No one likes stopping on the side of the road due to a maintenance issue in their RV, but it’s something that just happens. It often means leaving your rig at the shop for a few days, even weeks, but when armed with the right information, you’ll help the repair shop get your RV in and out in no time. Here are a few tips for a stress-free visit to the repair shop.
Ask around for referrals
If you’ve made it to the campground, ask the staff or your camping neighbors if they know of good repair shops in the area. The staff will direct you in the right direction as they hear this question often. Once you’ve got a few recommendations, do a quick internet search on each one and read as many reviews as you can. If they don’t have much of a presence on the internet, consider that a red flag and move on to the next shop.
Keep track of your maintenance history
As soon as you begin having to take your rig in for any kind of repair or regular maintenance, keep all of the receipts and records in an organized manner. If you decide to sell it at some point, everything will be together for potential buyers to review. It also shows them how well maintained you’ve kept your RV.
We know most people shove their receipts in their glovebox and forgot about them, but this isn’t the most efficient way to do it! There are multiple ways to keep up with your repair history, but we suggest collecting them all chronologically in a 3-ring binder or folder to stay as organized as possible.
Make a list of any extras you’ve added
Many people buy an RV and like to alter certain features or add certain after-market accessories. It’s your rig, and you can do whatever you want with it! But, to make service run smoothly, make a list of anything you’ve done after purchasing. You can keep this list in your 3-ring binder or folder with your repair history!
Look for obvious things that are wrong
Once you know something might not be right with your rig, it’s time to do a basic inspection yourself to find anything obviously wrong. This might mean looking for water spots or drips, discoloration or staining, burned or loose wires, fuel leaking, or any missing materials. Looking for the obvious for yourself first might even save you a trip to the shop. If it doesn’t, the repair man will be happy to know what you’ve already looked for, as it could make his job a bit easier.
Pay attention to what’s happening
What exactly is the rig doing? Is the problem happening each time? When you drive a particular speed? What about when it’s cold or hot outside?
This part takes a bit more time and effort, but it’s worth it. The minute you start to notice something, take notes on when and what is occurring. Knowing as much as possible about the problem will help the shop narrow it down much quicker.
Try to have some patience
We know you want nothing more than to get back on the road in your RV. Sometimes, your RV will have to be in the shop for longer than a day. Whether it’s your fridge that went out, air conditioning, or a toilet, having a plan B in place will help you out should anything malfunction or need a repair.
When waiting for your RV to be ready, try to keep things in perspective. Not everyone has the funds for a repair, let alone a while RV. Realize you’re lucky enough to be on an adventure – not everyone has that opportunity.
Having a stress-trip to the repair shop comes down to being prepared. No one can really know when a mishap will occur, but being ready when it does happen will save time and energy you’ll need to get back on the road. If something happens unexpectedly, remember to go with the flow as much as you can. Staying calm about the situation and not stressing will help you and the others you’re camping with. The unexpected is part of the adventure, isn’t it?
Have any other tips? Let us know in the comments.