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:
Dan S. shared a great story with us. He wrote, “Given all the bad news stories, I just have to share that we forgot about $1,300 we left in a safe when we traded our RV in. That is, until the dealer called saying it was found on cleanup and to ask where to send it. Cautious dealer selection matters as much as RV selection.”
Warranty items are not complex or abnormal; they just can’t seem to get qualified help
Mark P. has had one issue after another and is giving up and going to a different dealer. Here’s what’s going on: “We bought a Cruiser Aire in October of 2021 and started with a list of warranty items. It’s now April of 2023 and we still have three of the original warranty items remaining. At one year, I contacted the manufacturer to make sure they had the items at least in their system, and they did not. So they updated my file.
“The dealer, Trailer Source in Wheat Ridge, CO, went through three service managers in a year and dropped the ball every time in transition. Also, every time they had the trailer, it came back with a new issue. They cut up the underbelly to repair furnace ducting, and that is now coming loose. One time, I got it back and there was a half-full black tank. Another time I got it back and it had a flat tire. The last time, they dropped it off their forklift hitch bringing it out and caused damage, which they won’t even address.
“They have now fixed the dinette but it is a mess—it is crooked in both planes, and it is very wobbly. The other issue is a theater seat cupholder that is wired wrong (for heat, reclining, etc.), and they were not properly bolted to the floor.
“The manufacturer responded to me this week to take it to another service center, so I have reached out to one. This is our third travel trailer and I’m pretty handy and have done most of my own work. Even on this one, there are minor things I have just fixed, and I don’t see the warranty items as complex, or abnormal in the grand scope of things, just terrible service from the dealer, and, admittedly, it is probably due to not being able to get qualified, good help.”
Don’t know how screwed up the RV is until you try it in a park
Miquel N. also has a list of items that were broken or needed fixing: “Shi**y product. It has flimsy material, misaligned locks, jacks that don’t work due to poor workmanship, slides that aren’t sealed and water that drips into the bedroom and driver’s cabin. We have a leaky shower, the kitchen sink does not drain, the water pump continuously turning on due to water leaking… Where’s the quality they talk about? And the big deal: YOU WILL NOT KNOW HOW SCREWED UP THESE RVS ARE UNTIL YOU GO OUT AND TRY IN A PARK.”
Outstanding service center that takes care of 24-year-old RV, too
Janet H. has an older RV and finding service that would help has been difficult. She explains, “We have a 1998 Coachmen Santara Class A diesel and, bless her heart, she has been great, but she is starting to show her age, as are we.
“We have found a service center that has been absolutely great to us. It’s Tom Stinnett’s Campers Inn RV in Clarksville, Indiana (Louisville, KY). They are busy, yes, and you won’t get in today or tomorrow, but they are very upfront about that. They have done wonderful work on our motorhome.
“We did a 5,000-mile trip out west and came home and discovered that the sidewall had separated. We called every dealer in Kentucky but, nope, nobody wanted to deal with it. Took it to Stinnett and showed him what had happened and he said no problem. Brought it back to them when the appointment was and it was fixed! They now do all my stuff. They get tired of seeing me… lol. Would recommend them for sure, and their staff is so nice. Hard to find these days.”
RV leaking and great RV tech to the rescue
Neal D. had a leak in their RV engine and highly recommends this RV tech: “We met Les Glenn several years ago when he was the RV tech at the Chattanooga Freightliner dealer, and have used him regularly for service and repairs to our engine, generator, and chassis. We drove to a Georgia state park a week ago and saw puddles of some fluid when we unhitched the toad. We called Les and informed him of the problem. He told us to stop by Diesel Plus (Ringgold, Georgia, 706-866-3619) on our way to our next destination and he’d do a quick diagnosis. Two hours later he had found and tightened a loose fitting, pressure washed the engine, refilled the hydraulic fluid reservoir, added dye in case there was a second leak, and had us on our way. (Dyed fluid is easy to trace to its source.) Unfortunately, we do have another small leak. Happily, it is Les diagnosing it this morning.”
Is it too much to ask?
John L. disagrees that customers are more demanding. He writes, “Funny, nobody has anything much good to say about Camping World still after all these years. I don’t agree with the statement ‘more customers are demanding.’ People just expect their products to perform. Is it too much to ask that your kitchen cabinets stay attached to a trailer as you drive down the road? Dealerships are always busy now with warranty work repairing inferior products.”
Camping World lies!
Lawrence B. returned and returned to Camping World and they still couldn’t fix the problem with his RV. He says, “Camping World in Lake City, Florida, and New Braunfels, Texas, rate minus 10. My 2021 Coleman furnace stopped working on day one and Camping World could not fix it in three trips to the shop. Returned to Texas and again Camping World could not fix it. Called an independent RV repairman and they fixed it in less than 30 minutes and $250, that Camping World should have paid. Camping World owner claims he is not happy if the customer is not happy. It is an outright lie.”
Rentals are not always treated nicely
Pat L. is so unhappy with, you guessed it, Camping World. “We bought a used 2018 Sunseeker; we were new to motorhomes. We took it in to have the slides cleaned and serviced. Went camping and the dog knocked a treat under the slide, I got down to find it and could see daylight. Called Camping World and was told that was normal for slides to have gaps when they are out for airflow (and bugs, snakes, critters). Another time took it in for all the things they promised they would fix when we bought it and it sat for several months, not fenced in. We went to get something out of it; it hadn’t been in yet. And it wasn’t even locked. Now we need engine service and can’t find anyone, including Camping World or affiliates, to fix it. They just change the oil. So here we sit with engine problems. Lastly, we bought it used. No one told us it was a rental in Canada before we bought it. Rentals are not always treated nicely.”
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 (some do not) 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.
Camping World in Woodstock, Georgia added $12,000 worth of warranties to my loan that they never asked me about and I never gave approval for. I did not expect them to scam me on the paperwork. Nobody would help when I tried to get the issue resolved and am stuck with a large unexpected bill via deception.
Years ago we took our pop up to the dealer, where we purchased it, for warranty repair. They made the repair but closed it up wet. When we opened it the tent ends were covered in mildew, so we returned if for them to clean. Fast forward a month when we decided we would upgrade. Keep in mind they still had the pop up. When they opened the pop up to inspect it, prior to finalizing the sale, the saleswoman says “you didn’t tell me it was full of mildew”. I politely informed her that they caused the damage and we had already waited a month for them to fix it.
New buyers need to realize, as we have found out ourselves, that there are 2 systems in there rv….. body…….and chassis. Especially true of Class A, B and C motor homes. The RV dealer can only try to fix the body problems. They are not equipped to fix the chassis problems like Ford, Freighliner, etc. So do not waste your time and money taking your new RV to camping world for chassis problems that they probably cant fix. Look up RV chassis repair shops in Google now so you know what to do when not if you need repairs.
I bought my latest RV, a 2023 Grand Design fifth wheel, in September 2022. So far it has been back at the dealer for warranty work for almost half the time I’ve owned it. Each time I use it, something breaks or quits working, and we find loose screws and bolts laying on the floor. Each time I call the dealer, it takes weeks to make an appointment for them to look at it, weeks to get warranty approval from Grand Design, and weeks for the dealer to make the repairs. I’ve not had to pay for any repairs, but I’ve also not received the use that I expected. My story is all too common, so I can certainly see why some people don’t want to purchase an RV.
The average seems to be to throw money at the problem, instead of actually finding the source of the problem. Americans seem to have moved away from fix it to replace it.
Have tools, can use them.
Good job keep tools on hand and use common sense
It’s downright scary out there. First-time buyers have no clue what they’re getting into or what to look for. They certainly aren’t reading this newsletter!
I recommend you take your trailer to Perfection RV in Mead, CO. They did an excellent job
on body damage on my camper. Good Luck !