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Full Version: Rv Dealer Repair Shops, Why Can't They Give Good Service?
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My wife,daughter and I have been RVing for almost eight years. We absolutly love rving,the peaple and the life style. In our almost eight short years rving we've experienced mostly bad to realy bad service mangers and service work on our coaches, from California, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida. It seems they must have a high turnover rate in there shops with employes who are not as good as they say they are. Service managers, one who Im dealing with now is rude unorganized and its like pulling teeth to have him call me to keep me up dated on some small miner repairs. Mind you this is the dealer I bought my coach from. When I do call its like Im a bother and they dont have any updates or just flat out don't know whats going on with the part or parts. The dealer sure will go head over heals to get you to buy a coach and promise you the best quality service money can buy, Ive still yet to find it. Just want someone to be honest and straight forword with me and do good honest work. Is that to much to ask? Any one have this problem or is this just me?
I found a GOOD one, but unfortunatly it wasn't in my home town. It was Uhlmann's RV in Chehalis, WA. I was driving near there, it was Christmas Eve day, my tank heaters fell off and were just flapping as I drove. Uhlmann's re-attached my tank heaters and refused to take any pay for it, and it was FREAKING CHRISTMAS EVE!!! So, I felt obligated to buy a bunch of stuff.... IT was the only place open that day. When I realized I had a problem, I pulled into two or three RV parks and asked for recommendations, they all said UHLMANNS. (At first I thought they said "ALMONDS.")

Fortunately, I am very handy when it comes to repairing my RV. I will attempt to fix most anything that is not part of the engine/transmission. I avoid those two components because I can count on good service from Cummins and Allison. Otherwise, I have found it just about impossible to get good service from any dealer or factory repair center. About the best you can hope for is to pull into a dealer's service center with one problem and leave with two. I think it is primarily due to the fact the dealer is unwilling or unable to admit the problem is beyond their scope of expertise. They would rather assign an inexperienced tech to attempt the repair, charge the $100.00 per hour labor charge and hope you are far down the road when you realize the problem wasn't fixed. With all the different components in a modern RV, you are much better off taking the vehicle to a specialist (i.e Refridgeration, plumbing, HVAC etc).
kcm, oh my gawd, that reminds me of an issue with my very first RV! I had a 24 foot Fleetwood. Well, first time I took it out, furnace quit. Just quit after ten minutes. Fortunately, it wasn't that cold. I went in for warranty, dealer said "loose wire." Took it out again. Furnace quit after ten minutes. It was October. A little colder, but not bad. Took it BACK to dealer. Dealer said "blown fuse." Took it out again, NOVEMBER. Furnace quit AGAIN. IT WAS FREAKING COLD! Fortunately, another RV'er let me borrow a space heater. Well, I took it back to dealer, threatened to report them to BBB. They kept my RV a week, guess what the problem was. That RV had FOUR outlet vents, all the other RV's of that size only had THREE. Dealer picked one of the outlets, plugged it, and problem solved! Apparently the fourth outlet caused a 10 amp furnace to pull 12 amps, which was causing the furnace to quit. By plugging one of the four outlets, furnace went down to 8 amps. No problem.

Sometimes the solutions aren't really obvious.

And my guess is a qualified HVAC (heating, ventallation, air conditioning) specialist could have trouble shot that problem in about 5 minutes. Glad you didn't freeze. KCMOEDOE
The dealer I bought mine from had great service. Then the owner decided to retire, and he sold to a national chain (you figure out which one). The service has gone down hill quickly.

I even had to leave mine at another of their locations 2 hours away during an emergency, and the service wasn't any better. One of the things I told them to look at while they had it was the fridge only worked on 110, wouldn't get cold on propane. They told me later that it didn't work on either, and I needed a new one. I told them to skip it.

Got it home, plugged in the 110, checked the fridge - perfect. Switched to gas, checked it next day - too hot. Put it back on 110 - perfect. There is no way that the 110 heating element decided not to work while they had it and it's worked fine for me since I bought this thing 6 1/2 years ago (and still works for me). Guess I'll pull it apart and figure out why the gas flame isn't hot enough.

There's a new local shop that's opened here - I'm going there next time I need service (and did not renew my membership in the national chain's discount club).
Bud in Florida
I guess I have been pretty lucky. I bought a unit from Out of Doors Mart in Winston-Salem, NC and they were very good with service. Nice service manager and fixed things the first time. Recently I bought a used unit and found Campers Inn here in Leesburg Fl and they worked on my used unit and their service manager Julie is pleasant and helpful. Traded the the used unit for a new Damon which I bought at Harberson RV near Tampa. I have had the unit in several times for minor things and the service writer Brian has been great, even gave me his cell number to call. Always gets back to me and they have done all I could ask. But I have heard all the horror stories. I think the most important thing is to try to solve the problems and be pleasant. RVs are complicated things and sometimes it is hard to figure out the problem, but it is not hard to nice and keep the customer informed
John Blue
We also use Cummins and Allison for the hard stuff and I do the rest. I change all oils, fuel & filters, plus lube jobs. I can fix about anything if I can find the problem. Some are very hard to nail down and others are not. I have done work on dash AC system couple times due to bad pressure switches. Recharged the system couple times as well. We do not have a lot of problem with the Foretravel. Units are made to run a long time. I have also added updates to unit over the years like XM radio, cell phone amps, DTV, AC power checking system, and others items to make it a great unit to travel in.

We also see the poor workmanship done by shops. High dollars to train someone new out of high school. Parts changers, O' that did not fix it, well this will.

John S.
Well, I have been very lucky. When our Foretravel needs service I will drive to Texas and have Motorhomes of Texas fix it. They do it right and for the right price. I have been very happy with the service I have received there and can not say enough good about them.
How far are you from Texas? The repair price may not be so good if you figure in the cost fuel. Course if the place is as good as you say, it may be worth the trip there just to get good service. One trip there sure beats going back over and over again to a bad service place.
John S.
I am 1300 miles from TX. THey are located in Nacagdoches Texas. I will drive here with a nice list of little things and they fix them all.
I have a 2005 Monaco Diplomat, that I took to the factory in Elkhart, In. 2 times to have the roadside slide worked on, but the factory just closed about 30 days ago. Now they tell me that the service manager from Demartini Sales in Wakarusa, In.(which also just closed), and some other people from Monaco Coach, have opened a new service center in Elkhart, In. that can do warranty work on Monacos, and I think other brands. I think the new service center is called Elkhart Collision and Service Center, or something like that. I have not tried to contact them, but heard about them on Yahoo---Monaco Coach Owners Group. There is a place in Wakarusa, In. that also does everything from collision work, to TV upgrades on Rvs, and I am trying to find their website now, as I have talked to them about upgrading the TVs in my Monaco. I can remember that they are just 3 or 4 blocks west of the Monaco factory in Wakarusa, In., but the name fails me.
Your local car repair garage may be worth checking out. A lot of mechanics are RV'ers, and they also have, well, mechanical experience! And they may be able to direct you to a good RV mechanic if they can't fix your problem.
We have a new 5th wheel which we bought in April from Tom Raper Inc. in Indiana. Once TR got our $$$$, then they seemed not to want to deal with us. For example, after 3 weeks of calling when we were on the road to arrange warranty repairs on our way back to Maine, we arrived in Indiana only to be told we'd have to wait 2-3 weeks before the service department had "time" to see us. Gosh, the economy in the mid-west must be BOOMING!!

So......we called the manufacturer (Forest River) and explained the situation. They asked that we bring the 5'er to their plant in Goshen the next day.........and once we dropped it off, they had all 27 of our warranty problems corrected in 6 hours! The service was excellent; but this was from the manufacturer and not the seller.

We then went to Nova Scotia at the end of the summer and a couple more problems developed. So we took the 5th wheel to two local Rockwood dealers in Maine. One refused to work on it given that we didn't buy from him; and the other said they might be able to get to it in May or June 2009.... but they "weren't sure." Give me a break!!! The economy is tanking and they can't do repairs for which they will be reimbursed??? I think some of these dealers have had it very good for far too long.

So, once again, we called the manufacturer. Forest River immediately authorized a non-dealer RV repair person to correct the problems. Both have been corrected now and the RV service person has been paid (by Forest River) at his going rate and to his satisfaction.
I guess I am writing this to suggest that when you have problems with a dealer, maybe a call to the manufacturer would be helpful. This has certainly been our experience.
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