Join Date: May 2005
Location: Redditch, Worcestershire
My Motorhome: Autotrail Cheyenne 696G
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The one-piece roof and one-piece back panel are deliberately NOT fixed down over their entire surface to allow for thermal expansion and contraction.
With 'multi-panel' roofs, with numerous seams and joints, this expansion and contraction is taken up in the joint, but on a one-piece unit (roof or back panel) if it was solidly fixed it would split.
Our Cheyenne is now 5 years old, and the only leak so far has been on the high level small window over the garage. This window crosses a horizontal seam between two ali side panels (it is the only window that does) and the sealant has dried at this junction of rubber window seal and ali seam, thereby allowing water to seep in under capiliary action. Took the window out, cleaned the old sealant off and re-sealed it - now no more leaks!!! This IS a design flaw as water will ALWAYS be forced along this seam and into the window frame whilst driving along.
Having spent a long weekend looking around the Shepton Show, we still cannot find a 'van that we would want to replace our Autotrail with. It has all that we want (large garage, fixed large bed, decent shower room, good insulation, comfortable lounging, comfortable driving - Mercedes with Sprintshift, solid furniture).
Would we have another Autotrail? - Depends what is available at the time, but on current performance we dont see why not.
Carl & Flo