SUPREME CARAVANS – Do you really want one when quality control is considered poor and Supreme will not interact with you (the customer) once the van is paid for.

16 October 2015

The Manager
Supreme Caravans
Cnr Hume Hwy & Grasslands Ave
Craigieburn VIC 3064
Reference: Supreme Territory 5920

Dear Sir/Madam,

Now that we have had our Supreme Territory for a little over three years we would like draw your attention to issue we have had with the van during that time.

Hinges on the lift up bed. The screws use to hold the forward hinges in place tore out as they were far too small to cope with the upward pressure caused by the gas struts. I have now installed through bolts with backing plates.

Winegard aerial: So much silicon had been applied on the outside of the aerial that it was limited to about 10 degrees of rotation. Additionally, the aerial manufacturer requires that the aerial be installed using Mastic type material. This is to allow the aerial to be removed for servicing. I need to service the unit to free up its movement (lubricate the seals) and it is going to take some considerable effort to remove the unit, if at all.

Refrigerator: There were three faults relating to the fridge installation.
1. The van was delivered with the water drain hose still folded up in the manufacturers folded up delivery position. This caused the water to back up in the hose and the internal collection tray and spill out the door causing the cupboard door under the fridge to get wet and delaminate.
2. We noticed that fridge movement was causing slight damage to the top of the facia panel. It proved to be that only the bottom front screws had been installed. Another had been partially installed at the front top right but apparently the head of the screw had broken off during installation (it was not fully screwed in). The top right screw had never been installed and nor had the two required screws at the bottom back of the fridge.
3. The refrigerator manufacturer required a minimum of 375 mm of clearance to be allowed for above the top of the cooling fins at the top of the fridge. The clearance allowed for by Supreme was approx. 20mm. I had considerable difficulty in determining why the fridge section would generally run at 10 degrees. I replaced the Thermistor as part of this assessment. Having now determined the actual problem, I have cut out the back of the overhead cupboard. Channelled the hot air up to the roof of the van and installed a Mushroom vent through the top. The fridge now works as it was supposed to.

Two venetian window blinds were not delivered with the van. It was some three month later that we received the missing items.

Hot water service: While away from home one of the plastic pipe instantaneous fittings parted and caused mass flooding in the van. This occurred because no plastic horse shoe type fittings had been installed on the piping to prevent hose from parting from its instantaneous fitting. The clips have now been installed to all connections with the van but deliberately not to the underside of the van.

TV: During construction, the van was supposedly fitted with an internal block for mounting the TV arm. Both ourselves and van dealership were unable to get Supreme to advise just where the block was located in the wall. The dealership had screwed the arm to an unstable section of the wall. To have left the arm in that location would have in due course have caused damage. As the TV should be removed from the wall arm when the van is to be moved, it has been found easier to use it on the bench. The other reason for the bench location, is that we are not prepared to put more holes in the wall.

Van A frame: While we have not been able to discern just what “permagal” is, it would appear that due to the rusting throughout the A frame, it may not have been given a coating of this material. (please see the included picture of the major rusting that has occurred in way of the tow coupling.)

Microwave oven: The microwave oven collapsed as a result of it being incorrectly installed in the van. The oven was returned to Supreme and we eventually had to replace the unit at our own expense. The unit failed because the manufacturers air flow gap was not provided to ensure it unit did not overheat (There was considerable metal burn around the magnetron). While the microwave mounting box was installed with adequate clearance dimensions, the box was then fully enclosed by a tight fitting trim being installed around the front of oven. This prevented any air passing around the unit. I have had to remodel the housing to improve air flow and have installed an additional fan to the small outlet vent in the van wall.

Front window: On the first time we used the van it rained and a large volume of water entered the van via the top of the front window. The amount was so great that it was impossible to leave the problem until the rain had ceased. We had to use towels etc to try and divert the water coming down the slopping roof and at the same time try to progressively dry across the top of the window while gaffa tape was being applied. The window had been poorly installed causing the top centre of the window to be bowed out. The window had obviously been screwed in tightly at both sides and had somehow been left bowed out. The centre screws had stripped out as when the installer unsuccessfully tried to screw the frame flat. Some silicon had been applied but it did not fill the remaining gap at the centre.

Four season ceiling vents: These two vents seemed to work for some 18 months and then leaked water onto the floor and through the ceiling lining. While silicon had been applied in the van roof and around the hatch surround, the silicon, or whatever was used, had over time expanded and lifted away from the vent surround. This may have been caused as a result of their being a moulding release agent still being on the vent surround when it was installed. Because no sealant had been provided in the vertical corners of the vents when they were installed, water had then been free to flow directly into the van. While I have opened up the vents and rectified the problem. Water damage has occurred to the ceiling lining. The lining is now splitting and the plastic decorative coating is splitting and delaminating. This is not a repair I am going to be able to rectify as the ceiling is installed before the van is fitted out. The decorative lining is also brittle which prevent the lining being lifted up for re-gluing.

Decorative stickers applied to outside of Van: Last month we wrote to you seeking your assistance in obtaining some replacement stickers (decals) at our cost. These stickers had been poorly applied causing them to eventually fracture where they had not applied in way of the inward curvature of the van sides (refer to the attached letter and pics). You have not responded to this letter.

We accept that some errors can occur during a van’s assembly. However, we feel the number that have occurred in our van have been exceedingly disappointing. Unfortunately, we may still have to live with long term water damage.
We are not saying that the problems we have experienced are necessarily related to other than our van. We are not in a position to say, or indicate, any of the issues we have had with our van apply to other vans, nor do we intend to imply it. However, for us, it has been a time of difficulty and in some areas continues to be.
One of the biggest disappointments has been while we have apprised Supreme of issues as they occurred (complete with pictures) we were never to receive any acknowledgement from your company.
While we appreciate your desire not to have to deal with the public once you have so your van, it does not help a purchaser when a van dealership is less than helpful.

As all of the above is factual, we are now looking at ways to make this information available to a wider audience. This may assist people as part of their informed choice determination should they be looking at the new van market.

Sincerely
Name and address
Provided to
Supreme

Post Script 4 November 2015:- No comment received from Supreme to this letter nor the letter sent 22 Sept 2015

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