Author Topic: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz  (Read 37870 times)

Offline Camperman2

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Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« on: February 29, 2012, 04:39:47 PM »
I have notice several posts today from Topaz owners around water leaks in their new vans and I have just posted a general response to them on the Topaz board, including a brief reference to my experience with a severely leaking Tvan.

Having experienced several problems with my new Tvan over recent months – all around production quality control & missing items  - I have had detailed discussions with Track around these items and as they have been rectified (I hope) and willingly too, I have been loath to raise them in a public forum such as this. My reluctance to raise them has been because they then tend to become bigger than they really are and it has never been my desire to bag either Track or the Tvan. 

I handled the matters in a firm and direct manner, beginning first of all with Craig when he was with TT (just as he was leaving) and in more recent times, with his replacement Graeme Berry.  The bulk of the problem fell to Graeme and I think he has been most professional in his handling of my product complaints and throughout we were able to maintain a professional relationship.

Had I known about the issues in advance, none of the issues would have stopped me buying a Tvan but they certainly would have made me more demanding around checking at the time of delivery. 
If you check the Topaz board you will see that the posters complain mostly around quality control (which was also my complaint along with dealer delivery issues) with the key issues being:
•   Obvious gaps in sealing
•   Interior water leaks as well as side lockers
•   General poor presentation
•   Manufacturing residue (iron filings) left in the van.

I won’t detail my issues here & if you need to know more, then please send me a PM.

I found it very disappointing that such an amazing & generally high quality product had been let down by such poor attention to detail – not in just one area but several areas. As a consequence, the issues cost both Track & me a considerable amount to rectify as I had to travel several times (some 800 kms each trip) back to the dealer to have my issues dealt with.

As a warning to new Tvan & Topaz owners, one matter I will raise in detail as it has already been noted in the Topaz board; & that is the matter of iron filings and rivet parts being left in the van at the point of delivery.  You might ask:  what is the big deal with this?   The issue is that iron filings tend to attract rust very quickly & in out of the way places – of which there are many on a Tvan – they could very quickly become pockets of body rust. I found iron filings anywhere a rivet hole had been drilled: inside the van & caught in the carpets, in the lockers (where water had leaked & they had rusted), caught in rubber seals, oodles of them in places like the front fridge & other storage locker areas & so on – many of these had begun to rust in the moist coastal environment – some had already become ‘welded’ to other sheet metal. 

The solution to this problem on the factory floor is simple – ten minutes vacuuming the entire shell before final fit out.   At home, a solid magnet may also help you find them.

I counted no less than 15 shafts from pop rivets left throughout the van wherever they had fallen or rolled.   Some I discover in seal areas where they had begun to rust because water travels along these seals.

Certainly I have raised my concerns with the Track Trailer management team and I would hope that they have taken notice to that, as well as the concerns now being raised in the Topaz board which, if it was needed, only serve to reinforce my statements over recent months.

Gordon.
NT (2010) auto diesel Pajero (Cool Silver) being pushed by 2011 Tvan Murranji III with fridge box & dual batteries.

Offline Tanami TVan

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 07:44:02 PM »
I'm glad to see I'm not the only TVan owner with some issues.
(mines a 2011 Tanami)
Mine has a few problems but hopefully ever thing will be sorted out
next week.Being in Perth I have to deal with an agent for TT.This has not been
overly pleasant or productive to date but maybe I can get it sorted next week.
All correspondence with Track has been positive,Still a Great product
Norm
Norm
2012 Nissan Patrol
2011 Tanami TVan
Wanneroo Perth

Offline Camperman2

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 08:52:52 PM »
Norm:  I have a firm belief that TT stand behind their products and go a good way towards solving our issues.  My main beef is that it seems QC has at some stage, taken a a back seat and some of these issues have been very signifcant ones, particularly if you are packed and about to leave on a long trip.
Gordon.
NT (2010) auto diesel Pajero (Cool Silver) being pushed by 2011 Tvan Murranji III with fridge box & dual batteries.

Offline Forumwatcher

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 10:36:34 PM »
I've just replaced the 70 or so bolts and screws from around the back hatch/floor area as the washers, and some screws, were starting to rust.
No problem with that as rust is a consequence of living near the coast.

My gripe is the variation in the tightening of the screws.
Some barely finger tight - to others so tight that they must have been on the edge of snapping. The nyloc nuts stopped the loose ones from rattling off so no harm done.

However I couldn't stop myself from thinking that we do pay a premium to buy Aussie made, and also for a product considered one of the best, yet get, apparently, 2nd best.

Another item that requires replacing are the white rubber 'stops'. However a lack of nous in the design has what will obviously require replacement at some time riveted on. So to replace is not a simple job.

Now off to check for filings and water.

Paul
Troopy with 2010 TVan

Offline Camperman2

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 11:37:04 PM »
Given that the Tvan is promoted (and viewed by owners) as high quality prodcut, it not a $20,000 Chinese import, that it will spend many months a year on the road (as opposed to being in a garage) one would expect such bolts and screws to be somewhat immune to rust - discolour (tarnish) maybe but rust no - in just on 3 months from delivery.  That has been my experience as well.
Gordon.
NT (2010) auto diesel Pajero (Cool Silver) being pushed by 2011 Tvan Murranji III with fridge box & dual batteries.

Offline Rusty

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 01:00:45 AM »
Hello

Just like Norm I too have to deal with the agent here in Perth, who at times seems unwilling to listen to any problems that might arise with the TT product not that I have had many, don't get me wrong I think the concept and design are great otherwise I would not have bought one, but I too have found leftover production material left in my Marranji MK III camper. This is a simple fix with good house keeping on the production line. The area at the front off the new storage box under the screen was a good trapping point as I removed about a dozen rivet heads from here, also along the bottom of the rubber seal at the back entrance to the van so check there as well, for my point these are small issues that could develop into a problem later on that could be easily prevented. Like you say we are not buying a cheap import but something that has proven itself to be very capable for the task it was designed for. The Best of the Best available on the market.

Rusty
Diane & Rusty
Tvan Murranji Mk III
2006 120 Prado Diesel

Offline apsilon

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 07:46:46 AM »
Norm:  I have a firm belief that TT stand behind their products and go a good way towards solving our issues.  My main beef is that it seems QC has at some stage, taken a a back seat and some of these issues have been very signifcant ones, particularly if you are packed and about to leave on a long trip.
Gordon.

I've got to agree with that. I had a couple of little issues discovered after taking delivery (family room zipper on backwards, interior LED and "leaked and damaged the reflector and lens) which Track took car of quickly but I've also found several rivet stems and metal shavings from drilling left behind. I also have an issue where my interior sockets seem to ahve been wired to constant on rather than switched which I haven't taken up with them as it's not a massive issue given I don't leave things plugged in. I also have another concern with the roof where in one spot the fibreglass is so thin you can see light through it.

All things that shouldn't happen given the price premium. Now I've worked in manufacturing for over a decade so I know no one gets it right everytime and things can slip by but I also think there's a few too many things slipping through the gaps at the moment.

Offline Cruiser 105Tvan

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 11:17:53 AM »
Hi, Gents.
Just replaced the rubber stops on the edge of the hard floor on my MkII.  The ones that sit in the dirt and pick up stones.   Had to drill out the mounting rivets.  Replaced them with door stops from the local hardware.  Held them on with 6mm. roofing bolts, nuts, & star anti-rattle washers.

Robert,
Cruiser 105 Tvan.
Robert.
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HDJ 105r with a 1HDFT, being run in.

Offline ivatvan

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 12:12:42 PM »
I also have another concern with the roof where in one spot the fibreglass is so thin you can see light through it.

Hi Apsilon,

I can put your mind to rest about this, the fibreglass is not necessarily thin if it shows light, the roof would have been laid up to a standard thickness of resin and mat (either CSM or Woven rovings) all over and that is transparent. 
If you are viewing it from underneath or from the bottom the issue is that the flowcoat has been applied thinly or maybe only one coat has been applied which is the norm.
If you are viewing it from the top (shiny white gelcoat side) that is a problem.
You can check the thickness by pressing it in different places with your thumb, you'll soon know if it is thin.

Jeff   
 
Bev and Jeff Latham

Offline apsilon

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 12:58:08 PM »
Thanks. Yes, viewed from inside. Noticed it when I woke up one morning as it's at the front so almost right above your head on an edge of one of the ridges for the pop up vent. I knew it wasn't a hole becaue it hadn't leaked at all but wasn't game to push on it just in case.

Offline oldblade

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Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 02:00:59 PM »
I have a topaz and yes I'll be frank the dealer had no idea to the point where he didn't know where the switches were for the lights. So I won't be back to the nsw central coast for service

But the van it self I was so impressed
I use to own a new jayco and I did nothing but complain about it as the quality was so bad I had a list my arm long and it just got longer

The topaz is so well built I am surprised everyday by the quality. I have had some small problems, locks needed replacing small hole in the fold of the mud guard and door rubber not installed properly but all fixed by me quickly or replacements sent

These are made by hand and each is an individual I too have a hole where a rivet should be but so what
If you buy a new home also made by hand and individual how many problems do you normally find

I have found the quality great and if any problems pop up they get fixed quickly

Offline Land Dinghy

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2012, 04:11:41 PM »
Oldblade,I went to that agent once.They didn't even know that they had a Topaz on the lot.
I know that these vans are hand made ,but that does not excuse the lack of quality control.The brochure states the Topaz has "riveted and high strength bonded construction".If the bonding glue was applied in sufficient quantity to have squeeze out on either side of the join then  the joint will be strong and watertight.This is not being done.The squeeze out is only intermittent & hence not watertight.It is then very difficult to make that joint watertight by applying sealant over the gap.
I agree the Topaz is a good concept & I think I have ironed out most of the niggles.The lack of bonding glue could lead to lack of strength & this remains in the back of my mind.Track are charging a premium price & we should expect a premium product.My Topaz cost more than my new Landcruiser 76.I didn't expect to spend days fixing up little niggles on the 76 (and I didn't have to ),& neither did I expect to fix up the Topaz.I am 830km away from Track so I can't run back to the factory.
Col,
2010 Landcruiser 76 Series
2011 Topaz

Offline Brucetheshark1

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 12:10:12 PM »
We've had our Canning mark III for about 8 months now and really love it.  However there have been some teething issues related to quality control in the build process that have led to very time consuming rectification.  We had a problem with water leaking at times profusely out of the rear of the van chassis on taking off and accelerating uphil.  After 3 trips to the distributer it was traced to a hole in the breather pipe that was caused by drilling through the chassis to fit a rivet during manufacture.  The rear tank leaked through this into the chassis rail and out until the tank was about 2/3 full.  We also had dampness in the front compartment that resulted in mould inside this compartment and also under the mattress.  This was traced to a small crack in the black sealant at bed level on the front of the van.  This process also resulted in corrosion and stoppage of the pump switch near the sink.  The distributer was helpful and knowledgeable but the solution did take a lot of time and effort.  Hopefully it is resolved now.
Both these problems are issues of quality control during manufacture which was totally unexpected when we purchased such an award winning and expensive and Aussie built unit.
Apart from these issues it has been totally fab on a trip right in to Lake Eyre at Halligan Bay, 2 weeks at Jervis Bay and various other trips in the high country.
Bruce

Offline greyghost

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2012, 09:40:10 PM »
hi

not happy , i two have to deal with agent here in perth , for  TT

i brought a new topaz paid 75g for a top product .

im trying to get van ready for our major trip around aussie leaving in may.

i have many things to get ready and sort out , let alone chassing caravan delears . to get air con fixed in van that has never worked properly from picking up van.

i am 40 years of age , a boilermaker / coded welder by trade and people try to pull the wool over my eyes all the time.  i spend more time on phone , when i meant to be working , getting fobbed off by sales men and service.

they happy to talk to you when you have 75g cash , but when you have a problem , dont want to know you.

any help would be great as track trailer dealer here in perth crap , not a happy chappy  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

ian, perth :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

Offline ivatvan

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Re: Issues Around Quality Control - Tvan & Topaz
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2012, 10:53:54 PM »
Ian,
Have you tried phoning Track Trailer direct, their number is 1800 69 8826 or 03 8727 6100 ask for Ross McEwan or Graeme Berry.  Explain to them you have a problem with the airconditioning on a brand new Topaz and you are very unhappy with the dealer.  If Ross or Graeme are not available tell the switch what the problem is and ask to be put through to someone who can fix it.
Jeff 
Bev and Jeff Latham