Motorhome Warranty Issues: Bobbins to it, We’re Off!

Our planned one week turnaround back at home base turned into two and a half weeks whilst we ploughed through some of our motorhome warranty issues….

Ford Stuff

We dropped SOK off at our local Ford garage (WR Davies in Llandudno Junction) bright and early the day after we got home for a fuel injector to be replaced under warranty. We’d been through most the process during our trip to Ireland, right up to the point where the Irish garage (T. Sheils & Co in Ennis, County Clare) tried and failed to remove the faulty injector. Their advice was that rather than trying to force it (and risk it breaking rather than coming out, which could take a few days to put right), it would be better to leave it and have the work done when we got home.

We’d relayed the full story to WR Davies when we’d booked SOK in, but you know how these things are…. One Ford garage can’t just order a fuel injector based on the diagnosis of another Ford garage; they have to start again from scratch…. So on day one they only got as far as putting SOK on the diagnostic machine, confirming the Irish diagnosis, and then telling us that fuel injectors are on back order and might take up to a month to arrive.

The injector luckily arrived within just a few days, but the garage was busy and couldn’t now fit SOK in for another week. We dropped him off on Tuesday afternoon and thankfully, the work went without incident and he was ready to collect by 5pm on Wednesday. Well, when I say that it went without incident, what I mean to say is that changing the injector went without incident. They completely forgot to do the 1 year service that had been booked in to be done at the same time and was written in capitals and highlighted on their job sheet….. So it was back to the garage at 8.30am on Saturday morning for that to be done.

The main thing is that SOK is now fully sorted from a Ford point of view…..

Benimar Stuff

Things get really interesting when it comes to the habitation warranty provided by Benimar, the motorhome manufacturer. We took SOK up to Marquis in Preston (the dealer which supplied SOK) for his first annual habitation check while Ford were waiting for the fuel injector.

We just had two minor outstanding items for them to look at. Following inspection, both items were confirmed by Marquis as being faulty (which we already knew, but I guess they need to double check these things) and are being submitted to Benimar as warranty issues. Apparently it generally takes 4-6 weeks to get a response from Benimar, then you have to wait for parts to arrive (a “how long is a piece of string?” number of weeks / months). You then need to book the van in for the work to be done; from our experience so far, you can expect to get a date at least 6 weeks in the future. This motorhome warranty lark really is a marathon not a sprint! From what I’ve read online, this is not specific to Benimar or Marquis; it just seems to be the way the whole motorhome industry operates in the UK.

Thankfully, SOK’s issues are very very minor; the reset button on the electric bed doesn’t work (but we’ve found a work-around) and the tap unit in the bathroom leaks ever so slightly (we tie a cloth round it). At some point in the dim and distant future we’ll get a new bed control unit and a new tap. Perhaps we should start a sweepstake on the month / year it happens?

Enough of all this Warranty stuff, we’re outta here!

We decided to set off straight from the Ford garage on our Scotland trip……

On the way, we were keen to visit Stott Park Bobbin Mill, which was closed for the winter when we last visited the Lake District in January 2018.

At one time there were 60 bobbin mills in the South Lakes. With raw materials (woodlands) close at hand, plenty of water power available, and the main customer base (the Lancashire mills) nearby, this was a great location for the bobbin industry to develop. Stott Park, which operated commercially between 1835 and 1971 before passing into the care of English Heritage, is the last survivor.

The guided tour of the mill was fabulous. It’s like Willy Wonka’s bobbin mill when it all comes to life! We stood transfixed…… With the noise from the belts and the all the machinery, it must’ve been deafening in there. It was noisy enough with just one machine at a time running as we followed the process from start to finish.

It only took an hour or so to visit the bobbin mill, but it was an hour very well spent.

We spent Saturday night at Walna Scar above Coniston:

As we discovered, the road up to Walna Scar is very steep and very narrow. There aren’t many places where a car heading in one direction can pass a coachbuilt motorhome going the other way. We opted to get up at 6.30am this morning (Sunday) so as to be able to get back out without any difficulties. It’s a lovely spot but I don’t think we’d drive up there again in SOK.

The weather in the Lake District was misty and drizzling this morning, so we had an atmospheric drive up to Keswick then across to the M6:

From there, it was a short drive up the motorway as far as Carlisle the onto the A7 and, a short while later, the Scottish border.

Our 2018 Scotland trip starts here!

10 comments

  1. This is reading like a frightening bedtime story for tonight. For tonight is one more sleep till we get our new bus…. Well that’s what’s on the calendar, unfortunately we had a phone call from the dealership on Friday to say ‘a red light has come on’ and they have contacted Fiat with ‘a code’ Unfortunately it seems it must have been Enigma related as Fiat have not come back yet with an answer as to what the code means. So one more sleep until we wait for a phone call to tell us whether to set off to pick up our new bus, or wait an undefined number of sleeps until the cause of the red light is fixed. You do right to grab your van and leg it, for the moment we’re stuck at a red light. 😦

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    1. I have heard tales of some of the Benimars going into limp mode on the way home from the dealer after being picked up 😱 Not sure if those were Fords or Fiats. Really not what you want after spending tens of thousand of pounds on a new bus…. Which make / model have you gone for?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve just hit the ‘like’ button as there isn’t a ‘don’t like’ button for new busses going into limp mode on the way home from the dealership!! What a mare! I read once that scientists have shown that all the pleasure in shopping is in the anticipation, perhaps it’s true for motorhomes too & we should stick to browsing the net and visiting the shows. Having said that, once you get the wheel on your bus turning and make your great escape, there’s nothing that can compete with that feeling of freedom. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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    2. I’m now thinking about the tenant who rang me once about a dishwasher fault light. Thankfully I went round myself before calling an engineer out. It was the “Add Salt” light!
      In similar vein (looking on the bright side, I know….) perhaps your new bus just wants some diesel?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! We called the plumber for a tenant once who complained the heating was broken. £50 later the plumber tells us they’d turned the thermostat down in the hall! It could be a TCL 678 .. if we ever actually get to pick it up. Fixed beds and a garage, such luxury 🙂

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      1. Handover Update: phone call this morning … it’s now 2 more sleeps. While this is a delay, we’re just relieved it isn’t 52 more sleeps.
        So this morning I’m celebrating by unwrapping and washing the new bedding we’ve bought especially for the new bus. Up until this point we’d been keeping the new duvet covers in their packaging in a glass half empty kind of way, just in case they needed to go back due to non arrival of the new motorhome. First bus stop will probably be for Craster kippers at the pub at Low Newton, Northumberland.

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  3. Congratulations on getting to Scotland!! Enjoy!

    Looking forward to seeing photos of all those places on the map with post its! And lots of others too🙂

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