For fulltime RVers and those who spend months at a time on the road, one challenge can be finding a place to do routine maintenance on our vehicles.
I know a lot of RVers who are perfectly capable of doing their own maintenance, but finding a place to do it can be a challenge. Very few RV parks that we have stayed in will allow guests to do things like oil changes on their vehicles, and some will not even allow you to wash your RV. And if they do allow it, where can you discard your waste oil?
If you cannot do your own maintenance, or can’t find a place that will allow you to do so, your alternatives may be to take the RV to a service center, or to call on a mobile service company approved by the campground where you are staying. We have used Michiana Mobile Lube when staying at Elkhart Campground in Elkhart, Indiana, and have been pleased with their work. It’s also very convenient to have them come to you, instead of having to pack up your home on wheels and drive to a service facility, then sit around in their customer lounge, waiting for the work to be completed.
If you travel with pets, this can be a major hassle. Do you leave your animals in the RV and hope some careless service tech doesn’t leave the door open and allow your pet to get out, or do you take it into the customer lounge, where it may be scared by strangers in new surroundings?
For those who pull a trailer with a pickup truck, it’s easy to get set up in an RV park, and then go to any quick lube type of place, or a WalMart service center for routine service. Folks using medium or heavy duty trucks are usually better off going to a dealer or truck shop to have such work performed.
For diesel motorhome owners, service centers operated or approved by the engine or chassis manufacturer of your RV can be a good option. The Cummins Onan Coach Care website lists service centers nationwide, with trained service technicians who know our equipment, and have the tools to do any repair job we need.
The Freightliner Oasis Network is made up of more than 90 select dealerships in North America, and is growing. Each service location has a dedicated motorhome facility, with trained motorhome service technicians, a motorhome service area, secure parking for motorhome customers, and additional amenities specifically for motorhome owners.
We also know several motorhome owners that have their oil changes and chassis lubrications done at Petro truck stops, and report good service with them.
For small repairs and maintenance, such as replacing an RV water heater’s anode rod, or repairs inside your RV, you can usually get away with it at most RV parks, as long as you keep a low profile and do not disturb your neighbors. If you need repair work that is beyond your abilities, the campground’s office can usually suggest a nearby shop, or a mobile repair service.
What happens if you are in a strange area and need service or repairs, and can’t get any references? Having been ripped off at more than one repair shop across the country, we know how important it is to find a shop you can trust. The website RV Service Reviews is a great resource for finding service nationwide. We also publish our RV Good Guys guide to service on the road. Nobody can buy an ad in the guide, the only shops we list are those we have dealt with ourselves, or those who have been recommended by our readers. The printed version of the guide costs $7.50, and is available at our online RV Bookstore. If you would like a digital copy of the guide, I am offering them until midnight Friday only for just $5. To order your copy, log onto www.paypal.com and make payment to [email protected]. You will receive the guide in PDF format, delivered to you by e-mail.
So what about you? Do you do your own maintenance and small repairs, and if so, where do you do them? If not, what shops, service centers, or mobile services do you use?
Thought For the Day – Be careful with your words. Once they’re said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.