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Old 12-05-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
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Camping World Service: opinions?

I promise there's a question somewhere in this rant so please bear with me

So, I just purchased my in-laws class a RV and was driving it home when the slide topper/awning started unraveling (it was a bit windy). Had to pull over a few times to open/close the slide to get the slide topper back in. Father in law just had it replaced and suggested that I take it to Camping World where they had it installed. When I got home, I got up on the roof to investigate but in all honesty, I couldn't figure out what was wrong without taking the entire thing apart but I assume it must be a broken spring internally. Did notice that when they replaced the topper, they did not re-install/replace the cradle support that had come with the original awning. They just filled in the hole with caulk (which I know has nothing to do with the slide topper unravelling, just gives me the impression of a crappy install).

Anyways, made an appointment with their service dept and was informed that the slide topper had a 1 year manufacturers warranty but the installation carried a lifetime warranty. Was told to bring it in and they would check to see if it was installed incorrectly and if so, they would cover it. The very next morning, I drove 45 minutes to the camping world and checked in as requested. Thought it would be a good idea for them to provide me with a quote to re-seal/maintain the roof, check the leak at the toilet, and check 2 outlets in the bedroom that weren't working. I was a little surprised to find out that not only were they going to charge me $129 for inspecting the installation of the slide topper, but they would charge me $129 for the roof, $129 for the electrical, and $129 for the toilet leak. When I asked why they would charge me for the work that they performed on the slide topper, they informed me that's what it costs them to pay their tech to inspect our RV.

Anyways, to make a long story short, the service guy agreed to only charge me $65 to inspect the slide topper but I guess my question is: is this normal? Am I to expect this no matter where I go? Personally, I find it ridiculous that I am being charged for something that they possibly installed incorrectly? Furthermore, they are going to charge me $129 for every item I ask them to check? I wouldn't have minded it if they charged me one flat rate but $129 for every item? When I take my car in for service, I am not charged a fee for diagnosing a problem, why would this be any different?

Maybe I am being naive but am I wrong to assume that this is just a normal part of doing business?
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:06 AM   #2
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I have my RV in the Shop right now, today I stopped in to see what was going on. I went back with the guy working on it and we chatted a few minutes after discussing a couple of issues. He informed me these "RVer Forums" are killing the RV shops because all the RVer's are posting problems, and solutions to the problems which has led many RVers to fixing their own problems which has reduced shop work.

Here was my response:

Well, if shops did BETTER work, not charge OVER INFLATED prices, Shops would likely get the work because when we're retired, the last thing we want to do is have to work when we could be relaxing on our lawn chairs.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:26 AM   #3
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Pretty common with CW now. They charge an inspection fee to make up for those that as for an estimate and take the rig elsewhere.

Had them install a 2500 watt inverter in our 2000 DSDP. Figured they knew how to do it. Turns out all the did was connect it to the existing wiring which was for a 400 watt inverter. They charged me a couple hundred $$ to install it too. They also left the inverter charger active as well as the two 75 amp chargers so the batteries were getting too much juice. We could also run the heat pumps (both of them) off the batteries and the refer had to be switched to gas manually since it was wired wrong too.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:17 AM   #4
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You can bet they did not pay the techs who do the work anything near the $129 figure. I have bought things from them, but only on a 'need it right now' basis. Many of their techs are just not competent and there was a service dept supervisor in a local CW who would hardly even talk about a potential problem without charging you. I am wondering if there is a minimum their service dept mus bring in daily and maybe the supervisor get's paid a percentage.
Sales staff, as I have said before - I feel I need a shower after talking to this bunch. JMHO however.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:18 AM   #5
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There have been many complaints about CW service in the forums. I have a couple of my own in fact. They tend to hire new and less experienced technicians and over charge.

Find a good mobile RV service technician, If you are in either Flint MI area in the summer or some town in FL I can't pronounce in the winter (okacheobee or something like that) I have a recommendation (the RV Girl) her rates are decent and she seems to know her business.. plus her attitude towards the job happens to be exactly the same as mine which makes her fun to deal with, We agree on dang near everything.

I have found some dealers are better too. Again I know one near Flint which does work the RV Girl really prefers not to do. She recommended them, they charge 3.00/hr more than she does (not bad) and bill by the half hour.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:25 AM   #6
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Suffice it to say that I've had much better luck dealing with independent RV service/repair shops and mobile RV repair techs than I have with either RV dealers or Camping World. Just my experience......your mileage may vary.

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:30 AM   #7
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they should not charge you to inspect work they did... JMHO
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:41 AM   #8
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Sounds like they did not properly tension the topper when they installed it I have replaced mine a couple of times. You could fuss with them but likely get nothing but aggravation. If you want it done right, take it somewhere else or do it yourself. I use www.rvservicereviews.com to find competent repair places.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:04 AM   #9
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I must be the exception to the general rule regarding CW. I purchased a pair of Splendide stacked washer/dryer from them and had them do the install. The job was professionally done with drop cloths the full length of the coach to protect the carpet. It's been over 5 years since the install and all aspects are still operating perfectly. YMMV.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:28 AM   #10
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Like with most chain operations the service is only as good as the local management and their hired talent. We have had excellent service at the CWs in Draper, UT and New Braunfels, TX. But they are the only ones we have had experience with in the shop.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:50 AM   #11
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There is a standard charge at CW for inspection or determining the problem. The issue is that they charge for each item seperately, and not say by the hour for the total inspection. Thus a water heater inspection $69. a furnace $89. and so on maybe more.

Some of these inspections amount to pluging it in a putting a meter on it, done.

I was faced with this same issue on my water heater, to replace a heating element, first they wanted to have the inspection $89., then the actual repair; an hour and a half labor plus parts, total over $400. I had ask them to replace the element period, no need to inspect. I knew I had burnt it out. They were insistent, so I ask to see someone else.

The shop manager at first stood his ground on the charges but I just politely and firmly and reasonably explained how unfair this all was. It took about ten minutes for him to wear down and he finally said he would charge me an hour maximum labor and parts. Fine, agreed (look I know I can replace this myself but it requires removing the entire unit and I just did not want to).

So I guess sometimes they can be reasonable but it is not their policy.

Aside from that the repairs I get at my local CW have been done correctly and on time.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:08 AM   #12
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All I can say is Charging $129 per inspected item is a out and out rip off
I have read so many bad things about CW I hope the ell I never ever have to be forced to go there. its scarey

NOTE to the OP why did u have to pay 65$ for a warrenty repair and what ended up being wrong with the topper??
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:21 AM   #13
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I would hope that by the numerous responces, that you are getting the basic idea that Camping World just might be the last place you take your RV for any repairs.
I would have hoped that your first clue would have been the fee for inspecting the work they had performed.
CW has chosen to take the path of "Take it of Leave it"
Their are plenty of good, reliable, reasonable trustworthy RV repair shops out there. Sadly CW is not one of them.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:30 AM   #14
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No WAY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by njs42 View Post
There is a standard charge at CW for inspection or determining the problem. The issue is that they charge for each item seperately, and not say by the hour for the total inspection. Thus a water heater inspection $69. a furnace $89. and so on maybe more.

Some of these inspections amount to pluging it in a putting a meter on it, done.

I was faced with this same issue on my water heater, to replace a heating element, first they wanted to have the inspection $89., then the actual repair; an hour and a half labor plus parts, total over $400. I had ask them to replace the element period, no need to inspect. I knew I had burnt it out. They were insistent, so I ask to see someone else.

The shop manager at first stood his ground on the charges but I just politely and firmly and reasonably explained how unfair this all was. It took about ten minutes for him to wear down and he finally said he would charge me an hour maximum labor and parts. Fine, agreed (look I know I can replace this myself but it requires removing the entire unit and I just did not want to).

So I guess sometimes they can be reasonable but it is not their policy.

Aside from that the repairs I get at my local CW have been done correctly and on time.

Changing the heating element is about a 10-15 minute job on most water heaters, even if you have to remove the mixing tube to get at it. The elements are generic electric water heater elements and can be found at Lowes or Home Depot for about $15-$20. I've replaced mine a number of times over the years and done several others for friends. It litterally takes more time to find a thin walled socket to fit the element than the actual work.

I've said it before : "I wouldn't trust Camping World to install a roll of toilet paper".
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