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Comments/Experience re Frankia required

Colin Leake

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We are thinking of replacing our Rapido with a Frankia either the FF2 or one of the low profile compact range. We like the way they are made and the degree of insulation along with the clever layouts. We are looking to take the plung in October. We would appreciate comments on the build quality and the service quality of our local agents Cranham.


The FF2 is only available on the Fiat chassis but the compact range can be ordered on a Merc if Fiat have still not solved their problems which is another factor affecting our choise.

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HI Colin


We took delivery of a Frankia I6400 from Cranham last November having owned a Pilote G270 for six and a half years. Our experience is therefore limited but hopefully still of some relevance.


We chose this particular 'van on the grounds of its layout and its reputation for build quality. As you may know Frankia are part of the Pilote group although they appear to operate quite independently in Germany. We had been impressed with Pilote's after sales service - even after the warranty had expired and the Pilote link had been another factor in our decision.


In contrast to Pilote, Frankia seem to operate a very conservative approach to product development concentrating on small improvements to a well established and well proven design - which again influenced our decision. It maybe that the new FF range indicates a departure from that philosophy with the objective of broadening their market.


I have no direct knowledge of their manufacturing facilities except that this is in the former East Germany and is a newish plant following an extensive fire a few years ago.


For various frustrating reasons our experience of our new Frankia has been restricted to the hand-over and one long weekend away. We plan to remedy that as soon as we can.


So to the meat of things. As of now we are delighted with this purchase. The build quality shines through in very subtle but very re-assuring ways - and particularly in the way it has been screwed together - in that regard it is certainly a step above the Pilote range and perhaps the Rapido range too. There is a cost for this of course and you might find that you won't get as many "goodies" as standard as you would from some of the "apparent" competition. The quality is very much beneath the surface.


As far as Cranham are concerned we have been very satisfied with their service. Given Frankia's build quality it isn't easy to apportion credit for the way the 'van was presented to us but I think Cranham did carry out a very thorough PDI and, uniquely in my experience of these things, everthing operated faultlessly during the very cold and wet first outing. I should also say that there has been a need to contact Cranham on a couple of points of information and their aftersales team have got back us very quickly - not always the case when the dealer has had the cash. I can't comment on the workshop service yet but they did fit a an alarm and Status aerial and made very jobs of these.


Any downsides - well perhaps just one. There doesn't appear to be a very extensive network of dealers in the UK or surprisingly in the rest of Europe and there's no information to suggest that a Pilote dealer would be able to help if you did have a problem when abroad. So let's hope Frankia's quality avoids that requirement.


So there you have it - early days - but promising prospects.


Hope that's of some help.







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We have now ordered our 5th Frankia - That should tell you that we are totally satisfied with the quality and usability of the 'vans. We have just had an email from the German dealer telling us it is ready for collection (3 weeks ahead of the promised date).


The quality of the 'vans we have had from Frankia have always been excellent and when we did have a problem with one of our 'vans whilst travelling in Germany they bent over backwards to put it right. And that is a whole lot better than the way we have been treated when we have had problems with other 'vans.


In the past (prior to being Frankia fans) we have bought Italian and British 'vans. and we have bought from various UK dealers. Many of the dealers we have vowed never to go near again but we did buy 2 Frankias from Cranham and would have bought a 3rd. Why didn't we - The recession made the price to change rather high and we did a much better deal in Germany where they are still able to sell 2nd hand large vehicles at good prices. Would we go back to Cranham if the price was right - most certainly. Comparatively they have done a very competitive (UK) deal for us in the past and the after sales and and ability of their service crew has been top notch.


We have not had an FF2 - only 8 meter plus 'vans - but the same build quality and attention to detail goes into all their 'vans and Frankia is well known for their innovations many of which have been quickly copied by other manufacturers (but IMHO never equalled or bettered).


Go for it you won't regret it.


By the way all of our 'vans have been on the Fiat including the last 1 on a 3ltr X250 and the only problem we have had is with the cab air con. The motors and gear boxes have been very reliable and NO JUDDER!



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