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machone

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About machone

  • Rank
    New to the board

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Netherlands
  • Towcar
    W203
  • Caravan
    Bailey Unicorn Vigo

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  1. machone

    Roof strap leak

    Update to the above and my Bailey Unicorn Vigo: When the temperature increased a little the sealant hardened and the repair worked. I have lived in the caravan for the last year and it has coped admirably. As I write I am on my way south with it possibly to sell, as I am taking a break from my time North. There follows a quick list of things I liked and things I did not like about the caravan. As a commuter I did not want to spend hours ‘tinkering’ but equally I have not towed it very much. Liked: Windows - double glazed, clear, easy to clean and lots of them making the space feel bigger than it is. Heating - Aldi. Having lived with blown air heating this is far superior and coped just fine with two Arctic winters. Water - If it wasn’t for the walk to the tap to empty and refill this behaved just like a domestic system. Fridge - big fridge freezer brilliant for residential/commuter use. Motor mover - Did Not know I needed one of these until I had it! Essential for lone manouvring, especially in snowy conditions. Isabella winter awning - recommend from this site, this coped with all conditions and did no damage to the caravan. Did not like: Matress - this ‘sank’ and I am average weight and height. Not comfortable and would have been replaced if I had stayed longer. Leak - See above but had the potential of ruining the van and bad support from Bailey. Floor - not well insulated for Arctic conditions and interesting that caravans made in the North have heated floors. Better insulation would have helped. Fittings - some of the plastic catches would benefit from being heavier built, the side locker is taped shut to prevent it flapping open in a strong breeze. Toilet - if the thetford cassette is not clipped in properly there is some horrible cleaning up ahead! No drain in the compartment is a very strange thing. Overall, the van served my purpose and kept me warm and dry in some horrible conditions, probably worse than it was designed for. It was towed through mountain passes through snow and hail through several countries and with different tow vehicles. Would I recommend it? Yes, but be prepared for a little diy here and there.
  2. machone

    Roof strap leak

    Update - back at the caravan and unhappily my repair did not work so still leaking. What a pain.
  3. machone

    Roof strap leak

    Thanks Trelfa, I am back there in a few days when I will find out if my fix worked -the sealant should have set but did not by the time I left. I sealed around the end caps. If it hasn’t worked I will attempt to take the end caps off and do as you describe. For those who have not suffered a leak it is a ‘big deal’ in that it has the potential to ruin your caravan if left. A three year old, otherwise great(and expensive) caravan ruined through a simple fault whether design or manufacture is not a relaxing thing. ..unless you are rich. Would I have been happy with the caravan without the leak? Yes. Does it leak? Yes. I will only be happy with it again when I am confident it isn’t attempting to destroy itself.
  4. machone

    Roof strap leak

    Just an update. I had put silicon(see below) along the strap and around the ends. I chose this brand as they had a display sealing a joint of almost the same material as the caravan construction. Because the temperature is low here it is taking a while to dry but once it has I will go over it with bedding tape. There may be a problem removing it but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. As for reaching the middle I just spread my weight and I believe Bailey once advertised their construction by parking a car on the roof of one of their vans. I know it isn’t the neatest of jobs but I was concentrating on getting the sealant to bridge the gap between the strap and the roof rather than anything else. Wrt Bailey is worse than Swift or Eldis or Knaus: My choice was determined partly by price and part by heat retention - I believe Bailey has one of the best insulated vans in the business, at least that was what I was told and it certainly hasn’t let me get cold. The Alde wet central heating is fantastic - I will never go for blown air again. As mentioned before, weight was key and the Unicorn was lighter than the Swift. Until the leak I was very happy with the caravan. My first trip with it I towed it a long way with no problems. I had a comfortable couple of weekends in it with my Wife and dog and it has kept me warm over a consistant double minus figure winter with only external tank freezing issues(solved with insulation). I find it comfortable, apart from the mattress which I can replace. I like the layout and the quality of the fittings aren’t too bad. The kitchen is great(could do with an extractor) and the whole van is light and bright with plenty of lotion and potion and nicnac space! Three colleagues have caravans and they are various continental manufacturers, one is a Knaus. None of them have leaked. They had similar purchase price but were older and heavier. I would say the fit is dated but the materials are slightly better. Its a personal choice. However, if it leaks or cannot keep you warm or protected from the elements it is the proverbial chocolate teapot. I will fix the leak, one way or another but I paid a lot of money for the caravan. I did not expect that something only 3 years old and of such simple construction would force me to crawl all over the roof up to my elbows in sealant to stop it becoming damp and rotten after just a few months of ownership! To find that this has happened to let’s say even a few others owning the same type is to me, unacceptable. For me, just amongst my International caravan owning colleagues it is something I am ashamed of.
  5. machone

    Roof strap leak

    Thanks for the replies. I have contacted the dealer and they would repair it but it is a long way back so not economical - over 1000miles and 2 ferries. They have agreed to pay for the new parts and I will fit it myself but then become responsible for water ingress to that part of the van. No rain predicted until Tuesday so it is drying now and I will go to town with the bedding silicon and tape next week. I tried tilting the van but the water still pools in that area and the joints stop it running off. Duct tape was ineffective last night but water dripping is not the only problem: My mattress is very uncomfortable, is this a common problem and can it be fixed? It has sort of collapsed internally.
  6. machone

    Roof strap leak

    Hi New to this forum but not a Troll. Not a caravan enthusiast but bought a Unicorn Vigo 2016 in October. Was advised by the dealer to go for a Swift but my tow car couldn’t manage the weight and the Vigo was just in. I bought it to live in while at work in North North Europe. Until last week I was very happy with it: Great Layout for one/two people and fully functional kitchen and bathroom. .comfortable and light and over the winter months the Aldi central heating kept me warm. However, The cold dry has disappeared and has been replaced by rain. Last week I was rudely awoken by dripping on my forehead from a leak in the(now I read here and elsewhere notorious) roof strap leak. I have attempted to fix it with tape but it has been raining all day and the water pools in that area and it is leaking again. Does anybody have any tips on an effective short term fix? I can’t believe the appalling attitude from Bailey who charge for parts from a third party and only if you are a service agent. ....for a design fault! As I’m abroad it isn’t cost effective to drag it all the way back and I’ve only had the van up here 4 months. ‘Do they have caravans there’ was one comment from Bailey. I am worried the damp will ruin the van by being soaked up into the one/two piece fiberboard. Can somebody advise on whether this is the case? I am really disappointed. I wanted to buy British and for a few months I was very pleased but this design fault is unacceptable and even more so the parochial attitude of one of the largest caravan manufacturers in the country. Part of the reason for posting is to prevent others making the same mistake. The caravan is a significant investment for me and the plan was for cost effective work accommodation. If I can’t fix the leak and the caravan is damaged it will be a miserable fail. A great layout van but no good whatsoever if it does not fulfill the basic warm and dry fundamentals.
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