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:
Dangerous and sloppy
Glendon F. writes to us about the sloppy work on his distribution hitch: “I purchased a used travel trailer from Camping World in Springfield, Illinois, just before Thanksgiving 2021. I had problems I am not going into, but they did come through and fix everything. Yesterday, 2-05-23, I realized my (list price) $1,000 load distribution hitch wasn’t properly installed on the trailer. The bracket that holds the sway bars was moving around and loose from improper bolt placement. My neighbor noticed it and did the repair. It was dangerous. This was just sloppy workmanship. The bolts should have been tight against the top and bottom trailer frame. The tops were tight against the frame but, the bottom bolts were in the brackets, two inches below the frame, allowing the brackets to flop back and forth.”
Two points to make…
Jim G. has had exceptional service from the dealer and his extended warranty. He writes, “We own a 2018 Jayco Greyhawk Prestige Class C that we bought from Bish’s RV in Meridian, Idaho, back in 2020. It was a low mileage repo they took in and it is loaded with great features for that model year. We purchased an extended warranty with the coach and so far it has covered all the issues we have had, which have been very few.
“The step motor went out in Oregon and we took it to Bish’s in Junction City. They have a beautiful RV park located next to the service facility. They made the effort to squeeze our rig into service and replaced the motor ($485) plus labor for a total cost of $50, which was our deductible. Then they even gave us a free night at the park.
“The only other issue we have had is the Lippert leveling system which quit working while we were in a park in central Idaho. It was in the down position, so after talking to a tech at their service facility in Meridian, I was able to manually raise the legs. They told me that they would get a mobile tech to diagnose the problem because their service facility was booked up.
Mobile tech fixed it
“The mobile tech (who was a former employee of Bish’s) set up an appointment and I took the coach to him in Nampa. He was familiar with this particular year of Jayco Class C rigs and he knew almost immediately what the problem was. He took the ground cable off the chassis where the leveling system is attached and it worked perfectly. There was no charge for this as Bish’s took care of it.
“My point here is the people you purchase your rig from matter more than anything. If they are truly customer oriented you won’t be disappointed. The second point is to ALWAYS purchase an extended warranty if one is offered. It will pay for itself in the first year, especially if the rig is used. Yes, we do use the coach in winter. It is just as comfortable as our house. We just run dry and use RV parks and rest areas for toilets and showers.”
“My mission is to maintain and repair our motorhome”
Simon G. now embraces DIY and has learned enough to help others. Nice! He says, “After bad experiences with RV dealers and service centers, I made it my mission to maintain and repair our motorhome. Mistakes have been/will be made but they still are cheaper than having to go through the hassle of interacting with RV professionals. The interesting side effect is the acquired knowledge, which allows you to help fellow RVers.”
Worst mistake ever
Steve G. won’t be back to Camping World. Here’s why: “Worst mistake ever was buying a used travel trailer from Camping World! It was supposed to be completely inspected, winterized and ready to go. Pulled out of their yard to take it home, well, no brakes on the trailer! Checked the holding tanks, they didn’t empty them out and winterize the unit as they were supposed to do and we were expecting a hard freeze! Did a further inspection and found that the unit had leaked water in and the walls and floor were rotted out. They did replace all the brakes but wouldn’t stand behind the rest of the problems with this piece of junk that they sold me. Screw me once, Camping World, but never again!!”
Joe M. has had one major issue after another with his new RV. He explains, “Purchased a new 2022 Thor Quantum in 2022. We’ve had it in our possession approximately 8 weeks for days here and there since we purchased it. Right out of the gate, first trip, the inverter blew up, sink and shower did not drain, the A/C was not working properly, the slide would not stay in while driving AND once opened we had to manually try to close it. Wall panels began to pop off, nails began exposing and there was a major water leak under the bed. This leak apparently was happening before they sold it as the floorboard was softened and warped.
“Which dealer? You guessed it—Camping World. We still do not have our coach after all this time, out our down payment, our monthly payments, insurance and cancellation of vacations and travel plans. Just disgusted!”
Debbie B. has refreshing news! “We have had totally great experiences with George at Premier Automotive & RV Service in Medina, Ohio. He has been honest, personable and does excellent work! We always feel certain the work will be done correctly and we will be safe.” Good to hear!
Lucky to be in the heart of RV country
Michael Z. is in the heart of RV country, where there are a lot of folks that know how to work on his RV. He writes, “Probably 90%+ of the problems that arise inside our unit I take on myself. Being from Goshen, Indiana, the heart of the RV industry, I have a lot of family and friends that, if I can’t fix it, can either fix it for me or know someone that can.
“If it’s a mechanical problem that is beyond my realm of expertise, I take our Newmar/Freightliner to a local repair shop, Laverne’s Repair on county road 11 south of Elkhart, that has a couple of very good heavy truck chassis and diesel mechanics. They are very reasonable and reliable. I have taken units in the past to local RV repair shops and have been disappointed almost every time.
Big national chain with huge flag
“As for the big national chains, we have dealt with the one that has a huge U.S. flag flying and they are a joke. I will never deal with that company again. Several years ago we had an incident where the main power line into the small park we were at shorted out and we lost several electrical components. I took our unit to Bontrager’s in Goshen and they assured me that everything was repaired. We headed to Florida and a couple of days into our trip we noticed that our house batteries were dead. We were near Decatur, AL, at the Pilot truck stop.
“In the morning we went a half mile or so up the road to Johnston RV Center. It didn’t matter that we were on the road, they couldn’t get us in for a couple of weeks. I drove on north a couple of miles to Andy’s, a little shop out in the country, and they got someone to look at our problem, found the part we needed, and we were back on the road in a couple of hours. Every time we go down I-65 I almost wish we had a small problem that needed fixing because I would definitely use them again.”
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 & Repairs Report
I won’t even buy toilet paper from Crappy World! Marcus has ruined the reputation they once had.
Dangerous and sloppyYou drove this unit for 14 months and never inspected it and then you blame the tech for being “dangerous and sloppy”.
Weight distribution hitch’s should be inspected at least once a month. Your travel trailer should have been in the shop for a yearly inspection in that time.
Yes dangerous and sloppy
I have never used a dealership repair facility or a mobile repair person since starting to RV in 1974. Having said that, here in Yuma, AZ. there are many very good mobile repair people. Eliminates taking rig to a facility that will keep your rig for who knows how long.
We had our slide quit working on us on our way from Van Horn, TX to Junction. TX. “Mobile RV Solutions” was recommended to us by the owners of Pecan Valley RV park in Junction. No slide! This was serious. Bob, from the mobile service, made a special run (about 60 miles) down to us the same day we arrived and got our slide issue fixed. I was impressed. There ARE good mobile techs out there and we were glad we found one.
Love Pecan Valley RV park. Good people and great pecans !!! Van Horn not so much, too many goatheads, but at least they got that little cafe on site!