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TOPIC: CARAVAN UPGRADE

CARAVAN UPGRADE 2 weeks 1 day ago #462520

  • CarlosGee
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Hi aLL.. We have just sold our trusty 2009 Lunar Lexon SE and now looking to upgrade,,, We have seen a 2017 Compasss Capiro 554 that we are going viewing on Sunday.. Has anyone any experience of this specific van or the Capiro range or Compass in general... Obviously I am aware that it is a personal choice and what suits one may not suit another but any feedback would be gratefully received...Or anyone any other recommendations for a 4 berth transverse bed and end washroom.... also looking at Swift Challenger 580 or Elddis Avante 554

Thanks

Carl
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CARAVAN UPGRADE 2 weeks 1 day ago #462524

  • ProfJohnL
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Hello Carlos,

As you point out it's a very personal choice in terms of style and details, Your other point boils down to what good or bad in terms of reliability. With the exception of one or two specific model related issues (i.e. cracks in end panels etc) there is little to choose between UK manufacturers, and sadly that means none stand out in terms of statistically providing more reliable products than the others.

Manufacturers believe they have good product designs, which can't be argued because some of their production does indeed work perfectly and do not require any warrantable repairs, The problem is their production techniques do not consistently produce fault free products. Consecutive vans from a production line may have chalk and cheese reliability. This shoots holes in their claims of operating effective Quality Assurance or Quality Control systems - If they have any form of quality system it is ineffective!

The Consumer Rights Act is based on the premise that every retail customer has the inalienable
right to expect products they contract to purchase should be perfect in every respect. If they're not then the retailer has failed in their legal duty to supply fault free goods. But sadly the UK Caravan industry has historically got away with failing to to consistently provide good products from new, and the buying public have become accustomed to receiving caravans that have faults and don't complain when they have the right to and should complain. This fails to send the right messages to the industry so they continue to operate inadequate control systems. Don't take the side of the Dealer if they describe a manufacturing fault , as they have failed in their duty to check the goods before selling them to you!

The historic unreliability means regardless of the make or model, you may be lucky and get a great fully functioning caravan from new, but you have an equal chance of getting one that has problems or may be a lemon.

I must put this into some sort of perspective:- Forums will be biased towards reporting problems. It is Human nature to only make a song and dance about a product when it doesn't perform as expected, Generally that means a properly functioning product won't elicit a public response, but produce a faulty one and its open season to berate it and to report your experience. But that can work both ways, if you receive exceptional service, some people are moved to make it known.

Regardless of make or model you have a roughly equal chance of receiving a good bad or ugly caravan As it seems you are looking at secondhand caravans, there is a better chance the original owner may have experienced most of the problems and put them right.

Just choose the model that provides the layout and style you want.

Good luck.
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
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CARAVAN UPGRADE 2 weeks 1 day ago #462529

  • Raywood
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Basically any modern Compass is an Eldiss with different furnishing so what applies to Eldiss should apply to Compass. It is sometime since we had an Eldiss so things may have changed but ours was flimsy and lots of minor things broke but we had no real major problems but that is one example and others may have different views.
What is undeniable though is that in the magazines customer surveys Eldiss have tended to be a clear bottom and the internet seems to have had more than their fair share of criticism of the make and their service. Speaking to a dealer in June last year they did say that things have improved there though but I would be wary. Many people are happy with the make but the statistics do paint a dismal picture of the company.
Generally however they are well designed and do not seem to suffer from the basic design mistakes of some others.
As the Prof says though we all have different needs and preferences so what suits you may be different to some or most of the rest of us. The final choice is a very personal thing.
Ray
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CARAVAN UPGRADE 2 weeks 1 day ago #462531

  • Dustydog
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Carl,
In addition to all the earlier pearls of wisdom.
Try and talk to the previous owner about damage, repairs , breakages etc.
I assume you will be buying from a reputable dealer?
Ask them for a full service history.
A full habitation and damp inspection should be demanded before purchase. If in doubt use a qualified mobile caravan engineer.
Not sure how you are funding the purchase. If you use a credit Card or finance you will also have some protection under the Consumer Credit Act.
Ensure the manufacturers water ingress guarantee and any other warranties are transferable to you and remain in force full term.
I had an Elddis 504, years ago now. Over two years it did well with no problems.
Your proposed model uses the newish SoLiD construction.
Good luck. Also Hymer now own Elddis so I am sure customer after sales will be important to them.
Sir Dustydog (BAR) TS .Woosie Round Table
Properly trained, man can be dog's best friend.
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CARAVAN UPGRADE 2 weeks 1 day ago #462532

  • CustardAvenger
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I have only heard negative comments about the UK side of Erwin Hymer (Elddis/Compass/Buccaneer) but then that is the internet in general - you rarely post about things going well. The main criticisms I have heard that applies to all 3 brands, is a weakness of the stargazer rooflight which seems to leak and fall apart and general lack of quality for caravans costing upto £35k.

In my own first hand experience with these vans at the NEC, they do look nice, but one thing that irked me was the flimsy tile-effect shower lining that seemed to be warping just looking at it! (this was a mid-washroom layout however)

My Sprite, though not at the same price point, is the same general layout; I really like this arrangement as we don't like having to make up a bed each night. So for a couple (plus dog) we have a sitting/eating area and a sleeping area that I can actually fit in being over 6'. I find that the shower is too small for me, so I tend to use the site facilities, but the main issue is the lack of space at the foot of the bed when extended. I have to inch my way around the bed to reach the washroom but that is the trade-off in a 7'5" wide van.
Paul
Volvo XC60 D4 AWD & Swift Sprite Major 4SB
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CARAVAN UPGRADE 2 weeks 22 hours ago #462549

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Thanks all..and thanks for the buying tips... the responses are probably what I expected but give me reassurance that we are all in the same boat and basically its a bit of a gamble and pot luck,, It could be a gem or likewise it could be a turkey,,,,The plan now is to go and have a look at a few different vans of the transverse bed layout (we are a party of 2 adults and 2 dogs so this layout is the one we want).. Give the vans a slightly "heavy handed looking at" bounce about on the seats and bed; slam a few doors etc etc and see what we think :silly: .... Then pay our money and cross our fingers.. :dry:
Thanks again
Carl
update;
Just read about the stargazer rooflight and to be honest this issue worries me... Think I am going to look at Lunars and Swifts.
Last Edit: 2 weeks 21 hours ago by CarlosGee. Reason: added update
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CARAVAN UPGRADE 2 weeks 5 hours ago #462560

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CarlosGee wrote:
Thanks all..and thanks for the buying tips... the responses are probably what I expected but give me reassurance that we are all in the same boat and basically its a bit of a gamble and pot luck,, It could be a gem or likewise it could be a turkey,,,,The plan now is to go and have a look at a few different vans of the transverse bed layout (we are a party of 2 adults and 2 dogs so this layout is the one we want).. Give the vans a slightly "heavy handed looking at" bounce about on the seats and bed; slam a few doors etc etc and see what we think :silly: .... Then pay our money and cross our fingers.. :dry:
Thanks again
Carl
update;
Just read about the stargazer rooflight and to be honest this issue worries me... Think I am going to look at Lunars and Swifts.

Carl,
As a Swift owner, I am in general quite happy with my caravan. However, I did have it from new so I am the person responsible for 'snagging'. In 7 months and 21 nights away, the caravan had been back to the dealers twice for various issues, but these have been limited to mostly cosmetic issues such as doors not catching/alignment and scuffs on the veneer; however ,the issues which have been rectified on my van which may be worth knowing about for reference are:

- AL-KO Over-run brake squeal (Known issue and a fix was applied)
- Thetford oven retaining screws fell out.
- Inboard Pump very loud and caused LED lights to flash
- Exterior sealant/mastic on underbed hatch & awning rail not properly applied,

I also have issues with the material of the work tops. But this is now (as far as I know) unique to 2018 Swift Sprites as they changed it in 2019 versions (But not for any particular fault reason, or so Swift say).
Paul
Volvo XC60 D4 AWD & Swift Sprite Major 4SB
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CARAVAN UPGRADE 2 weeks 4 hours ago #462561

  • Boff
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We have a caravan with the layout that you want it’s a Hymer 590GL and it works for us. But I would advise you to look very carefully at the practicality of this layout in the Swift and the Eldiss. The Eldiss I would have concerns over build quality. The Swift I am not convinced that a width of 2.23m is enough for a transverse bed ours is 2.4m. Just my opinion of course.
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad.
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