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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 19-03-2016, 19:11 Thread Starter
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German motorhomes

Hi 10years ago i got a new hobby, when the lights where turned on the fuse blow,found the cable with the fault on and had to disconnect it and run a new cable to the lights involved ,to day fitting a new roof light, i found the fault ,in manufacturing it they just cut a hole in the roof going through the tube with the cable in with the cables making contact with the neg.had a few niggles with the van over the years most down to hobby, so to all the members who keep on that German vans are best,no way, its pot luke, roll on 4 April down to the sun kenny
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 20-03-2016, 12:49
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Even the very 'best' and most expensive German MHs have the occasional problem.......it's not very often but the German forums will highlight the odd lemon!

Ted.
I try and state simple facts in a nice way.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 22-03-2016, 15:06
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The higher production levels the higher percentage of faults will appear. Sods law.as spoken by Mr. Murphy.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 23-03-2016, 02:34
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mmmm ..not sticking up for German or running down all British but the other week I helped out a friend collect a MH from a MH sales place that also does a lot of damp/crash repairs. There were some MH's there in various states of repair , but the one that caught my attention was a fairly new Bailey that had been pranged a bit at the back. The insides were all stripped out to the bare framework ready to effect repairs, the construction was reminiscent of an old caravan I had in the late 80's, very flimsy stuff indeed. Actually most of the vans looked pretty shoddy without their fancy bumpers, light assys, mudguards, plastic fairings etc. A bit of an eye opener when you see how they are put together.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 23-03-2016, 10:36
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As others have said, no matter where a van is manufactured at the end of the day it's only as good as the attention to detail from the guys building it.

I have owned many British and German vans and overall the quality of the German vans have been far superior in both build and construction quality.

What I have found is the quality of the components has gone down drastically. It could be argued this is due to the manufacturers pushing on price and increased pressure in the market with more competition, with the manufacturer of the cheapest product getting the contract.

At the end of the day the manufacturer is nothing more than an assembler buying all the parts else where.

My current van has a Thetford oven which is nothing short of junk. How hard is it to manufacture an oven. However, things do go wrong and the best judge of a company is how they handle things that do go wrong. Thetford have taken 15 months to find a solution.

However, I see from the delivery of the new 2016 Flairs that Niesmann and Bischoff have ditched Thetford and have moved to Dometic.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 23-03-2016, 13:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchibald View Post
mmmm ..not sticking up for German or running down all British but the other week I helped out a friend collect a MH from a MH sales place that also does a lot of damp/crash repairs. There were some MH's there in various states of repair , but the one that caught my attention was a fairly new Bailey that had been pranged a bit at the back. The insides were all stripped out to the bare framework ready to effect repairs, the construction was reminiscent of an old caravan I had in the late 80's, very flimsy stuff indeed. Actually most of the vans looked pretty shoddy without their fancy bumpers, light assys, mudguards, plastic fairings etc. A bit of an eye opener when you see how they are put together.
I have just discovered what rubbish methods were used to construct my 12 year old Rapido.
The wooden underfloor is rotting along the edges around most of the van.
The reason for this is because where the floor is attached to the side walls a thin strip of sealant is the only thing that is used to keep out water .This is expected to stand up to being blasted by water spray ,dust and dirt thrown up by the wheels for the life of the vehicle which it doesn't. This was only discovered recently after a regular inspection and I may have scrap the vehicle.All of this above is hidden from view behind the side skirts etc.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 23-03-2016, 13:55
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Best to have a suitable mishap when out driving then, pity you could not do this when it was icy on the roads.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 23-03-2016, 14:31
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While construction methods and workmanship standards can play a part in causing problems so can poor design and specifications - e.g if timber is not included in the design of the walls/roof you will not get rot even if there is some water ingress damp. Of course non-timber construction is more expensive to produce to achieve the same strength. And if the design calls for the joining of panels to be bonded this will ensure a better seal than sealant.

Another obvious design problem comes with trying to seal the joint between a 'C' Class cab and the MH body - I doubt whether there is a method of bonding to the cab metal, or is there? 'A' Class does not have this problem.

I am always flabergasted (easily, in my case) by the lack of information that MH manufacturers, and their Dealers, give on the materials and constuction used for the basic MH body, unless they laud themselves that they have the best. However, we are at fault by not demanding more information.

I do note that the best German manufacturers do produce much more detailed specification information, so maybe the average German buyer is more demanding of the manufacturer and this results in a better product, because they would not accept, to coin an MHF member.s phrase, 'a leaky pile of British sh*t'.

It would be very interesting to know how long German MHs last, until they become uneconomical to repair, compared to UK ones.

Going back to Kenny's(OP) list of 'niggles', are they not just that, compared with some major problems we hear of with some British MHs - even major damp repairs under warranty.

We have a 13 year-old N+B and on the habitation side, not being aware of faults, if any, prior to our owning it for 6 years, we have had bits of plastic(Dometic fridge break/mistreated?) and door retainers suffer UVR failure, but nothing else. I would actually consider those bits as 'fair wear and tear' consumables.

Prejudiced me, but I would look first and foremost at German for a replacement MH, but for the forseeable future will be sticking to 2003 quality and the old 2.8jtd engine(re-mapped) - the cost of extra diesel is offset by not putting in more capital to swap MHs.

Geoff
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 23-03-2016, 14:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewartwebr View Post
snip:

However, I see from the delivery of the new 2016 Flairs that Niesmann and Bischoff have ditched Thetford and have moved to Dometic.
Not surprised about that, you do seem to see a disproportionate amount of failure reports for their fridges (and not just failing to light on gas, which is normally a maintenance problem rather than component failure).
The quality / robustness of their toilets does seem to have deteriorated as well.


.

John
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 23-03-2016, 15:27
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Ok it's an older caravan but this poor guy says it all.
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