The wife and I got into the RV lifestyle to lower stress and because we love RV's, what I have found is if issues arise and are not handled properly it can raise stress levels to heights unknown before buying an RV! Of course part of the problem early on was my expectation level, I fully expected the dealer to do their job, how silly is that? After all, we all are expected to do our jobs where we work and we hear about it when we make a mistake, at least we should if we expect to grow from it and do better next time.
I learned that the dealer we bought from has low expectations from their staff, the owner said he was proud of them in their work and when shown a bad mistake he would say he was proud of the job done anyway which makes you feel like an idiot he doesn’t deem worthy of listening to. As a business owner, when a customer brings an issue to my attention it’s my job to assure him/her that the issue will be resolved and the person who screwed up dealt with. You always assume the customer is right and if you find out the customer lied or what have you then you deal with it professionally but you do not praise the employee who screwed up right after being told they screwed up! This dealer really opened my eyes to how most RV dealers operate.
One other thing I have learned is the average consumer in the RV space anyway HAS lowered their expectations because I saw people at this dealership picking up their filthy rigs and saying thank you.
I even talked to one gentleman and asked him why he told the owner he was satisfied when it was obvious his coach wasn’t detailed and items from his repair list ignored. His response “I don’t want them mad at me, they might not fix my problems”. I kept in contact with him and he no longer deals with the dealer anymore either but he said what many people think, they are afraid to piss off the dealer because they’re not like car dealers, you have to actually travel a bit to find another one so bend over and take it. I know not all people are like this but enough are to make the RV dealers believe they can do as they please.
I always treat people with respect but when they screw up I let them know I’m not happy and expect something to be done about it. Well, this doesn’t work, todays mentality is the customer is not always right, they are mistaken fools that the dealer must put up with until they have left the building. Knowing this I now praise them in some way prior to letting them know a mistake has been made. I then walk them through what I “think” is a mistake and let them tell me I’m right or not. If they tell me I’m not right then I expect a good reason why.
Not being a very patient person and not one very good at dealing with bullshit I expect service techs to listen, take down the information and then tell me they will make it right. Most get defensive and you can see them clam up and go into how long is this going to take not really listening to you, I have coffee waiting mode so I am very careful with my words and that is not easy for me. When I screw up, tell me I screwed up and I’ll make it right, every time without fail.
Now when an issue arises I take a step back, take a breath and take it as a learning experience. I may gripe a bit but my attitude is much better about it now than when we started. Anyway enough on this, point made and I digress.
Here are a list of some sites that I’ll also put on the side that I have found helpful in diagnosing the various maladies I have had to re-fix after the dealer failed to do so. For the forums, if you’re new to RV’ing visit the beginner section of the forums, they are a great way to discuss this lifestyle!
- http://www.rvdoctor.com a great resource site and he has videos that explain many fixes for free.
- http://blog.drainmaster.com/ I have learned a lot about drains and RV tank venting from this site. When I need to do some upgrades it looks like they have some great products to do the job. Not sure about how to properly dump your tanks? They have a great article about that right here.
- http://www.rv-links.com/ The title says it all!
RV Advice Links - http://www.rvadvice.com/rvlinks.html, there are a lot of links on this site for many things that concern RV’ers.
- http://www.irv2.com A great forum for help!
- http://www.rv.net/forum/ A forum resource that gets a lot of traffic.
- http://www.rvthereyet.cc/ This is a campground, Dump Station etc… resource site. You can also add your blog there.
- http://www.blogger.com/home Here is one of the best ideas yet. Create your own blog! Share your passion for RV’s with everybody! You’ll be glad you did. Family can see what you’re up to and where you’re at and so can friends and other RV’ers!
The best part of this lifestyle is even on the worst day, which was probably our first one in the RV where we started the pizza on fire, the AC roof unit was leaking into the coach and our rig was leaking from the rain. We had more FUN than you can imagine. We hiked, visited places you typically don’t think of unless you’re out there in an RV and even with the stress of having to fix things some times, it’s not the same kind of stress you feel during a bad day at work.
Plus, should something break you have now learned something and most times you’re capable of fixing the problem. You might even impress your spouse, when was the last time that happened?
Have a great weekend everybody! We are staying home to catch up on some chores but next weekend we will be out for 5 days, Friday through Tuesday! We can’t wait!