RV Owners have been complaining for years regarding flaws in the service side of the industry. Recently, an expert dove into details while discussing this very topic.
If you’ve ever had to have work done on your rig, you know the frustrations. So, how bad is it?
Today, we’re looking at the flaws in RV service departments and what you can expect.
RV Service Industry Flaws Revealed by Dealership Expert
Josh Winters is behind the popular YouTube channel Josh the RV Nerd. In a recent video, he unleashed a stream of facts about flaws in service departments impacting owners.
Based on his data, the average warranty claim takes approximately 80 days to complete. Unfortunately, Josh also mentions owners spend three-quarters of that time waiting for work to start.
He shares several factors that increase the time it takes to fix these issues. Josh mentions there can be a lot of back and forth between the dealer and the manufacturer. Once parts ship, they must cross their fingers that they’re the right ones and arrive in good shape.
Luckily, Josh has good news that the 80-day turnaround is an improvement. It was 120 days at the beginning of the year and 90 days a couple of months ago.
While the current timeframe could be better, seeing it moving in the right direction is good.
How Does the RV Warranty Claim Process Work?
The warranty claim process can be long and tiring, especially if you have unrealistic expectations. It’s likely not going to be fast or stress-free, so prepare yourself.
You’ll need to contact a dealer or maintenance department at the first sign of parts failing. Share your concerns to get the ball rolling. They’ll take pictures and inspect the area you believe qualifies under a warranty.
Here is where the flaws in the RV service industry start showing. Instead of working on them in-house, these records get sent directly to the manufacturer or insurance provider. They’re the ones deciding whether to approve or deny the repair. And they’re typically not in a hurry and can have quite a backlog.
Assuming everything goes as planned, your claim will get approved. If not, they may ask for more evidence to support your request.
Once the dealer receives approval, they’ll order parts. The order can take a few days to process and ship. Then you’ll have to wait for it to arrive. Depending on your location, this can take seven to ten days. Workers will inspect the items to ensure they’re right and in good condition.
After checking all the boxes, they can finally begin on your rig.
Are Shortages to Blame for RV Service Industry Flaws?
In the last few years, manufacturers broke records month after month for assembling and shipping new rigs. However, supply chain issues caught up with them and caused significant delays.
Factory owners had to get creative and use alternative materials or products instead of backlogged items. Since many mechanics go directly through manufacturers for parts, we watched claims processing times climb.
Thankfully, shortages are no longer as common. The demand for new RVs has cooled considerably over the past 18 months. Research indicates that new shipments have decreased by as much as 50% over the past year.
Sadly, there are more flaws than just supply shortages.
You can have all the components in the world, and it only matters if you also have technicians to do the work. Some facilities maintain booked schedules for several months because they need more employees. While the National RV Training Academy and others are doing their best, there’s still not enough.
You may need to take matters into your own hands to prevent RV service flaws from impacting your plans. Luckily, it’s possible to take action to help you avoid them.
Can You Avoid Dealing With Flaws in the RV Service Industry?
One of the best ways to avoid the many flaws in the RV service industry is to do regular maintenance. Manufacturers typically include a schedule in the owner’s manual. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it’s a great place to start.
If you want your rig in pristine condition, keeping up with it is essential.
Additionally, you’ll also want to develop your DIY skills. Being able to do tasks yourself means you won’t have to haul your RV to the dealership or the shop. But, it might surprise you how much you can do yourself with patience and determination. YouTube can be your best friend in these situations.
A mobile technician may be your best bet if an issue is beyond your abilities or knowledge. In most situations, they can diagnose and repair wherever you’ve parked your RV, including a campsite. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Use These Resources to Ditch the Flawed RV Service Industry
If you want to avoid the flaws in the RV service industry, you have several options. However, while Googling can be helpful, always consider the source. As you’ve likely learned, you can’t believe everything you read online. You could do more harm than good if you trust someone who has no idea what they’re talking about.
An excellent online source is YouTube. Many channels share detailed videos of repairs and maintenance tasks. They allow you to see someone do the job before you attempt it yourself.
Read through the comment sections as viewers often chime in with their insights and experiences. These comments can often be equally as helpful.
Unfortunately, you may come across an issue where you feel stuck.
Reach out for help when you need it. You can find large communities on Facebook that are extremely helpful. Search for groups based on your specific RV, as there are groups for almost everything. While you’ll have a few knuckleheads in these groups, most members are respectful.
Dig Deeper: The Seven Deadly Sins of RV Manufacturers.
Service Times Are Still Slow, But They’re Getting Better!
Josh the RV Nerd hits the nail on the head in his video. The flaws in the RV service industry are unacceptable, and consumers experience the most impact. Luckily, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Will the decreased demand for new units give manufacturers time to focus on these crucial issues customers experience? We’ll have to wait and see!
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