Reliability in modern equipment

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Jaws, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

    Sep 26, 2008
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    It struck me this morning how reliable most things in life are nowadays

    Yet we still have a constant flow of issues with motorhome related kit.. ( and I should know LOL !!! )

    With that in mind I started looking at other 'small industries' ..

    But I would like to present both sides of a debate..

    Pro the argument:

    I came to the conclusion the poor reliability situation seems to cover all apsects of builds.

    Of course, there is the following points to take in to consideration.
    1) A motorhome is quite a large collection of all sorts of technologies why in this day and age do we suffer from inferior components ?

    2) There seems to be certain builders who suffer more than others. Do they build to a price rather than to a level of quality and if so, why are their offerings so damned expensive ?

    and the Anti argument

    1) A motorhome IS a very eclectic collection of parts, failures seem to be pretty much across the board encompassing a great many aspects. It just a case of one or two items in each section ( so to speak ) giving grief and the over all picture is actually very good

    2) If someone does not have a problem they are hardly likely to start a thread about not having an issue.
    We only hear of the faults.. not the upsides.
    And considering how many members there are on Fun ( for instance ) surely the reports of problems are in reality quite low in the over all scheme of things

    What say you ?
  2. DiggerJon

    DiggerJon Funster

    Jan 25, 2013
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    Dorchester, Dorset
    My current van has had few problems compared to the last Swift/Fiat combination I had, after which I swore I'd have neither again. I can understand problems arising in such an eclectic mix of parts such as a MH; what I cannot understand is the indifference of suppliers and manufacturers to deal quickly with the problems to the customer's reasonable expectations. Yes, we remember the problems even more if they are badly dealt with.

    Good ol' Shakespeare had it covered with:
    "The evil that men do lives on; the good is oft interred within their bones"
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  3. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

    Aug 6, 2013
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    Kendal, Cumbria
    Motorhomes seem to me to be a collection of decent parts (there are exceptions) incompetently screwed together. I have two pet issues: the fridge; and the wiring. I haven't yet owned a caravan or motorhome where the fridge has not given trouble - usually the gas but this time both mains and gas. Wiring is beyond the pale: unless things have changed: no built-in trunking or wiring routes, no proper wiring harness, no understanding of wiring LV DC, no standard colour code, use of non-automotive connectors, no 'proper', detailed wiring diagrams, double insulated wiring used (but only in some places apparently where the need is felt to pack wiring as tightly as possible) for the 12v circuitry, no earth commons, fridge wiring gauge inadequate. I could go on. I have a theory that the person who designed wiring systems for '60s British motorcycles is still around advising on MH wiring. There is now a tendency to use a smart panel with the obligatory LCD (AES fridge and central control panels spring to mind) where it adds no value or user ease but where (inevitable) failure is another opportunity to over-charge for spares.
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  4. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

    Jan 9, 2013
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    Plympton, Devon
    I guess it is because MHs are built like cars were several decade ago. Basically someone just fits a lot of bits together from a box of individual components, wiring them together with wire from a reel to which they fit connectors where required.

    I walked round the Renault Trucks factory near Lyon a few years ago, before the recession hit and at that time they were turning out over 300 big trucks every day. This meant each truck was only on the assembly line for a few hours and in that time it was assembled from scratch.

    The Renault Truck teams (about 8 to a team IIRC) met every morning before they started work and discussed their performance the previous day and how they could do better today and critically, how to eliminate errors or faults. The customer wasn't expected to find a single fault with the vehicle when it was delivered because it had been built with the aim of zero-faults in the factory. Faults did happen of course, but they were very rare.

    I guess a typical MH conversion these days is done in a time scale measured in days and more probably weeks or months. Nothing wrong with that at one level but it shows how very different is the method of assembly. Oh, and the customer is expected to list the faults they have found and bring it back to the dealer!
  5. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

    Sep 2, 2009
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    Sarth London
    How well its installed has a lot to do with it...:Eeek:
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  6. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

    Jun 1, 2013
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    I'm going to design a motorhome water level meter, mine however will differ from any others on the market, since it will actually tell you how much water is in the tank! :D
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Dec 27, 2007
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    South yorks
    That's easy just put a clear tube up the side of the tank where it's visible (that;s the hard bit)Nothing to go wrong instant readout (y):LOL:
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