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.
Here’s what you had to say:
Good service centers do exist!
Paul F. loves their RV service center and their fifth wheel. He writes, “We have had our Vilano 325RL for a little over four years now. In our first year of traveling, we discovered the Vanleigh Service Center. Managed and run by Danny. It has been a blessing. We have been back every year. Three times just this year. The repairs made have always been done correctly and they have gone out of their way to fix any problems. We love the guys working there. Oh, we go because either we broke something or the road has done damage. Love Vanleigh!!!!
Another reader, Lewis W., writes in about stellar service at his RV service center: “Tom Johnson in Marion, North Carolina, gave stellar service. Awning replacement; service center measured and ordered. The appointment was made. Drove in at 10 a.m., and drove out 2 p.m.”
Howard S. found that his A/C wasn’t working when headed toward 110-degree temps. “This past summer we did an RV tour of Alaska and on our way home we stopped at an RV park in Medford, OR, near my sister. It was 100 degrees outside and after all those cool days and nights way up north we discovered one of our A/C units wasn’t working.
“Since we live in the Southern California desert, where it was 110 degrees, we wanted to get it fixed ASAP. I called several RV shops and mobile RV techs and the only one that got back to me was Brian at Chunky Monkey RV Repair. Brian came by several hours later and checked out the A/C unit.
“He determined the unit needed to be replaced and he worked with our extended warranty company to get it approved and had a new unit shipped down from Portland. He installed the new unit and ensured everything was working correctly. We’re very happy with his service and would not hesitate to use him again when in the Medford area.”
Good dealers do exist!
Robert T. has had a litany of issues too, and the dealer did step up. “I purchased a Grand Design Imagine XLS travel trailer in 2019. Not a positive experience. Here is a condensed summary of the problems I experienced with the unit, which was bought brand-new:
“1) Panels of glass fell out of the interior overhead storage compartments; 2) mirrors began to loosen and were ready to fall off the wall or bathroom cabinet; 3) furnace stopped functioning; 4) water heater igniter circuit failed; 5) a ceiling LED light had a ‘short’ in it and sputtered intermittently before finally failing; 6) shower door wasn’t caulked properly and water would drain out all over the floor; 7) front cap edges weren’t caulked properly, caulking had dried out and left gaps that could have let rainwater in; 8) removing the sewer line cap would predictably result in remaining waste products literally exploding out of the sewer line despite the gray and black water valves having been shut; 9) one outside storage compartment had one lock missing.
“In all fairness, the dealer where I bought the unit was responsive and fixed everything except the exploding sewer line. They seemed baffled by this and thought it might just be normal pressure buildup. I’d had multiple trailers over several decades with nothing like this ever happening. I later talked to a knowledgeable person who told me a tank valve was possibly not installed correctly.
“It was a beautiful travel trailer and comfortably furnished but it was very disappointing due to all the above problems. I finally traded it in on a new Class B motorhome from a different manufacturer. I won’t even go into what happened with that before I sold it back to the dealer later that year. We now have a Forest River R-Pod 180 and so far everything has been fine, restoring my faith in manufacturers somewhat.”
Another dealer also stepped up
Ed F.’s dealer stepped up too. He explains, “We bought a used Jayco 5th wheel with four slides. After we bought the unit, we discovered a problem with the main waste tank, below the toilet. Our local RV dealer got the unit in and out in a timely manner. They had to drop the tank to repair the issue, caused by the original owner. After that repair, we never had any additional problems with this RV. Excellent unit.”
Thank goodness it was totaled!
Morrison F. had all kinds of problems, but not anymore! “We had a 2018 Jayco North Point. The slides stopped working when we drove it home. All kinds of problems over four years. It was in the shop more than we had it. Thank goodness someone ran a red light and totaled it. Will never buy another.”
Garbage unit … it is a dumpster
John B. has many major and many minor issues: “Our StarCraft Autumn Ridge unit had many minor issues and one big issue. Year 1: propane line falls off the bottom of the camper. Shelves in the closet fell off. The dining table mount fell off. The backup camera didn’t work. The brake control didn’t work. Multiple trips to the dealer. Roadside assistance warranty? Worthless. Year 2: tire explodes despite only 9k miles and proper inflation. The roadside assistance package again is worthless. Steps always stuck. Garbage unit. Can’t wait to dump it. Oh, wait… it is a dumpster.”
Delivered with problem after problem
Gerald H. has had issue after issue with his new RV. He writes, “New 2022 Vegas MH, picked it up with no arms on the hood latches, heat shield attached only on one side, banging on the exhaust, LP tank shows full but empty, generator needed new fuel pump, stabilizer jacks not working, ground wire not attached, bubbles on roof, awning support bolts pulling out, backup camera stops working when you go over a bump, top rubber gasket on inside wall for slide out came undone, bottom inside rubber gasket on slide out came off, both deep cycle batteries needed to be replaced, one inside led light did not work, outside mirrors motors and cameras stopped working, a 3-ft piece of rubber flashing found behind a drawer by the driver rear wheel, numerous screw heads broken off, sawdust, screws and construction debris behind the drawers, A/C separation baffle not installed.” Yikes!
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.
Last Week’s RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: