Believe it or not, RV Repair shops are not all created equal. If you are like me and didn’t major in engine or RV repair, then you will need to turn to a qualified RV Repair specialist when the time comes. Trust me, the time will come. The Average RV’er is now spending $500 per year in just maintenance, not to mention actual repairs from damage or parts going bad. Key RV components, like your RV’s Generator, are super costly to replace and not always easy to fix. When choosing an RV repair shop, it is important to look at the quality of their work, their experience, certifications, and reviews. You’ve already invested a ton of money into your RV, so don’t overlook any necessary repairs with a quick fix from inexperienced mechanics.
A trip to the RV Repair shop doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Here is our guide to finding an honest, dependable RV repair and maintenance service provider so that you can get back on the road safely and affordably.
The Best RV Repair Service
RV Service and Repair
There are over 10,000,000 RVs rolling around the US now. Seems like there are nearly as many RV Repair shops to choose from too. Whether you’re looking for motorhome, 5th wheel, toy hauler, Class A or travel trailers repairs, or just general RV service, you’ll have many RV mechanics vying for your business. But which one is the right one. It can definitely be hard to tell when most of their websites look like they were created in the early 1990’s. As RVing has grown in popularity, even among millennials, more and more mechanics have picked up RVs and Campers as part of their specialties.
But how can you discern the honest mechanics from the crooks? And how do you know which ones actually have the experience to work on your RV and can get the job done? At the end of the day, the goal is to find the right RV Repair Shop at the right price; so you can get back to the RV lifestyle and keep more money in your pocket.
We do have a guide for you. But first, consider taking matters into your own hands if a littler elbow greese is possible.
Affordable RV Repair
“How much do RV repairs cost?” You may not like the answer. You may wish that you never bought the RV in the first place when you do find out. A few parts and some labor to fix a water system may run you just a few hundred dollars. Replacing your auxiliary generator, up to $5000. Collision repair or Engine rebuild… you could easily be looking at a $20000 bill. Truth is, you will have to pay for some repairs. Whether you buy brand new or renovate a vintage Winnebago, breakdowns and mechanical issues are part of the deal, which is why smart RV’ers always include repair expenses into their travel budget.
But one ideal way to reduce those expenses is to learn how to do some basic RV repairs yourself — whether it’s simply changing the oil or even installing a new awning.
If you are like me and don’t know your way around a toolbox, you may be shaking your head… but you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with just a little effort, and youtube!
No matter the RV issue, there’s definitely a video or tutorial online from some helpful RVer revealing how to get the job done. You might be a newbie… but have some faith in yourself. And remember, even if you can’t fix it yourself, you can still take it to the repair shop.
Having trouble diagnosing the problem in the first place? There are a number of RV Forums to get help with diagnostics from mechanics and other campers. The internet can be a useful tool beyond just funny cat videos.
Now when you do reach your breaking point, or come across an RV Repair that needs professional attention, it’s time to find an RV Repair shop. So, How do you find the best rv repair service?
Quality RV Repair
One way to find a referral to quality RV repair shop is to
Ask the locals.
Ask some folks nearby or in your campground for a recommendation. Usually you’ll find someone that has someone they know that has handled all of their RV repair needs. Then, whether you’re in your own town or unchartered territories, follow up that personal referral with an online reputation check. See what others have to say about that RV Repair Shop.
In fact, there are whole websites devoted to publishing user reviews of businesses, helping you to discern the good from the bad. Yelp can be a great tool, but they cover all types of businesses. If you want to quickly find results specific to the RV Industry, check out one of the following RV Repair directories for RV Repair shop listings and reviews: www.RVRepair.directory, www.LocalRVRepairs.com, www.RVRepairsNearMe.com These are sites dedicated to helping Campers and RV’ers find the best RV Repair shop with honest reviews.
You can always check other places for reviews, such as Google Places and Facebook.
Just remember to always take online reviews with a grain of salt. People are motivated to write a review when they receive exceptional service… really good or really bad. Consider the reviews that are specific to the quality of the repair itself, and not the timing. If there is one thing that really pisses people off is the expectations set for timing of a repair. That can be one of the most difficult things to forecast, especially since the majority of RV Repair shops are relying on third party RV parts distributors for their supply of parts. A part that goes out of stock (backorder), lost package, or delayed delivery by the postal service are completely out of the RV Repair shops hands. However, they are the folks that catch the heat. Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox.
Don’t Judge an RV Repair Shop by its Cover
In our experience serving the RV Industry for over 40 years, you cannot judge an RV Repair shop by how its’ website or business looks. Many of these single man mobile RV repair shop operations provide the best RV Repairs! Whether it’s a tiny garage or an established dealership, it’s the service that matters.
The Right Equipment
Not every RV Repair shop handles every type of RV Repair. When choosing an RV repair shop, it is important that you search for shops that have the equipment and facilities for the job at hand. For example, If the frame is bent, the alignment will be off, making it difficult and dangerous to operate the recreational vehicle. So you would want to have an RV Repair shop that has a three dimensional frame measuring machine, a state of the art machine for RV Repair mechanics to diagnose the problem. This is just one example. Other caveats might be that the RV Repair shop doesn’t do any kind of work on engines, or chassis. The point here is to investigate beforehand what the RV Repair shop specializes in, and whether they are properly equipped to work on your RV. The directories that we mention above all allow the RV Repair shops to list over 100 features of their services; so it is easier to see if the shop performs engine and lube work, or just simple maintenance.
Your RV isn’t just a vehicle, it is your personal living space, your castle on wheels. You literally won’t be able to live with shoddy repair work. That is why we recommend finding an RV repair shop that stands behind their repairs. You rely on that water pump in the desert just as much as you would the heater in Alaska. You want to make sure you have a trustworthy repair shop that offers warranties on all of their work. We prefer RV Repair shops with warranties, seeing this as a sign of confidence in the repairs they provide.
Qualified and Certified
Serious RV Repair shops earn certifications through legitimate institutions so that they’re up to date on the latest techniques and technology for collision repairs and mechanical issues. See if the repair shop actively participates in this type of training. Usually, we see that the RV Repair shops are proud to show off that they have RVIA/RVDA Certified RV Technicians, and they will host those badges on their websites. Another check is through “direct repair programs” (DRP). Approval from the Insurance Provider into the DRP program means insurance companies trust the repair shop to perform quality work at a fair price. Now while insurance referrals doesn’t mean that the company is the best RV repair option, it does offer some additional level of credibility. Lastly, is the repair shop using quality parts directly from the manufacturer of your vehicle when making repairs. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) certification means the RV Repair shop knows the best techniques coming direct from the manufacturers. Therefore, look into what certifications the RV Repair shop has, and make sure that the individuals actually working on your camper or RV have them.