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RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: Dealers and service centers should be ashamed by these jaw-dropping horror stories

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In this 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 RV service centers and mobile techs mentioned here are the opinions of our readers and not RVtravel.com.

Here’s what you had to say:

Seven months at dealer and only used for mere minutes

Micheal R. has had only a few minutes of driving pleasure with his new RV. He explains, “Bought a trailer March 2022. 20 minutes up the highway, the front windshield window exploded from the wind vortex behind oncoming semis, or from a rock… Dropped it off at the next closest dealer downwind and it still sits there unused here in October. Waiting for the manufacturer (Forest River) to ship a replacement. Constantly promising it will ship today, tomorrow, next week. Finally, it was shipped, but it was the wrong one received… twice, repeated, weeks without responses to inquiries from me and the dealer. They have them but won’t ship till they get more.”

Photo credit Michael R
Photo credit: Michael R.

Everything else is a disaster!

Susan R. had months and months of aggravation and writes that things still aren’t fixed right: “We owned our trailer for about 10 months. The awning quit working and the fresh water tank filled up when hooked up to city water.

“We drove the three hours to the dealer to get things fixed under warranty. We picked up the trailer a few weeks later and a snowstorm was coming and all the techs had gone home. Thus, we didn’t have a chance to make sure things were repaired correctly. We noticed they had installed an additional overfill/vent drain to the water tank (we now have two) but no one could explain why.

“The next week we drove to Quartzsite, still not putting any water in the trailer because of the weather. We fill up at Quartzsite, park out in the desert, turn the water pump on and water is gushing everywhere. The water lines to the outdoor shower were disconnected. Hubby and a friend fixed it. I called the dealer to tell them what happened while in Quartzsite. I was told to bring the trailer back in. We both got COVID that week and hubby ended up in the hospital.

“We couldn’t take the trailer back to the dealer for three months. In the meantime, I noticed the black tank flush didn’t work anymore and that the fresh tank still filled up when on city water. During this time, I was in contact with the dealer at least half a dozen times letting them know we couldn’t come in because of COVID complications and that we had additional issues with the trailer.

“We finally got the trailer back into the dealer and we noticed the toilet was leaking. I think I broke the flusher by flushing it so much to rinse the black tank because the black tank flush didn’t work. The dealer said they would fix the black tank flush and the fresh tank fill issue. They said they knew what was wrong with the toilet as it was a common issue and they would replace the flush valve and I agreed to pay for that.

“They called us a few weeks later to come and get the trailer. When we got there we had a $500 bill. They put a new anti-siphon valve on the black tank flush which still didn’t fix it but they wanted to charge us $230. They said they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it and ‘Gee, you don’t really need it.’

“Then they ‘diagnosed’ the toilet for $113 but they didn’t install the new part. They knew what was wrong so they didn’t need to diagnose it and I already agreed to pay for the new flush valve mechanism. I don’t know why they didn’t fix it. They charged another $160 to ‘look’ at the fresh/city water valve and determined it is working correctly. It’s NOT and the fresh still fills when on city water.

“They said nothing was under warranty because we waited too long to bring it back, even though I was constantly talking to them to let them know we were still sick. After a long and heated discussion with the service manager, I didn’t have to pay.

“My husband fixed the toilet but the black tank flush still doesn’t work and we still have the fresh/city water issue. I have serious concerns about how they replumbed my trailer and no one (even though I’ve asked a dozen times) can explain why an additional fresh tank vent/overflow line was installed. I’m out about $600 in gas that we spent to haul the trailer back and forth to the dealer. On a good note though, they did fix the awning. 🙂 ”

“Total incompetence everywhere” at the RV service center

Lorelei V. was so disgusted with the workmanship at the RV service center that she sold her trailer. She wrote, “Near Portland, Oregon, a few years ago I bought a teardrop trailer. I wanted a roof rack. I got it, went there for my appointment, and handed the service guy instructions with important stuff highlighted as to where screws must go. Then I showed him the highlights and told him why. I guess he threw it away. I waited for it to get done.

“They put the screws nowhere near where they had to be, one side of the roof rack was over the top vent so it would not open. I spotted it immediately. The guy would not believe me. I said, go in your showroom and look at the trailer with the roof rack. Then they wanted to move it and plug holes. I said no. I was horrified. The screws went through the metal with no place to go into. I had a fit with a manager, who was clueless.

“Three weeks later, they got a whole new cover, so I made the 300-mile round trip again. The guy said it was all cleaned and ready. They had drilled more holes into the galley and left the curly little aluminum pieces all over the galley. Inside, there were greasy hand prints all over the white cabinets. I had a horrible time getting it cleaned up.

“They were to send me a spare tire and wheel. They sent the wrong one by UPS. I contacted them eight times to get them to have UPS pick it up. They did not. Even a manager tried to get it done. It was in my way for months. Finally, when UPS was here, I told the guy about it, and he just took the whole thing and sent it back for me with no charge. I hated the mess and sold the trailer. On another, the water tank did not work right, and that’s a whole new story. Total incompetence everywhere.”

Replace it but it didn’t last long enough to replace!

Dwayne and Darlene L. finally had the manufacturer agree to replace their trailer… but the trailer didn’t make it that long! “This is a long story but condensed… two-year-old Keystone had issues from the night of purchase throughout the time period of ownership (it seemed to spend more time in repair shops than with us).

“To the point that they told the dealership ‘have them bring it in and we’ll replace it’ unbeknownst to us. WE drive it to them, they check the paperwork. We went away, and came back saying it would be with them another 6-8 weeks (we now believe that they realized that the warranty only had a few more months and they could keep it a couple of months and rig it til after the warranty and they would be off the hook).

“ONLY IT DIDN’T LAST! IT FOLDED ON THE MOTORWAY! They refused to do anything at all. Luckily, our insurance paid toward a replacement (which we haven’t purchased yet, as prices have gone up astronomically). Keystone just passes us off to each other we don’t actually have a conversation with anyone now.”

Forget the warranty: Sell it as is

Robert W. will never buy new again. He says, “My current 5th wheel RV I bought new. We had axle failure on the road. This manufacturer’s warranty is worthless. The warranty said bumper to bumper. Then when I need them they don’t cover anything. I have to deal with each vendor on my own. I will never buy new again unless they discount the price and sell as is no warranty.”

Repaired to “Industry Standards”

Ronald O.’s RV was damaged twice by the dealer! “In October of 2017, we purchased a 2017 Open Range 3X from Sonny’s Camp and Travel in Duncan, SC. We took it back in November for some minor warranty repairs. While it was there they damaged the area around the door hitting a telephone pole while moving it in their yard. While they were repairing the damage they melted the roof with the shop heater. They replaced the roof. Within a year the roof was leaking. Took it back and they repaired the roof to ‘INDUSTRY STANDARDS.’ The roof repair cost us $$$ in a trade-in. I was assured that the last repair was done to ‘INDUSTRY STANDARDS.’ The dealer we did the trade-in with didn’t buy that.”

Two payments, three canceled trips, and no RV

Scott W. is frustrated. He writes, “I bought a new Entegra Emblem 36H on July 22nd. Have not been able to use it even one night off the dealer’s lot. It spent four weeks at the Cummins service shop working on the generator and has been at MHSRV ever since waiting on Lippert to approve replacing the defective leveling jack, a new Vega Touch unit and approval from the flooring company to fix a bulge in the floor. In the meantime, I have made two payments, canceled three big trips and am very frustrated.”

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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Diana G
1 month ago

I am so glad the place we bought our fifth wheel from had been good to us during the warranty period. I do have to say that the wonderful people at Humphrey’s RV of Grand Junction, Colorado are good at making sure things are done in a timely manner/letting us know if they are not going to be able to get the parts for a while.

Harold Stoddard
1 month ago

LIES, LIES and more LIES. DO NOT TRUST OR DEAL WITH LA MASA of Tucson. I purchased a Fleetwood Discovery from them and from the moment I handed them my check on all the promises the salesman made became invalid. Sales and Service blamed each other for making false promises and it never stopped. Some examples; 1) Sales said that the King size bed that had a blood stain on it would be changed. I had to hold out on giving my deposit to FORCE them to exchange it. 2) The toilet bowl would not hold water so I demanded a repair or a new toilet. (you’ll love this one) Service came in and claimed they replaced the bowl gasket. Instead they showed me the gasket after the job was supposedly done to only find out that they took the new gasket and smeared grease on it and claimed it was the old gasket. 3) 100 miles down the road the engine shut off at 65 mph and I coasted to the side of the road. This happened three times before I could return it to Freightliner of Tucson.

Wayne Caldwell
2 months ago

We have two travel trailers, a ’98 Layton 22′ and an ’01 Crossroads 35′. Both were bought used, were well cared for and are immaculate. Any repairs are my responsibility and are done in my back yard.

Cryiserr
2 months ago
Reply to  Wayne Caldwell

I’ve been happy with Mr Front End in Punta Gorda Florida.

JAMES
2 months ago

I fix things myself, that is the only way I know the repair was done right.

Glenn
2 months ago
Reply to  JAMES

Ditto

Spike
2 months ago
Reply to  Glenn

Ditto+