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EddyP

Damp - Is anyone worse than another?

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We bought our first caravan four years ago and got fobbed off by the dealer when we later discovered damp in it, we repaired it, had some great holidays and all was good.

We're now looking to change up to a 4 berth as we've got a 7 month old daughter so went looking at 4 berths today, I was really disappointed that the first one we went into which was a £13K swift had noticeable damp on the front wall under the window, to the point that the paper/vinyl was peeling off the wall. I had some daft idea that caravan manufacturers might have learnt how to make them in recent years so the perils of damp might be less but that would seem not to be the case.

It's almost enough to put you off even getting another one.

I thought the Alutech system might be a solution but after some googling it seems that they have issues with the floors going rotten.

 

Are there any out there that don't leak like a sieve and rot away?

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19 minutes ago, EddyP said:

We bought our first caravan four years ago and got fobbed off by the dealer when we later discovered damp in it, we repaired it, had some great holidays and all was good.

We're now looking to change up to a 4 berth as we've got a 7 month old daughter so went looking at 4 berths today, I was really disappointed that the first one we went into which was a £13K swift had noticeable damp on the front wall under the window, to the point that the paper/vinyl was peeling off the wall. I had some daft idea that caravan manufacturers might have learnt how to make them in recent years so the perils of damp might be less but that would seem not to be the case.

It's almost enough to put you off even getting another one.

I thought the Alutech system might be a solution but after some googling it seems that they have issues with the floors going rotten.

 

Are there any out there that don't leak like a sieve and rot away?

If it’s made in Germany it won’t leak, I’ve been caravanning for 25 years (I live in Germany) until I discovered this Forum I wasn’t even aware that damp was a problem in caravans. 

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3 minutes ago, Borussia 1900 said:

If it’s made in Germany it won’t leak

Oh yes it will !!!!!

Just because a van is made in Germany does not mean it is leak free, ask the owners of Hymer , Hobby and  Dethleffs who I know from working on their vans about damp problems !!!!!!

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3 minutes ago, Brecon said:

Oh yes it will !!!!!

Just because a van is made in Germany does not mean it is leak free, ask the owners of Hymer , Hobby and  Dethleffs who I know from working on their vans about damp problems !!!!!!

Non of mine have ever leaked, or had any significant faults at all really. I have many German family and friends with caravans and Motorhomes, I don’t recall any of them having damp problems, perhaps they export the leaky ones to the UK 😂😂💦💦💦💦

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You are right that in recent years the caravan manufacturers have improved.

 

But only in the area of selling the vans - not seemingly to make them better or more damp proof.

 

But do bear in mind that a very active public forum like this one attracts obviously a high amount of badly built vans with questions on what to do etc.

 

We get fewer newbies extolling the perfectness and dryness of their new vans. Mores the pity!

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11 hours ago, WispMan said:

 

We get fewer newbies extolling the perfectness and dryness of their new vans. Mores the pity!

 

6 years ago we were newbies and happily our first van was and -touch wood- still is - bone dry. It is German mind you:)

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12 hours ago, EddyP said:

I thought the Alutech system might be a solution but after some googling it seems that they have issues with the floors going rotten.

 

Alutech was Baileys answer to damp caravans, the wall structure is now not affected by the leaks. Theyve treated the symptoms rather than the cause. The biggest problem that I can see with ALL UK manufacturers is their complacency with their position in the market place. They ignore customers to a point of arrogance and offer little / no support. There are a few dealers around that do a good job turning a poorly designed and built caravan into a useable item but theyre the exception.

From looking round the German caravans do seem much higher quality and very few have the leaks that are almost standard on UK vans eg Bailey and their roof seams etc. I retire this year and I will be buying a German caravan for my retirement years.

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Posted (edited)

there's an incorrect notion that somehow continental vans don't suffer with damp and/or better built, quite simply they suffer just like anything else, it seen various makes of continental caravans/motorhomes of various ages with similar issue we see in all vans, in particular that stick out, a '14 Hymer caravan that rotted in the front twice (under warranty, a really common problem of that era apparently), a £100K + late Carthago Motorhome where the whole back end in the garage rotted away, one German customer the brought a brand new Hymer caravan where he drove 4km down the road and the cupboard units fell off the wall (not the doors, the whole unit) so it shows just with a couple of examples its no different to what can happen with UK vehicles.

 

Damp can happen on anything, at anytime, because they are essentially hand assembled which means no matter how well designed the van is, there's is always the element of human error, water ingress issues aren't certainly as frequent as they used to be, and I wouldn't say any brand is worth than another, every manufacture has its good years and bad years.

 

I know its what not anyone wants to hear at all, but is the sad reality of the product.

Edited by Caravantech
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By all accounts, Adria, again non UK, seem to be well built with few reports of damp issues. BTA, there's fewer Adrias around than say Swift, Bailey etc..

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It is important to remember that the UK is one of the wettest countries in Europe, it is not called "a green and pleasant land" because of scorched dry grass! 

There are simply not enough European vans bought new in the UK for meaningful comparisons to be made.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, WispMan said:

You are right that in recent years the caravan manufacturers have improved.

 

But only in the area of selling the vans - not seemingly to make them better or more damp proof.

 

But do bear in mind that a very active public forum like this one attracts obviously a high amount of badly built vans with questions on what to do etc.

 

We get fewer newbies extolling the perfectness and dryness of their new vans. Mores the pity!

I'm a newbie, although I did have a few vans about 30 years ago and came back to caravans when I retired. I now have a 2010 Bailey Pegasus 462 bought second hand, it's bone dry and in beautiful condition. The only parts on mine that can really be affected by damp and rot are the ply skins on the sandwich  constructed floor and they can be repaired with a degree of difficulty . You rarely hear of all the dry Alu-techs as people only tend to post about problems on forums like this one. I did a lot of research on this forum before I bought mine and thanks to the good people on here had a very good idea where to check for problems. On mine the main area of concern is the front wet locker floor as water can find its way in there from a couple of places. I asked the Dealer if I could have the keys and went to the front lockers first to check them. She watched me and smiled, she said "that's the first place we look at as well" There's other places and areas to check on used vans of course, but there's a lot of good Alu-techs around without rotten floors.

John

Edited by johntog

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Posted (edited)

The ‘Travelling Community’ live in their caravans all the time and Tabbert and Fendt seem very popular with those folk, there must be a reason for that. 

I seriously don’t know any German folk who’ve got or ever had damp issues, I certainly never have.

A Dutch colleague of mine did have quite a few quality issues with a new Knaus caravan a few years ago but apart from him I don’t know anyone else who’s had any dramas.

Edited by Borussia 1900

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58 minutes ago, Borussia 1900 said:

The ‘Travelling Community’ live in their caravans all the time and Tabbert and Fendt seem very popular with those folk, there must be a reason for that.

 

Some years back we had a solo Irish 'traveller' with a Burstner and a new Range Rover parked adjacent on a site...en route to a funeral. Friendly couple and I asked about the 'van,indeed was invited in to see the furnishings....why this particular caravan......Oh.... we know where we can by these  caravans without paying CBL (VAT)....which at the time was about 18%!...........so good van/home and a very good price.

 

geoff

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23 hours ago, Brecon said:

Oh yes it will !!!!!

Just because a van is made in Germany does not mean it is leak free, ask the owners of Hymer , Hobby and  Dethleffs who I know from working on their vans about damp problems !!!!!!

I can second that I'm afraid. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, shipbroker said:

 

Some years back we had a solo Irish 'traveller' with a Burstner and a new Range Rover parked adjacent on a site...en route to a funeral. Friendly couple and I asked about the 'van,indeed was invited in to see the furnishings....why this particular caravan......Oh.... we know where we can by these  caravans without paying CBL (VAT)....which at the time was about 18%!...........so good van/home and a very good price.

 

geoff

My previous caravan was a Bürstner, No damp, no faults, excellent quality.

Edited by Borussia 1900

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I have caravanned for nearly thirty years. They have previously been rather elderly and British.  Two of them bought with damp and repaired personally.  This gave me the opportunity to identify the problem areas from panels lapped the wrong way around making water ingress more likely on eventual mastic failure, through to missing mastic and rotten steel screws, allowing panels to separate.  I eventually had the opportunity to buy at the time a six year old Hymer Nova, seven years later, stored outside without any covers its  still dry, and in excellent condition. There is absulutely no agenda to change. 

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I think you will find that just about every single item that is produced from a TV to a caravan CAN have issues. 

 

Some people will only ever ever buy a, say, Sony television because they once had a (insert any TV manufacturers name here) and it went wrong! That may have been their experience but there were hundreds of thousands of that make of TV that gave their owners many years of trouble free service.

 

As others have said, subscribers to forums will tend to post about their problems, and all of the happy owners won’t post about their positive experiences. 

 

Caravans are put put together by humans. Humans, unlike computers, have “off” days, are no capable of completing repetitive tasks in EXACTLY the same way time after time after time (such as applying a bead of sealant of exactly the right width in exactly the right place or tightening screws to exactly the same torque etc) 

 

I am sure most people can recall the “If only everything in life was as reliable as a VW” adverts?? Well once the JD Power surveys started coming out and showed that VW’s were NOT that reliable, the ads were quickly dropped! German engineering at its best! JD Power said otherwise!

 

Certain people will extoll the virtues of German built caravans because in their experience they have proved trouble free. I am sure there are many owners of British built caravans of all different marques who have had similar trouble free ownership. 

 

Much fuss is made about the roof strap on Baileys sometimes leaking. My only point would be that is certainly shouldn’t happen, but if it does

1. It’s easily detected/seen 

2. There is nothing in the roof panel to absorb the moisture and rot so....

3. It’s easily fixed with no long term consequence (I.e. rotten wood) 

 

The post from Caravantech further up the page clearly shows that “foreign” vans have their fair share of issues just like British built ones. 

 

The only answer really I suppose is constant owner vigilance to nip any problems (that in an ideal world wouldn’t happen) in the bud.  

 

Andy

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8 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

 

The post from Caravantech further up the page clearly shows that “foreign” vans have their fair share of issues just like British built ones. 

 

The only answer really I suppose is constant owner vigilance to nip any problems (that in an ideal world wouldn’t happen) in the bud.  

 

Andy

I wonder if Caravantech has any evidence, anecdotal or otherwise of Fendt and/or Tabbert caravans suffering from damp? 

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I can only second Borussia's comments. In over 30 years of caravanning on the Continent I have never come across damp as a major problem. My own experience is limited to minor damp that I had with a Knaus caravan once, and that only in the floor area of the front locker. (I see that they replaced the wood by aluminium in later models). My current Dethleffs is bone dry after 10 years.

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On 14/07/2019 at 20:34, Borussia 1900 said:

If it’s made in Germany it won’t leak, I’ve been caravanning for 25 years (I live in Germany) until I discovered this Forum I wasn’t even aware that damp was a problem in caravans. 

We have a 2006 Giest which is German built.  I took in in for a service two years ago and when I collected it the chap in reception said 'All is well, there is no damp of course it's German built'.

Obviously there will be the odd exception but from this forum it seems to be the opposite way around for British built caravans!

Alan 

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3 hours ago, Borussia 1900 said:

I wonder if Caravantech has any evidence, anecdotal or otherwise of Fendt and/or Tabbert caravans suffering from damp? 

 

I can honestly say I have never seen specifically a Fendt or Tabbert in our workshop or taken in part exchange since I've been working here, we tend to avoid these kind of vans specifically.

 

but as sort of mentioned, have seen various other continental makes with water ingress/major structural issues.

 

 

2 hours ago, AlanNancy said:

We have a 2006 Giest which is German built.  I took in in for a service two years ago and when I collected it the chap in reception said 'All is well, there is no damp of course it's German built'.

Obviously there will be the odd exception but from this forum it seems to be the opposite way around for British built caravans!

Alan 

 

that's because there a lot fewer continental vans in the UK market, not sure if this is still accurate, but going back a few years ago, continental caravans made up just 1% of the total UK market sales, so of course this means that by numbers, there's always going to be more complaints about UK caravans compared to continentals, not to say that UK are better in terms of water ingress, but you will naturally see more complaints/issues because of this.

 

Geist's are a decent van, however, of that era were really well known for leaking from the front offside window, so always something to watch out for.

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6 hours ago, Caravantech said:

 

I can honestly say I have never seen specifically a Fendt or Tabbert in our workshop or taken in part exchange since I've been working here, we tend to avoid these kind of vans specifically.

 

but as sort of mentioned, have seen various other continental makes with water ingress/major structural issues.

 

 

 

that's because there a lot fewer continental vans in the UK market, not sure if this is still accurate, but going back a few years ago, continental caravans made up just 1% of the total UK market sales, so of course this means that by numbers, there's always going to be more complaints about UK caravans compared to continentals, not to say that UK are better in terms of water ingress, but you will naturally see more complaints/issues because of this.

 

Geist's are a decent van, however, of that era were really well known for leaking from the front offside window, so always something to watch out for.

Thanks. It was actually your company that serviced it for me, they did a super job.

Alan

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6 minutes ago, AlanNancy said:

Thanks. It was actually your company that serviced it for me, they did a super job.

Alan

 

thank you for your kind words Alan, glad to hear our guys supplied a great service for you.

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Posted (edited)

Not surprising that a UK caravan repairer avoids Fendts and Tabberts, they’d never make any money because they don’t fall to pieces or rot.

36 minutes ago, AlanNancy said:

Thanks. It was actually your company that serviced it for me, they did a super job.

Alan

So his company admitted that damp wasn’t a problem on German caravans/motorhomes  then? Thought so :)

Edited by Borussia 1900
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Very interesting discussion thanks guys.

 

I think we'll just do a very careful inspection when we find the van we want, we've learnt a lot about where leaks can occur with our current van so hope we won't get caught out again.

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