By Chris Dougherty
Certified RV technician
It really doesn’t matter what form of “transportation” you use, breakdowns happen. Whether it’s a car, plane, cruise ship, yacht or RV, you have to be prepared for the possibility that you might get stuck on your vacation. As Forrest Gump said, “It happens.”
I have had a number of breakdowns over the years and have taken them in stride. I must admit that I usually deal with them all myself now, but in the early days I was as dependent on RV technicians and tow trucks as many of my customers have been dependent on me — which is a sentiment I take seriously, by the way.
So how do you deal with the ever-present specter of the dreaded breakdown?
1. Be prepared. If you are good at repairing mechanical things, have tools with you that will help you take care of the problem. Have a good RV repair and maintenance guide with you, or online resources to give you the information you need to do the repair. Have a plan for a breakdown that includes things you will need to do, including finding a place to stay, calling your destination to postpone your arrival, and so on.
2. Use a roadside assistance plan. These are particularly useful in getting a tow, RV service, lodging and so on. These companies, which include AAA, Coach-Net, Good Sam Roadside Assistance and more, have enormous resources at their fingertips to help you from the moment of breakdown to the moment you’re back on the road.
3. Extended service plans for RVs are a great safety net for many RVers. I always recommend ESPs for RVs, especially larger and more complex motorhomes.
4. Have an open mind, and try to consider the breakdown as part of the adventure! Most places where you’re stuck have things to see nearby.