RV rip-offs?

I've searched around for a forum with this topic, and it must be included in a list of most-discussed topics somewhere.
We're relatively new Class C RV'ers, second season now, and are almost used to the life in the slow-lane, getting cut-off by zippy little cars zooming ahead and then braking directly in front of us, horrific fuel costs, etc.
We took the RV to Corona CA for a wedding stay of a few nights a couple weeks ago. On the way home, the wife was driving, and tried to stop in Kingman AZ for gas. I was sleeping in the back, and awoke with the bumping and turning and slowing going on. As she attempted to turn in to a Flying J station off Exit 53, a man in a small pickup zoomed up beside us and blocked our further progress, gesticulating wildly. I at first thought he must be an irate motorist intent on chewing out the wife, but he immediately began trying to tell her there was something dreadfully wrong with our RV, it was leaking transmission fluid, it was smoking, he would fix it for us, "come on over to Exxon, not here at Flying J, and we'll fill you up and give you 5 cents off a gallon...". I stepped out the side door and he appeared disappointed the wife wasn't alone, but it didn't take long for him to launch into the same sales pitch with me. He said "Look under your RV!! It's LEAKING fluid!!" I looked, and all I could see was a quarter-sized spot of something that may not even have dripped off our undercarriage, and from the guy's rapid-fire vacuum-cleaner-salesman voice, I suspected he was some sort of low-budget shill for a competing garage or service station nearby. I told him I was an experienced mechanic and that I didn't think anything was wrong, and to not worry about us. He trailed after me like a barking puppy, claiming we were going to ruin our RV if we drove anywhere but the block or so over to his Exxon station.
We pulled on in to Flying J, gassed up, and I checked all the fluid indicators, oil, trans fluid, brakes, etc, and could find nothing amiss. We drove on back to Albuquerque without the slightest difficulty or delay, and yesterday ( a couple weeks later) I checked the fluid levels again to find them to have not lost a drop.
I have tried to find the Better Business Bureau in Kingman to lodge a complaint, without success. I'm wondering how often others may have experienced such things, and where. I fully realize the consequences of having to take the RV to a garage. Every place I have gone with "RV" over the door seems to charge 20 to 100 percent more than similar items bought in a non-RV setting such as Wal-Mart. So far I've been able to do all repairs myself. I shudder to think what it will be like when we finally experience real transmission or engine trouble.
Jim & Jacque and Radar, the Rescued Greyhound
in a 1993 Fleetwood 23-footer with no toad, 350 Chevy and Turboglide
Festooned with Ham Radio Antennas
We can be tracked via the Internet via http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/find.cgi?call=w5aox-13

Gary B

Senior Member
RV rip-offs?

Hi JIm, yes it sure sounds like it would have been a Rip-off and most likely big time, ever so glad you didn't fall for his line. I sure hope you can get a hold of the Kingman Better Business Bureau.It seems to me that Primetime or 20/20 did a story about such dealing a few years ago and if I remember right it was in or near Kingman, AZ. Welcome to the forum and thanks for the heads up on the deal. :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: :approve:


Senior Member
RV rip-offs?

Yes, Jim, Gary B did see this on one of the 20/20 about rip offs. You were lucky and thanks for bringing it to all of our attention again. Sometimes we get a little complaisant (spelling??) about things and get dinged. I'm no mechanic, but I do have a few years experience with "common sense" and try to use it almost every day.
By the way, I will never drive anywhere near Kingman, Az. ;) :dead: :angry: :laugh:
RV rip-offs?

Thanks for the heads up jimdevenport, it pays to know your rig. I always check my tires, belts, fuild levels, and change my filters, trans., eng., and air, and have never had a major problem on the road. Not saying it can't happen, but it cuts the odd's. I also have a repair manual for my for my motorhome, and have AAA for towing to a major City, mine is up to 200 miles. If I have to I will pay more to get away from those rip-off artist, I feel like it will be cheaper in the long run. Oh, and all the tools I need to do small jobs, just in case. :laugh: A friend of mine had a very bad experience with a mechanic in AZ, the best I can say about that is he got home before he had to replace the junk yard engine they installed.
RV rip-offs?

"By the way, I will never drive anywhere near Kingman, Az."


If you're never going to drive near anywhere there is someone waiting to rip you off, you are going to have a very limited RV experience. In my experience, every town has someone like that, and I don't see that as a reflection on the town.


Senior Member
RV rip-offs?

Never been to Kingman and don't plan it and certainly am big enough to not blame the "Town" for having sleesey businesses and yes, there are some in every town. Been lots of other places and don't really worry about it, since I have the Good Sam Emergency Road service and have faith that if I need them, I'll be taken to an honest repair shop.
Sounds like you have (in your experiences) had dealings with a lot of bad folks (every town?)...... :(
RV rip-offs?

Don't waste your time writing to any BBB. There are multiple complaint threads of their lack of response thruout the US.

Just bring out the dogs and let'em eat.