Don’t Get Caught in RV-Service Limbo

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June 19, 2016

Most of the autos, SUV’s and light trucks used in our lives every day generally spend the majority of their life within a hundred or so miles of where they were purchased. Though they have the odd occasion of extended travel, like vacations or special events, pretty well all servicing is done at the original selling dealer.

For the small number of personal vehicles that do journey far from home, like that of an RV drawn toad, limited field service is required. Generally, these out-of-state vehicles can find repair services, if needed, at local authorized dealers.

RV’s, however, differ somewhat in their travel areas. Many travel great distances and often operate in other states. This, in contrast to the everyday auto, often have need for repair services while away from home. The service frequency for most RV’s is substantially higher given the nature of the product; home-like, but mobile.

So it is no surprise that authorized RV dealers are exposed to many out-of-state-RVs that are seeking service. This has led to some RV dealers that prescribe to the philosophy of “We Will Service Your Unit If You Bought It From Us.” All others will either be turned down or pushed far to the bottom of the list. Not a great policy for vehicles that typically are used far away from home.

mechanic working on a vehicle

mechanic working on a vehicle

This scenario actually happened to me this past December. I was over 3,500 miles from home on vacation. My 2013 motorhome experienced a dash heater core leak. Engine glycol was leaking at the rate of about one quart per hour. I contacted a large Florida RV dealer that was an authorized service center for the make of rig I had. They were only too eager to help, that is, until they discovered I did not buy it from them! The early January opening changed to sometime in March or April at the earliest!

Well, I canceled Disney World and another planned events and headed for the motorhome manufacturer located in Indiana. We endured snow and cold weather instead of the warmth of Florida we had hoped for, but the factory service fixed everything up without delay.

Now, this isn’t saying that all independent dealers operate in this manner. However, this may well cause a domino-effect in a tit-for-tat way. If you won’t service my customers, I won’t service yours. I don’t want to be in the middle of that!

So, unless you are planning to restrict your RV travel to 100 or so miles, you might want to buy from a large multi-state RV dealer. One that has servicing branches in just about every state you plan to roam. Don’t be let down far from home.

Peter Mercer–With The Search For Service

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