Don’t know where you are situated but I would never use VanBitz of Taunton ever again. I attach a copy of my letter to the Caravan Club following a Q&A point where a member asked for advice regarding their sat dome that flew off the roof of the motorhome whilst travelling along the motorway. The CC answer did point out that this was the fourth instance they were aware of where the dome had been fitted using adhesive alone and had come off at speed. I am not suggesting that VanBitz fitted all of the units mentioned but when I went to see the importers of the domes they did say that they were aware of to least three instances of dome losses that had been fitted by Vanbitz!
I have recently read the Club’s July 2013 magazine and was most interested in the Technical Q&A article regarding the Sticky Satellite Situation.
Our NETA satellite television dome flew off our motorhome on 1 June 2011 as we travelled along the A832 near Achnasheen in Scotland. We were unaware of the loss until a following motorist kindly stopped a little further up the road to inform us. We were able to retrieve the dome virtually undamaged other than around the edge of the base where it had landed in the grass verge on the other side of the carriageway.
When I contacted the installer, Vanbitz of Taunton to express our concerns they immediately became very defensive, insisting that I must have either hit an overhead object or, if there was no damage to the dome itself, that person/persons had obviously tried to prise it off the vehicle. They were so defensive to the point of being abusive, telling me we would be wasting our time trying to claim against them. They informed me that they use Sikaflex 512 or 572 adhesive to secure the dome to the roof and that VOSA had approved this method. My request for a copy of VOSA’s report was refused. They did suggest that I send the dome to them and they would repair it, at my expense.
I then contacted the importers of the NETA satellite systems who informed me that they were aware of at least three Vanbitz dome installations that had parted company with their vehicle under similar circumstances to mine. I took my motorhome and damaged dome to their premises for inspection and was told that they considered the dome to have been incorrectly fitted being mounted by the four nylon feet pads directly to the roof whereas they would advise mounting the pads to aluminium feet which would then be attached with Sikaflex and screwed to the motorhome roof. They assured me that there were no marks or damage to the dome itself other than the impact damage where it had hit the road and damage to the interior mechanism which was beyond economical repair. The importers said they will no longer supply Vanbitz in view of their history of “dome losses”.
I contacted VOSA by email on 13 June 2011 who replied that VOSA do not deal with the testing of individual products.
I hope that the correspondent to the Technical Q&A’s had a better outcome than mine.