Buying a motor home is a big investment and you need to make sure you buy your motor home from a good and reputable dealer. Unless you’re technically minded and competent you will need help, advice and assistance from your dealer therefore it is imperative you choose your dealer wisely.
There are plenty of good and reputable dealers out there, and you can easily find these on any motor home forum. A good dealer isn’t always the cheapest or the one who will throw in the most extras, so don’t choose a motor home dealer on this basis.
When it comes to buying a motor home the after sales service and support is far more important than the purchase price. You will be taking your motor home to the dealer a lot during ownership and you have to take this in to consideration. When things go wrong, and they will, you will need to take it to the dealer to get it sorted. If the dealer is miles away this is going to cost in both time and money. If your dealer doesn’t care about helping you maintain your motorhome this is going to cause nothing but stress – trust me as I have been there and done that.
I know what it is like to buy from the “wrong” dealer and it was a huge mistake. When I was looking at a motor home I thought a big dealership with loads of choice was best. I thought a big dealer with a large showroom and lots of sales staff running around was best. I thought a dealer that was well known nationwide was best. I got suckered in by a large national dealer with a large advertising and marketing budget and I took it all – hook, line and sinker. The dealer I bought my motor home from was Brownhills in Newark and if I could turn back the clock I wouldn’t have even entertained looking at their motorhomes let alone buying one from them.
Initially, I was very impressed with Brownhills and the salesman didn’t have to do too much work to get me to sign on the dotted line. When it came to the after sales service and dealing with the niggles and issues that arose very early on in the ownership of my Accordo, i.e. as soon as I got the van home, that’s when I soon discovered Brownhills are not all they are cracked up to be and as soon as Brownhills had my money they lost all interest.
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I had several issues early on and, to put it bluntly, Brownhills didn’t give two s***s! Issues included missing curtain rail, damaged/burnt upholstery, habitation door problems, repair quote (the damage was my fault), de-lamination, ill-fitted bathroom door and damaged table. Getting Brownhills to sort out these issues was a frustrating experience that caused a lot of stress, strain and almost divorce.
If you want proof just how bad Brownhill’s after sales service is take a look at the following:
Fortunately, I have found a small Elddis dealer close to where I live who is absolutely brilliant. This dealer is friendly, helpful and only too happy to give help, advice and tips whenever they are needed. If I am out in the motor home and have a problem I can call the dealer and speak to an engineer to trouble shoot problems, something I have had to do on more than one occasion. I feel guilty that I didn’t buy my Accordo from my local dealer because I would much prefer to give them my hard earned money than Brownhills! One thing is for sure, when I do upgrade (and I will have more than one more motor home before I pop my clogs – unless anything drastic happens of course) I will use this local dealer.
When choosing a dealer from which to buy your motor home don’t discount the smaller dealers because they often end up being better than the larger dealers. Okay, you may have to spend a little more with a smaller dealer but having to spend a little more in the first instance isn’t such a bad thing.
If you own an Elddis motorhome there is one online group you should be a member of and that is the Elddis Motorhome Owners Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1517934578501521) The group was set up by the late David Kennedy (RIP) and is now run by Mr P Stevens, Mr S Sellers, Mr I Best and Ms C Senior.
All online groups and forums I have been active on have had argumentative, spiteful, rude and downright nasty members with acid tongues only too willing to put others down to make themselves look better, but this is not the case with this Facebook group. This Facebook group is full of friendly and helpful members only too happy to share their experiences, knowledge and wisdom. Okay, there are a few members who enjoy a bit of banter and they will post sarcastic (stupid perhaps?) remarks and the like, but this is done in good humor and jest, and there is no malice there. One thing I should point out is that if someone doesn’t respond to any sarcasm or wit these types of replies and posts instantly cease on the thread, i.e. members are fully aware when the op is not playing ball.
Many forums have a “there is no such thing as a stupid question” philosophy, which in reality is rubbish. On all forums I have seen ops shot down and ripped to threads for asking simple or obvious questions, which in my opinion isn’t on. When it comes to this Facebook group you really can ask anything, regardless of how stupid or obvious it may seem. Whilst members may think “what a dumb ass question” they will never let on, they will respect you and they will provide useful and helpful answers. I guarantee that you will not be ridiculed for any question you ask on this site.
This Facebook group will help and assist in anything and everything to do with motor homing, including essential accessories to buy, general repairs and maintenance, problems to look for, ideas where to travel to, campsites to visit etc. etc. This site also has many “for fun” type posts that pose some really random questions.
When it comes to this group you will get out what you put in. If you only want some information (which is fine) you will get the answers. To really experience this group and get the most out of it you have to be prepared to be active and get yourself out there, and if you do this I guarantee you will have a real hoot.
Being a member of an active Elddis forum I frequently see posts from disgruntle Elddis owners slating the build quality of their Elddis motor home. I have noticed that there are a few models that keep coming up time and time again, but it appears there are quality issues across the entire range and it is the newer models that seem most affected.
Late 2016 models through to brand new models seem to be plagued by many quality control issues, which simply shouldn’t arise. I appreciate that Elddis has recently been bought out by Hymer and the period of time whilst the deal was going through would cause stress and strain on all Elddis employees (from top level management right down the hierarchy to the trainees) but this is no excuse for shoddy workmanship and throwing the motor homes together. At the end of the day the buyers of these motor homes have already pre-ordered and paid a substantial amount of money for them. These buyers have worked hard, saved up and have had to make sacrifices to get their Eldiss motorhome, and the people building it for them just chuck them together.
It seems that Elddis workers have lost their sense of pride in what they do and no longer care about the finished product, which is a real shame. I looked at several older Elddis models when I was looking to buy a motorhome, and I have to say the quality of the finish was very good. Sure, I saw some shabby motorhomes but the motor homes that weren’t subjected to abuse looked real good. When I was looking around the older Elddis motorhomes and saw for myself how well they had stood the test of time I instantly knew an Elddis motorhome would suit me.
All vehicles will suffer those little niggles which need to be put right, but it seems that Elddis motorhomes have an awful lot of niggles and issues. Leaking skylights, heating systems that fail on the first use, bike racks falling off, compartment doors that won’t open when the bike rack is in use…….. the list goes on and on.
One of the most common causes of complaint is the overall finish and bits and pieces falling off, de-lamination and excessive rattles and squeaks. No motorhome is silent, and it is unreasonable to think they ever will be, but new Elddis motor homes seems to be exceptionally noisy.
My Elddis Accordo was built in early 2016, which is just before the quality went right down the pan. I have had several niggles with my Elddis motorhome and I have to say that I am disappointed with the overall finish and attention to detail, but I feel that I am fortunate that I have not had the problems other Elddis motorhome owners have had with the later models. I appreciate that my Elddis Accordo is a “cheap” motor home but this is now excuse for poor workmanship. Okay, my Accordo didn’t have the £60K plus price tag of other Elddis motorhomes but let’s put it in to perspective here……… The Accordo is a small 6m van and not a 7.5m – 9m van like some of the other Elddis models, but it was still very expensive.
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The popularity of motorhomes has gone through the roof over the last couple of years and Elddis couldn’t have picked a worse time to let the quality standards slip so much. Combine more people buying motorhomes with the social networking sites and owner groups, full of people only too willing to share their thoughts, opinions, experiences and woes and it is easy to see that if Elddis doesn’t do something soon the brand is going to die. Elddis needs to do something drastic and get its owners back onside because it’s not just current owners who are very unlikely to buy another Elddis motor home again when the time comes to upgrade……
I have seen posts from people on the Elddis forum researching which motor home to buy asking questions about the problems and issues with Elddis motorhomes, and the owners are telling them straight. The problem is the Elddis owners with serious problems with their motorhomes (and there are lots of them) are focusing on the “bad and ugly” and not mentioning the good. The Elddis owners with an axe to grind are using social media and groups to air their dirty laundry and, from what I have seen, this is dissuading potential Elddis motorhome buyers. On more than one occasion I have seen posts from non-Elddis owners thanking the group for their help and confirming to them that an Elddis motorhome is not the way to go.
The thing that surprises me is that Elddis are silent on the matter. If it were my business, and my livelihood on the line I would be active on the forums, I would engage with disgruntled Elddis owners, I would try and do something about it and I would publicise the fact that I was trying to make good the damage that has happened. Losing one generation of customers is one thing, but losing potential customers because I couldn’t be bothered to sort out existing problems is another thing altogether. Elddis are totally mute on the subject and seem to have their heads stuck in the sand hoping the problems will simply disappear.
With the popularity in motorhomes increasing exponentially the existing market players are upping their game and it’s not going to be too long before other players start bidding for market share. If Elddis don’t react and do something about this, and at the moment they don’t seem to be, they are going to be left behind and the brand will simply become a has been and disappear. I for one really hope this doesn’t happen, but I think it is going to and I don’t think it is going to be too far in the future either.
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.
The Motor home