Thursday, October 22, 2015

10/16 A Visit to the Fleetwood Customer Service Center

OK, this may seem like a strange thing to blog about, but I thought some of you might be interested in my experiences getting my motorhome repaired.  Overall, my experience with RV dealers, especially the one I bought my rig from, has been pretty horrible.  Once you buy from them and are out the door, they pretend they have never heard of you. 

When I first took my vehicle in for warranty work, they fixed a couple of minor things, but refused to fix others that they said were my fault.  For example, the reason the drawer came unhooked and bashed a hole in the cabinet across from it was not a faulty lock or poor design.  The cause was that I had overloaded it!  Ditto for several other things.  Plus, things they "fixed" became unfixed pretty quickly, so I did not trust their capabilities.

After complaining to the factory customer satisfaction people and having problems with getting other dealers to fix things that required back-ordered parts, I finally found out that there is this service place near the factory in Decatur, IN, that mostly works on the really big and really expensive brands they sell.  In this photo of the parking lot "campground," you can see I look like the poor relative:

The nice thing about this service facility is that they have a huge parking lot with electric hookups where you can stay for free while your vehicle is being worked on. On the other side of the building, they also have a dump station and fresh water fill station, so you really have everything you need, other than the fact that Decatur is not a place where you would want to spend much time.

I mostly had a long list of small things I wanted them to check. Mostly, I wanted to make sure my slides did not have stuff stuck under them and were properly lubricated for the next couple of years.  They checked my roof and re-caulked a couple of areas, checked my battery, checked for leaks around my water pump, etc.  

The only real negative to this place is that you have to be up and have your vehicle ready to go at 5:45 am each morning.  You get your vehicle packed up, and then go into the office before dawn to register. They assign a mechanic or pair of mechanics who come out with you and drive it into the big repair bays. 

They also give you safety goggles and a badge, and as long as you wear closed-toe shoes, you can wander around in the service area.  You can even sit in your vehicle while they work on it!  Considering that I have my leather Laz-y-boy, that means it makes a lot more comfortable spot for a day or two than a waiting room!  Since they plug the vehicle into a 30 amp connection, you have power and I even had internet through my Verizon hotspot, so I got a lot of work done.  Also, asked questions of the mechanics to learn about my batteries and such.

When I arrived on Wednesday evening, this parking lot was almost full.  On Friday afternoon, it was almost empty for the weekend.

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