Back in October before our warranty was up, we tried to schedule an appointment with our dealer to get our rig serviced.
We had a long list of fairly minor fixes, things like getting the cables replaced on our captain’s chairs because we couldn’t move them, which made reaching the gas pedal frustrating and difficult. Plus we had a piece of our counter top that was slowly breaking away from the cabinet, and the piece of metal that holds our fridge in place was barely hanging on. (You’ll see more in the video below).
We sent a list of what needed to be fixed over the service department, scheduled a time to drop off our RV, and made plans to stay at my parent’s house while the service shop fixed everything.
We gave them our rig for two weeks. I was able to help throw my sister’s baby shower and Heath went off hunting with his dad.
But after two weeks away from home, we couldn’t wait to get back in the rig.
The day we were scheduled to drive back into town and pick up the rig, we called them to see if they were able to fix everything.
They told us they hadn’t even looked at it yet.
What?! They had it for two weeks! Plus, we gave them the list of repairs before we even dropped off our home. Not to mention the fact that they knew exactly when we were picking it up.
I fully planned to give them an ear full when we picked up the RV, but conveniently the manager in charge of our rig was not on site (and hasn’t been any time that we’ve called him in the past six months).
There was a note on our paperwork saying they diagnosed all of our issues and ordered the parts. It clearly stated they would call when the parts came in and at that time we could return the rig for actual service.
At this point we had to reach out to Winnebago Customer Service to let them know of the delay because the end date of our warranty passed. There was no way we were going to pay out of pocket for all of these repairs just because their service shop didn’t actually service our rig. I was beginning to expect that our dealer, Crestview RV in Buda, Texas, was delaying our repairs just so they could wait until our warranty date passed. (I have no proof of this, but it’s a known issue that service departments often delay or refuse warranty work.)
Winnebao Customer Service (we called the 800 number we found online) said this would be no problem and gave us a statement in writing via email, should anyone challenge us on it in the future.
And then we waited for a call from the dealer. Two weeks passed and we called the Parts Department, no answer, no reply. Then Christmas passed and we called again. And again. And then suddenly it was March, no one would take our calls and at this point I assume they either never ordered the parts or ordered them, forgot about us, and used them for someone else’s rig.
Either way, it was clear they were never going to fix our rig.
Now, you may already know that Heath and I blog for WinnebagoLife and that Winnebago sponsored our RV Entrepreneur Summit in February.
Tired of the run-around from our dealer and knowing that other service departments would likely do the same, we called up our friend Russ, a product manager at Winnebago.
We emailed him the same list we gave Crestview back in October, plus a few other things that had since started giving us issues on the rig like our jacks.
He called back a few hours later and told us to show up at 7 AM on Monday and they could get everything fixed. Dream. Come. True.
Because most of our repairs fell under our warranty and because the service team over at Winnebago are real life heroes, they did not charge us for any of our repairs.
This did mean we had to cancel our plans to spend March and April driving along the Gulf Coast of Florida and instead drive directly 15 Google Maps hours directly north to Forest City, back into the throws of winter.
In this vlog episode, we spend three days with our RV in the shop and spend our nights in the Customer Service parking lot (they have 50 AMP and we had a nice grassy area right outside the door!).
We actually had a lot of fun exploring the teeny tiny town of Forest City and hanging out with the Winnebago team, though we do thoroughly enjoy giving Iowa a hard time for being, well, Iowa. However, most importantly, our rig is back to its original glory and we are back on the road, eager for more adventures!
What has your experience been getting your RV serviced? Have you ever gone to your manufacturer?
PS Still waiting for you to return any of our messages, Steve.