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.
Keep in mind, we typically only present one side of the story in most of these. Also, any remarks about service centers and mobile techs mentioned are the opinions of our readers and not necessarily RVtravel.com.
This week was filled with emails praising service centers! Does this mean the tide is turning? Is the industry becoming more responsive to its customer’s needs? I hope so!
Here’s what you had to say:
Great experience at Tom Johnson Camping World
Contrary to so many other RVers, Pam F. had a good experience at Camping World. “We had a great experience with Tom Johnson Camping World in Marion, NC. Our home is in Florida but were staying in Boone, NC, over the summer. We purchased our travel trailer new from Camping World in Tampa, Florida. Our Dometic refrigerator stopped working.
“Tom Johnson Camping World fit us into their schedule within a few days for a mobile tech to come diagnose our problem. They worked with Dometic to get authorization to repair the problem under our Dometic extended warranty. Dometic didn’t have the part in stock and wouldn’t have it available for two months.
“Camping World in Marion found the part at the Camping World location in Statesville, NC, and sent a truck to get the part. They fit us into their mobile repair schedule to complete the repair. The technician was extremely knowledgeable and got our refrigerator back up and running. The entire process took about a month and Camping World did a great job to get the repair completed before our scheduled departure date. We were very pleased and grateful for their service.”
More great experiences, but is Mel the exception?
Mel K. thinks he may be the exception because he has had such good experiences with RV service centers. He writes, “I may be the exception to the rule but have had really good experiences with any service I have had done.
1. Damaged a basement door but luckily it was covered under RV insurance. They did a good job and even polished my headlights (like new).
2. I do my annual service, along with other services, from a truck company and always get the motorhome back within a day or so unless there is an issue getting parts, but even then we have been pretty lucky.
3. Have had several breakdowns but luckily in my driveway or at the service center where I had the door fixed. Had to bring in a mobile mechanic (works on highway trucks but does RVs also). Great service and fixed and no issues later.
4. The last one was 40 miles from home and broke a clamp on the turbocharger. I called him at 6:30 a.m. and he was there within 2 1/2 hours and had it fixed. He even brought extra clamps in case it breaks again, plus an extra pipe.
5. About 5-6 years ago our fridge in our previous motorhome gave up the ghost. The RV repair shop tried to fix the problem but the fridge was finished, so I was expecting a $2,500-$3,000 bill for a new fridge. By the way, the fridge was about 25 years old. I get the call with the news. There was a recall on the fridge and the company is sending out a brand-new fridge. My cost, I think, was about $200-$300.
“I know there are some bad service companies out there, but so far my experience has been pretty darn good. This may sound too good to be true, but it is the truth. I live in Abbotsford, BC, and I am willing to share the companies that I deal with, but it didn’t seem like you wanted that information in the write-up.”
Maybe it’s because Mel lives in Canada… Are Canadian service centers better than in the states?
A job well done
Brad V. also has some good news: “If you need a job well done and live in the Olympia/Tacoma, Washington, area, Ernie’s RV Repair will give you good service. I’ve spent thousands with him and the job is well done. Ernie’s also was the place we went for an insurance claim for some bodywork. They replaced a few bay doors and fixed some stress cracks up near the top of the slides. When work was completed, our coach looked beautiful. Ernie’s is located in Olympia, Washington.”
Praise for Holly Acres
Leonard S. praises this RV service department: “Before setting off to full-time in our 36′ 5th wheel in July 2019, we kept our RV at Holly Acres in Woodbridge, VA. I cannot shower enough praise on the staff and crew in the service department. Helpful, competent, and efficient. Happy to provide more detail if you need.”
Camping World disappoints
Mark G. learned that his parts were never even ordered! He explains, “Amazed that I took our RV in and Camping World ordered a new A/C, or so they told me. I waited and waited and waited. OK. Enough of the BS supply chain crap. I called. The fellow I dealt with had left the desk and was now doing service work. My A/C and several other parts were never ordered, no apology, and nothing from Lemonis office. Got a new A/C from an independent two weeks later. Camping World has such opportunities and continually disappoints. My guess is they are making tons of money and business is too good to care.”
They shake themselves apart
Captain G. reports that you need to be a handyman to own an RV. He says, “After owning four new RVs from large and very reputable manufacturers over the past 12 years, I can say with some credibility that one had better be a ‘handy person’ or the rig will be spending untold time at the RV repair facility. Not necessarily for big stuff… but these things simply shake themselves apart. Always tightening loose screws, etc. I’ve come to expect this, even with so-called ‘quality’ RVs. All things considered, RVs are a pretty amazing value for the most part… but be prepared to have a long fix-it or upgrade-it list after your initial trips. Then, it’s DIY or get in line at the dealer.”
Inaugural trip failed
Voyer P’s inaugural trip failed in his Fleetwood motorhome. “I purchased a new 2016 Fleetwood Class A RV and when took delivery, two days after the awning side arm came off, drove cross country to Atlanta and my satellite radio stopped working. When I got to Oklahoma my refrigerator went out. I took it to get repaired at an authorized dealership and it took two months to repair, then just as I was preparing to get on the road to go back to California, my generator went out, and had to find another repair place that repaired Cummins generators. This was all a bad experience on my inaugural trip.”
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.
Past RV Service Centers and Repairs Reports: