Breaking down in any vehicle while travelling can be a traumatic experience. However, when it happens in a large RV, it can be extremely challenging. Unlike a car or S.U.V., the finding of a safe place that is big enough to park a large rig can be an issue. Especially if the failure allows only to coast into that spot.
Once stopped, the situation must be investigated and assessed. Can the problem be righted, or at least jury rigged, in an effort to relocate to where the needed corrections can be done? As is many times the case, no! You are going to have to find help.
Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance has helped two million RV travelers keep going on the road.
Hopefully, as most travellers have a cellular phone, reaching out for help can usually be done from the safety of your RV. If your vehicle is a class A coach, you are might be contacting a local RV dealer or truck repair facility. If it is an engine, transmission, or chassis related issue, the majority of RV dealers are not going to be much help. This leaves your only hope with truck service centers.
Many, if not most, truck repair services do not want to work on RV’s and will abruptly tell you so as soon as they learn of your plight. Having your unit towed can also be a painstaking experience. Have they towed a motorhome before? Do they know that the drive shaft may have to be removed? Are they familiar with tethering their air system to the coach to release the brakes and hold up the air suspension? How are they going to actually tow it? Improper procedures for some of these have left RV owners stuck with additional expensive damages. The best defense is to try to avoid having your rig towed at all.
Here’s an actual happening. Late in the day I pulled into a campsite ahead of a snow squall in Kerrville Texas. I got out only to see the right front wheel oil seal had blown on my 45’ motorhome. There was almost no oil remaining in the hub making it un-drivable. I called Spartan, the chassis maker, and they suggested I check Truckdown.com and pick the closest service facility.
I picked a service provider located in San Antonio, about 80 miles away. They had no issues with working on a motorhome and said they could come right away. Well, as it was just getting dark, I suggested the following morning.
At 7:15 the next morning a service truck was there. They dismantled the entire wheel/axle assembly and installed a new Stemco seal set. Thorough cleaning and re-assembly was complete by 11:00 a.m. The entire bill, including travel time, was just over $400. Great service at an unbelievable price. I never thought a job that big could be done in a campsite. Perhaps what seems like a major breakdown may not be as bad as you think, and towing may not be necessary.