Mobile RV repair services seems to be a hot topic in our inbox lately. We’ve published a number of repair videos on our YouTube channel and talked openly on social media about our bouts of trouble with repairs we’ve had to make on our RV.
We personally haven’t hired a mobile RV repair service but we have come across a handful of mechanics in our time traveling. My husband being pretty handy and refusing to allow his wallet to get ripped off by an RV repair shop… he’s done everything himself.
What is a Mobile RV Repair Service?
A Mobile RV Repair Service is just what the name implies. It is an RV Repair person that is mobile. It means that they come to where ever you are. It could be a campground, your driveway if you have a sticks & bricks, a parking lot or side of the road if you are broken down. This lets you stay living in your rig while it’s being fixed. No more dragging your camper to the dealer and having it sit there for weeks on end.
Types of Mobile RV Repair Services?
There really aren’t different types of Mobile RV Repair services, just companies that specialize in different areas. Some companies work on the house systems, some companies work on the chassis systems, some work on both.
Quite often if you need chassis repairs on a Class A motorhome, you will end up with a transport truck (18-wheeler) mobile repair person instead of a mobile RV technician.
How to find a reliable mobile RV mechanic?
How do you find a reliable fill-in-the-blank in general? You ask people. If you are at a campground, ask the office or another guest.
The campground office usually has a list of RV techs in the area. You can call RV dealerships in the area. They may offer mobile repairs or may be able to provide the contact information for a mobile tech in the area.
Google is another way to find them. Google “Mobile RV Repairs near me” and see what comes up. In all cases, look at the reviews and decide from there.
Call them, talk to them on the phone. If your Spidey sense tingles after talking to them, listen to it. Good or bad.
There are also online lists and websites that list mobile RV Technicians is one I highly recommend.
What are some things you should look for when considering a mobile mechanic?
Ask if they are certified RV technicians. There are 3 certifications (that I’m aware of) that an RV Tech can hold.
- RVIA/RVDA – RV Industry Association/RV Dealers Association in Indiana
- RVSA – RV Service Academy in Florida
- NRVTA – National RV Training Academy in Athens, TX
The RVIA/RVDA is the “industry standard” certification. The other 2 are top-notch as well. I got my training through the NRVTA but wrote the RVIA/RVDA exam to get that certification.
If you travel to Canada, there is also a Red-Seal certification. This is the “industry standard” in Canada.
Now, even if the mobile tech isn’t certified, it doesn’t mean he isn’t qualified, it just means they haven’t written the exams. There are amazing techs out there that aren’t certified, just like there are horrible certified techs out there. But it’s a good starting point.
Ask them if they carry insurance. If they don’t and something goes wrong… Having insurance shows that they take their business seriously and it’s not just a hobby.
Ask them if this is a fulltime job or a side-hustle. – If they are doing it fulltime, it means it is a business for them. If it is a side hustle, then they may not have all the skills and knowledge to do a quality job for you. The side hustle may be a way to build their business into a fulltime gig for them, so being a side hustle isn’t a bad thing. It’s just another thing to consider.
With these 3 things, not having them should not be a deal-breaker by themselves but taken together, you can see if the mobile tech is in business, or in hobby mode.
Should we be getting parts for Mobile RV Repair before they arrive?
No. If you have the skills and knowledge to figure out what’s wrong, and what parts need to be replaced, then you probably have the necessary skills and knowledge to do it yourself.
Now, if your rig has specialty parts that take weeks or months to get, and the forums/groups you read should point you to those parts, it may not be a bad idea to carry these as spares so you aren’t left stranded.
But in general, no need to buy the parts in advance. You don’t want to buy the wrong parts, do you?
Benefits of a Mobile RV Repair Service?
The biggest benefit is that the mobile RV repair tech comes to you, wherever you are. You don’t have to drag your rig into a shop for the work to be done.
An added benefit to not having to drag your rig into a shop is that you don’t have to wait weeks or months for an appointment and then weeks for the work to be completed.
You can usually get someone to come out to work on your rig within a day or two of calling them.
Drawbacks of a Mobile RV Repair Service?
If you need warranty work or have an extended service plan (aka extended warranty), then you may have to pay for it up front and then get reimbursed by the ESP or factory.
Some mobile techs will do warranty work, some won’t. Make sure you ask when you are booking them to come out if they do warranty work.
There are some repairs that may be better done in a controlled environment of a shop rather than at a campground or driveway. Can they be done with a mobile tech? Sure they can but you may have better results when it’s done in a shop.
Hopefully, the mobile tech you call will let you know if the job is better suited to being done in a shop. I know I do.
There are also longtime RVers that think they know everything about RVs and hang up a mobile RV repair shingle to make extra money.
Unfortunately, some of these folks really don’t have all the necessary skills and knowledge to fix your rig. Now, most of these folks aren’t doing this maliciously, they just don’t know that they don’t know.
The mobile tech may not carry a large stock of parts with them. They may have to go get them from their parts supplier or even order them in for you, which can take more time for the repair to be completed.
Finding a Mobile RV Repair Service Near You… what should you look for?
As I mentioned above, look for their certification, if they have insurance, if this is a full-time, part-time or a side-hustle and how long they have been doing this. Look for reviews, both online and word of mouth.
RV Service and Repair costs… does this service act the same as a traditional shop?
Do you pay labor fees or is it a flat service fee?
Yes, generally mobile repair techs and stick & brick shops act similarly. You pay for the time it takes for the repair to be completed plus parts.
You may also be charged a mobile service call. That is a fee for the technician to come out to you. It covers things like fuel, insurance, wear and tear on their service vehicle as well as their time to get out to you. It may be a flat fee or a mileage charge or both.
You may be asked to pay for a minimum amount of time, even if it is less than the actual repair time. This is usually in the 1-2 hour range.
The hourly charges may be charges in full hours or partial hours. In other words, if a repair takes 1 hour and 10 minutes, you could be charged 2 hours, 1-½ hours, 1-¼ hours, 1.2 hours. It all depends on how they charge for partial hours.
How to find Affordable RV Repair?
The campground office, your campground neighbours, online resources, such as are all good ways to find them. Expect to pay in the $100 per hour neighbourhood for labour plus parts.
All in all Bryan brings up a lot of good points. He’s the expert so if you’re looking to hire a potential mobile RV repair tech then you will be ready to make a decision.
From buying parts to finding a legit tech for your RV repair and maintenance needs he’s got an answer for you.
If you want to find Bryan and talk to him directly click on over and get in touch.