Crack in panel!

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Jun 16, 2020
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Turns out it was a 10 meter roll, gone up in price now.

If this one is not for you, get in touch with the seller with van make and year.

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John
 
Mar 14, 2005
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We had a damp problem with our Coachman , supplying dealer accepted it back for warranty repair, kept it a week and we collected it, asked for damp report after the repair and was told, not needed, repair is guaranteed.
Less than a year later at another dealer we traded in the Coachman, new dealer says have to reduce the trade in because your van has damp. So they say we will show you the reading, and it was exactly where the repair was allegedly done, no other damp reading in the van. I cannot believe it was a coincidence, but can't be bothered to worry about it now, obviously will never go back to the first dealer, we were suckered in to buying from them by the deal, lesson learned and now buy reasonably local. For what it's worth regarding your van , I would look to get rid of it and find another brand that suits you.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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We had a damp problem with our Coachman , supplying dealer accepted it back for warranty repair, kept it a week and we collected it, asked for damp report after the repair and was told, not needed, repair is guaranteed.
Less than a year later at another dealer we traded in the Coachman, new dealer says have to reduce the trade in because your van has damp. So they say we will show you the reading, and it was exactly where the repair was allegedly done, no other damp reading in the van. I cannot believe it was a coincidence, but can't be bothered to worry about it now, obviously will never go back to the first dealer, we were suckered in to buying from them by the deal, lesson learned and now buy reasonably local. For what it's worth regarding your van , I would look to get rid of it and find another brand that suits you.
Except for the crack we are very happy with the caravan. Why trade it in for a host of new problems and starting from the beginning again. Who is to say that the panel on a new caravan will not crack again?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I take your point completely, when we traded the Coachman it was for a Lunar, first service cracked rear panel discovered, put in a warranty claim to Lunar via dealer, following week Lunar ceased trading, tried to explain it was dealer's responsibility got nowhere fast, so took a hit and traded it for Swift, the Lunar was ABS rear panel, Swift is GRP including sides and roof, so far nothing major gone wrong just ATC bulb and noisy toilet pump. We have reconciled ourselves to the caravan lottery, if you get a good one you should consider yourself lucky. It is absolutely shocking that in this day and age the manufacturers don't seem able to build to a consistent standard. None of us order caravans that are likely to crack or leak and the fact that some do and some of the same model don't suggests to me that the problem is at the point of manufacture, and it does not seem to matter how much you spend , or which model you choose there is still a risk that you will get a faulty product. We are on our ninth caravan and we have had problems with 3, ranging from damp ingress to the cracked panel so we consider ourselves lucky, although we don't think the standard of our current van reflects any huge improvement over the 1993 Swift that we had, and apart from the microwave we struggle to see any upgrade in equipment. We wish you well with your caravan now that it is repaired, however as you say the gamble is still there, if you have no more problems, then you will be able to enjoy the caravan as you are happy with it, but what happens should the repair fail, you will be back to square one and probably even more upset and disappointed. We also have the issue that we are running out of dealers to buy from, of the 8 we have used 3 are no longer trading, 3 we we will never buy anything from again so that only leaves Chipping Sodbury and Broad Lane, both of whom we have found to be very good. Hope you can get away soon and enjoy your van again.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Broad Lane have a good reputation and we pop in there every now and then. Our caravan has only had a temporary fix done on the crack to stop further water ingress and it seems to be working as damp readings are going down. Crack will be sorted out in July after we return from our holidays. In the meantime the issue is being pursued with finance house and dealer.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Now this where it gets interesting as the insurance assessor is of the opinion that it may not be impact damage, but could be an issue with material and construction! I specifically put in a claim to get this sort of information.
In an earlier "official" letter to myself the supplier, the finance house, has disputed this stating it is impact damage.
Once I get the letter from the CAMC I cna then progress it to the FOS as that seems the best course of action. Uphill struggle, but I am determined to win despite everything else happening around us! I am not prepared to roll over as all it is costing me is time and effort at this stage. :D
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Now this where it gets interesting as the insurance assessor is of the opinion that it may not be impact damage, but could be an issue with material and construction! I specifically put in a claim to get this sort of information.
...
I hope you can get that in writing.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Notice that they used the word "could" and not "is" so a wiggle out however the report may carry a lot of weight with the Ombudsman I hope. 👍:D
Of course that remark also leaves the door open for extraneous damage which could be down to the Insurer. Will be interesting to see how they word their letter. Good luck with all your other problems too
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Of course that remark also leaves the door open for extraneous damage which could be down to the Insurer. Will be interesting to see how they word their letter. Good luck with all your other problems too
Even more grey hairs! LOL! Not even sure if we will be able to get away for the Jubilee weekend. :D
 
Jul 18, 2017
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In writing, but on email. They will send the report as a word document later. It states the following which is what I expected and was hoping for;

We are now in receipt of the assessor's report following his recent inspection of your caravan. Unfortunately, we will be unable to recommend acceptance of your claim to the Club on this occasion. We realise this will be met with some disappointment and will explain the reason(s) for this decision below.

Your cover includes Accidental Damage which is defined as "damage that occurs suddenly as a result of an unexpected and non-deliberate external action that harms your caravan..." There is no evidence of any impact or accidental damage related event that could have caused the damage. The location and type of cracks are inconsistent with pothole injure and the wheels/tyres, suspension and axle all display no signs of impact. It is also noted you are unaware of any specific incident that has directly lead to the cracks.

In the professional opinion of the assessor, the fracture is most likely to be the result of gradual deterioration from the stresses placed upon the affected panel during manufacture and through the rigours of normal use over time, and is not the result of a peril covered by the certificate, for which there is no anecdotal or physical evidence. It is also known that had the caravan still been under the manufacturer's warranty, such fractures would be covered by them.

I understand that this will not be the outcome you had hoped for and regret that I am unable to bring you better news. I will hold our file open for a period of time to allow you a fair and reasonable opportunity to consider our findings and to provide any further information that might support your claim. Without this, however, I regret that I am unable to be of any further assistance to you on this occasion.

I wonder how the supplier is going to reply to this statement?
 
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May 12, 2019
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In writing, but on email. They will send the report as a word document later. It states the following which is what I expected and was hoping for;

We are now in receipt of the assessor's report following his recent inspection of your caravan. Unfortunately, we will be unable to recommend acceptance of your claim to the Club on this occasion. We realise this will be met with some disappointment and will explain the reason(s) for this decision below.

Your cover includes Accidental Damage which is defined as "damage that occurs suddenly as a result of an unexpected and non-deliberate external action that harms your caravan..." There is no evidence of any impact or accidental damage related event that could have caused the damage. The location and type of cracks are inconsistent with pothole injure and the wheels/tyres, suspension and axle all display no signs of impact. It is also noted you are unaware of any specific incident that has directly lead to the cracks.

In the professional opinion of the assessor, the fracture is most likely to be the result of gradual deterioration from the stresses placed upon the affected panel during manufacture and through the rigours of normal use over time, and is not the result of a peril covered by the certificate, for which there is no anecdotal or physical evidence. It is also known that had the caravan still been under the manufacturer's warranty, such fractures would be covered by them.

I understand that this will not be the outcome you had hoped for and regret that I am unable to bring you better news. I will hold our file open for a period of time to allow you a fair and reasonable opportunity to consider our findings and to provide any further information that might support your claim. Without this, however, I regret that I am unable to be of any further assistance to you on this occasion.

I wonder how the supplier is going to reply to this statement?
Am I correct in thinking that the "assessor" you mention is actually an Insurance Company "Loss Adjuster" rather than an independent "Loss Assessor" who you have instructed privately. ?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I do hope this is report does assist your claim. but playing devil's advocate, and as you say in #208 they used the word "could" and not "is". It's not a conclusive report in favour of your position. Its not time to light the cigar of success yet....
 
Jun 20, 2005
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The Insurer says, in essence, no claim as no sign of extraneous damage. That’s a plus point as Elddis have said damage was probably caused by pot holes etc. So we now have a professional difference of opinion. There is certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence which does indicate ABS panels may crack , certainly if not properly installed. I believe ABS is no longer used in caravan construction. So for me I feel somewhere down the line the various professionals don’t dispute Buckman’s panel has cracked , but they differ in opinion on causation. That must help his case. Unless there is some other causation not yet discussed it can only be one of the two, Elddis or Insurer. We shall see. Good luck Ian👍
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Am I correct in thinking that the "assessor" you mention is actually an Insurance Company "Loss Adjuster" rather than an independent "Loss Assessor" who you have instructed privately. ?
They go by the title of "assessor" and not "loss adjuster". We have Caravan Cover with CAMC and not insurance so not sure if that makes a difference.
In addition, the AWS technician who inspected the caravan about 2 weeks ago came to the same conclusion. Two professionals with the same opinion may go a long way towards resolving the issue.
My biggest issue at the moment is obtaining a deadlock final letter from the finance house as they sent it via a secure portal and I cannot access the letter as it keeps locking me out and when I did get in, there was no letter anyway! Not sure why they cannot simply post the letter to me?
 
May 7, 2012
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There is a difference between Loss Adjuster and assessors. A loss Adjuster has to be a member of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters Association and abide by their rules. They also have various levels of membership which might be seen by letters after their name showing this.
Loss assessors are not members and depending on their business can be found working for either insurers or claimants but not usually both.
In most cases it will make little difference to your claim.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Minor update. The AWS technician that inspected the caravan briefly has now agreed that they will do a more thorough inspection for "impact" damage and write up a report.

In addition, the assessor has indicated that they may be willing to do a brief report on their findings. However we still have the email from the claims company regarding the reason for the rejection of the insurance claim. I have asked the dealer to send by post a copy of the letter by the manufacturer stating that the damage is due to "impact".

I have requested a revised quote to be sent by post and not email for the replacement of the front panel, but excluding replacing the wall and ceiling boards as no staining on either and also excluding replacing the gas locker floor and front skylight glass or perspex.

I did ask why the gas locker and glass needed to be replaced as neither are damaged or damp, but the dealer never answered those questions.

We now wait for the morning post with bated breath!👍 :D
 
May 7, 2012
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I think you need to look at the possibility of just paying for the work and look at issuing a small claims summons against the maker, the dealer, the finance company and the insurer on the basis that one or more of them is liable but all deny liability. I would warn them all in advance as tis can concentrate minds, particularly as their costs will be all out of proportion, but the risk to you is low.
I know it was suggested that to show an inherent defect you would need proof, which is true, but by searching for similar problems and producing the evidence it can be shown there is a serious problem with these panels which should be enough to prove your case unless the defence can actually show the damage is accidental in which case the insurer would be caught. There is absolutely nothing in the law to say that you need to prove that 50% were defective, a serious number will suffice and even the various forums should have enough to prove this. I doubt the insurance ombudsman is of any use, as from what has been said so far, my feeling is that it is simply a defective panel and there is certainly no proof that the insurer is wrong that you can produce.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I think you need to look at the possibility of just paying for the work and look at issuing a small claims summons against the maker, the dealer, the finance company and the insurer on the basis that one or more of them is liable but all deny liability. I would warn them all in advance as tis can concentrate minds, particularly as their costs will be all out of proportion, but the risk to you is low.
I know it was suggested that to show an inherent defect you would need proof, which is true, but by searching for similar problems and producing the evidence it can be shown there is a serious problem with these panels which should be enough to prove your case unless the defence can actually show the damage is accidental in which case the insurer would be caught. There is absolutely nothing in the law to say that you need to prove that 50% were defective, a serious number will suffice and even the various forums should have enough to prove this. I doubt the insurance ombudsman is of any use, as from what has been said so far, my feeling is that it is simply a defective panel and there is certainly no proof that the insurer is wrong that you can produce.
Our previous caravan was rejected because of cracks in front and rear panels and it was on finance with the same finance house. On that caravan we collected the brand new caravan from dealer and on arrival home the panel was cracked! That will go a long way towards showing that the cracked panels is an inherent fault.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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There is doubt from the data I have read over the years ABS panels are made to crack especially when the original installation was poor. The evidence of other “victims” is not unsubstantial in number.
The Insurers Professional who inspected your caravan will be well versed in these matters as will your Insurer. I’m not quite sure what the Dealers own professional opinion is but maybe one steered by the Manufacturer. The Finance Company on the other hand do not appear to have carried out any technical investigation of their own.
I agree with Ray that as and when you have to instigate Proceedings the Judge will have to find one of the four parties liable. Just a shame you have to go through all this hassle.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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I have received the report from the assessor who categorically states that crack is not due to impact damage. However he goes on to state that while at the dealer he examined two other caravans which also had cracks in the same area.

In addition, there was an identical caravan to ours including year with crack in almost exactly the same area.

On checking through old emails I came across this reference to the metal angle bracket which is inside the gas locker on either side where the bulkhead meets the side wall.

I have spoken to our engineers about this issue and they have advised me that they have seen this before. They think the screws have worked loose during travel. When the van comes in in October they can refit these for you. The metal strip is also additionally held on with sealant and this we believe will be sufficient for you to carry on and use until your visit in October.

Actually it was rivets that were replaced with screws. The nearside was okay, but the offside they were totally missing and it is on the offside that we have the crack on the roof. However this was in July 2020?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I have received the report from the assessor who categorically states that crack is not due to impact damage. However he goes on to state that while at the dealer he examined two other caravans which also had cracks in the same area.

In addition, there was an identical caravan to ours including year with crack in almost exactly the same area.

On checking through old emails I came across this reference to the metal angle bracket which is inside the gas locker on either side where the bulkhead meets the side wall.

I have spoken to our engineers about this issue and they have advised me that they have seen this before. They think the screws have worked loose during travel. When the van comes in in October they can refit these for you. The metal strip is also additionally held on with sealant and this we believe will be sufficient for you to carry on and use until your visit in October.

Actually it was rivets that were replaced with screws. The nearside was okay, but the offside they were totally missing and it is on the offside that we have the crack on the roof. However this was in July 2020?
Your para 1 seems quite unequivocal so hopefully the insurance assessor will include those findings in the report.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Your para 1 seems quite unequivocal so hopefully the insurance assessor will include those findings in the report.
It is in the report so it could be difficult to argue against especially 3 other caravans with cracks to panels. I have asked the dealer on two different occasions to requote, but they are not responding. Not sure why as it is the responsibility of the supplier (finance house) to resolve the issue.
Maybe it is because the dealer or the manufacturer told the finance house that it was impact damage when it is not and they have now been caught out?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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It is in the report so it could be difficult to argue against especially 3 other caravans with cracks to panels. I have asked the dealer on two different occasions to requote, but they are not responding. Not sure why as it is the responsibility of the supplier (finance house) to resolve the issue.
Maybe it is because the dealer or the manufacturer told the finance house that it was impact damage when it is not and they have now been caught out?
Four caravans is significant number in a sample involving one dealers stock. Were they all Eldiss group products similar to the Buccaneer?
 

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