Window Blow Out

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Window Blow Out

Post by Happy Motorhomers on Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:08 pm

We had an accident today, on our way to the BbC Countryfile Live show at Blenheim Palace. The fixed window blew out, whilst we were travelling to the show, what a shock it gave us. As we had just left Moreton in Marsh and were not too far from Willersey, we rang Auto Sleeper, told them what had happened and could they do an emergency temporary repair, we were told no, they wouldn't be able to fit us in for a month. So we took our motorhome to Elite Motorhomes, they were wonderful, they did a temporary repair, so that we could get home to Manchester.

If any of you have a similar window on your Auto Sleeper Motorhome, have it checked out, the same could happen to you.


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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by groundhog on Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:54 pm

So sorry that looks awful and quite a shock! I am normally the first to run to A/S defence but under the circumstances that is dreadful customer service if they refused to help!! look here
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Happy Motorhomers on Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:19 pm

Hi Groundhog

They couldn't fit us in for a month and they also said that they have never heard of this happening before. I have sent them a picture of the window, so hopefully we will get a reply

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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Wargenwolf on Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:08 am

Happy Motorhomers, 

That's awful for you and must have come as real shock. 

I'm sure I've heard of that type of window going before, but never on an Auto-Sleeper. My last van, a Bolero had the same sort of window and I'm fairly certain that it was Swift that had the problem with earlier windows.

Let's hope it really is a one off for AS and I hope you get yours sorted.

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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by roli on Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:00 am

Sorry to hear that being unexpected must have been a hell of a shock.  I too would have thought being an emergency AS could have slotted you in as you had a fairly long journey home

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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Quilter on Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:25 am

Nasty ! Frightening for you and dangerous for following road users.

How old is your van ? Have you had any work done on the window or had problems opening or closing it ? Was it fully closed when you drove away ?  Is is noisy when travelling or has it been rattling recently ?  Did you have the bolts-through-the-glass-fibre repair ?

I'm surprised AS didn't want to see it if only to assess what happened and why.
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Gromit on Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:57 am

What Quilter said, plus, "How fast were you going when it blew out?"

It would be interesting for others to know that, since it's rather disconcerting to say the least - unless you were trying to out pace Sebastian Vettel at the time!  watching_f1    covermyeyes

I still wouldn't expect it to blow out, even if it was open a little bit. Aerodynamics is a very complex field though, so again I agree with Quilter, and wonder why A/S were not keen to make an assessment???

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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Wargenwolf on Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:52 am

Apologies, after reading the latest responses, I hadn't realised it was an opening window.

The one on the Bolero didn't open !

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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by rogerblack on Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:35 pm

Wargenwolf wrote:Apologies, after reading the latest responses, I hadn't realised it was an opening window.

The one on the Bolero didn't open !
The OP referred to it as a 'fixed window' which I would also assume meant it didn't open . . .
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Happy Motorhomers on Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:52 pm

Thanks for the responses. The window is a fixed one. We were travelling between 35 to 40mph on the A44. The van is a Cotswold EB 5 years old, we had no work done on the window, it didn't rattle, we have only had the van for 6 weeks, but we have since found out that it had been stood on the dealers forecourt for 2 years. So we think that it has rotted the sealant.  It is back at the dealers now, they can't understand how it has happened either, they are trying to say that other forces were to blame, but they are not, it just blew out. The dealers have said that they have never known this to happen, then in another breath they said that it happened to Swift models. If it happened to Swift then it can happen to any.

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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by -mojo- on Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:28 pm

Happy Motorhomers wrote:it had been stood on the dealers forecourt for 2 years. So we think that it has rotted the sealant.

Sorry, but that's not a credible explanation. The sealant/fixing should be designed to withstand sitting on a dealer's forecourt, or sitting at a campsite, or sitting on your driveway for any number of years (within reason) without rotting away.

The sealants that they use are designed to hold the van together for decades without rotting. The only reasonable explanations are accidental damage (including possible incorrect maintenance work done in the past) or it wasn't fixed in properly in the first place.


Last edited by -mojo- on Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Quilter on Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:28 pm

The "we've never heard of this happening before " syndrome is not unknown in the motorhoming world and, indeed, not long ago it was reported that AS had never heard of smelly Truma heaters !

We were among the first to have a Fiat X250 engine and I spent a lot of time trying to explain to Fiat that, if they did not take  reports of leaking scuttles etc etc seriously enough to collate, check  and believe those of us who reported such faults, then they would not be able to improve their products and would lose valuable client trust.
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Gromit on Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:30 pm

Happy Motorhomers wrote:It is back at the dealers now, they can't understand how it has happened either, they are trying to say that other forces were to blame, but they are not, it just blew out.
What other forces????

Don't let them get away with that as an excuse. At 35 - 40 mph there wouldn't be any forces strong enough to blow out a securely fixed window, even if you had the cab door windows wide open, and the roof light further back. (Not that you would, except by accident.)

If you've only had the van for 6 weeks the dealer has to fix it. He hasn't got a leg to stand on, so be polite (of course) but very firm. Your contract is with him, not with AutoSleepers, so he fixes it. If he chooses to send you to A/S for the fix, that's up to him.


I don't know why you received such uncharacteristic lack of service from them in the first instance. They are usually excellent, so I can't help wondering if there's more to it than we are aware of?? Assuming you have told us the full story it's a real puzzle. The sealant shouldn't rot, it's designed to be stood out in all weathers so the period spent in the dealer's yard is not significant. It would have been the same on your drive.

Please let us know the final outcome, and do ask for a clear explanation of why it happened. Lots of others will want to know.  smile!

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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by rogerblack on Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:41 pm

We don't have any fixed windows so it doesn't directly affect us, but I am surprised to learn that the only thing that holds them in place is sealant.
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Spospe on Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:52 pm

What seems strange to me is that it blew out, as this implies greater pressure on the inside of the vehicle than the outside. Travelling at 35-40 mph, I would have thought that the air pressure would have been holding the window in more securely. How odd!

Minus 10 to AS for refusing to help though.
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by -mojo- on Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:32 pm

In fairness to A/S, their service/repairs department only has a fixed number of workers, and it will have a schedule of customers for weeks to come - so if they fit someone in unexpectedly it would have to push someone else out! As Gromit has already said, the buyer's contract is with the dealer (or individual) they bought it from, not A/S.
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Quilter on Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:36 pm

-mojo- wrote:In fairness to A/S, their service/repairs department only has a fixed number of workers, and it will have a schedule of customers for weeks to come - so if they fit someone in unexpectedly it would have to push someone else out! As Gromit has already said, the buyer's contract is with the dealer (or individual) they bought it from, not A/S.


A fair point but, if I had built a motor home that had suffered such a dangerous and unexpected failure of a large part, I think I would want to know what had caused it so possible recurrences could be avoided.

What if the window had hit a pedestrian or cyclist ?
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by -mojo- on Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:58 pm

That's true but, if we draw an analogy with the car industry, the manufacturer would expect the "investigation" part to be done by the supplying dealer.

If your Ford motor car has, say, a major failure of the brakes, it goes back to the dealer that sold it (or another dealer if distance precludes that) and they are expected to report back to Ford. It does not go back to the Ford manufacturing plant that made it!

Ok, maybe that's not a completely equivalent situation, but I suspect that's how it's supposed to work.
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by biffobear on Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:26 pm

T
I have never liked the idea of forward facing acrilic/ plastic windows on a camper/ motorhome. It makes a bit of a mockery of MOT toughen/laminated windscreen glass. Aerodynamics are not always obvious as Jaguar discovered during the 24hr LeMans a few years ago. Rather than air pressure building up on the outside of that window it could be that a vacuum was being created depending on the front profile of the 'van, wind speed and other vehicles coming the other way and in front of the 'van etc. With a cab heater blowing or fresh air vents open or side windows down, who knows what the difference in air pressure was when it decided it was no longer going to be part of the motorhome it was fixed to. I don't think enough research has been done on this type of window. Probably because of the expensive nature of using a wind tunnel
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Quilter on Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:34 pm

biffobear wrote:T
. I don't think enough research has been done on this type of window. Probably because of the expensive nature of using a wind tunnel


On the other hand, we had one in our last van ( Bessacarr, new in 2007 and kept until 2014) and had no issues with it.  I monitor 3 forums and read umpteen blogs and this is the first time I have heard of this happening either first hand or reported. Rooftop skylights yes, I have read about those blowing out but never the whole unit and quite so cleanly. It is usually the glass which goes because it has not been closed before travel.  From what you can see from the OPs photo it looks to me like the whole unit was not secured properly in the roof.
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Paulmold on Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:41 pm

Same type of window but an opening one on a Winchecombe and a different problem...

https://m.facebook.com/groups/240851402946698?view=permalink&id=480802952284874

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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Quilter on Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:12 pm

Paulmold wrote:Same type of window but an opening one on a Winchecombe and a different problem...

https://m.facebook.com/groups/240851402946698?view=permalink&id=480802952284874

Sorry Paul; can't access this.
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Paulmold on Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:33 pm

Text copied..
Please share if you own a caravan or motorhome fitted with Dometic windows.
The Dometic Skyview window on my Auto Sleepers Winchcombe motorhome developed large cracks which extend from the sides towards the centre, I contacted Dometic and sent photos of the defective window hoping for some friendly advice and an offer to replace it as the cracks were obviously due to faulty materials.
However, I was astonished to be told by their warranty department that the fault was due to me using the wrong type of cleaner on it! I replied that I had not used the wrong type of cleaner on it, I hadn’t used any cleaner on it as it is difficult to reach. I also asked them why none of the other windows had developed cracks….did I clean the Skyview window with one type of cleaner then  clean all the other windows with a different one?
They wouldn’t accept my logic and still insisted that the window had been damaged by my careless cleaning. After several emails had been exchanged, they told me that if I could get written confirmation from the previous owner that he had not cleaned the window with this mysterious caustic solution, they would process my warranty claim. I duly tracked down the previous owner  and explained the situation and he very kindly sent me a comprehensive email stating that, as he had only owned the vehicle a few months,  he had never cleaned the window either. I forwarded his email to Dometic and guess what? After months of waiting, they rejected my claim stating that the window had been cleaned with the wrong type of cleaner!!
So, if you have had problems with windows on your caravan or motorhome developing cracks and  have not used ‘the wrong type of cleaner, I would like to hear from you so I can present a case to a well-known consumer rights programme. Please PM me with your details or email donnypubs@btinternet.com
Thanks

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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Quilter on Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:39 pm

Thanks Paul; an interesting letter. Sounds as if the window was bolted down unevenly and there were stresses on the glass. The wonder is that Dometic didn't even want to have samples of the glass sent to them or see the motorhome so they could test and determine if the cracks were stress related or caused by cleaning fluid. What sort of cleaning fluid would they suggest that had such a dramatic effect on windows but left the body of the van ( and rubber seals??) unaffected ? 

I despair sometimes.
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Re: Window Blow Out

Post by Paulmold on Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:45 pm

Just made me wonder if Dometic were in some way responsible in both cases.

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