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Old 05-17-2021, 07:59 AM   #1
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Service centers near me no longer taking RVs they didn't sell.

Found out this morning when I was calling about getting some service done on my RV that the two largest RV sales and service centers near me are only performing service on vehicles bought from them. I guess they are booked out so far that's what their solution is. So unless I want to take my RV 2 hours away, it's mobile techs only in my area.

I have a mobile tech coming but he's booked out over a month also, trying to hire a couple of assistants, and has me on his "fit in when in the area" list. So far it's just for my slide issue, but had the service center taken me in I was going to have some stabilizing upgrades put on as well as a few other things.

I mean, there's a Camping World an hour away, but...it's Camping World.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:12 AM   #2
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Service Centers were already backed up prior to the record sales year. This was bound to happen.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:23 AM   #3
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This was the policy in my area long before things got crazy. In short, dealer service centers working only on vehicles they sell is SOP.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:25 AM   #4
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The "education" system is shoving kids away from blue collar trades into white collar positions. That means fewer technicians to do the real work added to the higher demand.
My son in law does mobile RV repair and is booked pretty solid now.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljwt330 View Post
This was the policy in my area long before things got crazy. In short, dealer service centers working only on vehicles they sell is SOP.
That's one of those questions you don't know to ask when you are buying an RV, would be helpful to know before hand.

I mean, when you are buying an RV, it doesn't really occur to you that there might not be a place that will fix it.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:48 AM   #6
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When it came to repairs on my popup, my only real solution was to do it myself, on several occasions. I often went to talk to the service guy about getting work done where I bought it, always several months out. He was able to give me enough insight a couple of times that I could solve the issue myself and was able to get information from a parts supplier once.

On one occasion, I got the dealer to order the parts, and ended up doing the work myself. When I told the service tech how easy the repair was, he wanted me to explain, sounded like it was something he had never done.

I scheduled an appointment a month ago to drop my current travel trailer off for some warranty work in mid-June. We are scheduled to camp a few miles from the dealer then, so we are staying an extra night and bringing the trailer in on Monday morning. I had to call him back and add the hail damage repairs to the work list. I think he could have gotten me in for the warranty work a little quicker, but working with my schedule.
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DadJokeDad View Post
That's one of those questions you don't know to ask when you are buying an RV, would be helpful to know before hand.

I mean, when you are buying an RV, it doesn't really occur to you that there might not be a place that will fix it.
Curiously enough, when we first were looking at RVs several years ago, one dealership made this one of the selling points. Basically the salesman stated that if you buy from him, the RV will be serviced but they will not service vehicles purchased elsewhere. I cannot recall if I had prompted that response by asking questions about servicing, however, but it was the one thing that became permanently etched in my memory regarding dealer purchases.
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:48 AM   #8
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Sure says something about RV industry quality when all the major RV retailers and independent mobile techs have huge back logs due to the large amount of sales of BRAND NEW RVs.

Imagine if the local Ford dealer was backed up and they refuse to do warranty work on your $80,000 pickup because 'you didn't buy it here', or 'we'll get to it in 4 months'. The dealer would be crucified by both the local media and Ford themselves.

It's amazing what us, the consumer, has decided is an 'acceptable' level of service in the RV industry. If your $80k motor home was a $80k car, law suites would be flying into court for such horrid maintenace and especially warranty support.
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:49 AM   #9
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The dealer where we purchased from has recently changed their policy to only service the RVs they sold. Their techs are working six days a week. Another issue with getting service is the fact that many techs also have RVs and take their vacation time in the warmer weather.
We had some issues in South Padre Island Texas this past December. A local RV tech came to our camp site and fixed our problem. This particular tech was more than happy to allow me to watch and he even took some time to explain what he was doing so I could do the fix myself in the future. RV dealers donít allow the RV owner to observe what the tech is fixing, at least this has been my experience.
It seems there may be a bright future in the profession of Mobile RV Tech for a mechanically inclined young person. A person would probably need to spend a few years working for a dealer to get the necessary training before going out on their own.
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
The "education" system is shoving kids away from blue collar trades into white collar positions. That means fewer technicians to do the real work added to the higher demand.
My son in law does mobile RV repair and is booked pretty solid now.

SPOT ON!


Additionally, a large number of the new RV'ers grew up not owning tools, having no interest in owning tools or knowing how to use them.



Their mantra appears: all I need is my credit card.



I really don't see that mentality working with any RV past the initial "honeymoon" period. Should be some real bargains in a year or so.
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:14 AM   #11
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A combination of tech shortage and customer inability is making for difficulties in most industries these days.

Reminds me of the old joke about the plumber who told a customer he couldn't make any money in his previous profession so he became a plumber. Customer asks "what was your previous profession?" he said he used to be a doctor.

I wonder if any RV manufacturer requires selling dealers to service their particular brand regardless of where purchased?

I think any brand of auto dealer is required to service that brand regardless of where purchased. I believe it's part of the selling agreement with the manufacturer.
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:28 AM   #12
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Yup, I found that too. I am lucky to be 1 1/2 hours from the Winnebago Factory Service Center. They are great, but yes, when I called for an appointment 3 weeks ago they had one or two appointments left in July, then Late October. They do take drop offs but you have to verify they have room. They "fit them in" I suspect a lot of Winnebago owners schedule annual service and travel from all over. When I dropped mine off, the customer lounge was full. 50+ people. They've had mine over 2 weeks and I think are done with the exception of waiting on an awning fabric. And these guys are huge. 35 bays and I have no idea how many techs. Upside, CDI, their paint shop was able to get me in while it was waiting to repaint the peeling clear coat on the roof and front of the cap. I think I'll make an appointment for fall to service before I head to Mexico for the winter.
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:33 AM   #13
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Spent a some time in a conversation about technical jobs and college degrees last night with a group of people after our Bible Study. One guy was lamenting the fact that some of the workers he hired in his distribution facility quit when they got their $1,400 stimulus check.

No one wants to get their hands dirty, and like mentioned above, most have never been exposed to tools. By 10 years old, I knew how to use a multimeter (at least a little bit), how to solder, and how to handle a few tools. By 15 years of age, I was expected to rotate the tires, dad once handed me a diagram of the vacuum lines to the old Ford, and told me to go route the lines as shown on the diagram. While working my way through college, one of my first large buys was a good set of Craftsman tools.

Back in the late 80s, I was paying $16/hour for top technicians in the plastic industry, with all of the overtime they wanted. Fast forward to the turn of the century (that sounds so old) and I would spend 2 hours training production workers on safety requirements in a classroom before sending them out to work. It was not unusual to have a supervisor come to me after the first break to tell me they walked out the door after 30 minutes of real work and never came back.

Last night we were talking about the top jobs most of the kids want today:

1. Influencer - facebook, twitter, instagram, I still don't quite get how they make money at it, but obviously the Kardashians have managed to make it work.

2. Rap Star - and do not for the minute think this is a racist comment, as this career path has been stated by many races, both sexes.

3. Crypto-currency - why do real work, just manage your crypto bank.

4. Internet Game Designer

5. With the Dallas Cowboys around, that is sometimes mentioned, but much less lately. Those guys actually have to break a sweat sometimes.

I met a young lady who was working on her journey-(wo)man electrician license a couple of years ago. It would have been totally inappropriate, but I wanted to give her a big hug I was so proud of her. Needless to say, I encouraged the heck out of her. Wish I could have kept in touch without it appearing creepy, I just hope she finished.
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Old 05-17-2021, 11:38 AM   #14
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And.....the next recession, they'll all be crying the blues about how they're not making any money. They have short, greedy memories.

I agree, there just isn't any interest in this country to do a hard days work. Newmar is actually promoting and paying for tech classes near the factory.

If the RV industry wasn't so finicky, a well planned roll out of repair facilities throughout the country, kind of like NIRV, could probably be successful.
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