Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Lots of RV disasters this week: One RVer’s black tank fell off of the trailer!

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:

“The worst thing I ever experienced”

Yikes! Ken K.’s black water tank fell out! Here’s what happened: “I bought a Jayco travel trailer and have had problems with it since day one. The first thing that happened was the door wouldn’t shut, and then the black tank fell out from beneath it. That was the worst thing I ever experienced. And then the refrigerator just stopped. I have taken it to Gander RV in Mesquite, TX, and Jorge has done a wonderful job. He updates me every week and tells me what’s going on and when they expect to have repairs done. They have been awesome and I can’t complain. Just wish the manufacturers cared as much for the customer as they do their profits.”

Dealership failed and failed again to fix

Randy P. has had a lengthy list of problems with their new Forest River r•pod. He writes, “We purchased a new Forest River r•pod new in 2022. Right off the bat, there were problems.

“The trailer brakes were not working properly, among other things. Multiple visits to the dealership have not fixed most of the problems. The brake problem became very apparent when coming down off a pass and experiencing significant brake fade in our tow vehicle because of poor brake function in the trailer. The dealership said they could not find anything wrong and it was the tow vehicle. I own multiple trailers, so I knew that was not the case. I went ahead and installed a new brake controller, which did nothing, so wasted money, but at least the box was checked.

  • The interior fit and finish are not the best. Most of the trim around the windows literally fell off the walls on the first few trips in the RV.
  • None of the cabinet door latches keep the doors closed, which causes a huge mess when reaching our destination.
  • We also experienced significant issues with the refrigerator where it would not stay functioning when using propane. After multiple times attempting to get the refrigerator fixed at the dealership, I inspected it myself and noted a problem with the burner. Once the dealership pulled a burner off another RV and installed it (there were no parts available), the fridge started functioning normally.
  • The front door of the RV has never functioned correctly and seems sprung and hard to close. The dealership has failed to fix this issue also.
  • All of the seals on the locks on the exterior literally rotted off in the first six months and now the locks all rattle in their holes and water gets into the storage spaces.

“You are better off fixing things yourself …”

“My dealership experience agrees with this column in that you are better off fixing things yourself rather than attempting to get it fixed at a dealer. With worker shortages both in manufacturing and at dealerships, coupled with the huge increase in camping interest post-pandemic, RVing requires some level of self-maintenance as there simply isn’t the infrastructure available to both properly manufacture or maintain RVs.

“I still don’t have brakes on my trailer; I need to find the time soon to tear everything down and figure out the issue. I assume something is wrong with the adjusters, maybe installed wrong and not easily identifiable by the layperson.”

Pre-Covid? No issues

Jerry A. compares pre-Covid repairs to now. He says, “Been RVing for almost 40 years. Pre-Covid never had an issue with camper repairs. Post-Covid I found nobody wants to work on them. My unit is currently in the shop, been there six months. All parts were on site three months ago. Every time I show up to check on my repairs there is a new repair coordinator and a different manager. I believe repair shops are having a difficult time maintaining qualified personnel.”

Kudos to these mobile techs

Richard W. wants to pass on his great experience: “If you’re lucky enough to be in the Tallahassee, FL, area and need either mobile service or can take it in, then contact Stay RVing LLC. Jose and crew can do anything related to coach issues; he doesn’t work on chassis/engine issues. He knows his stuff and is reasonably priced. 850-216-2487.”

James R. sends kudos to these mobile techs too: “I have had excellent service with Fun in the Sun mobile techs in Breaux Bridge, LA. They accepted my extended warranty and did all the coordinating with them. They were reasonable and knowledgeable. Here’s their website.

More great service

Art D.’s dealership asked him to just send them the bill. Nice! He explains, “I purchased a used motorhome from Fretz RV in Pennsylvania. After about a month the TV stopped working. When I called them they said not a problem, that I could purchase a new one locally and send them the bill because I lived three hours away from them. Now that’s great service.”

Studied his RV

Robert M. bought a warranty and it was refused so he does his own work now. He writes, “Decided long ago to study my RV (I’ve owned several) and work on them myself. Two things triggered my decision: one being they couldn’t order parts properly for my Copper Canyon and when they did get the right ones they would have the job done in about three weeks. Secondly, I bought a used Class A from Camping World and paid some $7,000 for repair insurance. When the remote adjustment mirror control quit working they refused to repair it, and accused me of pouring soda pop into the control switch. I ordered the switch myself and installed it in less than 20 minutes and canceled the insurance.”

Monaco was awesome then

Carrie K. reminisces about the good ole days of RV service: “Our first RV was an older 1999 Safari diesel pusher; we upgraded to a brand-new Monaco Class A Dynasty 2004 diesel. It was one of the first of the year. What a story!

“The smart wheel came off in our lap, horns and wipers went on at random, got stuck in Mexico, the exhaust pipe was not long enough and burned the coach, letting in noxious fumes while driving. BUT Monaco was awesome then! They sent out techs from Oregon to us, making our payments while it was out of service, always going the extra mile until they finally decided to take the unit back and we exchanged at an upgrade for a Beaver Patriot Thunder—perfect from the time we took delivery until it left us (except for a failed caterpillar motor).

“We love having a motorhome; however, they are complex, especially as technology becomes more integrated into today’s technology. We realized that both sales and service issues were being under-served and hope the industry can meet the buyers’ needs.”

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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Last week’s RV Service Centers & Repairs Report



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15 days ago

Tank drop!
our Forest River trailer tank straps were attached to the frame with self tapping screws!!! They will eventually shear.
This is terrible construction.

15 days ago

“Grease” ?? Right. If the bearings are geaseable via a nipple…DON’T!
most like you will pump in to much and eventually be greasing the pads too.
Take apart and do it by hand.
also the brake wiring is most likely to light from the truck to the hubs and there is not enough voltage getting to the pad.
Some trucks have a “setting” for either “light” or “heavy” braking.

15 days ago

I have advised people who express interest in buying an RV, “If you can’t do your own mechanics stick to motels.”

Bob M
16 days ago

Art D is lucky, I had warrenty work done by Fritz RV in Soulderton, Pa before the warrenty expired. They hooked up the Winterization by pass valve backwards. They claimed the tank gauges worked ok when they didn’t. After I noticed it and warrenty expired. Fritz RV service would not answer my email and service dept would not answer phone. If you complained to them about a/c or range vent fan being to loud. Their excuse was thats they way they are.

Thomas D
16 days ago

Randy P had brake fade. For my truck (2011 Chev 2500 there are 4 different qualities of brake pads. Are the right ones installed?
Another thing, are the brakes on the trailer loaded with grease. A fellow came into our park last week complaining of bad brakes on his new fifth wheel. Grease all over everything. Less than 1200 miles on a new unit. Good workmanship.

Neal Davis
16 days ago

I get so much value from this weekly feature; thank you! It is nice to see there are fellow-sufferers, but also awful to see so many stories. Thanks to you, Nanci, for the growing list of recommended mobile techs that I compile from this feature. I am covered very well locally — Northgate Parts (house) and Les Glenn at North Georgia Tire (chassis and engine) — but not so much while traveling. Thanks again!

pat Brown
16 days ago
Reply to  Neal Davis

Neal, the North GA Tire in Cleveland or Ringgold?

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