Crack in panel!

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Nov 11, 2009
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I could do the small claims route as could cost very little however the maximum is £5k and I am restricted to a repair and not a replacement panel.
I thought Small Claims limit was £10k and a judge could at their discretion award more but the claim itself should not exceed the maximum.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I thought Small Claims limit was £10k and a judge could at their discretion award more but the claim itself should not exceed the maximum.
It's not the same over the whole of the UK, I believe its 5K in scotland and only 3K in NI! Just another example of the UnUnited Kingdom!
 
Nov 6, 2005
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It's not the same over the whole of the UK, I believe its 5K in scotland and only 3K in NI! Just another example of the UnUnited Kingdom!
Or examples of devolution allowing individual countries to differ from the Westminster norm.
 
May 7, 2012
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One of the banes of my life when working was that we had to work with three different legal systems and be aware of the differences. I am afraid the £5,000 small claims limit in Scotland was one of them.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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...I suspect the change of Ownership to Erwin Hymer and then ultimately Thor Industries Inc USA May possibly have affected their “attitude” to Warranty claims.
Generally when a business has a new owner, and they also choose to adopt the manufacturer's warranty liabilities of the old business, unless there is a clause in the original warranty T&C's that allows the them to be arbitrarily changed by the business, they continue stand.
 
Aug 28, 2021
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If I got the warranty period wrong I appologise.

I'm trying to prepare you for how I suspect Elddis will respond to your situation.

The caravan's standard manufacturers warranty has expired, and all that remains is the manufacturers "body integrity warranty"

In both cases these warranties are not a legal requirement, so the manufacturer can define how they operate, what they cover and what their liability is if a failure does occur. They are not obliged to listen to anyone else's interpretation of wording.

However in my opinion the wording of the Elddis "Body Integrity" cover very clearly states the limit of their liability is to the seals between the panels, not the panels themselves.

Unfortunately a crack such as the one you have illustrated is not a failure of a seam or joint between the panels, and as such I doubt Elddis accept liability for it.

As I wrote previously I hope I'm wrong.
No need to apologise Prof...

From my experience of these dreaded inherent cracks on my Elddis van and dealing with Elddis (via dealer). Elddis state in their manual 1yr cover for panels, but then admit in an email (that I have from them) that Elddis covers these panels for 3 years! So when push comes to shove; it appears to be 3 yrs.
However, I do think Elddis is guilty of misrepresentation with regard to their 10yr water ingress statement emblazoned on new vans . I for one will demand to see the warranty before making any offers to purchase next time.
Elddis are a disgrace in my opinion & and it may be helpful for OP to know that we are still fighting Elddis via dealer (2018-2022); Our sorry tale is (a) Front &Back panels cracked in Apr 2018 (b) dealer admitted it was an inherent fault (good !)(c) Dealer replaced F&B panels in Dec 2018 (c) Caravan essentially not used 2019-2020; in 2021 panels re-cracked in identical places whilst caravan motionless during lockdown - i.e. repair "not fit for purpose". My Conclusion: we will fight on until we get justice, including commissioning an expert report if necessary , but "once a defective caravan - always a defective caravan" i.e get "rid" once fixed is my advice. From our painful experience. we will be avoiding anything with the word "Elddis" on it in future as they apparently don't care about their customers.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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I wonder?
On here we have Buckman and longtailtit with cracked Elddis panels.There are others with similar issues on a number of other Forums including Elddis Owners and Bucanneer Owners.
Maybe you guys should get together and fight a united battle? Most National newspapers have their own Consumer Champion. The Daily Telegraph has Kate Morley👍
kminvestigates@telegraph.co.uk
 
Jul 18, 2017
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No need to apologise Prof...

From my experience of these dreaded inherent cracks on my Elddis van and dealing with Elddis (via dealer). Elddis state in their manual 1yr cover for panels, but then admit in an email (that I have from them) that Elddis covers these panels for 3 years! So when push comes to shove; it appears to be 3 yrs.
However, I do think Elddis is guilty of misrepresentation with regard to their 10yr water ingress statement emblazoned on new vans . I for one will demand to see the warranty before making any offers to purchase next time.
Elddis are a disgrace in my opinion & and it may be helpful for OP to know that we are still fighting Elddis via dealer (2018-2022); Our sorry tale is (a) Front &Back panels cracked in Apr 2018 (b) dealer admitted it was an inherent fault (good !)(c) Dealer replaced F&B panels in Dec 2018 (c) Caravan essentially not used 2019-2020; in 2021 panels re-cracked in identical places whilst caravan motionless during lockdown - i.e. repair "not fit for purpose". My Conclusion: we will fight on until we get justice, including commissioning an expert report if necessary , but "once a defective caravan - always a defective caravan" i.e get "rid" once fixed is my advice. From our painful experience. we will be avoiding anything with the word "Elddis" on it in future as they apparently don't care about their customers.
I have escalated it to the Ombudsman, but they state it may take up to 4 months before they can look at the complaint. Unfortunately one of the criteria for small claims court is that you need to have exhausted every other avenue. However due to the long delay with FOS this may be waived due to the possibility of even more damage occurring due to water ingress.
DD has raised a very valid point in that if several of us band together to present a case, I am sure that we stand a very good chance of winning. I am debating whether to use the Small Claims court and I am also debating whether to go ahead with the repair in the meantime and then claim?
On the FB Buccaneer forum there are numerous complaints of cracked panels even though the caravan has not moved in the past 2 - 3 years. Also the fact that due to Covid lockdown caravans could not be used for several months.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Thank you for your comment Longtailtit, It does seem as though caravan industry possibly more so than many other industries does seem to ignore the problems it causes its end user's, and yet the products they produce are not cutting edge, so there is no real excuse for so many of their products to have such poor reliability. A number of caravan reliability surveys over recent years have continued to show reported warranty failure rate of up to 20%, and that only the reported rate, knowing how brainwashed the UK caravan buying public have been into accepting such a poor reliability rate, the combined reported and unreported failure rates are likely to be considerably higher.

There is another recent thread in this forum discussing the the apparent problems of manufacturers changing product design for the sake of style change rather than to tackle the reliability of their existing products.

The apparent indifference to customer inconvenience the manufacturers demonstrate is endemic in the industry, and it's also compromised by other "traditional" practices the industry perpetuates rather than improves or changes. The all too often excuse is "it's traditional"

I hate the blind adherence to "Traditions" Its too often used as an excuse to fail to think objectively about the subject. A traditional approach should only be considered after it has proven it represents the present best possible process available.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Thank you for your comment Longtailtit, It does seem as though caravan industry possibly more so than many other industries does seem to ignore the problems it causes its end user's, and yet the products they produce are not cutting edge, so there is no real excuse for so many of their products to have such poor reliability. A number of caravan reliability surveys over recent years have continued to show reported warranty failure rate of up to 20%, and that only the reported rate, knowing how brainwashed the UK caravan buying public have been into accepting such a poor reliability rate, the combined reported and unreported failure rates are likely to be considerably higher.

There is another recent thread in this forum discussing the the apparent problems of manufacturers changing product design for the sake of style change rather than to tackle the reliability of their existing products.

The apparent indifference to customer inconvenience the manufacturers demonstrate is endemic in the industry, and it's also compromised by other "traditional" practices the industry perpetuates rather than improves or changes. The all too often excuse is "it's traditional"

I hate the blind adherence to "Traditions" Its too often used as an excuse to fail to think objectively about the subject. A traditional approach should only be considered after it has proven it represents the present best possible process available.
Excellent summary of UK caravan industry.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I agree Prof, but in the final analysis it is "us" the buyer's fault, we allow it.

Time and again I have known, even with friends, having a faulty van they trade it in for another, exactly what the industry thrives on, but a route than so often leads to just the same outcome.

As with the car industry in the latter years of the last century, it will only be when "we" get more savvy will we get the products we pay for, and the junk players get junked.

Great that Buckman is pushing so hard for the industry to pick up the hurt it causes; IMO the only way they are going to learn, assuming they ever will.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Great that Buckman is pushing so hard for the industry to pick up the hurt it causes; IMO the only way they are going to learn, assuming they ever will.
The issue here is that the finance house deal with hundreds of thousands of HP agreements each year so if they have to cough up a few times, why should they bother as long as they get the business from others?
There is no incentive for them to put up a real fight or to force manufacturers to improve the product whatever it is.
 
Jul 15, 2008
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.......at 9 years old my Swift Challenger developed a 5cms crack on one rear corner on top of the roof. This is a known fault with Swifts and they produce a kit consisting of a pair of roof rear end caps.
Fitted the caps myself to each side to give a balanced finish.....the rear top lights had to be removed and refitted over the caps!
No help to forumites with more serious faults in this thread I know...but a good outcome for me at the cost of £45.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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.......at 9 years old my Swift Challenger developed a 5cms crack on one rear corner on top of the roof. This is a known fault with Swifts and they produce a kit consisting of a pair of roof rear end caps.
Fitted the caps myself to each side to give a balanced finish.....the rear top lights had to be removed and refitted over the caps!
No help to forumites with more serious faults in this thread I know...but a good outcome for me at the cost of £45.
There are many very old caravans on the road that are 20 or more years old and probably none suffer from cracked panels, but ABS was not used then.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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There are many very old caravans on the road that are 20 or more years old and probably none suffer from cracked panels, but ABS was not used then.
My 2005 Bailey S5 had ABS panels which cracked in years 2 and 3. But that problem was reported to be caused by incorrect installation procedures affecting the fitting holes. But they never gave any further problems prior to my selling it in 2014. But the industry does seem beset by ABS issues that don’t seem to be associated with installation and that’s the worrying aspect as the companies haven’t really sorted it. In an analogous situation with car sun roofs. At one time you were lucky for it not to leak. Now such a fault seems very rare. The industry has learnt and improved.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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.......at 9 years old my Swift Challenger developed a 5cms crack on one rear corner on top of the roof. This is a known fault with Swifts and they produce a kit consisting of a pair of roof rear end caps.
Fitted the caps myself to each side to give a balanced finish.....the rear top lights had to be removed and refitted over the caps!
No help to forumites with more serious faults in this thread I know...but a good outcome for me at the cost of £45.
Bill.
Does the kit instructions tell you how to halt the Creepage of the crack and how to seal it ? I assume the caps are fixed. With Sikaflex or Soudal? They look fine to me Hopefully they will stop any water ingress.
I have two cracks on the rear ABS panel, each side. DIY fix . Hole drilled at crack end and each year Captain Tolleys marine crack sealer applied. Five years on all’s well
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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My 2005 Bailey S5 had ABS panels which cracked in years 2 and 3. But that problem was reported to be caused by incorrect installation procedures affecting the fitting holes. But they never gave any further problems prior to my selling it in 2014. But the industry does seem beset by ABS issues that don’t seem to be associated with installation and that’s the worrying aspect as the companies haven’t really sorted it. In an analogous situation with car sun roofs. At one time you were lucky for it not to leak. Now such a fault seems very rare. The industry has learnt and improved.
Bailey now use one continuous piece of aluminium for the front , roof and rear panel. No more ABS👏
 
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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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There are many very old caravans on the road that are 20 or more years old and probably none suffer from cracked panels, but ABS was not used then.
Sadly, not right on both accounts, ABS was used by some caravan builders more than 20 years back and some of these cracked.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Sadly, not right on both accounts, ABS was used by some caravan builders more than 20 years back and some of these cracked.
Which caravan builders were those? Actually I was thinking in terms of the nineties and earlier. Forgot that we are already 22 years into the 21st century. LOL!
 
Jul 15, 2008
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Bill.
Does the kit instructions tell you how to halt the Creepage of the crack and how to seal it ?
Alan.....no instructions with the parts supplied!
I Knew they would fit more than one model and had to be cut to length to fit mine!
Fixed and sealed with Soudal Fixall and the screws holding on the lights.
I sealed the small crack with gorilla white tape a year ago so no damp issues.
No evidence that the small crack was due to stress so didn't drill the ends.
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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.......at 9 years old my Swift Challenger developed a 5cms crack on one rear corner on top of the roof. This is a known fault with Swifts and they produce a kit consisting of a pair of roof rear end caps.
Fitted the caps myself to each side to give a balanced finish.....the rear top lights had to be removed and refitted over the caps!
No help to forumites with more serious faults in this thread I know...but a good outcome for me at the cost of £45.
Nice neet lookingg job.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Alan.....no instructions with the parts supplied!
I Knew they would fit more than one model and had to be cut to length to fit mine!
Fixed and sealed with Soudal Fixall and the screws holding on the lights.
I sealed the small crack with gorilla white tape a year ago so no damp issues.
No evidence that the small crack was due to stress so didn't drill the ends.
Premier towing in Dudle came highly recommended and who are a AWS recognised workshop can do the crack on ours for approximately £600 if we go ahead with the repair. Just means a slight change claiming for damages or whatever is appropriate.
In the meantime it has a temporary seal with mastic. I do have clear gorilla tape in the caravan, but have not been brave enough to use it as it means removing the mastic the dealer put over the crack.
 

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