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:
Worth driving three hours one way for excellent service
Billy S. had exceptional service from Bish’s RV after three other dealers didn’t help. He wrote, “We had an issue with a Schwintek slide. While making a purchase for another repair, I was able to visit with a service manager and we made arrangements at a later date to take the 5th wheel in to troubleshoot the slide. We had already had three other dealers plus the one we bought it from check it out. While in the shop, the service department found the floor of the slide was rotten from water intrusion. The service manager contacted our insurance. After the second adjuster looked at the RV, our insurance company agreed to pay all charges for the rebuild of the slide and Schwintek system.
“We now drive three hours one way for any type of service work, and before we arrive we have talked about the repair and what it needs. Most repairs are done while we wait. This is Bish’s RV, formerly Hayes RV, in Longview, Texas, and Ronnie is our service manager. Last week we visited a dealer to look at a Class C and after talking with a salesman I went to the service manager’s office to talk with him.
“Lucky me, he was in the shop and I talked with his boss, an area service manager over several shops, and asked him about the appointment process. He said it would not be like Bish’s at this time but they were working towards this and will have a separate bay for quick repairs, e.g., change a water heater will be just one hour. This dealer before the current one, T&S RV and Sports, has had a bad service reputation for many years. Hopefully, some of the dealers are trying to upgrade their service.”
Get the service manager involved right from the start
Jonell C., who lives in their RV, had so many issues with repairs to the fifth wheel and now advises people to get the service manager involved right away. They write, “I live in my fifth wheel trailer full-time in a mobile home park. We had a horrendous hurricane-type storm in Sacramento in February of 2023. My claims adjuster from Progressive Insurance (big shout out to Progressive for how good they are), came out within a few days and did an estimate.
“I had never had repairs required done on this new-to-me fifth wheel. Apparently, in California, claims adjusters are not permitted to recommend an RV shop. So I let my fingers do the walking. After leaving numerous messages at different RV shops, I finally found someone who answered the phone. So they’re the ones I chose: Folsom Lake RV in Rancho Cordova.
“I explained that this was covered under insurance and that I also lived in it full-time. I was told not a problem if I sent some pictures of where the damage was and a copy of my estimate, that they could get me the parts right away. Unfortunately, I was told to not make an appointment until the parts came in. Like a fool, I believed that. I was also told that being a full-time resident in the fifth wheel, they would give me priority repair of only a couple weeks.
Went in to find out what the problem was
“After numerous unreturned phone calls, I finally went in to find out what the problem was. Found out that the reason my service person was not returning phone calls was because she had been fired. The new service person said that there was nothing on file for me nor did they have my estimate or any pictures of my fifth wheel. I explained everything again and told them I wanted an appointment scheduled on that day. I was able to get an appointment in six weeks. Again I was reassured that the repair would only take a couple of weeks. So on April 15th, I had my fifth wheel towed to the RV shop. And of course, I had to pay for that service.
“At that time I was then told that there were 15 trailers ahead of me and that I would be put at the end of the queue. They could not tell me how long I would have to wait. I was planning on staying with my friend for just two weeks. But it ended up being three months in the shop before I could pick it up.
So many things wrong
“So many things went wrong with this repair. Finally, I was at the top of the queue after four weeks. Then I kept being told that they were waiting for parts to repair the RV. And once the parts came in they would fix it as soon as they had an open bay. Guess what? It ended up being no open bay for another six weeks. I finally went in and raised heck with the manager. At that time, I found out that they had not even ordered any of my parts. The manager stepped up and my parts were ordered. And surprise, my RV was repaired within two weeks. So they had my home from April 15th to July 6th.
Going into the RV shop every day
“Thankfully my friends understood what was going on. During the last month, I have been going into the RV shop every other day. You would think that they got tired of me so often. Not until the manager got involved did things finally get happening. I would never, never recommend Folsom Lake RV. I asked them to do some maintenance items on my fifth wheel and also for a maintenance package. Come to find out that they came up with excuses for everything that was on the package. All of the maintenance things that they should have done, they were unable to do due to damage or something wasn’t working right or such.
“I don’t challenge the items that they found, but they should not have charged me the price for the maintenance package. I did get the manager to cut the cost in half, so at least I saved a little bit of money. The big reason for having this maintenance package was because it included sealing my roof. After they told me that I needed a new roof for $13,000, I just canceled anything else that was to be done on my trailer. Obviously, I did not go with them for a new roof.
Towed to another RV shop
“I ended up having my trailer towed to another RV shop, which I had to pay for. They did say that there was damage to my trailer roof and possibly we could put a silicone covering over it to last me a few years until I can afford to buy a new trailer. Not a long-term fix, may not even last through next winter, but at least they came up with some ideas to help me out. I had my neighbor put the silicone sealing all over the top of the roof and used that special caulking around all the seams. This may not have been the proper way to repair my roof but, hopefully, this will give me another season or two.”
Happy camper at Camping World
Valerie W. proves what a difference another shop makes even if under the same brand. She emails, “When we had our 2018 FR Sierra that had six slide-outs (four hydraulic and two electric), they would stop as I was sliding them out (brand-new unit) every time. We were near Las Vegas, so we stopped at the Camping World in Henderson, NV. Ha ha! All those open bays and no one knew how to fix it! So we found the Camping World out off Las Vegas Boulevard and Wow, what a different experience!
“We pulled in, went to the service guy (John) and asked about it. He came out and tried the slides and nope, no smooth operation to open them. He said to us “Hold on a minute.” My husband and I looked at each other nervously, and the next thing we knew here comes a tech and say, no worries, I got this. He explained how the fuse used for these slides was too small and he proceeded to change it out and no charge! We didn’t know if we should run fast out of there or what, dumbfounded we weren’t charged an arm and a leg for the quick repair! We decided a nice tip to buy them lunch and drove off happy campers.”
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
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.