RV Repair Tips and Troubleshooting Advice
From Conversations With Professional RV Technicians

I often talk with other RV service technicians about little things that bother and concern them about owners regarding RV repairs, service, and anything else worth discussing. Below are a few of the things we talk about, presented in dialogue format, with hopes that these conversations may benefit you in your RV repair endeavors.

I hate to see when an RV owner attempts repairing an appliance by replacing un-needed parts. Then when they call to have it repaired they can't afford to have it repaired because of the money they've already spent.

My thoughts: I actually had this a few days ago when a man called to have his furnace repaired. He had replaced the wall thermostat, igniter, and even his LP regulator on his LP tanks. The money he had spent on the parts would have covered the cost of an RV repairman to analyze the problem. He now had to wait because he was on Social Security and had to wait for his next check.

An owner with a $500,000-plus RV thought nothing should go wrong with his RV because he spent so much on it. Then they get upset when he finds out the repairs are going to be costly and blames the RV tech doing the work.

My thoughts: I agree with this to an extent. The systems in higher end Coaches do in fact have more complex systems and require more time and knowledge to make repairs. It is really important to find a qualified RV tech before any work is started. Some systems require special training and not all RV techs are qualified. Also remember, a highly trained RV Tech may also charge more per hour to work on the more difficult systems.

It drives me crazy when an RV owner has worked on an electrical problem and has moved wiring or rewired something and doesn't even know the difference between 110V and 12V or how the system they're trying to repair works.

My thoughts: I've seen this too many times also. Moving wires or changing the circuits or relays can be a nightmare to figure out when an RV tech dives in to fix it. What was a loose connection is now a rewire of the system and maybe replacement of damaged parts because it was wired backwards.

An owner gives us a list of repairs to be done and hands us an extended warranty contract and says to fix it all because everything is covered bumper to bumper, then goes nuts when he/she finds out something is not covered. Extended Warranty's have limits on what they can repair.

My thoughts: OK THIS ONE'S HUGE! I totally agree with this and there are so many things an owner doesn't realize when they purchase the warranty, I'm not even sure I can list them all, but here's a few:

  • Most warranties have a written list of what is covered and, trust me (read the list), they never cover everything. Some are really good and cover more than others.
  • If you call the warranty company before having the repair done, be careful what you say. For example: You call and say your water heater has a leak and it's only 2 years old and say you're hooked up to well water and the water is really hard and you think that is the cause of the problem. They're going to agree with you and will turn down the authorization because you just admitted using what they would term as "contaminated water in the system." This happened last month with a repairman here in San Diego. Once they have this call noted in their computer you're not going be able to claim it anywhere else.

Click here to read the full list on the RV extended warranties page.

NOTE: I'm in no way saying extended warranties are bad, I wish the dealership's selling them were more up front about what is covered. This is made even harder when an owner is being sold the warranty while in a finance office of a dealership being pressured to add it into his financing. Remember the person selling the contract is normally receiving a GOOD commission for selling it to you. Be smart when it comes to something as important as your personal finance. Everyone has their motivations. With life in general you can also use tools like Quicken.com to keep those personal finances organized.

A customer had a water leak that need to be fixed a few months ago and the owner had tried a quick fix-it using a quick drying putty on the water line at a Tee, then added silicone. After he did this he couldn't understand why it had to be cut out and the lines extended to make the repair. If it had been left for us to repair when it happened it would have only taken a few minutes and saved him money.

My thoughts: Yup, I've seen this a few times myself. In the long run sometimes a quick fix can increase the cost of repairs. That's why we have the phrase "Fix-it right the first time."


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Robbie Warford, San Diego RV Repair

Hi, I'm Robbie. Welcome to Money-Saving-RV-Repair.com!

Like the name implies, this site is all about helping you save money while keeping your RV in tip-top shape--and that is all about you having the knowledge to do so.

I've been a technician in the RV industry for 30 years, operating out of San Diego, California. And let me tell you, I love my job.

But I also love empowering RVers with the knowledge they need to make the right decision on repairs, or to make the fix themselves--and that, my friend, is the reason for this website. I hope you enjoy.

Or, learn more about me, my RV service practice, & this website here.