Caravan Assessments & Reviews

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 15:00
ThreadID: 141127 Views:6539 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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After speaking with many caravanners, it is perfectly clear that regrettably, very little credibility is given to "Reviews of New Caravans" conducted by some journalists for caravan publications. There are certainly some good credible journalists.

Sadly the general opinion is that Manufacturers and Dealers, who advertise in the publications, never get a bad write-up of their 'vans, or at the worst, maybe just a brief mention of a couple of minor blemishes.

Caravanners place no credence in the selection of the caravan to be appraised, believing that it is not just a random selection, but rather a hand-picked blue-printed caravan.

It is considered essential that in order to gain the public's believability of being a genuine and honest assessment, the test personnel choose one caravan from several being offered for sale.

Surely the two most important items to be first confirmed are: Is the caravan really legally Compliant and Safe?

The most common complaint by caravan owners is that the actual (empty caravan) Tare Mass is much more than the stated Tare Mass.

This means that the caravan cannot legally carry as much luggage as was anticipated the buyer, and advised by the Dealer.

In addition, quite often the actual Empty Ball-Loading is appreciably different - either much higher, or much lower - than that stated.

The Tare Mass and the Empty Ball-Loading need to be accurately and independently
measured to see if they are, in fact, the same as advised, and the certified weigh-bridge ticket included in the write-up of the caravan, along with a legible photo of the Trailer Plate.

Instead of concentrating mainly on the assessment - and personal preferences - of the lay-out, style, and finish of the caravan, etc., should not the critical initial stage of the evaluation be to determine if the caravan is completely Compliant?

There are some excellent detailed Compliance Check Lists - and Pre-Delivery Check-Lists - readily available, that should be used for all caravan appraisals.

Much credibility would be gained if the Review included an assessment of Compliance, based on a standard professional "Compliance Check-List".
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Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 15:24

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 15:24
Good points made there, but wouldn't that mean, Makers, Compliance Plate stampers, Factory weighing
verification people, dealers and journalists who get paid, ie, cash for comments, have to be open and HONEST? Sounds like a great idea but implementation may be a problem!
AnswerID: 635191

Follow Up By: Colin1947 - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 15:29

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 15:29
Caravanners would be completely happy IF everyone involved with making and marketing their caravan was HONEST!
FollowupID: 912725

Reply By: Phil G - Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 at 12:35

Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 at 12:35
Almost impossible to get an accurate tare after the caravan has left the factory - because the caravan will have water in the hot water system, in the pipes and in the water tanks, and diesel in the tank if fitted with a heater. Then there are the extras the dealer installs or throws in - ours included a free hose set, quilt, but often extra solar panels, batteries, slide out kitchen etc are added by the dealer.
The problem I think that should be addressed is the woefully inadequate payload of some vans. I would not buy a van with less than 600kg payload. Some only come with 300kg.
AnswerID: 635217

Follow Up By: Phil G - Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 at 12:57

Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 at 12:57
Regarding towball weight - it doesn't matter what is on the plate - what matters is TBW when driving.
Mine is plated 140kg but when travelling varies from 180 to 250kg (7-10%).
It changes according to how much water, diesel, gas, where you load the van and whether you decide to take a couple of pushbikes or firewood or whatever.
FollowupID: 912753

Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 at 18:50

Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 at 18:50
Getting the caravan industry to be honest is akin to getting trump to stop telling lies....good luck with that!!!
AnswerID: 635232

Follow Up By: RMD - Friday, Feb 26, 2021 at 14:26

Friday, Feb 26, 2021 at 14:26
That is TDS, Bigfish.
FollowupID: 912784

Reply By: Banjo (WA) - Friday, Feb 26, 2021 at 09:16

Friday, Feb 26, 2021 at 09:16
It's not the 'caravan industry', or the 'used car salesmen' or the 'name your pet hate'.

It is the human race and if we are honest there wouldn't be many of the outraged here that has been scrupulously honest for their whole life.
AnswerID: 635249

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Feb 26, 2021 at 17:34

Friday, Feb 26, 2021 at 17:34
Your probably right Banjo...BUT there are many on here that do not rely on an income based on bullshite and lies!!!
FollowupID: 912788

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