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Caravan Manufacturers


Ellisfield

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With cars we probably would all have our views on manufacturers, most would put say BMW or Mercedes in a top division, with fairly mainstream cars (say Ford) in the middle and then perhaps a cheapo alternative brand down the bottom.

 

Is it the same with Caravans? I have only owned one van and really not made much comparison between different vans. I guess it is not quite the same as we mainly have UK built models so perhaps the comparison should be with cars in the 1960s.

 

So if you took the manufacturers listed in CT who would be in th top division, middle and bottom?

Does it work like that?

 

We hear lots of bad about manufacturers but are there any with a good reputation for build and quality?

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think we only have 2 leagues

AIRSTREAM,CARLIGHT,VANMASTER

for all the lottery winners :rolleyes:

then everyone falls into league 2 as all the other manufacturers make vans between 10-25k

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As said companies like Vanmaster and Carlight lead the way for caravans being handmade to a higher standard but at a cost and general mass production caravans like cars the Germans lead the way .

 

 

 

Dave

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Also remember that many of the components are bought in. What ever the make of van, it will have a Thetford toilet, whale or truma water system, dometic or thetford fridge, etc. So the quality of these is the same whatever male you have.

 

poolebob

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Also remember that many of the components are bought in. What ever the make of van, it will have a Thetford toilet, whale or truma water system, dometic or thetford fridge, etc. So the quality of these is the same whatever male you have.

 

poolebob

Yes, the parts are very generic, even down to locker and door catches and windows. However the big difference is how they are put together and how solid the material all these fitments are put into. Will they come apart after two trips out? Have they been put in properly in the first place?

 

Just back from the NEC to look at what is on offer. I know the vans at the NEC will take some hammer with thousands of visitors opening all the lockers, but it struck me that it was, once again, the German made vans that were holding up the best.

 

The biggest disappointment was Carlight. An expensive product made from expensive materials, but in places the woodwork was rough, badly fitted and finished without the care and attention that the price would warrant. may have just been the one we looked at, but first impressions count.

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We went to the show on Thursday and I was also disappointed with Carlight. There were no mirrors, coat hooks etc. I was mentioning

this to my husband when the gentleman who owned Carlight came up and said that he only recently bought the company and decided at the last minute to go to the show. So most of the vans were not finished off. I think that this was probably a mistake as they did look very shoddy and no where near the money they cost. In that price range AS were the best. Not that we will be having one as we will have to stay in league 2

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Hi all,

I'd suggest to anyone willing to part with +20 grand on a caravan to take a long weekend out and visit the Dusseldorf Salon http://www. caravan-salon. com/, I have been fortunate over the years to see first hand many new caravans coming through and meeting and chatting with owners, our findings have been that the Swifts and Baileys have gone nowhere in the build quality or fitments in 'vans with models being changed year in year out. The " I've got to have a series 6 because series 5 is last years " mentality has kept this going, as for customer care, with the problems we read about on this forum I just can't grasp why people keep going back for more, the vast majority of us don't bat an eyelid at where our cars are manufactured and to assume Audi,Bmw and Merc might not be " up to scratch " Well !!! .

We also see and meet many Brit's in there Uk built 'vans over here and find many of them and their 'vans are melting in the heat compared to owners ( mainly Dutch and German ) of Continental 'vans. But it's a good job we're all different as we wouldn't have so much to debate would we. Enjoy your caravaning, Catch ya later,indoors.

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Slightly off subject, wouldn't it be great if you could design your own caravan, if the manufacturers gave an option to move the furniture around to suit how you use it. I read somewhere else that somebody would like 2 recliners instead of sofas, this seems mad to me, but it would have suited him, we're all different and use our vans differently, I wonder if this will ever be an option???

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We went to the show on Thursday and I was also disappointed with Carlight. There were no mirrors, coat hooks etc. I was mentioning this to my husband when the gentleman who owned Carlight came up and said that he only recently bought the company and decided at the last minute to go to the show. So most of the vans were not finished off. I think that this was probably a mistake as they did look very shoddy and no where near the money they cost. In that price range AS were the best. Not that we will be having one as we will have to stay in league 2

 

 

The new owner took the company over a year ago if they have not got right by now think that says a lot .

 

 

Dave

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In response to terryr this is pretty much what Vanmaster allow you to do. We went to the factory to meet the team there and they walked through the type of van we had ordered. We madfe cabinets bigger/smaller, added clocks, changed worktop shape in the bathroom. they were even willing to change the bathroom layout completely when we asked about extra hanging space. Of course this level of spec does come at a price.

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With cars we probably would all have our views on manufacturers, most would put say BMW or Mercedes in a top division, with fairly mainstream cars (say Ford) in the middle and then perhaps a cheapo alternative brand down the bottom.

 

Is it the same with Caravans? I have only owned one van and really not made much comparison between different vans. I guess it is not quite the same as we mainly have UK built models so perhaps the comparison should be with cars in the 1960s.

 

So if you took the manufacturers listed in CT who would be in th top division, middle and bottom?

Does it work like that?

 

 

With the excellent exception of the very knowledgeable Indoors and with the exception of the gut wrenchingly horrible Airstream suggested by Slismeydy, no one has listed the absolute top draw vans manufactured over here in mainland Europe, which is a surprise as normally CommanderDave is banging their quality drum ?

If quality; and I mean real quality, can be judged by the longevity and durability of a product both in their overall construction techniques as well as the strength and durability of the material used internally, then I am afraid the reference made by Ellisfield made about BMW & Mercedes cars can be directly related to the build quality of all the German vans as well. .................... After all their manufacturers can only fit components which have been tested under the very strict TAG German Government approval and testing scheme which is why for one reason that their vans come fitted with a very basic range of alloy or steel wheels.

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It's interesting that you mention Airstream as only the other day somebody posted that they hadn't been impressed by build quality of what they saw on the Airstream stand at the NEC.

 

Of course Eribas (and all the Hymer Group vans) are now made in Germany, since Hymer France were shut down in 2010. Anecdotally Eriba owners complained that build quality deteriorated over the years, possibly as the French factory unsuccessfully tried to improve profitability to a level acceptable to the Hymer Board.

 

Anyway now production is re-booting at Bad Waldsee and it's good to hear that they're getting to grips with quality issues and introducing improved construction techniques to bring the standards up to the levels they expect in a German built product.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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Having had a good look at the Airstreams at the NEC a couple of years ago i was not at all impressed with the panel gaps on the rounded section of the Van. It seems by making the panels bigger with less panels ie cheaper then the gaps have to be bigger due to bending ali, they were also very sharp. Can think of a lot better Euro vans for the Money.

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