You’ve heard of RV age discrimination before. There are some RV parks that simply won’t allow a rig on the property if it’s older than 10 years. But here’s a twist: How about a Camping World that would refuse to repair a motorhome on the same basis?
Foiled by policy—or not?
We got an email from a reader, Douglas R. He’s a Florida resident with a 2007 Winnebago Tour. Douglas told us that he recently needed to have a slide-out adjustment. He called the Fort Pierce, Florida, Camping World and explained his needs. He related to us that the service writer “flat out said she could not schedule anything more than 10 years old,” Douglas relates. Foiled by a Camping World company policy—or was he?
Fort Pierce is about 100 miles from where Douglas lives, but he definitely needed that slide-out fixed. So he called a different Camping World. This one, too, was more than 100 miles from Douglas’ home, in Fort Myers, Florida. This time the service writer indicated that yes, there was such a company policy—but that he would try and get an exception made for Douglas’ rig. He promised to call back after getting the override. He never did call back.
With Camping World’s apparent refuse to repair, Douglas fished around in his area for a suitable facility that could help him. He describes his area as a “motorhome wasteland. People buy condos instead.” He finally tracked down another Fort Myers RV repair facility that was willing to help. But, the wait-list has him waiting until July before the rig can be worked on. Fully frustrated, Douglas turned to us.
Camping World responds
We dropped an email to Camping World’s CEO, Marcus Lemonis. The next day we got a call from Brock Whinnery, who is Camping World’s vice president of Fixed Operations. Whinnery was quick to tell us that Camping World does not have a policy to refuse to repair RVs based on age. Not every rig can be accommodated by Camping World repair centers, he explained.
While age, in itself, doesn’t make your RV a target for a service turn-down, other issues could. Mr. Whinnery pointed out that some locations don’t have the service staff needed for some types of repairs. For example, if your diesel pusher engine needs a fix but there isn’t a qualified diesel mechanic at a given location, that’s a turn-down. Other issues—more commonly found in older rigs—can include parts availability. If you have an “orphan” rig (the original manufacturer having gone out of business) and a part specific to that rig isn’t available, Camping World may not be able to help.
Camping World, Whinnery tells us, is currently struggling with parts availability issues. The company has found that in some cases, trucking firms are prioritizing delivery of parts from international shippers, rather than domestic suppliers. As a result, parts from inside the U.S. may be slow to arrive, or in some cases, sitting on an intermediary shipping dock, waiting for someone to make an eventual delivery.
Shop for a new shop?
As to the Florida Camping World store that simply refused to repair Douglas’ rig? Brock Whinnery told us, “They have been corrected.” We wrote back to Douglas to suggest he give them another try. Which may be a thought to keep in mind if you get the same older-RV rebuff. If a Camping World service center blows off your RV because of age, suggest they call the fixed operations manager to confirm that. On the other hand, if you get that kind of response “right out of the gate,” it might be a signal you need to seek out a different shop—one with a more welcoming attitude.
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