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I’m writing in the vain hope that the current crop of caravan manufacturers occasionally read what their customers write. we all spend our hard earned pennies buying your caravans, I fully understand that you have to make a return on every caravan you sell. This then allows you to pay overheads and reinvest in our tomorrow’s must have caravan. Most of what you produce are perfectly acceptable, however the fact remains you are judged on the failures. When things go wrong we need to know it will be fixed in a timely manner. your dealer networks can be great, however take a lesson from the car industry, if your appointed dealer lets down their customers, either by not doing what both you and us expect then remove them. Stop them selling your products. Invest in a small team of customer service representatives, who can help us out. We judge you not just on your products but also your “preferred dealers” many years ago I had a damp problem with a new Avondale, the dealer identified the issue, informed Avondale of the facts, Avondale collected the caravan from the dealer, and from that point on I had regular updates from Avondale direct. Van was out of my hands for 3 weeks and returned in perfect condition. People are waiting 10-12 weeks for repairs. This is causing missed holidays and stress for them. They have allowed you to make the profits you do, so come on give a bit back to us, treat us with respect, I have paid more than some of workers earn in a year for the wobbly box that you’ve promised will be my utopia, and yet you treat me with total contempt when something goes wrong. All we ask is that it does what it says on the tin I’m available to set up that dedicated customer care unit, if you don’t know how to do it
Replacing the electrical supply plug between the tow car and caravan Well, I have to start this story by confessing to being a real newbie to caravanning and lacking, somewhat, in common sense. Some, I hope will find comfort in reading of my journey, and will learn from it. I bought a caravan, a Bailey 400/2 for my wife and I to go touring in our old age (this fact might explain a lot). We had visited the showroom and selected the caravan and the date for collection was agreed. So off we set to collect out new caravan. When we got to the dealer’s place and set about connecting the caravan to our car “Bang”, problem number one, (there’s more to come), my car only had a standard seven-pin trailer plug, while the caravan had a 13 pin plug. Oops! Pity no one had thought to mention this when we had agreed the pick-up date of collection. (Remember we are newbie’s and knew nothing!) However, not to worry, the salesman dashed off to the onsite supply shop and came back with an adaptor which allowed our seven pin plug to engage with the 13 pin on the caravan and this would give as all the essential lights and signals to get out new ‘pride and joy’ home. I offered to return this adaptor but he said not to bother, nor did he bother to show us the vital information about connecting this plug which was to give us so much grief thereafter.(I have priced this same adapter and it comes in at £34). So off we set for home and that was fine. The next problem arose when I tried to disconnect the 13-pin plug from its mate. All you experienced 13 pin plug caravan owners will know that this requires a simple 45–degree ‘twist’ to release the mechanism. But if you have only ever been a seven pin plug user where to make the contact you have to accurately line up the pins, the concept of a 45 degree did not enter my mind. So we pushed and shoved and levered and it was only by disintegrating the plug that we discovered the principal of the 45-degree rotation. (Expletive removed ny Admin) I took my car back to the dealer who had fitted the seven pin plug and asked him to change the 7pin plug for the modern 13 pin plug which he did at a cost plus VAT. He then discovered that when the installation was almost complete there was another wire (which I think was optional) but was only mentioned late on in the fitting instructions and could I bring the car back at a later date to have this wire installed (I think it’s to do with keeping the fridge working while on the road) but who knows for sure, another bill and VAT to the government just to get on the road. So after the battle of trying to disengage the 13-pin plug and the damage to it, I decided to replace the caravan 13-pin plug. I looked in Halfords but opted for a local caravan supply company and purchased the required plug. “great”, or so I thought. I unscrewed the old 13-pin point by point. (In hindsight –a great thing- I should have noted each colour to each pin) but don’t worry I will reveal all to you here. I made the mistake of assuming that the wiring diagram that came with the plug was the one I should follow. This was fine up to a point when “bang two” the colour of the caravan wiring did not match the wiring diagram that came with the plug. (Second epletive removed by Admin). I went on line and all the information seemed to agree with the plug supplier. The Bailey Owners handbook gives you a helpful sketch of the plug and its pins ‘all helpfully numbered as to their function’ but no information as to which colour of wire should connect to which pin. Trolls of the internet revealed nothing, including Bailey’s web site, and you think ‘how hard can it be to get basic information. In the end I phoned the service department of my caravan supplier who were very helpful and gave me the information as follows: Pin 1 yellow Pin 2 blue Pin 3 white Pin 4 green Pin 5 brown Pin 6 red Pin 7 black Pin 8 pink (looks orange) Pin 9 brown/blue looks pink/blue Pin 10 green/white Pin 12 spare (like me) Pin 13 white I have been on to Bailey’s asking why they did not give a wiring colour code in their User Manual – but who knows???