Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: Lots and lots (and lots) of nightmares this week

In this new column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs (we asked you to submit your stories here). We’ll tell you all: the best, the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of this article, you’ll find a place to submit your own comments. I encourage you to do so.

Note: Any service centers and mobile techs mentioned here are the opinions of our readers and not RVtravel.com.

Here’s what you had to say:

Newmar – YES, General RV – NO!

Matt T. had a lot of trouble getting his RV fixed at the dealer. Finally, he went directly to Newmar. He wrote, “We bought a Newmar Canyon Star from General RV in Ashland, VA. Everyone there is super nice, but there is no interdepartmental coordination. In other words, the operations there is awful, especially the service department.

“The sales and finance are easy to work with. But the service department is unresponsive, slow, disorganized, and terrible at diagnosing and fixing anything. It took two weeks for them to make the punch list repairs after we bought it. And they were simple things.

“And, a year later when we were bringing it in for some small warranty repairs, the wait for an appointment was three months! To make matters worse, this is three months to get an appointment to drop it off, and then it is another 4-6 weeks before they actually even start to work on it. And when they finally started to work on it, they could only figure out how to fix two of the six issues. And for the two they could fix, it was another three months to wait for parts and an appointment for them to actually fix it!

“On top of it, getting ahold of the service department is almost impossible. They don’t return calls, it always goes to voicemail, and they never respond to email. And they have, like, 16 service bays, so it’s not a small dealer. But they have only one service advisor!

“We finally gave up on having them fix anything and it took it to the Newmar Factory Service Center. We called and made an appt. with three months lead time. They estimated how long it would take and scheduled it.

“We drove it there and dropped it off, and had everything fixed on schedule with no questions asked. The entire time they kept us informed of the progress, washed it, and then returned it to the staging area where they plugged it into shore power and turned on the A/C so it would be waiting for us. Newmar – YES, General RV – NO!”

Bait and switch?

Talk about a nightmare… Tammy W. had a quote in writing but found it had doubled after work was done. “Went for a couple of minor things at Camping World in Tulsa. Was quoted a final total of $233. The quote was sent to me confirmed in a text message, which I still have. When I arrived to pick it up, the total was $510. I was told if I didn’t pay that day, a lock would be placed on my camper and I would be charged $20 per day for storage.”

Drop it off and get it back in a month… or so

Alan R. needs warranty work from Ford. “I have tried two Ford dealerships in Phoenix, Arizona, trying to get the emission system repaired under warranty on my 2018 Transit Class C. I was told I can’t make an appointment, to just bring it in and leave it and that I might get it back in a month or so. I tried calling Ford customer service, but they couldn’t help because dealerships are privately owned. I won’t be buying a Ford in the future.”

Couldn’t fix it, ever!

Jim T. took his motorhome to a repair shop multiple times but they couldn’t fix it. He explains: “A real nightmare with Arizona RV Service Center, Mesa, AZ. Took it in Sept. 2020, as a rear slide on 25-foot motorhome wasn’t working. We took it in three different times over a 10-month period. They had it more than we did.

“We’d pick it up and the first trip out, it didn’t work. They just couldn’t fix it. They wanted it back in the shop a 4th time, and now going into year two of them not being able to fix it. We asked for our money back but denied, saying they wanted to keep working on it.

“We drove 1,800 miles to the RV slide maker in Goshen, IN, to finally get it repaired. They had it all screwed up so had to be taken apart to fix it. All of this trip expense and repair expense on us. We took them to small claims court and lost as the judge said we needed to keep giving them more chances—going now into year two and not being able to use our motorhome?!! A very, very bad experience with this RV center who couldn’t fix it EVER.”



And now… good news and great warranty work

Dana L. has praise for their RV service center. “Gander RV in St. George, UT, did a great job getting warranty issues fixed. Fast service. Steve P. called me daily to keep me updated.”

Bragging about their RV repair center

Rick B. is so happy with this RV repair center. He says, “After many less than positive experiences at dealers and repair facilities throughout the country, I finally found one that I can brag about.

“All Stars RV Repair in Littleton, CO, actually physically located just off US-85 south of Littleton in Louviers, CO, has been consistently exceptional, and is my go-to place for anything RV that I cannot do myself. Several friends and RVers in my area could be writing this because they’ve shared similar experiences.

“… The business is family owned and run. You are highly likely to interact with owners when you visit. I’ve had mechanical, body, generator, and troubleshooting work done—all outstanding.

“The owners and employees are customer-centered and all embrace honesty and quality. They do not try to upsell. Ever. They are very busy, largely because of their reputation, so scheduling is often a couple weeks to a month out. You need to plan ahead when possible. This is the norm about everywhere, irrespective of the quality or lack of same. This is the one RV repair business in 40+ years of RVing that I feel I can trust. All Stars sets the bar to a level that all other dealers and RV repair business (brick and mortar or mobile) should aspire to.”

Replace the whole refrigerator

Marcus M. is happy with his service “We’ve been doing business with Good Life RV in Webster City, IA, for about 12 years, their service has always been good. We bought a new Alliance Avenue and discovered that the light in the refrigerator wasn’t mounted, just dangling. We took it in to be fixed and were totally blown away by the fix. Alliance says their warranty fix is to replace the entire refrigerator! No estimate on when. At least we are able to use the RV while waiting…”

Happy with mobile techs

Joe D. has been happy with the mobile techs that worked on his rig. “Two recent experiences with mobile service techs: RV Mobile Lube out of Kerrville, TX. Changed oil/filter and fuel filters, checked coolant for protection level, lube chassis. Done quickly and not a drop on the ground. They pointed out the coolant expansion tank was nearly leaking, allowing me time to replace it—a common problem with Freightliner XC chassis. The second, RV Medic, in Grand Junction, CO, provided annual Aqua-Hot service and found possible fuel pump/bearings problems. Explained the situation and handled warranty paperwork, reducing our bill by over half of the total. Would use both these mobile techs again.”

Also happy with mobile tech

Robert R. likes not having to move his rig. “I do most of the work myself, but when I can’t, I do call a mobile tech. I do not have to worry about moving my rig at all. I have good luck with the person I hire. I did buy my RV used and got a good one. I bought it from a small dealership in Dallas, Texas. They were great and I would go back next time.”

Editor’s note

Note from RVtravel.com: If hiring a mobile tech, a small or mega service center, make sure that they are experienced in the issue and have insurance in case something goes wrong. Also, check their warranty policy on the work they perform. Check reviews too and read between the lines—if the review sounds way too good to be true it might be. Compare with several reviews and not just the ones on their website.

Questions for you about RV service

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share stories of your RV service experiences. We want to know:

  • Have you had good luck with great service or not so much?
  • Did you get good service from knowledgeable technicians?
  • Are you waiting to get into a service center or have a mobile tech come out?
  • What has been the average time to get an appointment?
  • Has your RV been in a service center for a while?
  • Are you able to get any mobile techs to come out?
  • Are the service centers able to get parts?
  • When you do get the repairs done, is the price reasonable?

Please fill out the form below and tell us what your experiences have been like. It can be a horror story, an opinion about what’s going on, a positive experience, or anything else related to the topic. We want to know the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Check back next week for more on RV service centers. See you then.

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Past RV Service Centers and Repairs Reports:

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Tommy Molnar
3 months ago

Every time we come down to Houston (3-4 times a year) we stay at the same RV park. There are several mobile RV tech services that come through the park and we’ve picked our two faves. We get all our fixes and upgrades done while we’re down here. Back home in the Reno area there are no dealerships I trust so we try to hold off on anything we want to do on our trailer until we get back to Houston. We even call on the drive down and set up appointments so we can get stuff done early on. We’ve had faucets and sinks replaced. Roof vents and fans replaced. Awning replaced. Caulking around everything on the roof. Window reset. We even had them replace our reefer when it died on a 106° day! Mobile all the way.

Luis
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Going into the mobile biz😀
I see the demand!!!!

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