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Five tips to find a good RV mechanic

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.

Daryl Brown of Hoekstra Specialty Vehicles in Troy, MI running the Mercedes diagnostic check on my RS
Daryl Brown of Hoekstra Specialty Vehicles in Troy, MI running the Mercedes diagnostic check on my Roadtrek

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.

The sad fact is, not all service places are as skilled, honest and ethical as the one I am blessed to use.rthoist

Here are my five suggestions on how to make sure your RV has a good mechanic.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Five tips to find a good RV mechanic”

  1. if you’re dealing with independent shops, not dealerships, look for the blue and white ASE certification sign. that’s about the only generally accepted training program out there.

  2. Used to be law (some states) that part replaced, the old part is returned to the customer. Some assurance that it was indeed replaced. I never see that anymore.

  3. It would be helpful if RoadTrek supplied an online text based list of all authorized service centers in addition to the hit-and-miss (within 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 miles) map version.

    For insurance and warranty reasons, the Roadtrek Sprinter users need to know where the Mercedes Benz repair shops are and the RoadTrek repair shops are.

    1. I’m with you on that one! I can’t see a map of dealerships. I might want to go in any given direction DEPENDING on if there’s a dealership in that direction. It’s nearly impossible to navigate through the “mile radius” postal code, nearest city, who knows what all that I have very few answers for. Our Roadtrek is a GM. Fortunately the GM website is a little more user friendly.

  4. The mechanic that works on my SUV and Roadtrek is
    an RV owner also and that sure helps in repairing
    almost anything that goes wrong

  5. I don’t have any trouble finding a shop to do mechanical work, but finding a competent RV shop is another story. When we bought our 04 Roadtrek, it took three calls to our local Roadtrek dealer before I could get an appointment for them to inspect it. (I wanted to be sure all of the systems were working.) After three days, they hadn’t even touched it.

    We did come across an excellent shop in San Antonio TX that were helpful, quick and very reasonable. How do you find more like them?

  6. I would add to the list of good RV mechanics who use AMSOIL. I admit that I’m biased because I’m a dealer but those who have experienced the solutions offered by the product options are not biased because they also know why.

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