddy build quality.
    I have a friend who bought a new 80,000 Hymer a couple of years ago that had water ingress and numerous faults in the 1 year he owned it. He sold it at a huge loss as he was fed up with it.
    I miss the space etc I had with the Swift c class but no worries with water ingress, being able to access and park up virtually anywhere are big bonuses for me.
    The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - its all that matters.

  7. #7

    Member Number
    30323
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4,564
    Motorhome
    Auto Trail Dakota
    Quote Originally Posted by barrypat View Post
    Quick update, I have discovered the source of the water ingress, I don't think its as tragic as first seemed, water has got in via the storage locker door, each time I open this door water always comes off the bottom of the door recess, never thought this was a worry because the door seal sits further in , however I removed the plastic frame from inside the locker and have discovered that water has been getting past the seal, this wouldn't have been a problem if the inner frame had been sealed to the door frame, water would have still got in but would have shown itself on the locker floor instead of getting into van sides and floor.
    Have just ordered a new seal and when it arrives I will remove the complete door frame and reseal it, If your vans have locker doors ' most have I suppose" it could be worth keeping an eye on how well they are sealing.
    Good news. I wish my problem was as straightforward!
    Remember - POI additions and updates can be sent by email to POI@wildcamping.co.uk

  8. #8

    Member Number
    3229
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    18
    Motorhome
    Auto Trail Mohican

    Leaky Autotrail..2nd Update

    Just a quick update on this leak problem, I think I went off half cocked with my last update, my new seal has arrived and been fitted, I couldn't find any obvious problem with the one I removed.
    I took out the complete door frame assembly cleaned and resealed everything, again no obvious sign of where water had been getting in but at least I now know all is ok,
    What I did find whilst giving everything a good clean and degrease prior to refitting was quite a dirty area underneath the door locks, didn't think much of it at first but decided to remove the two fixing screws that hold the lock and catch assembly in place, "note to self, make sure I have my glasses on next time so I can see where the springs have dropped"
    Inside was a lot of dirt and signs that water had been present, on removal of the lock barrel I could see a broken O ring that fits over the barrel, this serves as a face seal against the inner face of the door, not a very good use for an O ring!
    Both locks were the same, the break being at the bottom so any rain on that side of the van has an easy entry inside, the door seal being behind this lock plate so is doing nothing!
    Thought this could be worth a mention as I have spent quite some time 'googling' Thetford door problems and have not come across this issue, pity I didn't find this problem earlier it would have saved me a lot of time, I don't suppose it would cost more than a few pence for these O rings but I had some anyway,
    Next job, remove all the other locker door locks and replace the O rings....
    ,

  9. #9

    Member Number
    8791
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3,184
    Judging by the amount of complaints on the forums, there seems to me two essential things to do before purchasing a van besides the more obvious checks of course;

    1. Weigh it, to verify the real world payload.
    2. Take it through a truck wash, for a leak test.
    3. Go through it with your recently acquired damp meter.

    I think it rare to find coachbuilt hatch and door adjustment, as found on vehicle manufacturers doors which allow adjustment for varying the seal compression?
    Last edited by Byronic; 24-05-2017 at 19:03.

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