Edited by Russ and Tiña De Maris
Keeping it civil
In the opening editorial for Issue 813, RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury pointed out how mean-spirited “trolls” and others of a similar ilk aren’t welcome in the comments section. Our readers lit up the board with their thinking.
Dave Dark wrote, “I think you have hit the nail on the head with your editorial this week. It does not require any courage to insult and disparage someone behind the shield of the computer.”
John Goodell shared his experience. “I know what you mean about on-line debates that degenerate into insults. I was researching diesel trucks and visited some diesel owner sites to get some tips and pointers on Ford vs. Ram vs. Chevy/GM. Each subject of debate between the truck brands almost always evolves after a few semi-useful comments into the most ridiculous juvenile exchange, such as, ‘That’s because you’re stupid!’ Followed by, ‘No, you’re stupid!’ Then the universal response, ‘No, you’re stupid!’ I didn’t get much useful info from these ‘debates’ except that brand loyalty was very strong!”
Suggestions on responses to others’ comments came from Wolfe: “Whenever tempted to engage ‘a clear idiot,’ examine whether your intent is to sort out who’s right or wrong, or to educate yourself. Most fools are content in their ignorance and won’t be moved, but a LOT can be learned from understanding why they are so mistaken. Lies have a sliver of truth, and bad ideas often stem from good intentions. If you’re muttering to yourself ‘How can anyone actually believe ____?’ then pause and answer that question – either you’ll learn something, or you’ll have a better basis to teach than just throwing tantrums.”
Ken Pratt had a suggestion as well. “I could not agree more with your editorial this week. We need to exercise tolerance and show some respect to others whose values may differ from ours. Opening a conversation and listening with understanding, instead of launching personal attacks, can often lead to a better understanding. It may not change our minds but it sure feels better than bullying people, and you get to meet and understand some really nice people.”
Swearing off [at?] Camping World
When we posted a story about Camping World receiving the dubious rank of ‘second worst in customer complaints,’ we got plenty of feedback. Typical was this response from Tim: “My wife and I purchased a new Winnebago View from Camping World in Manassas, Virginia, in July 2017. We have had a lot of customer service issues with this dealer! I contacted Camping World corporate customer service three times to try and resolve the issues that I was having with the dealership! To date only one of the issues has been resolved. I just keep getting the run-around and lied to by the service manager and the general manager! I will never deal with Camping World again and it is my mission to let everyone know how horrible this company is to deal with. The worst company I have ever had dealings with. Don’t walk away from CW. RUN!”
Bill offers a suggestion as to why the company has such a bad reputation: “Camping World [stores] are now franchises, apparently with little or no oversight from the parent company. So there are good and there are bad, and a few really good, and a few really awful. We bought our first diesel from Camping World in Syracuse, and were very happy with their service and follow-up. In the past, when Camping World was not such a huge franchise operation, we had very good results from a letter to Marcus. The last one was ignored. I guess he’s too busy with the TV show.”
One reader also tells an interesting tale. John writes, “I posted a link to this [story] on RV.NET, which is run by Camping World. My posting completely disappeared after five minutes (like it never existed).”
And yet, not everyone has had a completely horrific experience. Here’s Rick‘s story: “We bought a 2016 Forest River FR3 30DS from Camping World of Northern Michigan. After a trip to the West Coast, we accumulated a list of relatively minor problems, the worst of which was the failure of the roof air conditioner. They had my motorhome longer than they should, I believe due to the plodding warranty procedure at Forest River.
“Here’s where my story diverges from the rest: Camping World assigned one person (Lori) to take care of me. We both walked around/through the motorhome listing each item, and marking the location with a sticker. She called me regularly to update us on the status of our claim and accumulation of replacement parts. She then called to schedule an appointment, and the work was completed in three days. When we went to pick up our unit, she again walked through each item to make sure it was done to our satisfaction. While I have a few reservations about Forest River and their warranty procedures, I can’t say enough about Camping World. Thank you for a job well done.”
On the other hand, we did receive more “gripes and growls” than “pats on the back.” Steve joins the former group. “I brought my RV for minor warranty work to Camping World in Berkley, Massachusetts. They have had it for several weeks and their excuse is they have way too much work and not enough employees. They say they are waiting for a part to come in.
“I called the manufacturer who said they had overnighted the part three weeks ago. I called my service contact back, and he said they just haven’t had time to get to it. (Last week this same guy, Jimmy, said we just got your part in and it will be ready in two days). A week went by and they did not return my phone calls. I left a very nasty message for him and he called me back. He said they still have not been able to put the part on because they are backed up. It’s just a plastic air flow for the air conditioner by the drivers seat.
“I suggested they hire more people. He said they did, but they just don’t show up. I said pay them more. He said that’s what they all tell management. He admitted that this is a problem at all Camping Worlds. I told him they have a s***** reputation. He said he knows that. At least he’s honest.”
Finally, travilenman offers his own unique approach to focusing a spotlight on the problem of poor service. “I have a 2014 Keystone purchased from Camping World in Coburg, Oregon. It is a POS to put it mildly. CW could not fix it and Keystone was of little to no help.
“I have a BIG rear window and I use this as a rolling billboard, using the type of paint used on windows when folks get married. My billboard reads as follows: ‘Camping World RV EXPERTS and Keystone RV SUCK’ I was told by the manager of Coburg CW that I could do this. Like Marcus Lemonis says HIS MILLIONS, HIS RULES…I say MY RV, MY RULES.
“I have had a lot of very positive feedback on my advertisement. Maybe ALL of us that have bad RVs should do this.”
Vote for Chuck?
After digesting the litany of problems RV consumers put up with, Richard Davidson was moved to make this suggestion. “OK Chuck, you keep saying we RV owners need someone lobbying for us. Well, I can think of no better person to get the ball rolling than YOU! You have the knowledge, the temperament, and the experience in presenting things in an easily understandable format. I and thousands of other RV owners agree with you. We need someone representing OUR interests and I’m sure we would be more than happy to donate $$$$ if we thought it would further our perspective and bring light to our problems. How about it Chuck? Can you ‘get things started’ so to speak?”
Chuck was quick to respond: “Richard, several of us spent an afternoon at [the Hershey, Pennsylvania, RV show] talking about establishing some sort of RV owners organization, one that represented RVers and not the industry, and one that was honest with no pressure from commercial interests. We’re still talking and maybe something will come of it. I hope so.”