I'm lucky. To tend to the mechanical work on my Roadtrek eTrek on the Sprinter chassis, I have two great technicians: Daryl and Josh. Plus Eric, a great service manager who always manages to squeeze me in.
I was just in the other day after a check engine light came on. Wouldn't you know, it was one of those erratic issues. When I drove it into Hoekstra Transportation in Troy, MI, I felt somewhat sheepish. The warning light had something to do with a sensor that we had replaced about 20,000 miles ago. “That shouldn't be causing you issues again,” said Daryl. Eric agreed. I'm driving it back in next week and they will replace a whole rail on which it is mounted.
What I really appreciate about Daryl and Josh – they are both Sprinter mechanics – is that they always take the time to bring me back in the shop and show me what's going on under the hood.
I have had very limited issues with my Sprinter. I do regular maintenance and oil changes and I only wish that these guys could take care of my car, too.
My experience with having my Roadtrek engine and mechanical serviced so well got me thinking about how lucky I am.
Here are my five suggestions on how to make sure your RV has a good mechanic.
- Search for shops that are certified to do repairs on your engine and/or chassis. Check the manufacturer's website, look for local dealers and ask the service manager what certifications and specialties their techs have. Check review websites.
- Ask your RV dealer for recommendations on where to have the vehicle's engine serviced. They should be able to steer you to the place they use. Try to meet the tech who will be working on your vehicle personally. Ask questions. Most like sharing knowledge and since you are going to be building a long term relationship, familiarty brings respect.
- Make sure you have your vehicle maintained and serviced as per the manufacturer's instructions. Tell them where your next trip will be, what the terrain and dust conditions will be like. They'll know what to inspect for and may have some great suggestions on how to operate your RV in those areas.
- Call for an appointment instead of just showing up and demanding service. In an emergency, of course, a reputable place will gladly check things out. But even then, try to call ahead of time and give them as much advance notice so they know what's coming in.
- Keep all your documents and service records. A good shop, of course, will have them on their computer. But if you find you need service on the road, being able to show vehicle records will help avoid unnecessary repairs and save time with a new mechanic or service center.
What would you add to this list?