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Is a mobile RV repair service right for you?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Imagine you’re enjoying an RV getaway. You’ve parked your rig in a quiet campground and enjoyed several days of relaxation. Alas! Like “all good things,” the time has rolled around for you to roll out. You push the button to bring in your slide-out, and instead of the reassuring rumble of the slide coming in, you get a “crunch!” and the slide won’t budge. Your relaxation has ended – there’s no way you can head out with an extended slide-out. Is a mobile RV repair service right for you?

In this case, a mobile RV repair service may be the ONLY solution to your problem. But there are other times when having the repair tech come to you will beat having to take your rig to the shop. For fulltime RVers, who don’t have any other “home,” being able to stay settled in the comfort of your rig is a blessing. But there are some things a mobile tech may be great for, and others not. What are those? And how do you find a mobile RV repair service tech? How much will they charge? Let’s tackle those questions.

What they can fix – and some maybe not

Like shop-bound RV technicians, most mobile techs can handle the common issues that strike RVers. Leaky plumbing. Air conditioners that lose their cool. Furnaces that won’t heat. Lights that refuse to. Additionally, many RV techs can help with the motive-side (engine, power train, etc.) of your motorhome – those times when the key clicks, but the engine won’t start. Stuck slide-outs should be a specialty.

But on the subject of slide-outs. You may run into an issue where the tech can get your slide-out back in. At the same time, a complete repair may require the slide-out to be removed from your rig. Yes, that’s a big ugly job, and something that normally can only be handled with a well-equipped shop. And if your engine problems run deep, a tow to a standing shop may be the only answer.

Are they allowed where you are?

Sometimes where you’re located can have an effect on whether a mobile tech can or can’t serve you. Some campgrounds (even some on public lands) may not allow a mobile RV repair service to set foot on the place. Happily, common sense causes many to bend their policies if you’re just plain stuck with a problem that won’t allow you to move out. You’ll need to check with camp hosts or park managers to see if you can have a service tech come to you.

There may be another limitation you’ll find with some repair issues. As an example, an RVtravel.com reader, Bud L., had this issue crop up. When his Dometic water heater went on the blink, he couldn’t find a service tech. So Bud ordered a new unit, and hired a licensed plumber to do the change-out. When the new unit only provided lukewarm water, the company essentially told Bud, “Sorry, we’ll only refer to our authorized dealers for follow-up.” Happily, Dometic’s customer service guys were able to help Bud diagnose and solve the problem over the telephone. Not every mobile service tech will be recognized as an “authorized dealer.” So if your project involves installing major parts, best ask in advance.

On a related note: Despite “supply chain issues,” many fixed-location RV shops have parts often required to get you going in fairly short order. There’s a limit to how much in the way of parts a mobile tech can carry on their service vehicle. This could mean a bit of a wait once a diagnosis is made. The tech might have to make a run back to civilization to get the parts required.

And the cost?

All this leads to the next question: How much does it cost for mobile RV repair service? Like the old geezer says, “That depends.” There’s something to be said about the convenience of having a mobile tech come to you. You might expect you’re going to pay more for the convenience factor. And while hourly labor rates might be comparable to those of a fixed-location shop, don’t be surprised to find you’ll have to pay mileage rates for the tech to come to you. On the other hand, some mobile techs will charge less than their bricks-and-mortar competitors, simply because they don’t have to pay for the overhead of a bricks-and-mortar location. Ask questions before you commit to a visit.

One more thing: The quality of work done by ANY RV service technician is critical. A certified RV technician is a better bet than a complete unknown. Ask any tech you may think about hiring if they are indeed certified. The convenience of a mobile tech could be outweighed by their lack of reliable experience. See our “related” section below for a story on why certification is important.

Find a mobile tech

But how do you set up the visit in the first place? How do you find a mobile RV repair service? Sad to say, there isn’t a national clearinghouse of RV mobile techs. We’ll be including mobile service technicians on our reference list of repair facilities readers recommend. But lacking any information there for your particular location, here’s where to start looking:

First, fire up the old internet and do a search for “mobile RV repair service” followed by your location. Another? Look in the yellow pages for “RV Repair” and see if there are any listed. What are other ways to find a service? These could also prove helpful. Ask RV park management or campground hosts if they know of any mobile techs. You can also contact RV part retailers – they’ll likely provide you with names of mobile techs who they sell repair parts to. Armed with this set of resources, we’re hopeful you’ll find a mobile tech near you when you need one.

And if you’ve had experience with a mobile RV repair service and would like to recommend them to fellow readers, let us know. We’ll include the referral in our RV Consumer database of repair services. Please use the form below, and include “Road Helpers” in the subject line.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

Related

Why RV service technician certification is important!

For more stories from Russ and Tiña De Maris, click here

##RVT1023

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Paul
1 month ago

Mostly good experience with mobile techs over 20 years. Had a failure with Dometic refrigerator on a Saturday morning. Looked up their tech support on the web and found a mobile tech – name lost to the mists of memory. Based on my description he thought he knew what the problem was. He asked if I had extended warranty, when I said no, he said he wouldn’t have to wait until Monday and he would be out in 6 hours with the part. True to his word he appeared just 6 hours later, worked for under 30 minutes and had the refrigerator up and running – the part was an eyebrow card. It has worked ever since and that was 5 years ago. In our winter home base near Temecula CA I use Westwind RV Service for any service issues I might have. They are not the cheapest, but generally the work is done well.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

We have used a mobile tech in Houston that we really like – and trust. He told us once that someone had said to him, “You’re the best”. He said, “No I’m not, but I’m better than everyone else”. 🙂

lcandreva
1 month ago

Unqualified RV tech have inundated where I live. For years the mobile techs were great, now they come out for a $100 fee and point blank say they don’t know how to repair our fridge, awning, etc., or they never come back to do the repair, They don’t do warranty work either.

I am in Northern California, but So. Cal and Arizona have the best mobile techs.

UPRIG
1 month ago
Reply to  lcandreva

Also Northern California, haven’t found one yet that I would call back.

Diane Mc
1 month ago

Used a number of them. At home for a couple. One, notably, hydraulic motor. Took MH out to get a wash & within a block, no steering. Husband able to wrangle it around block & back home. Ordered motor. Mobile tech came from a trucking company to do labor. (Saw our 62 Jaguar & ended up buying it!) Had transfer switch stop working when we were going to be dry camping for 5 days. RV park was next to RV dealership that sold Newmar’s. Got the part in 2 days. Mobile tech (owner) wired up coach to power so we could use while waiting. Installed part when it arrived. Next day, dry camping. He also noticed some issues with roof that needed sealing. Came to track and did while we were out and about. After 20 yrs, rear slide motor went out. Called Newmar, had part shipped. Mobile tech got slide out, then replaced motor when it came in. Sat dish went out. Ordered from Winegard. Mobile tech (owner) did install. Been very very lucky!

Leslie Schofield
1 month ago

Unfortunately I do not have a lot of confidence in the so called RV Technician at our dealer. After having our slide adjusted and during a 5,000 mile trip our slide began to tear up our floor. It got so bad we finally had to cut out some of the vinyl. We could not get a mobile tech or dealer to look at it while on the road until we got to Grand Lake, Co. I am grateful to the mobile tech at the Winding River RV Resort as he adjusted the slide approximately 2-3 inches! He asked if we had had the slide worked on because the bolts were loose. Summary….the bolts were probably never tightened after the dealer adjusted it. With the conditions of the highways across our beautiful country (infrastructure) they kept getting looser. I have found I need to stay on top of the service department re ordering a piece of flooring and having the person lined up to install it when we take it in for the repair. We shall see how it goes.

G13
1 month ago

Enjoyed your article, question title. Unless you’re fortunate to have someone with knowledge to fix your problem at CG and it’s beyond your DIY level, what else is there. Common sense prevails, at least for most of us, lol.

Nanci
1 month ago

We have had great luck with mobile techs and some not so good, costly experiences. When our transfer switch went out in 102 degrees temps, the mobile tech found the problem immediately, picked up a transfer switch and had it fixed next day. When our air conditioner went on and off, on and off the tech charged a $100 to say he thought ( without investigating) that it might be wiring and take it to the dealer. It wasn’t. It was the squirrel cage and my husband fixed it. There is a limit to what they can fix though. One tech was great about replacing a fuse in the dryer and getting our slides in but not getting them back out!