More Quality issues??

Jun 20, 2005
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This was posted on an Owners Forum today. No names etc because of PCv protocols . He has been looking to purchase a new 2019 caravan.

“ Now I used to be a Quality Controller for ******during the production of models(2004-2007). We were shocked at the poor internal finish and just wonder if this is an ongoing *****issue or just my keen eye. I have been loyal to *****for more than ......years.

Now I am more worried than ever. :woohoo:
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Dustydog said:
This was posted on an Owners Forum today. No names etc because of PCv protocols . He has been looking to purchase a new 2019 caravan.

“ Now I used to be a Quality Controller for ******during the production of models(2004-2007). We were shocked at the poor internal finish and just wonder if this is an ongoing *****issue or just my keen eye. I have been loyal to *****for more than ......years.

Now I am more worried than ever. :woohoo:

Interesting comments. I must admit that last week we went to look at a 2014 Sport Challenger and one of the first things we noticed were that many high locker doors were badly aligned but on closer checking it wasn’t that the screws were slack. It was play within the hinge mechanism. There were other things too that weren’t too good.

So Mrs OC decided to lol at a 2015 Coachman VIP and that also had poorly aligned cupboards doors. Some of the catches were not positive. On some panels the edge trim was detached in places.

Yet when we bought a new Bailey S5 Bordeaux in 2005 it’s cupboard alignment was good and was still good when we sold it in 2014. Although it had required a new front and rear panel under warranty.
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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I went on a factory tour of Swifts in Cottingham in 2007 and after lunch their CEO had an informal Q&A session with us. If I remember correctly Gary from Arc Systems was also on the tour with us.
Swifts CEO admitted to us that up until around design changes took place in 2006 their caravans were generally of poor quality and prone to water ingress. He said that the company were trying hard to address the issues surrounding poor build quality and bad customer service.
Swift launched their own user forum but unfortunately the same issues seem to crop up time after time across all manufacturers and models.
As buyers we really need to check our purchases much more stringently and be prepared to reject caravans that have faults using our statutory rights rather than the manufacturers warranty system.
The problem arises because the consumer rights legislation places the onus upon the vendor (the dealership) and this allows manufacturers to get away with shoddy workmanship.
Until we really hold the feet of the dealerships to the fire over faulty goods, missed PDI procedures and buck passing we can continue to expect to read forum posts about problems with brand new caravans.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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An excellent post Parksy

I know there are a few forum members who tell us we should accept faulty caravans becasue that's how they are, and we should count ourselves lucky becasue it means we can spend time and money putting right what should have been right first time!!!

Well if those members are happy doing what we pay the manufacturers and dealers to do that's fine, but they should include a customer requirement in their order for the caravan to be supplied faulty just to keep them happy!

Most of us do not buy a television and expect to have to get it repaired, we expect it work right first time, and the same applies to most goods we purchase, why do we accept such poor performance from such an expensive thing like a caravan?

Caravans are not complex high precision items, there is no acceptable excuse for screws to be missing, inconsistent application of joint sealants. Loose connections in electrical fittings, doors that don't align, these are all assembly errors that proves the manufacture does not control their production facilities effectively.

Customers have allowed dealers (and thus by default the manufacturers) to get away with supplying goods with faults for too long. These failures have become ingrained into the industry and it needs dealers and the manufacturers to recognise the proven fact that their present Quality management is not fit for purpose.
 
May 24, 2014
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Customers have allowed dealers (and thus by default the manufacturers) to get away with supplying goods with faults for too long. These failures have become ingrained into the industry and it needs dealers and the manufacturers to recognise the proven fact that their present Quality management is not fit for purpose.

I wholeheartedley agree.
 
May 7, 2012
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Quality and caravans do not normally appear in the same sentence. In the past couple of years the forms have been churning them out as fast as possible and quality took a back seat even further back if that is possible
Sales are down at the moment, and hopefully that will give more time for quality control but I will not hold my breath too long.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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From a pragmatic perspective, any manufacture or seller has to consider a business model that includes costs covering product failures in the customer's hands. A good manufacturer who has designed and manufactures a product to a high standard will expect relatively small proportion of their finished product to cause a problem. The preferred measurement for many manufacturers supply the car industry is Parts Per Million or PPM, and the motor industries have to work in the order of 5PPM failure rates! If only caravans were anywhere near as good as this.

The NCC indicates (https://www.thencc.org.uk/our_industry/statistics.aspx) that in 2017 23,900 touring caravans were sold. The caravan manufacturers do not publish failure rates or warranty rates for their products so it is not possible to use precise figures , but based on the CC&C's Caravan Owner Satisfaction Awards
(https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/helpandadvice/tent-survey/caravan-owner-satisfaction-awards/) Approximately 25% of caravan owners have had problems of one sort or another, and that just those that replied, so the UK caravan industry can boast of a PPM of at least 250000!!! or 1:4 caravan that does not satisfy their customer 100%

No business with a product failure rate of that scale can afford to be complacent. They should be looking for the reasons why they have such an abysmal record. Director's bonuses and pay awards and shareholder dividend should be linked to reductions in the failure rates.

I was party to some information from a caravan manufacture (whom I shall not name - so do not ask) some 30 years ago which even then they were inflating the price of every caravan by about £800 (probably about 10% of RRP) to cover the expected costs of servicing warranty claims!

I'm definitely not claiming it would be easy for the caravan industry to change but its not impossible. The car industry has largely managed it. So if they have any real respect for their customers they need to look to improving the customer experience and reliability.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Very worrying. In real terms today we are paying circa £3400.00 per unit to cover their own man made defects. I suspect the true failure rate is probably not as bad as we think. The Dealer has also factored in a margin for returns on his bottom line. From my own experience all new caravans have defects but in truth not many as a % are expensive to remedy. The real Friday afternoon leaders excepted.

I suspect I may well be paying my very hard earned money to pay for the odd major fault on some other poor buyers unit.
In part , jokingly , I have suggested in the past manufacturers also supply a DIY repair / tool kit for people like me who are stupid enough to carry out nigly repairs ourselves. Sometimes, rightly
or wrong it is quicker to do the DIY rather than the hassle of dragging the caravan back to the Dealer.
Maybe it is time the manufacturer and the Dealer got off their backsides and came to us to remedy the problems.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Dustydog said:
Very worrying. In real terms today we are paying circa £3400.00 per unit to cover their own man made defects. I suspect the true failure rate is probably not as bad as we think. The Dealer has also factored in a margin for returns on his bottom line. From my own experience all new caravans have defects but in truth not many as a % are expensive to remedy. The real Friday afternoon leaders excepted.

I suspect I may well be paying my very hard earned money to pay for the odd major fault on some other poor buyers unit.
In part , jokingly , I have suggested in the past manufacturers also supply a DIY repair / tool kit for people like me who are stupid enough to carry out nigly repairs ourselves. Sometimes, rightly
or wrong it is quicker to do the DIY rather than the hassle of dragging the caravan back to the Dealer.
Maybe it is time the manufacturer and the Dealer got off their backsides and came to us to remedy the problems.
Hello Dusty,
I don't think the figure I gave was universal, and the offset figure hasn't tracked inflation but it would not surprise me if it isn't something between 5 and 8% of purchase price. The dealers in my experience don't factor in such a big figure, they rely on being able to use the manufacturers warranty scheme to reclaim parts and a portion of the labour costs, thats one reason they're pretty casual about it. If it was their own money then thy'ed be a bit more attentive which is one reason why the CRA is so powerful.
 
Mar 10, 2006
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otherclive said:
Dustydog said:
This was posted on an Owners Forum today. No names etc because of PCv protocols . He has been looking to purchase a new 2019 caravan.

“ Now I used to be a Quality Controller for ******during the production of models(2004-2007). We were shocked at the poor internal finish and just wonder if this is an ongoing *****issue or just my keen eye. I have been loyal to *****for more than ......years.

Now I am more worried than ever. :woohoo:

Interesting comments. I must admit that last week we went to look at a 2014 Sport Challenger and one of the first things we noticed were that many high locker doors were badly aligned but on closer checking it wasn’t that the screws were slack. It was play within the hinge mechanism. There were other things too that weren’t too good.

So Mrs OC decided to lol at a 2015 Coachman VIP and that also had poorly aligned cupboards doors. Some of the catches were not positive. On some panels the edge trim was detached in places.

Yet when we bought a new Bailey S5 Bordeaux in 2005 it’s cupboard alignment was good and was still good when we sold it in 2014. Although it had required a new front and rear panel under warranty.

My new 2011 Bailey Valencia had to have furniture replaced or adjusted, along with 3 sets of wardrobe doors.
My present 2017 Swift also had to have doors adjusted to line them up.
 
Mar 10, 2006
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Parksy said:
I went on a factory tour of Swifts in Cottingham in 2007 and after lunch their CEO had an informal Q&A session with us. If I remember correctly Gary from Arc Systems was also on the tour with us.
Swifts CEO admitted to us that up until around design changes took place in 2006 their caravans were generally of poor quality and prone to water ingress. He said that the company were trying hard to address the issues surrounding poor build quality and bad customer service.
Swift launched their own user forum but unfortunately the same issues seem to crop up time after time across all manufacturers and models.
As buyers we really need to check our purchases much more stringently and be prepared to reject caravans that have faults using our statutory rights rather than the manufacturers warranty system.
The problem arises because the consumer rights legislation places the onus upon the vendor (the dealership) and this allows manufacturers to get away with shoddy workmanship.
Until we really hold the feet of the dealerships to the fire over faulty goods, missed PDI procedures and buck passing we can continue to expect to read forum posts about problems with brand new caravans.

IMO too many people don't check over the caravans prior to PDI or delivery.

I pay nothing other than the deposit before I first check the caravan over for faults. My Unicorn sat at the dealers 6 weeks until the long list of replacements were carried out. My present Swift two weeks to adjust a short list of issues.

I had much fewer issues with my new 1997 Avondale, and 2004 Senator.
 

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