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Old 06-28-2015, 07:01 PM   #1
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Dealer service charges

We recently took our '98 Dutch Star to a dealer to get a state inspection. (We recently bought it from friends who were out of state.)

Apparently, their policy is to charge for 1 hour of labor for each item we asked them to check. The repair, if any, is additional. Their labor charge is $110/hour.

I certainly know that auto dealers charge high rates for service. Is this true for us RV owners, too? They had to change a couple bulbs that were out, and the charge for that seemed rather high, too. We live in PA. We were under the impression we needed to go to an RV dealer for the inspection. Does anyone know if we could have just taken it to a shop that services diesels? I'm sure the service charges would have been a lot less.

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Old 06-28-2015, 07:11 PM   #2
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I had my motorhome at Newmar a week or so ago and saw their posted labor rate is $116 per hour in the summer and I believe it goes down in the fall when they are less busy. What would bother me with your dealer is the one hour per item to be looked at. If it only took 15 minutes to check something out the one hour seems excessive especially if you were having several items inspected. This might be the norm but doesn't seem right to me either.

Jack and Janet
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:42 PM   #3
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In Texas they have many Inspection sites, they charge $25 (I believe)...
If you have a turn signal light or a horn out then you can fix it yourself or anyone you wish...
Then just go back to inspect again...
The trouble is finding an Inspection Station with a BIG parking lot...
2001 Dutch Star 3666 (Workhorse gas)
Lugoff, SC

KE5FTF...Bob & Kathy
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:57 PM   #4
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$110/hour is a good deal relatively speaking. The labor rate south Florida is $125 and up. Do not think a diesel shop would be less. Authorized Cummins shops in South Florida are about the same or a bit higher.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DrSteve View Post
Apparently, their policy is to charge for 1 hour of labor for each item we asked them to check. The repair, if any, is additional. Their labor charge is $110/hour.

K. That's ridiculous. Just ridiculous. Especially when you've got them looking at bulbs.

The whole concept of "hours" has devolved into "book time" - which has become a way for service facilities to make more money and encourage mechanics to work more quickly. Basically there is a "book" for most things chassis or automotive related. The book is a pretty sand-bagged estimate of how long it will take to do service. Most mechanics can do it quicker, but you're charged for the book amount, not the actual amount of time.

My advice - if you're needing help down to the level of bulbs - or can't walk though the inspection items yourself prior, start looking for a good "mobile" RV guy or if you've got a DP a solid independent shop. Paying a $100/hr diagnostic for individual (simple) items seems preposerous to me, especially when you're not spending an hour doing it.

In my state inspections are one price everywhere. Repairs vary, but they can't gouge you on inspection itself.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:11 PM   #6
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Actually, in Texas you pay 7 bucks for this inspection...same as a school bus inspection. It can be done at a number of inspection stations...even automotive types in many instances. Best deal around.

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