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5 Red Flags to Watch for With an RV Repair Shop

5 Red Flags to Watch for With an RV Repair Shop

There’s a saying in the RV community, it’s not a question of if something will break on your RV, but when. No matter how much you spend, something will eventually break or stop working. It’s part of being an RV owner. However when something goes wrong its important to find a reliable RV repair shop. You want to know your rig is in good hands.

Today, we’re sharing five red flags you should watch for when selecting an RV repair shop. Let’s dive in! 

Going to an RV Repair Shop Doesn’t Have to Suck

Some RV repair shops are better than others. There are often many options, so you don’t have to settle for a bush-league repair shop. It’s best to find a reputable shop that will do an excellent and timely job. You can’t take your RV on adventures if it’s sitting in the shop.

The Good, Bad & Ugly RV Repair Shops

Do your research by reading reviews and talking to other RVers. Some incredibly talented and knowledgeable shops do fantastic work. If you can get your rig into one of these locations, they can have it looking and running like new in no time.

What Is an RV Repair Shop?

An RV repair shop is similar to a car mechanic. However, they have technicians with expertise in all things RV-related. The intricate systems in an RV are unlike other vehicles. Many of these repair shops can handle almost any issue you might experience in an RV.

If you’re experiencing an issue with your rig, you’ll want to take it to an RV repair shop. They can address everything from frame or suspension issues to your plumbing or roof leaks. Many shops also offer services for routine maintenance items like checking seals or winterizing your rig. If you’re physically unable to do some of these things, they’ll gladly do them for you.

RV repair shop
RV repair shops can handle both minor and major repairs.

How Do You Find an RV Repair Shop?

You don’t want to trust your RV in the hands of merely any RV repair shop. One of the best ways to find an RV repair shop is to contact your RV manufacturer’s customer support. They typically have a database of repair shops that they recommend. They’ll often ask for your zip code, and they can help you find a shop near you.

Another way to find an RV repair shop is through word of mouth. RV repairs are relatively common, and almost every RV owner eventually needs to take their rig to the shop. Ask your friend and fellow camping enthusiasts who they’ve used in the past with satisfactory results. They’ll likely provide you with a list of places to consider and avoid.

Lastly, a quick Google search can provide you with a list of possibilities. However, this can be a gamble, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar area. You’ll want to read reviews and proceed cautiously. You don’t want to waste money or be unhappy with the results of the repair.

Are RV Repair Shops Expensive?

Frequenting an RV repair shop can be rather expensive. Labor rates typically range from $100 to $175 per hour. Some repairs can take several hours, and you’ll also consider the costs of any necessary parts. However, if you cannot repair yourself, you might not have any other choice.

Tom and Cait doing research on their laptops
Do plenty of research before hiring an RV repair shop to ensure fair and honest service.

Unless you have deep pockets, part of being an RV owner is learning to do repairs yourself. You don’t want to haul your RV to the repair shop for every minor issue. Investing in a few tools and researching how to repair the problem can be a wise investment. It can help you save money, with more cash to spend on adventures and buying gear for your trips.

➔ Not sure what tools to carry? Here are 36 Important Tools You Need In Your RV Tool Kit.

What Are the Most Common RV Repairs?

RV repairs are common in the RV community. The standard repairs are tire blowouts, leaking roofs, and air conditioning units not cooling. Most RV repairs result from the owners not following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

For example, tire blowouts can be incredibly dangerous and cause thousands of dollars in damage to an RV. RVers must check their tire pressure and look for any abnormal wear in the tread before every trip. It’s not enough to only check it from time to time. It would be best if you did it before every single trip. Many RVers even use tire pressure monitoring systems to monitor their tire pressure while traveling.

Issues with leaking roofs and air conditioning units are widespread because climbing onto the top isn’t always easy for everyone. Both items require regular cleanings and inspections to function correctly. Issues can snowball, especially if there are months between trips onto your roof for review.

RV technician fixing roof leaks
Roof leaks are common but can be avoided by checking your seals regularly.

Do RV Repair Shops Do Warranty Work?

If you have a new or newer RV, there’s a chance you have a warranty on your rig. Some RV repair shops do warranty work, but not all. If you have a repair that you believe falls under warranty coverage, you’ll want to call the provider to start a claim. They may require you to take your rig to a specific location or network of repair shops.

Many manufacturers provide a complete warranty for the first year of ownership. However, these warranties typically do not transfer from the initial purchaser and may have some limitations. Some manufacturers deny roof warranty claims because owners didn’t follow the recommended maintenance schedule and apply a sealant to the seams. Contact the customer service of your RV manufacturer to find an RV repair shop they partner with for warranty work. 

5 Red Flags to Watch for With an RV Repair Shop

You should be aware of red flags when selecting an RV repair shop. We recommend you proceed cautiously if you spot any of these red flags. Let’s take a look!

RV technician fixing stove
An RV repair shop should communicate promptly and professionally about your repairs.

Lack of Communication

Part of good customer service is communicating with customers. However, some businesses, including RV repair shops, aren’t the best at communication. If you have to follow up to get answers or estimates repeatedly, it should be a significant red flag of what you can expect regarding service.

If the RV repair shop can’t provide a clear answer or return your phone call before they have your rig, you shouldn’t expect any difference when doing the work. A reputable repair shop will communicate clearly and quickly with customers. They should return the call promptly if you have to leave a voicemail. If you’re waiting days or weeks for a response, they’re likely not worth considering. 

Extended Repair Estimates

Supply shortages and the increase in RV sales have caused lengthier repair estimates. Some repairs can take weeks or months to complete. Just because a repair shop gives you an extended estimate doesn’t mean they’re not a good repair shop. Some things are simply out of their control.

On the other hand, if you’re getting several quotes with extended repair times and a shop says they can do it incredibly quickly, it might be a red flag. They may want to use old or used parts lying around their shop. You want to ensure they do the job correctly, and rushing the process may not be worth it. 

➔ We did some investigating to find out Why Does RV Service Take Forever? Take a look!

Empty Parking Lot

An empty parking lot should be a red flag. In a day and age where RVs are flying off dealership lots faster than dealers can receive them, RV repair shops should be bustling. You should wonder why there are no RVs or other customers. Does the shop have a bad reputation and they’ve scared all their customers away? It’s a possibility!

Use Scare Tactics

One of the things we hate to see most is when repair shops use scare tactics, especially on vulnerable customers. If you go in for a minor repair and the shop delivers terrible news that they’ve discovered a significant issue that you must address immediately, you should proceed cautiously.

Dishonest repair shops will use scare tactics to convince customers to do service work or repairs that might not be necessary. They’ll stretch the truth or blatantly lie about issues so that they can pad their bank accounts. If the repair is costly, it might be worth paying for an extra set of eyes to provide some feedback.

Travel trailer at RV repair shop
Don’t fall for RV repair shop scare tactics, and seek out a second opinion when you’re not sure.

Negative Reviews

If you’re considering an unfamiliar RV repair shop, check their reviews. Customers will often leave feedback about their experiences at an establishment. Looking up the shop on Google Maps or other popular databases can provide much information. However, it’s essential to remember that reviews don’t always tell the whole story.

Most customers aren’t rushing to leave a review when they have an experience that meets their expectations. People who leave reviews either had a great experience or an awful one. Some who leave overly negative reviews may not be telling the complete truth. The customer’s lousy attitude or issues beyond the shop’s control may have caused a negative experience.

So while you should take some reviews with a grain of salt, look for a pattern. If the shop’s listing is full of more negative reviews than positives, it’s a red flag. However, not every business will meet customer expectations 100% of the time. How they handle the negative criticism is also crucial. Look for replies from the establishment and ensure they address negative feedback professionally.

Pick Your RV Repair Shop Carefully

Picking an RV repair shop can be a stressful decision. However, being aware of the red flags we’ve shared today can help make the decision easier. If you’re experiencing an issue with your rig, get it to a shop as soon as possible. Problems don’t fix themselves and typically only worsen with time. Find a reputable repair shop that will get you and your RV back on the road quickly. 

Class A motorhome at RV repair shop

If you can’t make it to a repair shop, consider mobile RV repair instead. Check out our comparison: Mobile RV Repair Service vs. RV Service Centers: Which Is Better?

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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