We had a phone call this week from a prospective customer who has recently bought a new (to them) motorhome fitted with an Omnistor 5003 awning. We like the new Omnistor 5003; it’s a fine awning, lightweight, great quality and sensibly priced.
So the person who had bought the motorhome was lucky to have got it with an Omnistor 5003 awning already fitted.
And like many people they realised that they could substantially expand the living-space of their motorhome, for minimal effort and cost, with the comparatively cheap purchase of a safari room or safari residence.
We sell a large range of Omnistor Safari Rooms, and the more up-market Omnistor Safari Residences. And we have one ourselves, on our own Hymer motorhome, so we know they’re great products. We happily recommend them, and we sell quite a few (at sensible, affordable and sustainable prices too).
What we didn’t understand then was when this prospective customer told us that they’d already gone out and bought themselves a Fiamma Safari Room, and could we please help them to fit it to their Omnistor awning.
“Why on Earth would anybody do this?” was Kira’s first reaction. She has more than enough experience to realise that this was not a sensible thing to do.
My own though was that it was like buying a BMW estate, deciding that you wanted a new tailgate, popping down your Ford dealer to buy one, then wondering why it wouldn’t fit when you got back home.
Sorry to be so blunt but Omnistor make a great Safari Room, which is 100% guaranteed to be a perfect fit on the 5003 awning, so buying one that isn’t is just plain dumb! It doesn’t matter if you picked it up cheap on an auction site: if it doesn’t fit your motorhome awning properly then it won’t be a comfortable extension to your campervan, you won’t enjoy being in it, and you’ll have wasted your money.
And now, even though they hadn’t ever bought anything from us before, let alone either of the items in question, this couple somehow expected us to wade in like knights in shining armour, wave our magic wand, and make everything perfect.
So what did we do?
The answer is that we’re nice people – we’re campers ourselves – so we tried to help.
There were two obvious solutions that I suggested to their problem:
- We sell genuine Omnistor supplementary tension rafters specifically designed for the 5 series Omnistor awnings. These are available in a range of lengths to suit awning projections from 2.00m, 2.25m, 2.50m, 2.75m (for 5003 awning: Omnistor 5 series tension rafter 2.00m, Omnistor 5 series supplementary rafter 2.25m). An Omnistor tension rafter of the appropriate length, combined with the Fiamma safari room, may have enabled it to fit the Omnistor 5003 awning. We couldn’t guarantee it of course, and certainly wouldn’t recommend it, but with the tension rafters starting from just £19.99 each including VAT (RRP £23.10) it certainly had to be worth a shot if you were already up the creek without a paddle!
- Even cheaper would have been for our misguided enquirers to buy a set of genuine Omnistor 5 series tension rafter end pieces and, with the aid of a few basic hand tools, try and fit them to the ends of their Fiamma tension rafters, i.e. the ones that came with the mismatching safari room that they had unwisely bought.
So we passed these ideas on to them, together with the simpler-still idea of simply cutting their losses, reselling their unwise purchase back on the auction site, and buying the correct Omnistor 5003 Safari Room.
Had they bought the tension rafters or end pieces we certainly wouldn’t have made enough profit on the deal to take early retirement, and quite possibly not even enough to cover the cost of the lengthy call we made to their mobile phone talking them through it all. But that didn’t matter, we simply wanted to try and help some fellow campers out of their predicament.
What did annoy me though was that, after all our work on their behalf, they didn’t even have the courtesy to say those two simple little words: thank you!
If you’ve had a similar experience yourself, know any tips & tricks to merge Fiamma and Omnistor motorhome products together, or simply want to have your say, please use the comment facility below.
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