Throwing good money after bad?

Sep 4, 2021
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Starting to think about quitting on this. Context, I paid £3500 a year ago for a 2005 swift. Spent another £400 on a service and putting things right. Recently, everything starting to go wrong at the same time. The toilet cassette, the heater front fell off. Heater and fridge won't run on gas (not a concern). Today, whilst screwing the motor mover onto the wheels, one just refused to budge even though I was rotating the socket. Thinking of high repair bills. Should I, just, ditch this and save up for something newer? Feels like it's going a money pit. Don't have the skills/time for DIY and just, want something reliable so the toddler has a good time.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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There are bound to be some things to be sorted out on a pre owned caravan of that age, and even younger and new ones ones aren’t immune to problems. Whilst your description might seem onerous if you split them down one by one they are not insurmountable. You don’t say what’s wrong with the toilet so a description would help. There is a lot of info on YouTube and the web on how to fix Thetfords and parts are not expensive and are readily available.

Regarding the fire, every Truma I’ve had has had its front fall off from new when travelling. Blame the installers. What I did was drill a small hole in the top of the grille and through it then use a self tapper to retain it.

Strange that heater and fridge will not run on gas. Did the service technician (was it an AWS technician) not check them for function at £400 it was more expensive than the norm. Have they ever run in gas? Sometimes you need to run the cooker hobs fir 5-10 minutes to ensure other appliances have gas in the supply pipes.

Re mover has it worked previously and are the motor/rollers linked to move together? What make/ model mover is it? Movers aren’t part of the service schedules and are requested as an additional package. But a a download of the owners manual is normally available which should show where lubrication can be applied.
 
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Sep 4, 2021
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You are indeed right, all of the individual problems can be fixed one way or another, and I've had some great tips on here. I guess my question is a bit more, err "meta". Does a successive run of faults just give a major whiff of "this van needs to be out of its misery?" lol
 
Nov 11, 2009
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You are indeed right, all of the individual problems can be fixed one way or another, and I've had some great tips on here. I guess my question is a bit more, err "meta". Does a successive run of faults just give a major whiff of "this van needs to be out of its misery?" lol
No I don’t think so, as you can find faults in any caravan. Just review what comes up on the Forum. I know it’s frustrating but with the info that’s available most can be sorted out without needing significant technical skills and tools. You don’t mention damp. Did your service find the caravan to have low damp readings. If it did you are potentially a winner.

This might help wrt the heater front panel falling off

 
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Sep 4, 2021
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No damp, he actually said I got a good deal which surprised me as a novice. Things needing fixing up where mostly cosmetic things, although new tyres and pads etc.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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No damp, he actually said I got a good deal which surprised me as a novice. Things needing fixing up where mostly cosmetic things, although new tyres and pads etc.
No the faults aren’t connected and are random occurrences once sorted are not likely to reappear anytime soon. I’d stick with it and work your way through the problems. If you can describe the cassette issue, fire/fridge and mover the Forum may be able to guide you on what might be required. If you could win on one or two it would be good, and the fire, cassette and mover might be within your own DIY skills given suitable guidance.
 
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Oct 8, 2006
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There are bound to be some things to be sorted out on a pre owned caravan of that age, and even younger and new ones ones aren’t immune to problems. Whilst your description might seem onerous if you split them down one by one they are not insurmountable. You don’t say what’s wrong with the toilet so a description would help. There is a lot of info on YouTube and the web on how to fix Thetfords and parts are not expensive and are readily available.

Regarding the fire, every Truma I’ve had has had its front fall off from new when travelling. Blame the installers. What I did was drill a small hole in the top of the grille and through it then use a self tapper to retain it.

Strange that heater and fridge will not run on gas. Did the service technician (was it an AWS technician) not check them for function at £400 it was more expensive than the norm. Have they ever run in gas? Sometimes you need to run the cooker hobs fir 5-10 minutes to ensure other appliances have gas in the supply pipes.

Re mover has it worked previously and are the motor/rollers linked to move together? What make/ model mover is it? Movers aren’t part of the service schedules and are requested as an additional package. But a a download of the owners manual is normally available which should show where lubrication can be applied.

One thing overlooked. Somewhere in a locker or cupboard at or near floor level will be a block of gas taps - one feeding gas to the cooker, one to the fridge, one to the space heater, and one to the water heater. Make sure they are all on. If necessary trace the route of the gas pipe from the locker, under the van (external) and back in through the floor where you should find the taps.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Steve, although you have had a few "hickups," with your caravan, even a newish one has them that can be sorted, Two years ago , on the last night on pitch the power went off, reset the bollard circuit breakers, in the morning , no hot water for the shower, Both heater elements had gone. Probably the first one went a year or so before. Fridge panel needed replacing. Just odd jobs total about ,£600 ,not bad for a. 8 year old caravan.
If you and the family have gotten ,The Bug, then it might be worth changing up to a newer van. Many folks like me and the wife are thinking about retirement from the caravanning life due to health ailments, and you could get a well loved caravan.
But then you might have to wait as when a dry week in November appears and its let's hook up and off a. Hundred miles to a nice site near a pub somewhere.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Caravanning is like the cars of the 60s, something is always breaking. Hence why most caravanners carry a range of tools , adhesives, spares, a multi meter, self tapper screws , cable ties, fuses, etc. All part of the fun🤪
 
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May 7, 2012
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With a 17year old caravan some problems are inevitable and may be you are having a bad run. Once you have that lot dealt with you would hope that it would be fine but you never know.
Without a crystal ball all you can do is look at the potential bills and weigh up these against the cost of something newer. Personally if you can afford the newer one I would be tempted, but it is a case of weighing everything up and seeing what you feel is right for you.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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I'm sorry your having second thoughts about caravanning, Your not the first to think caravaning should be a low cost hobby once you.ve purchased one, but sadly the UK caravan industry hasn't learned the the lessons about making caravans that are reliable for many years.

If your present caravan is damp free (Celebrate it) if you sold now and later buy another caravan, you've no certainty it will be as good as the one you have now. Better the devil you know etc.

Like others have said, all the problems you have reported to us are fixable. at a cost, some items may not be repairable and may need replacing, but I suspect the cost of putting it right now would be far less than quitting and restarting with a newer model.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I'm sorry your having second thoughts about caravanning, Your not the first to think caravaning should be a low cost hobby once you.ve purchased one, but sadly the UK caravan industry hasn't learned the the lessons about making caravans that are reliable for many years.

If your present caravan is damp free (Celebrate it) if you sold now and later buy another caravan, you've no certainty it will be as good as the one you have now. Better the devil you know etc.

Like others have said, all the problems you have reported to us are fixable. at a cost, some items may not be repairable and may need replacing, but I suspect the cost of putting it right now would be far less than quitting and restarting with a newer model.
There is no guarantee that a newer model will be fault free, or not develop faults in a short time. With their increased use of electronics repairs can be more expensive too. There are posts on the forum reporting problems with equipment or body panels, even in very new, or new vans. From what the OP has reported the faults can be fixed. At least two ( front of fire and cassette) should be able to be sorted quite readily using common DIY tools and low cost. Motor mover is deemed BER but a new one will have a parts and labour warranty and the fridge/fire needs further investigation.
 
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Sep 4, 2021
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There is no guarantee that a newer model will be fault free, or not develop faults in a short time. With their increased use of electronics repairs can be more expensive too. There are posts on the forum reporting problems with equipment or body panels, even in very new, or new vans. From what the OP has reported the faults can be fixed. At least two ( front of fire and cassette) should be able to be sorted quite readily using common DIY tools and low cost. Motor mover is deemed BER but a new one will have a parts and labour warranty and the fridge/fire needs further investigation.
Already sorted the fire thanks to advice here. As for the bog, just removed the mechanism. Have it open all the time anyway so cost of repair is zero. Flap still works. Am getting the hang of this 😂
 
Sep 24, 2008
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My Topaz year 2000 also was £3500. It came with two large awnings which we did not want ,so sold them on ebay. Kitchen tap stared playing up so replaced it, bit fiddly but done in no time .whilst on campsite pump packed up so was directed to well known dealer. Asked for pump which was £60 at the time, I also asked him for leaflets for the campsite office to give members where it is. They gave me the leaflets and amazing gave me the pump for. Got fed up with fire front coming off so screwed it on. Replaced all tyres over the six years we have had it. As my wife passed away recently we / I did not go on holiday missing three holidays but I managed to go sept ,Oct and next week, Do not know about next year yet but the van has had fair run so far. Did not mention that the dealer we bought it also included nose and wheel lock,waste and fresh water containers and wing mirrors,two 6kg gas bottles, waste and fresh water pipes and box with odds and whatnots
 
Aug 5, 2022
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Bought a 2007 van over a year ago. Done significant work on motor mover, fridge, replaced a skylight, multiple window catches, rewired the tow lighting, replaced the water pump and Whale inlet, replaced a rear light unit, got a new door lock waiting to fit…. Doesn’t surprise me in the least, the things are not built to last decades. I’d prefer to own the ”devil I know” rather than a newer van that could still throw lots of faults. Gradually the thing should become as reliable as they can be, at least I know all the detail of the one we have,

Steve
 

Ern

May 23, 2021
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A damp free, 2005 Swift, with a working toilet, working heater, new tyres, and brake linings (you said pads, but they are actually drum brakes with linings), Fridge working ok on electric. You didn't mention the cooker, so it must be ok.
It owes you £4K! £4K?
There are people on these forums up to their neck in about £30K's worth of caravan and bigger problems than yours.:D
You have been correctly advised how to secure the heater, so get cracking.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Bought a 2007 van over a year ago. Done significant work on motor mover, fridge, replaced a skylight, multiple window catches, rewired the tow lighting, replaced the water pump and Whale inlet, replaced a rear light unit, got a new door lock waiting to fit…. Doesn’t surprise me in the least, the things are not built to last decades. I’d prefer to own the ”devil I know” rather than a newer van that could still throw lots of faults. Gradually the thing should become as reliable as they can be, at least I know all the detail of the one we have,

Steve
Well done Steve
15 years with our Wyoming and I think I know every inch of her. I carry spares of everything that has previously broken, 3 way valves , toilet blades . Glues screws sealants silicone sprays and so on. The fun Steve is knowing you have fixed it and know how to fix it. An annual full service by a mobile AWS is crucial. Keeping her waterproof and dry. I paid £16,800 and was offered £11k this year! An appreciating asset!
 
May 7, 2012
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Not sure about appreciating although we did make a £50 profit on one many years ago. The caravan does a lot better than the car though.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Not sure about appreciating although we did make a £50 profit on one many years ago. The caravan does a lot better than the car though.
Even post Covid down my way there is still a long wait for new . used prices are remarkably high still. I expect the bubble will burst next year?
 
Jan 3, 2012
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When we sold our caravan this year we made a profit we got twice the price we paid for her in 2019
 
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Aug 5, 2022
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Well done Steve
15 years with our Wyoming and I think I know every inch of her. I carry spares of everything that has previously broken, 3 way valves , toilet blades . Glues screws sealants silicone sprays and so on. The fun Steve is knowing you have fixed it and know how to fix it. An annual full service by a mobile AWS is crucial. Keeping her waterproof and dry. I paid £16,800 and was offered £11k this year! An appreciating asset!
Good to hear of your skills, yes only by doing all this do you learn how everything works. I found the fridge a bit daunting when thermocouple circuit started to play up, yet once you get to grips with it it’s an extremely simple design. Not much on a caravan is particularly complicated, just new territory often. I’m paying for an annual mechanical service and damp check soon, time precludes doing everything myself and it doesn’t take a lot of persuasion to stop me doing outdoor mechanical work in winter.

Steve
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Good to hear of your skills, yes only by doing all this do you learn how everything works. I found the fridge a bit daunting when thermocouple circuit started to play up, yet once you get to grips with it it’s an extremely simple design. Not much on a caravan is particularly complicated, just new territory often. I’m paying for an annual mechanical service and damp check soon, time precludes doing everything myself and it doesn’t take a lot of persuasion to stop me doing outdoor mechanical work in winter.

Steve
Do you have a damp meter to enable you to keep an eye on it. The professional ones are very expensive but cheaper ones are available at £20 ish. One such meter enabled me to just carry out checks around the caravan and monitor for trends over time. That way if I had any concerns I could call my AWS tech to do a proper assessment. I also had a six monthly AWS damp check. One with the annual service and a damp survey six months later.
Yours paranoid 😂
 
Aug 5, 2022
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Do you have a damp meter to enable you to keep an eye on it. The professional ones are very expensive but cheaper ones are available at £20 ish. One such meter enabled me to just carry out checks around the caravan and monitor for trends over time. That way if I had any concerns I could call my AWS tech to do a proper assessment. I also had a six monthly AWS damp check. One with the annual service and a damp survey six months later.
Yours paranoid 😂

I have never tried to survey for damp. Think I’m happy to delegate that one as it comes as part of the check anyway!
Steve
 

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