I remember my dad’s parting words as he dropped me off for my very first paying job. I was hired to babysit my cousins for the summer. Even though I was just 12 years old, I still remember Dad’s words as clearly as if he was speaking now: “Do your best.” Those three simple words have helped form my work ethic ever since.
If my dad could talk to the RV industry today, I’d love to hear what he’d say to the designers, manufacturer line workers, salespeople, service mechanics, and everyone else who has a hand in cranking out and repairing RV after RV.
Do your best
If every person did their best, what would our RVs be like? We wouldn’t have to worry about parts falling off or wearing out before we’ve finished our first trip. We could count on correctly connected electrical and plumbing lines and appliances mounted with safety and functionality in mind. And we’d know that every detail of our rig was checked and rechecked until everything was done right.
What RVers want
A while back we asked our readers, “What would you tell RV manufacturers if you could talk to them?” Many, many people addressed the quality, pride, and attention to detail that seems to be lacking within the RV industry. In the mad rush to make as many rigs as possible, quality suffers. Yes, the demand for RVs is overwhelming. But these rigs are traveling on our highways and through our towns. More and more people are living full-time in RVs. Companies must take responsibility for the safety and durability of their products.
Along with quality issues, several readers lamented poor customer service. “It’s all good,” said RJ. “Until you need something fixed. Then the dealership seems to forget that I was the one who paid big bucks for the rig they sold me.”
Remember “The customer is always right?” Or “Service after the sale?” These words seem to have lost their meaning. We just had our RV checked. After a bit of negotiation, it was determined that the warranty would indeed pay for the needed part. However, labor costs were not covered. Our labor bill? More than $700! This after the dealership had our rig for seven weeks in the height of the travel season! I understand that the demand for repairs is high and I believe that mechanics should be paid a fair wage, but I doubt that my primary care physician earns $190 per hour. I could be wrong, but gosh! The hourly rate seems very high! I’m happy the landing jack is fixed, but did I mention that they still don’t know why the dryer (that they installed) keeps tripping the breaker?!
Where does the buck stop? I asked our dealership. The harried gal at the service desk seemed intent on processing my payment and moving on to her next customer. I talked to the salesman who sold us the RV. He couldn’t talk right then. He had a client coming in. The guys in the service bays haven’t had time off in weeks, and get daily pressure from bosses to “move it along!” Everyone seemed stressed. I’m sorry they’re stressed, but I’m stressed too! When you pay so much and get little in return, it’s disheartening.
Are we asking too much?
Work ethic. Pride in workmanship. Customer service. All these phrases mean little if they are not backed up by competent, devoted folks who honestly care about their industry. All that RVers want is a fair deal for a quality rig that, with affordable maintenance, will last.
Is that too much to ask?