Burstner a576-2 water damaged (bottom) exterior underfloor and side walls - a cautionary tale

Apr 20, 2014
Hello !
I own a burstner (2003) A576-2 (6 berth) MH, my first purchase ! Subsequent to purchasing the vehicle (private sale) I discovered that the Exterior underfloor (double floored) was damaged significantly by water.
This damage was brought to my attention by my MH service agent ( who originally imported the vehicle into Ireland from Germany and carried out a full habitation check at the time of the sale in 2007 to its first irish owner ( I became the second owner). This MH service provider ( one of the best in Ireland ) advised me that the original construction technique of affixing the exterior aluminium side skirts when finishing the build was the culprit and that several burstner vehicles ( usually older models ) had presented with the same issue.
I wrote to customer service at burstner with the following letter and details:-
Thank you for your reply.
Perhaps you have missed the emphasis on the information outlined in my previous email.((SEE BELOW IN THIS POST))
Firstly my Motorhome, to the best of my knowledge, has not been involved in an accident or suffered any damage leading to or in relation to this issue.
Also, this Burstner Model A576-2 Chassis no.... / Identity No...... was imported into Ireland in 2007 then aged 4yrs from date of manufacture, with one careful German owner from new, and subsequently bought in Ireland having received a Habitation check by the Motorhome agent before sale.
The issue once again is, that the production/assembly method used in the construction and final finishing of the exterior of my Motorhome, and others, has been found to be the problem. In an attempt to provide an aesthetically pleasing and hidden fixing method for the aluminium Side panels/skirts, the consequences of fixing the panels using a fixing flange on the inside of the panels/skirts which was then positioned along the bottom of the structure walls, followed by the most serious and detrimental production error, that of driving screws vertically up through this flange through the sealant and into the structure walls has caused structural damage and seriously undermined the integrity of the vehicle.
Had the screws been driven horizontally through the aluminium side panels/skirts this issue would not exist.
Further a habitation check within the time frame outlined by you, that of 5 yrs, would not necessarily find or discover this problem, as the issue most likely would not have reached the stage of ageing and deterioration of the sealant as experienced on older vehicles similar to mine.
It is through continued ageing that the production method used has shown its weakness and seriously undermined the longevity of the motorhome.
The problem ( a ticking time bomb) was not apparent then.
I have since been informed by the MH agent , that this very issue with the construction method used, has also been found on a number of Burstner Motor home vehicles in Ireland of a similar age and model type, and that these have had restorative and corrective work done for this exact problem. There is currently one other Burstner vehicle with Maynooth Motor Homes of a similar age and model as mine with the exact same damage.
This issue with similarly aged Burstner vehicles produced cannot be confined to Ireland.
I will forward onto you photographic evidence of the construction method used and it's consequences.
I would ask that Burstner consider the above carefully and consider moving towards a satisfactory conclusion for us both, whereby Burstner can protect its brand Name, without admitting liability for the method used.
I look forward to your reply.

On 26 Nov 2013, at 11:51, buerstner.com> wrote:
Hello ...
Thank you for your email below. You have not indicated the chassis number of your vehicle. Nevertheless, you say that the vehicle is 10 years old. You have explained some problems with the vehicle which we do not know from other customers.
If it is an assembly method problem then there would be several thousand vehicles out there with the same problem..
Have the annual habitation checks been carried out? Has the vehicle been involved in an accident?
If this was, indeed, a manufacturing fault it would have been brought to light during the first 5 years and repaired under warranty if the necessary checks had been carried out.
Also the dealer from whom you bought the vehicle should have seen the problem and rectified it before sale.
If it was bought privately this is the risk involved.
To sum up, please understand that Bürstner cannot be held responsible at this age of vehicle.

Yours sincerely

Bürstner GmbH
Elsäßerstraße 80
D-77694 Kehl-Neumühl / Rhein
Fon: +49 7851 85 - 228
Fax: +49 7851 855 - 22
Web: www.buerstner.com

Gesendet: Dienstag, 19. November 2013 12:26
Re: AW: WG: Ask a question at www.buerstner.de - production/assembly method leading to water damage - 2003 Burstner 576-2 Active
Hello , it is with less joy than our last conversation that I return to you concerning a problem discovered during a habitation check on my recently purchased 2003 Burstner 576-2 Active motor home.
It has been discovered; along with some Fiat parts requiring replacement - corrosion; that my Motorhome service agent' has discovered a serious problem with my motorhome, reported to me as a serious production method issue, where the (bottom) aluminium side panels/skirts are attached in such a manner as to accentuate the ingress of water in the vehicle structure whereby the trapped water is being held on the securing lip of the panels.
The original production method would appear to have used a sealant applied between the bottom edge of the motorhome body walls and the securing aluminium side panel lip/edge, followed by fixing screws driven vertically from below the aluminium panel up into the wall of the structure and through the sealant used.
Yes the vehicle is 10 years old, and the sealant used is believed to have been sub standard and is now brittle and fracturing as the vehicle flexes. The sealant is now acting as a trap and holding water which is being then being drawn up vertically by the fixing screws into the walls/ structure.
This production method has finally shown its weakness and has caused considerable damage to the bottom exterior under floor in several places, particularly where the structure wall is next to the exterior underfloor.
I have been supplied with a solution from a MH service agent which entails taking all aluminium side panels off, cutting away the damaged exterior underfloor and or structure wall locations and replacing with flooring/ wall material, resealing the bottom edges of the structure Walls and providing a fixing method that will prevent the problem recurring.
The exterior under floor will then require waterproofing and sealing.
Currently this corrective work is estimated at over €2000, and has yet to be finally determined upon full inspection of the structure walls for hidden water damage.
This damage assessment can be forwarded to you with more technical information as you may request from MaynoothMotorHome service team backed up with photographic evidence.
Can you please pass the above information on to your customer service technical department for their information and may I request the following also;
That Burstner.de consider the implications of the production method used and the financial cost to customers upon discovery.
Will Burstner.de consider covering the cost of repair or at least contributing.
It is agreed, that although the manufacturers warranty may have elapsed, the good name of Burstner Vehicles is at stake.
Currently this issue is not in the public domain, but would have a detrimental impact on public confidence in considering purchasing Burstner vehicles, whether new or used should it become so.
I am willing to work with Burstner on the issue and look forward to a favourable outcome.
May I just mention that before I purchased my Burstner vehicle, that I was very impressed with the brand, but sadly was unaware of the issue outlined above.
Also I was super impressed with the speed with which I received the owners manual in English from your customer service and in particular the assistance received.
It is which this knowledge that I write this email.
Jan 27, 2013
Hi and welcome to the forum!
While I have great sympathy that you have a water ingress problem with your 11 year old Burstner, it would be unreasonable for you to expect any financial help toward the cost of repair from the manufacturer. There have been a number of prior owners, both in Germany and in Ireland and it would be impossible to guarantee that the integrity of the origional build had not been compromised at some time in its earlier life.
Surely ,if you had an annual habitation check, you have a greater claim against your service agent for failing to uncover this problem before you were faced with an expensive repair. It was a private sale ,I believe, and you had a check to make sure all was well prior to handing over your dosh. It would thus be reasonable to assume that the water ingress happened while the van was in your stewardship.


Jul 28, 2011
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A friend of ours has an 03 registered Burstner 530 and had damp problems in the floor last year. We have an 03 registered t625 Harmony and found damp in the rear offside corner (locker) last August. Seemingly the cause was failure of sealant round fixing screws in each case.
When we had our hab check in January there were odd spots reading high for damp which turned out to be sealant round roof/wall joints cracking.
In all these cases the problems were fixable and neither our friend or we blamed Burstner - sealant does dry and shrink over the years, epecially in a vehicle where it is being flexed much of the time. We are treating it as part of normal maintenance.
Apr 20, 2014
Hello !
And thank you for your reply.
while I agree that the vehicle is 11 yrs old and without reservation accept that the design of Motorhomes involves considerable flexing during its life, for example the (inspection) resealing of joints every 3-5 yrs would be considered wise and should be covered by a habitation check(s), the problem discovered ( the exterior under floor/wall protection ) problem is I believe endemic to the lack of manuafacturer/construction finishing and protection provided.
All of the sealant in these locations has turned brittle and is has fallen away.
If the finishing method (to attach the side skirts ) had used a different method other than the one used to attach the side skirts to the lower sidewalls, I would be a very happy Burstner MH owner.
And may I say that the overall quality of the build is very high as you would expect from a German build, it was perhaps this expectation that something as basic as this would not be an issue.
We should all learn from the mistakes of the past, however the first important thing is too acknowledge that a mistake has occured!!
So buyer beware !
I am about to embark on what could be a costly fix/repair, however I am still The proud owner of my first MH, for now!
If any of you have a similar problem with a burstner of this vintage I would like to hear from you :)
Regards and thank you.



Jul 28, 2011
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I forgot to mention that problems can happen relatively quickly.
When our van had its damp check in January 2013 there was no sign at all, then we found the back corner problem in August.
When the corner problem was fixed there were no signs of damp elsewhere but then the isolated spots were found this January.
In addition to having the problems fixed I've now done some preventative maintenance on other seals and will keep a regular check on things going forward.
Apr 20, 2014
H2O is a common enemy !
Although we can't live without it !
we try to defend ourselves against its unwanted intrusion...I have my work cut out for me :)

thanks for your insight and experience


Sep 15, 2021
This may come a bit late, but I have owned 2 burstnrr a576-2, the first dating from 2001, the second 2003.
They both had the issues described by you.
The previous owner rebought the 1st one after 3 months, as the repair costs were too high.
I bought the 2nd one after the floor had been changed by a specialist and it cost 4000 euros to the previous owner.
The original screws in the side panels were the cause of the trouble.


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