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Our Bailey Unicorn IV Cartagena is due it’s first service. I’m reasonably nervous, for a number of reasons. Firstly, we didn’t buy our Unicorn from a local dealer, something I half regret. The reason I half regret, is that I didn’t use the dealer nearest to me (about 30 minutes drive) is that I wasn’t keen on the discussions I had with the salesman, so I went elsewhere. If I’m completely honest I was less keen on the dealer I ended up buying from. It’s me isn’t it?

Do I Need To Go To A Dealer To Get Caravan Serviced?

So, I didn’t book the caravan into a Bailey dealership where I would have had to tow the caravan there, leave it then go and pick it up again. I’m self employed and if I took a day off to do this I would have not been paid, so I looked up a mobile service agent from the Approved Workshops Scheme’s (AWS) website

https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/

We found a company that was the most local to us, which we could hopefully use going forward, for future servicing. We did use a mobile engineer with our previous caravan, before we knew about AWS and we weren’t happy with the service given.

It’s not really a problem buying from a dealer that’s not your local one. Any warranty work can, in theory be done by any dealer. But here’s the thing, from what I read, they don’t have to do it. Which is all a bit weird, Bailey call this a “transient warranty service”. A quote from Bailey’s website.

Q: A service agent has identified that warranty work is required. Where do I go?
A: We always advise customers to return to their selling retailer as their Contract of Sale is held by them.
Alternatively, please contact a Bailey approved retailer or a Bailey approved service centre near you who offers a ‘transient warranty’ service as they will, at their discretion, undertake warranty repairs to leisure vehicles they have not personally sold.
You can identify Bailey approved retailers and Bailey approved service centres who offer a transient warranty service 
here.

It’s all very weird, and really not particularly satisfactory. I believe most people think they can only get warranty work done at the supplying dealer, therefore they should get it serviced there. The second reason I was a bit nervous is the dreaded word “damp”. I wouldn’t have been worried if a) our last caravan haven’t have had damp and b) I’d not read so many forums with people having damp in their year old caravans. The morning of the service I posted on Facebook that I was getting the service done. One of the first replies was something like “Good luck, my caravan’s first service found 30% damp in 9 places”. Oh great….

Would I buy from a dealer that wasn’t local again?

The way I approached this caravan purchase was that I didn’t want to buy local, just because it was local. You might know that we bought our first caravan from Germany, so buying on 100 miles away didn’t really phase us. We’ve had little things wrong, like a loose draw or sticking doors, I’ll fix those type of things myself, I’m not going back to he dealer for small issues.

Any Issues?

Prior to the service, we hadn’t really had any major issues, as I’ve mentioned, I had a loose draw, I’ve previously mentioned the motor mover issue we had.

Service Documentation

We were left with a comprehensive checklist that the engineer doing the service worked through. In total it took over 4 hours and includes removing the road wheels to check the brakes. Our service book was also stamped.

The Results

Fortunately the service was good, no damp to worry about. Interestingly the damp report did show some moisture, but this is perfectly normal and were not reportable amounts.

The Cost

The engineer came to our house to service the caravan, I assume they’d also go to storage yards as well. So there was no need for me to go to the dealer and back towing the caravan. Booking an engineer that is AWS certified complies to Bailey standards and they are authorised to do services that ensure your warranty is still valid.

The cost was about £250, for a twin axle, which is the amount quoted when I booked.

The next service will need to Alde heating fluid changed, this will cost about the same amount as the service, so I’d best start saving for that then!

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