Holiday Troubles Saved by Red Pennant

This story happened on: 12/01/2024

Last September Dee and I booked to Join the Club long stay holiday from January to late March being held at Alannia near Catral in Spain. We made all the forward preparations we could including having our tow car serviced and insurances in place.

The first part of our trip starting on the 5th of January was straight forward apart from the very wet and windy weather the whole country was experiencing. We had a stop at the CAMC sites at Henley on Thames and then onto Black Horse Farm ready for an early start on the tunnel the next day.

We had planned to take our time traveling through France, but those of you that have done it before at this time of year will know how shut down rural France is, and whilst we found sites that were open, there was very little to do in the areas apart from shopping.

It was when we were leaving a remote site at Camping De Montreal in St Germain Les Belles on a Friday that our tow car, a Ford Ranger we have had from new, stalled and started issuing plumes of white smoke. It would help to know the Ranger had previously developed an engine fault at 20,000 miles and had a replacement fitted under warranty as a result. Now 10,000 miles later another fault seemed apparent, and I don’t mind admitting the air was blue. It did eventually restart, and we got our Luna Delta back onto a pitch.

 So, we sat in the caravan and called our Ford dealer who advised us not to drive it until the fault was diagnosed should we made the situation worse. We then called Red Pennant and what a relief it was to talk to a friendly voice. The phone was answered by Suzanne who was very calm and took all the details of our problems, checking that we were both OK and said she would call some garages and get back to us.

Within a few hours she came back, but the news was not good in that there were no Ford dealers who could see the car straight away and we would have to wait 10 days for the earliest help at Ford Limoges. She explained our options which included getting a Ranger hire car out to us, getting our outfit towed to Alannia, towed to the available Ford garage and a hire car provided to us to visit local cities and have hotel stays, to flying us home and repatriating our outfit.

At that point we were fed up and thinking about flying home but Suzanne encouraged us to sleep on it as her objective was for us to continue our journey to enjoy our holiday.

The next day the lovely site manager, an English lady called Alison and her Canadian partner John, where extremely helpful and called a local garage to see if they could investigate. They could, but not until the following Tuesday so we decided to wait it out and see what they could do.

 We called Red Pennant back and the team swung into action by calling all our booked sites to advise of our delay, and checking if we needed any further assistance. Site manager Alison drove us to a local supermarket for supplies and made sure we were OK.

The following Tuesday the local garage diagnosed a faulty Glow Plug which had caused the vehicle to regenerate (which it normally does at speed) but that it would be Ok to drive but to get it to a Ford garage in Spain.

 So, another call to Red Pennant to tell them of our plans to continue the journey and they offered to call a Ford dealer near Alannia to get us booked in the day after we arrived. Within the hour they had done that and emailed the booking to us.

The problem with the Ranger turned out to be that the glow plug lead had not been refitted after the service and there were 1.5 litres to much oil in the sump. After complaining, I have come to a satisfactory resolution with the dealer.

Halfway through our stay I developed a bad chest infection and Red Pennant got me an appointment to see a doctor and get treatment the same day.

Throughout my dealings with Red Pennant, they have been very professional, calm, and full of sensible advice and solutions to our troubles.

Unlike my experiences with insurance companies in general who just seem to want to find an excuse not to help, it was  refreshing to get the Red Pennant regular check-up calls to make sure we were ok. It was also reassuring to know we were not alone, and help was just a phone call away.

 My thanks go to Suzanne and her team at Red Pennant including Benicene and Estelle for their help, and I can thoroughly recommend the service to other caravaners and we will use it again when we return to Spain.  

Kind regards,

Paul and Dee Allum.

DavidKlyne commented on 26/05/2024 21:50

Commented on 26/05/2024 21:50


Glad RP came up trumps, we always used them when going abroad and had to make use of their services a couple of times. When we had an issue in Germany we also had help from the site owners where we were staying. Slightly torn about leaving your post here or moving it over to the discussion area where it might be seen by more people, what do you think?


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