Caravan Servicing and Covid Restrictions

Sep 22, 2020
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Just looked at the caravan dealerships websites in the East Anglia area, and all are temporarily closed under the current lockdown restrictions for all forms of business, sales, servicing, spares and accessories etc.
I have a service booked at the beginning of March and hopefully vaccinations allowing etc that might be able to go ahead, but if not how might it affect warranty issues etc?
My caravan will be a year old towards the end of February and this will be its first service. As far as I am aware, the majority of manufacturers do allow some leeway before and after a caravans sales anniversary for a service and inspection to take place, and warranty conditions to be met.
But, and it could be critical, the longer the time the dealers are closed, the bigger the back log there could be for servicing. Therefore the service and inspection window required by the manufacturers, might not be able to be met.
I was lucky and managed to get away for six weeks in total between July and October last year and whilst the mileage covered was approx half what it might be in a normal season, I therefore still accept a service check to be required. However, I know of people who didn’t get away at all and therefore their caravans although relatively new and under warranty, never moved an inch.
Question - do you think manufacturers should offer a relaxation of the servicing and inspection timescales until things return to some normality?

Some of you might be thinking - why not use a mobile servicing agent or company, if they allowed to visit customers premises?
I have two new parts sitting at my dealership, that I agreed to have fitted at its first service, so my options are limited.

Have they already, or do you suspect the current restrictions will affect you regarding servicing and inspections?
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I see it as you have two options.

1. See if you can get another approved centre or mobile engineer to do it. Unless they affect the service, parts can be fitted later.

2. Contact the manufacturer, in writing, to see if they have changed/relaxed their conditions in line with the covid situation. You clearly have a good case. You may find a statement on their web site.


John
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Just looked at the caravan dealerships websites in the East Anglia area, and all are temporarily closed under the current lockdown restrictions for all forms of business, sales, servicing, spares and accessories etc.
I have a service booked at the beginning of March and hopefully vaccinations allowing etc that might be able to go ahead, but if not how might it affect warranty issues etc?
My caravan will be a year old towards the end of February and this will be its first service. As far as I am aware, the majority of manufacturers do allow some leeway before and after a caravans sales anniversary for a service and inspection to take place, and warranty conditions to be met.
But, and it could be critical, the longer the time the dealers are closed, the bigger the back log there could be for servicing. Therefore the service and inspection window required by the manufacturers, might not be able to be met.
I was lucky and managed to get away for six weeks in total between July and October last year and whilst the mileage covered was approx half what it might be in a normal season, I therefore still accept a service check to be required. However, I know of people who didn’t get away at all and therefore their caravans although relatively new and under warranty, never moved an inch.
Question - do you think manufacturers should offer a relaxation of the servicing and inspection timescales until things return to some normality?

Some of you might be thinking - why not use a mobile servicing agent or company, if they allowed to visit customers premises?
I have two new parts sitting at my dealership, that I agreed to have fitted at its first service, so my options are limited.

Have they already, or do you suspect the current restrictions will affect you regarding servicing and inspections?

There’s absolutely no idea when current restrictions will be eased. You say you have two parts at the dealership but why not use an AWS mobile to give the service and then just take the van to the dealer for the parts to be fitted when restrictions ease? You need to decide how important it is to keep the caravan in warranty. My view is that it’s very important both to your period of ownership and any subsequent trade in or sale.

Your owners manual and service handbook will give the details of the warranty periods and any leeway. If the manufacturer had eased them due to the first lockdown, or subsequent lockdowns it should be detailed on their website. Alternatively you should contact them to obtain their approach. A Forum isn’t really the place to get precise information regarding your warranty. It’s not really up to what we think about a relaxation of servicing periods it’s what the manufacturers say that decides it. My own view is that if they had confidence in their products and a service had been pre booked they should accept that status. But I’m not the manufacturer.

Even with mobile AWS servicing the majority are busy. I’ve just booked my mid year damp check, and end of year service and it’s surprising how many slots had been taken up. But my service man is mobile, and has a workshop on the storage site too. There are over 500+ units in store so imagine how many may use him not only for service but also for repairs and modifications too.
 
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May 7, 2012
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This is normally the busiest period for servicing as people who have stored caravans over winter want them serviced for the spring and the most caravans are sold in the early months meaning annual services are also due. I would contact the maker and see what they say, I would hope they give a similar leeway as last year.
Not an immediate problem for us as ours not due to be serviced until July and it is a Lunar so no guarantee problems either.
 
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Sep 22, 2020
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As my dealer is currently closed for business, as I suspect many are, I contacted Coachman Caravans last week and was advised the service/ inspection window had been extended and typically for mine due originally in March was now by 30th June.

I would imagine the other manufacturers are possibly following similar timescales to help both owners and their dealerships maintain a sensible work flow through their workshops.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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As my dealer is currently closed for business, as I suspect many are, I contacted Coachman Caravans last week and was advised the service/ inspection window had been extended and typically for mine due originally in March was now by 30th June.

I would imagine the other manufacturers are possibly following similar timescales to help both owners and their dealerships maintain a sensible work flow through their workshops.
That’s a good customer focussed decision by Coachman. Have you got a service booked yet as some have long waiting lists. My AWS is fully booked until end of May, but my service is for end November and us already booked in.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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The dates for services and inspections are set out by the manufacturer of your caravan, and enforceable under the terms and conditions of your manufacturers warranty. I suspect if you read the T&C's you will discover that only your manufacturer has the authority to change any of those T&C's such as rescheduling or omitting service or inspections.

I believe most of the manufacturers did allow a delay for scheduled services or inspections during the first lock down in 2020, but it was a one off delay and subsequent inspections would need to be completed to the original schedule. (typically annually related to date of purchase).

During this second major lock down it is up to the caravan manufactures again to set out if they will tolerate any slippage of time windows for service or inspections to be completed. It is in their hands.

Unless they individually or jointly made a public announcement about allowing slippage, you cannot assume they will accept it on this occasion. I just hope the manufacturer's do take a sensible approach to these issues. You would be wise to ask and get a written confirmation from your manufacturer.

However, Given the circumstances where dealers have been shut becasue of safety ore regulatory reasons, which is creating an ever growing backlog of jobs, I would hope the caravan manufacturers do act reasonably and make appropriate allowances, but failing that and you have irrefutable evidence that you were prevented from obtaining the required service or inspections becasue of the C19 circumstances, then it is possible that the terms and conditions of the manufacturers warranty could be judged to fall under the unfair contract aspect of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, but that would require a formal test case to set the test.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The dates for services and inspections are set out by the manufacturer of your caravan, and enforceable under the terms and conditions of your manufacturers warranty. I suspect if you read the T&C's you will discover that only your manufacturer has the authority to change any of those T&C's such as rescheduling or omitting service or inspections.

I believe most of the manufacturers did allow a delay for scheduled services or inspections during the first lock down in 2020, but it was a one off delay and subsequent inspections would need to be completed to the original schedule. (typically annually related to date of purchase).

During this second major lock down it is up to the caravan manufactures again to set out if they will tolerate any slippage of time windows for service or inspections to be completed. It is in their hands.

Unless they individually or jointly made a public announcement about allowing slippage, you cannot assume they will accept it on this occasion. I just hope the manufacturer's do take a sensible approach to these issues. You would be wise to ask and get a written confirmation from your manufacturer.

However, Given the circumstances where dealers have been shut becasue of safety ore regulatory reasons, which is creating an ever growing backlog of jobs, I would hope the caravan manufacturers do act reasonably and make appropriate allowances, but failing that and you have irrefutable evidence that you were prevented from obtaining the required service or inspections becasue of the C19 circumstances, then it is possible that the terms and conditions of the manufacturers warranty could be judged to fall under the unfair contract aspect of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, but that would require a formal test case to set the test.
The OP says that he contacted Coachman Caravans so if he had their response in writing there’s no problem.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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The OP says that he contacted Coachman Caravans so if he had their response in writing there’s no problem.
I think the problem will lie with people who would normally have their caravan serviced in i.e. June / July etc, but cannot due to the workshop catching up on the backlog and being full booked.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The OP says that he contacted Coachman Caravans so if he had their response in writing there’s no problem.
I was relying in a more general sense, becasue it is in the gift of each manufacturer as to how they handle the issue, so its important to check with the manufacture of your caravan.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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For once the manufacturers have taken a very wise decision. Note the dates quoted by Swift below may possibly be extended as the C19 issue continues. No need for CRA or Unfair Contract Terms Act yet Prof👍
Swift say
“To avoid any unnecessary pressure we are allowing all customers whose service was due between 1st September 2020 and 30th April 2021, additional time, up to an extra 7 months to complete an annual service. Please note that there is no need to notify the Swift Group to claim this extension, because we will apply this extension automatically ensuring that your warranty remains unaffected”.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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For once the manufacturers have taken a very wise decision. Note the dates quoted by Swift below may possibly be extended as the C19 issue continues. No need for CRA or Unfair Contract Terms Act yet Prof👍
Swift say
“To avoid any unnecessary pressure we are allowing all customers whose service was due between 1st September 2020 and 30th April 2021, additional time, up to an extra 7 months to complete an annual service. Please note that there is no need to notify the Swift Group to claim this extension, because we will apply this extension automatically ensuring that your warranty remains unaffected”.
Like Coachman Caravans in an earlier post that’s a good decision by Swift Group.
 
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Mar 17, 2020
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Like Coachman Caravans in an earlier post that’s a good decision by Swift Group.

Totally agree. I phoned my dealer yesterday and found myself talking to Andy (mechanic) who was at home. The dealership was closed for lockdown.

He assured me that they would fit the van in at some time and Swift were happy for them to back date the service.

I really hope everyone else is treated so well. We make significant investments in our tin boxes and lack of use has made the situation dire if simply considering a failing investment. To find warranty issues on top is a bridge too far. Fingers crossed for all caravan (and motorhome) owners.
 
Jun 16, 2010
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My caravan is due its first service.

Alas it's a Lunar, and since I've got no warranty to worry about, i can get it serviced (maybe) at my leisure :rolleyes:
 
Aug 23, 2006
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Hi, this is the reply from Bailey to my query re my caravan service due in March:

Bailey have issued the following bulletin extending by 3 months.

2020-2021 Service Window Extension

In order to accommodate customers who have been unable to get their vehicle serviced this winter we have taken the decision to extend the due date of the 2020 annual vehicle service by a further three months. This means that anybody scheduled to have their caravan or motorhome serviced from October 2020 to March 2021 will now have an additional six months in total to do so. Provided the vehicle is serviced in this extended window then the warranty will remain valid.

The additional three month window extension applies to all vehicle services during the warranty period. This will mean owners of vehicles requiring their third or six year annual service will therefore, as a gesture of goodwill, potentially enjoy an additional six months on the term on their manufacturers’ warranty or bodyshell integrity warranty.

Whilst, at present, the COVID-19 restrictions in place across the four home nations may differ this service window extension will be applicable across the whole of the UK if required.

The date of the 2021 annual service will however need to be brought back in line with the anniversary of the original date of purchase. This will mean that the required interval between 2020 and 2021 annual services may well be less than twelve-months in order for the warranty to continue to be maintained.

Should you or your customers have any concerns on this matter, please contact the Customer Service Team who will be able to review on a case by case basis.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards

Customer Services Co-ordinator
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I wonder how widespread it is that dealer services have been suspended. Seems to me that the rules state that work can go ahead so long as it can be shown to be covid safe. Most (I believe) car servicing has continued though some temporally stopped.

The issue might be, is taking the van to a service centre considered an essential journey? Particularly if distance is involved.

I had mine serviced today. I was going to have it done at home, but when I called the police up they admitted that moving the van was a gray area, and would depend on what side of bed a policeman got out of if they stopped me.

I took the safer option and had it serviced at the storage. All is good, spare wheel has 1 more year left. Battery only scored 500 out of 800 on a test. So it is dying, but it is 6 years old.

But most importantly, ITS DRY.

Mine was the very last service he did on the 1st lockdown day last year. He said he was not stopped for too long once he could get the conformation on how he could legally operate.

John
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Last time where I take mine in he had some Motorhomes and Caravans I counted six he was repairing damp work for who wanted it done through insurance and private customers and he was servicing some caravans and he seem very busy to each its own
 

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