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Durbanite

Exercising Your Rights

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Reading through the "New Content" this morning it shows that at least 4 people have exercised their right to reject a caravan due to faults and these people have been successful. As this forum only represents a very small number of caravan owners, it makes you wonder how other people have rejected and we are not aware of their reason for rejection of the caravan or motor caravan.

 

I think that due to the Internet more and more people are standing up for their rights as they are now aware of their rights however will this have any influence on the quality of caravans being built as all manufacturers will have this cost built into the cost of a unit? If they manufacture 75 out of 100 good caravans with no faults and the rest poor caravans they are winning as the selling cost is pushed up to compensate for the 25 poor caravans.

 

This type of thinking belongs to the middle ages and is what helps cause inflation as to cover costs and maintain a profit all they do is hike up the price. This in urn has the knock on effect of workers demanding higher wages to pay for the goods.

 

If they manufactured 100 caravans all of good quality, then the price of the caravan could be made more affordable and the manufacturer could have a bigger market as no built in margin for rejected caravans as that would not happen.

 

IMHO one caravan is built, is quality checked, passes to get a Certificate of Conformity and also a Certificate for electrical wiring etc and then all other caravans are built and issued with the same certificates which accounts for a caravan being built in in April have electrical certification dated the previous year.

 

In our lifetime will we see an improvement in the quality of caravans leaving the manufacturer and no caravans being rejected?

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One would hope that the number of caravans built that are not fit for purpose / rejected is way less than 25% of the total number built.

 

Could it be just the usual case that we only hear about the complaints and not the majority who are satisfied owners? But I'm not disagreeing that there are levels build quality issues in the industry that you don't see in car manufacturing for example.

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I think, controversialy, we are probably to blame, if not totally then partially. We are always on the look out for a better deal, a lower price or more for our hard earned cash. The manufacturers therefore must maintain their competitiveness whilst still maintaining a, probably sizeable, profit in order to do that they build caravans as cheaply as possible, pay the lowest salaries they can get away with and use low quality materials. Please note I am generalising here and mainly speaking about the mass caravan makers, I fully understand that there are some niche market hand made caravan manufacturers who do not fall into this category.

Subsequentally we get caravans made, in some cases so poorly they are not fit for purpose, in other cases they have major faults or many niggles etc. and it seems to me that the quality control is poor at best.

Just a thought.

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I suspect that out of the large number of caravans sold, quite a lot of owners don't use them much/aren't really interested in poking around looking for defects or haven't noticed the defect/can't be bothered or are too busy to contact the dealer and get it fixed because of the effort to arrange to take it in and fetch it back again/have been fobbed off by the dealer and accept it. Damp will go un-noticed by some, and some unscrupulous dealers will not inform the owner if damp is found unless the customer is trading in. (Im pretty sure this happened with our last caravan). A professionally managed critical quality product audit programme carried out at the factory would detect many defects - a lot more than the average customer observations, and a decent management system would investigate and eliminate ongoing recurrence of the more serious defects. I noticed recently that one caravan manufacturer is actually investing a substantial sum in Quality Assurance, so perhaps they will actually try to improve their product quality. All this results in a high number of defects being resolved by dealers, some of which are rectified by the dealer even though in some cases the manufacturer will not accept a warranty claim. I think dealers actually pay for a certain amount of remedial work (recovering this cost from sales, for the sake of their ongoing business (means we pay). A tiny percentage of dissatisfied customers are well enough informed and have the nouse to reject their caravan, and it is the dealers who have to "take this on the chin", which means finding the cost from sales (Means we pay for this too). The manufacturer therefore has little or no business incentive to change, and can continue thumping product out of the door.

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One would hope that the number of caravans built that are not fit for purpose / rejected is way less than 25% of the total number built.

 

Could it be just the usual case that we only hear about the complaints and not the majority who are satisfied owners? But I'm not disagreeing that there are levels build quality issues in the industry that you don't see in car manufacturing for example.

This is probably one of the busiest forums yet probably only represents at the most about 1% of caravan owners and of that 1% only about 0. 5% will regularly post on this forum so hardly representative of caravan owners. I think Ern has it right that many people who have caravans do not bother with servicing them regularly and do not care about many issues as they expect them. Omega also has some very valid points however if there were not so many remedial repairs being done for which the manufacturer pays, then maybe the manufacturer's profit margin can be maintained although the caravan is sold at a lower price.

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BL used to build cars, with much the same attitude as British Caravan and Motorhome builders seem to have now, and look what happened to them?

Hymer will no doubt sort out the quality issues with their Explorer Group brands and then the likes of Swift could be in trouble!

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Unless the manufacturing business is losing sales or losing money from the bottom line through poor quality, there is no justifiable reason to "squander the shareholders money" on quality assurance. In the eyes of some business managers Quality Assurance or any other non productive cost is something you only spend money on to fix something, and if it ain't broke. .....

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This is probably one of the busiest forums yet probably only represents at the most about 1% of caravan owners and of that 1% only about 0. 5% will regularly post on this forum so hardly representative of caravan owners. I think Ern has it right that many people who have caravans do not bother with servicing them regularly and do not care about many issues as they expect them. Omega also has some very valid points however if there were not so many remedial repairs being done for which the manufacturer pays, then maybe the manufacturer's profit margin can be maintained although the caravan is sold at a lower price.

 

Fair enough, but I bet the pricing wouldn't change to reflect a lower number of remedial repairs, they'd surely just take a bigger profit?

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Unless the manufacturing business is losing sales or losing money from the bottom line through poor quality, there is no justifiable reason to "squander the shareholders money" on quality assurance. In the eyes of some business managers Quality Assurance or any other non productive cost is something you only spend money on to fix something, and if it ain't broke. . . .. .

 

 

I was shown an article at the weekend about a Dutchman rejecting a major German built Motorhome on quality grounds.

I was also told of someone who had bought a German caravan in Holland, a UK resident, who was told to take it back to factory in Germany for fixing as dealer didn't want to know!

 

geoff

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I was shown an article at the weekend about a Dutchman rejecting a major German built Motorhome on quality grounds.

I was also told of someone who had bought a German caravan in Holland, a UK resident, who was told to take it back to factory in Germany for fixing as dealer didn't want to know!

 

geoff

There are badly managed companies all over the world. It is certainly not a British thing. The thread is not about that though.

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I work with Lifting Equipment, lots of which is issued with a 'Batch Test' CoC, I think if we had a 25% failure rate on new equipment we'd stop buying it.

 

My caravan had zero faults on it when I took delivery (well I couldn't spot any), now after 6 months and 3000 Km I've done a snag list:

 

1. Truma Mover XT Remote 'eats' batteries (Not the caravans fault)

2. Adjust 1x door catch in bathroom

3. Loose contact on external Sat Cable socket (this was fitted by dealer)

4. Adjust main door deadlock

 

 

That's it, I've been round with a fine tooth comb and I'm a right finicky sod. Very minor faults but the dealer can't fit me in until mid-June. It's a huge dealership covering Tabbert, Fendt, Buerstner, LMC, Weinsburg and Hobby, caravans & motorhomes, they don't have enough workshop staff, they're always advertising for new tradesmen but they can't get em.

 

Very happy with the dealership though, good deals on caravans we've bought off them and decent prices for our trade-ins, most importantly for me though is that they are less than 2 miles away, it would drive me crackers if they were miles away.

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It's impossible to draw comparisons between caravan assembly and any other type of industry really. Cars are build by robots, using detailed computer programmes and are welded together - they are mainly made of metal and you end up with a completely solid metal box which then gets some very expensive suspension added to it.

 

Caravans are basically a metal trailer base with the equivalent of a garden shed attached to it. The suspension is not set up with the purpose of a cossetting ride as no one should be inside at the time. It's made primarily of lightweight materials and is glued and screwed together - as a result it has to flex to a certain degree. A caravan that is perfect on handover may well develop niggles on the journey home as it bounces along the road. I would expect after a certain period for some things to work loose and that is the point of the first service - to screw it back together.

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It's impossible to draw comparisons between caravan assembly and any other type of industry really. Cars are build by robots, using detailed computer programmes and are welded together - they are mainly made of metal and you end up with a completely solid metal box which then gets some very expensive suspension added to it.

 

Caravans are basically a metal trailer base with the equivalent of a garden shed attached to it. The suspension is not set up with the purpose of a cossetting ride as no one should be inside at the time. It's made primarily of lightweight materials and is glued and screwed together - as a result it has to flex to a certain degree. A caravan that is perfect on handover may well develop niggles on the journey home as it bounces along the road. I would expect after a certain period for some things to work loose and that is the point of the first service - to screw it back together.

Nothing should need to be screwed back on at the first service as bouncing along the road should have been taken into account when designing the caravan.

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I really beg to differ with the Welshman. Go round a car factory and there are plenty of bodies on the shop floor. A car has many thousands of components that can fail. Also my car dealer can almost always arrange a problem/service to be arranged within a week. I also get an independent satisfaction form every time from Mitsubishi about the standard of care of the dealer.

 

Aeroplanes are not built in huge quantities yet they are glued together and they flex. Somehow they manage to stay in the air day after day.

 

It doesn't matter how a caravan is built. It is meant to be dragged along the road for thousands of miles. I don't call a roof join seal failing within 10 months a niggle, I call it a glaring, horrendous design fault. Neither do I call a van that had serious damp when I bought it new and four years later had to be written off a niggle.

Edited by thebriars
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It doesn't matter how a caravan is built. It is meant to be dragged along the road for thousands of miles. I don't call a roof join seal failing within 10 months a niggle, I call it a glaring, horrendous design fault. Neither do I call a van that had serious damp when I bought it new and four years later had to be written off a niggle.

Blimey!!!!!

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To the best of my knowledge there is only one of the british manufacturers that actually take a van through a quality check before it leaves the factory. I've seen that one in action and it appears to be working. Not perfectly but far better than nothing. Since it's implementation about 2 years ago, the reported faults on here have dropped to very low levels, compared to other makes. The one major fault (roof seam) was quickly identified as an assembly error and vans fixed. It will continue to crop up from time to time because of the nature of the beast. Short of recalling every van (over 20k of them) and taking apart those with perfectly good roofs, many of which are now 6 years old and fine, they are doing their best. Shouldn't have happened but it did.

 

Swift, Lunar and Explorer group were contacted and asked a simple question. Do you have a quality check after the vans leave the production line, before dispatch, to the dealers. Both by email and on every forum we could find including Swift Talk. The result was deafening silence. Of course they may have one or you may draw the same conclusion we did.

 

It has always been the case that the customer pays for faults on either their own or others vans. The expected failure rate is built into the pricing structure from day one. By rejecting vans in enough quantity, word will get round and sales suffer. This is the only way the buying public can voice their dissatisfaction.

 

A dealers PDI should be just that Pre Delivery INSPECTION. Not rebuild the dam thing.

Edited by Alan Stanley
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IMHO one caravan is built, is quality checked, passes to get a Certificate of Conformity and also a Certificate for electrical wiring etc and then all other caravans are built and issued with the same certificates which accounts for a caravan being built in in April have electrical certification dated the previous year.

 

I am one of those who have recently rejected a new caravan.

 

You are right regarding the certificate of conformity which if I am correct will cover everything including the electrics and covers the type/approved build (if that is the correct :blush: terminology) .

 

The certificate for the electrical installation, the gas soundness certificate and the final appliance system check certificate are issued when each individual caravan is completed and the certificates carry the same date. They are not generic forms but are individually dated and hand signed by the individual conducting the examination and have part of the vin number as reference. Different people certify different items.

 

A caravan built and completed in April 2017 will have the certification signed and dated on completion in April 2017 and cannot have been certified the previous year.

 

Lunar have confirmed the above to be correct.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Edited as my comments appeared within Durbanites quoted bit :rolleyes:

Edited by Mr Phillips

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IA caravan built and completed in April 2017 will have the certification signed and dated on completion in April 2017 and cannot have been certified the previous year.

 

Lunar have confirmed the above to be correct.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

Which adds more weight to checking these when looking at your new caravan as it will confirm the build date.

 

So if you are offered a "new caravan direct from the factory" and the certification has a date previous to the given build date, they are trying to sell you old stock.

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Some food for thought here, ours is going back to the dealers tomorrow, a few small niggles, cracked heki roof light surround, screws overtightened, front curtain won't stop in the track, covers missing from screws, scratched trims on the locker doors and shelves, Ozio furniture losing its shape, used 10 nights, looks more like 10 years, but the big one is a splodge of glue, about the shape of a computer mouse, on the inside wall, just under the nearside front side window, looks awful as it has now discoloured, at this moment, I too am thinking of exercising my rights, Coachman, Leisure Furnishings and the dealer are all aware of this, but awaiting there response tomorrow.

 

Mark

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