I own a vintage Winnebago Brave. It has been well taken care of all its life, and as a matter of course, I get the fluids changed after it's been sitting a while. So in February, I took the Brave to Camping World Syracuse to have the fluids changed, brakes and wheel bearings checked, and a general assessment of road worthiness done.
They called, said everything was done, come pick it up. Saturday morning, I pay the bill, pick it up, and start the 240 mile trip to our new home. Somewhere along the drive the differential fluid began leaking out. After about 150 miles, the rear axle seizes. The tow truck driver looks at it and says, someone didn't tighten the rear cover gasket!
We get it towed to Camping World Kingston, NY, and they agree to look at it and estimate a repair. The next morning, I locate a replacement axle and offer to pick it up, drive it to Kingston, and have it installed. Instead, Jim, the service manager, says he'd "feel better" if an axle guy he knows rebuilds it. They have the parts, and it'll be better than new. I disagree, and say I know the provenance of the axle I'm getting, it's in great shape, but he won't hear of it.
So he removes the axle, sends it out to a contractor for a rebuild, and after ordering the wrong parts and taking a week longer than promised, I call on a Tuesday. Jim tells me it will be done by the weekend. I take Friday off in order to go pick it up, and after hearing nothing, I call again. Jim has left for the day. They test drove it, but want to test drive it again on Monday. Okay. I want it tested, so as not to suffer the same fate as their Syracuse colleagues. On Monday afternoon, after hearing nothing from Jim, I call again. The Camping World operator tells me Jim is not available. Less than a minute later, Jim calls me (having found himself available suddenly?) and he tells me politely I owe him $5,470 for their services. I need to come pay him now and pick it up.
$5,470 dollars? I found them a perfectly good axle for less than 10% of that. I did their work for them. Why in the world would they want to create all this extra work for themselves, and extra delay for us? Oh yes! Because they will make a ton of money on the mistake they themselves caused.
I am not a conspiracy theorist. But man, you'd be hard-pressed to set up a better racket than this one. For what it's worth, I don't believe it was a racket. I believe Syracuse screwed up. Luckily for Kingston, their screw-up landed us there, where they could reap the rewards.
Do NOT deal with Camping World for RV service. Let independent qualified mechanics do the job (especially because Camping World itself will just outsource the work to qualified mechanics themselves, and then charge you the invoice plus CW labor rates). Do not deal with Jim in Kingston; he will lie, double-talk, and falsely reassure you to death, and then get very curt when he wants your money. And don't let your wife call him -- he's definitely got issues with women, especially if that woman is mechanically-inclined and not bullsh*ttable.