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In today’s post, we’re looking at the concept of mobile RV repair.
RVs require a fair amount of maintenance and are sure to need a bit of repair work from time to time. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of DIY (do-it-yourself) repairs, but sometimes certain repairs are best left to a professional. For example, maybe you’re out camping and you don’t have a complete set of tools with you. Or maybe the problem is elusive and difficult to diagnose, or the repair is beyond the scope of DIY.
Depending on your location when you find yourself in need of a professional to repair your RV, you may benefit from mobile RV repair.
What is Mobile RV Repair?
The term “mobile RV repair” generally means that an RV technician will drive to your location to repair your RV. The “shop” is usually a van loaded with tools, equipment, and parts that allow the RV technician to repair an RV onsite.
Some RV dealerships have techs that make “house calls,” though this is fairly unusual and likely to be more expensive than work done in their shop.
An independent technician is more likely to offer mobile RV repair and may specialize in this type of service. They may not even have a commercial shop other than a truck or van. Rates might be higher than you’d expect if you were to take your RV to a repair shop, though the fact that you don’t have to move your RV to have the repair performed can be priceless.
Remember too that a mobile RV tech may not be able to handle all repairs.
How Do You Find a Mobile RV Repair?
There are many ways to locate good mobile RV technicians and learn something about their reputations if possible.
Let’s look at a few suggestions for how best to identify a mobile RV repair person with a solid reputation.
Ask Your Campground Hosts
If you’re at a campground when you find your RV in need of repair, ask your campground hosts and staff if they’re familiar with a mobile RV repair tech in the area. Campground hosts are great sources of information and are likely to know who is in the area. They may also have called a mobile tech for other guests in the past, so they may have experience with a local tech or two and can give you input/guidance.
If you don’t have a host to ask, a Google search for mobile RV repair technicians in your area is the easiest way to find out if there’s anyone nearby who provides this service. You can also search the online yellow pages.
Once you’ve identified nearby techs, reading reviews is always a good idea. Google reviews can’t always be relied on for accuracy (or veracity for that matter). So be sure to try to find an actual business website, a Facebook page, or other areas where you can at least see how a business presents itself and, hopefully, exactly what services they offer.
A quick search through the iRV2 forums is another great way to get recommendations from other RVers who have had experience with a particular mobile RV repair service/technician.
Check at Your Parts Shop
If there’s an RV parts store in the area, there’s a good chance that the store’s employees will know if there’s a mobile RV repair tech in the area.
Some parts stores have bulletin boards where independent mechanics and RV technicians post business cards, and store employees are generally happy to check the board for you as well.
Ask Your Neighbors
Ask other RVers in the area where you’re staying. For example, if you’re at a campground, ask your neighboring RVers if they have any suggestions for you. (You might even happen upon someone who has had a similar problem and can help you to fix it!)
Likewise, if you’re spending the night in a Walmart parking lot, ask other RVers in the lot if they have any experience with a mobile RV repair tech in the area. Or, if you’re staying in a Cabella’s lot or a Camping World or Bass Pro Shops lot, ask inside the store if employees are familiar with a good traveling RV technician.
What Can Mobile RV Repair Companies Fix?
Mobile RV repair technicians, particularly if you can find a certified RV tech, should be capable of diagnosing a wide array of problems and performing many different types of repairs.
An RV repair tech should be able to repair some issues related to the vehicle and most issues related to the house portion of your RV, such as plumbing, electrical, refrigeration, heat and air conditioning repairs, among others.
Bear in mind that no RV repair technician is likely to have parts on hand for every type of RV on the road, so parts may need to be ordered or obtained from a local parts shop for the repair to be completed.
We should also note here that not all campgrounds will allow repair work to be conducted onsite, so if you’re at a campground or RV park when you find yourself in need of a mobile RV repair technician, be sure to ask your campground host if the campground allows mobile techs to work onsite. Even those that don’t usually allow repairs are likely to make an exception for a rig that can’t be moved due to mechanical problems, such as a no-start situation or a slide that’s stuck in the “out” position.
How Much Do Mobile RV Repair Techs Cost?
Mobile RV repair techs can be expensive, especially if they have to travel a fair distance to get to you. In this case, the technician or company may charge a per-mile fee and the per-hour labor fee in addition to parts fees. But some mobile techs may be less expensive simply due to the fact that they’re a small independent businessperson vs a large company with large overhead.
There’s a level of convenience that you’re paying for when you call on a mobile technician, and you may end up paying a premium for that convenience. But you’ll also be able to stay in your RV right there on the site or, if you’re stranded, you’ll have the luxury of being freed by a technician who comes to you rather than your RV needing to be towed to a shop for the repair.
Is Hiring a Mobile RV Repair Company Worth It?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. On one hand, if you’re unable to address a repair yourself and you’re also unable to drive the RV to a shop, it’s probably well worth any additional cost to hire a mobile RV repair tech rather than deal with having your rig towed. But on the other hand, there may not even be an RV repair shop anywhere in the local area, which of course would make the decision easier, since you have no other option.
And again, the ability to remain living in your RV rather than sending your RV to a shop while you and your family stay in a hotel would make the cost of a mobile RV repair tech worthwhile.
If circumstances are such that bringing your RV to a shop would present a series of expensive inconveniences for you, or if there is no shop nearby to address the repair, the ability to call on a mobile RV repair technician is one you’ll surely appreciate.
If, however, there’s a good RV repair shop in the immediate vicinity and you’re able to drive your RV to the shop, you may be less inclined to pay any premium for a mobile tech. In addition, if the shop owners will allow you to stay on the property of the shop while your rig is being repaired (many do), and if the repair is likely to take a reasonably short amount of time to complete, you’re even less likely to opt for a mobile repair tech.
As in all things, circumstances contribute to your perspective in making this decision. If you need an RV repair technician and it’s difficult for you to get to a shop, and if you’re able to locate a good mobile RV repair technician in the area, then we’re sure you’ll appreciate the gift of a house call to your motorhome!
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Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.