Have you ever heard of motorhome recalls? It's the same as recalls for cars or other vehicles; the manufacturer discovers there is a fault with some part of the motorhome or campervan- and issues a recall for all of those vehicles to be returned to an approved dealership so the fault can be fixed.
This is all well and good, but have you ever typed ‘motorhome recalls' into Google? You'll find yourself reading avidly about a wonderful website called the NHTSA… and then realised you're reading something meant for American RVs. (If you are American, head to that link above- it'll tell you everything you need to know.)
But for the rest of us, let's figure out how to find motorhome or campervan recalls IN THE UK.
Are there any recalls on my vehicle?
When you buy a used motorhome or campervan, it's easy to get swept away in the excitement of your new vehicle and completely forget to look for updates and recalls. But the likelihood is there probably is at least one which needs doing.
The severity of vehicle recalls varies widely; some recalls are essential IMMEDIATELY for vehicle safety, others can be done whenever suits you. What you need to remember is YOU WILL NOT ALWAYS BE TOLD. Unless you are the very first owner, there's a high chance you will never hear ANYTHING about faults with your vehicle which need to be sorted.
It is entirely up to you to look for updates and recalls and get them fixed.
How do I find recalls on my vehicle?
The easiest way to find if there are any recalls issued for your motorhome or camper van is to head to this DVLA website and enter your registration number.
If you have a private reg plate fitted, as we do, it still works- just enter the reg which is on the vehicle now, and the DVLA will show you any updates due on that vehicle.
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Vehicle recalls by manufacturer
If you don't know the reg or are looking at buying a vehicle, you can enter the manufacturer details. All you need is the Make, model and year.
Remember, you are entering the MOTORHOME make, not the chassis, (So SWIFT instead of FIAT)
Swift Motorhome recalls
For us, the only Swift motorhome recall for our Swift Escape 685 was a battery terminal issue. Which is weird, as several people have mentioned to us about a drop-down bed recall, as well as the battery.
Fiat Ducato Motorhome Recalls
After this, we also searched for Fiat Ducato updates on the DVLA website. This mentioned several scary-sounding recalls including pipes which could fracture, camshafts which could fail and sleeves which could detach from the throttle body…..!!
What happens if my vehicle is recalled?
Your first step is to phone an approved dealership, in our case Fiat or Swift.
We phoned Fiat (00800 3428 0000). We were in France so had to dial 12 for International, which got us through to native English speakers… in Italy! Weird, but it worked.
They asked for the VIN number (on V5c logbook) and also for all our personal details. The girl on the phone then confirmed that all recalls and updates due on the vehicle had been carried out… but she refused to tell me what they were without proof of purchase.
If the recall is a motorhome manufacturer recall, instead of the chassis, then you will need to phone your manufacturer (ie: Swift)
It's worth doing this as soon as possible- friends of ours lost their motorhome for two months due to a motorhome recall, so don't wait until just before your holiday!
How do I know if the recall has been done?
There is no way to know (from Fiat at least) which updates or recalls have been completed, unless you send through your proof of purchase. This was really odd to me- what on earth am I going to do with the knowledge about which things have been updated?
Very strange, but we sent through a photo of our logbook by email and are waiting for them to reply to us. But they could confirm that nothing was left outstanding, so I suppose that's something!
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All in all, it's worth checking to see if there are any updates due on your motorhome, especially mechanical ones. Have a quick look today and see what you find!