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Old 06-17-2022, 04:18 PM   #1
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Service Departments

I wasn't sure which forum this belongs to so thought the general one would work?

I've bought 3 different units from 2 different dealers through the years. This last dealer's service department has my head scratching a bit as to how they operate and was wondering if anyone else has run into similar oddities anywhere.

In order to even be put on the calendar for work, you have to drop your unit off to them where it then sits in an unsecured lot until it manages to work through whatever backlog of service work that they'll then work on it. The last time I essentially lost access to our unit for 5 weeks and I got it back literally a day before a 1700 mile trip. I wound up making a few modifications in their parking lot that we wanted before we left.

My first dealer was a little more reasonable. You call, they say drop it off on xx date or the night before (after hours drop off) and they work on it if not the next day, within a few days. Unfortunately, they don't carry Jayco so I don't think i can use them for warranty work.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
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Old 06-17-2022, 04:34 PM   #2
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That's my experience as well

Except

My dealer has a mobile service department. Used them 2x.. called one week..the came the next week. My area is in Tuesday so really easy to setup
It's $150 flat fee add, unless it's full warranty work, well worth it to not loose my RV for a month
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Old 06-17-2022, 05:02 PM   #3
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Unsecured lots are in abundance in Sacramento along El Camino. It's known as 'skid row' for the homeless. I've heard many times that homeless access RV's in for service and even new units at the multiple dealers and live in them while being serviced. The Jayco dealer left the area, i often wonder if it is because of the problem. Pretty much one reason i never left my rig overnight at the place.
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Old 06-17-2022, 05:24 PM   #4
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mostly my experiences are more like your 1st dealer. I full time in winter and the local dealers understand how that works, so they schedule and do the work that day. Luckily I havent encountered a repair over a day and have to find a place to stay overnight.

Back here at home when not on the road its still scheduled and then looked at that day, and repairs started. Since this is not a full time live in situation, the dealer does tend to keep the RV longer, more than a day if need be.

I did encounter a dealer situation as you describe as your last dealer. It was a Campingworld. The converted had failed. They wanted me to just drop it off and would get back to me when it was repaired. I explained the full time situation and oddly they didnt get that. I had to drive the unit (100 miles) to the dealer twice; once to diagnose and then to replace.
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Old 06-17-2022, 05:48 PM   #5
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We bought our 5er in August 2019. My experience working with a dealer is from that point on. RV sales at that time was no where near what they would be just a few months later. When we took delivery it took two tries, I believe due to not having enough qualified techs to prep for delivery and keep up with the other maintenance and warranty work. And, it only got worse from there because of parts availability, poor scheduling and an overwhelmed workforce. I do maintenance for an aircraft manufacturer and we have and are experiencing the same problems.

The first time it went back for warranty work was in April 2020. It was in the shop for 3 months. I tried to be patient, due to covid at the time, but when the service advisor wouldn't return my call when I asked for updates I had to start going up the chain of command. I do understand the supply chain portion of the delays is a bit beyond their control but when they start playing the blame game, making excuses, etc., patience begins to wear a bit thin. In my opinion the one thing most of the service providers in the RV industry lack is proper customer service skills. Can't really blame the techs because most of that starts in the front office with those that deal directly with the customer.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 06-17-2022, 06:05 PM   #6
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My most recent dealer allowed me to text pics of my issues. Got approval from jayco. Set a appointment for several saturdays later. Never unhooked my truck. In and out in 2 hours. Water heater board, bathroom sink replacement, and a kitchen sink leak.
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Old 06-17-2022, 06:09 PM   #7
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I have dealt with only the dealer that we bought our Whte Hawk. Most recent service was bearings greased, new CO detector, new skylight over the shower, slide lubed under the belly cover and roof examined and serviced where needed.

Appointment was made in March for service in April. Dropped off the rig on a Tuesday and received a call less than a week later that all items were completed amd rig was ready to be picked up.

I have nothing but good words for the crew at Blade RV in Mt. Vernon WA.

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Old 06-17-2022, 07:14 PM   #8
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I was lucky with my rig. I had a big list of problems in the beginning but didn't want to lose my rig to their parking lot for a few months. My remedy was to fix everything myself. I am pretty skilled at troubleshooting and can fix some pretty weird things, with luck.

When my converter failed I was able to diagnose it. I contacted the manufacturer and they sent me a new one under warranty and I returned the defective one. Easy peasy. When my electronic door lock acted up the Jayco dealer sent me a new one and I sent back the old one. Simple replacement.

Had a plumbing connection come loose under the shower. Was able to fix that although I did expend a number of choice 4 letter words.

My water pump failed and I just bought a new one and replaced it rather than go through the dealer.

The moral of the story - it helps to be handy with repairs. You can find a lot of info on the web and this forum which will point you in the right direction. Even if it costs you a hundred or two you have to take into account the loss of your rig for months and weigh the difference.

The electrical items in an RV are not magical. Most often they can be diagnosed and a part ordered (in my case good old Amazon). Even if you don't get it correct the first time it is a good learning experience and you will get to know the inner workings of your rig better. I can tell you for a fact that if you diagnose a failure and repair it yourself you will be beaming with pride and a sense of accomplishment.

Granted you will not be able to fix everything but give the easier ones a try. You never know, you may be handier than you think.
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Old 06-17-2022, 09:19 PM   #9
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...
The moral of the story - it helps to be handy with repairs.
I completely agree and fixed several small issues myself. The only thing was it was an issue with a small leak in the piping from the black tank. I just didn't want to deal with that mess But I didn't realize it was going to lose the rig for many weeks. I finally had to tell them that I absolutely needed it back by xxx date and miraculously it was moved up on their "list". It's just strange that they would want to keep a ton of rigs just sitting there. A week or so, i'm not really too concerned with. A month + and that's just insane.

As for dealers with supply issues, then allow me to get my unit and use it (provided the issue doesn't prevent use of the rig completely) until the part comes in versus completely losing it while you wait for your shipment, IMO.
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Old 06-18-2022, 07:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by kirkelli View Post
Unsecured lots are in abundance in Sacramento along El Camino. It's known as 'skid row' for the homeless. I've heard many times that homeless access RV's in for service and even new units at the multiple dealers and live in them while being serviced. The Jayco dealer left the area, i often wonder if it is because of the problem. Pretty much one reason i never left my rig overnight at the place.
I agree with “ Kirkelli “. The homeless situation around El Camino ave. is out of control ( just like most of Sacramento Ca.). RV’s of Sacramento’s old dealership was built in the mid 50’s and was a very tired building. I believe between the homeless and the facility was the reason they left. Their new location is a top of the line dealership. I worked at the corner of Fulton ave & El Camino for 30 yrs. ( Chevrolet dealership ) it’s a darn shame what has happened to that area.
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Old 06-18-2022, 08:26 AM   #11
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RV dealerships are useless, in my opinion. Are there likely one or two good ones out there? Probably, but I have yet to deal with one. Their salespeople don't know anything about what they're selling, and their "RV Technicians" are incompetent, usually doing things wrong or sloppy, or just not doing them at all. I really wonder what kind of training and credentials these skids with wrenches have, all the while you are paying $100+ per hour for them to screw things up.

This is why the warranty that's sold with these units is as valuable as the paper they are printed on. Usually a nightmare to get it in and a pain to get it fixed properly. The best thing you can do in this hobby/lifestyle is figure out how to do it yourself. I buy gently used, and whenever possible fix myself.
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Old 06-18-2022, 08:37 AM   #12
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I have and will spend my own money to complete repairs myself even if truly a warranty issue. I am very self sufficient and run a maintenance shop for a motorcoach company. We do 95%of our service work in our own shop and will occasionally do outside repairs for other coach companies. When we take in an outside job it is a top priority for us to get them their bus back as soon as humanly possible. However, as Radar said the supply chain issues right now are crippling. I have 4 half million dollar motorcoaches hard down due to parts availability. RV dealers are facing the same issues however many of the horror stories pre-date the parts issues.
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Old 06-18-2022, 09:49 AM   #13
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Our dealership must be one of the few good ones. Each time they asked when is your next trip? We'll work around it.
While under warranty: water heater quit working called them up and they new of the common issue. Set a time and they replaced the board on the spot, never unhooked from the truck. While we waited to see if the water heater cycled properly the shop guy asked if there was anything else he could do for us.

Interior light and tail light failure, they got the parts in and only had it a few days.

Propane regulator recall, part came in and they changed it while I waited. Once again didn't unhook from the truck.

Hail damage insurance claim: they worked with the insurance company and scheduled the repairs over the winter months. All done before our first trip.

And a secure lot.

Our daughter's family just bought their second camper from them a few weeks ago and this is our second from them. Now that I'm out of warranty I will do all the repairs myself.
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Old 07-03-2022, 01:12 PM   #14
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My best service experience was in Masa, AZ. We had to have a slide mechanism replaced. Arizona RV services did a great job. We took it in got it diagnosed. They ordered the parts. When they came in they replaced it that day. We are full timers. I love Arizona RV Services.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:31 PM   #15
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We purchased our trailer from a dealer whom we chose because they have 26 service bays; that was more important to me than price. When our TT is delivered the Service Writer reviews the issues; it is left "in line" in an unsecured area that is right outside the service department window. Since I've been using them for multiple years my guess is that a unit only sits outside the service area for maybe an hour at the most. We toured every Jayco dealer is Northern Ca. and some in Southern Ca before we purchased our unit.
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Old 07-03-2022, 08:26 PM   #16
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I have had such horrible experiences with my dealer that I refuse to ever go back. If i can't fix it myself I have a local place that will schedule me out about a month, then in and out in a day, 2 max.
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Old 07-04-2022, 12:34 AM   #17
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RV dealerships are useless, in my opinion. Are there likely one or two good ones out there? Probably, but I have yet to deal with one. Their salespeople don't know anything about what they're selling, and their "RV Technicians" are incompetent, usually doing things wrong or sloppy, or just not doing them at all. I really wonder what kind of training and credentials these skids with wrenches have, all the while you are paying $100+ per hour for them to screw things up.

This is why the warranty that's sold with these units is as valuable as the paper they are printed on. Usually a nightmare to get it in and a pain to get it fixed properly. The best thing you can do in this hobby/lifestyle is figure out how to do it yourself. I buy gently used, and whenever possible fix myself.
WELL SAID, SkyBound. I have always bought new, but unless there is a HUGE improvement in production and you can get quality service LOCALLY, I won't buy another new one. "Gently used" seems like the way to go.

The manufacturer's and dealers know what's happening. It's up to them to fix the problems. There are other threads (that I agree with) with some explanations of why it won't happen soon. Eventually they will kill the goose that's laying the golden egg for them.
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Old 07-04-2022, 07:42 AM   #18
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Put our Northpoint in Nov 2021 for leak under sofa window. Going to reset the window and put new paneling in. Few weeks later getting call that the entire wall was rotted, would order new wall. Few months past and tell us wall is in, days later, wall too short. Weeks later, or was it months, anyway finally get the correct wall. After getting call to pick up, appears to be a good job. Long story short, kept for almost 7 months, granted it was covered under warranty. Just can’t see taking that long for repair. Just glad to be camping again!!
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Old 07-04-2022, 08:17 AM   #19
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WELL SAID, SkyBound. I have always bought new, but unless there is a HUGE improvement in production and you can get quality service LOCALLY, I won't buy another new one. "Gently used" seems like the way to go.

The manufacturer's and dealers know what's happening. Eventually they will kill the goose that's laying the golden egg for them.
They're very aware of that, but by the time that happens the money will have been made and that's the objective. Quality control and quality costs money, in a hyper competitive environment those costs have either got to be absorbed as operating expenses or passed on to the customer. Operating expenses cut into margins and passing those costs off to consumers is a competitive liability. The solution therefore is let the bean counters determine a threshold for quality, one which consumers will tolerate and which doesn't cut into margins. Apparently for example, upholstery which is complete garbage but won't start peeling until at least the warranty has expired meets that threshold.
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Old 07-04-2022, 10:50 AM   #20
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This thread has a lot of reason to dislike dealer service departments, sadly.

In the 7 years we gave owned our White Hawk, the service department has done an incredible job of doing excellent work.

One of the first problem was a leak in the shower that ruined a wall between the bath and kitchen. Fixed under warranty and one tech caulked every glass in the shower stall. At the same time, we asked to have the slide adjusted as daylight could be seen when it was open. Service manager wasn't sure anything could be done without the slide being removed and reset. One of his techs overheard us talking and said he knew how to adjust it. And, he did.

We complained if a soft spot in the floor, under warranty. A fix was made but the spot, snd a few more, were noted. This was after the warranty had expired. The service manager didn't think Jayco would do anything but asked for "courtesy assistance" from Jayco. Much to his, and our surprise, Jayco repaired the entire floor in the rig and new floor covering installed. This was before Thor bought and ruined the name brand.

My point, there are good quality service departments out there that will take care of customers.

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