Thursday, June 8, 2023


‘Everyone working at Camping World acted like they had tried to weld a turd to a garbage can’

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 

Here’s what you had to say:

Kudos to Winnebago

Richard H. has had NO issues so far! Lucky him! He writes, “Shout out to Winnebago. Downsized to a Travato last fall. Have three shakedown trips under our belt and still do not have any discrepancies to take to shop. This is our first RV of nine we have purchased that this has occurred. We have had truck campers, 5th wheels, Class A’s, Super C’s and Regular C’s. We are amazed because we usually have pages of fixes required after our first trip.”

Stop including worthless mattresses!

Jim J. suggests that manufacturers just quit including mattresses with RVs. “I have multiple times suggested that OEM RV manufacturers should stop including mattresses since it is obvious to any experienced RVer that they are worthless. Just like a number of other items, let the dealer supply a range of mattresses as add-on options. Even my RV dealer didn’t want the unused OEM mattress. It costs money for the new owner to dispose of the OEM mattress in overflowing landfills. And the first improvement we have made to every rig we have owned is to replace the mattress with one that properly supports us. If the manufacturer doesn’t want to show its units with an ugly chipboard mattress base, cover the base with inexpensive muslin. For our last camper, I bought a cloth painting drop cloth and blind-stapled it to the chipboard. It looks good and keeps wood slivers from ruining the new MUCH better mattress.”

My RV dealer rates a 9!

Doug K. had a full inspection on his RV when he took it in for service. He shares, “My RV dealer I bought the used 40-foot fifth wheel from has done my service for what I cannot do myself. They have an appointment system that works. Took it in 2 weeks ago to get new awning and while it was there they did a full inspection free of charge. They found a bad leaf spring and a hole that had opened up on the roof when we pulled it to them. My dealer is 150 miles away. Insurance covered the roofing and labor. They kept the RV inside until the repairs arrived. Good thing, because we had 4 inches of snow. I would rate them 9 on a scale of 1-10. They have their act together.”

Put out an RV handyman sign?

Debra R. has a suggestion for a DIY reader. “To: Thomas E., I think you would have a very successful business if you put out an ‘RV Handyman’ sign at the campgrounds where you stay!!!”

Inspection list should include every question you can think of

Joel J. found his new-to-him camper too full. He writes, “Here’s my experience after picking up my used camper from a dealership a couple of years ago: Hail totaled our camper and we searched and found the floor plan we liked, albeit a little longer than we planned, but decided it was the one. We went and looked at it, did the walk-through and still found everything acceptable. We went back to pick it up and they set us up and we were on our way.

“As we drove, it felt ‘heavy’, but since it was 5’ longer I decided that was the issue. Having done our own walk-through after having our other camper for 1 1/2 years we felt we had made the appropriate visual checks. It was a rental unit and was never emptied and on our first trip reality set in. No room for filling and we had checked the indicators on each of the tanks—all showed empty. Quizzing the selling dealer offered little assistance. As we emptied what was at least close to full tanks, we learned a list of inspections should contain questions about everything you can think of. We enjoy the camper and can’t wait to get it out of the snow and go camping.”

Not a hint of customer service at this Camping World

Timothy M. relates his ongoing issues with Camping World. “I took our 2013 Sunseeker to Camping World in Fresno, California. Not the first time, but gave the service advisor a list of things we wanted done and thought it would be a fairly quick turnaround. That was the first week of October 2022. At the end of the month, I had not heard from them. Called and was told that she was out, but she would be back the following week.

“Finally heard from her and she sounded like she wasn’t sure of what we wanted done. Reviewed the worklist and was told that it should be ready in another week. That came and went, and in the middle of December I called and was told that the original advisor was no longer with the company, but we had been assigned a new service advisor who would be in touch in the next week.

“In January, I contacted her and she said that she had been sending me emails, which I could not find. We went over the list of work and she had left one item off. I told her that needed to be done. The third week of January I called and she told me that she thought I had not wanted the final item done! I finally got the motorhome back, and nearly all of the tires needed to be reinflated. They had not even checked. It seems like everyone working at Camping World acted like they had just gotten done trying to weld a turd to a garbage can. Not even a hint of customer service. Never again…..”

“I am still bitter”

Jefferey E. thought a new RV would mean no issues for a couple of years at least. “Bought a new Open Range at General RV in 2015. I had a list with over 40 problems. Thought buying a new RV would give me a couple years of no to minimum maintenance….wrong. The dealer had the rig for 2 weeks and did nothing. The dealer was on the verge of giving me a heart attack. $35,000 spent and now needing service like the new rig is a 20-year junker.

“After months and months of BS, I decided that me, being a gearhead and do-it-myselfer, I’d just do the repairs and save myself the hospital stay. I worked on my NEW camper 20 hours before my first trip. I don’t think I worked that many hours total on my old camper I had for 15 years. The RV industry sees us as nothing but cash cows. What’s made as travel trailers today are pure junk. If I get another rig I’ll just get a used great deal and fix it and save tens of thousands. If you have no DIY skills, best of luck to you. Such a rip-off industry anymore. And yes, I’m still bitter.”

Crooks and belong in jail!

Knardly R. doesn’t mince words with his feelings! “All RV dealers are crooks and the manufacturers need to be thrown in jail!”

Editor’s note

Note from 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.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

Last week:

RV mattress ‘sourced from a granite quarry’


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.


4 8 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
S.a. hall
1 month ago

Camping world is the worst nightmare of all!!!! Liars, cheat, to put an extra dollar in their pockets!! Been fighting with them for a year and a half, faulty contract, faulty inspection on used trailer I bought from them, nothing worked, drove in dark because of THEIR faulty inspection! 4 hr drive…..became 10 in dark on freeway!!! They over charged me around $7000. On purchase…and did NOT give me my Military discount !! Never never again will I buy from CAMPING WORLD!!!!!

Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
2 months ago

Y’all need to buy a Snoozy 2 – Cause they are still using the Lil Snoozy mattress provider, manufactured right here in South Carolina and it’s a really great mattress -I have pretty bad chronic pain L4 down with bilateral sciatica and the Snoozy mattress is the most comfortable of 9 mattresses I own.

2 months ago

The phrase “you can”t polish a {bleeped}” comes to mind when ever I hear Camping World mentioned. I am sure that there are a few good branches of this company but the rot starts at the root of this organization and has poisoned the whole company. I had my “newbie experience” with them in 2001and have never darkened their doorway again and will make sure to not recommend their company to anyone if asked. It is amazing how a slick TV ad will cause some people to lose what ever common sense or financial education that they may have had and fall for their sales pitch of only X dollars per month for how many months? Look for local dealers with good word of mouth service after the sale

Velma Ronquille
2 months ago

Bought new 37ft Sport Trek travel Trailer (we LOVE it) from Home and RV in Vidor Texas. They were super in addressing all concerns and issues after we pulled it home. The front light switch on the hitch was broke. They replaced the switch with out any questions. They answered all concerns and questions and are such a pleasure to work with.

Thomas D
2 months ago

I’ve been preaching for years about the mattress quality. Pure JUNK. Not only that but all the furniture in a rv. The hide a bed, a swivel rocker and the dinette. All junk. Refoamed the dinette cushions threw out the mattress,hide a bed and rocker. Offered it to the dealer. Brand new unused. He didnt want the crap for free.Ended up in the dumpster and scraped the metal in the bed.

2 months ago

RV industry is TERRIBLE, at ALL levels! Don’t trust anyone. They DON’T know what they’re doing. Do MASSIVE research. Fix everything possible yourself, or expect egregious delays, over billing, lies, poor workmanship. Take pics before leaving your rig and ADVISE them you have. If they won’t let you watch/inspect their work during the project, WALK AWAY! Covered up incompetence can cost you dearly down the road.

Baron VonFùrstinbed
2 months ago

Yes I like the last comment by R Knardly, rv dealers have become worse over the years and old Warren owns over half of the industry. He has downgraded many decent brands. I would love to see a good class action lawsuit against Thor and company, that would be Great!

Sailor Bill
2 months ago

Thor owns over half the industry not Berkshire Hathaway (“old Warren”). Thor owns Airstream, Jayco, Tiffin, and many other brands. Berkshire Hathaway owns all the Forest River brands including Coachmen.

Steve Murray
2 months ago

Amazing that people still go to Camping World or any of the other Inept, Corrupt and Greedy Dealers. Use Google! It’s your RV Friend!
These folks High Five each other when the unsuspecting Rubes Drive Away… Inspect, Reject and Buy used.

Vlasta Karafiatova
2 months ago

Camping World is the worst of the worst customer service I have ever received from any company. I went to Camping World in Colorado Springs to purchase a generator for my small camper. The guy there showed me what was available and instead of suggesting what I would need, he told me, “do what ever you want” and disappeared. There was no one there to help me. When I finally hunted someone down, he told me, “we’re can’t put it in your car”. I said, I can’t pick it up and carry it to my car myself, and again, they scrammed. Had to come back 3x to do my purchase. Never again!

2 months ago

The stories on mattresses brings back memories. We used to watch those terribly scripted RV sales shows put on TV. We did it for fun, just to watch the mediocre acting reciting their lines. They all did and said nearly same things as they walked their way thru the interior. As they reached the bedroom the husband would inevitably lay down and say “I could get used to this.” What a hoot. I think the shows were probably created by the industry to give new people some idea of the limited extent one should look at an RV before choosing to buy it. Never mind any of the critical questions or systems testing that should be addressed prior to purchase.

Neal Davis
2 months ago

Thank you, Nanci! You must be such the optimist to go through so many bad experiences each week and still find the energy to write this column and the many others. Thank you and best wishes. 🙂

Bob M
2 months ago

We replaced our mattress as soon as we got our new TT home. Big Lots had the best prices and give veterans discounts.

Tommy Molnar
2 months ago

Another problem with most RVs is the less than sub-standard padding in the dinette seating. When you sit down on what looks like a comfy seating area your butt goes straight down to the plywood. Like sitting on a concrete park bench. We had our dinette ‘pillows’ redone at a local upholsterer who used motorcycle seat foam. Wow, what a difference! It wasn’t cheap, but here we are nine years later and the dinette is still nice to sit on.

2 months ago

“a hole that had opened up on the roof when we pulled it to them.” That is one of the oldest tricks in the RV repair money-making book. Poke a hole or two in the roof membrane with a pencil, then claim it was done by a branch or something before the owner brought it to them. Boom – a $8-10k roof replacement job (with probably less than $2k in materials), usually covered by the owner’s insurance (even though it could easily be repaired with some Eternabond tape and lap sealant).

Always inspect and take pictures of your RV (including the roof) when you drop it off for service.

2 months ago

The mattress article is interesting. When we bought our last trailer, it was like sleeping on a giant marshmallow. You sunk almost to the base.
The one we have now was much better, but a little hard for our liking. A 2 inch foam mattress topper solved the problem.
As far as the dealer having a stock of mattresses, they barely have enough room to keep necessities.

2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

IF the RV manufacturers had a decent parts distribution system (they don’t), then letting people choose their mattress would be great.

Imagine if while you signed your purchase agreement, you also ordered the exact mattress you wanted, and it got shipped out from a manufacturer which had or could make what you wanted, it arrives before you pick up your RV. Sweet dreams! Yeah, not gonna happen. Even if it were feasible, there would be some ridiculous delays and whoopses built into the process.

2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

I can’t even imagine the dealer having mattresses in the dealerships…they do not want you there any longer than the initial RV purchase as a rule. This would require some of the salespeople to actually spend some time outside of the quick hustle with the customer

Tom H.
2 months ago

Only had one call to a mobile tech in almost three years (knocking on wood) for something I wasn’t able to repair. The manufacturer eventually paid the mobile tech bill (except the service call charge). My advice to RV owners “become a diy’r or plan plenty of downtime.

2 months ago
Reply to  Tom H.

And, for serious problems, find that rare bird, a small, real repair shop (not a sales outfit), with just a couple of techs and an owner. No service writers.

2 months ago

Jim J has a good point but the problem is not many rv’s have standard size beds, Then you have the problem of finding a good mattress that will fit. Luckily our rv is standard and we were able to replace with a good one off the shelf.

Bluebird Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  robert

We are on the 25th year with our mattress. It is a Select Comfort air mattress. Moved it from our home when we sold it in 2003. Never had a problem till this year when we are getting a new air pump.
We have a 1987 Bluebird Wanderlodge that takes us all over the country. Any truck repair place can fix ours if needed. Lived in our Bird now since 2003. Wife loves it! Good older rigs are out there IF you look for them!

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.