pic06While some visitors have seasonal homes in the warm state of Arizona, many take advantage of the convenience offered by recreational vehicles (RVs) to “wait out” the cold winter. Whether looking to purchase an RV or do a few repairs, Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers helpful tips to avoid headaches and save money. Last year, BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona received over 7,600 inquiries on new and used RV dealers and 1,900 inquiries on RV repair and service companies. BBB also processed 59 complaints against new and used RV dealers and nine against RV repair and service companies in 2014. For those looking to buy an RV, BBB offers the following checklist:


  • Check the dealer’s reputation. Find a dealer’s rating, complaint history and customers reviews all in one place at bbb.org.  When looking for trustworthy dealers, visit SearchBBB.org. If buying from a private party, make sure to obtain all contact information.


  • Check the warranty.  Understand the warranty options offered with a new or used purchase. New RVs usually come with a one year warranty covering the entire unit. Used RVs might come with a limited warranty, or if buying from a private party, with no warranty.


  • Check the trade-in value. If trading in your RV, research the value. For an estimate on the current market value of your RV, visit the National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA) website at www.nadaguides.com/RVs.


  • Check inside and out.  Remember, the exterior of an RV is just as important as the inside. Do a complete walk through and test every electrical feature in the RV to make sure they function well. Whether new or used, inspect the RV inside, underneath and around, looking for screws, doors, and cupboards that do not remain closed, wires or water pipes running through holes, and construction debris as a sign of sloppy workmanship.


For those looking to service their RV or conduct repairs, BBB offers the following checklist:


  • Check out the repair shop or service company first.  Referrals from family, friends and neighbors are a good place to start, but complete the verification process by looking at a company’s rating and complaint history at bbb.org. Remember you can search repair shops, plumbers, electricians, and many other industries with BBB.


  • Check the estimate. Always obtain a written estimate before authorizing any work. The estimate should include a description of the concerns, what the technician found to be the cause, and the correction or course of action for repair, including parts and total cost. Ask about warranty for parts and labor.


  • Check the work. Don’t sign off on repairs until you have done a walk through and inspected the RV with the mechanic.


For more information and tips you can trust, visit bbb.org.

Elaine CullenDirector, Mohave County
Better Business Bureau serving Greater Arizona
Main Office: 60 S. Acoma Blvd Ste B102, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403  | 928-302-3701 Phoenix: 602-264-1721 | Yavapai: 928-772-3410 | Yuma: 928-919-7940