Time to find a new Dealership

Discussion in 'RV Dealers & Repair Shops' started by Dback2k4, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

    Jul 16, 2017
    I'm a fairly handy person, I usually do most of my own carpentry, cosmetic, electrical, and plumbing, but a mechanic I am not so for the past several years I've taken my pup into a local, family-owned dealership and service center for things like repacking bearings, brake work, etc. I've always gotten excellent service there in the past without issues.

    I noticed earlier this summer that my dealer sold out to Camping World. So this Fall, I call to make an appointment in October and I'm informed they're on a 6-week wait, which is fine, I do my own winterizing, so I schedule an appointment for the middle of November. They call me the first week of November to ask why I missed my appointment. I told them my appointment wasn't for another 2 weeks and she tells me it was that week but she'll reschedule me for the day I had written down. The next week they call me again and ask why I missed my rescheduled appointment. I again inform them of the date of my appointment and ask why they have so many issues with calendars? Well, now that week is full so they bump me to today.

    Last night (Sunday night) I drop off the camper after hours as I've done in the past and go to drop the keys in the overnight box. The overnight box is now gone, and instead is a little sign indicating they no longer take after-hours drop offs so they can do an "inspection" with the customer. Argh! I don't need an inspection, I have a very specific list of things that need done this year:
    1. Repack bearings
    2. Inspect the brake system and advise me of any needed work (I think it might need new pads, but I'm not sure)
    3. Grease the wiffle tree
    4. Adjust the roof height so the door sets in properly (It's too low right now)
    5. Pop a new rivet in the fold down door/step on the left hinge that broke off this year

    So I park it anyway and leave the keys in one of the battery boxes, which are empty as my batteries are in my basement on a trickle charger for the winter.

    This morning they call me asking where the keys are and I tell the guy. I ask him if he has the work order and he says "Yeah, we're just repacking bearings." No, so I go over the list again. His first question, "What's a wiffle tree?" -- NOT a good start. I explain and he seems confused.

    Now, 5 seconds ago, he calls back, "Are we supposed to have this done today? With the extra work we likely can't." I again inform him, same as I told his "scheduler" that they have all week on it since it's already winterized and going to storage next weekend.

    I'm thinking it's time to find a new place to handle my mechanical repairs!!

    <End Rant>
  2. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    Wait to you see their bill!
    tfischer and Ductape like this.
  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    Just be thankful they didn't turn you away all together. I tried a camping world and they said "we don't do pop-ups". Tried another shop and although they work on pop-ups I only trust them to do barrings, breaks and other things that other trailers have not specific to pop-ups. Like yours they sounded confused or "I'm not interested". Im now learning how to do some maintenance myself and just drive the 2.5 hours to the only other shop that actually knows pop-ups. Pretty sad, but shops go where the money is and pop-ups aren't it.
  4. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2013
    Unfortunately , I don't have too much positive to say about CW around here either. We have friends that have their TT serviced at CW and it's always 4 to 6 weeks from the day of their appointment to the day they pick it up.

    CW seems to buy up the dealerships that regularly beat their prices on new campers, then raise the prices since there is little competition left in a given area.
  5. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

    Jul 16, 2017
    There are a few other dealers in my area. One is a former customer that is run by a couple slimeball brothers and I'll never do business there, but there are 2 others within a half hour drive that will likely get my business next time!

    Yeah - I'm a bit nervous about that!!
  6. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2015
    You don't have to go to an RV dealer for brake and bearing service, any trailer shop that provides service and any auto service shop that is willing can do brake and bearing service. Lift service may be more difficult to find but it couldn't hurt to call around and ask. When calling, make sure that they understand it's a popup, not a full height trailer.

    I do believe that popup owners should support dealers who support us, but if they don't seem to want your business go somewhere else.
  7. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    You can go on Craig's list and find handyman services. Once you find a good handyman he should be able to fix anything. It is not rocket science.
    BelchFire and shuang2 like this.
  8. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2011
    Santa Clarita, California
    Have the handyman have the popup manual and instructions on how to fix certain things... Coleman has em all and they can be found here.
  9. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    Yours is the reason I do all my own work, I know what has been done and that it is done right and on my schedule, If I need a special tool I figure the cost of a shop doing the repair will offset the price of the tool and I will have it in the future. I do have a nice shop to work out of and just about every tool needed for most jobs. Good Luck and Happy Camping
  10. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

    Jul 16, 2017
    So I finally got it back yesterday. They had it "done" the first time after about a week. I went in to pick it up and started reading through the tech's notes - no indication of adjusting the roof height. So I set it up out in the parking lot and it was immediately obvious by the slack in the fabric that the roof still wasn't going up high enough. I took pictures and cranked it back down and took the keys back in. A few days later I got a call from the tech who was confused about the notes that the door didn't fit in properly. He kept saying the roof height had nothing to do with it. Turns out he was talking about the fold-down door that becomes the step, not the one-piece screen door that sets in place hanging down from the roof to form the walk-in door. 2 weeks later they finally called that it was done and I picked it up yesterday.

    Total damage to my checking account including parts, labor, and the Iowa Department of Revenue's cut was $362.08 which I don't think was outrageous.
  11. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2013
    Were you satisfied with what you had done vs. what you paid ?
  12. JWeible

    JWeible Member

    May 11, 2015
    Ugh. camping world took over our favorite camper dealership, too. There’s one more place in our part of Iowa I still trust. Hopefully they stay that way.
  13. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

    Jul 16, 2017
    Yes, for the most part. Ive never left a shop with a camper, car, truck or trailer and thought "wow that was a great deal" but I also didn't feel I'd been raked over the coals.

    Unfortunately I had some major family commitments throughout most of 2018 so the camper only got used once last year, but the one weekend it was out I had no issues with the work that had been completed.
  14. silverfz

    silverfz Active Member

    Aug 8, 2013
    I think the same even though i have a TT. Seems i am seeing the same trend a decade ago when motorcycle mechanics went missing and replaced by kids who knew nothing. The dealership were making major money using kids and charging 80-90 bucks an hour.
    I took my TT to the dealership chain, they do charge 110 but did a good job so i really do not mind.
  15. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Yikes that's a lot of cash for a bearing repack and a few minutes misc labor.
  16. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
    It's time to learn how to jack up your camper, which you need to know anyway, and check / repack the bearings.
    tfischer likes this.

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