Broadway Build/Design Quality Issues

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Post by Backtrax on Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:04 pm

I have lost count of the number of niggling build quality issues I have had with our 2010 Broadway EL. Most were fixed under warranty and the rest by myself.
Here are 2 fairly serious ones that are most likely to occur long after warranty has expired, as happened to me on our recent trip.

1. Wardrobe floor collapse.
The floor of the wardrobe is above the 2 kitchen drawers and is only supported by 2 edge conector pins on each side which fix it to the side walls.
The main dining table is stored in one side of the wardrobe and I guess through constant removal and replacing said table the side pins broke through the top of the wardrobe floor which therefore collapsed.
The fix is quite simple.
Removed both kitchen drawers to gain access to the underside of the wardrobw floor. Lift the wardrobe floor into its correct position and temporarily supported it whilst screwing into position some the old plastic contiboard blocks (3 on each side wall).
(take care about the length of screws used so the wardrobe side walls are not pierced).

A concern with this collapse was that the Sargent main control panel is at the rear of the wardrobe and the collapsed floor put pressure on the wiring loom.
So worth a check and fit adequate supports to the wardrobe floor before any damage is done.


2. Burst Kitchen tap pipework.
The 335mm tail pipes from the kitchen mixer tap to the main pipework are routed such that they are in contact with the metal fan housing at the rear of the oven.
After 30,000 miles of touring, the constant friction had rubbed a minute hole in the cold pipe causing a fine mist of water to spray over the top of the oven once the pump was switched on.
Fortunately we spotted the spray before the hole in the tail pipe became so large as to deposit substantial amounts of water over the top and rear of the oven.
Replacement of the tail pipe is quite simple once you remove the oven and then the kitchen tap.
It is also simple to route the tail pipes on the other side of the kitched sink waste pipe such that contact with the oven fan housing cannot happen again.
(I have also fitted some heat resistant sleeving around the pipes for additional protection.)
Why are the pipes not routed this way in the first place!!
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Post by groundhog on Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:52 pm

Sadly when buying a new motorhome it is not whether it will go  wrong but when it will go wrong. We have owned several Autosleeper, Autocruise and Bessacarr and they have all been the same!

It is a pain but  one that seems to go with the territory... scratch head
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Post by Backtrax on Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:15 am

Groundhog, I am not saying you do find this build quality acceptable on a £40k plus vehicle, but I certainly don't.
Whilst I love my Broadway I am just glad Autosleeper don't build airplanes!
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Post by Shuggiegreen on Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:18 pm

It sounds like the car Industry in the 70s poor cars were produced then the Japanese came along and showed you could make quality vehicles so there are no British car makers cars being made in the UK today are owned by companies overseas.When you are paying 40k and upwards for a vehicle they should be right first time it is up to us the consumer to make the manufacturers understand that they need to improve there products and the way to do this in my opinion is to make public there shoddy products through the media.
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Post by groundhog on Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:27 pm

No I am not saying I find it acceptable either, the quality control department must be on holiday most of the time, sadly it seems to be an industry wide problem.

Your comment re building 'airplanes' is amusing to me as before retirement my career was spent selling and leasing commercial jets as well as operating three Boeing 737 - 200's. If you saw  the 'snag list' they come out of the factory with you would never get on another one, beauty is of course unlike motorhomes there is usually built in redundancy and if one system fails something else replaces it!

Hope your troubles abate soon, I am sure they will! up!
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Post by Bad Penny on Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:32 pm

It is so sad that a company such as AS has such bad publicity.
I have just returned from six weeks in France with four problems with our 2014 model Broadway which  are to be sorted under guarantee.

1. Unable to open the rooflight, with outside temperature in excess of 30deg, handle u/s
2. Unable to flush the loo, this also refused to work last October when in Greece
3. Reversing camera fell off the rear view mirror while driving, one of the springs had broken. Margaret had to hold it untill I could stop and tape it in position.
4. Locking screw of tv aerial cracked, therefore now taped to hold to secure aerial in position.

My previous motorhome was a well known German make and I can't recall having any problems with it in 10 years of ownership.
I know these are small problems, but unfortunately they are too frequent.

Leighton.
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Post by Paulmold on Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:49 pm

The majority of motorhome manufacturers/converters suffer the same problems -
A HEKI rooflight
A THETFORD toilet
A STATUS or TELECO aerial
Whatever make of camera

AS do not make any of them, only assemble the components. It is the supplying companies that need to get their acts together and AS should have the guts to tell them to sort it or they will get their supplies elsewhere. The problem there is there is virtually no-one else making these components.

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Post by Gromit on Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:23 pm

Excellent point Paul, and one to keep in mind when something goes wrong. It's all too easy to point the finger at A/S when in fact they are not at fault.

They make plenty of cock-ups of their own without shouldering other people's. Nothing too serious, and we have always been very pleased with our A/S vans, but I think the office cat must have walked on the C.A.D. keyboard at some stages of the design! scratch head

Dave smile!
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Post by Backtrax on Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:48 pm

The 2 issues I raised at the start of this thread were entirely AS problems and documented for the sole purpose of alerting others
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Post by Paulmold on Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:59 pm

You are absoltely right in those two issues. Problem is a thread soon gets hijacked with everyone elses problems and all too eager to slate AS for them .  Your wardrobe floor is an obvious not-fit-for-purpose design and plumbing is a quality control /final inspection issue both of which I hope reach a satisfactory conclusion.

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Post by paul bullock on Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm

I totally agree with Backtrax too many faults/design quirks than there should be ,ive been the recipient of quite a few, mainly plumbing and wiring (nothing to do with outside suppliers) the standard of these is atrocious compared to my previous vans (Hymer &Pilote) .The problem is that the motorhome when taken as a whole is a good experience and blinds us to the fact that A/S really ought to have better quality control !!!Regards     Paul
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Post by groundhog on Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:28 pm

Ah,, the legendry German build quality, I have the luxury of the mercedes sprinter chassis.....it never made it from the dealer to home before it dumped all its water on the A30 not bad with 35 miles on the clock.

Let me make it clear I a not defending A/S or any other manufacturer for poor quality and certainly as above the quality control department was on holiday when I collected my van.

There is no correlation between cost and quality, my van cost £60K should it therefore be more reliable than one costing £40k. Should I have been selling Airbus and Boeing aircraft costing $60 million and expecting perfection? Should I expect the T shirt I just bought for a fiver to just fall apart?

I have not looked at A/S accounts but I doubt they are massively profitable, everything is built to a budget and that is where there is a difficulty.

I would actually have preferred to have paid £1k more for my van and have had the heater vents connected and a host of other silly faults (24 in all) which should have been spotted when the van left the factory avoided.

What would happen if A/S came out with a model equivalent to say an Autotrail but it was £5K more "because we built it properly", how many would pay the premium?

Somewhere there  is a balance between cost and quality, whilst still churning these machines out at a reasonable margin? I don't know what that balance is?

Please don't tell me it is an exclusive domain of the Germans to have the answer or I will introduce to my friend who owns a new German built yacht..... the keel just dropped off!!

PS: I am not anti German, both our cars are German, our last boat was too, I would buy a German van tomorrow if it suited me!


Last edited by groundhog on Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:32 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : PS)
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Post by Guest on Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:56 am

I read recently that sales of NEW motorhomes is up by 26%. This was touted as good news, but to me it just means that vans will be coming off the production line faster and faster to keep up with sales, leading to more and more quality control issues.
The answer for me to all the above posts is to never buy a new van, and go for one that's 1 or 2 years old where most of the problems will have been fixed.
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Post by groundhog on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:01 am

And you don't suffer the depreciation
.
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Post by PennyandDerek on Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:18 am

We are all aware of the perennial quality v. quantity issues. The present burgeoning money supply for potential buyers does seem to be allowing quite fundamental management failures.

It appears there is a disconnect between design and the shop floor; an issue like a water pipe being routed so that it chafes is a complete no-no and should just not happen. However, if design are being allowed to devolve the routing of wires and pipes to the workforce, who have no training or motorhome operation experience................ shrugg

Whilst A/S have been trading for over fifty years, unfortunately, it does not mean that they bring fifty years experience to the table.
As an ex-industrialist, the suggestion of an extra £1k to do things properly is way over the top. Motorhomes are not complicated machines; an extra 10 manhours providing a bit of attention to detail will only add c.£200.

A/S are presently living on a reputation that was hard won. Are we witnessing that reputation disappearing?

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Post by mike on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:54 pm

It seems sad to me that Autosleeper do NOT monitor this forum and try to salve their reputation. Just log on to the Swift-talk forum and you will see representatives of the Company replying to problems unresolved by the dealer and suggesting who to contact at the Swift factory.
Minimum cost and such a reassurance, it has made me seriously, albeit reluctantly, consider Swift when I change my now 7year old Windsor in the near future.
Autosleeper are, in my opinion trading on their hard won good reputation, but may come up with regrets if their reputation goes down the drain.
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Post by Maasai Warrior on Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:26 pm

If we keep having issues with our Broadway then we will definitely look elsewhere. You cannot fault Mark and his service guys working for AS. They have sorted most of our problems with the van, ie problems that should have been sorted in the factory. He must be equally frustrated and mystified by this lack of quality control. I don't know if any other dealers read any of the threads, but I am aware that Andy from Dolphin Motorhomes looks at this forum from time to time. Are dealers feeding back our concerns? Is the AS owners club taken seriously by AS? Something needs to be done. Not all of us have concerns as they are not experiencing issues with their vans. Others are very practical and are able to sort out most problems themselves (me!). Well that's my gripe over. Pete
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Post by mikethebike on Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:00 pm

Looking back to 2012,we had a lot of these problems. Nothing much has changed by the look of it. tap_fingers
I contacted AS to enquire as to what formal Quality control system they had in place. Never got a reply. confused3
Its left to owners to do the quality control. Then a few stalwarts at AS to fix the faults.
Maybe the same with other manufacturers?

Regards

Micky
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Post by Maasai Warrior on Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:03 pm

Yes you are probably right Micky but it's frustrating when you have let go of all that well earned money!
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Post by mikethebike on Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:18 pm

Yes, you are right Pete. Many of us will not buy new, to do quality control for free. hugegrins
Buy second hand and save money and have a good quality check done by the supplying dealer.
Some faults are inevitable,but it seems that some faults are never fixed and keep occurring on the new models.
It might be like double glazing.Sold once to each home,no repeat business.Those that buy again are in the minority.IMHO.

Regards

Micky
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Post by Paulmold on Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:47 pm

mike wrote:It seems sad to me that Autosleeper do NOT monitor this forum and try to salve their reputation. 
I'm sure you are right. We have two members by the name Auto-Sleepers and Auto-Sleepers1. The first hasn't visited since 2012, the second not since Jan 2014. Of course they could be members by any other name and they could also visit anonymously.
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Post by Bad Penny on Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:38 pm

Paul, you are telling me what I already know, my point is that my previous motorhome, a Burstner, had the same components, these worked perfectly for ten years.  So is the quality inferior to what it once was.?

If as you say, all companies have the same problems, then responsibility for all qualitity falls on the end producer. Therefore AS should get irate with these suppliers and get it sorted, as each complaint passed along to others, such as on this forum, puts the blame firmly in AS's court.

This is my third AS with a Burstner in between, but after a short experience back with AS, I am sadly thinking of changing to a German or French motorhome.

Regards Leighton.
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Post by Paulmold on Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:18 pm

Yes I firmly believe that the quality of components has deteriorated. You had a Burstner for ten years, I bought an AS Symphony that was ten years old and had it for 5 years. Most appliances worked fine during my ownership but the same suppliers now supply AS with products that don't last or don't work correctly from the start. I'm sure most appliances use components sourced from China or Korea which probably came from UK 10/15 years ago.
Isn't it the same though when you look at domestic appliances. In 40 years of marriage we are only on our 2nd washing machine, both were from same manufacturer in the UK. Would you expect any washing machine to last that long today. No, we live in a through-away society, we simply chuck out and buy another. 
Do you really believe a French or German motorhome built with the same components as AS is going to be trouble-free? If that was the case it would mean that AS are being supplied with inferior items to the French or German. 
If these components are not installed correctly, thats a different matter which is down to AS quality control to sort out.

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Post by Charliefarlie on Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:58 pm

G
mike wrote:It seems sad to me that Autosleeper do NOT monitor this forum and try to salve their reputation. Just log on to the Swift-talk forum and you will see representatives of the Company replying to problems unresolved by the dealer and suggesting who to contact at the Swift factory.
Minimum cost and such a reassurance, it has made me seriously, albeit reluctantly, consider Swift when I change my now 7year old Windsor in the near future.
Autosleeper are, in my opinion trading on their hard won good reputation, but may come up with regrets if their reputation goes down the drain.
Good luck with a Swift ! We looked at a 620 escape and a Mondial. Both were simply not in the same ballpark! The components used in both were shocking ! 

The AS range may not be up to the far more expensive German kit but we have to compare apples with Apples.
Go buy an expensive German one if you can afford and justify it but Swift ???

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Post by Bad Penny on Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:05 pm

Paul, no of course I don't think AS get Inferior components over German  and French motorhomes, because they don't use the same items  as an example  they use a Heki roof light,  not a Remis,  a better quality and more expensive item.  So perhaps AS like a bit more profit at the expense of quality components. 

Contrary to what Charlie said the expensive bit of German kit is the same price as AS kit.
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