Ups & downs of buying a caravan

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 11:15
ThreadID: 55969 Views:3894 Replies:10 FollowUps:16
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7 December 07: Ordered new van due for delivery 1st week April.
10 March: Letter in mail. Dealer has apponted an administrator. Call to both dealer and admin. - don't worry all is well and order will be processed, deposit will be honoured but sorry because we can't accept a trade in will give you a 8% discount. OK I am happy with that.
19 March: (Easter Thursday) - all is still well - van due to leave factory about 25th March. Still happy!!!
25th March: Letter from administrator. Sorry, you lost your deposit - dealer going into receivership - deal directly with the factory. Now not happy!!!
26th March: Contacted the factory. Sales manager says they will do anything to honout the original quote, delivery etc. Fax info to another dealer. Outcome - call from the other dealer - they will process the order at the discounted price as well as will honour the deposit. As well - will do the best they can to get the van to us on time.
Great service under the circumstances and am happy with that. Just now waiting for confirmation of deliver date (was supposed to hear yesterday but considering they are all at the Sydney caravan & camping show I will give them some leeway.
Still looking forward to hitting the road for a few weeks in April.
Happy again but will be realllllly happy when it all happens.
One thought though 'is the fact that this dealer - a pretty big one I thought - is going under is a sign of the times?
Cheers
FredL
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Reply By: Baz & Pud (Tassie) - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 13:15

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 13:15
Must admit i would be cacking my dacks if this was happening to me, i hope it all works out well and you are able to hit the road in April.
Cheers
Baz
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Reply By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 13:29

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 13:29
Nice service Fred. There are still honourable people out there.

I picked up my new (second hand) pop top van yesterday. We are replacing a Jayco Dove with somethign a little more comfortable. I remembered to check the new van before we bought it for height to make sure it will fit under the carport and out the other side - tight but no problem.

Got home and I'm starting to push it through the carport and our the far side. "How much room your side Honey?" "About 1 inch."

Oh.

It is nearly a foot wider than the Dove and only just fits through with less than an inch each side to clear the riding lights and awning.

Nearly stuffed up. :o)

Pete
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Follow Up By: Member - Fred L (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 14:15

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 14:15
Good luck with your new van Pete. I hope to fit mine in the shed (also a poptop) but haven't had the courage to check heights or widths yet.

The only thing that worries me is doing a bit of a google the other day, as well as people I have met on the road, there seems to be quite a lot of teething problems with new vans - all brands as far as I can make out.

I'm planning to wander around the coast of victoria for a couple of weeks then and a few days in the Grampians so it is going to be a good test.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 14:46

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 14:46
My Dad used to get his van into the shed by putting eight 20l drums of water inside over the axle to compress the suspension. And he never forgot to put them back in to get it out - I probably would have. :o)

The teething issues is one of the reasons we went second hand. All the problems are usually sorted, you can see how it has held up after a few km and the original owner has usually bought all the goodies (in this case: extra 12v lighting, ducted A/C, full stove, microwave, roll out awning with full side screens. TV antenna and connections etc etc.)

Our shakedown trip will be to Mount Gambier in a few weekends (It's also a work visit so Mr Taxman will chip in some petrol money!)

Enjoy the Grampians, last time we were there most of it was still closed following the fires.

Cheers

Pete
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Reply By: DIO - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 14:36

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 14:36
Makes you feel that with deposits and the like, they should be held in a trust account. At least that would offer some protection for unsuspecting customers in such circumstances. Good luck with it all, hope it works out well for you.
AnswerID: 295004

Follow Up By: Member - Fred L (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 14:56

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 14:56
That's a good point DIO. I'll take it up with the NSW Caravanning & Camping Ass. We are doing some work at the show next week for the Ass. so might get a chance to talk to them (Barry). Should be like real estate agents.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: JimDi - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 17:29

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 17:29
DIO and Fred,
My experience suggests that the 10% deposit goes directly into the dealers coffers. I finalised a court case last year with a large Qld dealer. Caravan was from a large West Oz manufacturer. The dealer withheld the deposit and the manufacturer claimed they had absolutely no power over the dealer.

In the end the dispute was between myself and the dealer the manufacturer stays at arms length. The purchase was made at the Brisbane caravan show but I was then "handed over" to the dealer. The manufacturer had absolutely no control over the deposit at any time. Which is why I suspect the deposit is actually the sales commission. Suspect but not 100% sure.

Anyway got my deposit back eventually but the dealer ended up out of pocket around $1700 plus and I was shy $2000.
Life goes on tho. Have a new second hand van and am now on the journey for a coupla years.
Jim
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Reply By: camwill69 - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 17:23

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 17:23
The quality of new vans is appauling. My parents just took delivery (Nov 07) of a well known top end of the market ($95k) van and it has been back for waranty work 4 times.

On delivery the air bag suspension failed, both water tanks leaked, LCD TV did not work, Roof leaked (cut shower hatch in the wrong place and covered with masking tape).

After the first trip the shower reccess had to be totaly replaced as it held water and leaked, while this repair was being carried out the electrical system failed and had to be replaced. On pick-up after shower repairs they had not tested shower for leakes and decided to do a quick test before we left. Sorry we forgot to connect the the plumbing behind the wall, flooded van and had to replace the shower again. Another week off the road.

A few other issues not worth mentioning. The manufacture's assosiation are thier for the manufactuerer only and do not provide help in these matters, so if you buy from a member of one of the governing body's do not expect much help from them.

The caravaning industry should be appauled at thier reputation.

Buy second hand.

Regards,
Cam
AnswerID: 295035

Follow Up By: Member - 'Lucy' - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 22:50

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 22:50
Oi!

You now have me cacking my daks as I ordered a Jayco Outback-Basestaion in September 07 , which is allegedly on the production line as we speak.

I think I will refuse to think about it as I won't sleep (LOL)

You just have to hope these things go to plan, otherwise you would be an alcoholic, druggy trying to ease the 'pain'.

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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 18:21

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 18:21
It would be good to have some Brand names on these posts.

Forewarned is forearmed.
I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
- Augustus McCrae (Lonesome Dove)

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Follow Up By: camwill69 - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 19:24

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 19:24
Would love to name the manufacturer but I am not in to bagging them on line. That would /could be detrimental to any business. I have spoken to the manufacturer with regards to the poor (and I mean POOR) quality of the delivered product and that the issue is not bad workmanship but poor quality control/ Management (non-existent quality control). I believe that any business deserves at least that.

What I will say is that they are at Yatala (between Brissy and Gold Coast) and I would not hesitate to purchase a Jayco even with there reputation, cause there reputation exceeds the quality of this van.

Regards,
Cam
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Follow Up By: JimDi - Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 23:53

Thursday, Mar 27, 2008 at 23:53
Gone Bush,

I dealt with the Coromal dealer at Loganholme Qld. Took him to court and the rest is now history. My story that is not his story.
Coromal is a WA manufacturer which is owned by Fleetwood Corporation,which also owns I believe Camec industries and Windsor caravans.

The lesson is buyer beware, now how long has that saying been around? One would think we had all learned by now, but I guess one is never too old to learn.

The lesson I have learned is that I never pass on an opportunity to pass on my experience with the above identities. At one point I was staring down the tube at a Supreme court appearance and $17K plus loss.
Jim
Jim
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Follow Up By: Member - Leave_enough_space - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 08:01

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 08:01
Camwill, You stated "I have spoken to the manufacturer with regards to the poor (and I mean POOR) quality of the delivered product and that the issue is not bad workmanship but poor quality control/ Management (non-existent quality control)."


Is the comment about 'poor quality control' your view or is it what the manufacturer said? Either way it is a bit off the mark. The issue is the quality of the finished product and this may well be a reflection of the management attitude. Poor QC can only contribute by not picking up manufacturing faults. The root cause is inexperienced/unqualified/untrained/unsupervised workers, and poor manufacturing processes and tools. Again this is a reflection of poor management.

In the old days most industries had what was called craftsmen - they had pride in their work, knew what was required and delivered quality product. They were the producer and the checker.
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 09:43

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 09:43
Sorry Cam , but I think you should post the name of the Company . At least then you could help members to avoid making the same mistake .

The Company deserves to be bagged on line . It is probably the only way to force them to lift their game and stop buggering up peoples lives .

Willie .
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Follow Up By: camwill69 - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 12:18

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 12:18
Leave_enough_space,
They are my comments to the manufacturer. This is why I included Poor quality control/ Management. Two separate issues.

You are correct in your comments "The root cause is inexperienced/unqualified/untrained/unsupervised workers, and poor manufacturing processes and tools." These issues are management issues and should be relayed via quality control to management.

Both of these simple business tools have failed for this manufacturer.

Willie,
You are correct that they should be named on-line to prevent other consumers getting ripped off buy this manufacturer. They charge top dollar for bottom quality. At this time I am not willing to name them due to the possibility of further action being taken against them and the associations that back their product.

Sorry but time will tell.

Regards,
Cam
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Follow Up By: Keith_A (Qld) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:36

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:36
Gone Bush - we bought a 2nd hand Supreme Poptop 11 months old (from a Supreme dealer) - then discovered it had bad wood rot. Notified the manufacturer (while van still under 12 months old) - who used every word in the "warranty clause" to avoid responsibility.
Repairer (who was Supreme authorised) confirmed it was manufacturing fault - and took it up with Supreme who again would not help. I wrote to the director - who also would not help.

We paid for repairs - but Buyer beware - (and they are ISO QA certified - what a laugh.)...........................Keith
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 10:41

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 10:41
I bet Supreme is a member of the RVMAA too.

What a joke.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
- Augustus McCrae (Lonesome Dove)

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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 16:07

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 16:07
I bet Supreme is a member of the RVMAA too. they are, and our little Getaway is built like crap, the workmanship is as poor as, all sweep under the carpet (vinyl), it was not even built well to a price... not happy Jan..

Richard
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Follow Up By: camwill69 - Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 09:34

Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 09:34
These organizations should be dis-banded as they are there for the use of manufacturers to go to a bleep up every year (like they just did in Tassie) and not for the consumer.

The RVMAA is a toothless tiger/Guinea Pig. They should be folded straight away and all state offices affiliated with them should go to. Or they should stick to the accommodation side of the industry instead of supporting dodgy manufacturers like Boroma IMHO.

Regards,
Cam
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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 07:44

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 07:44
Hey Fred

" Daar is 'n drol in die drinkwater".......hahahahaha

Good luck with your new van

Cheers
AnswerID: 295179

Follow Up By: Member - Fred L (NSW) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 15:57

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 15:57
Thanks Willem,
From the above comments I am getting a bit nervous!!
Still hoping to make the nat. gathering if it is still in one piece by then.
Fred
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Reply By: Member - Roger B (VIC) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:17

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:17
Check out all the unhappy 'van buyers on this site:

http://forum.jayco.com.au/
AnswerID: 295340

Reply By: pajdid - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 23:00

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 23:00
I have a new van and had a complaint about the airconditioner when I rang the dealer was told to contact A/C manufacturer. Got the run around, given supplier on oppositeside of city, havn't had a chance to get it looked at yet, but my complaint is when you want warranty on your car, you take to dealer, when you want warranty on your van you get referred to supplier of componet.
AnswerID: 295344

Follow Up By: Keith_A (Qld) - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 10:39

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 10:39
You are right Pajdid - the warranty wording by Surpeme Vans very specifically states that they do NOT warrant anything made by another company - including wheels, axles, chassis, brakes, tow hitch, doors, windows, water tanks, stoves, microwaves, fridges, air con, TV, awnings, pumps, bumpers, brackets, radios, speakers, etc.

So - when one of the only things they do make fails - eg wood rot in our Supreme Van (silicon sealant not properly applied) - guess what - they start quoting more exclusions - for instance - prove the van was serviced at the specified intervals and by their agent; prove the van was not mistreated; prove it was not caused by the owners negligence; etc.
Try dealing with Supreme - they are experts at avoiding warranty..................Keith
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Reply By: wendys - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 15:47

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 15:47
Over past 10 years of travel with our van, have heard many complaints similar to all these, and overall build quality in general - especially regarding a brand that would be considered one of the biggest in the country. e.g. van bought new in Sydney, towed up the highway to Brisbane, all the cupboards fell off the walls..... We bought our offroad van new, direct from maker in Melbourne, could go & watch it being built from chassis up; had no teething, or other problems, and after 10 years of heavy use, would never change to another brand.
Any business can go under due to poor management,over-extension, etc., rather than poor quality product. Despite rising fuel prices more & more people are vanning and this will only keep on rising as baby boomers come up to retirement. Maybe the proliferation of van makers - and dealers - will see the poorer quality ones continue to go under?
AnswerID: 295420

Reply By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 16:19

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 16:19
Mum and Dad are in Melbourne as I type, I just rang them and asked how they went getting their van looked at, they had some minor things go wrong with it after new,( June 06 ).

So 2 years after they bought it, they have taken it back and had the repairs looked at and fixed with no drama or cost.

It is a 23 foot Evernew off road van.

They are more than happy to recommend them.

Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 295424

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