Habitation Checks

Discussion in 'Full Timers' started by billkce, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. billkce

    billkce Funster

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    Hi

    Speaking to a fellow camper from Eire, he explained that they don't have the habitation service in that country. So, after checking with Dutch, Swedish, Spanish & German people on the site - they don't either.

    So, if they don't require this somewhat expensive annual check - why do we?

    I know the gas system might need checking but what really, of actual benefit, are we getting for our money?:Sad:

    I think I might give it a miss this year. Is that a mistake?
     
  2. stagman

    stagman Deleted User

    It's a nice easy way for the dealer's to contine making money after your purchase of the van . Some dealer's are charging around £150 for this service , and they struggle to make the checks last more than 1/2 hour it should last 3hrs , also you get a tick list not a proper certificate as you would get from an electrical test . I agree the gas is important and could be checked by one of you local engineers :thumb:
     
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  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    First of all it is not a statuary requirement except for brand new vans, not having it done may invalidate the warranty ..

    Not a mistake if you are competent to check both the electrical (mains) and gas installation and anyone one with a modicum of common sense can check for damp ..

    If not, then best left to the 'professional'..
     
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  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Spot on!:thumb:

    You can check for gas leaks by applying a soapy leak detector to joints! Failing that, gas does have an added smell for a good reason! If your gas flames aren't blue, they require attention, obviously! Again, checking your flues are clear is common sense.

    As for damp, you can get a damp tester from Aldi when they come in every year for 7 quid!
    Failing that, there's always the MK1 nose! If your van feels damp then it probably is!
    Checking the condition of and rectifying any problems with your exterior sealed joints periodically ensures no water gets in anyway!

    Lubrication of locks and door/window seals you can do yourself.
    A trained monkey with a screwdriver could adjust locks/hinges, etc.

    So if you are a competent DIYer with common sense, then you are wasting money having habitation services! Unless, of course it is to maintain the manufacturer's warranty (often worthless!).

    To rub salt into the wounds, motorhome services often cost double that of caravans and there is less work involved!:Angry:

    If you are worried about gas, a local Gas Safe plumber should be able to check out that bit at a fraction of the cost!:thumb:

    No doubt someone will add to this thread and voice concern over the value of your van at trade in without its service history, but we've never been asked for it at trade in time! Not on cars either!:Smile:
     
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  5. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    The is no legal requirement for habitation service in this country but for peace of mind and hopefully a better resale price they are worth it.... so long as it is done by an honest engineer.

    They are of course necessary while a van is under manufacturer warranty.
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Totally agree.. and I wonder how many of the so called 'professionals' are actually qualified..

    What qualifications they are supposed to hold.. ? Or do they just do a weeks course to become 'pros.'

    Maybe someone from the trade can enlighten...
     
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  7. stagman

    stagman Deleted User

     
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  8. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Totally agree, Jim!

    We had warranty work carried out by a dealer(NOT the one below!) after water ingress on our last MH, a one year old Elddis.
    It took nine months to be sorted out and once 'finished', the standard of work was appalling! Half the damaged boarding was not replaced and the MH stank for months afterwards.:Angry:

    Oh, and the roof still leaked! I repaired it myself!:Angry:

    From that point on, I realised that entrusting our purchase to those cowboys was just pointless and costing us money. Since that incident, except for a Thetford fridge warranty job (very well done by Martin's Caravans, Wisbech) I have never dared let a dealership look after our motorhomes!
     
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  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    one week a double glazing salesman .. the next a 'motorhome engineer'

    when I served my electrical apprentice ship you had to attain a minimum of an ONC in order to call yourself an engineer..

    I served a 5 years apprenticeship and a total of 7 years at technical college to have the privilege of calling myself an engineer....

    today .. well, it's been so dumbed down it's almost a joke.. every tom dick and harry is an engineer.. :RollEyes:
     
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  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    check it over, yes, but unless they are certified/qualified to work on 'mobile' gas they wont be able to certify the check.

    domestic gas and motorhome gas require different gas-safe qualifications
     
  11. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    is theresuch a thing as a gas safe qualification for private m,homes . there certainly wasnt a few years ago. think its acops 1-2 or something they need not gas safe at all. come on pammy tell us ,keep us up to date . :thumb:
    ps, there wasnt a corgi qualification either so they couldnt certificate private ,m,homes.
     
  12. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    So checking gas systems is a matter of common sense eh? If the flame's yellow you obviously have a problem? How do you see the flame in a fridge then? Do you own a flue gas analyser? Only this week I had the less than pleasant task of telling a motorhome owner that he has serious water ingress in the nearside wall and roof. I've lost count of the number of fridge burners that have been partially blocked and therefore generating seriously dangerous levels of CO.

    The value of a habitation check is for those who can't DIY, if you can DIY then great go for it but please don't denigrate all professionals as rip off merchants based on your own limited experiences.

    And no I don't call myself an engineer, I never have and never will.

    D.
     
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  13. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    As for Corgi/Gas Safe qualification its not necessary as all motorhomes, caravans and horse boxes are specifically excluded from the gas regs unless the unit is being rented out in course of a business. There is a Gas Safe qualification that would be needed on rental units but it consists of several elements (as I believe all Gas Safe registrations do) base Gas Safe qualification then additional elements for LPG, cookers, heaters, water heaters and mobile installations.

    I have just done my five yearly ACOPS renewal.

    D.
     
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  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi dave , hope i,m not out of order but can you inform us of th position of gas safe etc and the qualifications to give a certificate.
     
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  15. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I think you are addressing my posts..

    first of all I never said checking gas was common sense ..

    From reading your website and from all the recommendations on here you are clearly provide a reputable and honest motorhome service.. this is the value of sites such as this.

    but you cannot deny there are ( as there are in all trades ) cowboys with little or no experience and or qualifications to service motorhomes ..

    my comment on engineers I stand by...
     
  16. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Finding serious water ingress on a habitation service 365 days after the last habitation service is a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted! After all it might have been leaking for 364 of them!:Sad:

    All MHers should use this example as motivation to check their own vans continuously for damp! Waiting for your next habitation service to pick it up, which apparently protects you from the evils of water ingress, is naive and will cost you a fortune!
     
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  17. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    thanks dave ,you beat me to it. so folks dave as the qualifications ,use him you know it makes sense.
     
  18. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Hi Dave.
    I chose my words carefully in my post.
    I did refer to THOSE cowboys (those who did a poor job), not THESE cowboys (collective).
    By all accounts Dave, you are a professional and I respect your defence of your trade.
    There are, however incompetent people in all trades, including my own. Rest assured, I have more respect for tradesmen such as yourself than the main dealers.

    If my chosen words caused offence, I apologise, but I will always stress that owners should always inspect their own vans on a continuous basis and not rely on an annual check to highlight every problem!

    As for that flue gas analyser, my mate has one he lets me borrow!:thumb:
     
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  19. billkce

    billkce Funster

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  20. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Does anyone here have an annual inspection of their house ? Gas, Electric, Damp, Sewage.

    No.

    So why for a much simpler mobile home.

    Vigilance and Common sense. After all, an MOT is only effective on the day it is done, next day a stone could damage a brake pipe. If you are not vigilant every day you could have a gas leak for 364 days if you throw all your responsibility on a one day test.

    PS.....

    A lot of Gaslow users have a built in gas leak tester, turn off tap, if gas pressure gauge drops quickly you have a leak or something is switched on. I had a fridge igniter push go sticky, it left the igniter gas on even with the fridge on electric, this showed it up a treat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
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