$23 billion caravan industry problems with the ACCC

Patriot

Administrator
For long time 4x4earth members, we know caravans and camper trailers can be a sticky problem.

Looks like the ACCC is now taking an interest. I didn't realise how big the industry was.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) spoke to 2270 caravan owners and found four in five had experienced widespread consumer guarantee failures, misrepresentations by caravan suppliers, and unexpected delays in the delivery and repair of caravans.

Here is the ACC report.

PDF (1.14 MB)

Surprised that Jayco has had issues with the ACCC. I thought they were pretty good. I do wonder how they will go with the smaller ones building crappy camper trailers and avoiding warranty issues.

One of our old members, Jack had issues with a 'cheap and cheerful' camper trailer. He was a big fan of his, used it a bit but then did the Oodnadatta track, from memory. The trailer feel apart completey and he had to leave some of his gear behind as he had no room for it. The manufacturer completely ignored the warranty on it!

Has anyone had issues recently?

Here is a good thread with some information for first time buyers of campers.

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Rusty Panels

Well-Known Member
From what I've seen most brands have issues of sorts even from brand new. We purchased a new MDC 16 foot off road van and have had a couple of problems that were pretty annoying. I must say though that MDC were really good about it and arranged for repairs to be made very quickly. We were in Tassie when we had an electrical problem and they arranged for us to go to an auto electrician the following morning. They went out of their way to make sure that it fitted in with our itinerary.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
From what I've seen most brands have issues of sorts even from brand new. We purchased a new MDC 16 foot off road van and have had a couple of problems that were pretty annoying. I must say though that MDC were really good about it and arranged for repairs to be made very quickly. We were in Tassie when we had an electrical problem and they arranged for us to go to an auto electrician the following morning. They went out of their way to make sure that it fitted in with our itinerary.
Same company, same service. I put mine in to get a pantry slide replaced under warranty just prior to a trip in 2017. They went right over it, saw that the springs weren’t at factory height and installed new kings springs free of charge. I opened it up at home and they had put a doona and pillow cases in it too. Once the kids are confirmed to be adults and I'm in the market for a hybrid I’ll be talking to them again. After 2 Australian built campers, the MDC is the best of the 3. Still running the original Chinese no name wheel bearings too.
 

Komang

Active Member
We still hunting for hybrid. All Chinese made looks like coming from same factory one or two company exs iridium same as fantasy or goldstar, Mdc looks like pmx.
I guess just a luck and having a good dealer to deal with problem will be hard to find.
 

Chatty

Well-Known Member
I laugh when I read the reports on this ACCC investigation. XX% (I think it was around 30%?) supposedly had "serious" problems with their caravans.
I've met a number of those people - their "serious" problems included such things as cupboard latches breaking, water hoses working out of John Guest fittings, windows which fell off after they had been left unlatched when travelling and faulty TVs.

The industry is getting a bad rep at the moment becuase of all the freshly minted (and generally clueless) newbies on the road who bought a van because they couldn't take their regular trip to Europe/Bali/wherever because of Covid.
You can pick them in caravan parks as they're generally whinging about the poor service they received at the local country pub when they didn't have their 2012 Chateau Lafique in stock.
 

cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
Some of the wiring systems in these new Caravans simply don't meet Australian Standards AS3000, undersized wiring, incorrectly run wiring, incorrect switches & MCB / RCBO but most of it is all hidden and you can't readily inspect it.

South Australian Office of the Technical Regulator brought all of this up a few years ago at a NECA Roadshow and some of the photo's they took made everyone in the room shake their head. I have heard a lot of people state they don't need to comply due to this reason or that, but they certainly do according the the OTR.

If / when I am ready to buy I will want to inspect it at build stages - much as you can do when you buy a new house, whether the manufacturer would allow that is another issue.
 

Patriot

Administrator
Some of the wiring systems in these new Caravans simply don't meet Australian Standards AS3000, undersized wiring, incorrectly run wiring, incorrect switches & MCB / RCBO but most of it is all hidden and you can't readily inspect it.

South Australian Office of the Technical Regulator brought all of this up a few years ago at a NECA Roadshow and some of the photo's they took made everyone in the room shake their head. I have heard a lot of people state they don't need to comply due to this reason or that, but they certainly do according the the OTR.

If / when I am ready to buy I will want to inspect it at build stages - much as you can do when you buy a new house, whether the manufacturer would allow that is another issue.
Having a look at them in the factory as the are being built is a great idea. Wiring is one of those areas where companies have been known to skimp on details.
 

monbeg

Well-Known Member
Last year on The Gibb River Road I had a clown towing a caravan overtake me.
I reckon he was doing close to 100kph on the corrugations with crap going everywhere as he passed me.

Further up the the track at Mt Elizabeth he was there and was carrying on about how crap his caravan was.
Apparently his microwave was on the floor, his second water tank had a broken bracket and had to be emptied and he reckoned that the main door was sticking and wouldn't close properly.

Total goose imo.
 

cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
Last year on The Gibb River Road I had a clown towing a caravan overtake me.
I reckon he was doing close to 100kph on the corrugations with crap going everywhere as he passed me.

Further up the the track at Mt Elizabeth he was there and was carrying on about how crap his caravan was.
Apparently his microwave was on the floor, his second water tank had a broken bracket and had to be emptied and he reckoned that the main door was sticking and wouldn't close properly.

Total goose imo.
Reminds me of a guy on the Canning Stock Route in a full Mitsubishi 4x4 Canter with a complete building on the back, Hema Map Patrol spent hours snatching him over dunes to get to Kunawarritja, apparently all his wifes plates were coming out of the cupboards smashing as they fell and a general mess, his wife didn't want to proceed but he did - he was waiting for us to come through and help him up the northern section despite the guys from Kunawarritja, both the Manager & the mechanic, advising him to go out via Punmu, Telfer, Marble Bar, we fueled up and hightailed it before we came across him.
 

Chatty

Well-Known Member
Last year on The Gibb River Road I had a clown towing a caravan overtake me.
I reckon he was doing close to 100kph on the corrugations with crap going everywhere as he passed me.

Further up the the track at Mt Elizabeth he was there and was carrying on about how crap his caravan was.
Apparently his microwave was on the floor, his second water tank had a broken bracket and had to be emptied and he reckoned that the main door was sticking and wouldn't close properly.

Total goose imo.
And he'll be one of the ones whinging to the ACCC about poor quality and support in the caravan industry.

Get them on every dirt road - doing warp 9 on highway pressures, going past you and flinging up rocks, only to catch them at the next gate.
 

Mick_Marsh

Active Member
Some of the wiring systems in these new Caravans simply don't meet Australian Standards AS3000, undersized wiring, incorrectly run wiring, incorrect switches & MCB / RCBO but most of it is all hidden and you can't readily inspect it.

South Australian Office of the Technical Regulator brought all of this up a few years ago at a NECA Roadshow and some of the photo's they took made everyone in the room shake their head. I have heard a lot of people state they don't need to comply due to this reason or that, but they certainly do according the the OTR.

If / when I am ready to buy I will want to inspect it at build stages - much as you can do when you buy a new house, whether the manufacturer would allow that is another issue.
 

Hoyks

Well-Known Member
There was some discussion a couple of years back about van weights. Compliance plates/certificates were being issued by one company that bore little to no resemblance to the actual van weight.
The guy picked up his van, chucked his stuff in it and got it weighed and found it was a over weight. He emptied everything out and got it weighed again and it was still overweight. Straight from the factory it was around 250kg over its tare weight on the paperwork.
 
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