1. First and foremost, hold on to your sense of humor. This may be a test to see if you have the patience of Job - or at least it will seem like it.
2. If you are someplace where you can stay with your RV - do so by all means. Even if you have to boondock, try and stay in your own RV at night. This will help to keep you centered on what you are trying to accomplish - getting back on the road and fulltiming once again. Having been at a repair facility for more than a couple of days, we have seen that RVs left to be worked on tend to get moved into the repair bays when there is a slack time; those with owners sitting in the Customer Lounge tend to get worked on faster.
3. Take a look at what is nearby. Plan a day trip or two. Find out where the mall is, where the grocery stores are, the laundromat. If you need a haircut - get it done while the RV is being worked on. Is there a local museum to see? Are there special gardens or some other local attraction? These don’t have to be day-long trips, but will give you a sense of still doing what you normally do as you’re going down the road.
4. Get to know the people at the repair facility. They can give you tips on local attractions and once they get to know you, they may be able to find that special part or be willing to stay just a little later, start just a little earlier to get you back out on the road. A box of doughnuts or something similar goes a long way in picking up spirits. And if you are there long enough, you may get invited to the Monthly Employee Luncheon!
5. Ask questions when you are not sure what the technician is telling you. Use this time to learn something more about your RV. And you are paying for their expertise, so pick up as much information as you can. Some places will not let you into the area where they are working, but do ask to talk to the technician at regular intervals so you can understand what is happening, what they are looking at, and what the anticipated costs are going to be.
6. Call the manufacturer if special information is needed and the factory is not returning telephone calls from the repair facility. Go online and see if other owners have had similar problems and what they did to get back on the road. If you have not already done so, join an online owner's group - there is a WEALTH of knowledge and experience out there and people are very willing to share.
7. Give yourself a treat every now and then. Even if it is just an ice cream cone, be nice to yourself. And be nice to your partner. It isn’t their fault - they didn’t plan on this happening and are just as anxious as you are to get back on the road.
8. Find something to occupy your time while sitting in the waiting room. Get online (especially if WiFi is available), read a book, do a puzzle, watch the news (but don’t let it consume your day), visit with others who are in the same boat as you. And remember, the size/cost of the RV doesn’t matter when you are sitting in that waiting room – everyone feels that they are held hostage at that point. If you are staying in a boondocking area at the repair facility help organize a cookout – especially on the weekends.
9. If you have pets make sure that you keep their daily activity as normal as possible. Whether or not to place them in a kennel is a difficult decision. We have done it both ways and find that ours do better if we keep them with us. In fact, they have gotten very good at walking around a park, hoping in their carriers when they get tired, using the litter box in the back of the car, and getting to know the layout of different customer lounges. Plus each night, they have dinner at home and curl up next to us and as we all know, there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed each night.
Remember, these will make great stories around the campfire somewhere down the road. Some days the only thing we can do is “Make Lemonade from the Lemons.”
How To Survive Repairs
There’s a sound, a leak of fluid, a shimmy, a crack, something to alert you that there is a problem and then you hear the dreadful news: “Sure, we can fix it, but it will take four days to get the parts and two to three days to get the work done.”
What do you do when repairs take days and days (or weeks and weeks) to complete? After having been in that situation on more than one occasion, the following are some tips we’ve used to help us keep our sanity during stressful times.