First Caravan...

Jun 22, 2022
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Hi All, so I bought my first caravan just over a week ago, I am living in it until I find a new house to buy as mine has sold. Caravan is 2014 from a dealer with good reviews. However, it has been stood for a while and although he said it would be cleaned before delivery it is filthy. I've cleaned what I can, but the roof vent blinds were full of flies, all around the windows once open was filthy and the outside door lockers for access to under bed and bench etc. Plus the roof vents. I've had to clean everything I can myself, but the roof vents are impossible for me. I paid £14,000 for the van. I expected it to be spotless. Am I being unreasonable to think all these things should be clean? Or is this normal? I have no prior experience and would appreciated your opinions. Thank you!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Cavalier,

Basically if the dealer said they would clean it, it becomes part of the contract of sale and , they should have cleaned it. I think you should certainly approach the dealer about the state of the caravan telling them what your expectations were after they had said they would clean it and how disappointed and inconvenienced it has made you.

Ideally you should have refused to accept it until it had been cleaned, but I suspect that is no longer a possibility as it seems you have already taken possession. and that loses some leverage you might have had.

See what the dealer says. You might get some recompense - perhaps a discount on goods or a service. Follow through on their complaints procedures.

Just a heads up, the PC forum rules do not allow you to identify a person or business with which you have a dispute, so do not name them here.
 
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Jun 22, 2022
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Hello Cavalier,

Basically if the dealer said they would clean it, it becomes part of the contract of sale and , they should have cleaned it. I think you should certainly approach the dealer about the state of the caravan telling them what your expectations were after they had said they would clean it and how disappointed and inconvenienced it has made you.

Ideally you should have refused to accept it until it had been cleaned, but I suspect that is no longer a possibility as it seems you have already taken possession. and that loses some leverage you might have had.

See what the dealer says. You might get some recompense - perhaps a discount on goods or a service. Follow through on their complaints procedures.

Just a heads up, the PC forum rules do not allow you to identify a person or business with which you have a dispute, so do not name them here.
Hi ProfJohnL thanks for your reply, yes I didn't notice how bad it was when it was delivered, as the blinds were closed over roof vents and I didn't think to open windows and lockers tp check behind them. If I ever buy another caravan I will certainly know what to check next time! I guess I will need to speak to them and explain how difficult it has been to get it clean and how I am unable to do the roof lights. I did mention the flies and that iwas disappointed (hadn't checked the windows and doors after that point), all they said was they would speak to cleaner. I didn't make a big deal as I didn't realise how hard it would be to get it clean ☹
 
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May 7, 2012
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Welcome to the forum. I agree with the Prof in what he says. I am surprised a dealer with good reviews did not clean it out though as this is normally standard practice, even for the poorer ones.
 
Jan 19, 2002
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Spending that sum with a dealer I would have expected a full hand-over and the van to be in the condition as advertised with any pre-delivery items attended to. Your first recourse is to go back to the dealer, a letter to the MD can sometimes help as they have a reputation to maintain and clearly pdi work that had been agreed in the terms of sale has not been undertaken. Have you checked that all the appliances work and did you get a damp report prior to purchase? I presume there was some guarantee offered even though the van is 8 years old?
 
Jun 22, 2022
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Welcome to the forum. I agree with the Prof in what he says. I am surprised a dealer with good reviews did not clean it out though as this is normally standard practice, even for the poorer ones.
He did clean it to a degree, but not the fly blinds or around the seals where the windows and lockers close, or the roof vent plastic. I guess what I'm asking is, is it too much to expect those things to be clean or is it fairly normal to not clean thoroughly?
Also, took table out of housing and that had dead flies etc in the housing, nightmare to clean, had to use stick with cloth on end.
 
Jun 22, 2022
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Welcome to the forum. I agree with the Prof in what he says. I am surprised a dealer with good reviews did not clean it out though as this is normally standard practice, even for the poorer ones.
Thanks! Would it be standard to get rid of dirt on outside around seals where windows close and lockers close? Also things like table housing which had dead flies in it?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks! Would it be standard to get rid of dirt on outside around seals where windows close and lockers close? Also things like table housing which had dead flies in it?
Yes it would be expected by any dealership that takes pride in its products. Most private sellers would probably do better.
 
Jun 22, 2022
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Spending that sum with a dealer I would have expected a full hand-over and the van to be in the condition as advertised with any pre-delivery items attended to. Your first recourse is to go back to the dealer, a letter to the MD can sometimes help as they have a reputation to maintain and clearly pdi work that had been agreed in the terms of sale has not been undertaken. Have you checked that all the appliances work and did you get a damp report prior to purchase? I presume there was some guarantee offered even though the van is 8 years old?
Thanks for your reply. It's a small company, one man band so MD was person o dealt with i believe. .. he did do a hand over and showed me everything working which so far it is. Got a damp report highest readings as 14. He has been out to me and removed the charcoal water filter for me as I wanted to use puriclean but couldn't due to filter, so that was helpful. But I told him I had found damp reading of 18 under bed, he got his calibrated meter out and it read same and flashes orange but he juat waffled and said it was fine and because o didn't want the confrontation I let it go, although still not happy really. I also told him thermostat for heating isn't accurate, I know because I bought two thermostat from home and put them next to internal control panel, my two read same within .5 degrees but caravan read 4 degrees out. His answer was just turn it up higher then when I said it would effect heating, again I didn't push it. I'm on my own with no back up and it's easier for people to for me off I believe, at least it happens regularly whenever I need jobs doing...
There is a 6 month guarantee. I think I maybe need to email rather than speak to him so that I can't get fobbed off and don't have to get ip confrontation with him... I could try to get independent report but im scared that again when they see single female they will probably find 101 things wrong that I would need to pay them to fix...
 
Jun 22, 2022
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Yes it would be expected by any dealership that takes pride in its products. Most private sellers would probably do better.
I'm so upset to hear that. I've been in it for nearly two weeks and have had breathing problems and havent been well enough to clean everything and it's really impacting on me and causing loads of stress. I was kind of hoping it was normal and I hadn't been treated any differently to anyone else. I have a heart condition which I told him about when I said it mustn't be damp! I'm going to have to go back to him, but I pretty much guarantee he will tell me where to go
 
Mar 14, 2005
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You have given us a bit more information, and it does suggest you have been short changed. Regardless of what the dealers warranty says, you also have statutory rights. I think you should read up about the Consumer Rights Act.

Expert testing, reviews and advice from Which?
Which? works for you reviewing products and services, so that you make the best purchase decisions for your needs.
www.which.co.uk

or The Money Saving Expert https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/search/#stq=Consumer rights&stp=1

Or if you want to loose your mind the actual official Act
Consumer Rights Act 2015

www.legislation.gov.uk
www.legislation.gov.uk

These apply to second had goods as much as brand new.

Sometimes just letting a seller know that you know your rights can be enough to get things out right, but if its still not working out you might need to consider taking it further.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks for your reply. It's a small company, one man band so MD was person o dealt with i believe. .. he did do a hand over and showed me everything working which so far it is. Got a damp report highest readings as 14. He has been out to me and removed the charcoal water filter for me as I wanted to use puriclean but couldn't due to filter, so that was helpful. But I told him I had found damp reading of 18 under bed, he got his calibrated meter out and it read same and flashes orange but he juat waffled and said it was fine and because o didn't want the confrontation I let it go, although still not happy really. I also told him thermostat for heating isn't accurate, I know because I bought two thermostat from home and put them next to internal control panel, my two read same within .5 degrees but caravan read 4 degrees out. His answer was just turn it up higher then when I said it would effect heating, again I didn't push it. I'm on my own with no back up and it's easier for people to for me off I believe, at least it happens regularly whenever I need jobs doing...
There is a 6 month guarantee. I think I maybe need to email rather than speak to him so that I can't get fobbed off and don't have to get ip confrontation with him... I could try to get independent report but im scared that again when they see single female they will probably find 101 things wrong that I would need to pay them to fix...
Heating thermostats can be inaccurate as it can depend where the sensor is sited, but it’s not a problem as turning it up to achieve a comfortable temperature doesn’t increase your costs. There are ways to improve it but you’ve got enough on your plate at the moment. So perhaps come back with that question on a separate thread when the more immediate issues are sorted.
 
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Jun 22, 2022
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Thanks! I've had a quick look at the consumer rights act and I think the right to reject could apply? Would you agree? I think after the problems I've had i would prefer that to anything else and get my money back!
You have given us a bit more information, and it does suggest you have been short changed. Regardless of what the dealers warranty says, you also have statutory rights. I think you should read up about the Consumer Rights Act.

Expert testing, reviews and advice from Which?
Which? works for you reviewing products and services, so that you make the best purchase decisions for your needs.
www.which.co.uk

or The Money Saving Expert https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/search/#stq=Consumer rights&stp=1

Or if you want to loose your mind the actual official Act
Consumer Rights Act 2015

www.legislation.gov.uk
www.legislation.gov.uk

These apply to second had goods as much as brand new.

Sometimes just letting a seller know that you know your rights can be enough to get things out right, but if its still not working out you might need to consider taking it further.
 
Jul 18, 2017
6,763
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Thanks! I've had a quick look at the consumer rights act and I think the right to reject could apply? Would you agree? I think after the problems I've had i would prefer that to anything else and get my money back!
You can reject it outright in the first 30 days. After the 30 days and within 6 months of delivery you need to give the supplier one chance at a repair before rejecting.

You can get a third party independent party to do a report on the caravan. This normally costs about £70, but it is £70 well spent.

Here is a website where you can find someone local to you. They are all approved by the National caravan Council. https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/find-approved-workshop
 
Jun 22, 2022
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Thanks! I've had a quick look at the consumer rights act and I think the right to reject could apply? Would you agree? I think after the problems I've had i would prefer that to anything else and get my money back!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jun 22, 2022
31
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You can reject it outright in the first 30 days. After the 30 days and within 6 months of delivery you need to give the supplier one chance at a repair before rejecting.

You can get a third party independent party to do a report on the caravan. This normally costs about £70, but it is £70 well spent.

Here is a website where you can find someone local to you. They are all approved by the National caravan Council. https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/find-approved-workshop
Thank you! I think I'm going to tell him I want to reject it under consumer rights act 2015. If I have problems I will get a third party to inspect it as suggested. Thought I would add some pictures of the state of caravan
 
Jun 22, 2022
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First picture was mouldy curtains which I forgot to mention. Second all windows and lockers are like this
 
Oct 3, 2013
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Hi All, so I bought my first caravan just over a week ago, I am living in it until I find a new house to buy as mine has sold. Caravan is 2014 from a dealer with good reviews. However, it has been stood for a while and although he said it would be cleaned before delivery it is filthy. I've cleaned what I can, but the roof vent blinds were full of flies, all around the windows once open was filthy and the outside door lockers for access to under bed and bench etc. Plus the roof vents. I've had to clean everything I can myself, but the roof vents are impossible for me. I paid £14,000 for the van. I expected it to be spotless. Am I being unreasonable to think all these things should be clean? Or is this normal? I have no prior experience and would appreciated your opinions. Thank you!
Cleanliness means different things to different people.Some people may consider something is clean and others might have a different opinion.
 
Jun 22, 2022
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Cleanliness means different things to different people.Some people may consider something is clean and others might have a different opinion.
I guess it does. From what I understood the important thing is what any reasonable people would consider to be clean. Not sure any reasonable person would considetvan with mouldy curtain lining and dead flies in cupboards and all over roof fly nets and black mould on floor as clean though....
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
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Hi Cavalier, welcome to the forum.
It's such a shame that your first caravan is not up to the standard that you have every right to expect.
Presumably the caravan wasn't advertised as dirty, mouldy and full of dead flies because nobody would every buy it.
I quite understand your feelings about not enjoying confrontation, nobody does, and it looks as though you're right about the dealers misogynistic brushing aside of your complaints because of your lone female status.
Sadly this type of attitude is sometimes still in existence.
What this dealer doesn't know is that as a member of this forum you have almost instant access to years and years of touring caravan buying and ownership expertise from both male and female members, so you're not really the lone 'little woman'that this dealer imagines you to be.
There are forum members here who are fully conversant with consumer legislation, what to expect when buying a caravan and what do do if it all goes wrong, and our valued members are always happy to offer excellent advice.
Some forum members have successfully rejected sub-standard caravans, or helped others to do so.
If you intend to reject this caravan and want a full refund, inform the dealer in writing with the grounds for rejection (e g. not of merchantable quality) as soon as possible, and make a copy for your own records.
Note the dealers response, if he disagrees you need his reasons in writing because telephone conversations are open to dispute.
Good luck and please let us know how you get on.
 
Jun 22, 2022
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Hi Cavalier, welcome to the forum.
It's such a shame that your first caravan is not up to the standard that you have every right to expect.
Presumably the caravan wasn't advertised as dirty, mouldy and full of dead flies because nobody would every buy it.
I quite understand your feelings about not enjoying confrontation, nobody does, and it looks as though you're right about the dealers misogynistic brushing aside of your complaints because of your lone female status.
Sadly this type of attitude is sometimes still in existence.
What this dealer doesn't know is that as a member of this forum you have almost instant access to years and years of touring caravan buying and ownership expertise from both male and female members, so you're not really the lone 'little woman'that this dealer imagines you to be.
There are forum members here who are fully conversant with consumer legislation, what to expect when buying a caravan and what do do if it all goes wrong, and our valued members are always happy to offer excellent advice.
Some forum members have successfully rejected sub-standard caravans, or helped others to do so.
If you intend to reject this caravan and want a full refund, inform the dealer in writing with the grounds for rejection (e g. not of merchantable quality) as soon as possible, and make a copy for your own records.
Note the dealers response, if he disagrees you need his reasons in writing because telephone conversations are open to dispute.
Good luck and please let us know how you get on.
Hi Parksy, thank you very much for your kind and supportive message. I am absolutely going to exercise my right to reject within 30 days. If I could have got the caravan inspected independently and confirmation that there were no major faults and it could be cleaned to resolve the mould and resulting breathing issues, then I would probably have accepted a clean and repair of the minor defects, but after calling 5 or 6 caravan inspectors nobody can look at it for at least 6 weeks, which is no use to me as i needed it now due to house sale a relocation and it takes me over the 30 days right to reject period and I'm not prepare to live in either for 6 weeks as it is, so I'm rejecting it. I've taken legal advice through caravan club and they told me to drive it back to dealer and say there and then I want a refund, but im not sure that's a good idea... so I'm calling them tomorrow to ask nicely, when they refuse I will follow up in writing. I don't known if I have to send it recorded delivery or if I can do it by email - legal advice got fed up with all my questions so I didn't get chance to ask that. It's a nightmare as I have sold my house and moved from Cheshire tp Somerset into caravan whilst trying to find new property. Fortunately I can still go home as not completed yet, but won't be long. I was loving the tiny quiet site I'm on too and I have my horse already on Somerset so need to be here really. What I don't know is what I do when he refuses to refund me, I am 100% certain he's not going to offer any help or refund. I will end up having to pay to store caravan somewhere whilst this is all sorted and the b and b so I can be in Somerset for horse and house hunting. Don't work anymore due to numerous serious health issues, so very little spare money, everything is carefully budgeted...
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Please do not phone as there will be no record. Put it in writing and hand them the letter. Something along the lines of this;

On [date] I bought the above [item] from your store. On [date], [……] days after purchase, it developed a serious fault [describe].
Section 9, 10 and 11 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 require you to supply goods of satisfactory quality, that are fit for purpose and which are as described. The problem described above shows there was an inherent defect in the [item] at the time of purchase. You are therefore in breach of contract.
In these circumstances I am entitled to a repair or replacement.

Modify the first paragraph to suit the circumstances. Keep it very brief and to the point. Keep a copy for yourself.
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,507
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I would use recorded delivery if you write to the dealer to reject the caravan and ask for a full refund.
You won't have to pay for storage, give the dealer a specific date when he can collect his caravan, otherwise follow the advice given, tow it to his yard and leave it with him.
 
May 7, 2012
7,169
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25,935
Please do not phone as there will be no record. Put it in writing and hand them the letter. Something along the lines of this;

On [date] I bought the above [item] from your store. On [date], [……] days after purchase, it developed a serious fault [describe].
Section 9, 10 and 11 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 require you to supply goods of satisfactory quality, that are fit for purpose and which are as described. The problem described above shows there was an inherent defect in the [item] at the time of purchase. You are therefore in breach of contract.
In these circumstances I am entitled to a repair or replacement.

Modify the first paragraph to suit the circumstances. Keep it very brief and to the point. Keep a copy for yourself.
There is no reason not to ring. If you do so still write and start with "Further to our telephone conversation of ...."
 

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