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Buccaneer Clipper 2012 - Cracking Around The Near Side Front Window


BuccaneerChairman
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Hi,

 

I have a Buccaneer Clipper 2012, and have discovered cracking around the near side front window. The cracks extend at 45 deg from the top left and bottom right corners. I have informed Elddis and sent them photographs. However I have not had a reply so far.

 

My questions are :-

 

1 Has anyone else experienced this type of cracking?

 

2 How and who did you get to rectify the problem?

 

Alex

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Hi,

 

I have a Buccaneer Clipper 2012, and have discovered cracking around the near side front window. The cracks extend at 45 deg from the top left and bottom right corners. I have informed Elddis and sent them photographs. However I have not had a reply so far.

 

My questions are :-

 

1 Has anyone else experienced this type of cracking?

 

2 How and who did you get to rectify the problem?

 

Alex

 

Is it the window that has cracked or the side panel?

 

IS this relevant to you http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/74201-crusader-supercyclone-side-panel-crack-pls-reassure/

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Hi BC. Do you mean like this ? Albeit this is on an aluminium NS skin on a 2001 Elddis Crusader SuperSirocco.

This had been an issue that has been/was totally denied since early 2000 when Elddis/The Explorer Group repositioned the entrance door from behind the axles to the forward position.

The cracking was on the longer single axle caravans and on certain twin axle caravans across the ranges.

I was of the belief that it had 'Gone Away' with the introduction of SoLiD construction albeit SoLiD was introduced in August 2012.

 

There was a great-deal on CT about this issue some few years ago albeit all/if not most posts were locked and or deleted and some were completely removed.

One post that was started by a CT member reach 420+ replies/responses.

There is a great-deal about it on Google including some of the locked and or deleted posts.

 

Is your a Pre SoLiD model ?

 

post-71536-0-30042400-1447528435_thumb.jpg

Life in general can be a journey of chance with some winners and sadly some losers. Your outfit can never be left to chance. A short-while carrying out essential checks can ensure a long-time of happy & safe caravanning for all concerned.
Ignorance can often be bliss but is certainly not an excuse and when continually disregarded they can be totally disastrous for oneself and the innocent parties.

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Hi BC. Do you mean like this ? Albeit this is on an aluminium NS skin on a 2001 Elddis Crusader SuperSirocco.

This had been an issue that has been/was totally denied since early 2000 when Elddis/The Explorer Group repositioned the entrance door from behind the axles to the forward position.

The cracking was on the longer single axle caravans and on certain twin axle caravans across the ranges.

I was of the belief that it had 'Gone Away' with the introduction of SoLiD construction albeit SoLiD was introduced in August 2012.

 

There was a great-deal on CT about this issue some few years ago albeit all/if not most posts were locked and or deleted and some were completely removed.

One post that was started by a CT member reach 420+ replies/responses.

There is a great-deal about it on Google including some of the locked and or deleted posts.

 

Is your a Pre SoLiD model ?

 

attachicon.gif21022011758. jpg

Hi AWL,

 

Mine is not Solid construction. I was aware of cracking on the aluminium panels. I am interested to know if mine is a unique issue to GRP panels?

 

When making Elddis aware my engineer had to inspect the van to verify I had not hit anything. I then as requested submitted photos. That was a fortnight ago, with no response.

 

So probably I will have to deal with this myself. Unless I can show this is a more general fault.

 

Thank you for your input.

 

Alex

Edited by BuccaneerChairman
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Hi AWL,

 

Mine is not Solid construction. I was aware of cracking on the aluminium panels. I am interested to know if mine is a unique issue to GRP panels?

 

When making Elddis aware my engineer had to inspect the van to verify I had not hit anything. I then as requested submitted photos. That was a fortnight ago, with no response.

 

So probably I will have to deal with this myself. Unless I can show this is a more general fault.

 

Thank you for your input.

 

Alex

 

If they state it is "accident" damage even though you know it is not, submit a claim to your insurance company claiming accidental damage due to hitting a pothole. The insurance company should send out an assessor to verify and if the assesor says not accident damage, then the dealership will have a lot of difficulty proving otherwise. Plus side is that the caravan is assessed for free by a professional!

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If they state it is "accident" damage even though you know it is not, submit a claim to your insurance company claiming accidental damage due to hitting a pothole. The insurance company should send out an assessor to verify and if the assesor says not accident damage, then the dealership will have a lot of difficulty proving otherwise. Plus side is that the caravan is assessed for free by a professional!

Hi DT,

 

Now that's an idea. LOL

 

Alex

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To go with what DeltaTlowner said about an independent assessor, if your van is on finance, get in touch with them and they will also send out an independent engineer to check your van.

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To go with what DeltaTlowner said about an independent assessor, if your van is on finance, get in touch with them and they will also send out an independent engineer to check your van.

The above is the main reason why we now buy our caravans on finance. Hefty deposit with low repayments and you have a good warranty by the finance company! :D

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Hi,

 

Had contact from Elddis customer services, they wanted copies of our servicing records. No comment yet on whether they will accept the repairs yet.

 

I have spoken to a mobile caravan Body repairer, who was unsure if you can buy the paint for GRP sides. Has anyone else had any paint work done on silver GRP sides?

 

Alex

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Sorry to hear this Chairman,

 

Went through the whole loop with this with our 2012 Clipper. Problem exactly as detailed in the photograph above in #4.

As also said, many words have been exchanged on this subject.

In the end, after full photography of the underside proved we had not battered it, Elddis replaced the entire nearside.

They were fine about it but we had lost faith somewhat in the van and so traded it for our present Solid Caravel. (Which developed a crack in the front panel!)

Again, after some time this was also replaced under warranty. We are fine now. :rolleyes:

My advice is not to accept any form of patch repair. If the crack is left it will obviously ship water and thus your 10yr ingress warranty would come in to play. Better to fix it properly.

If you have kept the thing serviced and there is no external damage you should be fine. The man at Elddis I dealt with was Mr Kane who I believe has the last word on these issues. He is a reasonable chap. I normally see him at the shows to discuss things.

There is talk that the new "non-flush" windows are a result of experience gained with this cracking but this is one of may theories. My personal view is that these big vans flex and if bad panel form and fit coincide then cracking can be the result.

PS: Get your dealer to damp check around the side hatches, ours had problems there at the same time.

 

Cheers,

 

GB.

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Sorry to hear this Chairman,

 

Went through the whole loop with this with our 2012 Clipper. Problem exactly as detailed in the photograph above in #4.

As also said, many words have been exchanged on this subject.

In the end, after full photography of the underside proved we had not battered it, Elddis replaced the entire nearside.

They were fine about it but we had lost faith somewhat in the van and so traded it for our present Solid Caravel. (Which developed a crack in the front panel!)

Again, after some time this was also replaced under warranty. We are fine now. :rolleyes:

My advice is not to accept any form of patch repair. If the crack is left it will obviously ship water and thus your 10yr ingress warranty would come in to play. Better to fix it properly.

If you have kept the thing serviced and there is no external damage you should be fine. The man at Elddis I dealt with was Mr Kane who I believe has the last word on these issues. He is a reasonable chap. I normally see him at the shows to discuss things.

There is talk that the new "non-flush" windows are a result of experience gained with this cracking but this is one of may theories. My personal view is that these big vans flex and if bad panel form and fit coincide then cracking can be the result.

PS: Get your dealer to damp check around the side hatches, ours had problems there at the same time.

 

Cheers,

 

GB.

Hi GB,

 

Thank you for your reply and advice. Really appreciated.

 

Alex

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No worries Alex, pleased to assist. Ping me anytime.

Strange question but did/does your microwave housing ping out each time you tow?

I presume you have the same one we had which was hinged at the top. They have screwed it in for the 2014 we have now.

I believe this phenomena was also a symptom of the van flexing.

Other theories include 4x4s being too firm on the back! (But what else would you tow a two ton van with?)

Last piece of advice if I may offer it. Try not to "strike down with great rage and furious anger". :)

I don't know what your dealer is like but whoever they are they will be largely impotent as this thing plays out. They may assist you in formulating the case (I took all my photos on my dealers ramp) but they will be waiting for Elddis to make the decision. This is without doubt a return to the factory job.

I would hope your position as the ranking officer in the BOC might carry some sway.

 

Good luck,

 

Graham.

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Sorry to hear this Chairman,

 

Went through the whole loop with this with our 2012 Clipper. Problem exactly as detailed in the photograph above in #4.

As also said, many words have been exchanged on this subject.

In the end, after full photography of the underside proved we had not battered it, Elddis replaced the entire nearside.

They were fine about it but we had lost faith somewhat in the van and so traded it for our present Solid Caravel. (Which developed a crack in the front panel!)

Again, after some time this was also replaced under warranty. We are fine now. :rolleyes:

My advice is not to accept any form of patch repair. If the crack is left it will obviously ship water and thus your 10yr ingress warranty would come in to play. Better to fix it properly.

If you have kept the thing serviced and there is no external damage you should be fine. The man at Elddis I dealt with was Mr Kane who I believe has the last word on these issues. He is a reasonable chap. I normally see him at the shows to discuss things.

There is talk that the new "non-flush" windows are a result of experience gained with this cracking but this is one of may theories. My personal view is that these big vans flex and if bad panel form and fit coincide then cracking can be the result.

PS: Get your dealer to damp check around the side hatches, ours had problems there at the same time.

 

Cheers,

 

GB.

[/quote

 

 

Hi Alex,

 

Like GB we also had this cracking side panel issue around the n/s front side window in our 2009 Crusader Supercyclone, albeit ours had the aluminium sides. Again many pics taken and an anxious wait but Elddis did take it back up to the factory and fitted a new complete upper side panel (you could do this with the alu sided vans as there was a centre join)

I understood that they cut around the side window nearest the front, fitted some additional framing and then re-laid a new skin over the original.

I also understand the problem is caused by the 'sharp' corners on the Seitz windows making it easy for the grp skin (or alu skin) to become fatigued while driving and tear at the sharp corners of the windows.

I though this problem had been resolved with the new bodyshape of 2012 though and not heard about it until your case in one of the newer style caravans.

The upshot is that our caravan was taken away to factory as said and was returned about 10 days later and it had quite oviously received some tlc at the factory and they had attended to a few 'wear and tear' issues around the caravan both inside and out and I was pleased they did this and caravan was better than when it went and this was most welcomed but unexpected by me.

The fact they honoured the warranty claim and completed it to such a high and 'above expectation' standard prompted me to look at nothing other than an Explorer Group caravan when we upgraded earlier this year (in case another warranty repair necessary).

I can also say we kept caravan for 3 years after the new side panel and no sign at all of any further issues and unless you knew you could not tell it had been repaired.

 

Good luck in getting it sorted.

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Alex,

 

Just a bit of supplementary info:

  • We got our 2012 Clipper in October 2011
  • Crack on lower trailing edge of front nearside window appeared in September 2013 after a warm July siting.

So that was nearly 2 yrs of use and we have been doing about 70-80 nights a year in UK with max 200 mile tows, so that gives you some idea of the usage.

 

Graham.

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Hi Volvovanner,

 

I have heard and agree with all you report but I did struggle with the Seitz argument at the time. After all, if the aperture is cut with a sufficient tolerance and the window is not therefore an interference fit, it should not threaten the sidewall when it expands with heat. Anyway, water under the bridge.

The 2012 Clipper is not SoLiD of course although it does have the new styrene floor with grp underskin which was carried through to the newer vans.

As I said I did not get my Clipper back after repair but I did see it at the dealer and the factory had made a first class job of it.

 

I do not know of any of the SoLiDs having experienced cracks in the same window areas.

 

My last piece of advice to Alex was based upon the experience I have had with Elddis through my dealer Pearman-Briggs. It takes a while to do things but I have been well satisfied with the end result and like you would return to the same manufacturer. Indeed we have, this is our third Buccaneer since 2011.

 

Graham.

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My last piece of advice to Alex was based upon the experience I have had with Elddis through my dealer Pearman-Briggs. It takes a while to do things but I have been well satisfied with the end result and like you would return to the same manufacturer. Indeed we have, this is our third Buccaneer since 2011.

 

Graham.

 

We are buying from that dealer so it seems to be a good recommendation.

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Yes I would recommend them. Martyn in sales, Phil in service and of course Sue who really runs the place.

Anyway, let's all gather behind the chairman and hope he gets his clipper sorted!

Perhaps some of us Buccaneer veterans and a few of the new Cruiser boys will get to exchange battle stories at a BOC rally this year.

 

Cheers,

 

Graham.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

Had contact from Elddis customer services, they wanted copies of our servicing records. No comment yet on whether they will accept the repairs yet.

 

I have spoken to a mobile caravan Body repairer, who was unsure if you can buy the paint for GRP sides. Has anyone else had any paint work done on silver GRP sides?

 

Alex

Has this moved forward at all? I am dreading telling the wife about the cracking as she will probably go ballistic as we are paying a lot for this caravan!

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Have not heard anything from the Chairman in ages, despite messaging him to ask how things are going.

I hope he doesn't have to follow the patch repair route but I don't know what his guarantee status is.

Assuming he is the original owner he should have the same experience as us with our 2012 Clipper; whole new side etc.

I hope that the cracking issue won't rear its head on the new eight foot units. They have had enough experience now to build to avoid it.

Took ours through the vile fog to PB this afternoon for its service and thence we are to Devon and Cornwall for 11 days resplendent with our new Teleco aerial!

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gb1309 your making me jellous. our first w/end this year is not till the 29th.

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Don't be jealous. My joy at being out was sort lived.

Whilst washing the M5 residue off the front of the van this morning I discovered cracks in the front panel around the front window and hatch.

This is total deja-vu as it was the cracks around this window that lead to a replacement front panel last year. Now its back again and potentially worse if you factor in the second position.

At the moment it seems confined to the gel coat surface as I can't see anything internally behind the lower ones at least.

Given our history I can't help but feel cursed.

I expressed my sympathy with the BoC chairman concerning his cracked Clipper (same problem exactly as in our 2012 Clipper ) and urged him to try and stay cool, calm and collected.

I'll have to see if I can heed my own advice. ......again.

Gutted in Devon.

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Don't be jealous. My joy at being out was sort lived.

Whilst washing the M5 residue off the front of the van this morning I discovered cracks in the front panel around the front window and hatch.

This is total deja-vu as it was the cracks around this window that lead to a replacement front panel last year. Now its back again and potentially worse if you factor in the second position.

At the moment it seems confined to the gel coat surface as I can't see anything internally behind the lower ones at least.

Given our history I can't help but feel cursed.

I expressed my sympathy with the BoC chairman concerning his cracked Clipper (same problem exactly as in our 2012 Clipper ) and urged him to try and stay cool, calm and collected.

I'll have to see if I can heed my own advice. ......again.

Gutted in Devon.

Does the 2014 Caravel have ABS or GRP front and rear panels.

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It's GRP, fibre glass mat clearly visible in front locker.

I know what the way forward might be, another protracted loop with Elddis as long as they agree to fix as before, given this repair is a failure.

But I'm thinking where does this get me.

I'm thinking it should go back to the factory this time for a deeper investigation.

Going from Clipper to Caravel cost me £7 last time and I can't afford to buy myself out of it again at that price. And to go to what?

 

Sorry if this appears morose!☺

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When I had a recurring problem with Unicorn 3 (caused by the round shower) even though we liked the van I could not see a way forward as SWMBO had lost faith in it.

 

Serious discussions about 'rejection' under the then sale of goods act followed and we negotiated a full refund minus what I considered was a fair 'amount of use' amount for the 2 years. The financial hit was far less than I would have taken with a trade in (I calculate about £2. 5 k in my case.) That is one option open to you.

 

Had I have taken them to court I may have been a better off financially as I am sure the facts would have caused judgement to come down on my side. That however would have taken some months and we wanted to replace the van with a 6 month waiting list so effectively I would have wasted a year.

 

We thought long and hard and took the offer on the table. Probably not as good as we could have got at court but a decision we were happy with. It only came about because my dealer knows I would have gone the full 9 yards if necessary and that is the point. Who ever you are dealing with has to believe you know your rights and will pursue them. When you come up against some people it is the only way unfortunately. We had to go over the top to senior management to get satisfaction.

 

If you love the van then I would be inclined to accept another repair with one caveat. A letter would be served on the dealer (signed for by them) saying in no uncertain terms that you are only accepting the repair as they have assured you it will solve the problem once and for all and that you reserve the right to reject the item if it suffers the same fault again. Whether they chose to do it or send it to Explorer is irrelevant.

 

If you have lost all faith in them and the product then I would be pursuing your rights under consumer protection law or a deal like we did (essentially the same). Get some legal advice from a specialist solicitor if you go that route. And I do mean specialist unfortunately a lot of them claim to know everything about anything, believe me they do not.

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