By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Imagine yourself towing your travel trailer, or motoring your motorhome, in unfamiliar territory. You’re thousands of miles from “home” and that dreaded “Check Engine” light comes on. Is it a serious problem, or something you can skate through until you get back to a familiar mechanic? Maybe you’ve got a code reader – or you could be like us, last week. Pulling a grade along Oregon’s I-84, our transmission “set a code,” throwing us into limp mode. We limped our way into a campground, and then began the process of trying to find reliable help to sort out our problem.
Friends with local knowledge help us out
Not too many miles “over the hill” were some acquaintances. A phone call provided a reference to a mechanic “behind us” about 30 miles. We were happy for the help, and wondered just what we’d do if they hadn’t been able to give us a reference. Or, worse yet, what if we didn’t know anyone in the area who could even point us in the, hopefully, right direction.
It hasn’t been the first time that we’ve had trouble on the road. Just a few months ago, we blew a fuel line in the middle of the hot California desert. Again, a friend who at one time lived in that little community responded to our call for help. He went so far as to roust the owner of a shop that he knew away from his lunch table and down to the shop. A day later, we were back on the road, and we feel pretty certain the help from our friend also kept the bill down a bit.
Can you help?
If any of this strikes a chord with you, maybe you can help. As part of our RVtravel.com RV Consumer Support efforts, we’d like to build a database of places you know to be reliable. We’ll break it down, state by state, town by town, and provide names, telephone numbers, and addresses. We’ll also keep it up to date by checking in on a regular basis to make sure the shop is still there, and operational. Maybe when you’re looking to find reliable help on the road, you’ll be able to find a shop, an RV parts dealer, maybe even an urgent care facility that can help.
And yes, in this matter of finding reliable help, we’d like to do a bit more. We’d also like to hear from you about places that are best avoided. We could call it the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly RV helpers list.
We can all use a little help, so take a minute and drop us a line using the form down below. We’ll put our database together and let you know where to find it.
Please tell us the name, city, and state of the outfit you think other RVers can get reliable help. Or, for that matter, tell us about places you feel they should avoid. Tell us why you think the company is good or bad, and provide an experience if you have one.