It’s a good job Swift don`t make airplanes!

Parksy

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trebby12 said:
Hi, All.
If you are thinking of purchasing a new Swift caravan or motorhome?
Have a look at this video on YouTube:-

Please share this link!
Regards, Brian.

The video highlights several faults with the caravan and the complaint should be taken up with the dealership that supplied the caravan, because the sale contract is between the dealer and the customer, not with the manufacturer.
The video can't appear on our message boards because the supplying dealer is named in breach of Rule 4 forum etiquette
I have however provided a link to the footage on You Tube for those who want to see what to look out for before accepting a new or used caravan from any dealership.
I find it slightly worrying that the person in the video referred to the corner steadies as ''Jacks''.
The steadies should never be used to jack up a caravan so after they complainant has read and understood the rules of this forum that they have agreed to as a condition of forum membership, perhaps they might look through some of the advice on the message boards and on the website which would explain the correct use of corner steadies. There is also very good advice on how to obtain the customers statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act, what you are entitled to expect from a vendor and the time scales that apply. Don't waste time and energy trying to pursue the manufacturer (Swift in this case), make the supplying dealership honour their obligations.
 
Jun 26, 2017
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I got as far as 5:27, and stopped as I’d had enough.

Just about everything that was pointed out in the viideo until I stopped watching also applies to my van. I haven’t complained about any of these things, and nor will I as they either aren’t faults, or aren’t significant enough to waste any time or energy complaining about.

His opening reference to the corner steadies is also absolute nonsense. The van he compares his to has the corner steadies set slightly further back because it’s a different body length on the same.chassis !

I personally find the EC620 control panel very intuitive and informative, and I haven’t even read the manual. His inability to use a simple, logical control system is not a fault with the caravan.

By design, the wiring is exposed, but it isn’t dodgy. The heating duct is where it is by design, that isn’t a fault. The slight gap where the kitchen flap meets the worktop can be adjusted in about 20 seconds using a posidrive screwdriver. Whether or not it was like that when he collected the van, is anyone’s guess.

If I had collected the van new and it was as he has shown us (up until 5:27), then I wouldn’t have a single complaint to make about it.

I really wish I could take up a temporary post at a dealership, even just for a day, as I’d love to be the one to deal with this guy ... ;)

If there’s anything actually worthy of a complaint further on in the video then I’d be interested to hear about it, but without any motivation, I just didn’t have the patience to watch any more of his drivel.

With regards to his irrelevant reference to aeroplanes, if I ever found myself sitting next to him on one on a transatlantic flight, I’d be hoping it would go down, and fast.
 

Damian

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I have watched the video and I hate to say it but there is nothing groundbreaking in it.
It highlights the kind of faults , not just in Swift vans but in all of the UK built vans that I have had the misfortune to work on.

I must say that this particular van does seem to have just about every fault all in one expensive package !!!!!

Will it ever change......not whilst the buying public keep accepting such vans and take a lot more time testing everything before dragging the van off the dealers forecourt.

What the video producer says about purchasers wearing rose coloured spectacles is correct, but buyers must remove them and look in detail at their prospective purchase with cold calculating miniscule attention to detail as once off the forecourt the problems become massive with arguments between dealer, customer and makers.

If dealers find that customers are not going to be away from their premises in a short time, but may be there for a few hours they "should" get the message and PDI the vans properly.

The customer is king, if you find faults REJECT the van there and then.
 

Damian

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In reply to Icaru5, so you are happy to accept shoddy, sub standard goods then?

A new van should be fault free, simple as that.

There should be no reason for a buyer to lift a posidrive screwdriver, or any other tool to any part of it .
 
Jun 26, 2017
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Damian-Moderator said:
In reply to Icaru5, so you are happy to accept shoddy, sub standard goods then?

A new van should be fault free, simple as that.

There should be no reason for a buyer to lift a posidrive screwdriver, or any other tool to any part of it .

I was perfectly happy to receive a van just like that. At least up until 5:27. I’ve no idea what the “gentleman” was complaining about after that. Living in the real world, I saw nothing shoddy, or sub-standard.

Ducting routing - Standard. Wiring exposed inside lockers - Standard. Position of rear corner steadies - Standard. Fantastic Truma CP620 control panel - Standard. Door handles and catches - Standard. (Does this guy really think that the lack of a plastic locking button on some of the handles makes his caravan less secure than it already is !?). Fridge with front sensor - Standard.

That’s what he bought and any van of the same model he looked at before choosing to buy would have been exactly the same.

Yes, the CP620 control panel can become loose within its surround, but it just needs pushing back in, not pulling all the way out to exaggerate the situation like he did. The beading and finish above the lockers is not supposed to be water-tight. It’s not particularly untidy and is the typical (not sub-Standard) finish of the budget van he bought.

If a slight, albeit adjustable gap between the kitchen flap and adjacent worktop is such a big issue to him, as is the gap above the fridge, on a trailer that gets dragged at speed through thousands of miles along broke pot-holed roads, then I would suggest he finds a different pastime, and the same to anybody who unrealistically expects never have to make minor periodic adjustments to caravan fixtures and fittings. Perhaps he’d be lucky enough to find a hobby which would present him with some real problems.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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I'd hate to be pitched up beside him on a site ! What a moaner . I watched less than 5 minutes yesterday and switched off but I've just watched the rest of it this morning and some of the things he goes on about is ridiculous . In the time that we have had ours the control panel has not once fell out ( that would be the control panel he says is really awkward and difficult to use I think it's easy and I have not read the manual about it ) all the wires that he is looking at is not seen by us unless you are really looking under the cupboard and in the units , the air ducts are of no bother and things get packed around it , soft furnishings etc , the battery charger and fuse box etc is slightly different in mine , he goes on about the taps being flimsy and the kids ripping them off ?? all the kids should be under instruction to be very careful like my 2 , the cooker whilst cooking he says you can't get one of the doors open ?! how many people cook with the oven door open :blink:
He goes on about the fridge and the gap above it , don't see what the problem is there ? We had a problem with the cupboard doors where the catch wasn't quite touching the keep but that was simply resolved by a bit of packing on the latch and all is done.
My corner steadies are fine to drop and retract without having to bend down . We could go on forever but I can't be bothered .
 
Feb 23, 2018
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My Sprite is pretty much identical, and I can sympathise with some of the issues he raised, indeed I have my own list of some 20 individual faults which have been or are scheduled to be looked at by the dealer, some of which include door alignment. I also have a complaint lodged with Swift, which will not be posted here, but that is unrelated to points raised in this video.

He did not elaborate on the electrical faults mentioned at the start; just the untidy wiring, but I do have some of the same complaints including the routing of the air ducts, under the lounge and the sinks, but I accepted that when I bought the van. The fridge controls are not in conflict with the Command panel as they synchronise, but the fridge temp/power source can be adjusted by leaning on or nudging it and that can be very annoying (Dometic, at the NEC show, told me they are developing a "fix" for this model of fridge).

He does have some genuine quality control issues which need to be addressed (the shower screen for one) but as has been said time and again on this forum, his contract is with the dealer - So why did he knowingly purchase a caravan from a dealer 300 miles away?
 
Nov 7, 2018
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Hi, Parksy..
Thanks for your understanding, I accept all you have replied.
Just got a reply from Swift:-
Good morning Mr Chapman,
I am sorry to learn of the troubles you have experienced with your caravan and the issue you had on your holidays which you could not get resolved by a dealer in the area.

I have reviewed the video along with the senior team at Swift and as discussed with you yesterday when Julie called we would like the opportunity to bring your caravan back to our factory to repair at no cost to yourself. Whilst doing this you would have the opportunity to meet our team and discuss your concerns.

I understand from Julie that you are not interested in this as an option and have booked your caravan in with your dealer on the 17th and will then be looking to sell it.

It is disappointing that we are unable to resolve this for you as the team at swift are all committed to helping customers should things go wrong. We would very much like to put this right for you given the opportunity.

If you should change your mind and like to come over to our factory in Cottingham to meet us please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards

Amy

Amy Archer
Deputy Managing Director
Swift Group Ltd, Dunswell Road, Cottingham, HU16 4JX
Tel:01482479430 Fax:01482840082
www.swiftgroup.co.uk

My reply:-
Hi, Amy.
Thanks for the email but I will have to decline your offer to visit your factory to see the caravans being built, I already have the finished product to view!
There is little that can actually put right other than the superficial faults as most of the problems are design faults, I would expect the superficial faults to be corrected when the caravan is presented for its service.
I have been surprised by the number of people that have contacted me so I have added a contact email to the video.
I have even received one reply from Swift dealer which surprised me.
After corresponding with a number of Swift owners and looking at the reports on forums there are a number owners complaining about the poor build quality of caravans, not just Swift it would appear that there is call for a website dealing with the subject, therefore I am now looking two publish two separate website named “ Badcaravan” and “Badmotorhome”
All I want to do now is get rid of this caravan and put this particular experience to bed.
In the meantime I will continue to add the link to the dealers website feedback, the more people that it upsets the more chance of changing something that has gone on for years.
Regards,
 
May 24, 2014
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I think the OPs expectations of the Caravan industry are a bit skewed. All seems pretty normal to me. Not saying its right or acceptable, just what we have all come to expect.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thingy said:
I think the OPs expectations of the Caravan industry are a bit skewed. All seems pretty normal to me. Not saying its right or acceptable, just what we have all come to expect.

Regrettably I think you are right. While I might like a new van the thought of a myriad of problems means I keep the one I know. But design shortcomings are faults. Who in their right mind runs heating ducting across the front of a locker? Its not just Swift my last Bailey did. As Craig says you don't use the oven with the door down, but you do use the grill. And perhaps not a fire safety hazard but anyone coming through that door could damage both parts by smacking the oven door or grill door. Dometic acknowledge fridge control faults. Should a shower door fall off in transit? Should a control panel fall off in transit? No to both. Trim and cupboard alignment issues are small beer. Why didn't the dealer resolve them at PDI, which the buyer pays for?

I yearn for the day when a UK manufacture announces no new deign models for 2 years whilst they work hard on designing out shortcomings and designing in ease of manufacture for high quality. But it wont happen in my remaining caravan years.
 
Sep 26, 2018
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My immediate reaction was "didn't you look over the thing before you took it away?" In taking the decision to but a caravan (wife and I are new to it) we looked in every nook and cranny before we decided, and excluded a number of models before we actually signed an order.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Guzzilazz said:
My immediate reaction was "didn't you look over the thing before you took it away?" In taking the decision to but a caravan (wife and I are new to it) we looked in every nook and cranny before we decided, and excluded a number of models before we actually signed an order.

That was my thought too and then somewhere I've read where he got it from 3oo miles away ?!? What !! That is just ludicrous ! I thought 5o miles for where we got ours was bad enough !
 
Aug 30, 2018
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Interesting that you mainly seem to think that these low standards are acceptable. There are basic design errors and cheese pairing lazy construction. If you keep buying them, they will keep making them.
 
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Boff said:
Interesting that you mainly seem to think that these low standards are acceptable. There are basic design errors and cheese pairing lazy construction. If you keep buying them, they will keep making them.

I agree that there ARE issues with the build etc, BUT I can't understand someone parting with a fat chunk of cash, apparently not having inspected either the van when it was handed over, or a demo model before ordering. It's a bit like people who don't test drive a car before buying... WHY ?????
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Yet again another fine example of a sub standard product from the caravan industry. :woohoo:
1. Surely the OP looked at a demo model at the Dealer? He may have learnt a lot if he had!
2. The poor furniture fit is par for the course. I have suggested before all new caravans are supplied with a selection of tools to enable the new Owner to carry out his own repairs!
3. The blown air trunking is certainly a very poor design defect. My current Bailey has all the pipes to the rear. The potential trap point of the door when using the grill or oven is a very serious design defect. Hopefully Swift and others will redesign this dodgy flaw.
4. Ok. Some of the wiring is untidy, and only single insulation. Again it wouldn’t take much to tidy it all up with cable ties, insulating tape and maybe a light weight diy conduit.
5. Both the Dealer and new Owner both failed miserably at the hand over! Never mind the pdi.
6.The steadies are much the same as mine. This is why I have knee pads and a long extension piece on the drill winder. Also if you fit steady locks then they will protrude another 2-3 inches to the rear. Possibly alleviates his problem?
7. The Consumer Rights Act gives the owner all the Rights he needs to demand his money back and dare I say buy another :evil:
8. Many Forumites on here over the years have explained in great detail the importance of a correct hand over and acceptance . This may well take two hours to see everything working correctly.
9. Sadly this won’t be the last tale of woe. Us mugs will continue supporting an industry that fails far too often at the point of sale.
 
Nov 7, 2018
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I cannot understand the people that are saying they are prepared to except a poor quality product just because “it’s a caravan”.
When I was young caravans had gas lighting, no hook ups, no fridge pull down beds two burner cooker and a lot of other things that we would not put up with today, they have changed it`s just the build quality that need improving now, they change the model every year trying to get more and more into a Tardis so quality is bound to suffer.
Most buyers now want everything they buy to be worth the large amount of cash they are paying for it.
Would you by a new car or a house with faults and design problems? The excuse “it’s a caravan” does not stand up anymore, minor faults can be rectified design faults cannot I am 75 I don`t want to be on hands and knees looking under the back of the caravan for the steady points.
If everybody including the dealers made a stand and told the manufactures that the product is not acceptable they would have to improve their products.
Brian
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Am I missing something? You were happy to order and pay for a caravan that you chose,based on an exact model you had either seen I the flesh or off the web/phone.Then you checked over said caravan at handover and paid balance (presumably) then decided you don't like the way that the ducting goes,or that the door hits the oven door,etc...Yes these are design faults,but what did you expect,a totally different caravan to the one you chose?
Sorry,harsh but true.
 

Parksy

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Many of us who frequent this and other caravan forums sometimes wonder if caravan design teams have ever toured in a caravan over a period of time.
Some of the things highlighted in the footage show quite clearly that some features such as the grill door interference haven't been thought through properly.
It's all too easy to become caught up in the excitement of collecting a new caravan and to miss some obvious issues that only become apparent when the excitement is over.
The video clip ought to be compulsory viewing for anyone who is considering buying from a dealership miles from home and also before anybody accepts their caravan and tows it away from the dealers.
Some of the flaws are not major safety related issues but they are enough to knock the shine off a significant purchase,
The lesson has to be have a good look at everything with a cold objective eye.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I suspect from the tone of Trebby's posting that he is not the owner of the caravan in the video. The blogger opens with reference to the supplying dealer who for reasons of forum etiquette cannot be mentioned.

If you follow the video to the end, the owner does make the point that its about time Manufactures were made more responsible to end users, a point I whole heartedly agree with, but he does confuse the legal relationship, as he does not differentiate the dealer from the manufacturer.

He also does not seem to know about his statutory rights (and responsibilities) under the CRA. Which makes the seller responsible for the costs of tangible losses incurred directly due of the failure of the goods in the contract. Even with new products it is the buyers responsibility to take reasonable care when specifying the product they want to ensure it will do what they want, and its design will suit their needs.

He is also not clear about what is a fault, and what is just something that simply does not suit him which if he had done his homework he should have spotted before deciding to buy the caravan in the first place.

The Video-er majors on two electrical faults which he does not elaborate on except to imply it caused him to lose some holiday time with consequential costs. He also makes several references to "Dodgy wiring" but the pictures over which makes these claims is not clear, and whilst I can not be certain but what I can see is not contrary to any accepted caravanning standards for wiring and specifically connections.

I would agree a lot of the wiring looks untidy, The Video-er makes reference to the the wiring not meeting aircraft standards. I quite agree it doesn't but then it doesn't need to. Effective circuits do not need to be made to a higher standard than is necessary for the job in hand. There is scope for improvement in its layout, but the pictures do not display anything out of the ordinary or give real cause for technical concern.

I suspect that if the loom and its connectors were manufactured to aerospace standards it would cost more than the caravan does today!

Its entirely possible the owner ordered the caravan at an exhibition, and the best deal may have been the dealer 300 miles away. But as we know that can be a false economy. The exhibition van may not have had the draw and door alignment issues because of the way they are prepared for shows, so the owner had no reason to expect these sorts of problems.

I am constantly amazed at the number of contributors who don't seem to want to hold dealers to book about faulty goods. I can understand they are happy to use skills but when you pay a not insubstantial sum for brand new goods, you shouldn't have to get your tools out to fix problems. And this is why caravan manufacturers get away with absolutely useless quality control measures.

May I suggest those that want to do repairs on new caravans should make it a clause in their purchase contract that they faults to be included so they can play at being clever.
 
May 24, 2014
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I think you have to look at the way cars are developing to partially understand caravan design.
Car manufacturers are increasingly pressured to make cleaner and more economical cars. Some of this is traded through kerbweight as cars get lighter. Conversely caravans due to the predominance of fixed bed models are getting bigger. Further as manufacturers are vying to show something new things like Alde heating have appeared. Tall fridges, onboard tanks and much more have added to the weight. Something has to give and i think we see that in the way they try to save weight. This often translates to poor construction. Whilst materials used can take some of the blame there is no defence for shoddy workmanship or the crass stupidity of doors fouling each other and cupboards unusable for want of a litlle longer ducting. Its time for a real kick in the pants to wake this industry up.

This industry is huge. It generates massive sales inc allied industries, tourism, jobs, car sales. Perhaps the government might show some interest into what in truth is an enormous rip off.

Scuse any typos, im on mobile.
 
Aug 9, 2010
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What else did the new owner expect? Its a new caravan. Of course it has faults.New caravan buyers accept that their new van will have faults, that's why new caravans have faults! Why should the manufacturers correct problems when people continue to buy the rubbish they produce anyway?
In this instance i think the new owner wasn't wearing rosy specs. He was carrying a white stick!
Some of the faults are in the design of the van, which would have been obvious on initial viewing, yet he still bought it!
My mind boggles!
 
Mar 27, 2011
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I’ve been following this post and I have to admit I’ve not watched the video as the various descriptions of the faults makes me think it’s not worth it, there seems to be 2 separate issues that are being discussed, build quality and faults caused by shoddy workmanship and there’s design faults, ok build quality faults, anyone paying good money for a van should not have to expect or accept shoddy workman ship because I’m fairly sure the faults were not there on the showroom model so you didn’t sign up for shoddy goods, design faults are completely different because if I go to look at model x caravan and there are design issues I’m not happy with I wouldn’t buy it and I’d buy one that I liked the layout etc of and I’d have accepted the design as I’d seen it, if I go to buy anything if I get it home, then decide it’s the wrong colour or the new car door has to be slammed to get it to shut properly because it’s not designed quite right then I should have decided I didn’t like those things and not bought that thing, as for the comment about people wouldn’t accept shoddy workmanship if buying a house, I can assure you the quality of new build houses has never been good and it’s now absolutely awful, I’ve been working on vehicles for last few months used by a major house builder for a large team of snaggers and the horror stories they describe is amazing, pretty much each and every snagger/driver stated that under no circumstances would they purchase a property from the company they worked for, all the snagging jobs are on sold houses so yes people do buy substandard houses.

BP
 

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