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Do Traditional Mechanic Shops Work on RVs?

Do Traditional Mechanic Shops Work on RVs?

If you own an RV for long enough, something is bound to break. A majority of issues that RVers encounter are simple enough that just about anyone with the right tools can fix.

However, there are still quite a few items you will want to leave to the professionals.

The recent boom in RVing has left many RV shops with an extensive backlog of customers patiently and impatiently waiting. This may cause you to ask, “Do traditional mechanic shops work on RVs?”

Well, let’s see!

Do Traditional Mechanic Shops Work on RVs?

A traditional mechanic shop will likely not work on RVs. But, there are definitely exceptions you’ll want to know about.

Most auto shops get built with passenger vehicles in mind and not RVs. Everything from the garage doors to the lifts will probably be incompatible with an RV.

It’s also a good idea to consider that while RVs are vehicles, they’re unique. Aside from the powertrain, drivetrain, and the suspension or brake components, pretty much the rest of the rig is unlike anything most shops see or have any training in addressing.

If you’re experiencing an issue with your engine, suspension, brakes, or tires, you will stand a better chance of using a traditional mechanic shop.

However, if you’re experiencing issues with slides, plumbing, or electrical issues, a conventional mechanic shop will likely be of little help.

Class B and small Class C RVs are also much more likely to be serviced at a traditional shop.

Did You Know: An RV Technician reveals the lifespan of an RV (and, it’s ridiculous).

Mechanic repairing vehicle.
Most traditional mechanic shops will likely not work on RVs.

Where Should You Get an RV Worked On?

If you’re experiencing an issue with your RV, your best bet is to contact your dealer or manufacturer. This is especially true if your rig is still relatively new, and repairing your RV may fall under warranty coverage. 

RV manufacturers will often have a database of service centers and service departments they use for warranty work. Whether they’re footing the bill for your repair or not, they may be able to send you in the right direction.

As we stated, RVs are very unique, and some of the systems involved in an RV require parts to run in harmony and with precision. For example, slight adjustments to your slide mechanisms can cause damage to your flooring or cause seals to leak. You don’t want someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing to work on your RV.

RV dealerships often will have service centers.

These can be great options, but it’s best to make sure that the dealership not only has experience working on your type of RV but also has fixed other RVs with your specific issue in the past. You don’t want your RV to be a guinea pig for a service center to practice growing their skills.

Pro Tip: We took a closer look at if you should use a mobile RV repair professional or if it is a waste of money.

Mechanic repairing electrical system in vehicle.
When in doubt, contact your RV manufacturer to get repairs done.

What Are the Most Common Problems With RV?

RVs experience various issues depending on where and how they’re getting used. One common and significant problem is a leaking roof. This is typically the result of the owner not maintaining the seals on their roof and around potentially sensitive spots like windows, doors, and vents. Regularly inspecting the sealant is essential to avoid this common problem.

Take Our Word For It: This $5 RV Fuse Set Is Worth Every Penny (Don’t Travel Without It).

A second common issue RVs experience has to do with their electrical system. Electrical connections can come loose as your RV bounces over the bumps and dips in the road. Even if the electrical connections stay tight, something as simple as a blown 5 cent fuse can render portions of your RV useless. It’s always a good idea to have a handful of spare fuses on hand just in case.

RVs also often experience problems with tires. The tires that manufacturers put on RVs have earned a pretty bad reputation over the years. There are even horror stories of RVers experiencing blowouts on the way home from the dealership. A single tire blowout can cause thousands of dollars in damage to an RV. So you should always make sure to check your tires and adjust pressure before hitting the road.

Pro Tip: We spoke to an RV mechanic, these are the RV systems he says will break first.

Are RVs Expensive to Maintain?

If you stay up to date on the maintenance of your RV, they’re relatively inexpensive to maintain. RV sealant is less than $10, lubricant for slide mechanisms is less than $5, and checking your tires is free. However, it’s typically not the cost that prevents people from maintaining their RV correctly.

Maintaining an RV requires effort. You’ll need to access the roof every month or two to take a close look at all of the seals. You’ll also need to crawl under your slides every month or so and spray the mechanisms with lubricant. These are all preventative measures that can help you avoid a major repair down the road. Some put off doing maintenance because of the lack of time, which ultimately results in an expensive repair bill later.

Is It Difficult to Find an RV Repair Shop?

Finding an RV repair shop isn’t all that difficult. Most RV dealerships have a repair shop as a part of their service department. However, you don’t want to put your RV in the hands of just anyone. You want to trust that the repair shop knows what they’re doing. Finding a quality RV repair shop that doesn’t already have a massive backlog of work orders can be rather difficult in this day and age. 

What repairs have you had to trust an RV repair shop to fix? Drop a comment below!

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Bob

Saturday 12th of March 2022

I take mine to a local truck repair shop for all my chassis/drivetrain related issues. The rest I do myself.

Do Traditional Mechanic Shops Work on RVs? - VanLifeAdvisors

Saturday 12th of March 2022

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