Has it been serviced or Not one ponders!

Jul 3, 2020
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When your caravan is fully serviced

What does this entail?

We just brought from a reputable caravan centre a 2014 Elddis Afinity, with 12 month warranty and a Full Service.

Has you can imagine the disappointment going away in it for the first time, 3 days after we picked up, to find that the external water pump was faulty, also the internal pump part was also faulty!

Sadly even though we were only 20 minutes away from their other branch, it took two days of phoning, finally losing my temper with them, (thankfully when I apologised I was told that I wasn't rude at all, just very angry and I had good reason to be so) they finally sent somebody down to repair this on the Wednesday,

Surely this should have been picked up during the service or am I wrong.

The external pump motor was working, but it wasn't drawing any water up
The internal part, kept cutting out when it shouldn't have.

Which caused a blown fuse, which also knocked out the toilet flush.
 
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The only parts they actually service is the running gear. All the rest are checks including water, gas and electric.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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If this was a new to you van with warranty Common sense says all items should be checked by the service depot before release. Big error by the dealer.When we picked ours up everything was up and running, heat lights stereo water etc fora full demo of its workings. Poor service,hope they improve.
 
Jul 3, 2020
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I'd would have fault that they would have checked that the water pumps/electric for the caravan did actually work...

What added to the frustration, was even though there was a very small toilet and shower block on site, due to medical conditions that put us up on the 'High Risk' group using these was not a wise idea... So this holiday having the ability to use the shower was important to us.


Yes the flush not working, didn't stop us using the toilet, just meant that we used our water can for filling up the flush tank, as a make do flush. It sat in the shower.


Do intend to write a formal letter of complaint, hence wanting to know if I'd be correct if I said in the letter of complaint, I would have expected these problems to been identified within the Full Service.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If the caravan had been fully serviced, there should be a list of works done and checked. If that was not part of the documentation you received then cannot know if it was serviced or not.

The particular reason I mention this. is if you have the document, you will be able to see what checks etc were carried out and if it included any checks on the water system or not at this time.

Here is a link to a typical full service check list.

However it does seem very lax that a dealer had not checked all was well with the accessories prior to handing it over to you. And you are right to complain, however may I suggest that you use it to allow the dealer to rebuild the bridge between you, rather than create a rift.
 
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I most definitely would be putting a complaint in writing for this one. Very, very remiss.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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So, to summarise, you had a couple of problems, you got their other branch to send an engineer to you to fix it.
Your caravan all works OK now. Problem solved.

What people seem to want to forget is that the service and checks are just like a car MOT, the results are only valid at the time of testing.

As with anything mechanical problems happen from time to time and usually at the most awkward time.

I have serviced vans where everything was working on the day and time I tested it but something cropped up either on the same day or a couple of days later.

There is nothing that can be anticipated with breakdowns.

Nothing to do with caravans, but I had a Renault Grand Espace, bought brand new, which I had to have towed in 27 times as it kept rusting out the primary fuel pump (and it was diesel) and when the pump did fail each time was without warning, which left me in some very dangerous situations.

So, its not just caravans that can be temperamental, anything mechanical can be.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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So, to summarise, you had a couple of problems, you got their other branch to send an engineer to you to fix it.
Your caravan all works OK now. Problem solved.

What people seem to want to forget is that the service and checks are just like a car MOT, the results are only valid at the time of testing.

As with anything mechanical problems happen from time to time and usually at the most awkward time.

I have serviced vans where everything was working on the day and time I tested it but something cropped up either on the same day or a couple of days later.

There is nothing that can be anticipated with breakdowns.

Nothing to do with caravans, but I had a Renault Grand Espace, bought brand new, which I had to have towed in 27 times as it kept rusting out the primary fuel pump (and it was diesel) and when the pump did fail each time was without warning, which left me in some very dangerous situations.

So, its not just caravans that can be temperamental, anything mechanical can be.
You're not wrong - but - the whole point of servicing is to reduce the risk of breakdown by replacing consumables before they fail and inspection critical items.
 
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Damian

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You're not wrong - but - the whole point of servicing is to reduce the risk of breakdown by replacing consumables before they fail and inspection critical items.
I agree that if it is obvious that there may be a problem in the very near future, then with the owners authorisation a replacement part is fitted.

But, and it is a very big BUT,,,,,,there is no way of telling when a pump is going to fail if it is working well when tested, and I can just imagine what an owner would say if we went around replacing items which "may" fail.

I do know that I would not be in business very long !!!!!!
 
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May 2, 2020
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When your caravan is fully serviced

What does this entail?

We just brought from a reputable caravan centre a 2014 Elddis Afinity, with 12 month warranty and a Full Service.

Has you can imagine the disappointment going away in it for the first time, 3 days after we picked up, to find that the external water pump was faulty, also the internal pump part was also faulty!

Sadly even though we were only 20 minutes away from their other branch, it took two days of phoning, finally losing my temper with them, (thankfully when I apologised I was told that I wasn't rude at all, just very angry and I had good reason to be so) they finally sent somebody down to repair this on the Wednesday,

Surely this should have been picked up during the service or am I wrong.

The external pump motor was working, but it wasn't drawing any water up
The internal part, kept cutting out when it shouldn't have.

Which caused a blown fuse, which also knocked out the toilet flush.
Sorry if I seem abrupt you say that the external pump was not drawing water so I can only presume that water wasn't in the internal tank hence the cutting out and blowing fuse due to overheating of the internal pump. If the dealer has repaired this issue then I wouldn't complain (user error)
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Last Tuesday I bought my caravan out of store to get it ready for a trip on Thursday. I started to fill the water system for sterilisation and after a few seconds the Flojet internal pump stopped working. Yet in February it had worked well. I could not find anything obviously wrong with the pump so had a new one delivered which I fitted on Thursday morning. It’s life. Things do fail. I think your dealer sorted out the problem so why complain? You want a good relationship so that if you get any further problems hopefully they can be resolved without conflict.
 
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Jul 3, 2020
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Sorry if I seem abrupt you say that the external pump was not drawing water so I can only presume that water wasn't in the internal tank hence the cutting out and blowing fuse due to overheating of the internal pump. If the dealer has repaired this issue then I wouldn't complain (user error)
Last Tuesday I bought my caravan out of store to get it ready for a trip on Thursday. I started to fill the water system for sterilisation and after a few seconds the Flojet internal pump stopped working. Yet in February it had worked well. I could not find anything obviously wrong with the pump so had a new one delivered which I fitted on Thursday morning. It’s life. Things do fail. I think your dealer sorted out the problem so why complain? You want a good relationship so that if you get any further problems hopefully they can be resolved without conflict.
The query concerning the service doubts, is based on 2 linked issues, which its very possible that either one should have been highlighted if the system had be filled and used... I'm pretty sure if the running gear failed causing an accident so soon after a full service an investigation would take place to determine if the pending failure should have been picked up...

If you consider on an external pump, if it fails its either the motor or connectors would be the most likely, how many times do the blades snap!

But the issue I do have, is the after sales service.

If I'd made one phone call as I did first thing Monday morning, then received the promised return phone call an hour or so later, and the ball started rolling then yes it would be a case of 'Poop Happens' but the company had worked hard to resolve the issues as swiftly as possible.

But when you lose 2 well in truth 3 days of your 7 day holiday, making and waiting for phone calls that never come, you're put in a position that you become so frustrated and getting very close to abandoning your holiday, you actually lose your temper on the phone (and believe me, me losing my temper is a rare event indeed) to get something done, well its not on really.

I had explained from the first phone call, due to medical conditions that put us on the High Risk List for Covid, we were unable to use the campsite toilet/shower facilities, and to be honest you'd expect your caravan to be fully working if you've just purchased it fully serviced.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Like many of us the issue is not the fact that the item broke down, but rather that the dealer never responded to repeat phone calls. I have got to the stage that after 3 calls I simply go for the throat i.e. contacting the CEO of the company or sending a legal letter. After all you have spent thousands with the dealer so you do expect some sort of service even if they contacted you just to say they were aware of the problem. Most dealers prefer to ignore calls and fail to phone back and that really gets my goat!
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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The query concerning the service doubts, is based on 2 linked issues, which its very possible that either one should have been highlighted if the system had be filled and used... I'm pretty sure if the running gear failed causing an accident so soon after a full service an investigation would take place to determine if the pending failure should have been picked up...

If you consider on an external pump, if it fails its either the motor or connectors would be the most likely, how many times do the blades snap!
You may not like this reply but it is what it is.

First of all a service is a service , it is not a familiarisation course for owners who should have either asked questions on handover of any part they were not sure of, or had actually read the owners handbook, and used a modicum of common sense and know a basic that if a pump has nothing to pump, its going to fail!!

Taking the pump issue alone, you say " either the motor or connectors would be the most likely" when in fact it is rarely either and is most likely that the impeller seizes up .

Apart from misuse I have never come across a failed motor or snapped connections.

You should have realised very quickly if the external pump was not working as no water would have come out of the tap , which in turn "should" have alerted you to the fact that if no water was coming out of the tap, the internal tank was not filling, as it uses the same pump.

You say "and to be honest you'd expect your caravan to be fully working if you've just purchased it fully serviced. "
Thats the point, it was fully working when the service took place and it was your actions that caused an even worse scenario, or do you expect an engineer to come to every place you go and set the van up for you?
 
May 7, 2012
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As part of the service the servicing engineer needs to check the water system and to do this he would have to pump water through it. If the pump was faulty it should have shown up then. It is possible for the pump to fail next time it is used but the odds against that are very high, and I would be very doubtful that it could be the problem. The pump will switch on and off probably thousands of times during its lifetime so it looks very suspicious to me.
If the pump was faulty it would not be a problem leaving replacement until you came to collect the caravan. It is not something that takes time to be fitted, you could just take it with you to use when you were away.
If the work was carried out by an approved workshop you should have got a list confirming all the items were checked although I suppose that proves little more than someone filled it in.
I feel that you have been badly let down although you did eventually get them to sort it for you. That was only possible due to you being close to another branch of the same firm which in itself is just luck.
 
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Damian

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If the pump was faulty it should have shown up then. It is possible for the pump to fail next time it is used but the odds against that are very high, and I would be very doubtful that it could be the problem.
It is quite possible for a pump to suddenly stop working, I have seen this happen quite a lot, even when I am working on a van, having used the pump and two minutes later the pump fails when switched on again.

Quote " I feel that you have been badly let down although you did eventually get them to sort it for you. "

I do not see that anyone has been badly let down, the engineer was happy the pump was working when he tried it, what else can he go by? he does not have x-ray vision or a crystal ball.

At the end of the day the problem was sorted, maybe not in the time frame , but in my experience the company sending one of their engineers to site is a very unusual thing, they normally want the van back to them.
 
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The more I read of this thread, the more I'm drawn to a conclusion of "reality not meeting expectations"

It is a moot point as we don't have both sides of the story as to whether the Dealers responses were reasonable given the circumstances.

I totally agree with Damian concerning the status of service record, the only concern is if the items were actually checked or not.

I also agree with Marsh Harrier about the personal impact of a failure on a touring caravan, as holidays are precious times and its not like many forms of work were a short delay can be tolerated.

When it comes to what constitutes "expectations", On the one hand the CRA is quite clear products and services should aspire to be fault free, but the historic reality is, it isn't humanly possible to be perfect all the time, and in fact the CRA would not be needed if perfection was the normal. Cases where the CRA has been used have always upheld the principle of the ideal, but where judgements have been given it often takes a realistic view and represents a fair balance between the plaintiff's expectations and defendants position.

For some items there are no clear predictive indicators of wear or condition that can be used to estimate the likelihood of subsequent failure. A good example would be road light filament light bulb. It works or it doesn't. Just occasionally you can see condensed tungsten bloom on the glass but that is not a means of estimating the bulbs remaining life. Unless the bloom is affecting the amount of light being emitted, the presence of the bloom is not a trigger to replace the bulb.

What it points to is the importance of checking your caravan thoroughly before taking it away, and the sensibility of taking some spares with you for parts that are known to be susceptible wear or damage if easily abused for example running without water or continuing to run when teh taps are closed), like for example a submersible water pump.

Hands up if you do carry a spare pump?
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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As part of the service the servicing engineer needs to check the water system and to do this he would have to pump water through it. If the pump was faulty it should have shown up then. It is possible for the pump to fail next time it is used but the odds against that are very high, and I would be very doubtful that it could be the problem. The pump will switch on and off probably thousands of times during its lifetime so it looks very suspicious to me.
If the pump was faulty it would not be a problem leaving replacement until you came to collect the caravan. It is not something that takes time to be fitted, you could just take it with you to use when you were away.
If the work was carried out by an approved workshop you should have got a list confirming all the items were checked although I suppose that proves little more than someone filled it in.
I feel that you have been badly let down although you did eventually get them to sort it for you. That was only possible due to you being close to another branch of the same firm which in itself is just luck.
Read my posts re my Flojet pump and in this thread. Working fine earlier this year. Worked fine last Tuesday fir about 30 seconds then zilch. Could not find out the fault. Even stripped it down cleaned it and reassembled, but still no success. Had to fit a new pump.
 
Jul 3, 2020
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You may not like this reply but it is what it is.

First of all a service is a service , it is not a familiarisation course for owners who should have either asked questions on handover of any part they were not sure of, or had actually read the owners handbook, and used a modicum of common sense and know a basic that if a pump has nothing to pump, its going to fail!!

Taking the pump issue alone, you say " either the motor or connectors would be the most likely" when in fact it is rarely either and is most likely that the impeller seizes up .

Apart from misuse I have never come across a failed motor or snapped connections.

You should have realised very quickly if the external pump was not working as no water would have come out of the tap , which in turn "should" have alerted you to the fact that if no water was coming out of the tap, the internal tank was not filling, as it uses the same pump.

You say "and to be honest you'd expect your caravan to be fully working if you've just purchased it fully serviced. "
Thats the point, it was fully working when the service took place and it was your actions that caused an even worse scenario, or do you expect an engineer to come to every place you go and set the van up for you?
For user Error to come into play, it would have needed to have worked in the first place and a failure to follow setting up procedure...

Considering that setting up the water isn't rocket science a simple task, get everything into position. So butt filled, external pump connected, check taps/shower is off and drain bung is closed (as always leave taps/shower and drain bung open when caravan not in use) water heater switched off. then flicked the pump isolator tap on, heard nothing so decided to open the kitchen tap, no sounds... So assumption nothing was happening. So how does one blow the heater fuse if one hasn't turned it on!

No I don't expect a service engineer to set up my caravan everywhere I go, I'm competent enough to enable to do that myself, just need things to work as they should do that's all.
 
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Jul 3, 2020
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The more I read of this thread, the more I'm drawn to a conclusion of "reality not meeting expectations"

It is a moot point as we don't have both sides of the story as to whether the Dealers responses were reasonable given the circumstances.

I totally agree with Damian concerning the status of service record, the only concern is if the items were actually checked or not.

I also agree with Marsh Harrier about the personal impact of a failure on a touring caravan, as holidays are precious times and its not like many forms of work were a short delay can be tolerated.

When it comes to what constitutes "expectations", On the one hand the CRA is quite clear products and services should aspire to be fault free, but the historic reality is, it isn't humanly possible to be perfect all the time, and in fact the CRA would not be needed if perfection was the normal. Cases where the CRA has been used have always upheld the principle of the ideal, but where judgements have been given it often takes a realistic view and represents a fair balance between the plaintiff's expectations and defendants position.

For some items there are no clear predictive indicators of wear or condition that can be used to estimate the likelihood of subsequent failure. A good example would be road light filament light bulb. It works or it doesn't. Just occasionally you can see condensed tungsten bloom on the glass but that is not a means of estimating the bulbs remaining life. Unless the bloom is affecting the amount of light being emitted, the presence of the bloom is not a trigger to replace the bulb.

What it points to is the importance of checking your caravan thoroughly before taking it away, and the sensibility of taking some spares with you for parts that are known to be susceptible wear or damage if easily abused for example running without water or continuing to run when teh taps are closed), like for example a submersible water pump.

Hands up if you do carry a spare pump?
I would agree that sometimes, Expectations can be higher than actual reality.

But I don't believe that my expectations were disproportionate to a reasonable expectation, that due to the dealer having given the caravan a full service, that all should be working as it should.

We checked most things when we picked up the caravan, but not the water pumps. I had intended to clean the water pipes through prior to going but didn't have the time, But too busy to sort it.

The expectation to receive a timely phone call after we notified them of the problem, again can't see that being a disproportionate expectation.

The expectation on a service, well disproportionate well, considering if I booked a caravan in for service, I would expect everything to be checked, that its working and safe, if not to be sorted, if anything appeared to be wearing and might fail to be replaced. Yes and of cause landing me with a parts bill, and under curtain circumstances for the parts bill to induce a labour bill above the Surviving standard Charge.

Not sure where my expectations for the dealer carrying out the full service as part of the sales agreement, what they should or not replace if there's a possibility that component might fail etc, but would expect to be told of anything that might need of looking into if its fine but might fail after the warranty period!
 
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I would agree that sometimes, Expectations can be higher than actual reality.

But I don't believe that my expectations were disproportionate to a reasonable expectation, that due to the dealer having given the caravan a full service, that all should be working as it should.

We checked most things when we picked up the caravan, but not the water pumps. I had intended to clean the water pipes through prior to going but didn't have the time, But too busy to sort it.

The expectation to receive a timely phone call after we notified them of the problem, again can't see that being a disproportionate expectation.

The expectation on a service, well disproportionate well, considering if I booked a caravan in for service, I would expect everything to be checked, that its working and safe, if not to be sorted, if anything appeared to be wearing and might fail to be replaced. Yes and of cause landing me with a parts bill, and under curtain circumstances for the parts bill to induce a labour bill above the Surviving standard Charge.

Not sure where my expectations for the dealer carrying out the full service as part of the sales agreement, what they should or not replace if there's a possibility that component might fail etc, but would expect to be told of anything that might need of looking into if its fine but might fail after the warranty period!

In my experience external pumps have rarely given any indication of when failure is imminent, and even my internal positive displacement pump threw its hand in last week without any prior warning. For external pumps I always carried a spare unit. So it may be a bit unrealistic to expect the service technician to spot it when doing checks.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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The expectation on a service, well disproportionate well, considering if I booked a caravan in for service, I would expect everything to be checked, that its working and safe, if not to be sorted, if anything appeared to be wearing and might fail to be replaced. Yes and of cause landing me with a parts bill, and under curtain circumstances for the parts bill to induce a labour bill above the Surviving standard Charge.
My bold in red - that's an unrealistic expectation by any measure.
 
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May 7, 2012
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I accept that a pump will normally just fail but the first time it is used after a service looks too unlikely for me. They are pretty poor, but even then given that they are turned on and off several times a day and usually do last a few years, the odds against it are extremely high.
 

Damian

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I accept that a pump will normally just fail but the first time it is used after a service looks too unlikely for me
We have no idea how old the pump was, the van is 2014, thats 6 years possibly.

As I have said, I have been working on customers vans, on their water system when a pump has just failed for no apparent reason. They are cheaply made and whilst some may give years of good service, some do not.
 
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I carry a second pump, with me, and swop them every trip. Prior to going out last February, one of the pumps failed, so nipped out and bought one of the Whale pumps that fit the Truma inlet, for my Coachman .
 
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