Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My RV husband in a fix

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We bought a used motorhome recently and now live in it full-time. We love the lifestyle but it is causing my husband a lot of frustration. We are in the middle of this new learning curve and we find it very exciting. The problem arises when we have questions and get dozens of different answers. We recently had to replace the toilet. At the same time we tore the carpet out of the bathroom, put in a new sub floor and tiled. My husband was told by several RV parts dealers that there was no such thing as a closet flange extension to compensate for the raised floor. He was at wits end, and ready to pull the new floor up, when we walked into a parts store and found several of various lengths. This seems to be the norm as we maneuver through our shake down cruise. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can calm my husband’s nerves until we become more expert at this land yachting?
--Newbies in Nebraska

Dear Newbies:
I understand completely. First let me say, “Never, and I mean never, take NO for an answer.” When you have rig questions, repair questions, travel destination questions, campground questions, and yes, even Shrink questions, always get a second opinion. It can be very frustrating when repair people tell you something you find out later is just not true. Diagnostic fees at RV shops can run as much as $100 and hour. I have been tempted to start an on the road diagnostic business myself. I think I would be as good as many so called experts I have dealt with. I would charge people a hundred bucks to look at their problem and say, “Yep, she’s broken!”
Seriously, you can start researching many questions on Google, talk to other RVer’s, sales and service people, even manufacturer’s tech support. Again, never take the first answer you get. Information is often clouded by what the company is selling, or brands carried. Sometimes a service tech doesn’t want to sound uninformed and will give you a line of BS that will throw your train of thought right off the track. Think of your many small problems as lessons you need to learn on your way to RV utopia. It’s all part of the adventure. Before long you will be giving others tips on how to avoid the land mines you have already disarmed.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink



Merikay said...

Good advice!

Anonymous said...

Suggest they enroll in an RV specific forum online.

Western Reader said...

I suggest the newbies find out if their brand of rig has an owners club. If so, that can be their best resource for questions and problems. The cost of a membership fee is insignificant when balanced against advice received from owners of the same brand of rig.

Anonymous said...

RV Forums are also a good place to get advice.

Anonymous said...

i live in central kansas and the local rv place is four seasons on highway 70. they act like they are doing you a favor just talking to you and not even the service manager knows anything about older camp trailers.

Anonymous said...

Check out the web site. Howard frequently posts about things he has learned the hard way. It is one of the best, if not the best, source of information for full time RVers.

Anonymous said...

It is so sad but true. The RV industry in a whole is very hard to deal with. If auto service departments and collision repair centers followed the same procedures that the RV industry does they would all be out of business. OH Wait maybe that is why so many RV Companys have failed in recent years!!

Anonymous said...

The other issue is the expectation that major national chains will have equal quality and knowledgable information. We have talked to "experienced" personnel at Camping World for instance. Great service and info at one location and just the opposite at another. Our most recent questions were answered in the most friendly manner and the answers were right on the spot at a Camping World in Houghton Lake, Michigan. They treated us like family, everyone we came in contact with. Other locations of the same company, much less so. I've learned to qualify my complaints of a particular company to the LOCATION I received the questionable service.