Thursday, September 21, 2023


RVer hopes everyone at this Camping World ‘gets infested with the fleas of a thousand camels’

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:

RV was great only because he made it great

Paul M. is the ultimate DIY guy and literally tore his RVs apart to make every single thing right. (Maybe he’s the ultimate Mr. Right!) He tells us, “I have RV’d for twenty years and have learned a few things. Starting with my first one, a Chalet. The bed broke on the first night. The heater was so out of balance we could not sleep. It vibrated the entire trailer. We went home. Luckily I am a maintenance mechanic, licensed electrician, and HVAC certified.

“I took to disassembling and reassembling the unit properly, going over each and every system replacing and reattaching everything. The Chalet was awesome after all that work. It took about six months to refine it and then we had it eleven years and never again had a problem.

“The second trailer was a Forest River 22BH. It was also a complete hazard to all. But, we knew that going in and specifically bought this unit because it was $11,000. This was half-price in 2011. I took it from the dealer and to my house.

“I proceeded to fix every issue. It was also great after all that work. This time we did not even try it until we had it six months and went through every system. I remember my neighbors coming over the weekend we bought it and freaking out because all the furniture and appliances were lying in the driveway freshly removed from their perches. After all that work it also, just like the first trailer, never once had a problem in the 10 years we owned it. It was great. But only because I made it great.

Now we have our third trailer

“Now we have our third trailer. An Aliner Scout Parks. I specifically picked this model because it is a stripper and had no features other than the heat pump. I did this because it is cheaper than having to remove and throw away all the garbage these manufacturers install; I just did it myself.

“So far we replaced the mattress with a real Denver pillow top. I have installed a fresh water tank, pump and plumbing, a black tank, a residential Thetford toilet, and the associated plumbing. Next will be a water heater and shower pan. One thing for sure is this hobby is not for those who are not qualified. You would never go camping. Your trailer will sit in a yard waiting for yet another repair by the same fools who made it that way to begin with. I am blessed to be qualified to do all this work myself.

“My question for you all is, why? If you can afford a trailer that is 43 feet long, but don’t know how to install a breaker box, or troubleshoot a water heater, why wouldn’t you just stay at the Hilton? It is your destiny; RVing is not.

“This is a hobby, and if you can’t do these things yourself then someone else must do it for you. Keep in mind people don’t want to work in the trades anymore. So, there are not enough techs to do all this for you. And I will go out on a limb and say there never will be. It takes more than plopping down $80,000. You must be qualified to do the repairs because these trailers are going to get worse! Not better! Not one of mine has ever broken down in twenty years!”

Five stars for Galaxy Campers

Paul F. says, “I have been dealing with Galaxy Campers, a Lance RV dealer in Ontario, California, for about one year. They are a small, family-owned business who have been extremely helpful, and they are very knowledgeable about Lance products. They even had a technician stop at our house to help with slide-out issues. Five stars.”

Owes Forest River an apology…

Dan S. owes Forest River an apology. Here’s why: “Never go to Camping World in Hope Mills, North Carolina. Here were the issues with my 2022 Forest River 18RR: The door frame warped (which locked my wife inside), the stovetop was damaged from boiling water in a teapot, and the windows wouldn’t latch shut. I took it to Camping World in Hope Mills, North Carolina. The warranty work was to include replacing the door, stovetop, and windows. When I went to pick it up, none of that was done and the dealer blamed Forest River. I was angry and called Forest River corporate offices. They didn’t have a record of anything, which I thought was a lie.

“I then took it to Camping World of Chicago, even though it was out of warranty. They did the work correctly and got it covered as a warranty repair. So, the bottom line is Forest River stood behind their product (I owe them an apology for my angry phone calls), and Camping World of Chicago did right by me. I hope everyone at the Hope Mills, NC, Camping World gets infested with the fleas of a thousand camels.” 🤣

Warranty covers very little work

Mark D. writes about his disappointment with the lack of warranty coverage on his new toy hauler. He writes, “I traded in my Tahoe Transport toy hauler for a new Attitude toy hauler. My old trailer was in good shape but it needed updating, which is why we traded it in. I owned my other trailer for over 10 years with only small problems.

“We were not aware that the larger trailer company was being bought out by a bigger company. The sales staff was great. We came back to get our new baby and we were very happy. The appliances all worked great. But we got the extended warranty but it didn’t help.

“You expect to bring it back for small tweaks, not major ones. Went camping first time loaded with toys, and the landing gear didn’t want to go up. Manual, yep. Got the run around. Found out the manufacturer put the wrong fuse in it. Replace instead of reset.

Warranty work covers very little work

“Found out that warranty work only covers very little work. Not all like you think. Problems within the first year:
1. The fridge went out. Ammonia smell. Warranty replaced.
2. Landing gear fuse fixed.
3. Gap/warp on the back door/ramp. After two trips it was finally fixed.
4. Warping of cabinet doors and wood doors. Not covered.
5. The power cord to the full hook up not working. Bad cord, not covered.
6. Propane tanks, 20 lbs., not 30 lbs. Not covered.
7. Molding outside around the door and trailer coming off. Not covered.
8. Belly skirt fell off while traveling. Not covered
9. Decals coming off. Not covered.
10. Awning caps coming off. Not covered.
11. Bathroom faucet leaking. Not covered
12. Outdoor fueling stations not working. Not covered.
13. The holding tank hose container latch is broken, the hose has left the building. Fixing the latch is not covered.
14. LED lights at the front of the trailer are white only, not multiple colors with a remote.

“For a new trailer, I give them a big ‘F.’ We are military veterans and we were treated poorly. New owners of the business did not cover our warranty on our trailer.”

RV industry couldn’t care less about buyers

Kevin L. gave up on the dealer and makes his own repairs now. He says, “Brand-new 2023 Forest River Heritage Glen. I couldn’t believe how poor the craftsmanship was. Spent some time within the first two weeks of owning it trying to get a response from the dealer. Radio silence on their end. I quickly learned conversing with fellow campers that the industry couldn’t care less about buyers and products but rather get the product out of the door. Dissatisfied with the market, I gave up and will make repairs myself as I’ve also learned warranty work is not worth the hassle.”

In praise of Bigfoot!

Perry B. is a very happy camper and tells us, “We have owned a 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ and now a 2016 Bigfoot 25B25RQ. They are fiberglass campers built in Canada for -20 F weather. Both have real double-pane windows, not those thin double-pane windows on U.S. campers, true insulated and heated tanks AND valves. The construction on both is fantastic. We also had great luck with an Escape 3-season fiberglass camper, also from Canada. We’ve had campers with slides and they all eventually leak. The question is, do you want a mobile home or a camper? We camp with full solar and don’t go to RV resorts. For those who have to have a mobile home and spend your time in RV Resorts, these fiberglass campers are not for you.”

Kudus for their mobile tech

Pam E. shares her mobile tech’s information. She reports, “He’s so busy already I hate to put out the good word, but Dave’s Mobile RV Repair in Pennsylvania is awesome. He added a second A/C to our travel trailer. Was careful and did a great job. A couple of other times I contacted him with questions that he answered so that I was able to make a simple repair myself. Wouldn’t hesitate to have him work on our unit.”

 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

We’ll continue to 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.

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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.


  1. I wish Paul M started his own RV Company or at the very least, his own YouTube Channel showing how to do everything he did. He’s an RV HERO!

  2. If there is one thing I’ve learned owning an RV, it’s that you are roadkill if you don’t have a certain degree of DIY skills. If you are always reliant upon a dealer or repair facility to fix every little thing that can and will go wrong on an RV, you will spend relatively little time camping and lots of time and money being frustrated.

  3. I have known Chuck Woodbury for decades now and certainly doubt him lying about anything RV related, anything!
    Well maybe he can catch more fish than I can, maybe!
    Chuck is smart and has a link at the bottom of this domain stating any link that is on there is in fact a few affiliates that he does get a very small fee from, so people who think he is guiding you to an affiliate, he actually is only recommending stuff, things, people, etc people really knows Chuck Woodbury knows works, read those last four words again,Chuck Woodbury knows works, here they are again.
    The facts are the facts and Chuck certainly knows the difference, do those folks who say Chuck may be cheating certainly do not know him!
    In fact I doubt there are many (read that none) publishers who have never stayed in an RV one night of there life, so you might want to check facts Old Chuck Woodbury has traveled for some 30 years in an rv as an adult and as a child with his mom and dad and certainly knows RV’s.
    I am also in the RV industry since 1969 and am proud to know Chuck and I don’t know of another publisher that stands up for the RV industry as Chuck.
    If you do, please inform me.

  4. This is the situation you get when you have too many people with desks jobs typing on computers. While the trades keeps growing smaller each day.

  5. I’m trying to figure out why the list of items “not covered” was so long. Extended warranty for a leaky faucet, smaller propane tanks than you thought or LED lights not what you expected?

    Extended warranties don’t cover most problems anyway, so why would they cover items overlooked by the buyer that aren’t even broken?

  6. Seems like someone thinks quite highly of themselves. Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back. Some people just aren’t mechanically inclined and have to rely on trained personnel to make repairs. You’re blessed with those skills. Be thankful and less judgmental.

    • Craig is correct. Amen to his statement: Not all of us are so skilled yet we still love to camp, explore our country, and love the outdoors.

    • Sorry, I agree with Paul M. If you aren’t mechanically inclined, (and don’t want to learn how to fix things), then you will have to rely on someone else to fix it for you. For that you must have very deep pockets and unlimited patience.
      Warranties are useless, and extended warranties even more so. If you aren’t willing to repair even the simplest problems, stay in hotels or get a tent.
      The RV industry has no interest in supporting their products after the sale. So, do it yourself. Or don’t. It’s really that simple.

    • I think he’s just making the point (and a very valid one) that you should expect to spend large amounts of time and money waiting for shoddy repairs and expect the associated frustration if you’re not willing to take the time to learn some basic skills. The trades are not rocket science, but oddly, they do seem to be beyond most people who consider themselves as smart as rocket scientist. It’s a matter of priorities. If you’re not willing to learn, or don’t have time to, pony up to the RV Frustration Bar with lots of cash.

    • I agree, Craig. Paul M says if you can’t fix all your own problems you shouldn’t own an RV. Is that the same as saying if you can’t fix your car you shouldn’t own one? That’s just silly. We’ve fixed many of the simpler things that have gone bad on our trailer, but I don’t HESITATE to call a tech for the more complicated (and strenuous) things. At 77 I can no longer carry heavy reefers or ac units. With my truck, I can check the oil (with the help of a step stool) and that ends my repair ability.

      • Fortunately, many repairs are well documented on YouTube. However, I think it takes a great deal of confidence to tackle a repair. A mistake on water or electricity can be very costly. I am one of those computer typers. I can’t do them all but I enjoy learning about the systems and making my own repairs. The hands on physicalness turns out to be a good balance to my regular job. I have the time to do it and the confidence my Daddy gave me to tackle mechanical things (I’m a girl). As a community, maybe the best thing we can do is support each other and teach others “to fish” when we get the chance.

      • Totally agree Tommy. I fix what I can with limitations and hire out the rest. My wife would prefer I hire out more for fear I hurt myself on a heavy lift or a ladder so I try and stay on the cautious side of the equation and hire more out.

        I can’t fix what a computer tech can fix and a computer tech can’t fix some of what I can. I’m a stay in your own lane kind of guy for fear of needing it fixed twice.

        • I seem to agree with Cancel, Tommy, and Craig on this. We fix what we can and get help with those things that are beyond our abilities. And I think Paul M. seems a bit pompous.


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