Previously we shared a blog post about several ways to maintain and service your coach while traveling. All those options mentioned in the post are all still relevant and useful. In this blog post, however, we are going to dive into servicing your coach when you have ample time to plan ahead and schedule a factory service appointment.
If ever possible, we highly recommend servicing your coach at the Factory Service Center. We believe if anyone knows your coach’s ins and outs the best it’s going to be the skilled folks at the Factory Service Center.
REV Group happens to have two Factory Service Centers, one located in Decatur, IN and the other in Coburg, OR. While we were traveling through the Midwest, we took the opportunity to book a service appointment for our Vacationer at the REV Service Center in Decatur, IN. We had a few things to get taken care of and the entire experience exceeded our expectations on several levels.
Booking An Appointment
The earlier you can plan your visit the better. If you know you’ll have some down time from traveling or flexibility in your travel schedule, plan ahead and reserve a service appointment. You can do this by booking online, calling, or emailing the service center to get on the calendar for a service visit. Be prepared with a detailed list of the items you want serviced, information about your coach, and the time frame you’d like to have the work done. Also let them know if you’ll be staying with your coach while the service is performed or dropping it off and returning for pickup. Now that you have your appt, let’s get to the good stuff of what to do when you arrive for that appointment!
Arrival and Check In
The arrival and check-in process is a key element to understand. There are some things to be ready for that will make your experience a lot smoother and quicker.
First things first, plan to arrive the day/evening before your scheduled appointment. Check-in begins at a time in the morning that our eyeballs rarely see, so unless you live near the service center, arriving the day before is a must!
For ease of your travels and scheduling, the REV Service Center in Decatur has ample parking outside of the center where you can park your rig, plug-in and stay overnight. Yes, that’s right, no need for a hotel! You can sleep comfortably in your coach during your service center stay. Given that we live full-time in our Vacationer, it was a huge convenience that we could stay in our coach in the evenings during our 4-day service visit.
Once you park you can plug—in to the 50-amp hookup at each lot spot. Upon your departure there is also a dump station should you need it.
Checking in the next morning happens early. The lobby open sat 6am and its best to be there when the doors are unlocked. Once inside, you’ll meet with the service writer assigned to your coach to go over your list of repair items. This is the time to talk about the details of the things to be fixed, discuss symptoms of the issues, and for the service writer to give you their thoughts on what the service process will look like based on your list. They’ll give you estimated timelines, let you know if and what parts may need to be ordered, and an estimated cost for the repairs to be done. Once you’ve agreed for the service to be done, the service writer will send a tech out to get your coach from the parking lot to bring it into the service bay.
If you stayed in your coach like we did, you’ll need to have it closed up and ready to go when the tech comes out. We are not what you would call “morning people”, which is why we got all our things together the night before. Once the tech took our coach, we all headed inside to enjoy the full amenities in the customer area of the Service Center.
When we say, “full amenities”, it is not an exaggeration. At the REV Service Center in Decatur, they go way beyond the basics of complimentary water and coffee. The lobby greets you with said coffee and water, but also a comfortable waiting area complete with several couches, coffee tables, and a TV. The main floor is dog friendly so we were able to bring our pup in to hang out with us as well. Down the hall are nice clean bathrooms and (are you sitting down?) complimentary laundry machines for customer use! Yep, that’s right…we definitely took advantage of this one! And if that wasn’t enough, there is also an upstairs area with everything you need to make your day as productive or relaxing as you want. There are several workstations with power outlets and free Wi-Fi, for those of us digital nomads who need to get some work done. If relaxing is on your agenda for the day, there are multiple lounge areas with game tables, couches, and TVs for your entertainment. And if you’re the pack-your-own-lunch type, they have a kitchen area with a fridge, microwave, and sink. So, while your coach is in getting worked on, you can still enjoy your day with all these amenities to keep you occupied, right on site!
If you prefer to get some fresh air, there’s also a patio outside with a gas fireplace and chairs for a nice daytime or evening hangout spot! Not staying with your coach during the repair period? No problem. A complimentary airport shuttle is offered.
If you decide to stay with your rig and would rather head out and explore, downtown Decatur is a cool little historic area with some great restaurants and interesting sights to see. We very much enjoyed the Java Bean Café which had great coffee, food, and very friendly service! A little further up the road is Fort Wayne, IN. Our coach was in for service for a few days and since we had our toad vehicle with us, we took the drive for a day to check out the zoo. We were there right around Halloween and the zoo was appropriately decorated! Our son enjoyed it so much and it was a fun family day!
At the end of each day, the tech will bring your coach back out to your spot in the lot and plug it back in for you. If your service and repairs require multiple days, the daily process will repeat where the tech comes to get your coach early in the morning and returns it to you in the afternoon. If the techs happen to be waiting on parts and can’t work on it until they come in, then they will leave the coach in the lot for you to use. Even though an in-person meeting isn’t necessary every day, the service writer will give you a call to inform you of progress on your coach’s repairs. They will also let you know of any other potential issues they find or other things that may need to be addressed while there or in the near future.