I got an e-mail yesterday from a gentleman who is appalled that he has had to take his new motorhome back to the dealer three times to get things fixed. I hated to tell him that he should get used to doing that, because it’s part of the RV lifestyle.
And there is no question that just about any RV you buy new, regardless of manufacturer cost, is going to need to spend some time at a dealer getting things fixed that should have been taken care of before it left the factory. We have friends who just left the factory in Elkhart, where they were getting repairs made on their new motorhome, which sold somewhere in the $275,000 neighborhood. And this wasn’t their first trip back for warranty work. I’ve always said that if an automobile manufacturer made a car that hit the dealer’s showroom with as many faults as the average new RV does, it would be branded a lemon. With RVs, the buying public just accepts it. So we’re a big part of the problem ourselves.
A few days ago, somebody else was complaining that they had just spent a couple thousand dollars in maintenance and repair on their four year old fifth wheel. No surprise there, either. If you think you’re going to buy an RV and go off blissfully down the road with never a care in the world, you’re sadly mistaken.
Even after all of the “new RV bugs” are exterminated, don’t think you’re out of the woods. Remember that an RV experiences what is basically an hours long earthquake every time you go down the road. Things shake and break loose now and then and you’re going to have to spend some time and money keeping them up. Just like you do with houses, boats, motorcycles and just about anything else in this world.
If you are a fulltimer, getting repairs and service when you need them can be a problem at times. Even if you are mechanically inclined, most RV parks won’t let you do a lot of major repair work at your site, and many times even things like oil changes, or even washing your RV are not allowed.
Finding reliable service, whether for a breakdown or routine maintenance can, be problematic at times. We have used CoachNet for our emergency roadside service for years and have always been very happy with them. They have never let us down when we needed them, and they have RV techs standing by that can talk you through a lot of minor repairs to save you time and money. Our friends Charles and Chris Yust represent Good Sam’s emergency road service, another excellent choice. We created our guide to RV Good Guys after being burned a couple of times when using unknown repair places. None of the businesses listed in the guide can purchase advertising to get in, it’s strictly limited to shops we have dealt with ourselves or that have been recommended by our readers. And if you know of some good repair shops, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about them so I can include them in the guide.
Terry and I are now officially famous. We were featured in the current edition of RV Business magazine, an industry publication for RV manufacturers, dealers, and RV parks, which has a two page story about us and the Gypsy Journal at this link.
Thought For The Day – Think before you speak. Read before you think. – Fran Lebowitz