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Damp Issues in Caravans


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It says “New Topic” well this patently isn’t new, but may need a fresh airing.

Bailey Unicorn Seville 2016, bought new:-

 

i contend that many almost new and very recent Caravans suffer from damp issues and mine is no exception. From my first service I was confronted with issues of damp in floors in the after end of the Van (the toilet/shower area). The supplying dealer signed it off as dried out and we continued. This month I had Van serviced at an approved independent technician and guess what? Yes showing rather large damp meter readings, in the same area (30-40%). When I asked why it would be so damp so soon, he said “ The Dealer wouldn’t report the readings increasing over the years as they do not get a good repair rate from Bailey for warranty work.

So, where to go now? The Dealer will not be interested in my caravan with its Independent technician damp report and, I imagine will not want to do any warranty repairs.

For the record, we almost never use the onboard shower and prefer to use site facilities, so little water in rear end of Caravan. So the $50k question is: Where is the water coming from and are many others suffering similar issues?

 

Is it too much to state that, in general Caravans are badly designed and put together and many have damp issues?

Nobody would accept this on a Car!!!

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Hi had the same problem with my 2013 Bailey from second service the toilet floor was damp and I never used the caravan shower the mark 2 unicorn showers were a total disaster. The Dealer resealed all round the toilet inside and out made a good job. It was ok at the third service but it returned at the fourth service not quite as bad they said they would monitor it and check it in three months. At three months the readings had stayed stable and to leave it to the fifth service . Guess what at fifth it was worse than ever they had the van for two weeks and stripped the whole back end and resealed again made a first class job all under warranty I dread to think what it would have cost if I had to pay for . As it was coming up to the sixth service and end of warranty I just didn’t want the hassle anymore and got rid .The problem appears to be where body of the van is joined to the wooded floor I’m not convinced they ever got to bottom of mine it seamed to problem on the mark 2  I thought they had it solved on the mark 3 .

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Book it in for an authorised service?

 

Hymer 545 Luxusline hauled by Audi SQ5 plus.

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I appreciate I have made an error using an independent technician for my 2020 service. It comes to mind that I am surprised that when reading both Caravan Club magazines that there is never a mention of damp in Caravans and I’m pretty sure it is a very big issue.

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Have you actually breeched the warranty conditions yet by missing the service dates by a Bailey approved mechanic?

If not your dealer should be able to take it up but may want to do their own damp test first!
If the warranty conditions are broken then, unfortunately, you are on your own.

 

Edited by Stevan
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Anyone successfully using a caravan cover? Do you think it would help with damp floor issues? Sitting out in the rain all winter must put a strain on watertight integrity especially as they seem to be so flimsily constructed.

do you suppose rain can come into Van via fridge vents?

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I had a cover years ago on swift challenger and it still had  dampness at third service it was a pro tec cover  I think covers are more for keep it clean . I gave up on the the hassle fitting it was just too  much the van has to clean dry  I use my van from March to November going away at least once every month so I don’t think it worth it 

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If the dealer did give you a false report when the service was done then they are going to be liable for the repairs now needed but proving this is the case could be a problem. You will need to get the engineer who serviced it to confirm the damp is long standing and should not have been missed.

If it has been serviced to Baileys requirements the guarantee should be available although what they will say to the dealer I do not know.

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I had similar problem in my 2015 Madrid after  approx 3 years. Supplying dealer found it on the annual service and rectified it immediately. They say it was poor build quality in that the sealing mastic around the exterior toilet door was not sufficient. They had had many similar issues in the same area with vans of a similar age. No further problem since.

Now on my third mid life crisis - an MGB Roadster

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Last year (April) my 2015 Coachman VIP was serviced by an approved AWS mobile engineer.   The van was dry as a bone - apart from a 32% reading in a small patch in one of the top lockers over the kitchen at the joint between roof and wall.  Supplying dealer subsequently confirmed the issue and thought it would be a return to factory job as the repair would involve stripping out a good deal of the kitchen.  Warranty claim was agreed by Coachman but indicated it should be done by dealer.  Was duly done in September - removed all top kitchen cupboards and splashback,  replaced wallboard, removed, cleaned, refitted, re-sealed the awning rail (the assumed point of ingress).  Good customer service from dealer and very tidy and efficient job....I thought.

 

Fast forward to two days ago.  Mobile engineer undertakes this year's service on the drive (we converse by phone o/a lockdown).  He finds that there is now damp - at 79% - in all of the top kitchen lockers all the way down to the splashback - and assumes it continues under there.   I'm immensely frustrated, but sanguine, in the current climate - its not as though we are suddenly having to cancel travel plans.  But I now have to contact dealership again and re-engage with the whole warranty process.   I really want Coachman to take it back and re-do it now as it was evidently beyond the ability of the local dealership to resolve the underlying problem but not sure how I'm going to get that to happen.  But both dealership and Coachman are, of course, shut down for the forseeable future so unlikely that any correspondence will be addressed.  

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I am minded to just do my best to keep Van dry and start to consider it as a banger (4 years old) and not bother to pay £300 per year for the “Service”.

We like the Caravan and may simply hold on to it for another 6-7 years and not worry!!

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17 hours ago, PedroT said:

I am minded to just do my best to keep Van dry and start to consider it as a banger (4 years old) and not bother to pay £300 per year for the “Service”.

We like the Caravan and may simply hold on to it for another 6-7 years and not worry!!

 

The insurance will have servicing requirements so do make sure you follow these or there may be no cover if you do have an accident.

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18 hours ago, PedroT said:

I am minded to just do my best to keep Van dry and start to consider it as a banger (4 years old) and not bother to pay £300 per year for the “Service”.

We like the Caravan and may simply hold on to it for another 6-7 years and not worry!!

 

And our CASSOA storage compound has a requirement in the contract that it should be serviced annually.  But I assume - at that price - that you are going to a main dealer.  Try an AWS approved engineer - mine cost just over £200 on Tuesday and he did a far better job. 

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It would be sensible for people to search through Caravan forums before deciding which make of caravan to buy. There are many many unhappy customers who own vans with build quality issues including the dreaded Dampness issue.   Take heed of the makes which are regularly complained about and think twice before parting with your money.  

Take into account that some makes sell more than others so the number of complaints will be proportionally higher.  

Bailey and to a lesser extent Swift feature very highly in the poor build quality and dampness stakes, but other British makes come proportionally close. 

Some Foreign vans have an excellent build quality rating but are not so popular in the UK because of layout, lack of fancy accessories and lack of bling. 

Take advice from owners of different makes before you part with your money. 

Edited by bessacarr425
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Hi

Damp was found in my  Daughters Baily caravan on its 3rd service not by the supplying dealer but an approved workshop. The repair was done under warranty by a Baily dealer without any problems. Explain this to your dealer and ask them to approach Baily and ask if they will honour the warranty. 

Sandy

 

 

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20 hours ago, Wildwood said:

 

The insurance will have servicing requirements so do make sure you follow these or there may be no cover if you do have an accident.

 

Wow good job car insurance extends to the caravan when towing then.

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20 hours ago, Wildwood said:

 

The insurance will have servicing requirements so do make sure you follow these or there may be no cover if you do have an accident.

It’s a wonder any of us are actually insured at all with the amount of things that are allegedly going to invalidate our cover the moment we turn a wheel.


Which insurance are you referring to specifically?   What legal status does not legally required servicing actually confer upon the insured or upon the caravan?

 

If one services one’s own caravan (to a professional standard) and has an accident, as there is no proof of servicing as such, is his insurance invalidated?

 

I can see issues arising if the caravan is patently unroadworthy in the same way that a patently unroadworthy car (despite the car having a current MoT test certificate) would give rise to issues but servicing is not a legal requirement for either.

 

 

 

 

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The servicing requirement varies between policies so you need to read yours to see what it is. I do wonder however if the Ombudsman would accept say a claim for a stolen caravan if this condition had not been met given that the lack of servicing would be irrelevant. Even if the condition was not there and a claim resulted from a serious fault that servicing would have picked up then they could use the failure to take all reasonable action to defeat the claim.

Annual servicing as a specific condition is normally a condition of replacement as new policies but even then not all.

The CAMH require servicing by a competent person which presumably means anyone who has the knowledge and skill to do it is sufficient, others may just require servicing to maintain the caravan in a good state. You need to check and see what it says.

The car insurance covers only third party risks when towing and not the value of the caravan. If the caravan causes an accident then third party claims have to be dealt with by the car insurer under the RTA. Even then if the accident is caused by a negligent failure to maintain, they may then look to you to recover their outlays.

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If we can rewind a little... you said, 

On 27/03/2020 at 11:56, Wildwood said:

 

The insurance will have servicing requirements so do make sure you follow these or there may be no cover if you do have an accident.

 

I asked which insurance you were referring to that would or could invalidate your insurance in the event of an accident simply by virtue of the caravan’s service history?

 

What ‘accident’ claims will be rejected in the absence of servicing?  I am really curious as so many things will allegedly invalidate one’s insurance.  
 

Forget Theft, Vandalism, Floods and other non accidental types of loss as insurance validity will not be affected by any of these things 

 

My Motor insurance makes no mention of trailer/caravan servicing - in fact,  beyond the fact that I notified them of a dealer fit towbar and that I tow things including a caravan (attracting £nil extra premium) they really weren’t interested in what trailer I tow.  They may reasonably expect that anything I tow is roadworthy but of course, a service book stamp doesn’t confer roadworthiness.

 

The only reference to a servicing requirement in my current ‘Caravan Cover’ booklet from the caravan club is this... 

 

image.thumb.jpeg.4036f7c8c153e34b7810618b4d41523b.jpeg

 

It applies only to Super Cover (New for Old replacement) only and then specifically to 'Super Covered’ caravans once they reach five years old. There is no mention of cover being invalidated in the absence of servicing, just a possible reduction to market value instead of replacement with a shiny new caravan.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Wildwood said:

Even then if the accident is caused by a negligent failure to maintain, they may then look to you to recover their outlays.

What a load of old tosh. Fearmonger.

I have an old non type approved 6'x4' trailer and I maintain it to a standard that it's not going to let me down. It can't even be insured. Things break, even on cars with a valid MoT.

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2 hours ago, Wildwood said:

The servicing requirement varies between policies so you need to read yours to see what it is. I do wonder however if the Ombudsman would accept say a claim for a stolen caravan if this condition had not been met given that the lack of servicing would be irrelevant. Even if the condition was not there and a claim resulted from a serious fault that servicing would have picked up then they could use the failure to take all reasonable action to defeat the claim.

Annual servicing as a specific condition is normally a condition of replacement as new policies but even then not all.

The CAMH require servicing by a competent person which presumably means anyone who has the knowledge and skill to do it is sufficient, others may just require servicing to maintain the caravan in a good state. You need to check and see what it says.

The car insurance covers only third party risks when towing and not the value of the caravan. If the caravan causes an accident then third party claims have to be dealt with by the car insurer under the RTA. Even then if the accident is caused by a negligent failure to maintain, they may then look to you to recover their outlays.

 

Are you getting mixed up with a failure to have it serviced at prescribed intervals, or failure to ensure that is in a road worthy condition, they are not the same thing , though could be linked, but not necessarily so.

 

I would think that the latter would be the one insurance companies would be interested in, if at all, if push came to shove in an RTA that involved death or serious injury.

 

A van may be perfectly serviced , but, by the owner failing to check wheel nuts a wheel falls off, then it falls into the category of failure to ensure it's in a good  condition roadworthy, this could apply to a brand new van or one that hasn't been serviced for years, it's the cause of the incident that matters not the fact of if and when it was serviced, when all said and done it's the responsibility of the driver to ensure its safe.

 

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Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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  • 3 weeks later...

We Talk about the Ombudsman as if they have any great power, influence or insight. The simple fact is, they don't. As caravaners and motorhomes, we are essentially on our own. The clubs should be there to work for us and lobby where the authorities and associations let us down. 

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13 minutes ago, Lord Sward said:

We Talk about the Ombudsman as if they have any great power, influence or insight. The simple fact is, they don’t.


Are your comments based on your experience of using the Ombudsman Service, or Is it your personal opinion based on what you think?

 

I have used the Financial Ombudsman Service to sort out a dispute with a bank.

Despite the bank trying to stone wall the dispute, the Ombudsman found in my favour and ordered the bank to comply with their findings, which they did.

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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Sorry about your problem, and I hope you get it righted, but I am so glad to read something that's related to caravans.  Sorry to say, that I'm losing it with Coronavirus.  Going back to caravans.  I've a brand new caravan, bought in 2018 (it replaced our previous new caravan that got stolen), but thankfully I don't think its yet damp, but don't know yet as I've only used it once.  I was supposed to go out in it tomorrow, but obviously can't.  Got it in the July, went out in it in September, as me and OH never went away in August.  Then in December, OH was in hospital until he died last August.  Oh well, I'll get out in it sometime.  Was thinking of actually sitting in it during last week for the day (its on a secure site), just to make me think I'm on holiday:D

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Insurers can only turn a claim down if the breach of the conditions is relevant to the claim. If there is a breach of the servicing requirements and the caravan is broken into, the breach is not relevant so should not apply.

The Ombudsman does have teeth as Babstreefen says and his awards will be met by insurers although if either party feel strongly a decision is wrong there is an appeal procedure.

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