Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK and Katowice, Poland, plus All Europe
My Motorhome: Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 69GL (2003)
Thanked 505 Times in 448 Posts
While construction methods and workmanship standards can play a part in causing problems so can poor design and specifications - e.g if timber is not included in the design of the walls/roof you will not get rot even if there is some water ingress damp. Of course non-timber construction is more expensive to produce to achieve the same strength. And if the design calls for the joining of panels to be bonded this will ensure a better seal than sealant.
Another obvious design problem comes with trying to seal the joint between a 'C' Class cab and the MH body - I doubt whether there is a method of bonding to the cab metal, or is there? 'A' Class does not have this problem.
I am always flabergasted (easily, in my case) by the lack of information that MH manufacturers, and their Dealers, give on the materials and constuction used for the basic MH body, unless they laud themselves that they have the best. However, we are at fault by not demanding more information.
I do note that the best German manufacturers do produce much more detailed specification information, so maybe the average German buyer is more demanding of the manufacturer and this results in a better product, because they would not accept, to coin an MHF member.s phrase, 'a leaky pile of British sh*t'.
It would be very interesting to know how long German MHs last, until they become uneconomical to repair, compared to UK ones.
Going back to Kenny's(OP) list of 'niggles', are they not just that, compared with some major problems we hear of with some British MHs - even major damp repairs under warranty.
We have a 13 year-old N+B and on the habitation side, not being aware of faults, if any, prior to our owning it for 6 years, we have had bits of plastic(Dometic fridge break/mistreated?) and door retainers suffer UVR failure, but nothing else. I would actually consider those bits as 'fair wear and tear' consumables.
Prejudiced me, but I would look first and foremost at German for a replacement MH, but for the forseeable future will be sticking to 2003 quality and the old 2.8jtd engine(re-mapped) - the cost of extra diesel is offset by not putting in more capital to swap MHs.