Winterising and other Mobile Home improvements

We have now had our Autotrail Tracker RB for two and a half years and I feel we have learnt a lot. We originally spaced the van with water heaters on the waste and cold water tank. We did this because we expected to be taking the van away for ski holidays and we have had two and it has been great.  The heaters stop these tanks from freezing which would not be good and could cause quite bit of damage.

0C400575-7033-4043-8DB6-2AE92C16DA0EIn our first few weeks of ownership, we found the small round table that spins out in the lounge area was failing. This is made from a very poor plywood which has several screws into it. Within a few days, these screws were wobbling and within a week the table was broken. We fixed this by using copious superglue in the screw holes.  This seems to help bind the ply better and by putting the screws in when it is still tacky, a solid grip is provided for the screw. In the two and a half years since, we have not had an issue with the table, although we had to do the same thing to the bracket that attaches the table foot to the seating. Again this seems to have held up well.

The motorhome also comes with a large table which is designed to fit within the two imagesofas in the lounge. We selected the optional travel seats in the lounge and so have an L-shaped sofa. It means the legs of the table do not fit in the space without removing seats, very poor design. It does work well outside though! However, on Mariadz we have a teak table that we use either in the cockpit or the aft deck.  This fits perfectly and also fits in the storage A1746835-FBE8-425F-AEBB-456A6BEEC1FCarea at the back of the van. The only thing we need to do is move the locking bar that stops the table coming out when you are travelling or at the very least but something to heavy to block it.

The van comes with hooks on the back of the toilet door. This is always propped open because the shower was is used for the cat litter and they need access to it at all times. But we decide to add some additional hooks behind this door.

When we bought the van, 5DE7427A-1DB5-4266-81B7-CC80B6461C84we still had a cello 32in 12v TV in a box and rather than buying a new TV decided to fit this in the bedroom, it is a bit big but means you do get the full cinema experience in the bedroom 🙂 we also often use a bose  soundlink to provide the sound since the TV sound is quite poor.

The base of the Autotrail Tracker is a Fiat van. The cab of the original van is sealed from the rest of the van and in order for the doors to shut easily, there are ventilation holes under the passenger seat. In a motorhome, there is a lot more space and so the shutting of the door is not trying to compress the air in a small space, so this ventilation isn’t required. The problem with this ventilation in a motorhome is that it lets in a strong draft of air from the outside which makes the front of the van cold, since there is limited heating to the front of the van. 20180316_141031Fortunately, Fiat have the answer, there is a blanking plate (part number 1355707080) you can fit on the outside of the van replacing the ventilation and it stops the draft! You just have to remember to remove the panel that is there and put the blanking plate in the hole rather than treating it as a lid to the existing vent. 20180316_141026Bit of personal experience for you there. The alternative and low tech option is to cover the vent with tape to stop the valve opening!

I have also been told that setting the ventilation in the cab to recirculating also has an impact by shutting the vent between the engine bay and the cab.  I personally haven’t noticed this improvement but that may be because in the winter we often use an external thermal cover which covers the vents over the engine and we believe this keeps the engine bay warmer.  58F7D4A8-9401-44CE-93F0-1B54BEA4406EThis screen also provides insulation for the windscreen which can be a major loss of heat, although with the sun screens on the inside we find it better. The picture shows this fitted when we are buried in snow.

Finally, we had a problem with the sink in the kitchen where the waste came off the bottom of the sink.  This meant that the contents of the sink went into the van.  After taking apart the sink, we found that there was no jubilee clip holding the pipe onto the sink.  I have put one on to stop the pipe falling off again.

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