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Having Alko Atc Retro-fitted


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#1 Big Tim

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:59 PM

I am interested in getting the Alko ATS retro-fitted to my Bailey Senator Arizona. I made enquiries today and was rather amazed to hear that the only 2 options are:

(1) Take the caravan to Alko in Warwickshire 266 round trip for me from Merseyside. A round trip of at least 4.5 hours plus 3.5 hours fitting time. Cost 399.50. Earliest appointments May 27.

(2) A company called "Myriad" will come to my home and fit it for the snip of 550 - some mark-up. Earliest appointment 29 April.

What a choice??!!! I am amazed that Alko are not licensing other companies to fit this. Alko advise me that they have no plans to do this. This seems to be unashamed exploitation of the market situation with blatant price fixing and prevention of the operation of market forces to give a competitive price.

I am VERY DISAPPOINTED at this situation

Has anyone else had ATC retro-fitted to their caravan? What was the experience like?

#2 Dave E

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 07:04 PM

I had ATC fitted at the end of February. It was very easy but I did have to drive to Southam, Warwickshire (about 2 hours each way for me) and the actual fitting time took 2.5 hours, cost 400ish.

Someone did say that the cost is going up in April but I don't know what the new price is.

#3 Roger S

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 09:19 PM

I had ATC fitted at the end of February. It was very easy but I did have to drive to Southam, Warwickshire (about 2 hours each way for me) and the actual fitting time took 2.5 hours, cost 400ish.

Someone did say that the cost is going up in April but I don't know what the new price is.


Paul Jones the Marketing Manager of Alko states in "Atc Possible Failure?, Should I be worried?" that the offer price of 399 may change, I think he said, in early April.
Rog.

#4 LizB

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 08:11 AM

We had the same thoughts as you did Tim. We were told by Alko that from April the price would rise by around 60 to 70. When we worked out the difference in cost/time of travelling down to Southam and having the mobile firm come to storage for fitting even tho the mark up at the present time is 150 then it takes some of the sting out of there price.

#5 AL_KO

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:54 AM

Hello Big Tim,

I have read your comments regarding fitment of ATC and understand that in order for you to have ATC fitted, you have limited options available to you.

The reason that we have not engaged other companies to fit ATC on our behalf is down to the differences we encounter in the electrical systems on caravan models and how to approach the fitting of ATC to these vehicles. To ensure that ATC works correctly alongside other electrical equipment in the caravan, we have to be certain that wherever we take the power from, it will not cause a problem and prevent other electrical systems from working correctly. Until we are totally confident that we have an electrical connection solution that suits all applications, we would be acting irresponsibly if we allowed other companies to fit ATC without correct training and fitment instructions.

ATC is a safety product for your caravan and needs to be installed correctly to ensure that, if the worst should happen, the system works efficiently and without delay.

Regards,

Paul Jones
Marketing Manager
AL-KO Kober

#6 Big Tim

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:42 AM

Helllo Mr Jones

Thank you for your response to my posts

I am still puzzled!

I know that the Alko ATC system is being fitted to a number of new caravans, including Bailey. Presumably Bailey staff have been trained to fit these Myriad staff have, also, presumably been trained by Alko. Surely it would be possible for Alko to train and license a SMALL number of your authorised service centres to cover areas around Britain. This would provide a good service for your customers whilst allowing Alko to keep control of the fitting and performance of the units.

As you rightly say the options currently are extremely limited.

(1) I can arrange for Myriad to come to a location of my choice to fit the ATC. This would involve me either bringing my caravan home from its storage location and then returning it there. Two round trips of 30 miles each way or my travelling to the storage location to meet them. The latter would involve me in missing a day from my work. With petrol costs and loss of pay this would add nearly 200 to the Myriad quoted price of 550.

(2) I can travel to your Southam factory. This would again involve me in loosing a day's pay and the petrol costs and wear and tear on my car and caravan of the 266 return trip to your factory. This would again add costs of 200 (50%) to the cost of the ATC.

I realise that for many people who live even further from Southam than I do that the costs would be even greater.

I was advised by your staff at Southam that Alko have no plans to extend those licensed to fit the ATC units in the near future. Is this so?

I, also, hear from the caravan forums that the price of the ATC unit is set to rise April. Is this so and will this increase be added to both the Southam and the Myriad prices and what will they then be?

Presumably if there were any problems with the ATC after it had been fitted another journey to Southam would be necessary?

I DO APPRECIATE your willingness to offer support through this website and I hope that you will be willing to reply the issues raised above which are of vital interest to many people in the caravanning community.

I AM seriously considering having your ATC unit fitted to my caravan but I am discouraged by the present fitting solutions offered. The added costs of using Myriad or travelling to Southam are, for example, greater than I am paying for my return ferry trip to France this summer!!!

Thanks in anticipation.
Tim

#7 MauriceH

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:55 AM

I am in talks with the factory -- 42 miles -- -Miss Jane Longley - not far from me to get it fitted -- best I have got is 27th April -- I think I will (am) going to the factory ..

I tried my dealer - 10 miles -- and he said that they could organise it -- but they have to organise the parts then book the fitter etc etc -- once the parts are in.. even though they are a main dealer and Authorised Alko work shops... bit disappointed that they haven't "rolled out" the dealer network yet but from what Paul has said I can quite understand Alko's real concerns..

BUT it does open up a question...

If dealers do or Authorised service people do not fit them -- WHO will check and service them on the annual inspection??
What fitters or technicians will be trained at local level -- or will we have to get it checked by an outside agency?

I WILL want my ATC checked each year..as it is a part of the safety equipment.... hopefully on the service.



Maurice

#8 Scales

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 08:19 PM

Hi

If you want one at the current price, get in quick!

I had a letter from Al-Ko yesterday stating that the price will rise on April 2nd.

As long as you book an appointment before then for it fitted before the end of August they'll honour the 399.50 price.

You're now looking at late May/early June for the earliest available dates.

Lunar

#9 AL_KO

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 11:54 AM

Tim,

Thank you for your response.

To answer your points individually:

1) When ATC is fitted to a caravan at the point of manufacture, the wiring loom for the caravan includes the necessary wiring to run ATC. For a retrofit, we have to connect into the electrical system on the caravan in a different manner. We also need to ensure that the caravan electrics are in good working order in the first place, before connecting ATC. To date this has thrown up a number of issues, all of which have to be overcome before we let the vehicle back out onto the road. As a result we took the decision to control the fitment of ATC until we are happy that all of these potential problems have been overcome.

2) I appreciate that there are additional costs involved in either bringing the vehicle to Southam or alternatively arranging for CMI to come out and fit ATC. This was given great consideration prior to the launch of the product, but it comes back to the reasons above that due to the possibilities of incorrect fitment of the product, we had to take a responsible view and provide a service that would guarantee correct fitment of the ATC system, ensure that the unit worked correctly with the mechanical braking system on the caravan and was powered correctly without causing problems to the existing electrical system on the caravan.

The question is how much value do you put on your safety.

3) It is our intention that in the future, customers will be able to get ATC fitted at a local AL-KO approved Service Centre. This however wont be until we have given sufficient training to the Service Centres, enabling them to fit ATC correctly. As we have more than 170 Approved Service Centres, we would invite all our Service centres in for training. A timeframe for this to happen has not been agreed to date.

4) At the present time, if a problem arises with an ATC Unit in the field, we will arrange to send one of our Service Engineers out to evaluate and remedy the problem. This will be carried out in the same way as we deal with any service issue.

5) As a final point, the price of the fitment of ATC, when carried out by AL-KO at our factory in Southam, will be increased to 470.00 including VAT and fitting from April 2nd. We currently have bookings into July and if we receive your booking before April 2nd for a fitment between now and August 31st, we will charge the 399.50 currently being quoted. The 399.50 price was the introductory offer price for ATC for fitment by AL-KO set last year.

Tim, I appreciate you taking the time to comment on ATC and I hope you understand the reasons behind controlling the fitment of ATC, I can assure you that these steps have been taken to ensure that when a customer has ATC fitted to their caravan, that it will work correctly and take control when it is most needed. Above all else, ATC is a safety product that is there to protect you and your family.

If you would like to discuss this further Tim, please feel free to contact me on 01926 818500.

Kind regards,

Paul Jones

#10 MauriceH

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:04 PM

~~~~
3) It is our intention that in the future, customers will be able to get ATC fitted at a local AL-KO approved Service Centre. This however wont be until we have given sufficient training to the Service Centres, enabling them to fit ATC correctly. As we have more than 170 Approved Service Centres, we would invite all our Service centres in for training. A timeframe for this to happen has not been agreed to date.

4) At the present time, if a problem arises with an ATC Unit in the field, we will arrange to send one of our Service Engineers out to evaluate and remedy the problem. This will be carried out in the same way as we deal with any service issue.
~~~ please feel free to contact me on 01926 818500.
Kind regards,
Paul Jones

Thanks for that long and detailed reply Paul.. most appreciated..

However -- I am wondering about MY question in a previous post

If dealers do or Authorised service people do not fit them -- WHO will check and service them on the annual inspection??
What fitters or technicians will be trained at local level -- or will we have to get it checked by an outside agency?

I WILL want my ATC checked each year..as it is a part of the safety equipment.... hopefully on the service.


I don't know if your points in paras 3 -4 cover this?? could you clarify please..

Maurice

#11 AL_KO

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:15 PM

Fibre,

ATC is a non-serviceable product. The unit is sealed and should not be opened up. If a failure to ATC should occur then you as the customer should contact AL-KO directly, if the instructions in the handbook do not provide a suitable solution.

When your 'van is in for service, the dealer should check the mechanical braking system and adjust if necessary. If for example the brake-rod needs to be replaced, we will provide the necessary information to the service centre to allow them to connect the new brake rod to ATC's push rod.

There is no reason to have a Service Centre unscrew the cover of ATC, and any evidence of such practice will void any warranty of the product.

Hope this helps?

Paul

#12 MauriceH

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:23 PM

precise and to the point -- thanks Paul

Maurice

#13 AL_KO

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:41 PM

I can be sometimes Maurice. :lol:

Have a great easter.

Paul

#14 Big Tim

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:48 PM

Hi Paul

Thanks for your comprehensive reply.

I am VERY safety conscious and I am VERY interested in having the ATC fitted to my caravan. Your information regarding sending out an engineer to deal with any problems to fitted to ATC units is encouraging.

I will have to give some thought as to the best and least inconvenient/least costly way of getting the ATC fitted to my 'van.

May I, also, take the opportunity to ask. Is the 13pin Euro connector preferable for fitting the ATC as I am just about to get my new tow car fitted with a towbar and have to decide on whether to have twin (N&S Sockets) or the 13 pin set up.

Thanks again for your response.

Tim

#15 AL_KO

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:58 PM

Tim,

ATC works well with both twin 7 pin and 13 pin electrics. As all caravans for 2009 model year will be 13 pin electrics, having 13 pin electrics on your towcar would 'future-proof' you when purchasing a new 'van.

A lot of customers who have travelled a long distance to have ATC fitted, have combined a weekend away in Warwickshire and booked their 'van in to have ATC fitted on the Friday or Monday.

Enjoy your Easter weekend!

Paul

#16 MauriceH

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 02:38 PM

I can be sometimes Maurice. :lol:

Have a great easter.

Paul

Paul-- Hope you all have a great and peaceful Easter too..
When are you all back at work in Southam?
I would like to confirm with Jane dates and times et..

Maurice

#17 AL_KO

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 08:27 AM

Morning Maurice,

Did you have a pleasant weekend?

We are back in the office today (Tuesday).

Regards,

Paul

#18 Big Tim

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 11:08 AM

Hi Folks

Booked to have caravan fitted with ATC by Miriad (sp?) on 4 June at home for 550. Rather expensive but the cost of getting to Alko at Southam including missing a day's work would have added up to even more. Having 'van serviced on 3 June and Alko shocks and wiring upgraded to 13 pin too. Looks like an expensive week!!!!

Best wishes
Tim

#19 Tigger

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 02:40 PM

A lot of customers who have travelled a long distance to have ATC fitted, have combined a weekend away in Warwickshire and booked their 'van in to have ATC fitted on the Friday or Monday.


If you're looking for a site, I recommend Somers Wood (adults only) in Meriden. Not far from the NEC if there's a show there you fancy.

#20 MauriceH

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 09:13 PM

Just had a call -- they can't do mine now as they are well over booked -- will have to wait till the END of June --

I think they could do with setting up more fitting lines -- 13 weeks is a long time to wait.. sorry Paul...

great idea -- but - as much as I want one ..... if I am paying~~ 400 -- I don't like to be kept waiting... for three months..

Maurice




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