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Motorhome Warrantee Query
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userPaul.S
Posted: 20 December 2021 7:05 AM
Subject: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
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Posts: 27
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Morning All,

I just want to sound you out on a warrantee query. I purchased a new MH in July from a dealership which is located 3 hours away from where I live. At the point of sale I was advised that work on the MH could be undertaken local to me. Naively I did not confirm this in writing and it now transpired that the local place cannot undertake warrantee work - servicing yes, but not warrantee work. The MH needs to be returned to the original place for warrantee work. We are actually in discussion with the dealership where warrantee work can potentially be transferred to somewhere more local but this is still over 1 hour away and not the 20 minute journey I was advised at sale.

There are a number of minor issues with the motorhome that I pointed out in the walk over review prior to taking receipt of the MH.
The dealership said these would be resolved prior to release of the MH but they have not been. The MH has actually been back to the dealership once already to get these issues fixed but it has been returned and some of the issues are actually worse. The dealership collected on the first time around so the only cost to me was the 200 miles added to the clock.

So now onto my query - who is responsible for paying warrantee work transport costs particularly given that some of the issues were pointed out prior to taking receipt of the MH and that it has been taken in once and returned in the same or worse state. The type of issues are:

Drawers opening during transit;
Very Slow draining bathroom sink;
Some screws that have worked loose;
An issue with the alarm that the dealership fitted;

The motorhome btw is a Pilote P626D.

I would be grateful for your thoughts.

kind regards

Paul
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 20 December 2021 8:42 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
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This 2018 forum thread may be of interest to you as it related to problems with a Pilote motorhome bought 'long distance'.

https://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Manufacturers-and-warranties/49547/

Within the thread I said that, in the early 2000s, I had provided Pilote with an English-language translation of their Owner Manual that included the terms and conditions of the Pilote motorhome guarantee. I still have my translation and this advises

Where possible, guarantee work must be carried out by the selling dealer. This applies to the caravan-conversion specifically and also to any other faulty parts that can be replaced independently.

The motorhome must be left with the dealer for repair or replacement work to be done. In relation to this, no compensation will be paid for return transport costs or any other direct or indirect costa incurred.


Assuming that you have the Pilote warranty documentation for your motorhome, this OUGHT to specify exactly how under-warranty claims and repairs should be dealt with where the owner and Pilote dealerships are concerned.

Unless Pilote agreed to it (or an arrangement could be reached with the Pilote dealer that sold you the motorhome) it won't be possible for 'conversion' under-warranty work to be carried out other than by an 'official' Pilote agent. There's also no compulsion for the Pilote dealership that is 1-hour away from you to do under-warranty work on your vehicle and it's doubtful that Pilote would authorise a non-Pilote agent (eg. the 20-minutes-away one) to perform under-warranty repairs.

(Plainly one should not expect problems with dealer-installed add-ons (eg. the alarm that your dealer fitted) to be rectified free of charge by anyone else.)

This 2017 motorhome buying article

https://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/motorhomes/articles/general/buying-a-motorhome-the-ultimate-guide-1

carries the following advice:

8. Try to find a motorhome locally

You may find the right motorhome but discover it’s being sold by a dealer hundreds of miles from your home. If so, consider the cost and inconvenience of getting to and from the dealer for servicing and warranty work. If it’s a problem, ask the dealer if it’s willing to work with an approved workshop closer to you for service and warranty work.


The potential downside of buying a motorhome 'long distance' has been regularly discussed on motorhome forums. This 2019 MotorHomeFun example may be helpful.

https://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/buying-from-dealer-a-distance-away-from-home-should-i-worry.192342/
userbreakaleg
Posted: 20 December 2021 11:01 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
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Location: BIRMINGHAM. Auto sleeper Nuevo ek 160bhp automatic


Hi Paul,

we to bought our last new van around 230 miles on a round trip, luckily we didn't have any Major issues with the van and one we discovered after returning home was fixed under warranty, as we had the same verbal agreement.

When we approached a local dealer we were met with the same response as you but I asked them to phone my distant dealer who authorized the job and paid over the phone when the job was completed.

From memory, the hourly cost of warranty work is about half that which is charged if you pay so there is reluctance to do the work (my dealer paid him the full rate.)

Slow draining sinks are not rare and as for the screws I would probably find if I could just use slightly larger ones (with caution)

Funnily enough, my alarm played up twice but I got that fixed by a local alarm specialist and passed the bill on to my dealership and they payed us within a couple of days , you will probably find that they got someone in locally to fit it anyway.

Based on that experience we have bought our latest new van off them as well.

Pete
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 20 December 2021 11:36 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


50005000500020002000500100100
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


To add to the above, there appear to be 10 Pilote dealerships in England, 2 in Wales, 1 in Northern Ireland, and 2 in Scotland. You haven't said where in the UK you live, but might it be possible to arrange for the warranty work to be carried out by a different dealership? In that case, the warranty conditions would be met.

Most motorhome warranties seem to imply that this is possible, although dealers are often reluctant to undertake work on vehicles they did not supply - on the ground that they have not benefited from the profit on the sale, and are not paid at their usual commercial hourly rate for warranty work.

But, if there is a dealer nearer to your home it would be worth at least exploring this possibility. After all, there are usually annual warranty checks to be carried out, which are chargeable, so the "new" dealer may be happy to sort out your present problems in the expectation of benefiting from that future work.

On your specific issues, do you know why the drawers aren't locking closed? Is there something missing, or is it merely a matter of adjustment?

The slow draining wash basin in the washroom appears to be potentially the largest problem, in that it may require some dismantling to fix.

On the loose screws, without wishing in any to be facetious, screwdriver?

On the alarm, that cannot involve the Pilote warranty, as it was a dealer fitted item and was presumably not supplied by Pilote. If you can contact the alarm manufacturer they may be able to suggest an alternative source for rectification, although if the fault is found due to poor workmanship I guess you'd have to pick up the bill.

So, six hour round trip, or pay someone else to do the work?

It is unfortunate that you accepted the van with known faults remaining unfixed, on the strength of a verbal assurance that they would be fixed, but you already know that! What you were told about work being undertaken local to where you live is doubtless true, but cannot include warranty work. Even with cars, where getting problems fixed under warranty by different dealers is generally much easier than with motorhomes, you still have to take a Ford to a Ford dealer - a Chrysler dealer can't help!

Derek seems to have answered the question regarding liability for transport costs under warranty. It seems the dealer went the proverbial "extra mile" the first time, but his workshop staff either didn't understand all that they had to do, or couldn't do it. It may be worth finding out which.

As the faults, apart from the alarm, seem simple to fix, perhaps instead of sending staff to collect and return the van, which I assume involves two people - one acting as chauffeur to the one who is to drive your van - it would seem just one competent person in a suitably equipped small van, with the right tools, could deal with the problems at your home. Less time, less fuel, less mileage, less cost?
userHans
Posted: 20 December 2021 6:17 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


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Drawers opening during transit. Check the correct position Of the slot plates. Compare to other Drawers who close fine.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 20 December 2021 6:48 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
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There's a review of a Pilote P626D model here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF8ufmT_0b8&ab_channel=SMCMotorhomes%2CNewark

I suspect that the drawers that open themselves during travel are the kitchen ones. These are large volume and of the soft-close type with a 'hook' that holds them shut (photos attached below). How easy it would be to adjust the drawers' closure so that there was no chance of them opening spontaneously, but still allow them to soft-close is anybody's guess.



(drawers1.jpg)



(drawers2.jpg)



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Attachments drawers1.jpg (35KB - 14 downloads)
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userPaul.S
Posted: 20 December 2021 8:42 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
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Posts: 27
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Thanks all for your responses. Most helpful as usual, even though it wasn't what I really wanted to hear.

In terms of accepting the MH before problems had been resolved, they delivered to me and the issues were not obvious until we started to use the motorhome. I do wonder about the quality control at the repair shop. I mentioned the alarm has been fitted incorrectly, but they also fitted the TV booster incorrectly. Additionally a simple door stop for the shower had broken and when replaced was put on back to front. Brian, you will be pleased to hear that I actually got the screwdriver out to correct the door stop. .

My concern is they have had the motorhome in previously for a week to repair it and failed to fix all problems. The drawer problem was actually worse when it came back. Is there a limit on the opportunities they get to fix it. They do not respond to emails, if I don't chase them by phone I don't get a reply. The problems have been ongoing since a few days in and the list is quite a bit longer than what I have mentioned in my posts.

The nearest dealership to me is in Somerset btw.

Thanks again for the advice.

kind regards

Paul
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 21 December 2021 5:22 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


50005000500020002000500100100
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Paul.S - 2021-12-20 8:42 PM..................................
The nearest dealership to me is in Somerset btw.
Paul

Davan, Weston-super-Mare? Have you visited them to see if they'd agree to sort the problems? You'll need to take your van to a Pilote dealer for its (presumably) annual warranty checks, so a Pilote dealer closer to home would make life easier. From what you say, if you can get the van to a more helpful and responsive dealership it would probably be more productive than trying to flog a half-dead horse! Not how it should be, but less stressful and, ultimately, more likely to get it done properly.

Looking at Derek's picture of the kitchen drawers, I suspect there will be a catch on the runners to allow the drawer itself to be disengaged from the runners and removed. If so, if the drawers do not align correctly, then the portion of the runner that remains on the kitchen drawer unit carcass will almost certainly have slotted screw holes to allow it to be slightly lifted so that the catch engages correctly. Fiddly and awkward. Possibly so much so that whoever originally fitted the runners didn't adequately tighten the screws! So, when you loaded the drawers the added weight, plus the vibration etc. from the roads, has caused the runners to drop a bit.
userPaul.S
Posted: 23 December 2021 8:35 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
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Posts: 27
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Thanks again,

Other problems I didn't mention originally:

The drop down bed chain link cable case keeps popping open to reveal the cables. I have put it back together but it keeps happening;
The drop down bed is extremely slow raising and often needs a helping hand to get it to the locked position;
The cruise control doesn't always activate when called. Dealership could find no fault on inspection;
The fridge freezer has failed 4 times. The dealership could find no fault on investigation. They had obviously looked at it because the inside of the fridge was absolutely filthy on return;
The reversing camera doesn't always come on. The dealership could find no fault on inspection.

In terms of the loose screws I mentioned previously, they have actually come totally out and cannot be reinserted. They don't grip. Dealership has told me to fill the holes with PVA glue and try again. One of them is the bracing for the travel seat which means we can't use the travel seat until its fixed or indeed the bench / seat that it converts into.

Now onto my ignorance with Motorhomes, (that is assuming my total ignorance is still in doubt to anyone who has read my posts). Be gentle please, this is my first motorhome. The dealership told me the motorhome is fully winterised. I have read some articles about what this means in terms of operation during cold weather and I am a little confused. Can somebody give me a definitive answer as to what fully winterised means. I am asking because when we rocked up on site a month or so ago I switched the pump on and all of our clean water drained. I am told there is a safety switch which trips if the temperature drops below 4 degrees. Its meant to prevent damage to pipes and pumps etc. My confusion though is that I would expect the water to drain immediately the trigger temperature is reached and not after the pump has been activated as surely the damage would have already occurred or would occur on activation of the pump if water is frozen.

Sorry to ask what is surely a really basic questions but I am not getting a lot of good information from the dealership.

Be grateful for your further thoughts.

kind regards
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 23 December 2021 12:10 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
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The cruise-control issue relates to the Ducato base vehicle, so if there's genuine problem with it (rather than the way you are engaging it) rectification will require Fiat under-warranty attention.

This January 2021 forum thread discussed Truma's "FrostControl" safety/drain valve (that I assume is what your Pilote motorhome has and, hopefully, is described in the Pilote owner's handbook).

https://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Truma-Frost-Control/57429/

and there are operating instructions here

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1481167/Truma-Frostcontrol.html?page=8#manual

The valve's 'frost guard' function is primarily designed to drain the Truma BOILER, not the motorhome's complete water system. As the FrostControl valve must have been open when you switched the water-pump on (otherwise water would not have drained through the valve) it's likely that cold weather had caused the valve to trigger and that the Truma heater's water-boiler was already empty when the pump began to run. As the boiler only has a 10 litres capacity, emptying won't take long and the water loss might have taken place at any time (eg. when you were travelling). If the water-pump has been switched on when the FrostControl valve opens, the pump will usually empty all the water in the motorhome's fresh-water tank, not just the boiler - so it's good practice to turn the pump off when the motorhome is left unattended.

The meaning of "fully winterised" has been discussed here several times. These 2007 and 2014 threads are examples

https://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/-fully-winterised-motorhome-my-a-/10077/

https://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Is-our-van-winterised-/36131/

As there's no agreed definition for the term, you'll need to ask your dealer what it means as far as your Pilote motorhome is concerned. It's likely that your motorhome could be described as reasonably winterised, but its design means that 'full winterisation' would be very hard to achieve.
userSteve928
Posted: 23 December 2021 12:29 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


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This page is useful when considering the 'winterisation' of a Pilote motorhome:
https://www.pilote-motorhome.uk/choosing-the-right-floor-for-your-motorhome/

Starting at the bottom the A-class Al-Ko chassis vans have a 200mm+ double floor in which all the tankage and pipework resides. The heating pipes, whether Truma or Alde, will run in this space too thus ensuring that all you have to do is run your standard heating to protect all the van's systems from freezing.

Next up is the shallower double floor (necessitated by using the taller Fiat chassis) which houses all except the waste tank, which has to be lower to effect drainage. Usually the tank will be in an insulated pod and may be heated by the van's heating system (as is the case with my Eura Mobil) or by a 12v element. I don't know which applies to the Pilote models.

Your P626D 'Pacific' has the single floor depicted at the top of the page so it's level of winterisation will depend on which systems the manufacturer has managed to keep inside the van and which hang underneath. I think I recall that at least some of the waste pipes running forward to the underslung waste tank run inside the floor insulation itself in cutouts (fine as long as you don't get a leak) but you'd have to crawl underneath to determine what, if anything, is left exposed to the weather. For example on my previous Bailey all waste pipes were external so subject to freezing but the van was still referred to as 'winterised'.

Edited by Steve928 2021-12-23 12:31 PM
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 23 December 2021 2:37 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
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This multi-lingual Pilote manual includes the P626D model

https://www.deluxegroup.co.nz/uploads/6/2/4/9/62491403/mu_pilote_ccar_2021_web.pdf

The link is to a New Zealand website, but the manual (and the warranty) are likely to be the same for Pilote motorhomes marketed in the UK.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 23 December 2021 4:17 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


50005000500020002000500100100
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Paul.S - 2021-12-23 8:35 AM ...............................
1 The drop down bed chain link cable case keeps popping open to reveal the cables. I have put it back together but it keeps happening;

2 The drop down bed is extremely slow raising and often needs a helping hand to get it to the locked position;

3 The cruise control doesn't always activate when called. Dealership could find no fault on inspection;

4 The fridge freezer has failed 4 times. The dealership could find no fault on investigation. They had obviously looked at it because the inside of the fridge was absolutely filthy on return;

5 The reversing camera doesn't always come on. The dealership could find no fault on inspection.

6 In terms of the loose screws I mentioned previously, they have actually come totally out and cannot be reinserted. They don't grip. Dealership has told me to fill the holes with PVA glue and try again. One of them is the bracing for the travel seat which means we can't use the travel seat until its fixed or indeed the bench / seat that it converts into.

7 Now onto my ignorance with Motorhomes, (that is assuming my total ignorance is still in doubt to anyone who has read my posts). Be gentle please, this is my first motorhome. The dealership told me the motorhome is fully winterised. I have read some articles about what this means in terms of operation during cold weather and I am a little confused. Can somebody give me a definitive answer as to what fully winterised means.
..............................................................kind regards

Paul, I've numbered your various problems for ease of reference.

1 & 2 are obviously Pilote issues. Without knowledge of the van, it is difficult to visualise exactly what you are referring to. Could you post a picture or two? I could only find one interior picture of a van similar to yours (a 2020 for sale) with sufficient detail to show the means of raising/lowering the bed, and that seemed to show the bed riding on four webbing straps, one more or less at each corner. All the actual mechanism appeared to be hidden behind a lull length "wooden" pelmet, so I'd guess access may require some specialist knowledge.

3 As Derek says above, that is one for your nearest Fiat Professional (i.e. commercial vehicles) dealership. The van will need to go to them - probably every 2 years unless your mileage is high for a motorhome - for servicing, and possibly its MoT tests, plus any warranty work on the Fiat parts.

4 It is not clear what you mean by "failed". These fridges are generally very reliable and long lasting. They operate on mains 230V AC, on 12V DC, and on gas. I think the model in your van probably has automatic energy selection (AES) which means that when turned on in automatic mode it will look for an energy source in the order 12V, then 230V, then gas. If none of these is available (i.e. engine not running, gas turned off, and not connected to mains), it will go into "panic" mode and will flash a warning message/light on its control panel. It will help troubleshooting if you can say what has failed (by "failed", I understand does not cool). First, is this when in manual or automatic mode? If in automatic mode, is it the AES selection that fails to select an available energy source, or is it that it does/will not cool on one or other of its energy sources, but cools on the others? If the AES has failed, does it nevertheless cool when the sources are selected manually? As this has happened four times, do you know what was done to reinstate operation?

5 Is the reversing camera a standard fit item on this model? If not, was it fitted by the dealer, or as an option at the Pilote factory? If the dealer fitted it the responsibility is not Pilote's, but wholly the dealer's. If factory fit, then it is for the dealer to rectify under Pilote's warranty. As the fault is intermittent it suggests to me a loose connection, either on the power supply, or between monitor and camera. This requires an end to end inspection of the wiring, focusing initially on all the connections. If all the connections are tight, then the wiring will need inspecting for damage and, if that is undamaged, the monitor and/or camera should be swapped for "known working" examples and, finally, if the fault persists each wire will need to be tested (probably by connecting new cables in lieu of the existing until the fault is identified. Inevitably, this can be a time consuming job. The (expensive in parts etc, but possibly cheaper overall) shortcut would be to replace everything with new.

6 This one worries me. As with 1 and 2 above, it is difficult to visualise what "the bracing for the travel seat which means we can't use the travel seat until its fixed or indeed the bench / seat that it converts into", actually refers to but, as the seat is a travel seat it should incorporate a steel framework that carries not only the seat itself, but also the three seatbelt attachment points. If it is the attachments for this steel framework through the floor of the van that are insecure, suggesting filling with PVA and relying on that would be an act of gross negligence. Again, a picture or two would help.

Outside that (I hope unlikely!) scenario, what will work best with loose woodscrews will depend on what has caused them to loosen. Simply overtightening the screws will tear the thread out of materials like MDF and endgrain ply or timber, for which the best remedy is to try longer (assuming there is depth to accommodate longer!), or larger diameter (assuming the holes in the items held in place by the screws will pass them and, if countersunk screws are used, that the larger heads fit the countersinks) screws. If neither is possible, matchsticks can be inserted into the screw holes with a dollop of PVA woodworking adhesive (Evostick or similar - B&Q, Homebase, w.h.y), left to fully harden, cut off flush and, ideally, then piloted before inserting the old screws and tightening them - judiciously! Do not try to use plastic plugs (e.g. Rawlplug or any other make) as these will probably just split the "wood" as the screws expand them. However, if the screws are loose because the "wood" is already split, it will be necessary to inject PVA woodworking adhesive into the screwholes and then cramp the sides of the split item together to close the split (when some of the PVA should exude), and then ideally insert matchstick/s to fill the screwholes, leave to harden, and proceed as above.

7 As in Derek's post above, "winterised" is a loose term used by dealers and manufacturers alike to mean that at least the fresh water tank and supply pipes are located within the (presumed) heated van and so protected from freezing. It is almost meaningless in precise, because "winter" is not standard throughout Europe, and can vary between the usually relatively balmy winters of, say, the Spanish Costa Blanca, to northern Finland, to the regularly -25C of an Alpine ski resort! What is adequate in the one, may well not suffice in the other. It is, in effect, "pifflefafflewifflewaffle".

The Truma frost protection valve is as Derek describes above. Heating the van should prevent it operating, as it is the temperature at the valve that triggers it to open. As Derek says, have a look through the Pilote/Truma instruction manuals. Its operation is usually described. If travelling in cold weather you really have two choices. 1 Drive with the heating on - which really requires additional heat exchangers run from the same supply as the cab heating (i.e. the engine). 2 Travel with no water in the tank, fill on arrival, and then keep the heating running 24/7!
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 23 December 2021 6:28 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
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Brian Kirby - 2021-12-23 4:17 PM

...6 This one worries me. As with 1 and 2 above, it is difficult to visualise what "the bracing for the travel seat which means we can't use the travel seat until its fixed or indeed the bench / seat that it converts into", actually refers to but, as the seat is a travel seat it should incorporate a steel framework that carries not only the seat itself, but also the three seatbelt attachment points. If it is the attachments for this steel framework through the floor of the van that are insecure, suggesting filling with PVA and relying on that would be an act of gross negligence. Again, a picture or two would help.
!


This P626D review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF8ufmT_0b8&ab_channel=SMCMotorhomes%2CNewark

suggests that the forwards-facing travel-seat has no metal structure, with the seat-back cushion merely held in place by Velcro.

How the 3-person settee on a Pilote P626D's left-hand side is built up from the 1 x forwards-facing and 1 x rearwards-facing 'travel-seats' is shown about 2 minutes into this French review.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkETnwZcXQE

The Pilote 2021 User Manual on the New Zealand link I provided above is quite similar in content to the manual I translated in the early-2000s. It's 'generic' and more detail would need to be obtained from the manufacturers' own instruction documentation for the habitation equipment (heater, fridge, etc.) that I assume would be given to the buyer. The Manual is pretty skimpy (less than 60 pages) and oriented towards French buyers: for anyone with no motorhome/caravan experience it will leave a lot of questions unanswered. There is some advice about travel-seat/settee conversion (image attached below) but this is not specific to the P626D model.

My Rapido 640F had two forwards-facing travel-seats that could be converted from the motorhome's two inwards-facing settees. The seat-back cushion of one of the travel-seats was held in place by Velcro and there was no metal framework. When the other settee was converted into a travel-seat an extra padded metal-framed seat-back had to be plugged into the settee's base. Both travel-seat conversions were Heath Robinson-ish and must have amused the Rapido designers no end!

The comments appended to the SMC Motorhomes review indicate that a reversing camera was standard. There's also "Problem: the sink unit: water does not run out easily. Manufacturer problem".

I think a P626D's fresh-water tank is under the right-hand settee (just behind the cab) and that the Truma heater is on the opposite side not too far in front of the left wheel-arch. I'm guessing that the underfloor waste-water tank is transversely positioned just behind the rear axle - that's where my Rapido's tank was and it makes logical sense to put it there given the location of a P626D's kitchen and bathroom. My Rapido's interior layout differed significantly from a P626D's, but its kitchen, washbasin and shower-room were also well towards the vehicle's rear (and near the waste-water tank). Rapido used large-bore plastic pipework from the outlets of the kitchen sink and washbasin, but the speed that water drained from sink and basin was very dependent on the motorhome's 'stance' when parked. Much of the problem is due to air not being able to enter the pipework during draining and there's little that can be done to address that.

(My 2005 Hobby motorhome had the shower right at the rear and the waste-water tank right at the front, just behind the cab. Definitely not a good idea to have a shower if the Hobby was parked nose-high, and the speed of draining from the kitchen-sink or washbasin could still be unpredictable even when the Hobby was parked nose-down.)



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Attachments
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Attachments seat.jpg (109KB - 14 downloads)
userPaul.S
Posted: 24 December 2021 10:24 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
Having a look around

Posts: 27
25


Hi All,

Thank you for your very detailed responses. So the term winterised can be a bit misleading and doesn't necessarily mean you can use the van in freezing conditions without some sacrifices. My van has one pipe that runs underneath on the outside of the vehicle but I am not sure what its function is.

Anyway, its Christmas Eve and I am sure you all have better things to do. I will therefore post some additional information next week.

Thank you all very much for your advice and guidance. I know my posts sound very doom and gloom but I and my family have absolutely loved being a part of the motorhome fraternity. Its been a brilliant experience and new chapter in our lives and one we will undoubtedly continue to enjoy for many many years to come.

Thanks again and have a fantastic Christmas.

Paul
userPaul.S
Posted: 31 December 2021 6:08 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
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Posts: 27
25


Hi Again,

Hope you all had a great Xmas and are looking forward to the New Year.

Following your responses to my queries I have now asked the dealership for clarification of some points and I am awaiting their reply (which I doubt I will ever receive in writing). My further information is provided below:

The dealership are trying to transfer warrantee work to Davan but I have not heard back from them yet.

In terms of the "soft" closing drawers I don't really want to try to fix this myself as it appears to be fiddly. I am hoping Pilote will resolve this issue.

Apparently there is a fix for the chain link cable duct for the bed which will be applied by Pilote (photo of the issue attached).

The bed is raised and lowered on webbing in 4 corners as suggested (Brian). The motor is hidden behind a panel. Pilote have said there is no proposals to recall / replace the motor.

In terms of the fridge failure, it has stopped working several times and everything in the freezer has defrosted. The failure has occurred while in auto mode and when stationary, therefore using the gas. There has always been plenty of gas available at the time of failure. I am continuing to monitor this.

The reversing camera is standard on the vehicle. I used the motorhome on Boxing Day and it failed to come on again when reversing back onto my drive. Taking the vehicle out of reverse gear and then putting it back in normally fixes the problem. Sounds obvious, but I assume from responses you would not expect the reversing camera to fail to engage at any time when called unless there is a problem. Would this be one for Pilote or Fiat?

The travel seat appears to be an easy fix but something I would not expect to have failed on a new motorhome. Close up photo attached of failed screw positions. The second photo is a wider shot to show where it is in context to the van / seat.

Pilote have suggested that the very slow draining sink is something I will have to live with. It appears from your responses this is not uncommon in motorhomes. Would you suggest I accept this or should I be pushing for a fix?

I do not think I am doing anything wrong with the cruise control. It works 95% of the time. When it doesn't engage I am required to switch it off on the control stalk and put it back on again while travelling. I can then set it again. I have never had a vehicle with cruise control before but I assume you would not normally have to disengage / re-engage it, to get it to work at any time.

The dealership have suggested that I contact Fiat myself for some of the problems I have reported. Is it normal that I need to make arrangements with Fiat or should I expect the dealership (point of purchase) to do this?

I would be grateful for your thoughts.

kind regards

Paul


Edited by Paul.S 2021-12-31 6:27 AM




(DSC_1444.JPG)



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userBrian Kirby
Posted: 31 December 2021 8:59 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


50005000500020002000500100100
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Paul.S - 2021-12-31 6:08 AM
Hi Again,
1 Hope you all had a great Xmas and are looking forward to the New Year.
2 Following your responses to my queries I have now asked the dealership for clarification of some points and I am awaiting their reply (which I doubt I will ever receive in writing). My further information is provided below:
3 The dealership are trying to transfer warrantee work to Davan but I have not heard back from them yet.
4 In terms of the "soft" closing drawers I don't really want to try to fix this myself as it appears to be fiddly. I am hoping Pilote will resolve this issue.
5 Apparently there is a fix for the chain link cable duct for the bed which will be applied by Pilote (photo of the issue attached).
6 The bed is raised and lowered on webbing in 4 corners as suggested (Brian). The motor is hidden behind a panel. Pilote have said there is no proposals to recall / replace the motor.
7 In terms of the fridge failure, it has stopped working several times and everything in the freezer has defrosted. The failure has occurred while in auto mode and when stationary, therefore using the gas. There has always been plenty of gas available at the time of failure. I am continuing to monitor this.
8 The reversing camera is standard on the vehicle. I used the motorhome on Boxing Day and it failed to come on again when reversing back onto my drive. Taking the vehicle out of reverse gear and then putting it back in normally fixes the problem. Sounds obvious, but I assume from responses you would not expect the reversing camera to fail to engage at any time when called unless there is a problem. Would this be one for Pilote or Fiat?
9 The travel seat appears to be an easy fix but something I would not expect to have failed on a new motorhome. Close up photo attached of failed screw positions. The second photo is a wider shot to show where it is in context to the van / seat.
10 Pilote have suggested that the very slow draining sink is something I will have to live with. It appears from your responses this is not uncommon in motorhomes. Would you suggest I accept this or should I be pushing for a fix?
11 I do not think I am doing anything wrong with the cruise control. It works 95% of the time. When it doesn't engage I am required to switch it off on the control stalk and put it back on again while travelling. I can then set it again. I have never had a vehicle with cruise control before but I assume you would not normally have to disengage / re-engage it, to get it to work at any time.
12 The dealership have suggested that I contact Fiat myself for some of the problems I have reported. Is it normal that I need to make arrangements with Fiat or should I expect the dealership (point of purchase) to do this?
I would be grateful for your thoughts.
kind regards
Paul

Numbered for convenience.

1 Thank you for your good wishes, and likewise.

2 If you get verbal replies you can always confirm these back to them in writing.

3 Good. I hope this is successful.

4 This is between Pilote and their dealer.

5 I get the impression that this is a split flexible cable conduit. This is for the dealer to remedy whether Pilote accept liability or not.

6 Make sure that the slow and intermittent operation of the bed is recorded in writing as a fault. This may be influenced by 5 above, so when the conduit is replaced the bed fault may clear. If not, you can refer back to the record.

7 Stationary OK - but for how long? It would (should!) take several hours for the freezer and contents to fully defrost, so if found during a stop for a meal break, for instance, the failure would more likely relate to a 12V failure than a gas failure. There is a separate warranty for the fridge, so it may be more productive to contact the fridge manufacturer to get one of their technicians to visit (must are mobile) to trace the fault. If the fault is in the fridge, the technician should fix it or arrange for it to be fixed if parts are required. If an installation fault is found he should provide a brief report identifying the fault that should cut the Pilote dealer's crap!

8 I take this to mean that the reversing camera is part of Pilote's standard specification for your van. It sounds as though the reverse gear connection (how/where ever that is made) may have an intermittent connection. This is for the Pilote dealership as 4 above.

9 Can't really see from the pics what has failed, but on the face of it all the dealer needs do is replace the screws with longer or larger screws to achieve a sound fixing. Are there wood screws into wood etc. or machine screws into metal? Are they really quibbling over a couple of screws?

10 This is the washroom washbasin drain. How slow is "slow"? Can you access the base of the washbasin to inspect the connection from the basin outlet to the connecting pipe, sufficient to see whether the pipe is rigid plastic or merely soft plastic "hose" type? Roughly how far is the washbasin from the waste tank into which it drains? Long horizontal runs inevitably result in sluggish drainage, but also create more scope for hose type drainage pipe to have been kinked or flattened en route. Can you see any of the pipe run to check for kinks/flattening?

11 The cruise control is part of the Fiat base vehicle equipment, so Fiat faults go to a Fiat Professional (i.e. commercial vehicles, not just cars) dealership for remedy under the Fiat warranty.

12 That will depend on whether your Pilote dealer is also a Fiat authorised workshop. Few are so, yes, only Fiat dealerships can carry out work under the Fiat warranty. All the Pilote dealer would do is take the van to their nearest Fiat Professional dealership. This will apply also to all scheduled mechanical (i.e. Fiat) servicing. I would imagine there will be a Fiat Professional workshop a lot closer to you than the Pilote dealer. Have you looked at the Fiat User manual? There is usually an international list of dealerships, country by country. Failing that, go to the FIAT Professional website and enter your post code.

Good luck.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 31 December 2021 9:31 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
50005000500050001000100100252525


Paul

1: Soft-closing drawers. These are fine when used in a domestic environment as there's no real need for them to lock firmly shut. But it's quite another matter with a motorhome if a closed drawer full of heavy kitchen equipment can slide out when the vehicle is cornered or during heavy braking.

My Rapido motorhome had just one drawer - a small 'opening forwards' cutlery-drawer in the transverse kitchen unit. This was the soft-close type (shown open in photo attached below) , but had a push-button catch to prevent the drawer opening when the vehicle was being driven. The initial downside of this arrangement was that the soft-close mechanism strongly resisted the drawer being opened by pulling on the push-button, hence the full-width pull-handle that I fitted below the push-button. And, of course, if one forget to push the button in, hard braking could cause the drawer it slide open.

The 'hook' catch on the Pilote drawers SHOULD automatically prevent the drawers from opening spontaneously, but (as I mentioned earlier) adjustment might be tricky so that the drawers will not reopen when shut but soft-closing remains unaffected.

2: Roof bed. You'll find online complaints about slow operation of this type of bed, often with enquiries about whether a more powerful electric motor could be fitted to speed up raising the bed, but the answer to that question has been No.

3: Fridge/freezer. This (presumably a Dometic or Thetford product) should have its own warranty. If it keeps failing to relight on gas, the problem should be investigated by an agent of the fridge's manufacturer via a Pilote dealership. I'd expect the fridge to display an 'error code' of some sort when the problem occurs, though this might not accurately identify the cause of the fault.

4: Reversing camera. This is part of the Pilote conversion and it's unlikely that the camera system's occasional failure to operate when reverse-gear is selected is due to a fault with the Fiat Ducato base vehicle. I assume that the camera displays on the screen of the in-dashboard radio unit. It might be worth removing this unit and making sure all the cables are firmly connected - another task for a Pilote dealership. (My Rapido's horrid Pioneer radio unit was painfully slow to display it's reversing-camera image when reverse gear was selected, but it always did it eventually...)

5: Travel seat fixings. Undersize screws and poor screw 'grip' are commonplace in motorhomes. It's an unfortunate fact of life and you'd be better off strengthening the failed screw positions yourself (following Brian Kirby's suggestions) rather than expect a dealership to do the job properly.

6: Slow draining sink. There probably is no easy 'fix' for this (short of major modifications to your Pilote's water system) so you'd be best to accept it as an undesirable characteristic of your motorhome. I used to find that 'spinning' the water over the sink's plug-hole could sometimes assist the draining, so you might try that.

7: Cruise control. As long as you follow the instructions in your Ducato handbook, cruise control should engage when you select it. When you say it only works 95% of the time, does that mean that - having selected cruise - the cruise-control light illuminates in the instrument-cluster, but the vehicle fails to hold its speed when you release the accelerator pedal, or does the cruise-control light NOT illuminate? If there is a fault, it will need to be investigated by Fiat and they'd almost certainly need to see the problem demonstrated.




(P kitchen drawers open.jpg)



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Attachments P kitchen drawers open.jpg (49KB - 7 downloads)
userPaul.S
Posted: 31 December 2021 12:50 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
Having a look around

Posts: 27
25


Hi,

So I think your responses are clear on most items. You requested additional information on the following:

Fridge Freezer - there is a pattern in terms of the fridge failure. It has tended to happen on day 3 or 4 of constant use. Its fine for the first few days. Switching it off and back on tends to correct the fault but there is no siren to warn you that its not on. Not sure about a warning light, I will look out for this going forward. There is a siren if the fridge door is left open for more than a minute or 2.

Wash room sink. Its exceptionally slow. You basically have to leave it and go back 10 minutes later. I have looked for kinks in the visible outlets but they are all ok. The dealership have tried to correct this by realigning the pipework but this has failed. The dealership has said its a known problem with this MH that I will have to live with. Not happy with this suggestion but given their abysmal attempts at some of the simpler repairs I don't really want them to dismantle any panels to get at the problem.

Cruise control - the dashboard light remains on, it just that cruise control fails to activate sometimes. This usually occurs on the same journey after it has already been activated a few times.

Brian - in terms of the seat failure if you look closely at the top photo you will see there are 2 holes where the screws have come out.

Thanks again. Any further info would be gratefully received.

kind regards

Paul
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 31 December 2021 1:50 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
50005000500050001000100100252525


This 2008 forum discussion may be of interest

https://www.motorhomefacts.com/forum-printtopic-1-43857-0-0-asc-viewresult-1.html

As this P626D issue has been mentioned elsewhere, it's a fair bet that slow draining of the washbasin is a 'feature' of this model. Can't say I'm too surprised as the bathroom swing-wall must complicate the washbasin's plumbing.

When I began motorcaravanning 20 years ago I complained to a dealer about the obvious thoughtlessness of some design aspects. He said "Welcome to the wonderful world of motorhomes".
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 31 December 2021 5:13 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


50005000500020002000500100100
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Paul.S - 2021-12-31 12:50 PM...........................
Brian - in terms of the seat failure if you look closely at the top photo you will see there are 2 holes where the screws have come out.
Thanks again. Any further info would be gratefully received.
kind regards
Paul

Paul, yes I could see the screw holes, but it was what material the screws were screwed into that interested me. If they are/were just woodscrews into wood (whether actually timber, ply MDF or w.h.y.) then the simplest solution (especially as it seems they are not generally visible) would be to use longer screws of the same gauge. Alternatively, if that is impractical, the same length screw of heavier gauge. Belt and braces would be longer and heavier gauge!
OTOH, if these are machine screws into threaded holes in metal and the threads in the screw holes have stripped, the only remedy would be to drill out and tap for the next size machine screw.

As the originals have pulled out, it seems there is some stress at that point so either someone has mishandled the hinged element, the original screws are inadequate, or the factory gorilla tightened them!
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 31 December 2021 6:04 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
50005000500050001000100100252525


I've resized and 'tweaked' Paul's photos (images below) and the fittings do look like machine screws would be used.



(DSC_1444.jpg)



(DSC_1445.jpg)



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userBrian Kirby
Posted: 31 December 2021 7:04 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


50005000500020002000500100100
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


That's much clearer, Derek. Still doesn't quite describe what is supposed to support the weight of the rear facing passenger in the event of a frontal accident. A sheet of plywood (or whatever) seems wholly inadequate to me, whatever length/gauge the screws! Yet, that is all I can see. From what I have been able to see in your linked videos etc, and elsewhere, I still can't understand how that seatback can be made adequate to prevent the rear facing passenger being catapulted forward, taking the seat back with him/her. There must be something else, surely?
userHans
Posted: 31 December 2021 8:40 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


A posting machine

Posts: 366
1001001002525


You are technical wrong.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 1 January 2022 8:48 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
50005000500050001000100100252525


Brian

Regarding the rearwards-facing travel seat, the French video that I provided a link to earlier shows the conversion procedure from travel seats back to settee. The procedure was carried out very quickly and, even if I run the video full-screen and freeze-frame, it's still not obvious whether there's some sort of clever strengthening structure that comes into play when the rearwards-facing seatback is raised up. (I've attached another photo of the travel-seat arrangement, though this doesn't help with your seatback 'strength' concerns.) Presumably Paul knows how the settee-to-travel-seats conversion works and will have a view on how 'safe' the travel seats are likely to be.

Paul's photos of the problematic screw-fixings actually relate to the hinged 'lid' of the seat base that's beneath the part of the left-hand-side settee that converts into a forwards-facing travel seat. I don't think the lid plays any real part in the settee-to-travel-seats conversion, it just allows access to whatever is in the seat base.





(seats.jpg)



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userBrian Kirby
Posted: 1 January 2022 11:41 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


50005000500020002000500100100
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Hans - 2021-12-31 8:40 PM
You are technical wrong.

Hans, who is wrong about what, and why?
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 1 January 2022 11:57 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


50005000500020002000500100100
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Derek Uzzell - 2022-01-01 8:48 AM
Brian
Regarding the rearwards-facing travel seat, the French video that I provided a link to earlier shows the conversion procedure from travel seats back to settee. The procedure was carried out very quickly and, even if I run the video full-screen and freeze-frame, it's still not obvious whether there's some sort of clever strengthening structure that comes into play when the rearwards-facing seatback is raised up. (I've attached another photo of the travel-seat arrangement, though this doesn't help with your seatback 'strength' concerns.) Presumably Paul knows how the settee-to-travel-seats conversion works and will have a view on how 'safe' the travel seats are likely to be.
Paul's photos of the problematic screw-fixings actually relate to the hinged 'lid' of the seat base that's beneath the part of the left-hand-side settee that converts into a forwards-facing travel seat. I don't think the lid plays any real part in the settee-to-travel-seats conversion, it just allows access to whatever is in the seat base.

Yes, I agree, and I also tried to get "inside" that video by running it full screen and stepping through it - but the great chump keeps standing in the way at the critical points!

I also tried a number of alternative presentations on the model, including Pilote's own, and could find nothing that shows the evolution from rear facing seat to side sofa in sufficient detail to be able to see how/whether that seat back is strengthened to resist the impact force of an adult passenger in a front end collision. Since this seat conversion seems to be an intrinsic part of the USP of what is, in other respects, a very clever layout, that surprised me. So, mea culpa, being the cynic that I am, I began wondering whether Pilote aren't all that convinced about it either! I also wondered about the seat belt fixings, and what they are anchored to (and whether they rely on similar "screws"!!).
userHans
Posted: 1 January 2022 7:28 PM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


A posting machine

Posts: 366
1001001002525


The MOT check all fixing of safety belts.. And they are fixed to a real steel part of the chassis.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 2 January 2022 9:42 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 
50005000500050001000100100252525


Hans

The UK's MOT-test seat-belt requirements are stated on the image attached below.

Before my Rapido motorhome was MOT-tested I always removed all the cushions from the settees from which the vehicle's two forwards-facing rear 'travel seats' could be made up. This left the motorhome with rear seat belts (attached to strong metal structures) that could be used when the travel seats had been created from the settees, but no actual seats corresponding to those belts. Consequently, because there were no seats relating to the belts when the Rapido was presented for MOT-testing, the MOT tester was not required to inspect the belts.



(seat belts.png)



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userBrian Kirby
Posted: 2 January 2022 11:39 AM
Subject: RE: Motorhome Warrantee Query
 


50005000500020002000500100100
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Hans - 2022-01-01 7:28 PM
The MOT check all fixing of safety belts.. And they are fixed to a real steel part of the chassis.

Agreed, Hans, but it was not the seat belt anchorages I was querying, but the adequacy of what appears to be merely a sheet of plywood (which might, actually, be photo veneered sheet steel or similar) forming the backrest of the seat.

The seat is apparently a designated travel seat, which is why it has a seat belt. I don't know whether there is a weight restriction for the occupant of that seat that would limit its users to children, but if not, any adult of whatever weight could use it.

With a passenger in a rear facing seat the majority of their protection against injury in a frontal collision has to be provided by the seat back, and the seat belt's role is only to prevent them being thrown from the seat.

Were the backrest to fail on impact, the passenger would be liable to be thrown violently towards the front of the vehicle, taking the failed parts of the backrest with them, potentially into the back of the forward facing driver's/passenger's seat, with entirely avoidable and potentially catastrophic consequences for either or both seat occupants.

There may well be some reinforcement of the backrest, but I can't see it in the available pictures/videos. Also, there is no visible evidence of a "cosmetic" enclosure that might conceal such reinforcement. So, as I commented, on the available evidence, that absence of reinforcement worries me.

There is also no visible head restraint, although one is clearly visible for the forward facing seat in Derek's picture above.. To be blunt, the seatback looks flimsy and wholly inadequate for use as a travel seat. As a non-travel seat, fine, but not (until the presence of the, I think necessary, reinforcement is demonstrated), for use for travel.

Are we sure that this is, actually, a designated travel seat (I can't see a seat belt, or anchorages, in the pictures) or are we perhaps at crossed purposes about which seat Paul was referring to?
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