Disappointed with build quality - Motorhome Forums, Motorhome Discussion, Motorhome Chat

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2020, 17:38 Thread Starter
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Disappointed with build quality

Decided to give our recent Frankia purchase a proper once over having been away for New Year and while I still have had a few days off.

While working out how to best fill the under bed garage i noticed the electric cage was creased in one corner, i looked up and noticed the end bed support was laying on top of the electricity box and its screws had been pulled out of the bed frame. The MH has an offside rear french bed. On checking the bottom half of the bed, which lifts and folds back towards the headboard, i noted it was only fixed on 3 supporting angled brackets one 18 inches long at the end, two smaller brackets on the inner frame and nothing against the van wall. All fixed using a small screw into the 12mm bed frame. The fixed top half of the bed has a similar angle bracket running along both sides and the back wall of the MH.

The design is clearly inadequate for two adults and i am disappointed i didn't check this when i bought the MH as its a job i did no my previous MH. I am sure the dealer would have better supported the end of the bed had i asked. Anyway a mate and I have now built a supporting frame for the bottom half of the bed using a couple of lengths of 4 by 2 and added additional support for the electric cage. I am amazed Frankia would build a bed frame out of 12mm chipboard and then not adequately support the brackets used.

I must admit i am now slightly concerned the fixed top half of the bed may now require additional support - our previous MH was designed with top to bottom floor to bed base support.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2020, 17:52
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We bought our Frankia I840QD new around 10 years ago.

In general we liked the van but numerous thing were of fairly poor quality. During the four years we had it the shower tray broke up twice. The first time it was replace under warranty and apparently had some support fitted beneath it. But being flimsy like the first one it didn't last long. We ended up paying for a professional repai and refinishing in plastic which reinforced it considerably.

We had a big problem with the shower drains leaking. I went to the factory and had to pay quite a bit for their repair which lasted exactly one day. Since I was half way across Germany I just fixed that myself.

We had a boiler burst at just over two years old which turned out to be because it had been welded by hand by someone who it seemed to me must have been a new apprentice. It should never have passed quality control. I fixed it.

There were numerous other problems but then there can be problems with any van so all in all I reckon Frankia are average, but may have a slightly undeserved reputation. I'd say the same of Hymer. I know many owners of both marques who've had no problems. It's the luck of the draw I guess.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 15:03
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I'm currently on my second Frankia and would generally suggest they are of a better build quality than most other vans in similar price quality range.

Are you sure the bed frame is made of chipboard, I've not found any wood material other than solid wood, ply or lightweight ply.

From my experience of them they are if anything over engineered.

Just my opinion of course.

.

John
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 15:48
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Ours (a 2019 Platin i8400QD) is not as well built as well built as our previous motorhome (a 2006 Dethleffs Globetrotter) - but that was built like a tank and weighed almost a ton more than the Frankia does for less than half a metre of extra length. During our research we came to the conclusion that pursuit of lighter weight (and other manufacturing efficiencies) continually reduces the robustness of the finished article - and that seemed true to a greater or lesser extent across all brands.
After ten months and 100+ nights of use Iím a happy Frankia owner - though Iíve just given the dealer a list of about ten things that we want them to resolve before we go abroad again at the end of this month, so weíll see how that goes.


Regards,
John

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 16:31 Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies.

Apologies not chipboard but the wood is only 12mm and in my opinion not man enough to take the weight of someone sitting on the end of the bed.

Been and looked at my mates repair this afternoon and I am satisfied the bottom half of the bed is solid.

My concern is that the fixing into the MH side wall (and possibly also the rear wall) may not be strong enough. There are three lengths of 90 degree alloy screwed into the walls and frame. The piece of covered wood that sits above the bed frame and alongside the mattress, to keep the mattress off the MH side wall, has come out of the side wall at the rear of the van. I am concerned having also had a TV fall off the wall (reported in an earlier posting) that the construction of the side wall is not strong enough to support a bed holding approx 30 stone - unless there is additional strengthening over the top of the garage door.

The garage floor to bed base measurement is 900mm so i am thinking about using two trench props (a size 0 acrow is to long) and a length of wood to provide additional support. Placed near the side wall of the MH with the wood running from the rear of the van to the hinged centre of the bed.

I have also dropped SMC a line on the off chance they can send me a "structural" plan of the MH

Last edited by swanny65; 04-01-2020 at 17:23.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 17:52
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If I sounded as though I was singling Frankia out for poor quality I didn't mean to. We've had numerous European vans and that Frankia was the best of them.

The least troublesome van we've had has been our current RV, which has come as quite a surprise. I'm not all that keen on the styling but everything works very well and it's spacious and comfortable.
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Brexiters. It's your sh1t now. Whatever happens nationally and internationally you own it. I wish you luck. I think you're going to need all you can get and then some. Friday 13th December 2019.
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