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MElliottUK

Xplore 526/586 vans, are panel stress cracks a problem?

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All,

 

Please can you provide me with some advice with respect to a possible Xplore 526 van.

 

Due to our driving licence restrictions we are limited in total mass for a 6 berth family van hence we have focused our attention on the 526 and 586 Xplore vans, we have found one which looks good however I have found a vast number of report of significant costly issues with the front and rear panels.

 

This van is £13K+ I am concerned that possibly it’s not worth the hassle owning an Elddis van, therefore I have a couple of questions

 

1.       Am I reading horror stories that impact only a few vans, or is there a systematic design flaw to worry about?

2.       Are 2016 Xplore vans made from ABS or GRP and are they both prone to cracking and is one better than the other?

3.       How best should I inspect the panels?

4.       Would you buy a Elddis van again? And if not what manufacturer either use different material or offer a better warranty?

 

My main concern is £13K is a lot of money to spend on something that is going to generate a high through life cost in terms of maintenance and hassle. I really don’t want to spend our family holiday money on constant repairs/trips to dealerships.

 

Your feedback is much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Matt

Edited by MElliottUK

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Me personally, I would NEVER have an Elddis again. Mine had rear panel changed at 6 month old.

Load and loads of problems. inc floor delamination, leaks from roof. Most faults fixed under warranty, 

The last nail in the coffin was a leak on the heki skylight. Elddis would not cover this as the leak was not from a SEALED JOINT, So not covered.

I got shot of it after 3 years.

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Simply read the warranty they gave with the van.  All plastic components including front and rear were guaranteed for 12 months only.  Says it all.  Better to take a towing test and choose another make IMHO. 

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Lots of people are VERY happy with their Elddis caravan; go and if you look on any forum there are issues with any-there's 'EVEN' a leaky Coachman !!!! So judge the van by it's appearance the care it has had service history and the warranty the dealer is giving you  and their reputation-probably the most important thing! They are lovely caravans with great layouts. 

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Thanks all, the sale is private. I guess i have better comeback if from a dealer or does it make no difference? Front what i have read the warranty is with the original retailer so i need to find out where is was purchased from, is the corrrct? 

 

Any tips for a private viewing, i dont have a damp meter which is a worry, possibly could buy subject to a further check. 

 

Does anyone know the pass fail % for if damp is present or not? 

 

Thanks for your help, much appreciated. 

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You would get a dealer warranty if you buy from a dealer-only as good as the dealer though. You could buy an insurance backed warranty independently as some Lunar owners are doing since they went and reemerged. You could pay a mobile service engineer to inspect the van and damp test it-and they will then advise accordingly-bit like the RAC will do for a car-peace of mind for a small fee?! They'll check other things too. Check re the original damp warranty-some makers ask you to pay a fee and reduce the time it is covered for. 

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Under no circumstances would I recommend you buy from a private or dealer without an independent survey.  Damp meters are cheap to buy but need a certain amount of expertise to use.  

 

The problem with front front and rear panels splitting is endemic.  ABS is IMHO in the gauge used by British manufacturers simply not suitable.  It splits and cracks.  This is unpredictable and a van can be perfect one week and not the next.  Swift for example even had to develop shaped patches to cover up I.e. cheaper repair to many models.  Elddis had to modify the framing when repairing and guess what some split again.   

 

That is is why the more delux and heavier vans use GRP.  Our friend has just had the rear panel on their Swift 6 year old Elegance replaced.  ABS and splitting. 

 

Like a said 12 months warranty on the panels says it all.  Yet people still put up with it.    Bailey do not use ABS at all.  The elimination of it was one of the driving forces behind Alu-tec. Construction 

 

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3 hours ago, MElliottUK said:

Thanks all, the sale is private. I guess i have better comeback if from a dealer or does it make no difference? Front what i have read the warranty is with the original retailer so i need to find out where is was purchased from, is the corrrct? 

 

Any tips for a private viewing, i dont have a damp meter which is a worry, possibly could buy subject to a further check. 

 

Does anyone know the pass fail % for if damp is present or not? 

 

Thanks for your help, much appreciated. 

I think there was an issue with panels on pre 2017 caravans.  What year is the caravan?  Does the caravan come with a full service history and can you transfer the remainder of the 6 year warranty?

As said buying privately a check by a technician is regarded as essential as you have NO comeback if something goes wrong which is why many people prefer to buy from a dealer as the saving buying privately can be offset by costs for repairs. 

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GRP panels can get stress cracks as well as abs ones. Our 2011 Elddis has a grp front and abs rear. The rear is fine but the outside top corners at the front windows have stress cracks. When checking panels have a close look since if they have just been washed any cracks might not be obvious since they are usually noticed by the dirt that gets in them.

 

I would buy a damp meter before you start looking at caravans. I have a Brennenstuhl https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/brennenstuhl-moisture-detector-md/

Edited by Paul1957

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Elddis did seem to have the worst record for splits on the end panels, but most companies had it to some extent. If this is now three years old and has not suffered my feeling is that it will not be a problem but there is no guarantee. To check you simply have to examine the panel carefully, particularly at the top joint to check for this, it is simply a visual check.

All companies seem to have turned out their fair share of lemons, but Elddis always come bottom in the Practical Caravan readers survey for satisfaction by a clear margin, although the results of last years survey are yet to come, out so I cannot say if that will change anything.

They do turn out some perfectly good models, it is all a matter of luck I am afraid. Buying privately does give you less legal protection than from a dealer, so should be cheaper  if you want to take the risk.

The guarantee will still have some time left on it. To preserve this you need to check the requirements of Elddis to transfer this and make sure the service book and service documents are handed over and that it has been serviced in line with the Elddis requirements.

Make sure everything works and you are shown how to use it.  Get the handbook as well as this covers the things you will have forgot how to work when you come to use it.

Unless you have someone to take with you who knows the subject, do get a mobile engineer to have a look at it for you. If the seller refuses assume the worst.

Do make sure you see it at the sellers home and it is not brought to you. Get the chassis number and check with HPI and CRiS to make sure it is not on HP or reported stolen.

Looks hard but it is in fact straightforward and in many ways similar to buying a car.

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Coachman seem to have a problem with the front panels cracking due to the front window bar screw holes, even though there are clearance holes in the ABS. it seems to take around 6 to 7 years for these to develop and I cannot see no reason why this will change.  It could be due to the ABS aging, or simply due the torsional movement and flex when the van is being towed, and the stress raiser created by the drilled hole. 

Previous to this, I know Elddis had a problem, which was detected earlier as they did not bother to drill the clearance holes in, just screwed through the ABS panel.

 

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