Buying a new caravan

Sep 2, 2018
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Well, here we are again seeking advice about which caravan should I buy, all manufacturers are terrible I hear, dealerships don't give a damn once they have your money!!!!! No I do not have an answer. Reviews after reviews generally say how things are bad in the caravan world, but surely there must be half decent ones?
Enough of that. I am about to collect my new Elddis Aurora. Ahhh!!! I hear, I wouldn't touch an Elddis, some reviews say. Hopefully I get a good one.
One thing I think I have learnt from another caravanner, NEVER PAY CASH. I always have. The advice came from a couple who bought a new top of the range Coachman that literally was 'falling' apart. They got no joy from the dealer or manufacturers and then approached the caravan legal dept, who asked if they had finance when buying. The answer to that was yes. Go to your finance supplier and let them deal with the issue, they own it. Within 2 weeks their caravan was collected and a brand new one delivered. Also they got £600 compensation and some relief of interest. Food for though I think. With this in mind I have opted for a small amount of credit over 5 years as an insurance policy. Happy caravanning everyone. I hope I don't have to post a disaster blog.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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Hi Welcome to the forum
Yes there are some horror stories out there, and they should never happen especially at the price paid for them. But these are the ones your hear about, people, rightly complain, the louder the better.
There are many, many owners out there who never have any problems at all.
I didn't buy mine new, it was two years old, four years ago, I've had one problem in that time, it was quickly sorted out by Swift under guarantee. On it's last service end of July, it was completely dry and everything worked. It's a gem. I posted this on another forum and one reply was " so you've got a dry van then"
So people tend not to post if they have a good van. I don't post about my van much now.
Enjoy your new van, you maybe surprised..
 
May 7, 2012
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Welcome to the forum. I am afraid poor build can be a problem with all makes and basically go over the caravan very thoroughly when yo go to pick it up. Make sure any problems are dealt with before you take it away and do not pay a penny until you are sure you are happy with it. Most are in a decent condition but there is the odd rogue and you are likely to find the odd problem.
Not all dealers are rogues though, look at on line reviews and see what others think before choosing one, a bit late now though.
I cannot fault the dealer we bought from for service and their helpful attitude, but with others you can have problems. We traded ours in, they put the old and new caravans next to each other and let us move things across at our leisure. A couple of problems we spotted were dealt with and so far things have gone well.
 
May 24, 2014
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Its not really "a case of you get what you pay for" either. The caravans at the bottom end of a manufacturers range can be as good or bad as those at the top of range. Bits will fall off an Elegance just as quickly as a Challenger. Indeed, the more upmarket a van is, the more complex its equipment and therefore more likely to give problems over the years.
 

Mel

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Mar 17, 2007
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Good luck. Don’t like them rush you at the handover. Some dealers do a good handover. Kimberley Caravans were great in my experience. Forum rules prevent me mentioning the name of the dealer that was less impressive. Yes there are horror stories and it is awful when you are on the receiving end of a badly built van. We have had 3 vans from new, a Swift, an Elddis, an a Bailey. It was only the Swift that was damp 3 services running. All 3 were otherwise without problems.
Enjoy
Mel
 
Jun 20, 2017
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At the handover of our new swift last year, I found a loose cupboard handle that I had noted during the first inspection a week before. With me spotting that, I asked for a service engineer to accompany me during my check of the van. I checked every lock, latch, hinge and fitting that I could. I also made the engineer remove the leisure battery and re-route the cables to enable the battery to fit tight to the back of the compartment. All little niggles but ones that could have been easily avoided.
I am very pleased with our purchase however so don’t be put off.

Kev
 
Sep 2, 2018
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Taking advice from the forum, we did carry out a thorough inspection when collecting our new Elddis Aurora.
There it was parked up ready for collection. The first thing we noticed on the outside was the standard of clean. Looked as if had been cleaned down with a chamois leather to get the morning dew off, leaving it very streaky. So inside we go to have a look around. Again worktops and windows showing signs of a wipe over with a wet cloth. The handover was good though, with detailed information about the interior equipment, heating etc. That being complete, we went outside and I noticed that the n/s tyre pressure appeared a little low. I checked it and it was 36psi instead of 65psi. The other side was 60psi. Never checked if the wheel nuts were tight. With that being corrected we were off. Have to say it towed an absolute treat. This van has shock absorbers fitted and they really seem to make a difference. 2 hours later we arrived on a site and got set up. Being an man, I had to fiddle with things, trying to remember all the things that I had been shown (not a chance!!!). So as you go in there are 4 switches by the control panel. The left one should have put the n/s outside door light on. Nothing. It put the light on the o/s. The second switch put the n/s door light on. The third was the master 12v switch and the forth put on interior lights. So screwdriver out, rewired the 4 lights as they should be in the book. Other than that very pleased with caravan so far. Had heavy rain that night and didn't wake up to a wet floor, so that is encouraging. What ever happened to a Pre Delivery Inspection???? Happy caravanning everyone.
 
May 7, 2012
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Good to hear you are generally happy with the caravan. A bit late now but videoing the important parts of the handover is useful for when you get on site.
 

Ty

Apr 18, 2018
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As every one has already stated have a thorough look round at the hand over , we bought our compass from Kimberley Caravans the hand over was excellent, we had a few minor issues after a couple if weeks, Kimberley quickly collected the caraven from our storage rectified the issues and returned the caravan ready for our weekend outing. Really excellent service.

Ty
 
Jun 24, 2005
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Picked up my new Unicorn Pamplona on Monday from Lady Bailey in Dorset. Excellent handover, good price. Just waiting for the CNIT certificate so I can get it registered in France. No problems with the 'van (as yet!!!)
 
Jun 26, 2017
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Smokey53 said:
Well, here we are again seeking advice about which caravan should I buy, all manufacturers are terrible I hear, dealerships don't give a damn once they have your money!!!!! No I do not have an answer. Reviews after reviews generally say how things are bad in the caravan world, but surely there must be half decent ones?
Enough of that. I am about to collect my new Elddis Aurora. Ahhh!!! I hear, I wouldn't touch an Elddis, some reviews say. Hopefully I get a good one.
One thing I think I have learnt from another caravanner, NEVER PAY CASH. I always have. The advice came from a couple who bought a new top of the range Coachman that literally was 'falling' apart. They got no joy from the dealer or manufacturers and then approached the caravan legal dept, who asked if they had finance when buying. The answer to that was yes. Go to your finance supplier and let them deal with the issue, they own it. Within 2 weeks their caravan was collected and a brand new one delivered. Also they got £600 compensation and some relief of interest. Food for though I think. With this in mind I have opted for a small amount of credit over 5 years as an insurance policy. Happy caravanning everyone. I hope I don't have to post a disaster blog.

Couldn’t disagree more ...

I bought a brand new caravan last year and paid cash. Had a few niggles along the way, but found that both Swift and my local dealer (who didn’t even supply the van) bend over backwards to address any concerns.

In any case, if somebody doesn’t have the social skills to communicate and resolve problems effectively with the supplying dealer, whichever company one chooses to be indebted to, they have no more legal rights than the individual.

My advice would be more along the lines of never ever borrow money, however small the sum may be, to fund or even partially fund a luxury item, especially a rapidly depreciating asset such as a new caravan.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Icaru5 said:
Smokey53 said:
Well, here we are again seeking advice about which caravan should I buy, all manufacturers are terrible I hear, dealerships don't give a damn once they have your money!!!!! No I do not have an answer. Reviews after reviews generally say how things are bad in the caravan world, but surely there must be half decent ones?
Enough of that. I am about to collect my new Elddis Aurora. Ahhh!!! I hear, I wouldn't touch an Elddis, some reviews say. Hopefully I get a good one.
One thing I think I have learnt from another caravanner, NEVER PAY CASH. I always have. The advice came from a couple who bought a new top of the range Coachman that literally was 'falling' apart. They got no joy from the dealer or manufacturers and then approached the caravan legal dept, who asked if they had finance when buying. The answer to that was yes. Go to your finance supplier and let them deal with the issue, they own it. Within 2 weeks their caravan was collected and a brand new one delivered. Also they got £600 compensation and some relief of interest. Food for though I think. With this in mind I have opted for a small amount of credit over 5 years as an insurance policy. Happy caravanning everyone. I hope I don't have to post a disaster blog.

Couldn’t disagree more ...

I bought a brand new caravan last year and paid cash. Had a few niggles along the way, but found that both Swift and my local dealer (who didn’t even supply the van) bend over backwards to address any concerns.

In any case, if somebody doesn’t have the social skills to communicate and resolve problems effectively with the supplying dealer, whichever company one chooses to be indebted to, they have no more legal rights than the individual.

My advice would be more along the lines of never ever borrow money, however small the sum may be, to fund or even partially fund a luxury item, especially a rapidly depreciating asset such as a new caravan.

But if you pay say £500 by credit card as your initial payment for the luxury goods you can pay it off without incurring interest and then have the protection of Section 75 of the Condumer Credit Act. It has cost you nothing extra.
Cannot agree that just talking the issues through with the supplier will always work no matter how good your interpersonal skills are. I’ve had issues with some suppliers and regrettably have had to resort to consumer protection rights which have then led to a satisfactory outcome. But often citing your knowledge of those rights will help to dislodge the log jam.
 
May 7, 2012
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Have to agree with Other Clive. If you do not at least use a credit card for part of the purchase you are depriving yourself of a valuable source of redress if things do go wrong. It is good to hear that Icarus5 had a good result from a dealer who was on the ball but sometimes that is not the case so the more back up you have the safer you are. Dealers do have a habit of going out of business and caravan manufacturers have in the past so the more comeback you have the safer you are.
We have always been well served by our dealer and paid cash for the caravan, but the £500 deposit still went on a credit card.
 
May 24, 2014
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We also do the same, small deposit on Credit Card, the balance on debit card. I too cannot see why you would avoid a valuable protection. And of course if you pay your CC bill on time, then its interest free. Its a free insurance basically.
 

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