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Coachman bodywork


BobBen
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Bought a new Coachman Amara 450/2 in 2012, first brand new van in nearly 40yrs of caravanning and  bought  on my 70th birthday expecting that my last years of caravanning would be trouble free. A few minor problems in first few years, but rear body panel cracked and had to be replaced just within the 5yr warranty period. Bit of an inconvenience but at least it didn't cost me anything.   This year the van went in for its 6yr service as required and a very high damp reading was found in the area of the middle front window. On investigation a vertical crack was found in the small strip of body in the front body panel between the top of the middle window and the join/gutter rail of the roof. Although within Coachmans  6 yr. 'water ingress' warranty period, it appears that a leak through a crack is not considered as water ingress. The dealer I bought the van from does not feel they have any responsibility either.

Anyone else had a problem with how 'Water Ingress' is interpreted in the (quote) 'Six year worry free Water Ingress offer '  - and has anyone any ideas the best way to tackle this.

Should the rear panel have cracked in the sixth year and not the 5th the total cost of replacing front and rear panels would be more than the current value of the van.  

 

 

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Presumably the dealer is saying that ingress is via a joint rather than a crack and can prove that the current damp problem is via a crack and therefore outside the scope of the warranty?

Bought new, with a full and correct service history and within the 6 year warranty period I would be seeking legal advice to challenge the dealer(s) interpretation and grounds of refusal.  

Also, as Coachman prescribe the wording of the warranty perhaps the company should be invited to clarify "six year worry free water ingress".

 

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Avoiding the legal route just now as expecting either the dealer or Coachman would come good eventually. Awaiting a reply to a couple of questions, a process that takes for ever with, usually, only half the questions  covered. NEC show coming up so expecting little to happen soon with dealers and producers tied up at the show.

I did contact the free legal helpline provided by the club, and they agree the warranty was ambiguous .

Thanks for your reply.

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On 13/10/2018 at 21:31, BobBen said:

Avoiding the legal route just now as expecting either the dealer or Coachman would come good eventually. Awaiting a reply to a couple of questions, a process that takes for ever with, usually, only half the questions  covered. NEC show coming up so expecting little to happen soon with dealers and producers tied up at the show.

I did contact the free legal helpline provided by the club, and they agree the warranty was ambiguous .

Thanks for your reply.

My 2010 Amara had a similar crack but was out of warranty. The crack came from the holes drilled into the ABS front panel to attach the window hanger rail. See the pciture below. I emailed Coachman and they said they have 6 years warranty so mine was out but so you should be OK.  

I fixed it by removing the windows, removing the hanging rail, pulling the window rubber away and gluing some very thin Alu sheet behind the crack, then refitting all the bits. It was not hard but it better with 2 people.

 

They should definitely fix this under warranty due to the water ingress alone.

 

amara1.jpg

amara2.jpg

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thanks for the reply and info. The crack in the photo looks much the same as mine. I was quoted £ 1800 + vat by Highbridge Caravans ( the dealer I bought it from new) to fix it, no mention of any good will or anything. If all else fails then I shall look into doing it myself.

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10 hours ago, BobBen said:

thanks for the reply and info. The crack in the photo looks much the same as mine. I was quoted £ 1800 + vat by Highbridge Caravans ( the dealer I bought it from new) to fix it, no mention of any good will or anything. If all else fails then I shall look into doing it myself.

Its not hard to do.   I took all the windows out and removed the hanging rail which I probably would not do again as it was a pain to clean the old adhesive off and refit. And it was difficult to re hang the large center window by myself. The other hard bit was to re insert the plastic cover in the rubber seal.

I would just remove the screws  in the rail where the crack is and the ones either side and pull the window rubber down, then slide the alu piece with araldite underneath to stop any further cracking. Also drill a small hole at the top of the crack(2mm dia).

Then fill will silkaflex or your choice of caravan adhesive/sealant, and reseal the window rubber. Replace the screws and jobs a good un.

Edited by ian16527
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On 11/10/2018 at 21:57, BobBen said:

Bought a new Coachman Amara 450/2 in 2012, Although within Coachmans  6 yr. 'water ingress' warranty period, it appears that a leak through a crack is not considered as water ingress. The dealer I bought the van from does not feel they have any responsibility either.

Anyone else had a problem with how 'Water Ingress' is interpreted in the (quote) 'Six year worry free Water Ingress offer '  - and has anyone any ideas the best way to tackle this.

Should the rear panel have cracked in the sixth year and not the 5th the total cost of replacing front and rear panels would be more than the current value of the van.  

 

This problem occurred at the point of manufacture the reason being insufficiently sized pilot holes for the fixing screws.

Any argument threaten small claims court action.

https://www. citizensadvice. org. uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/claim-using-a-warranty-or-guarantee/

I presume the OP problem is the same as in the above photo.

On 11/10/2018 at 21:57, BobBen said:

 

 

 

Edited by oldsandals
To clarify
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On 15/10/2018 at 21:40, BobBen said:

thanks for the reply and info. The crack in the photo looks much the same as mine. I was quoted £ 1800 + vat by Highbridge Caravans ( the dealer I bought it from new) to fix it, no mention of any good will or anything. If all else fails then I shall look into doing it myself.

Just remembered that I was quoted £150 for a bodge repair or £650 for a 'better repair', although only guaranteed till you got home :rolleyes:.

The first involved filling with sealant and putting a graphic strip over, and the second involved ABS welding and graphic strip again.  

This was a third party company who did this work for the dealer.  

 

I would hope your dealer will be replacing the whole panel for this price,

 

Another thing to note is that the other holes were showing signs of cracking as well, although only about 10 mm in length.

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we had a stress crack on our 5 year old vip which was repaired under warranty just over one year later it cracked again in the same place in the nearside rear top corner near marker light . we got in touch with dealer they said nothing they could do as it was just out of warranty on work carried out by dealer we contacted coachman and was told to put gaffer tape over 5inch crack or sealer and as to repairing it well its out of warranty they said so we had to have it repaired again to our own cost 

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I know we live in a throw away society but I'm beginning to think that Coachman only expect their caravans to last around 5 yrs then we should throw them away and buy  new one.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi

I know its three years since anyone posted on this topic , I have just bought a  14 year old Amara  and thanks to the various comments( and DIY Fixes) I will be keeping a close eye on my front and rear ABS panels, the rear one appears brand new so may have been replaced  at some time..

One thing they did in the aircraft industry to stop cracks growing is to drill a a small hole and the end of the the crack , this alleviates the intense stress at the end of the crack  which even if  the ABS  was glued or welded or taped, would still cause the crack to keep growing.

The use of the thin aluminum tape used for sealing air ducts as opposed to Gaffer( duck tape) is better as the glue on the aluminum tape is superior  to that of gaffer tape which hardens over time.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 29/05/2021 at 10:51, IAN2880 said:

Hi

I know its three years since anyone posted on this topic , I have just bought a  14 year old Amara  and thanks to the various comments( and DIY Fixes) I will be keeping a close eye on my front and rear ABS panels, the rear one appears brand new so may have been replaced  at some time..

One thing they did in the aircraft industry to stop cracks growing is to drill a a small hole and the end of the the crack , this alleviates the intense stress at the end of the crack  which even if  the ABS  was glued or welded or taped, would still cause the crack to keep growing.

The use of the thin aluminum tape used for sealing air ducts as opposed to Gaffer( duck tape) is better as the glue on the aluminum tape is superior  to that of gaffer tape which hardens over time.

I'm looking at buying a 2010 VIP, so well out of warranty, this thread is super useful as it points out some of the issues that may have occurred during the lifetime of the van and also a variety of 'fixes'. I'm hoping that I won't have any of these issues but 'hopeium' will only get me so far! After that it's all down to practical repairs. Thanks for the advice, Andy  

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  • 4 months later...

I purchased new an Amara in 2013, in 2016 a crack over the front window, new front fitted under warranty. In 2019 a further crack same place. Just out of warranty by a month, Coachman walked away from it even though they supplied the new panel, just out of warranty by a month. Glossop came across with a solution which cost £750 to fit an aluminium fillet across front. Looks ok, now two cracks in the top corner of the back panel. I'm of the opinion when they brought the new Amara out, higher and wider, they did not take into account the stress when making these panels bigger. Mind you poor workmanship came in to it also. They discontinued the Amara  with the intro of the Vision in 2015. 

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Any warranty runs from the date of original purchase. If an item is replaced one day before the warranty expires that new item is only covered by the remainder of the warranty, I.e. just one day!  It’s seems wrong, but that is the situation that is universally applied. Some companies will offer a good-will  gesture,

 

Warranty has a specified period of validity and, like many other things (like a tax year) there will always be occasions where it seems unfair. My Mrs is one that got caught in the increase in age for state pension from 60 to 62 and then to 66 by a could of weeks! That has cost her in the region of £48k in lost pension payments Grrrrrrrr!!!! 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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