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Companies providing roadside assistance services to RVers are facing a perfect storm of challenges that makes taking care of customers difficult, if not impossible.
During a recent nationwide conference call with RV dealers and others in the industry who provide services to RVers, one road service company executive said they are being stretched very thin.
“First, we’ve seen the camping and traveling season for RV customers become extended,” she said. “They are starting earlier in the spring and going later in the fall.”
The huge influx of new RVers in the past two years has also swelled the customer base for roadside assistance services, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.
“With so many more RVers out there in new rigs, we are seeing more requests for warranty work and work on the chassis,” she said. “There is such a backlog at the service centers, some are turning away RVs in need of service. That means that we are seeing that we often have to tow RVs more than 100 miles to get them into a service center. Even then, owners are being told that they aren’t going to be seeing any repairs for five weeks.”
Many RV dealers on the conference call sympathized with the challenges facing road service companies, and some blamed the lack of quality of new RVs as a major part of the problem.
The large number of inexperienced new RVers also brings trouble to road help services. “It’s very frustrating to everyone when so many new RVers are having problems on their very first trip,” she said. “We are also seeing many more calls for technical assistance since many new RVers just don’t understand how their rigs work.” That problem is compounded by customers renting RVs from peer-to-peer rental companies. “They have zero experience with the RV and they are calling our help centers and adding to the very high call volumes.”
Towing charges are going up with the demand for their services, and RVers experiencing breakdowns on their trips can likely expect more delays and more difficulty finding qualified service personnel to get their rigs back on the road.