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Old 09-01-2011, 09:46 PM   #1
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Idea For Spare Parts Inventory

For some time, I've read posts on this forum about other Alpiners buying and carrying spare parts in their coach, either because they fear they are hard to get or they don't want to be broken down without them. I do the same; probably have 6-8 cubic feet of my big storage bay devoted to my rolling spare parts warehouse. I carry things like an extra turbo elbow, battery compartment solenoids, spare air roto-chamber, inverter cooling fans, Direct TV receiver, engine drive belt, fuel filters, HWH hose fittings and 192" hose, etc. A much bigger list than this but I'm sure you get the picture.

This gave me an idea that perhaps we should find out how many forum participants would be willing to share their rolling (or even non-rolling, at home) spare parts inventory on one central database, say the ACA website, for availability to others when they are broken down someplace and really need the part. For example, a new 500 degree turbo elbow can take 3 weeks to get from Purosil, but I would be willing to ship my extra one via Fedex overnight to somebody who was broken down and needed ASAP, for the cost of the elbow and price of the shipping. Same with a battery solenoid. I would just order a replacement for myself after I shipped the other one.

I don't know how many people would be interested in a central database spare parts inventory, how many people would be willing to contribute items to that database and ship them to somebody in need, etc. Nor do I know who would be willing to keep this inventory updated, along with who has the item and how to contact that person, on a place like the ACA website, in an Excel Spreadsheet, or something else. I could do the spreadsheet, but I really don't have the time to maintain it. It may be that most members would rather hoard their parts so they don't have to go to this effort. But I'm curious about what others think about this idea and whether it's worth putting some time into it, and who may be willing to maintain it.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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Fortunately I have never been in the position to need to take advantage of something like that. Most of my problems have been minor enough to make it home and take care of it later. But I think it is a very good idea for those that might be willing to part with part of their repair parts cache.

If nothing else it would be nice to have a spreadsheet with the part numbers for some of the parts, such as your turbo elbow and solenoids. Searching this forum you can usually find them, but to have it readily available on a spreadsheet or PDF file would be great for when you don't have access to the web.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim A View Post
Fortunately I have never been in the position to need to take advantage of something like that. Most of my problems have been minor enough to make it home and take care of it later. But I think it is a very good idea for those that might be willing to part with part of their repair parts cache.

If nothing else it would be nice to have a spreadsheet with the part numbers for some of the parts, such as your turbo elbow and solenoids. Searching this forum you can usually find them, but to have it readily available on a spreadsheet or PDF file would be great for when you don't have access to the web.
I like the idea but I agree that keeping up with the inventory would be the problem. However, as Jim suggests, having a spreadsheet with parts numbers and source(s) would be a godsend. And that wouldn't be nearly as much effort to keep up. Such a spreadsheet wouldn't necessarily reflect the spares that people carry but the parts they have had to replace in the past (or purchased as a spare).

The spreadsheet alone would actually make it possible to send out a call for spares in a desparate situation. E.g., you need a thingamabob, part number 123124. You find out that it takes 3 weeks to get the part so you call the ACA helpline and/or post in this forum to see if someone may be carrying that spare and is willing to share. Then you order the replacement part from the vendor and have it drop shipped to the person who is providing his or her spare, replacing their inventory.

So I think the best thing would be have folks gather their receipts (for parts replaced, not necessarily ones they carry as spares) and submit the following information: part description, part number, source of part, contact information for the source and (optionally) price paid. Having that on a spreadsheet in our MH would be "priceless".

Plus, a lot of times, we keep our receipts in the MH so even if we have previously purchased a thingamabob for our MH, if someone posts they need one often times the response is often: "the information is in my MH; if you don't locate one, let me know and I will check this weekend for a part number." So compiling a spreadsheet would be like our own little parts book of commonly replaced parts on Alpines. Sometimes even the simple things that NAPA might have or be able to order, like a windshiled washer motor or headlight, just need a part number to cross-reference.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:09 PM   #4
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Having a spreadsheet on the ACA website would be handy.

Post your part#'s, descriptions, year coaches to which you know the parts apply, and sources w/ contact info, and we can compile the spreadsheet.
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