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Wood Rot and Water Ingress

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    John ParkerParticipant

    My Family and Myself have enjoyed camping and caravanning ever since I can remember. We have had a huge variety of accommodation from tents, collapsible caravans, old caravans and so on.

    At the end of 2015 my wife and I realised a long held dream of purchasing a brand new caravan, selecting a Sprite Swing from Natal Caravans and Marine. We paid cash and now believed that we would have a vehicle that would carry us through our retirement without major costs.

    Our Swing was kept under a car port with side protection, making only about 2 trips per year from Durban to Howick (Total of about 2,000km). Recent developments and financial restrictions have resulted in our having to sell our beloved van.

    Imagine our Shock when having found a buyer and carrying out detailed inspections we found water ingress had caused wood-rot and the solution would be to remove the roof completely, repair the rot and then replace the roof ensuring that sealing is carried out at a higher standard than the factory does (Repairs aprox R30k).

    The agents appear to have a blasé’ perspective that it is the luck of the draw and if you were unlucky then you must just Kak n Betaal Pal. What I find even more difficult to understand is that the Caravan Fraternity in South Africa accept this as OK.

    In other countries the manufacturers provide water ingress Warranty of 6 or even 10 years, so why are we South Africans prepared to accept faulty merchandise.

    I would like to start a register of people who are experiencing similar poor quality issues and hopefully encourage Manufacturers and dealers to up their game or lose sales. Are there other Caravanners our there who would support this idea?

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    Jacob on

    Hi there family, I wish we can have that 6 yrs warrenty situation here but so far there isn’t something of that sort available in the RSA to date. I have purchased a teardrop caravan 2020 model and on return to home and a bit of rain entered the door. We took it back to the agents where we purchased it from and they contacted the manufacturers of the caravan to inform them of the problem and it was fixed.

    Only on your side you could not get it done due to the lockdown situation and the warrenty you may of had expired as we had a 6 month warranty after the purchase of the teardrop caravan.

    I do believe that the R30k was a hefty amount to have out of pocket for something like that. I am really sorry to read about that.

    Kind Regards.

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    Brian Hibberd
    Brian Hibberd on

    Greetings John,
    We started looking at caravans about 5 years ago,Various different types, Makes and models and styles and during this period also red as much as we could on forums and magazines to get as much and info as possible. I was surprised just how many times we came across under or overstated specs claimed by some manufacturers and their agents.
    On the other hand we have seen and read a lot of praise bestowed on certain manufacturers regarding after sales service given without hesitation or possible cost to themselves.
    A very interesting subject which has been ongoing for years.

    Go in Safety

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    williefbotha botha
    williefbotha botha on

    Clint Eastwood het gesê if you want a guarantee by a toaster. enige waarborg in Suid Afrika laat veel te wense na ,selfde met my karavaan oorgekom ,ook gedink ,ek het nou klaar gekoop binne 18 maande was my drome droomland toe .Na n groot gesukkel en briewe skryf ,het Jurgens dit vir my gratis herstel waarvoor ek baie dankbaar was. My motiveering was dat ek dit gereeld elke 6 maande by die agente gediens het , en dit hulle verantwoordelikheid was .

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    Sidney Muller
    Sidney Muller on

    Good Evening All.

    I have finally made my dream come true and purchased a Sprite Escape 1996 model. This being my 1st van i wasnt sure what to look for when purchasing a caravan.

    This afternoon getting the van ready for my very 1st camping experience i noticed on the left rear panel some woodrot. Is this dangerous for towing?

    I dont want to tow and have my caravan falling apart on the road.

    Advice will be highly appreciated.

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    Johan Prinsloo
    Johan Prinsloo on


    my niggie en haar man bly in Howick en het ook dieselfde probleem met hulle nuwe wa wat meer water binne die wa as buite  as dit reen  , ek weet nie of dit al opgelos is nie, my persoonlike opinie is dat die nuwe waens baie swakker afgewerk word as die ou waens .




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