We never had cause to complain before. In fact, I previously had a hard time believing the horror stories my RVing friends told about their rig repairs. But then, things changed. We quickly learned the most effective ways for dealing with unresponsive RV shops. I sincerely hope you never have problems like ours, but if you do, perhaps you will find these RV tips useful, as well.
The timing couldn’t have been much worse. We’d planned our trip for months. Arrangements were made and in place. Stop mail delivery? Check! Alert neighbors/police that we would be away? Check! Arrange for the stix-n-brix lawn to be mowed during our absence? Check! RV pre-trip checklist completed? Checkity, check, check!
We were ready to go. Then we discovered that our RV’s “previously fixed problems” weren’t fixed at all. Even though our rig had spent an extended time at the dealership for (you guessed it) repairs, several issues were not fixed. Instead of getting an early morning start to our long-awaited vacation, we cautiously drove the fifth wheel directly to the RV shop.
I’m not sure if it was seeing our rig parked outside their office door or seeing my husband and me standing at the service desk so early, but we failed to receive a “good morning” welcome. We calmly explained our problem. Then we waited. The gal at the desk sat silently looking at us for so long I wondered if perhaps she hadn’t had her cup of “wake up coffee” yet. (Yes, I was frustrated. I tried not to show it.) She finally acknowledged our predicament and replied, “Well, we don’t have any open appointments for another three weeks.”
Sorry, not sorry!
We explained that we didn’t feel comfortable driving our RV until all repairs were addressed. She told us to park it in the back lot. So, that’s what we did.
Then the game of “RV Tag” began. Basically, “RV Tag” is when the consumer tries to “catch” the repair mechanic or service desk to talk about an RV problem that needs fixing (or still needs fixing). We weren’t very successful at this game at first. Then we discovered some tips for dealing with unresponsive RV shops.
“Calm” is a good word to describe the best demeanor to use when dealing with almost anyone in any situation. Each letter in the word “calm” can be a mental prompt for RVers, as well. It can help us remember the steps to take when dealing with unresponsive RV shops.
C is for “Contact.” Call, text, and/or email the shop. Clearly state your RV’s problem. Ask for a response within a specific timeframe. Use a firm but polite conversational tone. Remember to leave your own contact information.
A is for “Appeal to the supervisor.” If you’re dealing with a larger company, chances are the RV tech or service desk clerk has a supervisor or manager. Appeal to this person. It’s important to remain professional as you explain your situation. Avoid ridiculing or disparaging anyone’s ability to the supervisor. Instead, ask the supervisor to help resolve your RV problem.
L is for “Look for a second opinion.” Ask the dealership if a different mechanic in their shop could take a look at your RV. Or take your rig to a different RV shop for a second opinion. Perhaps a different pair of eyes will identify and address your RV problem more efficiently.
M is for “Make a complaint.” If you feel that the RV mechanic or shop provided poor service, make a complaint to that effect on the company’s social media page. Maybe your negative review will save other RVers.
Dealing with unresponsive RV shops can cause stress and heighten frustration. Remaining calm (and following C.A.L.M. tips) will hopefully bring about a satisfactory resolution.
Note: Thankfully, we were able to take our trip just two days later than originally planned. Our RV was fixed by our original shop, but by a different mechanic. We remain in good standing with our RV shop and enjoy a friendly relationship with all of the wonderful folks who work there.
Have you ever dealt with an unresponsive RV shop? How did you resolve your issues?
With an abundance of YouTube videos and Forums specific to our rigs, it seems we should all be able to tackle most of the jobs. Unless physically unable to do the work, one should learn to do their own repairs.
I’d say some of this story lies on you. You took the rv in for service. You took it home. You didn’t notice it wasn’t repaired until the day you were to leave? Come on, did it break on the way home?
I have to agree about the owner’s responsibility to confirm and verify the repairs. I would suggest taking possession of the “bad” parts (if possible) and asking the service tech to explain the work they performed and any other concerns. Also ask if a test drive or performance test was done to confirm the fix(es) were effective.
How do you drive a 5th. wheel ???
Carefully? 😆 Have a great day, travilenman. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Our strategy is to make an appointment with the manufacturer if our local service people (Northgate Parts, Hixson, Tennessee) cannot repair our RV. So far, we have not had to do this. We have a great relationship with our local people, largely because both sides communicate and ensure expectations are reasonable. If they need parts that they cannot easily get, then I order them directly from the manufacturer. The parts are sent to me and I take them to our service appointment.
I just find it so sad that RVers have to put up with this. Dealers & RV shops charge $200 an hour or more just to “diagnose” an obvious problem. Then the RV sits in the shop for weeks or sometimes months and nothing is fixed correctly. The shops won’t communicate with the RV owner and a simple repair becomes a nightmare. I’ve experienced all of the above and have never had a dealer complete a repair correctly. RV repair is such a niche market that they can get away with it. They really need to do better.
I had an obvious hole in my propane line, visible without having to touch or climb under the trailer. In plain sight. I asked if it could be fix with a inline connection. They said “they” can’t do that for liability issues. Another tech said I could and told me confidently what to get. Anyway, they tried to charge me a $139 service charge for looking at the hole. Never touched the rig itself. This took all of two minutes. Obviously I wasn’t going to pay this. They knew it was BS but tried anyways.
Have been very lucky, so far. All work has been done and on schedule.
Never Camping World!
Our RV was brand new, under warranty – never went anywhere except back to the campground where we were staying. One of the problems we had was the refrigerator wasn’t working. She told us to take it to Sears (which was permanently closed by the way). I was so flabbergasted, I couldn’t talk. I must have looked like a fish out of water, gasping for air. 🙂 Fortunately, dh was also there and took over. It was repaired along with the other problems. Yes, we still had problems. But dh was rather insistent. And all got done. Yes, it was Camping World, and no, she no longer works there.