Monday, December 4, 2023


RV service centers and getting repairs done: Tell us your experience

RV sales have risen and there is a glut of RVs crowding campgrounds, crowding highways and, most of all, crowding RV service centers with sometimes months-long wait times for repairs.

Where are all of the RVs getting serviced? Can they even get parts? If the RV is more than 10 years old, what happens then?

Our horror stories

Trying to get into a service center in a timely manner is almost impossible these days, so my husband has been forced to learn a lot more about RV repair and parts than he ever wanted to. It would be three weeks until a mobile tech could come out for an “emergency repair” on our toilet. And it really was an emergency (think seepage). A service center would just replace the entire toilet in a few weeks but not the parts. Three long days later he had replaced everything on it and disinfected the bathroom. (Thank you, one-day Amazon shipping!)

This spring, we spent three weeks waiting in an RV park to get our RV serviced. Being full-time RVers, at least we were able to live in it while we waited. The service center was full and all the mobile techs were booked out for months. Every time they had a cancellation we grabbed it.

Another thing: It seems many of the techs working in service centers are new to the job. When we put out the slide they worked on, the inside wood molding was yanked off the walls. It took another four days to get back into service and three trips to the office to complain. We finally gave up on them replacing the molding correctly and let them just cut it down.

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 our first column on RV service centers. See you then.

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10-year policy stops RVer from getting RV serviced where he bought it


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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Kevin Sawyer (@guest_254083)
2 months ago

Our experience started the day we brought our new travel trailer home, this was in mid March, about 35 out. The dealer left water in drain pipes, did not secure battery box, spare tire cover blew off. We used it a couple times and took it in for 60 day checkup! Sewer valves were broke, shower door dont work right, closet door only closes if you slam it, fireplace vibrates when in use, the mini fridge is built in so you can’t get to thermostat. After them keeping it for over 2 months, we go out to use it. Go to hook up sewer hoses, take off cap, here comes sewer water flooding me from previous days use! I’m pisses now, sewer valve still broke. They installed a new shower door, top rail falls off, still have to slam closet door, by now it’s a 100 deg out, can’t tell if fireplace works, but vibrates just to try turning it on and off. If I want to adjust fridge temp, theysaid to go inside and remove a devider wall under the sink to get to it!!. They got it back real quick! Two weeks later there trying to fix it again. I quit talking to service people, only the salesman that sold it to us, the manager and owner. This is our second Forest River, but different dealer. I would NOT suggest Unlimited RV!

Bob P (@guest_243152)
5 months ago

My second motorhome was set up for a washer and dryer, Camping World had them on sale so we took it to Nashville our closest CW. DW had all ready purchased the two before we arrived, taking the unit in they took it back to install them. It took almost 2 hours, when we went to inspect the installation we found they had removed the shelf between the two compartments and installed an extra cost stacking kit that we didn’t approve of, back in the shop to remove the stacking kit and reinstall the factory shelf and dryer where it was designed to be. They didn’t like it but I refused to pay for their extra cost kit, and told them I wanted my shelf and would reinstall the dryer later after our trip to Kansas. They spent a half hour correcting their attempt at increasing the profit column. Plus they lost a customer permanently.

Bob P (@guest_243142)
5 months ago

My first motorhome was a ‘99 Bounder that the house batteries wouldn’t charge while driving. Upon trouble shooting I found the relay at the engine bay non-functional. Replacing that they still wouldn’t charge, calling customer service inquiring about a wiring diagram I was told there wasn’t one. The answer I got was there are 6 teams that do the wiring and each team has their own way of wiring. Further inquiry I was told it was wired according to the schematic, but no diagram of which wire went through which bulkhead. I ran a new wire under the coach to the battery compartment. All the wires were the same color in the engine bay and battery compartment.

John the Road Again (@guest_205822)
1 year ago

The rock guard on the front of our Jayco popped out and irredeemably bent under warranty. Dropped the camper off at the beginning of last October. Since it was the end of the season, I told Camping World (almost 200 miles away) that they can keep it until spring. Good thing, because Jayco sent out the wrong replacement part no less than 4 times. (No doubt they spent more on shipping than the actual repair) I had a short list of other items that needed repair. When it was finally supposedly ready the next May, I went out to pick it up to find that not everything was done, and that at some point the spare tire mount was bent nearly 45 degrees askew. Annoyed to have to return home already in camping season without our rig. Interestingly, Camping World corporate got wind of my misfortune and sent me a $200 check for my gas & time. A few weeks later, everything was resolved. At least until the guard popped out again…

Larry Lee (@guest_199602)
1 year ago

Thor Tuscany 40′ Class A DP 2014 spent 7 months out of the first year in the shop, some of it waiting for parts already on the shelf! I found an independent shop after that. Small repairs as possible are done by me. 8 years since purchase and still having screws and nuts fall out while driving down the road, and cabinet door hinges popping loose regularly despite my quarterly schedule to tighten them! Just bought and installed a new 48″ TV so I got to look behind the wall–good grief all the stuff they just dropped and left behind as they closed that area going down the assembly line.
The Whirlpool appliances (microwave/convection oven & 3-door refrigerator) have been perfect unlike the Spendide TVM63X dryer which screeched like a banshee (whatever that is?) from day one until I took it apart & replaced the motor bearings. Now quiet reigns.

Peggy (@guest_199589)
1 year ago

We have a five year old fifth wheel. For the most part my husband has done most of our repairs while we full timed for three years. There were several things that a dealer needed to address. We stayed in one place and ended up purchasing a home. We took this opportunity to have this work done. We took it to Campers Inn in Ocala FL and let them know what we needed done. They took pictures and made notes. They ordered the parts and we took it home until they arrived. Took a month. Took it back for the repairs. It took a couple weeks. This would have been difficult if we were still full time.

Alex (@guest_199579)
1 year ago

2015 Sprinter Class C required documentation that only “Mercedes” certified motor oil is used to maintain the warranty. Only one Benz dealer my area would service the vehicle. The others didn’t have a bays tall enough to accommodate the coach. Since I’d just filled the DEF tank, I made sure the Service Writer annotated the work order “DO NOT FILL DEF.” Upon getting the invoice, they charged $35 for DEF … before leaving the dealership, I opened the hood to find the entire compartment full of white power residue — dried DEF spray that they tried to add to the full tank! They would not back off the charge on the invoice! The tech even balked at rinsing off the residue saying “it isn’t corrosive or anything.” After the $300 bill for an oil change and DEF we didn’t need, I shopped for the properly certified oil and did my own oil changes. If you have a Sprinter based Class C, hope you never need to be towed .. they need to be flat towed on low boy trailer.

wanderer (@guest_199621)
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex

The pervasive Service Writer problem. Too many are third-raters who can’t actually do mechanic work, just get between you and the actual tech, garble your information, and screw things up. I no longer deal with a shop that takes my keys, whisks the unit to the back, and won’t let me show my issue to the tech directly. The ones most demanding to make me wait out in the lounge with magazines and coughing patrons–seem to have the most to hide.

Mike Albert (@guest_199629)
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex

We were towed last week with our B+ Mercedes Benz Chassis (Sprinter). Took 8.75 hours from call to arrival in Kansas City, MO. We were towed on Saturday night and shop didn’t open until Monday morning. They needed a heavy duty ( for 18 wheelers) to tow after disconnecting the drive shaft. Towed to a Mercedes Benz dealer in KC. The issue was at the shop I normally go to in Sarasota,FL (a MB) dealer, over filled the engine oil level. The MH had less than 11 k miles and is a 2021 model. Luckily it is still under warranty or tow bill would have been $840 plus the two nights for the hotel and 2 1/2 days travel lost while on a schedule to meet 21 other rigs for a cross country trip. The KC dealer was very sympathetic and “squeezed” me in. Left their shop around 2:30 pm while the MH was towed in at 8:30 am.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Albert

Wow! What a hassle, Mike! I hope the rest of your trip is absolutely awesome and totally stress-free. Take care. 😀 –Diane

Mike Albert (@guest_199631)
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Thank you Diane. In Cody, for another day and loving every minute since…well almost, but that’s another story. Yellowstone should be on everyone’s bucket list. Gorgeous areas!!!!!

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Albert

Thanks for the update, Mike. Have a great time! 😀 –Diane

Roger V (@guest_199548)
1 year ago

It is sad for the wide-eyed first timers who buy RVs and actually believe what RV salesmen tell them about getting service. My salesman actually seemed surprised when I asked to meet the Service Manager and then tour the service area so I could talk to a tech or two. It was clear that they were overwhelmed, but were trying hard. Small shop with two bays. Still bought from there as they were local and beat every other I got within 5 surrounding states. At least I went in not expecting much from their Service department. Thankfully they were true to their word that they prioritize their own buyers over all others. Only needed two warranty visits in the first year. Once that ended, I haven’t needed to go back in the past 5 years. If I can’t do it myself, I’ve always found other good options.

Thomas D (@guest_199521)
1 year ago

I’m reasonably handy and never had a problem I couldn’t solve if I had the tools.
My last rv, brand new had problems that weren’t apparent.we took delivery in February in freezing weather. A lot of things in the plumbing department were FROZEN. Dealer hadn’t winterized it. Well, I called dealer and told him and he said bring it back. I told him it’s in a heated building thawing out and I did not want to drive 400 miles round trip twice to have it repaired by someone who couldn’t do it before everything got broken. He agreed to send parts and I’d fix it. Worked great. He paid me $140 an hour, his rate, and everything worked out fine. And repairs were done on my timeline

Bud (@guest_199520)
1 year ago

Oh it was awful!! I called on a Tuesday and they couldn’t get me in until THURSDAY! I was hot. Then I pull in and they keep it for 1 hour………1 HOUR! I barely had time to go to lunch . Yea this service is miserable.
You just have to pick the right dealership. Simi RV, Simi Valley CA!

wanderer (@guest_199542)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bud

Very funny. Well, no, not really, for the folks who do get jerked around for months.

Roger V (@guest_199544)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bud

Same with my dealer. Of course, that was 5 years ago. Last time I needed to take it to the dealer. 1 year warranty expired and I’ve never been back. There’s always better options out there once you’re past the warranty handcuff period.

Donald N Wright (@guest_199504)
1 year ago

There is only one Aliner dealer in Texas and they are real busy, so I take it to Coach in Plano. As for my Airstream, they also have a line waiting for parts, and the one day service is backed up for a month. However, once inside their air conditioned facility, two days later it was ready to go. Airstream DFW want’s me to bring it back next week to adjust the hitch. I enjoy going to Airstream DFW.

Tom (@guest_199469)
1 year ago

If you can’t do the small stuff, stay out of the kitchen.
Real problem is the knowledge and skill set of the repair technician. Most have learned on the job. Manufacturer doesn’t provide tech manual for repair guidance.
Industry wide problem.

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