<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> How to make the best of an RV Service appointment
Little Log

Some Observations on RV Service

(Revised 02/2016)

Just the thought of taking an RV in for a service appointment is enough to make the hardiest of RV owners shudder. Take your car in for service, and very often you can wait in the lounge, enjoy the newspaper and a cup of coffee, and with a modicum of luck your repairs are soon made and your on your way again.. Not so with the RV service appointment, which is all so often measured not in hours, but in days. And some will tell you stories of weeks.

No doubt dealers and service centers are responsible for their fair share of these delays, miscommunications, unordered parts, and fixes which don't stay fixed. But in fairness let's keep in mind these folks are dealing with complicated machines. It's more than just a chassis and a "house". It's a house on wheels which shakes, rattles and rolls for tens of thousands of miles over all types of terrain in all climatic conditions. It is a dizzying and complex assembly of component parts manufactured by hundreds of different companies, and assembled by the manufacturer into the final product we recognize as our ticket to the RVing lifestyle. Neither cars nor houses are a fair comparison. Let's face it: We wanted more goodies, more gadgets, and more amenities. We wanted bigger units. We wanted units that have rooms which slide in and out to give us more living space. And we wanted smaller "go anywhere" units which still offered all the amenities available in bigger rigs. While some manufacturers were able to respond with offerings which have proved more reliable than others, no doubt all were trying to produce what they perceived we -- the "market" -- wanted; and at a price we'd be willing to pay.

Let us repeat lest we be misunderstood: None of this is an excuse for the lack of quality control in the manufacture of units, or justifies a lack of competence in providing professional service and repairs. However, after a year of full time living on the road, and our fair share of service appointments, we've concluded the issue of RV service is very much a two way street. While we have not compromised our level of expectation of what a professionally managed service experience should be, we've seen enough to appreciate that RVers often are unwitting contributors to what turns out to be an unsatisfactory service experience. And when that happens, we're quick to blame the dealer or service center for an unhappy event. Unfortunately we're slow to acknowledge that in some cases we've been one of the causes of what turned out to be an exceptionally frustrating happening.

While no RV owner can take steps that will guarantee a satisfactory service appointment, there are several things we can do which can significantly improve the odds. And by doing so we not only help ourselves, but every other RVer who who is also getting service that day. Let's have a look at what some of these things are:

We'd like to end where we started: RVers should indeed be able to expect competent and efficient service at fair prices. Too often we find these standards are not met. And many of the factors which result in unsatisfactory service experiences are beyond our control. However, there are other factors which we can control; and which can significantly improve the odds of our having a positive service experience. Let's be aware of those factors, and make sure we do our part to improve the success of our service visits.