It’s a well-know fact that all motorhomers and caravanners love shopping for their vans. Whether it’s a new barbecue, a satellite tv system or just some simple fixings or latches, we’re champion shoppers, aren’t we? And a dedicated accessories store – well, it’s van nirvana. We’ve been over to Davan’s Accessories store in Weston-super-Mare a couple of time over the last few weeks, with some fairly quirky requirements and, as it turned out, not all the information we really needed for the purchases we wanted to make. Davan coped admirably with us, and have won us over as loyal customers for the future.
Our first requirement was an Isabella folding table. Sounds simple, right? Well, Isabella are really known for their awnings, and not their furniture. My caravanning sister had convinced me that Isabella’s tables were the best on the market, so we’d decided to buy one. Online research for a stockist drew a blank, so we contacted Isabella. They told us that hardly any of their stockists sold their tables, but any stockist could order one in for us. So off we went to Davan. The chap we spoke to was ultra-helpful, phoning Isabella right there and then and finding out all the size and colour options for us. He then placed an order with Isabella direct, and lo and behold we had a phone call from Isabella a few days later, to say that our table would be delivered the following Friday morning. Friday morning arrived, our super Isabella table arrived, and the mission was complete. Not bad for an item that Davan don’t actually stock!
Our next challenge for Davan was a bike rack for our Hymer. The previous owner of the van had had a rack fitted, but had broken the rack in a slight reversing incident. So we have all the brackets in place on the van and no rack. Again, online research had suggested that I needed to buy a Fiamma bike rack for the Hymer. Again, not a stock item for Davan, but no problem. I placed the order at around 2.30 and the rack was delivered to my house the next day. Perfect.
Or not so perfect. When we took the rack up to the van to fit it, we found that my online research wasn’t quite comprehensive enough. Whilst the Fiamma rack fitted perfectly on the top fittings, the bottom bracket was a completely different size than the one already fitted to the van. Doh! It seems that Hymer vans are factory-fitted with OmniStor bike racks, not Fiamma ones. So I’d bought the wrong rack! Since these racks aren’t cheap, I was a tad concerned that I’d made a costly error, especially since the Fiamma rack wasn’t a stock item for Davan.
It turned out I had no need to worry. Back the rack went to Davan last Sunday. I was hoping to be able to exchange it for an Omnistor rack, but sadly Davan don’t deal in Omnistor products. A full refund therefore came my way – no quibbles, no fuss, just perfect customer service. They also advised who the closest Omnistor dealer was, which was beyond helpful.
Since we were in the Davan store, it seemed rude not to have a little browse, and we picked up a few new bits and bobs for the van. At the checkout, the ever friendly Davan lady asked if I had my discount card with me. Doh! I’d left it at home. But as ever, Davan delivered on the customer service front. She remembered me from my visit a few week’s earlier and honoured the discount even though I didn’t have my card.
All in all, I can’t fault this side of Davan’s business. I didn’t visit them (no idea why not!) when buying my van, so I can’t comment on their vehicle sales side. But their service levels in store mean that I’m very definitely going to Davan for next year’s service – I’m confident the service side of the business will match up to the standards set in their Accessories Store.
If Weston-super-Mare isn’t local for you, you can shop online at Davan’s website.