We are on a year long trip around Europe and having travelled down through France in September and October we are renting a gite in the Dordogne for November and December. At the beginning of December the habitation door lock failed - a small metal part fractured and wasn't repairable. So I had to get a replacement lock and fit it before we hit the road again in January for Spain and Portugal. Having searched the internet and contacting some UK and French suppliers with no luck, I tried contacting Benimar directly but they wouldn't sell me a new lock, they directed me to their dealers. I tried a few near to us in France but with the language barrier it was very slow going (no real response with price or delivery after 10 days!).
So I turned my attention to the UK and Chris Parnill at RDH Services was very helpful. He contacted Benimar, ordered a new lock for me and arranged to have it sent directly to me in France. It arrived today (December 21st) within 48 hours of ordering, so I have time to get it fitted. The lock looks to be a new design with a stronger metal part (the bit that fractured) and an almost all plastic deign. However the cost was £180 plus VAT and delivery (it was sent by DHL to arrive within 48 hours so that will no doubt cost an arm and a leg also). Looking at the lock it is never worth that sort of money (I have looked at comparable locks on the internet and they are about £50 to £75) but it seems the lock is pretty unique to Benimar so I have no choice other than pay up.
That said, in searching the internet for a replacement lock I did contact Mark at Central Leisure Services as I had seen on a forum that he has used motorhome doors and locks. It was a shot in the dark, but he came up trumps and sorted out a used lock (of the same new design) for the princely sum of £30 plus £4 for UK delivery (I had it sent to my Dads house as a spare as we are out of the UK for so long).
If only I had discovered CLS a few days earlier I would have saved myself about £200!
I see from Marks web site (www.central-leisure-services.co.uk
) that he is Swift specialist and I had read elsewhere that the door lock may also be used by Swift, so if anyone else with a Benimar has a problem with their habitation door lock it may pay you to visit Mark at CLS or a Swift dealer. Otherwise Chris at RDH Services is your man.
I haven't fitted the lock yet as it is raining today, although it should be straightforward assuming I can remove the lock cylinder OK and that it fits the new lock. If there are any problems I will be back to let you know.