Saturday, December 2, 2023


Reader claims Camping World service techs ‘defecated in both bathrooms,’ filled tanks. Later, at camp: ‘sloppy blackwater poured out all over feet, pants and hands’

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:

This repair fiasco was an absolute, expensive disaster

Kevin B. had a saga of things go wrong on their first big trip out in their new RV. He writes, “2,900 miles on a 2023 Winnebago Travato 59GL, which has the Volta Power Systems Pure 3 lithium battery upgrade. On our first long road trip from San Diego to Fort Collins, CO, on the second day of the trip, the power system failed. Unable to camp—we had NO power to do anything in the camper even on shore power. After contacting Winnebago, we were told the earliest appointment was three days out in Loveland, CO.

“Unable to use anything, we had to pay for hotels until the Friday the camper went in for service. I arrived early in the morning for the appointment and I told them I would wait for the diagnosis. The service advisor said it might take until Monday, so now I had to rent a car AND find another hotel. Heard nothing Friday, Saturday, or Monday, so I called and was told late Tuesday that the entire system had to be replaced and the lead time on parts was 5 to 6 WEEKS.

$300 diagnosis fee

“Unable to stay in Colorado for that long, I told them I would have to pick the van up and get it back to California for service. The service advisor said the soonest pick-up time was the following day after 3 p.m. When I picked the van up I was charged a $300 ‘diagnosis fee,’ a scam for money, in my opinion. All under warranty, this should have been covered.

“I phoned Winnebago again and advised them I needed to return home with the van and asked them to find a service center closer to me. Literally took them six hours and the EARLIEST appointment was two weeks out AND 60-plus miles away from where I lived in Southern California.

“I called La Mesa RV, where I purchased the vehicle, and was given an appointment a week later. The appointment is next Tuesday but I expect to lose the camper for at least a month to a month-and-a-half due to parts availability.

“This fiasco so far from home has been expensive. Lost campsite fees, hotels for 10 days, rental car and gas, and having to eat every meal out made our first long road trip an absolute disaster… an expensive disaster. I’m about to park it outside the sales office at La Mesa RV and give them the keys, as this thing has already been towed three times for electric problems.”

Three excellent repair tips

Chris G. has some excellent advice for all RVers concerning repairs. He says, “Some advice on repairs: 1) Join one or more discussion groups that cover your make of RV. This way, you can ask questions and get possible fixes for many of your problems. You may also see what problems other owners are having which may help you catch issues before they get serious. 2) Don’t use RV repair shops for chassis issues on motorhomes, use truck repair shops instead. They are cheaper and faster. Two RV shops quoted me more than $4K to do the brakes on my class A motorhome, but a truck place did them for $2,300. 3) Learn to fix as much as possible on your own. Lots of great videos are available online.”

Getting a great deal is not always the best deal

Illene W. did research and they took their time before purchasing an upgrade. “I agree with several owners, that due diligence on what to buy and where is very important. We took our time for an upgrade to our Salem Hemisphere 29XBHL. Did research, and looked at the quality vs. cost. Warranties and service are a must. Maintain your RV. Getting a ‘great deal’ is not always the best deal.”

Camping World took three months to figure out they needed to tighten six bolts

Lennon wrote about his horrid experience at Camping World. He shares, “While our RV was at Camping World in Harrisburg, it took them three months to figure out that they just needed to tighten six bolts around our kingpin in the 5th wheel.

“We also had received our 5th wheel with one of the freshwater inputs to flush one of the blackwater tanks with the valve installed backward. I had to take it back to them twice. They said they inspected and it worked perfectly, but it didn’t. I had to have them show me in front of my own eyes to prove it. Then they saw I was right and fixed it.

“Here’s the worst part: During those three months that our 5th wheel that we live in was sitting on their lot and we were stuck in a hotel because of those 6 bolts they were too lazy to learn how to fix properly, someone had defecated in both of our bathrooms. We know this because we had completely emptied and flushed both tanks a second time on the Camping World premises before leaving the 5th wheel there. The tanks were empty and clean and the valves were all closed.

“Blackwater poured out all over”

“So, when my kids and I were finally able to pick up our home on wheels and go to the Dutch Country RV Park and hook up our sewer, the sloppy blackwater poured out all over my daughter’s feet, pants and hands. Granted, she didn’t wear the industrial rubber gloves we have for that purpose, but it should have never happened.

“We were also missing silverware (strangely) and a couple of miscellaneous food items. Not a big deal for those, but the fact that someone else was sleeping and defecating in our home while it was at Camping World is beyond forgivable.

“I went to Camping World and complained to the service rep, service manager, and general manager. The response was denying that it could have really happened on their watch. They just didn’t care and did nothing about it and did nothing in the way of compensation or apology.

“We have also had bad experiences with Camping World locations because of getting the wrong tires that caused blowouts, and more. We’ll never use Camping World again. We only did in the beginning because it was all under warranty, but the poor service is not worth dealing with them ever again.”

On the bright side… a great review of an RV repair shop in Texas

Debbie M. writes to us about the RV repair shop that gets them in and out fast! She said, “We live in San Antonio, TX, and have used the small repair shop, Texas RV Supply, for 15+ years. Mark, the service manager, has always helped us get in and out fast. There is never any ‘leave the rig here while we wait for your parts to come in.’ We bring in the rig for them to look at, they make notes as to what parts are needed and we take the rig back home with us to continue using. Mark calls when the part(s) are in and we can usually get in within a week, many times the next day even! In most cases, we go run some errands or have lunch, and the rig is fixed and ready within 1-3 hours! Nothing like the horror stories my extended family has had with their rigs or what I read about here.”

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.

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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DEB CARLSON (@guest_254728)
2 months ago

My daughter bought an RV from camping world during Covid. They planned to live in it. They noticed numerous issues right away – leaking gas line. AC didn’t work, toilet backed up leaky roof, took 4 months to schedule maintenance. Sat on the lot for 9 months leaving my daughter & her family homeless. Camping World said it was “low priority as it was under warranty” The repairs were never made correctly. They had to move for employment & took the RV to another Camping World. It sat on that lot for months until warranty ran out. Then Camping World refused to do anything “It’s out of Warranty” Neither Camping World returned calls or messages. The first one even claimed that a technician sent out to the RV a week after purchase was never there.
Worst place to purchase RV or campers & Worst place to have repairs done. Completely irresponsible company.

K Richner (@guest_254700)
2 months ago

Yeah Scamping World everything that’s wrong with the Industry! I had a marginally good experience at only one of dozens of CWs only because it was a new location and they didn’t have time for the employees to be properly trained/corrupted to represent the company as it really is! They were all wet behind the ears. After a Bad purchasing experience a 9 month old Winibago on consignment no warranty so many things wrong they promised to fix but didn’t! 3 AC purchases I only did it because it was over 100°f outside and the almost new Winibago I purchased only had one AC unit that failed about a month into our full-time journey . It was the only place I could find a AC on a Sunday in the Arizona desert. I purchased a Furion it was smashed in the box, exchanged it at a different location because the first didn’t have anymore, and that one was Also mishandled broken pipe no Freon! Over 600 miles driving trying to get a working $1000+ AC! Luckily Furion shipped a replacement free of charge to my PMB service freight packed nicely so it couldn’t be thrown around like junk. CW didn’t care how they treated their stock. I was without AC for 2 Weeks I had to rent a room on the hotter days to get out of the heat. My wife and I are Both getting older that kind of heat is dangerous especially wife! I have nothing good to say about them . That AC replacement cost me about $2800 after the Motel, and Diesel used to drive between Arizona and New Mexico then to my PMB to pick up the factory fresh AC. I knew things could happen I had a emergency fund for the Truck and the camper but I didn’t expect to spend half of it because of camping world. They should have helped pay for the Motel since they got over $20k from me when I purchased the camper.

William (@guest_254688)
2 months ago

Simple, don’t purchase anything from Camping World. They are terrible to try and do business with. Find a smaller dealership that has good ratings, you will be much better off.

Nate (@guest_254557)
2 months ago

I have a warranty from good sam that I purchased from camping world. There is nothing saying you have to use camping world service centers. I double checked on that cause there is no way I personally would use them. I’m not entirely sure why people use them either.

Elliot (@guest_254544)
2 months ago

Ho Hum. It has been common knowledge for YEARS that the CONSUMER is now the quality control department. Whether it is cars, homes or Rvs, these poor quality/service stories should not come as a surprise to anyone..

Bill (@guest_254491)
2 months ago

I understand your disclaimer about only giving one side to the story but this constant publishing of only the bad service from CW is beginning to sound a lot like those that only offer fake reviews on their products on the good side. This also has the potential to hurt the good CW employees like the stupid rants against Bud Light that cost so many jobs. Please lighten up 🤔

Diane McGovern
2 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Hi, Bill. When folks send us good reports about Camping World, we are very happy to publish them. There have been a few recently, but you must have missed them. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at

Debbie (@guest_254729)
2 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Camping World in Hanover PA & the one in Jacksonville, FL are both horrible at repairs. Hanover knew there were issues with the camper & it sat on their lot for 9 months. Sat at Jacksonville for 4 months. No repairs made. Then said ” we won’t fix it – “It’s out of warranty”
there may be good employees at these places but company policy is horrible.

Sally Harnish (@guest_254481)
2 months ago

Nanci, love your articles but how about changing out the picture of the repairman working in the lower opening. He has run his course. Have a great day.

Cancelproof (@guest_254479)
2 months ago

If you think Camping World is bad, try getting service at National Indoor RV Center. Yikes.

Bobby Bonds (@guest_254776)
2 months ago
Reply to  Cancelproof

Which NIRVC location?

Cookie P (@guest_254397)
2 months ago

It surprises me that people still use Camping World service centers when there are so many complaints about them. Are people locked in to using them because of warranty contracts?

Cookie P (@guest_254399)
2 months ago
Reply to  Cookie P

Never mind. I saw someone answer this in a later post.

Nate (@guest_254556)
2 months ago
Reply to  Cookie P

I have a warranty from good sam that I purchased from camping world. There is nothing saying you have to use camping world service centers. I double checked on that cause there is no way I personally would use them. I’m not entirely sure why people use them either.

Roger V. (@guest_254367)
2 months ago

There must be an endless supply of clueless newbies that do zero research before buying to keep Camping World in business. The horror stories about them just keep rolling in and yet, they keep growing. What an amazing business plan.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_254376)
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger V.

I’ve always thought that too, Roger.

Bob (@guest_254389)
2 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

CW has salesman trained to convince the customer that they have the best deals, service and financing. “We can keep your payments down by offering 20 year financing”. “Our service can’t be matched”. What an understatement.
These customers don’t go to at the small independent dealers. They only see the huge inventory, large showroom and 4-6 bay service department.

Al LeFeusch (@guest_254462)
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

It’s totally gross and unacceptable that any service tech would make use of a customer’s RV toilet while servicing it but, also, don’t open that valve unless the sewer hose is hooked up to a sewer connection, even if you think it’s empty. That’s never a good idea.

Shir (@guest_254497)
2 months ago
Reply to  Al LeFeusch

I wonder if it might not have been a service tech but maybe a homeless person finding an unlocked RV. If so, shame on the repair shop for leaving it open.

Johnny G (@guest_254683)
2 months ago
Reply to  Al LeFeusch

I noted that they were angry that management “didnt do anything about it”. What did they expect, for them to fire everyone who had access to the rig? Do a forensic lab analysis to match the poop to the pooper? Maybe a cash reward because their toilet got used… for a toilet? Just saying that suggests this person was unreasonable.
“**** happens”.

Neal Davis (@guest_254339)
2 months ago

Thank you, Nanci!

Bill Byerly (@guest_254669)
2 months ago
Reply to  Neal Davis

Yup !!

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