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:
A new perspective on buying used
Chris K. bought used to avoid warranty work. They say, “I bought a used trailer (4 years old) that was maintained very well by the prior owners. I intentionally went used because I don’t live anywhere near a dealer to get warranty work done and I didn’t want the trailer sitting unused while waiting to be fixed. Also, the prior owners went through the warranty hassles, not me, and the depreciation of a new unit. I do most repairs myself (learned a lot via YouTube University and forums) and when I needed work beyond my skill level I had a mobile RV tech come out and do the repair. When people ask my opinion on new versus used, I always say used.”
Dedicated RV service centers and reputable mobile techs
Mike W. has a tip: “Ask the campground hosts for repair recommendations.” He says, “We are big proponents of ‘dedicated RV service centers’ and ‘reputable mobile technicians.’ Four years ago, after buying our Vanleigh Vilano 5th wheel at a St. Louis dealership, we took it in for warranty repairs, quickly finding out that RV service appointments are not when they work on it. They started working on our rig around the promised pick-up date to find out they needed other parts, so we were not able to get our rig back as promised.
“After a couple of times of that nonsense, we discovered a non-Vanleigh/Tiffin-owned service center in Tishomingo, MS, near Red Bay, AL, that specialized on Vanleigh 5th wheels. The Tishomingo Service Center will now work on most 5th wheel brands. We have been going there ever since for annual servicing.
“We also got burnt on the road when we needed a mobile tech badly and got serviced badly. After a quick internet search and a couple of phone calls, I was able to find a mobile technician who wanted $125 cash to come to our COE campsite. After telling us we needed a new air conditioner, he wanted us to pay cash upfront for the air conditioner, which I would not do. This guy would not take credit cards even though our warranty service would immediately pay for his labor and parts through a credit card. Later, we found out that there was an electrical problem with our rig’s wiring, not the air conditioner.
“That experience cost me $125, but we learned to ask the campground management whom they recommend. That little tip from a fellow RVer has worked much better for us, as we have used mobile techs several times since. However, we have found that their prices have about doubled since the RV craze/COVID.”
Recommendation: Best service department
Ted A. shares his favorite service center: “Stoltzfus RV’s and Marine in West Chester, PA, has the best service department I’ve ever used.”
Another great repair
Neal D. sends kudos to this service center: “Began setting up camp at Pohick Bay Regional Park (Lorton, VA) and door to wet bay fell 2”. Coach-Net referred us to American Dream RV Service & Inspections (Reston, VA, 445-787-8230). Despite being heavily booked, Sebastian diagnosed the problem, coordinated with Newmar to ensure the work was covered by our warranty, and ordered and expedited the necessary parts. He repaired the door at our site, allowing us to depart as scheduled. Sebastian is experienced, relentless until the problem is solved, friendly, and charges a reasonable rate ($150/hour plus travel time/fuel).”
Haven’t given up on Lazydays
Rob P. has had great service and then not as good. He writes, “We’ve had good service at the Lazydays in The Villages and Tampa. As a result, we tried the Houston one when we were in Texas for a month. Communication wasn’t good from our tech. I had to call five times to receive the repair report. We haven’t given up on Lazydays as their many outlets across the U.S. make it convenient for us full-timers.”
Tell me when you’re ready to work
Lorelei V. doesn’t want her RV stolen and helps prevent that. She writes, “I don’t even want my little trailer sitting out in the hot sun or where it can get stolen. I won’t take it where that happens. They need to tell me when they are ready to work on it or I will go elsewhere.”
A/C out in Texas—not good
Rebecca T. was really pleased with the service she got. She says, “We had great (although expensive) service from Daisy Mobile RV Repair in Marble Falls, TX. We were about 25 miles away staying at Roadrunner RV Park in Johnson City, TX when our A/C quit putting out cold air… not a good thing in Texas. Daisy sent out a technician who quickly diagnosed and fixed our A/C (a couple of overheated connections due to loose connections). Very polite and efficient service. We couldn’t have been more pleased.”
Good Samaritan yelled out there was a problem with the RV
Karen T. is glad someone yelled out that she had a problem with her RV. “I pull a 13′ Scamp, new Aug. 2022. I’ve been on the road since then too. Recently had to have the axle replaced, after a gentleman pulling a flatbed hollered at me that I have a problem. That was in Granbury, Texas, and we were on the way out of town, and it was Saturday. Thankfully, he gave me someone to call, who directed me to a dealer that could fix it. Bennett’s RV did a wonderful job! They got me in on Tuesday. Jesse worked with the warranty people (Lippert, who was also great!), who put a ‘hurry’ on sending a new axle, and I was ready to go in a week.”
Excellent Camping World in Fayetteville
Larry S. reports on his experience at the frequently maligned Camping World: “Had Camping World fix a slide out on my RV. They did a great job on my Georgetown. They also did my refrigerator on my Monaco. Great job in Fayetteville, NC.”
RV user issues
Susan B. refreshingly tells us that it is a learning curve and she hasn’t learned it yet! “My RV has issues, mostly user error. It is a learning curve, I have not learned the curve yet. I wish I was more handy, to replace a rivet, a turnbuckle, those darn thick rectangular hinges. When I do have to have something done, which is rare, I ask the repair person to show me how to do something so I can take notes and do it myself next time. My user errors require body work, same long panel twice due to user error! Those darn wide corners always end up closer than I think. Once is bad enough, but twice is shame on me.”
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: