By Russ and Tiña De Maris
You don’t need to look far to find dissatisfaction among folks who’ve bought new RVs. It’s a matter of, “For the money we’ve spent, to have to send the thing back for service immediately is ridiculous.” This is a common refrain. But at least two RV manufacturers may alleviate some of that. A new RV inspection service has just opened in the heart of U.S. RV manufacturing country. General RV Center has thrown open the bay doors at its Bristol, Indiana, inspection plant.
Manufacturer inspections none-too-skookum
RV manufacturers may say they do rigorous pre-shipment inspection of the units they turn out. We don’t have any hard-and-fast statistics as to satisfaction. Still, the number of complaints we hear from readers suggests that any such inspections aren’t too impressive. These include appliances that don’t work, plumbing that leaks, electricity that doesn’t flow where it should. All are common squawks we hear from unhappy customers. It often means a return to a dealership. Then come weeks – if not months – of waiting for the problems to be fixed. All this with finger-crossing that the problems are fixed the first time.
General RV’s inspection plant is said to help alleviate this problem. New RV inspection will be the order of the day for nearly 100 employees. The job titles recently opened for hire at the 77-acre site include many: production associate, warranty technician, detailer, facility cleaner, and shipping and receiving specialists. It appears that General will do more than just inspect outgoing rigs – they just might clean up the mess left behind by RV manufacturing line employees. What a novel concept!
So what companies’ rigs are being inspected here?
When General RV first floated the idea of opening the new facility, mum was the word as to who might be its customers. Now the word is out. At least two big players in the RV manufacturing game have signed up for new RV inspections: Grand Design RV and Winnebago. General says there are other RV builders, too, but didn’t elaborate. If the inspection company lives up to expectations and turns back rigs with problems, then kudos to the two named builders. Having RVs delivered to dealerships without a swarm of problems would be a major relief to customers. And it would go a long way to improving the industry’s reputation.
General RV is a Wixom, Michigan-based outfit. It’s no stranger to the RV field, having 13 RV dealerships in Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Illinois, and Utah. Perhaps the seed for the idea of a new RV inspection service came from dealing with unhappy campers who bought trouble-riddled RVs. In any event, one can be hopeful that if General RV’s new service does what it should, other RV manufacturers would take the hint and have their units inspected – and fixed – before sending them down the road.