Quality of modern Caravans...

Jul 20, 2020
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...is shocking.

Let me explain. We have a Buccaneer Schooner, I am sure you will agree not a cheap van my any stretch of the imagination. its a 2017 model. I am not going to give you a sob story but just the facts.

We had our service in 2018 and damp was discovered under the front window, furthermore we found out that axels (BPW now Alko) was literally coming apart. The swinging arms (not sure if that is the correct term) which are mounted into the chassis by rubber mounts were actually coming out, literally hanging out both sides. I took it to Premier Towing in the Midlands who advised me not to tow the van any more.

We left the van there for them to sort it. It took over 9 months, because Elddis don't want to know, they said the axle is now the responsibility of Alko, eventually Alko supplied a new axle, but it was made upside down, yep upside down. Eventually they supplied a new axle and all was good. However it wasn't! The actual wheel security receivers were missing. So Premier took the old ones off and only managed to fit one receiver , so I had to purchase an after market wheel lock to comply with my insurance.

Whilst Premier had the van they found damp on the awning rail so they had to order a new one for that.

So a £36k van that is built with the same quality of a £12k van.

The joining tape on the walls is peeling off, the Alde heater had not been installed correctly, the carpets have flattened out and are made from cheap material.

Just a word of warning make sure you get your van serviced and checked for damp and dont be shocked if you but a new Elddis van and get problems and when you do Elddis are just not interested.

Finally I have been told that Alko do not make that axle anymore, I am pursuing this as I feel Elddis and Alko need to take responsibility for their shoddy approach to customer support and build quality.

I did think that buying a top of the range van I would be getting the best of the best, but sadly these van's are thrown together and most people are not aware, speaking with Premier they had said the build quality coming out of the factories is poor, cheap mastic that goes hard hence water ingress and just put together, they clearly have a very lax level of quality control.

Its a sad state that the UK caravan market is being flooded with vans with such a poor standard of build quality, let alone safety imagine if one of the axles had totally dislodge whilst on the motorway, I just dont want to think about the outcome.

I for one will never buy an Elddis van and will keep this one going as I know Premier Towing have done a great job of putting things right, they even use a different mastic that they have told Elddis about and guess what they are not interested, potentailly add £200 per new van with the new mastic and massively reduce water ingress.

Be warned fellow van owners.

Darren
 
Jul 18, 2017
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The issue is that quality is not consistent across all brands of caravans. We have a 2018 Buccaneer Cruiser and are very happy with it. As for tape peeling, show me any brand that does not have that problem.
Why did you not reject the caravan when the dealer was unable to do a repair within a reasonable time frame? We rejected our 2016 Buccaneer Cruiser at 11 months and got a full refund plus compensation?
From your post I think you have more than sufficient grounds to reject the caravan even now however I would advise that you contact Which Legal Services as they specialise din consumer issues. We used them with great success and I may be able to offer some advice based on our experience.
Why are you chasing Elddis when your contract is with the dealer and not Elddis and you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015? Have a read at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted Take note of section 9, 10 and 11 and also section 19 - 24.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Let's start with the money and the van; when you buy a Bucanneer and we have one be under no illusion it's 'better ' in terms of build than the xplores that come off exactly the same line. I read this over and over again with top end caravans from mainstream mass production makers -all the major manufacturers make vans at different levels and the pricing is generally not down to construction but equipment and fittings-so yet in a Buc you do get dovetail drawers and soft closers and you may not in an xplore but the money goes on the alde underfloor heating the ep levelling the upgraded oven the on board tank etc. They are made by the same people on the same line-as per the Bailey alicanto, the Coachman VIP etc. and of course as per cars-the more money we spend the bigger the profit margin. BUT you can't compare a Buc with a handbuilt car such as Rolls orASton Martin-simply they are not. They are more comparable with Audi compared to Skoda. more options more high tech kit but under the skin the same and often as with Audi and Skoda, the Audi has more faults due to those very options.

If you want better quality you need to buy custom hand built and pay the prices this sort of van commands.

Next the BPW chassis really is a BPW issue and might be why they moved to Alko-who knows-if a caravan builder has issues with an item they buy in then of course they need to sort that and maybe they have-by moving where they spend the money.
If you
BUT you do expect a caravan with 10 year water ingress warranty to be water tight and that is an Elddis issue but you need to take this up with the selling dealer whose responsibility it is-Elddis probably do care but they simply cannot deal with the buyer-it is your dealer at fault here.

Saying this we have a 2020 Buc Cruiser and are totally over the moon with it-construction-well I have only as yet found one screw that had been put in in the wrong part of a runner and hence it worked its way loose-the build quality on collection was outstanding-not a mark or a scratch and nothing out of line and we hope this is a sign of things to come!

I really do hope you get the caravan sorted and am sorry for your woes but the bigger picture is these are mass produced vans-made by hand so sadly without the automation on car production lines-where issues and friday cars still exist!
 
Jul 20, 2020
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The issue is that quality is not consistent across all brands of caravans. We have a 2018 Buccaneer Cruiser and are very happy with it. As for tape peeling, show me any brand that does not have that problem.
Why did you not reject the caravan when the dealer was unable to do a repair within a reasonable time frame? We rejected our 2016 Buccaneer Cruiser at 11 months and got a full refund plus compensation?
From your post I think you have more than sufficient grounds to reject the caravan even now however I would advise that you contact Which Legal Services as they specialise din consumer issues. We used them with great success and I may be able to offer some advice based on our experience.
Why are you chasing Elddis when your contract is with the dealer and not Elddis and you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015? Have a read at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted Take note of section 9, 10 and 11 and also section 19 - 24.
Due to the fact we bought it from Glossop Caravans which is far from us we used Premier Towing to do the warranty work.

Are you suggesting we go back to Glossop now? Or go down the Which road?

Thoughts?

Darren
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Due to the fact we bought it from Glossop Caravans which is far from us we used Premier Towing to do the warranty work.

Are you suggesting we go back to Glossop now? Or go down the Which road?

Thoughts?

Darren
Apologies I did not realise that you had engage a third party to do warranty work. If Premier Towing are not an authorised Elddis Buccaneer agent then unfortunately you may not have a valid warranty any more. Then it is understandable that Elddis did not want to authorise the work.
Even if you did take the caravan back to Glossop you may encounter many hassles as Premier do not seem to be an authorised Elddis agent. I think you are going to have a battle on your hands for any sort of resolution.
Unfortunately you cannot blame Elddis or Glossop for any failures regarding warranty work and you OP is very misleading.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Later Eldiss seem to be getting better press. It may be that improvements since Hymer/Trigano took over may be showing benefits.
 
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May 7, 2012
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As JezzerB says the Buccaneer comes off the same line as the Xplore and there is no reason to assume the build standard should be different. The legal requirement on quality is exactly the same for both, merchantable quality.
What is very clear if you read the magazines customer survey is that Eldiss come consistently bottom for customer satisfaction and are bottom in the surveys that included fault free caravans. Lunar did come below them in the last survey but Lunar having gone out of business may be a factor there or perhaps standards have improved since the takeover although the customer service does nor appear to have. When one year Buccaneer was shown as a separate brand they came even lower than the main Eldiss brand. I do wonder though if that is because you spend far more on one you expect more or simply because it has more equipment fitted there is more to go wrong.
Eldiss do turn out some decent caravans, but the forums contain enough horror stories to make me very wary of them. The other makes have their problems too though, and no makes now seem to get over 90% for customer satisfaction, although Adria and Coachman get near.
Provided Premier Towing are NCC approved that is enough to maintain the guarantee, they do not have to be Eldiss agents. The guarantee is to a large extent irrelevant, as the CRA gives you rights against the dealer who sold it, and if you have finance you can also claim against the finance company.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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As JezzerB says the Buccaneer comes off the same line as the Xplore and there is no reason to assume the build standard should be different. The legal requirement on quality is exactly the same for both, merchantable quality.
What is very clear if you read the magazines customer survey is that Eldiss come consistently bottom for customer satisfaction and are bottom in the surveys that included fault free caravans. Lunar did come below them in the last survey but Lunar having gone out of business may be a factor there or perhaps standards have improved since the takeover although the customer service does nor appear to have. When one year Buccaneer was shown as a separate brand they came even lower than the main Eldiss brand. I do wonder though if that is because you spend far more on one you expect more or simply because it has more equipment fitted there is more to go wrong.
Eldiss do turn out some decent caravans, but the forums contain enough horror stories to make me very wary of them. The other makes have their problems too though, and no makes now seem to get over 90% for customer satisfaction, although Adria and Coachman get near.
Provided Premier Towing are NCC approved that is enough to maintain the guarantee, they do not have to be Eldiss agents. The guarantee is to a large extent irrelevant, as the CRA gives you rights against the dealer who sold it, and if you have finance you can also claim against the finance company.

A bit like so many prestige car brands that show lower reliability and customer satisfaction than less prestige brands. Is it customer expectation or too much sophisticated kit? The jury is out on that one.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Apologies I did not realise that you had engage a third party to do warranty work. If Premier Towing are not an authorised Elddis Buccaneer agent then unfortunately you may not have a valid warranty any more. Then it is understandable that Elddis did not want to authorise the work.
Even if you did take the caravan back to Glossop you may encounter many hassles as Premier do not seem to be an authorised Elddis agent. I think you are going to have a battle on your hands for any sort of resolution.
Unfortunately you cannot blame Elddis or Glossop for any failures regarding warranty work and you OP is very misleading.
I also agree with you not taking it back to Glossop the main dealer .
We brought a Elddis Crusader Super Sirocco from a caravan dealer it came with warranty i rang them we found something wrong with the end washroom they replace everything under warranty no question ask even pick it up from our seasonal site and return it .
 
Jul 20, 2020
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Apologies I did not realise that you had engage a third party to do warranty work. If Premier Towing are not an authorised Elddis Buccaneer agent then unfortunately you may not have a valid warranty any more. Then it is understandable that Elddis did not want to authorise the work.
Even if you did take the caravan back to Glossop you may encounter many hassles as Premier do not seem to be an authorised Elddis agent. I think you are going to have a battle on your hands for any sort of resolution.
Unfortunately you cannot blame Elddis or Glossop for any failures regarding warranty work and you OP is very misleading.
Premier towing are an approved Elddis warranty / repair outfit. Otherwise I would of taken it elsewhere.

My OP is not misleading, as stated they are approved by Elddis.

Make sense now?

Darren
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Premier towing are an approved Elddis warranty / repair outfit. Otherwise I would of taken it elsewhere.

My OP is not misleading, as stated they are approved by Elddis.

Make sense now?

Darren
I think you've come across the big risk of buying from a distant dealer - that works ok when everything is fine and the local approved workshop can fix the faults but when it goes pear-shaped and you need to rely on CRA legislation you can only do that against the selling dealer - at that point the original manufacturer and local workshop become irrelevant.

I think you need proper legal advice to see what your options are from here.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Very sorry to read of your experience but I'm not too surprised.My experience with this brand - and it's supplying dealer - was the worst I have experienced in 52 years of caravan ownership. Hopefully the new owners will get a grip. But, as others have said, whatever you buy will probably have the same appliances and systems, so the additional costs for the uprange models is mainly cosmetic.. The makers also seem to be passing all warranty work out to workshops or the owner to deal with, but i understand some o f the workshops are experiencing difficult in getting paid for sufficient hours to do the work properly and some, indeed, no longer offer warranty service.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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A report was submitted regarding the naming of dealers, who as they do not subscribe to the forum (to the best of our knowledge) have no way of defending themselves.

If the original post had been detrimental to the supplying dealer, or the workshop in which the poster had problems, then we would remove those references "naming and shaming" is not permitted.

However, no detrimental posts were submitted, simply that the caravan owner had bought at a distance and used a facility closer to home, who also happen to be authorised by the van maker to carry out warranty work.

No Forum Rules have been broken and the post remains.
 
Jul 20, 2020
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A report was submitted regarding the naming of dealers, who as they do not subscribe to the forum (to the best of our knowledge) have no way of defending themselves.

If the original post had been detrimental to the supplying dealer, or the workshop in which the poster had problems, then we would remove those references "naming and shaming" is not permitted.

However, no detrimental posts were submitted, simply that the caravan owner had bought at a distance and used a facility closer to home, who also happen to be authorised by the van maker to carry out warranty work.

No Forum Rules have been broken and the post remains.
Thanks for this...

I did read the TOC

D.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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There have been a number of surveys which strongly suggest typically 20% or more of new UK built caravans reaching end users have faults that cause the owner to seek warranty repairs. What this hides is the number of faults that customers simply accept and just live with or repair themselves without claiming warranty.

This is a very worrying situation becasue it basically means manufactures can produce a perfect caravan, but they simply can't do it consistently. In any other commercial operation that would be considered a ludicrous level of failure and should be one of the companies primary improvement targets. Companies doing work of a similar technological level in other fields would be looking for sub 1% failure rates.

Reports on this forum and others suggest there are not only flaws in design, materials and workmanship. but also in the after sales provisions to get some of these issues identified and properly sorted.

This is a very clear indication that what ever Quality Management System they have is not working adequately.

Dealers are in the front line of these warranty repairs, and are paid considerably less for the time they spend doing this work than their normal hourly rates.

With an average 20% failure of new caravans, to meet the costs of servicing these claims, every new caravan has a surcharge of several hundred pounds built into the cost that you pay.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Caravan quality seems to be all about poor initial build quality, not poor longevity - for each of the 3 caravans I've owned from new, the warranty period has been a time to endure the aggro of getting all the initial problems fixed and then getting many years of trouble-free use with virtually no wear/age related faults occurring once the warranty has ended.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Premier towing are an approved Elddis warranty / repair outfit. Otherwise I would of taken it elsewhere.

My OP is not misleading, as stated they are approved by Elddis.

Make sense now?

Darren
I checked the Elddis website and their name did not come up however when checking service centres the name Premier did come up however either way your argument is with the supplying dealer and TBH I think you really need to take legal advice.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Caravan quality seems to be all about poor initial build quality, not poor longevity - for each of the 3 caravans I've owned from new, the warranty period has been a time to endure the aggro of getting all the initial problems fixed and then getting many years of trouble-free use with virtually no wear/age related faults occurring once the warranty has ended.
I would certainly agree there are too many initial faults, but I suspect there are several caravanners who would point to issues with their longevity also. The most contentious ones are damp and cracked panels. and I am sure there will be others. and of course there will be other things like corrosion on bulb contacts etc.
 
May 7, 2012
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If you want legal advice and are a member of either of the clubs they provide a free helpline which should be world leaders on this subject by know. If not a member Citizens Advice have a very good service.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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If you want legal advice and are a member of either of the clubs they provide a free helpline which should be world leaders on this subject by know. If not a member Citizens Advice have a very good service.
When we had issues with our 2016 caravan initially we tried CMC who were totally useless and gave the incorrect advice. We then tried Citizens Advice who are normally good and their advice was to roll over and accept the situation. I think a lot depends on who is offering the advice at CAB. Finally we used "Which Legal Services" and had success. In this case as the OP has had a third party dealer involved, the best course of action would be to contact Which Legal Services for expert advice as the dealers may try and play one up against the other.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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I have to say I am a total disbeliever in surveys like this-Ford always do badly in car ones-and it seems smaller lower volume makers do better in general in spite of the researcher saying the survey is adjusted for this. Vans the same-look at who comes out top and how many caravans they make-and am reading plenty of complaints about the top two companies as well. Conversely how many happy people actually bother to do a survey-more often than not they only do it if they have had issues-although i always try to give praise where it's due-not enough of this! So praise for Elddis and the construction of our Buc-the sealant application around the external lockers etc is absloutely sublime-whoever did it is VERY competant-far superior to our Bailey and we loved that too and had very very few issues. All bar one of which were down to third party suppliers anyway.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I have to say I am a total disbeliever in surveys like this-Ford always do badly in car ones-and it seems smaller lower volume makers do better in general in spite of the researcher saying the survey is adjusted for this. Vans the same-look at who comes out top and how many caravans they make-and am reading plenty of complaints about the top two companies as well. Conversely how many happy people actually bother to do a survey-more often than not they only do it if they have had issues-although i always try to give praise where it's due-not enough of this! So praise for Elddis and the construction of our Buc-the sealant application around the external lockers etc is absloutely sublime-whoever did it is VERY competant-far superior to our Bailey and we loved that too and had very very few issues. All bar one of which were down to third party suppliers anyway.
Hello Jezzer,

You have fallen into the common trap of assuming that your example of a product represents all products from the same source. Iv'e newes for you - It doesn't.

I do agree that good work should be praised, but in the context of buying anything new, you have a right to expect a product to be perfect, and it should be, and that should be the normal and not require extra praise.

If a caravan that has no faults deserves praise, then it just shows how low normal expectations have fallen.

The problem is the lack of consistency . Whilst you may be very happy with the way the mastic was applied to your caravan, it is entirely possible the very next caravan of the production lint might have terrible mastic application, or some other fairly fundamental issues. The fact is no UK caravan manufacture has an effective quality management system in place to guarantee consistent production standards.

It takes me back to the earlier days of BS5750, where the emphasis was placed on managing a consistent product quality, often summarised as "Say whet you do and do what you say." What you might make, might be rubbish but at least it was consistent rubbish.

When BS5750 was revised into the international BS EN ISO 9000 series the concept of continual improvement became cornerstone where customer feedback has to be shown to be used to focus revisions and new developments.

I don't think any UK caravan manufacturer would meet or maintain the earlier BS5750 accreditation yet alone approach the more recent versions.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Oh no I'm under no illusion that that is the case at all-am very aware there are people with issues and am keeping a very close eye our ours to ensure that those don't affect ours. however I was told by our dealer when we were trying to decide between a Coachman, Bailey and Buc that they had noted a distinct improvement in Elddis quality-I agree I find it hard to believe there aren't stringent quality control checks in place or methods to ensure uniformity but we didn't just look at one caravan -quite a few Bucs in different places and dealers-all brand new and they seemed very consistent. I feel I have to give praise where praise is due -having worked in an industry with constant criticism I feel that it has to be said!

If you believe the negatives about Lunar, who advertise still on the website that they satisfy IS90001 stds I have to say I haven't much faith in that either-maybe it is like investors in people-done on inspection but very easy to 'cover up inadequacies'. Of course all of this paragraph is pure speculation on my behalf.
 
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I should add that very rarely even with small electrical items have I received anything that is totally perfect- in everyway-can usually pick fault but really struggled with our Buc! No slot head screws so no alignment issues! But seriously we bought our Buc for what it had not for its construction-we like the layout, the space the colours, the EP levelling , the underfloor heating-come on where can you find that in this price bracket, the chrome towel rail-don't like the coachman white plastic coated variety, the chrome curtain rails the included waste hog, yuasa battery, solar panel, outdoor shower, bbq gas point and socket, and nice Pioneer 4 speaker stereo, domestic quality microwave, cooker with electric and gas hob, the lovely lighting, the ominvent with fan, the lovely tile effect shower free diamond wheel locks, the free motor mover , the alarm and tracker all included the included auto change over gas regulator, the solar panel, 100w, the chrome curtain rails-not plastic, the corner cushions, the onboard tank and pump-and am sure I've not finished yet-oh yes ext satellite tv connection the front locker light the outdoor lights on both sides, and oh yes I am supporting British workers in Sunderland-as we have with our cars that apart from our tow car, were made in Oxford. I didn't buy it for its build quality-but it has metal drawer runner, soft close cupboards with rubber strips NOT silly stuck on rubber stoppers, dovetailed jointed drawers. I never expected perfection but so far I've found a teenybit of trim that has moved in the recent heat and a window rubber that has too.
We have never had a caravan that sits so stably you dont' know you are in one, and has a heating system better than our house. Bought in October and used in anger now as often as the lockdown let us-6 times out now and counting we are so far more than delighted-never have we had a caravan that feels better than a hotel-but this does. Oh and you don't need to add fluid to the loo to flush it-another job I don't have to do that makes it like our house! The flush comes from the fresh water supply-whichever you choose to use!
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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Jezzer, I hope not to sit next to you in a pub, and ask "Whats your caravan like" only joking we all love our caravans, I have a great Coachman, but don't like the new ones too light and flimsy.
Each to their own likes.
 

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