Finally Back on the Road

We finally got our RV back from the repair place on September 29th. What an ordeal that turned out to be. All of this started back in May with two blowouts and three new tires. We were able to finish our trip. Good thing it wasn’t raining because our RV was less than waterproof after the tread separation. Crazy right?  Of course, there were several factors that led to it taking this long. But I want to chronicle a few things here so you can be prepared if this sort of thing ever happens to you.

Dealing with the insurance company was easy. We had collision and comprehensive so all the damage was covered, minus our small deductible. Then began our search for a good RV repair shop that handled motorhomes. It was very time consuming to deal with the big chain service center. Then we started the process again with another service center. It took forever to get the parts. But the good news was that our RV is a Winnebago and they can re-make any part they ever made.

I wish I had written down exact dates. I think it was July 22 when I first went out to get the estimate. We had to wait for it to be approved by the insurance before parts could be ordered. The nice man assured me that they had a special arrangement with my insurance company and that there wouldn’t be any problems. There were problems. It wasn’t until I contacted my insurance that the claim got approved and the ball started rolling. By this time a few weeks had already passed.

Lesson 1: Get involved with the process.

When I got the RV back out to them, they ordered the parts. That took weeks. Once the shop got the parts, the repairs were done fairly quickly. Except, when they started repairs they noticed the furnace was damaged. This was a great disappointment. I was able to look through the crack in the wheel well and see that the furnace was damaged. Why couldn’t they?

So now we had to wait for a furnace to be ordered and shipped. And somehow, someone somewhere got the wrong furnace. Now we had to wait for a replacement. Finally it came, finally it got installed.

The quality of work was mixed. The repairs to the sub-flooring behind the rear axle was excellent. I was very pleased with it. The repairs to the wheel well were good as far as I could tell. The repair to the furnace was disappointing. There is a ring that goes around the opening that the cover anchors to. Some of the screws that attach the ring to the coach were stripped out. I fixed these myself when I got home in a few minutes because I was tired of waiting on them.

Lesson 2: Closely inspect the quality of the repair. Don’t take their word that “That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

The final tally for all the repairs was $7,535.66. That’s $2,402.41 more than the original estimate of $5,133.25.

Overall, I was pleased with the repairs. But I was extremely displeased with their communications. If they didn’t want to call me with updates or even return my calls, they shouldn’t have promised to do so.

Lesson 3: Give feedback, and be constructive when you can.

I let them know how they could improve their customer service and increase the likelihood of repeat customers. On a side note: Customer service improved after they found out that I had a blog.

Advice: When shopping for shops, find out what they can offer if you have a drawn out repair like we did. We had ours done near home. But if we were already full-time, they had hookups available in the back while we were waiting. We would have had to get a hotel for the days it was actually be repaired. Find out what your insurance offers for trip interruptions. This process took nearly eight weeks. Good thing our RV was drivable.

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