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Old 02-28-2017, 09:29 AM   #1
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Collateral Damage

I don't know if anyone else has had this experience but I've decided to share it as a caveat to other MH owners.

I find that owning a Class A MH can be problematic when it comes to finding a local shop (usually a large truck repair shop) that you trust to service your pride and joy. Most truck places aren't thrilled to deal with motorhomes, at least in my area.

Last year, I changed shops because the place I had been giving my business to was very slow at getting it done. My rig would often sit around for weeks before they would do the work, claiming that their truck customers were their priority since they made a living with their vehicle. The new shop has been faster and the work has been fine but I have found other unanticipated issues. Last year after getting my motorhome back I discovered someone had snapped off a hose reel located inside the generator slide. All that was left was the end of the bracket and the bolt that attached it to the wall. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and let it go.

This past fall, when I returned from the service facility, I noticed two large scrapes (about 24 inches long) on one of my compartment doors. These scrapes had grease embedded in them and, since they had lubed the chassis, it didn't take much to figure out how they likely got there. I took pictures and sent them to the shop and they denied any responsibility. Now I am auditioning other places to get service done. Generally, I am not a complainer but this is starting to look like a pattern. If any of you can relate, I'd welcome your experiences and input.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:38 AM   #2
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I drive 40 miles to the Rush Truck Center for chassis drive line work.
Regular service is done while I wait.
They have over 30 indoor truck bays.
My 33 foot class A looks tiny in there
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:41 AM   #3
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I have a mobile repair guy do mine. That way you can hangout and watch.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:55 AM   #4
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Yes I would be researching a mobile service or at least find a Speedco. Speedco does not damage vehicles and you can watch them.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:14 AM   #5
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I had started with the local dealer where I bought my first rig. Sold itand bought the second out of town: original dealer doesn't service that brand and I found a local "light truck service" place even closer that advertised working on RV's. They are great! when I took my new rig over recently for an oil change, lube and safety check, they put 2 guys on it to get it done for me because it was "too pretty to leave it over night".

The local Ford dealer's don't do motorhomes (even warranty issues), Ford Motorhome division found 2 dealers that would, both over an hour away. One I would not ever take it back to - they kept my first rig over 6 weeks to do a 3 day job. The other was very nice, but they were too far away and I hated the stop-and-go highway traffic to get there and back.

I did a lot of searching on Google for "RV, Motorhome Service" in my area and had found the light truck service place, where a friend had his school bus serviced, went over and spoke to the owner, and am very happy with them. They'll do all my maintenance until and unless I have to take it to Ford for warranty issues. Good folks.

I'd say you'll have to poke around in your area and do some trial and error, but there may be a hidden gem close by you didn't realize was there.

good luck.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:12 AM   #6
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Prior to making payment. I review the work performed, and also walk the coach inside and out.

> Stained grease footprint on floor carpet. Carpet Cleaning paid for by them (Deducted the cost form my bill.)
> Missing parts, or damaged parts. Replaced and or ordered, and deducted from bill.
> New scratches. Two times out of three, covered by going to a paint shop, and them billing the repair facility (All agreed to in advance.). One time out of three, the shop denied they did it, so 'I said' and 'They said'. After working my way up to the owner of the place. I finally turned it over to my insurance company, which also then went after the shop for repairs. Still no luck. So small claims court would have been my next step. The cost of repair was less then deductible on my insurance, so I paid out of pocket. And did not take the time to go after them in small claims court. (That facility is now closed, no wonder.)

I do use RVSERVICEREVIEW. I report the Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

Suggest you look over RVSERVICEREVIEW, and locate an RV Repair facility with good ratings, and go develop a relationship. (I drive 70 miles each way to do this, as I had a few bad experiences until finding a place I trust. And by the way, they're not the lowest Shop Hour Rate shop - but worth it to me.) And I suggest you look for a chassis and engine related shop too, and do the same thing. When I first go in, I ask to see either the owner and or manager. Explain that I'm looking to start a new longterm relationship, and would appreciate their guidance on how to help them provide me with good service as a customer! When possible, I ask them if they will assign me a seasoned/veteran Tech, that I can then also start a relationship. (My current shops (I have two, one locally and one I visit yearly in Oregon.) have assigned me a Tech that I work with 9 times out 10. I tip accordingly. In one shop it goes to the Tech. In the Oregon Shop it goes into a General Fund, that is used for dinners out for the full shop. I reward those that help me take good care of my rig!)

Best of luck to you,
Smitty
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:25 PM   #7
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I am a retired mechanic.
We would do a walk around the vehicle and take photos of any damage to vehicle before the customer left.
You might think about doing that yourself before you leave the vehicle.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twojayhawks View Post
Yes I would be researching a mobile service or at least find a Speedco. Speedco does not damage vehicles and you can watch them.
X-2 on Speedco! Regards
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:21 PM   #9
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The dealer I bought my MH from always did a walk around with me when taking it in for service. They would point out and mark down any existing damage before I left. Upon return they again would walk around with me to check for any new damage. Unfortunately they are no longer in business and I have had to find new places for service.

I have often wondered why more shops don't use the same procedure?
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:26 PM   #10
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My mechanic has a one man shop. He will come out to service or make repairs. I prefer to take the MH to him. He does good work at a fair price and I trust him 100% with my MH. You should be able to find one near you. Do an internet search for mobile RV techs or RV docs.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:47 AM   #11
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to me, one of the keys to enjoying the rv life is finding someone that can work on your coach (unless you choose to do it yourself)...........i found out that each time we return from a trip, there is something, maybe small, that requires attention................i was lucky when i stumbled onto wilson rv in sunbury ohio.............mike wilson, owner, has forgotten more about rv maintenance than most people know................it is almost a pleasure when i have to go see him even if i know it is going to cost some $...........it will be a sad day when mike retires.............i don't know about the rest of you, but there are very few places close to me that i would trust with my monaco...............
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:04 AM   #12
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I use the local dealer I bought my coach from for warranty work. For upgrade work I use an Rv tech I know. For chassis/engine I have a great truck shop, they also perform rv work.
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