Loose Roof Skin on a Swift Charisma 540.

by Stuart Manifold
(Cheltenham Glos. UK)

Is it normal to have a caravan roof that rattles and drums in a wind? On our Swift Charisma 540, it wakes us up at night, and I'm concerned that the constant movement will cause the aluminium skin to fracture at some future stage outside the warranty period. Swift now are now saying this is a normal design feature to allow for thermal expansion, although at first I was told the roof skin might require re-tensioning? Any help or advice would be welcome. Thanks.

We have never heard of this before! As you have already spoken to Swift, the only other suggestion we can offer is that you take it to your local dealer to have a look and get their opinion.

Can anyone else help Stuart or has anyone suffered with the same problem on their caravan? Please let us know.

Comments for Loose Roof Skin on a Swift Charisma 540.

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Oct 13, 2016
Roof noise problem
by: Anonymous

Yes Stuart we have banging in the roof of our caravan, so we returned it to the supplier and they said they had fixed it.

We have just returned from a holiday and we had the same problem.

Jan 24, 2012
Horrendous roof noise on 3 year old Abbey GTS 416
by: Mr & Mrs B!

Love our Abbey caravan and had no problems (apart from replacement blinds). Then in October of last year there was a slight clanking noise in any breezy weather ! could not work out where the noise was coming from. By the end of October and going into November the noise was getting worse and we were not getting any sleep. Discovered the noise is coming from the roof and can visibly see it rippling in the wind. It is so bad now that we get no sleep even in breezy weather. Caravan about to go in for service and is still under warranty so waiting to see what our dealer has to report.

Is there anyone else out there with the same problem and, if so, how have you gone on with getting it sorted. We are so disappointed and worried that we may struggle to get our problem sorted. Although our dealership is brilliant. watch this space !

Nov 02, 2011
Loose Roof Skin
by: Eddie

Hi all, My wife & I recently bought a second hand Lunar Lexon 640 EB (2001 model). It took me a while to find what was rattling in the wind, at first I thought it was the large flat panel on the back of the van where there would normally be a window in a non island bed. I decided to drill this and the wall behind it and bolt a couple of brackets on it to take the outside clothes rail unit. I ended up having to drill right through the inner wall skin as well and fit Tee nuts to take the nylon bolts I was using. During this process I took the opportunity to squirt plenty of Gorilla glue into the outer skin bolt holes before bolting it up. Incidently, the inner wall is made up of a plywood inner skin laminated with Polystyrene foam and then a layer of paper on the outside.

THE RATTLE DIDN'T STOP!!! After much re-tracing the noise, it seemed to be coming from the roof, on inspection it was found to be just that. I have to say that Judy & I are a weeeeeee bit disappointed to discover this as the guy who sold us the van was extremely reassuring that he knew of no major problems with the van.

I know I can fix it OK with Gorrilla glue and patch the holes after as I doubt very much that Lunar Caravans will show any interest at all on a van of that age. But what a setback when one has just paid good money for a second hand van. We realise that when you buy second hand, there is always something slightly amiss, but this is a stunner.

Jun 12, 2011
Loose Swift Charisma roof skin problem.
by: Stuart Manifold

Since my last post dated February 6th 2011, Swift have repaired my caravan roof, by fitting a new roof skin, and awning rails. Visually,the work seems to have been completed to an "as new" specification, and there is obviously much less movement in the new aluminium skin. I am pretty confident that the roof will no longer rattle or drum in a wind, but I will need to live with the situation for this season before I'm sure. Again I will report back with a final verdict in a few months time. It seem to me that manufactures can be persuaded to do the right thing if you have a valid point, and are simply prepared to keep complaining. I stongly suggest that anyone with a similar problem insists that Swift sort it out.
I now have to start a campaign with regard to some very poor fridge installation designs which my van and others seem to be "stuck" with, which in the case of the Thetford fridge exhaust system may well be dangerous, as it clearly lets fumes back into the living area. More of this later.

Feb 06, 2011
Roof skin problems Swift Charisma540.
by: Stuart.

Ref my comments made on october 3rd 2010, Swift have now agreed to recall my caravan, and sort out the loose roof skin problem.My dealer, Golden castle Caravans, has helped me to achieve this new level of response from Swift which has been very useful,so lets hope that Swift will make a decent job of the roof, returning it in "as new" condition. My van is being returned to Swift on the 21st March this year. I will post a new comment when I have had it returned.

Oct 03, 2010
Swift Charisma 540 roof problem.
by: Stuart

October 3rd 2010.
I'm still doing battle with Swift, through my dealer. They have at least agreed to look at the problem again. I now have a video of the roof moving all over the place on a breezy day, which provides pretty good evidence of just how bad the problem is. Yes it is a poor design using an unbonded roof, especially when the tolerances are all wrong ! I guess they can work if everthing is set up right in the first place. Interestingly this good "design" feature is not a feature of the latest up market Swift range. I will let you all know if Swift are prepared to rectify the problem before next season.

Jun 21, 2010
Swift Conqueror - Loose Roof Skin
by: steve


I bought a 2010 Swift Conqueror and I've had loads of problems inc the roof. Swift have said the same to me that the roof is designed like this but 2 dealers have said its not right, you only have to look at it to see it can't be right, I have 2 x 6ft air pockets under my roof with 1" to 2" of gap underneath, all I can say is buying a new van is a joke and don't buy one, once they have your money they are not bothered.

Feb 27, 2010
Roof Noise
by: john

Hi, I have a 2005 Swift Suntor and the roof skin drums in the wind. I got up to look at it only to discover the over-cab section very loose and wobbly. I think its supposed to be like that but it wakes you in the night when its windy, its a bad design.

Dec 15, 2009
Loose roof skin
by: Richard Tomlin

Yes I have seen this - it was about 25 years ago on a Panther caravan, you could stand outside & watch the front of the roof ripple in the wind it sounded like a Rolf Harris woggle board ?
(the owner sold the caravan )

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Bailey Senator Oklahoma Roof Noise

by Jon

I have a noise like crinkling paper coming from the rear of the caravan when its windy. I assume its the GRP rubbing on the insulation. The trouble is its so noisy in the night it keeps you awake. Has anyone else had a similar problem?

Thanks for that question Jon. Actually we have noticed a sound like this on our Bailey Senator Indiana when its windy and have never worked out what it was! It was never noisy enough to keep us awake though!

Does anyone have any suggestions for Jon?

Comments for Bailey Senator Oklahoma Roof Noise

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Mar 17, 2010
Bailey Senator Oklahoma
by: Tricky

I wonder if it is the paper blackout on the sunroof in the bedroom?
Sometimes in windy conditions you get a vacuum effect if the sunroof is open or on vent.
I get this quite often in my 2003 Oklahoma.

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