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They Don't Make 'em Like They Used To .....


Rael
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We've just upgraded our 2003 van to a 2012 model - both Bailey's. While the new van looks lovely and has lots of toys and so on, I'm surprised (read 'disappointed') how many niggly faults it has compared to its older cousin - lights not working, bits of trim loose, blinds that don't retract and so on - our 11 year old original van has had no faults whatsoever (apart from one window stay which got broken through hamfisted stupidity). Several friends have had similar experiences too. We are new to caravanning so I wondered - have the newer vans traded quality for quantity?

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We've just upgraded our 2003 van to a 2012 model - both Bailey's. While the new van looks lovely and has lots of toys and so on, I'm surprised (read 'disappointed') how many niggly faults it has compared to its older cousin - lights not working, bits of trim loose, blinds that don't retract and so on - our 11 year old original van has had no faults whatsoever (apart from one window stay which got broken through hamfisted stupidity). Several friends have had similar experiences too. We are new to caravanning so I wondered - have the newer vans traded quality for quantity?

2000-2003 were Bailey's best years for quality - after that they started chasing volume.

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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Short answer? Yes, we looked at a lot of different models a couple of weeks ago and found all sorts of faults which should have been apparent before delivery to the dealer. As long as you are prepared to do a bit of cleaning up and screwing down and other boys and pieces, as long as the fabric is o. k. Then that's what you have to put up with. ...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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Rale

You are not alone in making this observation. We traded in an old Bailey Beachcomber (1993) for a new Lunar Cosmos 352 and although we love the new van (and the many luxuries that come with it) we have noticed the lack of attention to detail in the finishing. For example our van had an alarm not wired up, a light switch hanging off and some loose wiring to one section of the "mood lighting" We also suffered an unfortunate and catastrophic failure of the bathroom sink when a small plastic toothbrush fell into it. I fixed the first three items myself, the latter was done under warranty. What amazes me is all the paperwork that came with the van saying it had been inspected prior to delivery. In short I think the answer to your question is YES quality has been sacrificed for volume.

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This got me wondering how many caravan owners had problems in the 70s . I cant remember ever thinking about warranties then as nothing seemed to go wrong with a caravan but it was just a box on wheels then with no gadgets .

 

 

 

Anyone have any problems with caravans 40 yrs ago that needed a warranty claim ? I would of thought there might of been a few with problems but not many .

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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Hi, I have stated in other threads before, I would never buy a new caravan. The quality and standard of workmanship is poor compared to the older ones. For the amount of money you pay no one should have to tidy up as it has been called in a brand new van.

 

These company's will alway get away with it as long as we all keep letting them, vote with your wallet and say no. I know I am wasting my breath but someone has to keep saying it, as one day it just might sink in.

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We had a 1986 Bailey Chieftain for 17 years and had very few problems with it until the final couple of years. However it was a very simple caravan compared with those of today. I think the design of our current Bailey Unicorn is much better than the older ones, but I do also think that in some respects it is a good design badly executed in terms of the quality of its assembly, although I suspect that other volume manufacturers are probably no better.

We fight not for glory, nor for wealth nor honours . ..

but only and alone we fight for freedom,

which no good man surrenders but with his life.

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This got me wondering how many caravan owners had problems in the 70s . I cant remember ever thinking about warranties then as nothing seemed to go wrong with a caravan but it was just a box on wheels then with no gadgets .

 

 

 

Anyone have any problems with caravans 40 yrs ago that needed a warranty claim ? I would of thought there might of been a few with problems but not many .

 

Dave

It was just a year's warranty for quite some time - those caravans just never went back to the dealers as many were DIY enough to do their own servicing.

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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I suspect part of the problem is that vans get heavier as people want more stuff - big fridge, microwave, fixed beds, etc so they have to save weight by using lighter materials elsewhere - inevitably it means quality suffers.

 

The other side of the coin though is shoddy workmanship from the manufacturers and lazy dealers - my van was supposedly serviced and PDI'd yet the tail & running / marker lights only worked on one side and the handbrake didn't work.

 

 

Is this a British thing or are German vans and other foreign makes the same?

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Is this a British thing or are German vans and other foreign makes the same?

 

As you can see from my profile picture, the Hymer was the best made and the best presented at the time of purchase, I have no reason for regrets, the service from the original dealer (Lowdhams) has been good and I think that a good dealer is really 75% of a good deal. .....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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It might be the 2003 van has had its "issues" sorted long ago by others, and with the 2012 the sorting is falling to you?

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That's a possibility however I would hope that the lights and handbrake worked at some point given that it's a 2 yr old van, I assume it didn't leave the factory like that. Mind you, it's just an assumption . ...

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These company's will alway get away with it as long as we all keep letting them, vote with your wallet and say no. I know I am wasting my breath but someone has to keep saying it, as one day it just might sink in.

 

It's got to be more costly to fix these problems post delivery than to do the work correct in the first place.

 

It just doesn't make economic sense.

 

If they improved quality they could lower the retail price and make more money as well.

 

Regards,

Steve

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It's got to be more costly to fix these problems post delivery than to do the work correct in the first place.

 

It just doesn't make economic sense.

 

If they improved quality they could lower the retail price and make more money as well.

 

Regards,

Steve

I agree, but it doesn't seem to bother them, whatever happened to quality control, is it a thing of the pass.

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I blame the EU. .............................. :ph34r::ph34r:

I refer you to the Rt Hon Member for the 19th Century.....................pictured just to the left of your screen..................

 

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We to have purchased a 2014 Bailey and have had niggles with it. The ceiling light fitting had a screw missing - it hung down from the ceiling but was missed on pdi!. The reading light over the bed has no clip to hold the LED in place. The front blind went kaput the first time out (would not roll back into housing), went back to dealer who fitted new one - only to find it had pinholes in fabric, so awaiting another blind to arrive. A few screw covers missing, mudflap fitted wrong - it curved and stuck out of the wheel arch. Many of these faults should have been seen at the factory and rectified there. Our dealer is a round trip of 50 miles so to take van back is costly and time consuming, therefore many faults we have rectified just for convenience. It is sad but true - volume not quality counts today. But I love the van and would not swap it for any other!!

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I made bessacarr caravans from the late '80's until the company closed in 1996. They were hand built from the chassis up and were considered a excellent coach built caravan. They were poor at best. The number of vans that came back for repairs was incredible. The difference between then and now?, the internet!, that's the difference.

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Interesting point Jessdale . .. you think they were always rubbish it's just that we didn't hear about it prior to the invention of the interweb?

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I blame the bankers! :ph34r:

 

 

 

I'm only half joking. After the financial crash in 2008 many people stopped taking holidays abroad and decided to stay in the UK. That led to a surge in demand for caravans and the caravan industry responded by trying to build more and more caravans to meet the demand. In my personal opinion the industry was not really geared up for that volume and they didn't have sufficient staff numbers to build the caravans, so quality suffered because they were trying to rush too many caravans through their factories too quickly and also sometimes using new fitters who had little training, no experience and no great pride in their work. :beardy:

We fight not for glory, nor for wealth nor honours . ..

but only and alone we fight for freedom,

which no good man surrenders but with his life.

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Interesting point Jessdale . .. you think they were always rubbish it's just that we didn't hear about it prior to the invention of the interweb?

Definitely. We were always told we were the best of the best yet every corner was cut where possible. But owners were few and far between so when a van cam back with a leak, which was VERY common, it was always the first !!!!!
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We've just upgraded our 2003 van to a 2012 model - both Bailey's. While the new van looks lovely and has lots of toys and so on, I'm surprised (read 'disappointed') how many niggly faults it has compared to its older cousin - lights not working, bits of trim loose, blinds that don't retract and so on - our 11 year old original van has had no faults whatsoever (apart from one window stay which got broken through hamfisted stupidity). Several friends have had similar experiences too. We are new to caravanning so I wondered - have the newer vans traded quality for quantity?

My 1992 Swift had 20 faults.

 

My 1997 Avondale only 15 faults, but one was a replacement rear panel.

 

My 2004 Bailey had 25 faults, fridge element went 3 times during ownership, and finally front panel cracked on both sides, common fault.

 

And present 2011 Bailey over 40 faults.

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7 vans over 24 years, one Swift, one Elddis, and five Baileys, I must have been quite lucky as probably only approximately 15 faults on all seven, 3 faults on current van GT65 Verona, leaking bathroom tap, broken blind and flickering led light, back to dealers on Monday under warranty

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I too have lost count of the faults I have fixed myself on site, this weekend one of my wet locker doors fell apart and I had to strip it down and glue the broken part, plus screws coming loose and not being able to make tight as there is nothing to grab into as it is not made of wood . that's the problem with non wood fixings when screws come loose that's it . I remember our first caravan elddis 2 berth year 2000, solid wood really well built, and all fixings solid as a rock, then going to a brand new 2007 model and the difference was amazing in quality, or lack of it . that said I love our van and just put up with fixing stuff on holiday lol

Honda crv ex 2. 2 manual

elddis 20/6 2017

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I have a theory (no more than that) that the first Alutech vans were better made because Bailey were very keen to ensure that the new production method was properly implemented.

 

I think there's a 'factory visit' You Tube video that mentions production being more leisurely due to workers 'taking time to get things just right'

 

Ours is a late 2010 build, and has had no major problems - no damp in the wet lockers, and nothing falling off or coaming apart. I'm hopeful that, even by the date it was produced, Bailey were still taking more care and checking things more thoroughly.

 

It does seem that an awful lot of the horror stories relate to later Alutech vans. Premubably production had resumed at full speed, and quality was once again second to quantity?

 

If so, Bailey have lost a huge advantage over their rivals. Reduced production volume would have resulted in the vans gaining an enviable reputation for quality and would also have cut warranty claims massively.

 

. Less volume = less short term profit, but would have been offset in the longer term by ever increasing desirability of the caravans, and lower warranty costs.

Edited by Eddiewin88
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My theory with all UK makes of caravans is . ... Its a lucky dip and unfortunately quite a few times your not that lucky. :(

 

Question is . ... who or what decides who the unlucky ones will be :blink:

Edited by Gaz40
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