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Caravan Quality


bj3
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Hi Folks.

 

Stumbled across this site whilst looking for reviews of Lunar Caravans having just ordered a new Delta RS.

 

I've been caravaning since I was a kid. My partner since her kids came along. Owned my first van in my 20's which I inherited from my parents when they upgraded. .....can't remember the make. ......but I had it 9 or 10 yrs & my parents had had it 8 or 9 yrs prior to that from new. It's final demise was a an infestation of wasps due to the side window being broken in the storage yard I kept it at by vandals & me not finding it until too late due to pressures of a new business.

 

To cut a story short we bought a 2005 Bailey Senator Louisiana in Aug 2011 from a dealer near Towcester. What a brill van apart from the wall board bubbling in the bedroom on the offside after winter 2012. Still under warranty. Dealer said 'they do that sometimes. Nothing to worry about'!! Kept an eye on it. It got worse. Dealer serviced it in spring 2013 (now out of warranty). Reported a damp problem in bedroom on the offside!

 

Had it repaired by Venture Caravans who were as helpful as was possible to be. £1500 give or take. Also asked them to service it prior to me collecting it (we're now at Christmas 2013). They rang me to say they'd done as I'd asked but during the service they'd found a couple of problems. You guessed it. .....more damp. Only this time more serious. The entirety of the front end had 90% plus damp readings.

 

At this point I contacted an independent engineer with caravan experience. He said it was a known problem caused by Bailey not pre-drilling the screw holes for the end panels dduring manufacture. The screws being forced through caused hairline stress fractures which over time ran & compromised the joint integrity.

 

We'd bought it on a small amount of finance. I contacted Blackhorse. They sent out an engineer who confirmed the extent of the issue. We got recision & 70% of our outlay over the 2 yrs we'd owned it back which I thought was fair. From start to finish the process took 4 months

 

We looked around. The second hand market was expensive for what you were getting. Those at a reasonable price were too old & we faced similar problems to the Louisiana. So we decided to go new to avoid the issue. Having looked at just about every UK built twin axle model we settled on a brand new Elddis Crusader Supersirocco from Caravanland near Banbury. All £23,206. 35 worth of it. We put over £17,000 down as a deposit. The finance was purely as protection.

 

Prior to delivery I asked Caravanland to sort out the cupboard & draw catches. ......almost all of them stuck or didn't work properly. I also asked them to put a silicon bead around the shower door securing catches to prevent water travelling down the catch securing screws and into the bathroom wall.

 

We collected the Crusader at 10:30 on Friday 30th May 2014. Leading up to the day itself our excitement was palpable. We'd arranged to go away to the Cotswolds with some caravanning friends to try it out. The cupboard door & draw catches had all been sorted. The shower door retaining catches siliconed. Apart from the extreme difficulty getting the wheels locks supplied with the van on it was fabulous. That is until 07:30 on Sunday 1st June!!

 

My partner got up to use the loo. Seconds later she was waking me to tell me the bathroom floor was flooded. Whilst scrabbling around to locate the issue I found the seal between the loo cassette tunnel and the wall had also come away. The flooding issue was definately coming from behind the shower control unit. We ended up with water under the bed as it came under the bathroom wall.

 

Rang the dealer dead on 10:00. Thought he knew where the shower issue was!!!!

 

Whilst getting ready to leave the jockey wheel also fell apart & wouldn't go back together. My buddy is an engineer with 30 yrs experinece of caravanning. I'm an engineer too. It took two of us over an hour hanging on either end to get the ****** thing back into the threads!!!

 

Dropped it off at the dealers on the way home with a few choice words. They rang us to say it was ready 24 hrs later. The leak in the shower was due to a John Guest fitting failure as a result of the pipe not being cut straight & having a wragged edge. The seal on the cassette tunnel was supposed to be a push fit. ...they'd siloconed it back on. Badly. They hadn't addressed the issue with the jockey wheel at all.

 

Whilst still at the dealers I found the bathroom door opened without needing to depress the door handle. We discussed further repair.

 

Once home I started putting the awnings etc back under the bed. Thats when I found the headboard was falling off! At that point I got the magnifying glass out;

 

Almost all the wall board jointing strips were coming off, the self adhesive LED lighting strips weren't sticking to the central roof light surround, cabinet carcass bolt hole covers were all loose or missing, most of the self adhesive screw covers were peelng off, cable trunking covers were cut too short, tapes in the cupboards were split & wragged, light fittings had wires hanging out of them, wall boards were cut badly, plastic cable trunking covers in the cupboards were coming off, the Aldi heating header tank was misplaced, water intake cover wouldn't shut due to excessive silicon.

 

If all the above wasn't enough I also found the alignment bolts on the nearside used to hold the bulkhead to the floor whilst the glue sets hadn't been done up at all therefore compromising the joint.

 

I wrote to the dealer & Elddis telloing them to either replace the vehicle or refund our money. The dealer didn't respond. Elddis said they wanted to repair it through Caravanland. All in all I wrote to them both 3 times. I never got a repsonse from Caravanland. So I phoned the dealer. Mr Fletcher said he thought I was being 'picky' & 'fussy'. I also wrote to Mr Quine, Elddis's Managing Director. Mr Quine didn't think it neccessary to reply in person.

 

I also involved Blackhorse. They again sent in independent engineer. This gentleman found even more faults than I; a nail standing proud under a cupboard shelf, the centrla skylight surrond not properly affixed, the fridge vents coming away from the van wall, the wheel arches/spats coming off the van walls, staples & rivets in the front locker not holding what they were supposed to hold, & the vehicle had 2 different serial/VIN numbers!!!!

 

Had we have been stopped by the police there is every chance the van would have been impounded & we could have been arrested.

 

Needles to say we got our money back. But neither the dealer or the manufacturer would step up to the plate & take responsibility for the pile of **** they had made & supplied.

 

However, when the agent came to take it away I learnt that it was scheduled to go to auction. I contacted Blackhorse with my concerns over the serial number & the overal safety of the vehicle. They told me that whilst there was a risk it could end up being bought by a member of the public, the vast majority of caravans at auction were stripped for spares!!!!!!

 

Who the hell do they think they're kidding.

 

We have now contacted CRiS who say they may contact the police. So if anyone buys an Elddis Crusader Supersirocco with the serial number SGET000 EXECRC 5022 beware. Because you've bought yourself a whole heap of trouble.

 

We collect the replacement for the Crusader on 31st July. A Lunar Delta RS. Having read about the issues with the front window catches & the windows buckling I don't hold out much hope.

 

Wish me luck

 

bj3

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Hi bj3. First of all let me congratulate you on the way you bought it on finance, always good to have them on your side to help.

It really is a disgusting state of affairs when you have to do this. I have often said that the British caravan industry needs a good kicking up the backside when it comes to quality control and cases like this prove that I am right. The SOGA 1974 was something I never knew about until having had to complain about caravan build. I will not enumerate how many British caravans I have owned and had damp problems with. Letters to manufacturers seem to fall on deaf ears so I voted with my cheque book last time and bought a German Hymer in 2006. I still have it now and when I am tempted to go and look at the latest vans I then go back into mine for a quality comparison and guess what? Mine STILL comes out on top. O. K. I still have tiny little things go wrong, like last time I was out, the mirror clips showed signs of age related stress so I replaced them all total cost was a hefty £8 inc. postage, but as long as the manufacturers continue to troll out such badly put together vehicles, I for one will never buy another British van.

I believe the caravan industry is in the same position as was the car industry before the Japanese took over, that was the signal to improve or get out, look at the result. .... Rant over. ......Peter

Peter and Sandy pulling a 2016 Coachman VIP 565 with

2016 Ford Kuga 2. 0. 180 ps. Titanium Nav.

Retired and loving it.

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This seems to be an Elddis problem, I did write at length on this matter when we bought a new Elddis, the quality control is non existent, and the response to customer queries/complaints could be likened to a "dead hedgehog". I could repeat every thing and the photos too ad infinitum, shall we say that a non fixed bed and the electric hook up not attached to anything tends to cause concern. I tell every caravaner I meet in the hope that they will be more aware when buying such products.

If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room. B)

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow; Don't walk behind me, I may not lead; Walk beside me, and just be my friend.

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Hi Bj, welcome to the forum! Not a good experience at all. I was looking at new caravans the

weekend, but I think I will stick to my 'old' Crusader! ;)

2011 Land Rover Freelander 2, Lago grey 2013 Freelander Dynamic Black, followed by a 2013 Elddis 574 Magnum GT white

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Thanks for your support Gravon42, Cyclocara & PeterJohn. Good to know we're not alone. ........although it do feel like that when you're in the thick of it all!!

 

Your likening the current British Caravan Industry to the British car industry of the 70's & 80's PeterJohn mirrors my own thoughts.

 

I've looked at the continental equivalents and the quality of all of them seems infinitely superior to anything built in the UK. Similarly priced too. However the layouts of the vehicles I would consider don't suit as most have the bedroom at the front, & then there's the length & weight issues.

 

Having said that, I spend a great deal of time out on the highways & byways & the number of German caravans being towed by British registered cars I've noticed this year is far greater than ever before. Particularly large twin axle varieties!

 

Lets hope it makes the law makers reconsider towing restrictions.

 

For sure though the quality of the fittings in the pre 2010 UK built vans seems to be far superior to that of post 2010. The finish quality of the fixtures & fittings of our old 2005 Louisiana was far better than those in the Elddis. It was the structure of it that was rubbish.

 

The only thing I can put it down to is the proliferation of caravanners & therefore the increase in sales volumes which is driving profit greed in the manufacturers. No one objects to them making a profit but at the expense of quality?

 

Given the apparent numbers of complaints to the finance houses I'm amazed that they are not taking legal action against the manufacturers.

 

As we start the countdown to collecting the new Delta I have to say we are both in more than a little trepidation of what exactly we will get.

 

Having read about the window issues they seem to suffer from I have fired off a preemptive email to the dealer on Sunday. Needless to say I haven't had a response!!!!

 

Bj3

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Have to say I agree with you re quality of newer vans. We have a 2009 Crusader Supercyclone which I believe has a better 'feel' to its interior than the new models - there seems more use of plastics and film wrapping of surfaces in the newer ones, i guess this is to save weight but also possibly to help profit margins.

We would possibly renew our caravan but having sorted out the small (and a few not so small) issues i feel inclined to stay with what i know rather than spend a lot of cash on a potential problem. Also, due to work pressures we cannot get away as much as we like and to have £26k worth of caravan sitting outside losing money would irk me even more than fact we cant get away where as our s/h caravan cost half that when we bought it and probably only lost @ £2k in the 2 years+ we have owned it and we like it. so cant find a good reason to change.

Powrtouch AWD Movers. E & P Compact Levelling System.

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Lot of truth in the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" . .....Peter

Peter and Sandy pulling a 2016 Coachman VIP 565 with

2016 Ford Kuga 2. 0. 180 ps. Titanium Nav.

Retired and loving it.

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Bj3 - I am shocked to read your problems but glad you successfully rejected it and got your money back :o

 

I had 8 months of problems last year with a 2010 crusader cyclone and poor dealer before cutting my losses and starting again :(

 

I bought a 2014 crusader storm from caravanland in May and my experience has been the complete opposite of yours so far but you only find out how good a dealer is when you have a problem. From your post this doesn't look good!

A Vanner without a van due to the demands of DIY and SWMBO - 40 years was a good run though :unsure:

 

Now a Motorhome Learner with a Fiat Toad :o

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The main problem is that unhappy owners cannot get to the manufacturer only the distributor and at the end of the day he did not build it.

This means the manufacturer can carry on building rubbish caravans with impunity as long as we keep buying poor quality items they will carry on reaping the profits.

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From a purely economical point of view I would have thought that carefully putting a caravan together in the first place, even though it may take a few hours, or a bit more sealant, would be a lot cheaper in the long run, when you consider how much it must cost to rectify faulty workmanship.

Therefore I would ask any manufacturer reading this forum, to consider this equation when building their next van. Also to consider this, when something does go wrong, it is better to be known as a company who cares, rather than one who doesn't give a damn.

In the meantime may I ask that all who are experiencing problems take a hard line with dealers who do not take their responsibilities seriously, maybe then something will be done. .... Peter

Peter and Sandy pulling a 2016 Coachman VIP 565 with

2016 Ford Kuga 2. 0. 180 ps. Titanium Nav.

Retired and loving it.

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Sadly, this type of thread is getting more and more common on the Elddis part of the forum, and probably more so than any other manufacturer. I too have been a victim of the poor Elddis quality and non existant customer service. As the OP is doing, I got rid of my Elddis and went to Lunar. Our caravan is second hand though, but the 2 weeks and 1 weekend away since we got it have been absolute bliss with no faults whatsoever. It's a crying shame that Elddis as a company is run by people who seem hell bent on destruction. My own personal prediction is that if this scenario carries on in the same vein with the same management team at the helm, Elddis will no longer exist in 5 years time. They have done a lot of damage to the business and lost a lot of customers who will never again consider buying the brand. I certainly won't buy another Elddis product.

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My own personal prediction is that if this scenario carries on in the same vein with the same management team at the helm, Elddis will no longer exist in 5 years time. They have done a lot of damage to the business and lost a lot of customers who will never again consider buying the brand. I certainly won't buy another Elddis product.

 

If that happens so be it, they have had enough time to reply to all the criticism on this forum and sadly have not. It will be a shame for the workers although in some way they may have contributed to their own downfall by not insisting that the management start to to think more about quality and less about the number of vans out the door.

Peter and Sandy pulling a 2016 Coachman VIP 565 with

2016 Ford Kuga 2. 0. 180 ps. Titanium Nav.

Retired and loving it.

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Hi folks

 

Like to thank you all for your input. Really interesting experiences & views.

 

Genuinely pleased Muddywheels you're happy with your product & the dealer given we bought our respective vehicles from the same place. We can only speak as we find.

 

However I've read some of your other threads & unless i'm wrong it appears you've not been without your own problems. Most of them minor for sure. But they shoud've been dealt with by the dealers PDI prior to you collecting the vehicle nevertheless.

 

Volvovanner I can't fault your philosophy. Problem is finding a decent s/h vehicle & having the time, space & equipment to sort out any probs it may have yourself.

 

Wise words peterjohn. May be you & I should meet up for a beer & put the world to rights lol.

 

Getting to the manufacturer nevonheronlake is actualy quite easy. Getting them to do anything is a different matter! The problem is that in law our contract is not with them. If like most folk you've bought it on finance, however small or large the finance aspect may be, our contract is not even with the dealer. It's with the finance company, so quoting the SoGa to the dealer is a waste of good breath or ink.

 

Even if you didn't buy it on finance the dealer also has 'rights'. They are quite within their rights to offer to repair. Taking the dealer to court is too costly & involved for most folk. ........any type of action takes over your life (I speak from personal experience). If the value of the vehicle is over £20k the action is outside of the small claims court & the costs esculate massively & the time the action will take is measured in years. Even if the action is within the scope of the small claims court there are still routes they can take to prolong/avoid a refund.

 

In the meantime the manufacturer continues to produce c***, the dealer continues to sell it, and you are still the proud owner. & if you continue to use it your claim diminishes dramatically.

 

The only way for the situation to change is either to get a change to SoGa through the statue books, which is fraught with difficulty if loopholes are to be avoided the biggest one being that no one picks up responsibity for it, or a Judicial review which costs millions & 90% of which fail!

 

Even rich kiddies such as Blackhorse won't go to those lengths on the grounds of commercial viability. Even if there was a change, via either route, the losers in the long run would be us as the finance houses would just increase the interest rate to recoup their losses. .......what goes up in personal finance terms rarely goes down.

 

What is verging on criminal is that the finance houses are free to dispose of the vehicle in whatever way they feel will recoup the greatest value. In our case they will recoup most if not all of their outlay given the age of the vehicle. They may even make a small profit.

 

Given that there is money invlolved I personally doubt the sincerety of Blackhorse's words that 'the auction houses are made fully aware of the issues a vehicle has'. As ours has been sent to BCA auctions I will try to find out exactly what information the finance houses impart to the auction houses. I have a call awaiting response with the MD of BCA who is a personal aquaintance and someone I spent almost 17 yrs propping up the same bar once or twice a week with. As soon as Andrew returns to his desk I am hopeful I will get the answers I seek. Naturally I will pass them on.

 

As for Elddis cgh5861. .........as I'm sure you know they are part of the 'Explorer Group'. Who are inturn are owned by a much larger group who's name I now forget. A little research online has shown that 12 to 18 months ago the parent company did a full 'internal review' of the Explorer Group operation. Evidently they didn't like what they found & decided to 'streamline' the operation. From what I can make out the parent company, in various guises, now supply the majority of the nuts, bolts, screws, staples, rivets, etc to Elddis. Quality is not their prime objective!!!

 

I'm sure Elddis will exist in 5 yrs time. Once the current holding company recoup their investment plus a little I feel sure Elddis will be sold on. Wether or not the potential buyers research will extend far enough outside of the balance sheet to establish the exact situation remains to be seen.

 

In the meantime we pick our replacement vehicle up at 13:00 hrs today. The Delta RS. My partner is dreading it. I have to confess I too am a little anxious.

 

Whatch this space!!

 

Regards to all.

 

bj3

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Sadly, this type of thread is getting more and more common on the Elddis part of the forum, and probably more so than any other manufacturer. I too have been a victim of the poor Elddis quality and non existant customer service. .........Elddis as a company is run by people who seem hell bent on destruction. My own personal prediction is that if this scenario carries on in the same vein with the same management team at the helm, Elddis will no longer exist in 5 years time. They have done a lot of damage to the business and lost a lot of customers who will never again consider buying the brand. I certainly won't buy another Elddis product.

My sentiments almost to the word, just not sure about them not being there in 5 years though, your penultimate sentence hitting the nail well and truly on the head.

 Stay safe ~ Griff    :ph34r:

Wheels at the front ~ Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back ~ 4 of ‘em

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Hope it goes well today BJ3 and you enjoy your new caravan B)

 

It really is a shame you've been let down by Elddis and Caravanland :angry:

A Vanner without a van due to the demands of DIY and SWMBO - 40 years was a good run though :unsure:

 

Now a Motorhome Learner with a Fiat Toad :o

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"As for Elddis cgh5861. .........as I'm sure you know they are part of the 'Explorer Group'. Who are inturn are owned by a much larger group who's name I now forget. A little research online has shown that 12 to 18 months ago the parent company did a full 'internal review' of the Explorer Group operation. Evidently they didn't like what they found & decided to 'streamline' the operation. From what I can make out the parent company, in various guises, now supply the majority of the nuts, bolts, screws, staples, rivets, etc to Elddis. Quality is not their prime objective!!!"

 

Elddis parent company is the Consantine Group who seem to thing they are doing a Stirling job with Elddis. ! http://www. constantinegroup. com/manufacturing. php

Steve

2017 Dethleffs Globus I1 Motorhome.

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IMO out of the many caravans a manufacturer produces the ones that have problems are totally down to how it is handled by the dealership and manufacturer . As posted the deanship did not respond well .

 

I have always thought if caravans or cars the dealership makes all the difference with problems.

 

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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I'm with you on that one Dave. Maybe it would be a good idea to have a list of all good dealers with marks up to say 5 stars?

Although it does seem sometimes that one persons experience of good service is somewhat overshadowed by another persons problem with the same dealer. .....Peter

Peter and Sandy pulling a 2016 Coachman VIP 565 with

2016 Ford Kuga 2. 0. 180 ps. Titanium Nav.

Retired and loving it.

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Unfortunately, Peter and Dave, I have to disagree in our case. Our dealer was fantastic throughout and did everything and more to help us out. Without going into it too much, he was embarrassed and annoyed with Elddis and their customer service. Our caravan, and Elddis caused him as much grief as it did to us, plus it has cost him money throughout. He is just a small dealership and his reputation is important. Would I buy another caravan from him? Yes - I did! Would I buy another new caravan from him? Yes, as long as other manufacturers than Elddis see that this dealership is worth it's weight in gold and award him a franchise of their caravans.

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Hope it goes well today BJ3 and you enjoy your new caravan B)

 

It really is a shame you've been let down by Elddis and Caravanland :angry:

Surprise surprise another one let down by Elddis and Caravanland, just like me. I wonder if the owner of Caravanland still drives his Ferrari and other toys, purchased probably with the profits from shoddily built caravans. Watch out for their badged versions of the Elddis product as well with a name that's a take on a more upmarket model.

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Unfortunately, Peter and Dave, I have to disagree in our case. Our dealer was fantastic throughout and did everything and more to help us out. Without going into it too much, he was embarrassed and annoyed with Elddis and their customer service. Our caravan, and Elddis caused him as much grief as it did to us, plus it has cost him money throughout. He is just a small dealership and his reputation is important. Would I buy another caravan from him? Yes - I did! Would I buy another new caravan from him? Yes, as long as other manufacturers than Elddis see that this dealership is worth it's weight in gold and award him a franchise of their caravans.

I concur with those sentiments, we have a local dealer in Burnley, Whitfords, who I know well, I couldn't buy my last caravan from them as I had made up my mind to buy German and they didn't have the dealership. But because of being a small concern, they do their best for their customers.

I feel that the big companies may be more to blame because of their distance from the customer and so I would always choose a small dealer if given the choice. ........Peter

Peter and Sandy pulling a 2016 Coachman VIP 565 with

2016 Ford Kuga 2. 0. 180 ps. Titanium Nav.

Retired and loving it.

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Sorry to hijack. Currently in Biarritz in our replacement Tempest EB as the first one basically dropped to bits. Had the front windows open and they have just come away from the caravan! Unbelievable

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Sorry to hijack. Currently in Biarritz in our replacement Tempest EB as the first one basically dropped to bits. Had the front windows open and they have just come away from the caravan! Unbelievable

Has the top hinge rail come away from the caravan? If so it will likely need taking off, cleaning, re-bedding on fresh mastic strip and new/slightly larger diameter s/s screws to re-fix. Seems a common fault on Elddis caravans. You may get away with a temporary repair by simply tightening the fixing screws until you get home, if caravan is under warranty. Whatever happens do get it attended to though as if not the ingress of water will do much damage to the front panel of the caravan.

Similar problem with our 2009 Crusader except i only noticed the hinge bar was loose when opening/closing the window and saw it move - had been letting in water round (loose) screw holes but not for long and was able to get it sorted with no issues at all and did dry out perfectly.

Powrtouch AWD Movers. E & P Compact Levelling System.

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Still believe that if this poor quality carries on dealers will fall away as the elddis group will be too much of a nightmare to take on due to screaming customers and huge repair costs.

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