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Old 05-08-2021, 11:31 AM   #1
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RV maintenance wait times

We just took the RV into a local dealer for service. They said it will sit from 3-5 weeks before they will get to it, then they will order parts. And we can take it home then, and return when parts are in.

For the 3-5 week wait in their lot. We asked to take it home, and we would bring it in within 4 hours of their call, but they wouldn’t do it.

Any ideas why this wait? Is it industry standard?
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:43 PM   #2
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I understand that this wait is common and the policy of leaving it and not bringing it in when they call is unfortunately common. The dealers want to manage their backlog.

When this whole CV related RV boom is over I expect it may go back to normal, whatever that means.

For me, I am going to fix all of the glitches myself that I can on my new Thor Axis and bring it back to the dealer in November when camping shuts down here in the NE and let it sit and wait until he can fix the rest.

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Old 05-08-2021, 01:18 PM   #3
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When business is booming like Rv is now, there tends to be a slip in consideration given to customers. Looking from the dealers view, if they have it in their lot, you are not likely to find a different place to take it.
If you stay around and watch closely, you may find a few who are more "important" are slipped in line ahead of you!
Find a repair shop who is not busy and it is likely you would not want to go there anyway!
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Morich View Post
When business is booming like Rv is now, there tends to be a slip in consideration given to customers. Looking from the dealers view, if they have it in their lot, you are not likely to find a different place to take it.
If you stay around and watch closely, you may find a few who are more "important" are slipped in line ahead of you!
Find a repair shop who is not busy and it is likely you would not want to go there anyway!
This is why we stayed away from the big dealer in the area. They said, if you donít buy here, then you are last in line. Hope that isnít the normal way, ohio is a long way from CA.
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Old 05-08-2021, 05:30 PM   #5
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If you have any trips planned East, you could plan on a stop in Forest City. Another option, depending on what you need help with, is to call mobile service while camping. As an example, Weaver's Mobile RV (Lancaster County PA area), came out to my site in October and replaced a toilet sprayer, installed a new brighter motion activated LED porch light, and installed an intake tube (winterization kit) on my Minnie Winnie 31D for $250. My point, is that it is possible to find good service, even during the pandemic. Just had Demco Stay And Play installed on the toad (2002 Honda CRV) and Expert RV Repair in the Rochester area (MN) schedule an appointment and had us out the next day.
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:50 PM   #6
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My first 2 RV were new and I never had a problem within the first 10,000 miles. then I sold them. I guess I go lucky, because I never experienced a "break-in period."

My 3rd Diesel RV was 12 years old. I bought it from a gipsy dealer in Portland and I will never do that again.

Anyway, I waited 3 weeks to get into a local RV repair facility that receive good reviews, anxious to start my Canada trip just as soon as they finish, and they said the would be able to get to it until 5 days later.

I was shocked. I asked why did I make an appointment for today if you were not going to work on it for 5 more days? ...And their answer: "That was to get you in queue so we can work on it!

OMG, then then took 5 more days to finish. And ever since then I have been doing my own maintenance and helping other learn how much better off they will be to DIY.

And for specialty repairs, I go to Puerto Penasco, Mexico where I stay at The Reef At Rocky Point. I call it my "RV Day Spa," because you can get everything done in one place by capable and experienced RV repair and Body & Paint too!

PS
Covid only exacerbated the problem. It has always been a PITA to get service in the busy months, and now they charge even more for mediocre work. ...And this include Winnebago in Forest City, IA. So don't think, just because you open your wallet, and pay whatever it takes to get "gold service," that is what you are going to get. 5x out of 10 you are not going to be happy with the bill you paid or the repair work performed.

Honestly, I sometimes think the RV maintenance people are going to kill this industry... and then along came Biden... And we shall see what road tax comes about in the next 2-5 years making it too expensive to buy fuel.

So I say, get your RVing in now while you can and learn how to repair your RV yourself!
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:45 PM   #7
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When we had an issue with the slide and the backup camera in our RV I called the local Winnebago dealer we bought the RV from and was told that there was a 3 month wait to get into service. Then a 1-2 week wait until the RV gets to the front of the line, then the time to order parts and then the time to fix it. Figure 4 months, and the RV had to sit in their lot for that time. If we took it back out the wait started all over again.

So we ended up taking it to a local 3rd party repair shop that we trust. There was still a 2 month wait, but we did not have to bring the RV in until the time it was scheduled for work. Then there was a 1 week wait until they got to it and ordered parts. We could again take the RV out and use it and bring it back when the parts arrived. Then a 2 day wait for the repair work. Much, much less of a pain.

I think the problem has to do with several things - the glut of RVs and new users who have no experience fixing issues, a shortage of parts and a shortage of capable repair employees, but given what is going on I have pretty much decided to just take the RV to a local shop for repairs.

One interesting thing is that one of the dealers in town advertises that it is part of a network that guarantees fast service access. If you buy an RV from them or anyone else in the network they guarantee access to the shop for repairs in 1 week, and that is something to consider given the current state of getting an RV fixed.
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:59 PM   #8
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It's ridiculous that dealers service shops wants a person to leave their RV's on the lot for weeks waiting to be serviced/repaired. Thing that really worries me if you sign a paper about the work to be performed there's a good chance that there's a clause stating they're not responsible for any damage to it while on their lot. Of course a person can always argue "ordinary care" but who needs a legal battle?
I think what would be "fair" maybe? would for the dealer to assign a date to bring it in, collect a $50 deposit and if you don't bring it in on that date you lose your deposit. Of course if the customer brings it in on the assigned day the deposit would need to be either refunded or applied to the shop's bill. A mandatory reminder call, or card in the mail, or email from the dealer to the customer a couple of days ahead of time would be needed.
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Old 05-12-2021, 05:16 PM   #9
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I once had an appointment, took my RV into the Camping World that sold it to us checked it in for some minor warranty work.

Me and my wife went away for the day and came back to pick it up and was told that the appointment was just to drop it off and not get the work done.

We are full timers. Sorry, CW. Pulled it out. I then checked and the warranty (manufacturer and extended) work didn't have to be done at CW.

My rig has not seen the inside of a CW service bay since.

I don't have any problems with CW but some of the stores have issues with the service. I hear some are quite good. I hear some are quite bad - my particular CW turned a bunch of people over shortly after our visit.

It goes to Ford for Chassis Work, Sacramento Valley RV for coach work and I'm not sure yet who will fix my Schwintek slides - Maybe Winnebago.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:15 PM   #10
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Typically, units go in and out of the service bay a number times, so they can work on other units while they wait for parts or replies from clients. If the unit is not on site, they can't shuffle in and out. Specialists requiring tickets (electrical and propane) may have a number of jobs ahead of them and others need to work around them.

We took our Minnie Winnie in after I had a shower backing it out of it's parking spot. The dealer took it right away and took it indoors. A couple of weeks later I got an idea of the damage, a few weeks after that, an estimate. It was then shuffled to the side while parts were ordered and shipped. The whole front cap was removed and replaced. It took 4 months but that included Xmas.
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Old 05-13-2021, 04:45 AM   #11
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Recently had a great experience

I had a great experience about 3 weeks ago getting a major slide failure repaired. Its definitely unique to the SE US area though. I had the drive blocks fail on our bedroom slide, a repair project far more difficult and intense than I could handle. It rendered our rear bedroom slide- and our bed - useless. We began searching for a repair shop all over the Atlanta and north Georgia region but we were constantly told 2-3 months before they could even get to it once we dropped it off, then even longer for parts and repair.

We heard of an independent shop in Warner Robins, GA that was really good with RV repairs. It was about 90 miles from us but I gave them a call. I wanted to make sure they had the technical competencies to address a repair of this difficulty level and magnitude. It turned out they had numerous certifications from Lippert and other component suppliers as well as manufacturers of RV's, even though they were independent. They advised service was on first come first served basis and that they'd do their best to get to us as soon as they could if we dropped the rig off. I wasn't clear if that meant 3 days, a week, or 3 months but we took it to them anyway.

WOW- what a nice clean and professional shop working on all shapes and sizes of rigs! My wife asked when we arrived (they had about a dozen rigs on the front lot) when they could get to ours as we had camping reservations with friends pending we desperately wanted to get to. She braced for the worst in a reply, and they said they'd try to get to it in 3 days.

We left the rig and the next morning, 18 hours later, they called and said they were working on the rig. They diagnosed the system failure, called me and asked if it was OK to order needed parts. They were not sure how long parts would take, but I gulped and swallowed hard saying I would pay for overnight air freight, while advising me it might cost several hundred dollars. (it wound up being $150) But we needed to be at our arranged destination.

Parts arrived 3 days later and 36 hours after that they called and told us the rig was ready to pick up. The price was exactly as quoted, the work on a rather intense slide repair was excellent and perfectly repaired, and the communications and attention to our needs by the representatives, techs and staff of the company was totally awesome!

I've used the WBGO factory in Forest City for major repairs in the past and being over 1000 miles from us it was difficult to utilize that service and there was a risk that without an appointment it could be a while before you might get a repair slot.

This shop in Warner Robins earned my business forever when the rest of service companies and dealers around the south east were whining and moaning about how difficult it would be for a repair to be made, these folks got the job done quickly and properly.
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:54 AM   #12
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I've owned RVs since 2005 (2 TTs, and now a motorhome) and none of them have ever been to a dealer for service. Although most of my repairs have been DIY, I've used independent shops plus a mobile guy and have never had a bad experience. My biggest repair was repairing the back, right corner of my second TT after I was rear-ended (not my fault), including an axle replacement, fiberglass repair and a new water heater. I think it was done in a week or so. That one was expensive but was covered by insurance.

My latest experience was a slide repair by a mobile guy. My MH's bedroom slide was tipping out when being retracted in addition to making a horrible noise. He met me at the storage yard with his son, diagnosed the problem (a broken stop/hold-down bracket), ordered parts from HWH, came back after the parts arrived and had it fixed in about an hour. My total bill was a little over $400 and I didn't have to take or leave the MH anywhere.

I also have an independent truck shop that's done right by me including a mobile service call after getting towed to campground. Prior to the call, the owner and his son spent about about an hour on the phone with me, after hours, diagnosing the problem at no charge. The mobile service call was expensive, I was about 2.5 hours away from home but my camping trip wasn't interrupted, and, if I'd elected to have been towed into the local town instead of the campground, I'd have had motel bills, etc. All total, I think it was about $800 for both travel time and repair cost.

For anybody in the Sacramento area, the truck shop is Mike and Sons Truck Repair: https://www.mikeandsonstruckrepair.com/

And the mobile guy is Eagle RV in Galt, CA: Mobile RV Service and Parts - Galt California

My only complaint is that DIY guy takes so long to get things done and sometimes has to do it three times before it's right.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:43 AM   #13
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I just had my MH serviced. Dropped it off on April 5. I just got it back yesterday. 3-5 weeks seems to be the norm.

They said it would be at least a couple of weeks before they could get to it and I had to leave it in the lot.
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:57 AM   #14
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It Doesnít Get any better does it?

You ainít in the queue if your rig is not on the lot is SOP in the RV repair business everywhere. Once on the lot, 4 weeks before work starts is not uncommon. Back in January, I waited three weeks to get onto the lot of a respected independent service shop, and another 4 weeks before work started.

I normally do all work myself, but at my age, not easy for me to crawl into pass thru, or under the rig in freezing weather. So, I bought all the gear and parts for my upgrade and delivered them with explicit written instructions and wire diagrams of how I wanted the work done. Picked up my trailer in late February in driving rain/sleet. Didnít look at it until we wanted to take a trip in March. Come to find the shop installed the inverter disconnect switch on the wrong side of the bus bar. I had been very explicit on this, that my battery has a built-in disconnect, so I didnít want it on the battery side of the bus bar.
I didnít want to wait to get back in the queue, so had to fix it myself. Not easy when youíre using 1/0 wire, and trying to squeeze your old body into the pass thru. Required dismounting bus bars and components, and re-wiring. I was happy with their work otherwise. When I called them to ask why they didnít follow my wiring diagram, they said the guy working on your rig got Covid, and the guy who took over didnít have your instructions. They did a great job on everything else, so Iíd still recommend them. Iím absolutely certain I would have been more unhappy using Camping World, or local dealer.
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:25 AM   #15
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Reading all of this and experiencing the pain as well. I called for my spring maintenance back in February and was given a service date of 5/4. I dropped the Journey off on 5/3, and after many phone calls and stopping in the finally started on it today, 5/13 or 10 days after I dropped it off.



Anyone in the service business needs to embrace the simple act of returning phone calls, and e-mail. A concerned owners anxiety can be so easily appeased by communicating. I know the shops are busy, but called Cummins Coach Care just in case and found they could get to it in a couple days. I am hopeful that it will get completed now, that they finally answered the phone.
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Old 05-13-2021, 11:28 AM   #16
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Anyone in the service business needs to embrace the simple act of returning phone calls, and e-mail..
Iíll hold my breath for that.

The Cummins guys are probably accustomed to responding to OTR trucks in a reasonable amount of time.
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Old 05-13-2021, 11:40 AM   #17
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Typically, units go in and out of the service bay a number times, so they can work on other units while they wait for parts or replies from clients. If the unit is not on site, they can't shuffle in and out. Specialists requiring tickets (electrical and propane) may have a number of jobs ahead of them and others need to work around them.

We took our Minnie Winnie in after I had a shower backing it out of it's parking spot. The dealer took it right away and took it indoors. A couple of weeks later I got an idea of the damage, a few weeks after that, an estimate. It was then shuffled to the side while parts were ordered and shipped. The whole front cap was removed and replaced. It took 4 months but that included Xmas.
Understood. But this is a 3-5 week wait at their lot BEFORE they even look at it. Once they decide to order parts, we get it back for the 3-4 weeks for parts to arrive. But then, we have to take it back and leave it there while being fixed. So it will be out of hand for 1-2 months. I'm really sorry I agreed to it, and we are considering just taking it back. But it is all warranty service, and the warranty runs out next month.
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:02 AM   #18
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Well I persisted and on Thursday someone finally answered the phone. Was told he was moving the Journey into the shop that morning to start on it. On my way home Friday I swing by the shop and he had taken care of all the fluids and filters changes, gave the Journey a thorough and reported that he saw nothing amiss. Taking care of a few minor items Monday and Tuesday , and that it should be ready for me sometime Tuesday. That will work, we plan to head to Columbus next Friday.


I mentioned Cummins Coach Care, I am thinking they may be a bit expensive, but maybe worth it every couple years. Watched this video from the RVGeeks, looks like a good service


I would normally take care of fluid changes and the like, but these new knees just don't let me get on the ground and wallow around like they used to, and then there is the disposal of all that oil and diesel fuel on my driveway.
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