AL-KO IRS axle failure on 9 month old Swift Sprite Alpine 4 caravan

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Jun 20, 2005
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Glad it is sorted but the engineers suggestions look more an excuse than fact. I cannot see that an overload limit of 1kg would be accepted as reasonable at law. There should be more tolerance than that.
I wonder if any one knows the safety factor used by Al-ko in their design? 1kg above specification cannot be right in engineering terms. If was a bridge over a ravine would you use it😉
 
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I wonder if any one knows the safety factor used by Al-ko in their design? 1kg above specification cannot be right in engineering terms. If was a bridge over a ravine would you use it😉
I think that the engineer was talking pure baloney even more so given the axle rating was 200kg (approx) higher than the MTPLM. IS Alko testing of products accurate to 1 kg in 1500 kg ? Highly unlikely. As stated earlier dynamic loads exceed the static load.
 
Apr 21, 2005
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I bought a brand new Swift Sprite Alpine 4 caravan from Glossop Caravans in October 2022

I have used it twice once in May to go down to Corfu where we have some apartment's and stay for the summer and once when we returned at the end of September .

We only need to take the basics for the trip as we have all we need in Corfu .

We had the caravan serviced in November 2023 by an approved swift engineer.

He noticed that the van was lower on the off side and advised us to get it checked .

We took it into Glossop on the 2nd January , their earliest available appointment, for an assessment.


Some measurements were requested and sent to AL-KO .

AL-KO came back saying the measurements were outside their tolerance and that the van had been overloaded as the axle had failed.

As a result they rejected a warranty claim effectively invalidating my insurance.

The claim was sent to Swift who based on AL-KOs comment stood by the decision and also rejected the claim.


Despite me contacting them both and advising them that I had not overloaded the van and giving them information on my background the claim was rejected again twice by both company’s.

I had to obtain legal advice and consequently served a notice on Glossop caravans advising them that I was instigating court proceedings and that they had 28 days to respond . I did not want to do this as all the staff at Glossop had been very understanding and helpful but as the contract was with them and not the others I had to make the claim against them.

I was then advised that AL-KO had agreed to physically examine my van , something they had not yet done .

This examination is to take place on the 21st February .

I’m not holding my breath and have to proceed as if the rejection will be upheld.


I am compiling information for a possible court appearance and wanted to know if we have another Bailey type problem developing .

For those who are not aware of this several owners of mainly Bailey caravans suffered axle failure which were written off by AL-KO as being overload incidents.


This was later found to be false and the axles were in fact faulty .


I am posting this here to see if anyone has had a similar problem and how it has been dealt with .


This may be an isolated incident and hopefully they will accept that this is not a case of overloading and honour the warranty when they examine it next week .
Hi, I've just been trying to find whether anyone else is experiencing the same issue as us and I found your post. Our Swift Challenger 2021 model has dropped on the 'driver' side and we are now on the third set of measurements being taken by the supplier. They have now received the tolerance measurements which is a bit sceptical considering they have been sent 2 readings already!! I'm just wondering how you have got on as I'm expected a battle. We've already been warned that they will use the overload excuse but what evidence do they have of this. I would be interested to know where you are at with it all. Many thanks. @KJF400
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Unfortunately, all we know is contained in this thread. If you haven't read all of it I suggest you do, then you will know as much as we do.

With regards an evidence the caravan manufacturer or dealer has of any overload, you will have to ask those who might be accusing you of it.

I wish you luck, but it seems it does require lots of persistence, and of course the older the caravan is the more difficult you might find the process.
 
Jun 13, 2024
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Hi, I've just been trying to find whether anyone else is experiencing the same issue as us and I found your post. Our Swift Challenger 2021 model has dropped on the 'driver' side and we are now on the third set of measurements being taken by the supplier. They have now received the tolerance measurements which is a bit sceptical considering they have been sent 2 readings already!! I'm just wondering how you have got on as I'm expected a battle. We've already been warned that they will use the overload excuse but what evidence do they have of this. I would be interested to know where you are at with it all. Many thanks. @KJF400
I have a 2019 Swift Eccles, this has been diagnosed whilst having an issue with water ingress from the roof, due to loss of adhesion of the silicone that secures the "cant rail" from the side to the roof. Cost to fix the IRS is £1250. The approved workshop said that it is indeed hard to prove and drags on, so I've bitten the bullet and authorised the repair.

Had to reply, they also had another Swift in and a Baily for the same repair.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I have a 2019 Swift Eccles, this has been diagnosed whilst having an issue with water ingress from the roof, due to loss of adhesion of the silicone that secures the "cant rail" from the side to the roof. Cost to fix the IRS is £1250. The approved workshop said that it is indeed hard to prove and drags on, so I've bitten the bullet and authorised the repair.

Had to reply, they also had another Swift in and a Baily for the same repair.
My Swift Sprite had a dropped OS axle at five years old and I had to pay for a replacement to be fitted. Galling to say the least.
 
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Isn't the problem that under CRA 2015, once the first 6 months is up, it's up to the customer to prove that the fault existed at point of sale - so in the case of premature suspension failure impossible to prove.
That is correct and in some cases it can be proved with an expert report which is how we managed to get the front panel replaced on our caravan when it was 5 years old. In this case the caravan is only 2 years old.

The main issue is to find out why there is an issue with the axle. Once the dealer has explained why the issue has occurred only then can you move forward with any claim.
 
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With mine it would have been impossible to decide on the reason without a detailed expert investigation. Whether the rubber rushes were outside of spec would be one area, or defects with the supports and structure. After crawling all around it I could see no obvious signs of structural issues, and the only area that was suspect was that the rubber had "extruded" out from its normal shape on the one side. This could be under spec rubber, overloading or road damage. Prior to the defect being found I had been to Shropshire and the roads were appalling, probably the worst I have ever traveled on in UK. I was in a different position to the Bailey guy who was successful in his claim, so as I needed a caravan I bought the new axle.

This is what mine looked like

Image.jpeg
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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O
Prior to the defect being found I had been to Shropshire and the roads were appalling, probably the worst I have ever traveled on in UK.
Those potholes in Shropshire , last year , cost me a new tyre. I couldn’t prove which pothole did the damage, a big cut on the wall, so paid myself.
Looking back at #39 and 40 I wonder just how many axle failures are out there?
Remember the Post office quote? “You are the only one with this problem”!🙀
 
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Those potholes in Shropshire , last year , cost me a new tyre. I couldn’t prove which pothole did the damage, a big cut on the wall, so paid myself.
Looking back at #39 and 40 I wonder just how many axle failures are out there?
Remember the Post office quote? “You are the only one with this problem”!🙀
The timeline is when we were parked up next to each other at Wheathills. The roads didn't really get much better until we were in the vicinity of Worcester.
 

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