"Best Aussie Vans" award gets panned

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 08:47
ThreadID: 138141 Views:8549 Replies:5 FollowUps:34
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If you were a bit suss about Caravan World's award, have a look at this:
RV Daily article
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Reply By: AlanTH - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 09:23

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 09:23
Good article. Thnx Keith. Fine words from Apollo about warranty fixes but I really wonder how they'll translate into customer service when things go wrong?
No dealings with Apollo personally but we had many hassles with one company they've taken over in WA but I hasten to add that was before they became involved
Anyone wanting to read of many other buyers distress even with top name vans/motorhomes with virtually no assistance from the so called "consumer affairs" people in every state should check the lemon van site and beware of parting too quickly with their money.

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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 13:59

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 13:59
Hi Alan, if you are referring to the Facebook site, I would not take too much notice of what is on their site. Too many lies, and unsubstantiated claims to take them seriously.


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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 15:44

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 15:44
McLaren3030...Bit like Caravan World,s reviews...
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Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 12:27

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 12:27
Keith B2
I don't think it is surprising that the media delivery to consumers isn't what is really the situation. Similar/same happens in writeups with car ratings in motoring magazines. Who wins Ute of the year or Car of the year may not be a true indication at all.
Cash for comment is the going method of promotion.

Similar is happening in schools, where everyone gets a gold award for effort or lack of, even the losing team in sport get accolades.

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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 18:12

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 18:12
I very strongly deny the implication of the final paragraph of that reply!
One wonders what school you are talking about ... none of the schools I have been associated with would do that.
While it is important to recognise effort, especially in early schooling, it is counterproductive to give awards when no effort has been made.
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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 19:38

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 19:38
Howdy johnat

Unfortunately RMD's last paragraph is correct and happening more and more regularly around the country !

My grand daughters school ( private ) issue the same, lets say "award" to whoever comes last, first or in the middle !!! Apparently it is now "discrimination" if one person receives an award and all the others don't !!

Recently at their sports day, one of my grand daughters (11 yo) who is very athletic, eats well, trains for her sports regularly and loves the outdoors received the same award for coming first as did last place "tubby tony" who sits on the couch eating tim tams playing computer games all day and weighs in at nearly 3 times my grand daughter !!!

And teachers now cannot give negative reports on students academic ability as it apparently can cause them distress and steer them away from further study !

Sad but true



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Follow Up By: batsy - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 19:52

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 19:52
"Tubby Tony".........Hmmmmm...
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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 20:19

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 20:19
"Tubby Tony".........Hmmmmm...

Apologies batsy if my political incorrectness offended you !

Was just trying to explain what is happening in 2019 schools and "Tubby Tony" was just used as an example - possibly sexist I know as I didn't include "Heffer Helen" or maybe "Gay Gabby" and "Tranny Trev" but I'm still struggling with this modern day BS !!!


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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 20:34

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 20:34
That generalised hyperbole reminds me of the regular beat ups by conservative politicians re Xmas in schools. The facts when examined are almost invariably the opposite of what is being said and suggested. There may be a few schools who take the participation thing too far but they would be the exceptions. Far better to beat the hell out of kids who don't perform and tell them they're good for nothings ne'er do wells imo.

Back to the topic though - I'm not naive enough to believe that awards and reviews are completely "independent" but I was surprised at the buy in thing mentioned by RV Daily. Credibility - zero in those particular awards. A bit like many comparison websites which only compare businesses/services who pay them a commission. Grain of salt stuff.
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 20:54

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 20:54
Hey, Outback Gaz ... might be time to send them to a real school, then! No such carry-on in the public system.
SOME (and I emphasise, SOME) schools do that to keep the kidlets believing that they are important. The fact is that they ARE important, but only to the continued existence of the private "education" institution.

Private schools are far more liable to be entrapped in the "everyone wins" bullshit, simply because their funding is so very much dependent on "bums on seats", and if the kid leaves to go to a local public school (where they'll have to mix with the rest of humanity, heaven forbid!) their funding is diminished.

I must make the distinction between the "Greater Public Schools" and their weird and wonderful mates in the private sector, and the religious based, diocesan Catholic system schools who actually do some good stuff (and some not so good) with very limited resources. (disclaimer ... I did, for a while, teach in a Catholic school)
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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 21:18

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 21:18
" No such carry-on in the public system. "

Also disagree with that as my sister-in-law is a teacher in a public school and she gets rather stroppy at the way the public system is run to please people that shouldn't be pleased !! She also hands out the same awards to not only first, second and third but sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth !

Unfortunately this seems to be more common than most realize

Have a good day



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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 21:20

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 21:20
Do they hand out awards for bs also?
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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 21:27

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 21:27
As the saying goes - " some people just can't handle the truth "



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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 21:30

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 21:30
Your version of "the truth" is a long way from reality I'd suggest, but that's not rare these days unfortunately.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 10:26

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 10:26
Correct grading and assessment in public schools was outlawed in the 80’s, teachers were disciplined if they didn’t comply, and marks became letters and more awards to everyone. Unfortunately when kids leave school, they do leave eventually, they find the real world isn’t like school assessment at all. THEN they feel unfairly treated and develop complexes as they can’t cope not being Educated to success and some failures, ie, growing up. This IS schools of today. Similar effects with industries which rate for deception and not honesty. It is a societal problem be it caravans or school or, or.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 10:50

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 10:50
Which public school system are you talking about exactly? The repetition of ignorant hyperbolic nonsense doesn't make it any more accurate.

Here are the guidleines for NSW K-10 assessment. Each state and territory will have similar guidelines and documentation.
NSW Assessment
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 12:40

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 12:40
There is one very obvious outcome from the lowering of schooling standards in recent decades - the atrocious spelling ability of many people, who apparently were never corrected and allowed to continue with their abysmal spelling.

It appears in mainstream journalism, signs, political advertising, and even technical and research papers today.

I long for the days, that are long gone, when bad spelling was corrected immediately, and in no way would the bad spelling be allowed through to important communiques or signage.

"Quiet" instead of "quite"
"Decent" instead of "descent"
"Loose" instead of "lose"
"To" instead of "too"
"Draws" instead of "drawers" (I hate this one in particular)
"Fourty instead of "forty"
"Goverment" instead of "government"
"Their", "there", and "they're" - those simple words, that so many people have no idea, of which one to use, in the correct form.

I could go on - but then I'll be attacked as a spelling Nazi, and someone who's too exacting or picky.

I can understand that a number of people have afflictions such as varying degrees of autism or dyslexia - or English is not their primary language, and they find the English language very difficult.

But there's nothing wrong with finding out the correct way to spell, and practising it - and in todays electronic world, correct spelling is easily found with spellcheckers and just Googling the word.

It makes communication far easier when you don't have to try and translate a post, or a sign, or a communique, or try to understand what a person really meant to say.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 13:30

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 13:30
All public schools are the same, they run under the same union driven forces which "control" teachers and students to their ends and educational outcomes.
As a trade experienced person later I taught in schools and TAFE where tradies who actually had worked in the real world were totally disgusted with the assessment methods imposed on them which they had to follow to keep their job.

Most teachers DO NOT enter teaching with anything other than ever being at a school or educational institution and see no problem with wishy washy assessment methods which prove nothing, why? because they live it. Your Brain surgeon most likely wasn't assessed by similar methods and just as well. After the scalpel cut things then require proven ability. Having 3 gold stars on the wall doesn't cut it. No pun.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 13:38

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 13:38
Interesting. What evidence do you for your ludicrous generalisation re motivation of trainee teachers? The same as Gazz does for his nonsensical assertions no doubt? Nevertheless I'm always interested in learning so if either of you can point to any studies or surveys which back up your claims I'm all ears. Uncorroborated anecdotal fireside chats between old timers who actually know sfa about our schools and how they work won't pass muster. Assessing both your comments I'd give them F-.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 14:32

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 14:32
Hey Bazooka, would you give them all F- or just F- all? lol

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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 16:25

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 16:25
30 years of working in education and seeing it happen and witnessing it being so, means I don't have to have any "study" or report which can easily be modified like the caravan reports. If you only go on official reports and not peoples experience then you will probably not get the picture. No teacher should be employed straight out of an educational institution because they are institutionalized and don't realize it. When I began at a high profile sec college I was told the place ran on 4 things. FEAR, INTIMIDATION, GRAFT & CORRUPTION. I never found it different to that.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 16:42

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 16:42
When I began at a high profile sec college I was told the place ran on 4 things. FEAR, INTIMIDATION, GRAFT & CORRUPTION. I never found it different to that.

Same 4 things that run politics. A good dose of greed also keeps the scum happy.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 16:43

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 16:43
Lol, your hyperbole just doesn't stop RMD, although it does provide a little insight into a particular psyche. I know plenty of teachers, none of whom is dishonest, and in the past I've provided expert advice to TAFEs on curriculum so I guess that makes me some kind of general education expert eh? I wouldn't dare claim anything of the sort because it would be complete tosh, like a few posts on here.
Allan - I like your rating better. Sweet..... Pretty much sums up their combined knowledge of what goes on in schools and primary and secondary education.
Apologies to the OP for my involvement in this sidetrack but my bs alarm just wouldn't shut down until I responded.
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 21:03

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 21:03
I guess that this just confirms that RMD's take on anything to do with education is suspect.
I, too, have had 30+ years as a teacher, and been in the education sector (one way and another) my whole life (dad was a teacher, sister also. I married a teacher, and one of my daughters is a teacher) .
I like Bazooka's "bs alarm" - mine's fairly well developed too, and I couldn't let the crap go unchallenged.

One of the effects of the move from Teacher's Colleges to University for teacher training was to remove the imperative for aspiring teachers to actually apply for teacher training as a FIRST option. The University system allows people unsuited to teaching to apply for 5 options in order of preference. That many choose to list a teaching degree as their 5th option (a sort of "catch all" option) allows universities to artificially lower the entry requirements for teaching to fill the lecture halls with people whose objective is to get a degree, not necessarily to teach. When they find that they have to actually stand in front of a class, they adopt the DILLIGAF attitude (and often demonstrate that they do NOT give a "F".) and allow poor behaviour, poor spelling, poor grammar etc to proliferate.
Some of them do not know any better, simply because they managed to get to uni on the back of an entry rank of 40 or less. (BTW, a UAC of 40 means not 40% out of 100, but that you are ranked in the top 60% of candidates, just!) There is, because the UAC is a ranking from 0 to 100, NO such thing as a "perfect" UAC, and there's no such thing as a UAC score!
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Apr 12, 2019 at 08:45

Friday, Apr 12, 2019 at 08:45
Geez, whatever and however they teach in schools today I just hope the current batch of students don’t grow up to be grumpy old men or women...

Can we get back to discussing 4WD and travel in Australia.

I’m sure there are plenty of online forums where you can argue the state of our education system until your heart’s content, but how about we leave EO for what it is intended

Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Friday, Apr 12, 2019 at 10:28

Friday, Apr 12, 2019 at 10:28
To right Baz. Lets get back to discussing the important things, like tyres.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Apr 12, 2019 at 13:30

Friday, Apr 12, 2019 at 13:30
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Follow Up By: Hewy54 - Saturday, Apr 13, 2019 at 21:04

Saturday, Apr 13, 2019 at 21:04
I am amazed at some of the comments here on the education system. RMD, I would be keen to find out what has made you so negative.
After 38 years in the classroom teaching senior maths at 4 public sector schools in SA, I can say that I disagree with you comments on the lack of competition and reward for excellence.
My students were aiming for a score in their year 12. This score is a number and that number leads to offers at uni. They are ranked.
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Reply By: Ron N - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 14:25

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 14:25
"Stub axle failure"? On a brand new 'van? What are they using, Chinese backyard foundry steel??
That is a particularly serious event that warrants a major inquiry - not a request to revise the rating level!

A stub axle failure is something that should be a one-in-100 million event.

Stub axles should be made from 4140 chrome-molybdenum steel, and that steel should come with rock-solid verification and testing, that it meets Australian Standard, AS 1444-1996-4140.

In addition, the machining of the bearing surfaces is crucial to the life and performance of the axle stub and bearings.
Too fast a machining speed that leaves a surface that isn't smooth, is highly undesirable - as is incorrect machining of the radius where the inner bearing sits against the axle shoulder.

This radius must match the bearing race radius and never be a sharp radius, as this concentrates axle stresses that lead to fracture.

Furthermore, 4140 steel is delivered in a hardened and tempered state, and as such, should never be welded, without the axle steel being heat-treated again.

Many Chinese axle steels are undersize in drawn dimensions, suffer from poor QC (and therefore steel quality), and also suffer from poor machining techniques.

A stub axle failure can lead to loss of control, and even send you into oncoming traffic with fatal results.

When you consider that many trailers, campers and caravans are often loaded to their limit - and even above their engineered limits, the fact that anyone would even consider using a cheap imported axle steel of dubious quality and workmanship is unforgiveable.

The judge did the right thing by giving a low vote to the van that broke its stub axle. Yet the manufacturer tries to say it was a minor fault that didn't deserve such a low vote. Pigs bum it's a minor fault. It indicates the entire company mentality is aimed at low-cost components.

Axle steel for caravans and trailers can be faulty

Interlloy 4140 steel

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 13:17

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 13:17
In '05 I bought a Tvan and when doing the bearings before a trip, I noticed the axle radius where it contacts the bearing inner cup on both axles DID NOT match and the contact pattern was wrong.
Tvan did not take any notice of the fault when advised of it, ignored it actually. The radius kept the inner race from correctly contacting the step on the axle face. Must be a lot of it happening, but until accidents prove it to be a problem no one will take notice. A CNC Lathe turns these axles and so many many more must have been sent by suppliers to end users who don't ever check such things. They aren't motor mechanics or trained in the technicalities of it all so won't even be alerted or recognize the fault.
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Follow Up By: axle - Saturday, Apr 13, 2019 at 19:21

Saturday, Apr 13, 2019 at 19:21
Ron, What your explaining about machining in regards to stub axles takes me back to two old trucks that iv'e owned and have had major stub axle failure with them ( 1) a commer tipper very dangerous situation with them as they had a extension off the front hub throwing a lot of stress to the out side causing the stub to crack at the shoulder where the inner race butted up, very bad design!

(2) Mack 34000lb hwy back end, same deal, very poor machining with them the stubs used to snap like carrots, scary stuff when it happens I can tell you.

Cheers Axle
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Apr 13, 2019 at 21:33

Saturday, Apr 13, 2019 at 21:33
Axle - Here in Perth, in the bad ol' days of Butterbox ACCO's, and other various Inter's and Dodges, with their lightweight Eaton 34,000 lb rear axles - several brothers by the name of Verrier, went into the engineering repair business, and they used to do a roaring trade in broken spindle repair, on those Eaton axle housings!

Regular overloading was the order of the day back then, and coupled with rough roads, Verriers Engineering were a regular stop for old Inter and Dodge owners!

Verriers had a veritable assembly-line of truck axle housing repair processes - bent axle housings were common, as well as the broken spindles.
Verriers repaired so many truck axle housings, they used to keep fully repaired axle housing units on hand, ready for rapid changeover!

It's a wonder more people in those "Wild West" days weren't killed by errant wheel assemblies parting company with axle housings - but I guess the slower road speeds back then, and the reduced level of traffic, probably avoided major numbers of fatalities and disasters.

Fortunately, today, roads are much better, engineering design is substantially improved - but vehicle speeds are higher, and traffic is heavier, so the risk of disaster is correspondingly higher today, if a stub axle fails at speed.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: AlanTH - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 20:38

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 at 20:38
In some cases you may be right Macca but the founder of that site has presented evidence to several government inquiries and no one has suggested that she is lying or fabricating stories.
Too much evidence from far too many purchasers of badly slapped together vans with no warranty back up from dealers or makers for the situation to be ignored.
We're one couple who got the "not our problem" from the biggest yard in WA and know of others personally with much more expensive vans who've been told the same thing.
We eventually got things fixed but only because we stuck to our guns and took action firstly through the very weak consumer affairs lot and then the small claims court.
I took great pleasure at seeing the yard owners face when I handed him a letter giving him 10 working days to respond or I'd see him in court.
Absolute pack of bastards. And until you have personally experienced it I suggest you don't comment on it.
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Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 11:29

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 11:29
I have read the article on the RV Daily site which brings me to my story. In 2016 we bought the actual van which had won the van of the year award. Did the research and read the glowing report on Caravan World magazine which gave a video report where the judge said that this van will happily stay off road for a considerable amount of time because it had 300 watts of solar power on the roof and a compressor fridge powered by a 100 amp lithium battery. Let me tell you it won't. I have been off roading for the past 40 years and explained to the manufacturer but he insisted that it would. I have since replaced the battery with a 300 a/h lithium battery and 450 watts of solar and now it will.
We read the write up in the magazine which appeared to be incorrect saying amongst other things that it had a 170 a/h lithium battery. The writer obviously been told that a 100 a/h lithium is approximately equivalent to a 170 AGM battery. Also in the article it stated that there was a small cabinet under the table, we are still looking for that after 3 years.
When we picked the van up the fridge didn't work, the finscan computer control for the water tanks didn't work, there was a lot of loose wiring hanging from the underside of the van which wouldn't have lasted long on a dirt road, the wiring for the finscan was too long ( about 3 metres ) so that was just shoved up between the water and and the underside of the floor so would have worn through in time and various other problems.
The point I am trying to make is that I agree with the article in RV Daily completely. If this van was the winner of the van of the year I'm fairly sure that the judges of the day didn't look too hard at the product. Makes you wonder doesn't it !!
Oh yes still can't get free to air tv with the vans supplied antenna
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 14:25

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 14:25
Alan, my comments were in regard to the Lemon Facebook site, which I have personal experience with. I am also aware of the false accusations and half truths that this site has posted in relation to faults with vans & dealers.

I am not supporting any particular dealer or manufacturer, and absolutely support anyone with a genuine complaint with regard to poor design, build or after sales service. But the Lemon site does not fully investigate claims before posting a bad review of a dealer or manufacturer. Even after they have been proven wrong, they do not post a retraction or apology. People make mistakes, honest people admit their mistakes and retract their statements and apologise.


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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Apr 14, 2019 at 15:50

Sunday, Apr 14, 2019 at 15:50
I,ve seen this site and others also that have people make claims that have not been substantiated. In my opinion the caravan industry is a con job for most customers. Ball weights, van weights, towing capacities, workmanship, warranty issues, delivery dates and a whole host of other problems continually raise their head in many forums on the web. I actually saw a van the other day with its atm on the vin plate as 1999kgs...Just to save the expense of a breakaway brake syste. Have since spoken to the owner and he said that when weighed with nothing at all added it was 2280kg. He has also had to trade in his car as was incapable of towing the van once loaded! Why the hell caravans/trailers are not subject to a weighbridge certificate just prior to sale is beyond me!...Just too many get rich quick/shonky dealers/manufacturers out there
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Reply By: Member - A J - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 10:30

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 10:30
Keith B2

Remember years ago we had a car of the year which was by Leyland and called a P76 which after a few years was called P38 because it was only half the car everyone thought it was.

We also had a four wheel drive of the year which had a three litre diesel motor which soon changed its name too.

Does anyone really take any notice of these claims or listen to the man in the street and sort the grain from the chaff

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 11:09

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 11:09
I certainly read them and take note of COTY and 4WDOTY awards AJ. They're pretty good guides overall, as are word of mouth reports and reliability surveys. The problem with them is that the assessors usually don't live with the vehicle long enough to test it properly and find out the quirks/problems, but we already understand that's the case.

The least credible reviews usually involve 4WDs imo, but there are some stark exceptions as I've found recently when looking for tests of The Everest and Prado. Robert Pepper and Practical Motoring get a big thumbs up from me. Worth a read to see how it can and should be done:
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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 13:07

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 13:07
When P76 came out they were the best according to many, great idea but the boss of the CRB Country Roads Board, in Vic, now Vic Roads had a new 6cyl P76, we used to call it a P38 too, as you said. From new it ran terribly and the dealers would never fix it, similar to some caravans. I decided to make it run properly and until the valve clearances, which ranged from 0.0mm to 1.1mm were corrected it didn't behave. The issue like many vehicles, could have been easily rectified. Had to defy the workshop foreman's orders to achieve it though.
Most issues with caravans and powered vehicles are a matter of time to fix against profit and if they can sell and not fix sufficient quantities they are always in front. It is called a business model. Only the consumer/user is affected, but they don't matter, plenty more of them.
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