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RV Recalls: Know Your RV Is Safe Before It’s Too Late!

RV Recalls: Know Your RV Is Safe Before It’s Too Late!

No matter what type of product you buy, recalls are possible if an issue is uncovered. RVs are no exception, and RV recalls happen more often than you might think.

Today’s post will ensure you know how to check for RV recalls and what to do if you find that a recall notice has been issued for your rig. 

Understanding the recall process is very important where RVs and vehicles of any kind are concerned. That’s because it’s possible for them to be safety-related. It’s best to learn about a recall the easy way (which we’re about to cover) before experiencing a problem yourself.

So, let’s get right to it!

Why Would an RV Recall Be Issued?

Recalls are generally about product safety vs product quality.

So an RV recall would be issued to protect you from a safety-related problem.

For example, a batch of LP gas regulators manufactured with faulty gaskets that could lead to a propane leak would result in a recall being issued. Or a refrigerator recall that’s required to prevent a potential fire (we’ve been there ourselves… a fridge recall, not a fridge fire)!

On the other hand, an RV toilet with a faulty gasket that causes a water leak wouldn’t likely trigger a recall. Although it might result in water damage, it’s not considered a safety issue. This would instead be considered a product quality issue, which wouldn’t normally trigger a recall.

Do RV Manufacturers Notify Owners of Recalls?

Manufacturers of all types of recreational vehicles, including motorhomes and travel trailers, chassis manufacturers, and third-party parts and equipment suppliers may notify owners of recalls.

However, if your RV has changed hands, or your mailing address has changed, or really for any number of reasons, it’s possible that you wouldn’t receive the recall notice.

For this reason, it’s important to know how to check periodically for recall information associated with your RV.

This is the best way to be sure you are staying on top of recall notices.

A person working on a laptop computer

Checking periodically for open recalls on your RV or signing up to receive alerts through a notification system are the best ways to stay on top of safety recalls for your rig.

What Types of RV Recalls Are Most Common?

The most common RV recalls come from RV manufacturers themselves. Companies like Forest River, Winnebago, Thor, etc. may issue recall notices.

RV manufacturing recalls would be associated with the “house” portion of the RV. These might include things like the RV’s electrical or plumbing system, or even the RV’s structure.

It’s also possible for recall notices to be issued by the chassis manufacturer. Obviously, these would be associated with the chassis components.

And finally, it’s possible for a recall to be issued by third-party component suppliers. These might include issues with appliances like water heaters and refrigerators, for example.

No matter the type of recall, however, you’ve got to find out about it and have the issue repaired to avoid potential damage, injury, or worse. That’s especially true for anything that might cause a fire, propane leak, loss of driving control, etc.

If your RV has a faulty part, not only could this present a safety issue, but dealers will replace it for free. So there’s no excuse for ignoring recall notices.

What to Do When You Learn About a Recall for a Component on Your RV

When recall notices are distributed and listed online, they’re generally accompanied by instructions to deal with the issue as soon as possible.

A recall ID number and the manufacturer’s phone number will usually be provided to call for further instructions.

Once confirmed that the recall does indeed affect your particular RV, you’ll be given information about where to take it for repair.

It’s important to reiterate that recalls must be repaired free of charge, so never ignore a recall notice. Get it fixed for free before it causes problems.

Prior to taking your RV in to have a recall issue repaired, you’ll need to make sure the service center you have in mind can address the problem. Not all service locations are capable of repairing certain RV’s issues due to their size and the tools that may be required.

Fortunately, the manufacturer will usually direct you to the nearest qualified location.

A motorhome on lifts at an RV mechanic service station

Some RV repair jobs may not be possible, or safe, without having the rig on a lift or properly supported, and not all service locations are equipped to lift an RV.

Some certified mobile service techs are authorized to do recall work. But you should absolutely confirm in advance that the mobile service tech you contact handles recalls. This includes the ability to file the appropriate documentation once the work is complete.

This makes sure they’ll be paid by the manufacturer and not by you! You should not be expected to pay for recall work and later seek reimbursement by the company that issued the recall, so never agree to that.

Properly recording the completion of a recall also ensures that your RV will be listed by the manufacturer as having been repaired. That detail may come in handy when it’s time to sell your rig.

How to Find RV Recall Information

There are a few different ways to check for outstanding recall notices and information on your RV.

Check the NHTSA Website

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall page is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Simply click on the link above, and you’ll see a box available to enter your RV’s VIN (vehicle identification number).

The VIN is a 17-digit combination of letters and numbers that can be found on the RV’s title, registration, and insurance card. It can also be found on the RV itself either on the driver’s side door post, in the engine compartment, or on the dash on the driver’s side, very close to the windshield.

Enter the VIN into the box on the NHTSA website and hit “enter” on your keyboard.

This will give you any outstanding recall notices issued over the past 15 years. If a recall has been resolved on your vehicle, it shouldn’t appear in your search. 

If there are no unrepaired recalls for your RV, you’ll see a message that says “0 unrepaired recalls associated with this VIN”.

Get NHTSA’s Free SaferCar App

An app from NHTSA called “SaferCar” is free for iOS and Android.

Simply download the app on your phone and follow the instructions.

You can use the app to search for all kinds of recalls. That includes RVs and other vehicles, and related equipment.

You can also sign up for “Recall Alerts” so that when SaferCar becomes aware of a safety recall on your vehicle or equipment, it will send an alert to your phone.

You can also sign up for email alerts.

You can download the iOS SaferCar app here, and the Android SaferCar app here.

Sign up for email alerts from the NHTSA’s Recall Notification email system here.

Search Using Recalls.gov

Recalls.gov finds recalls on RVs and other vehicles, as well as a variety of consumer products. That includes food, cosmetics, boats, and environmental products.

However, the site doesn’t offer specific recall information. Instead, it directs you to the proper site to search for a recall on your particular product of interest.

Use the ToGo RV App

If you use the ToGo RV app, you can enter your RV information to have the app notify you if there’s a recall on your rig. 

Just be sure to keep your information up to date, and the ToGo RV app will let alert you to safety recall issues. These include tire recalls. Just enter the TIN of your tires (found on the sidewalls) into the app and let ToGo handle the rest.

That feature is part of ToGo RV’s free app. But if you want to upgrade to Roadpass Pro to get additional worthwhile features (including some of our favorites), here’s a discount code for you:

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When Should I Check for RV Recalls?

If you don’t have an up-to-date alert system in place like those offered by the NHTSA’s SaferCar app or the ToGo RV app, then you should check for recalls regularly. 

In Advance of a Trip

A good practice is checking at least a few weeks before a trip to give yourself time to resolve an open recall.

When You’re Not Using Your RV

You may also want to check for open recalls when your RV isn’t being used for a period of time (again, to get any recall issues addressed in advance of your travels).

When Shopping for an RV

And finally, any time you’re looking to buy an RV (or any other vehicle for that matter), pop the VIN into the NHTSA’s recall system to obtain information related to open recalls.

Have You Discovered Any RV Recalls on Your Rig?

If you’ve found an open recall on your RV and had it repaired, we’d be interested in hearing about your experience.

Did you search for open recalls? Or did you receive a notice from the manufacturer? How easy was it to have the issue resolved?

Drop us a comment below to share your experience.

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Frustrated in Idaho

Friday 30th of December 2022

We are new RVers and have had an issue from the very beginning. We bought our 2021 Class A 36 foot Jayco Precept Prestige in March 2021 and before we got it home from the dealership, had a recall letter from Ford (it has a Ford F53 chassis which was news to us) saying there may be an issue with the rear end not getting filled with oil to the proper level and causing resulting failure. Long story short, we have not been able to get it in for serving because our closest Ford dealer who can fix it is 355 miles away in Portland, Oregon. We live in north Idaho. The coach has less than 3,000 miles on it and over 1,700 miles of that was delivery from the Jayco factory in the Midwest. We have contacted all the Ford dealerships in our area, Jayco motor home customer service, Ford motor home customer service, the national recall center and everyone we can think of to get it repaired and still have not been able to get it corrected. We have not taken a trip with it because we are afraid of malfunction on the road but have run into a brick wall trying to get the recall fixed. Any other ideas?

Gay RV Enthusiast

Tuesday 20th of December 2022

Hey guys. I hope you're keeping safe. Those are good things to know. The safety of any vehicle you drive is a matter of life and death. You don't want to step on the brake pedal and have your car continue through a red light and possibly hit another car or a pedestrian. That'd be a tragedy. It's the same with a motorhome. Given its mass and weight, you particularly want to make sure your rig can come to a stop before it crosses the intersection. There are other important safety considerations to consider.

Happy Holidays!

Gay RV Enthusiast (Jason Carpp)

Wednesday 21st of December 2022

@TheRVgeeks, I agree. I don't own an RV, nor do I have a partner to share the experience with. But safety when driving is certainly important. You'd think RV manufacturers would know that.

TheRVgeeks

Tuesday 20th of December 2022

Hey Jason! We are indeed staying safe, and hope you are as well. Thanks for reinforcing just how important this all is. There are certainly safety issues an RVer might not be aware of, but ignoring a safety recall only to have that component fail would surely be a self-inflicted wound.

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PLEASE NOTE: We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use 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.

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