Saturday, December 9, 2023


‘Your headline made me choke on my coffee! Social media IS for experts!’

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:

Nearly choked on our headline

Frank D. choked when he read our headline: “Reading the owner’s manual, NOT trusting social media, will solve many RV problems.”

He wrote: “Reading your headline made me choke on my coffee. We belong to a Facebook (yes, I know) group revolving around the Winnebago EKKO. Had we not been the recipients of a true rocket scientist, a few degreed electrical engineers, and assorted retired geniuses in their field, we would be screwed.

“The owner’s manual can tell us how to push a button or pull a lever, but could it tell us how to track down a few crushed furnace vent hoses? No. Or why the second alternator controller (that WGO decided to stuff into the engine compartment next to the turbocharger) got hot, shed a bolt to the controller temperature input lug and quit? No. Or why any number of problems, factory screw-ups, quality control issues (oh, that’s right, ZERO quality control), etc. happen? No.

“This group has been a lifesaver. Not literally, but you know what I mean. Our dealer, when we can get in, has tried. But I’m tired of hearing, ‘They all do that.’ Or, ‘You’re lucky you didn’t get that one.’ I’ve learned which fuses should be changed to marine-grade circuit breakers and where to install them and what wire to upgrade. How to shorten rats’ nests of wires and yet not screw up the impedance factors. How much extra solar I can plug into the factory external plug and not blow up the solar charge controller.

“NOT ONE of these is covered in the manual or could be answered by the dealer. SO…. making broad, encompassing statements like the above article title is misleading. Just my opinion.”

Editor’s note: While you shouldn’t trust everything you read on social media, or from self-proclaimed “RV experts,” we do learn a lot from the members and fellow RVers in our Facebook groups, too. If you’d like to see a list of our groups, please click here

Luck of the draw

Ron L.’s 2018 Jayco RV has been perfect! He says, “I feel sorry for John W.‘s new Jayco. We bought a brand-new Jayco 2018 Greyhawk Prestige 29MVP and it has been basically perfect except for a few general maintenance issues and one recall. We live in Canada and have driven to California and Arizona. I guess it’s the luck of the draw”

Grab the money and run!

Steve M. thinks the RV industry’s mantra is “Grab the money and run.” He elaborates, “Our last really well-built RV was a Jay Flight 5th Wheel that we purchased in 2006. Since then, it has been a series of disappointments. Our current Super C is basically well made, probably better than 75% of the product out there, but the manufacturers only really manufacture the coach structure and then install utilities, then hook them up. Everything else is considered someone else’s problem. But the money spent does not extend to customer service. You end up dealing with all the subcontractors’ problems via the dealer or directly. Consider yourself fortunate if you can find a good dealer nearby. There really is little service in the RV industry. In general, the mantra is ‘Grab the money and run.’ Your experience may vary.”

Amazing Creations did an amazing job

Tim S. writes, “2007 Tiffin Open Road, bought when it was 6-years-old w/ <5000 miles, now has ~44K. Three major issues over the 10 yrs. we’ve had it.

“1st: A deep curb cut tore off one rear jack and bent the other one. Color Country Diesel (Cedar City, UT (435) 586-3205) installed the replacement bracket I had Tiffin send, and straightened the other jack with a hydraulic press. They did such a good job I had them R/R the coach’s thermostatic cooling fan. 2nd: Discovered some wet floor in the front corner of LR slide due to inadequate factory sealing.

Amazing Creations (Junction City, OR (541) 556-0501, Scott) R/R 4-sq-ft of flooring, installed larger aluminum corner pieces, and resealed underside of the slide. Any other repairs I’ve been able to do myself.”

Waited a year for delivery but RV is perfect!

Mark B. was caught in supply train issues but is very happy with the results now. He says, “Ordered our Airstream International FB27 with Hatch on November 4, 2021. Was told it would be delivered to the dealer in Maine in July/August 2022. Got an email in February 2022 that Airstream was having supply difficulties getting the hatch parts. Delivery would be delayed until December 2022. Took delivery on December 15, 2022. It had one small issue with the door seal. The dealer promptly made the repair. Have been on three trips. The unit is perfect so far. Well built, attention to detail throughout.”

$175 an hour but gets done right

Jesse C. might not like the price but he likes the work. He tells us, “My dealer is now charging $175.00 per hour for service. I pay it—not gladly—but it gets done and done right the first time. We have a 2006 DP and they will still work on it.”

Refused help by Navistar and International

David M. was refused help by the people that should have helped. Freightliner finally stepped up. He reports, “I own a 2013 HR Ambassador on a Roadmaster chassis powered by a Navistar International MaxxForce 10 diesel engine. I broke down in Effingham, Illinois, and contacted Navistar customer service. They referred me to Rush Truck Repair. I contacted them and they outright refused to help me, stating they didn’t work on motorhomes, even ones powered by an International engine. Their reason for not working on the coach was that they didn’t have the space, time or ability to keep the coach clean. I explained I was 800 miles from home and needed help, but they declined.

“I contacted Navistar customer service again and explained and they could not help me. Then I asked if I could escalate the lack of service/caring of this to the dealership and was told there was nothing they could do.

“I finally reached out to the Freightliner dealer in Effingham and they stepped up to the plate. I brought the unit to them, taking advantage of the only offer to help. What a breath of fresh air. They even got the International dealer to provide some help.

“I have been broken down with a ghost code that no one seems to be able to turn off. It has been nearly a week and still no luck. I want to applaud Truck Centers, Inc. for their compassion. They treated us like family, providing a 50-amp hookup. If you are needing service near Effingham, they are an oasis service center and will work on motorhomes. I have much more to say about the lack of customer service from Navistar and International.”

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’s RV Service Centers and Repairs Report:


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.



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Bill Byerly (@guest_240202)
5 months ago

Thanks again, Nanci👍

Conni (@guest_240149)
5 months ago

Ask a question in a Facebook group and 10 people will respond with 10 different answers, in many cases all 10 are wrong and in some cases can cause even more issues or damage.

Spike (@guest_240091)
5 months ago

Both Frank D and RVTravel are correct.

Owner’s manuals are worth reading and some can contain a lot of troubleshooting info. But they can also be painfully generic covering numerous models with pictures that don’t even look like what you have!

But “user beware” on social media. I am part of a Newmar group that I’ve gotten some exceptional help from that has literally saved me $1000’s! But then other information, I filtered out, could have cost if followed. Everyone wants to be helpful, but different brands or models and years can make a big difference in how a problem needs to he approached.

A combination of the manuals, filtering social media, and also knowing when you’re in over your head is the way to go.

Last edited 5 months ago by Spike
Neal Davis (@guest_240059)
5 months ago

Thank you, Nanci!

john W & lana S stahl (@guest_240033)
5 months ago

RV dealerships service departments workers are under paid, over worked, not always well trained, and don’t stay at one location very long as they look for a better paying place. Dealerships are so busy and so backed up in their service dept. that it takes long to get in, very long to get anything done and sometimes not very well done. SO… I use a mobile tech. They come quicker, do a better job, and do not charge as much as a dealership. Here in Katy, Texas I use MARC. He is super well trained and does a great job. And gets it done right. Mobile Techs are the way to go. At least here in Katy, Tx.

Glenda Alexander (@guest_240032)
5 months ago

One thing that is missing here is that the comparison does not include home ownership costs. The advertisement does not take into account those like me who live full-time in our RVs and do not have houses. Many (probably most) of those who fly, rent cars, etc., live in houses. To be valid, the comparison needs to include home ownership costs vs. RV ownership costs in addition to the actual travel expenses. In any case, I didn’t even consider whether RVing would be less expensive; I just wanted to be able to experience the various parts of our diverse country — and sleep in my own bed — and never have to deal with the hassle of selling and buying houses again. :>)

Vince Sheridan (@guest_240017)
5 months ago

Frank nailed it. The Owners Manual *might* tell you “what” your rig has but it won’t tell you why you need to jump charge your house batteries because driving, generator and shore power ain’t doing it. It might tell you your generator codes indicate the shut down was uncommanded but it won’t tell you to look for the hose clamps on the fuel tank that the factory likes to leave loose.

Since dealers rarely dispatch their PDI technicians for breakdown service, those guys don’t know much in respect to troubleshooting. They know, “push this, this should happen” but what to do when it doesn’t happen is for the repair crew.

Tom (@guest_239931)
5 months ago

Local FORD dealer refuses to work on my Ford E-450 chassis, not even an oil change. We intend to purchase Ford Maverick as towd. Guess which dealer will not get the business.

WilBB (@guest_239963)
5 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Wonder if it will it not fit in their service doors? Might be insurance issue & cannot work outside shop floor.
Very frustrating.

Thomas D (@guest_240048)
5 months ago
Reply to  WilBB

I was refused service because they don’t work on motorhomes. But weeks before the same dealer DID because of a Ford recall. Go figute.

wanderer (@guest_240060)
5 months ago
Reply to  WilBB

No, it’s not about doors and it’s a widespread, awful situation. It’s about lifts, they have enormous ceiling height but lifts that either can’t handle weight, or stop when they hit a certain height.

I made 8 calls to dealerships and the laughably useless Ford RV help line made another 5, failed to find one which could service an acceleration issue. I finally located a private truck repair shop which is the only place in the state which can/will work on a transit 350 chassis motorhome.

Absolutely ridiculous situation. Sell chassis to be used for motorhomes, have recommended maintenance at intervals, but have no car dealers which will do even basic service. A Ford Truck center might, or, as one told me, they couldn’t possibly work on my dragging exhaust pipe, it wasn’t the exact ones they are used to.

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