In this article, 7 Things That You Need to Know About Service In The RV Industry,I cover a little bit more from the technician side. Why it is that they can’t just fix our problem in an hour and send us on our way.
You might ask yourself well why do I need to know this information I don’t have to know it from my car or my boat or anything else.
- Well the difference is we live in our RVs.
- Introduction – Helpful In Terms
Well the difference is we live in our RVs.
It’s very difficult to bring them down sometimes and just drop them off for service it’s not the same thing.
Sometimes we only have so much vacation time and we don’t want our RV spending it sitting on the lot.
Therefore knowing this information and understanding what’s going on behind the scenes can help you navigate service better which is going to help you have a better experience.
Introduction – Helpful In Terms
Sometimes just knowing why things are the way they are can be really helpful in terms of attitude as well as practical application.
There were a lot of things about the RV industry pertaining the service that I didn’t understand.
So I went and did some more research and after working with the industry.
I learned a few things that have helped me navigate it better.
If you have an RV then this information can help you navigate service better which is going to get you to the fun faster.
Here are seven things that I think you need to know about service in the RV industry.
1. Physical Access
First physical access to the parts. It actually can be very difficult for the technician to get his hands on the parts.
We are demanding bigger and bigger spaces with less and less waste.
So manufacturers are having to put water pumps and heaters and slide motors in really tough to get to places.
Many times the technicians got to dig for a little while to find it behind a panel under the shower behind the couch.
Sometimes they literally have to remove portions of the coach or slides in order to get to the park just to diagnose.
The second thing that you need to know has to do with parts.
Parts in this industry is like nothing that you’ve ever experienced before.
Manufactures are not just sitting around on a bunch of parts waiting for them to get ordered and delivered there’s not a lot of inventory.
Even on the parts that you might think that they should have.
3. Builds Are Not Consistent
That is always something that surprises people when I talked to them about the RV industry.
We can have the exact same coach come off the exact same line even on the exact same day built by the exact same people and it’s not the same coach in terms of where components are.
“A couple of things happen that that make this happen one of them is maybe the manufacturer had to change vendors partially through that build and they got a different kind of a shower or a different kind of a sink and because of that they had to reroute plumbing or reroute wiring that wasn’t originally part of the plan.”
When this happens other weird things can happen such as parts being on your RV that are not on the schematic or the other way around parts are on the RV that are not in the schematics.
I’m supposed to have a five post bird according to the manual that I’m looking at the schematics in front of me.
But when I go open the back end of my RV and I look down it’s a four-post bird and even the manufacturer tells me it’s supposed to be a five post bird.
So if the manufacturer doesn’t know exactly what’s in there they can’t exactly tell me what I’m looking at because it’s different than what’s in the paperwork.
How is it that we’re expecting the technicians to know as much or even more.
The fourth thing that you need to know is how difficult it is to replicate the issue.
Now this is true anytime you’re getting serviced pretty much on anything.
You’ve got to be able to replicate the issue for the technician and that will help them troubleshoot and diagnose what’s going on.
Now in an RV if we take it in and we can’t replicate the issue or we say something like well it happens at 2:00 in the morning after the fridge has been on for seven hours but the motor hasn’t been running for four hours.
Once the technicians supposed to do with that.
Different Things That Happen
I mean we know our RVs because we’re in them we sleep in them we hear the sounds we experience the light flicker we experience the different things that happen.
The technician does not get that benefit and we take it in and just ask him to figure that out.
Well unless we’re gonna pay him to sleep in the coach for ten hours he’s not gonna run into the same issue when he needs to.
So you’ll get better service if you can replicate the issue before you take it in and it can’t just recognize he’s fighting an uphill battle trying to help you out.
The fifth thing that you need to know is growth and you might say well this isn’t my problem I don’t care.
It is our problem we are a part of an industry that is growing faster than it ever has this growth is actually causing a few issues.
Because the service centers cannot keep up with the growth of the RV industry.
So there are more RVs on the road that we have service bays to service them.
Now number six comes from number five and that is preference.
So we all get in line at a dealership to get our RVs serviced.
Well the dealer has to make a few strategic decisions on how to handle that and who to service first.
So there’s something called preference and the dealer is going to take the customer that bought from them and work on their unit before he’s going to work on yours.
Need to Maintain a Certain Spacing
So service can be out a couple of days or a couple of weeks because they need to maintain a certain spacing for their own customers.
Now not everyone’s gonna like that but it’s just the way that it is its business and when I’m the one that bought the coach from so-and-so dealer.
I want to have the front of the line and so it does kind of go around and it’s it’s fair that way.
But preference is another reason you might experience delays and service.
The seventh thing that you need to understand about service or that would help you is the lack of maturity in servicing RVs.
When you look at the automobile of the truck industry they’ve been working on these things for a long long time.
Because of that they have developed some very sophisticated tools software troubleshooting tools and because these builds are very consistent coming off of a line with mostly robots.
Everything is where it’s supposed to be most of the time.
A new technician even for example:
“He comes out of school he gets a few certifications and part of his on-the-job training is how fast can you look up the diagnostic codes and the issues, as these cards come in for service”
So they have books that tell the technician test this probe and this probe and put the wire here and if you get a red light and go look at this and then go here.
What’s Going On
So they have this kind of thing that they can step through and figure out what’s going on nothing like that in the RV industry.
There might be a few people that have some decision diagrams or some basics because these guys have been servicing these units for a long time.
But in the sense of having full-blown diagnostic manuals with code troubleshooting steps all of that, just doesn’t exist.
RV in for Service the Technician
So when you take your RV in for service the technician that’s looking at it he’s got to start from square one.
He’s got to start right at the bottom and go to the top and try to figure out what’s going on and keep in mind not everything is gonna be where it’s supposed to be so he’s got to deal with that challenge as well.
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