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Old 07-12-2011, 11:48 AM   #15
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There is a big problem in the motorhome business. Finding people who care. I retired in march 1 2005. I made it until july. My exboss called and said they were getting complaints about repairs. He wanted me to come in and help on a couple of MH's they were having problems with. Before i knew it, I was working one day a week. Next they said no one wanted to come in unless I was going to be there. They talked me into coming in two days a week. This continued until jan. 2009 when they closed the Atlanta lot. I still work on motorhomes at my house. My old customers look me up and want me to repair their motorhomes, not because i am the greatest mechanic who ever lived but because I care.

1998 Pace Arrow 35 ft. F53 Ford V10 2012 Honda Civic toad
15 year motorhome service manager. 3 popups....2 travel trailers....5 motorhomes....loved them all.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Norm4015 View Post
Many of the RV technicians were flipping burgers at McDonalds last month. When you go to a shop ask for their Master Certified RV Technician. If they don't have one find another repair facility.

I do most of the repairs myself and if it is too complicated for me to handle I go back to the Newmar factory. I also do 100% of the routine services myself and I love to slide under the motorhome and get dirty.
Norm your sick LOL

Don and Maxine McQueen
1996 Damon Intruder
F53 Chassis 33 ft
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Paul R. Haller View Post
Having been a Volvo mechanic then, aircraft mechanic in the service, then a carpenter in grad school, and now a senior scientist I know from where I speak that skilled quality people in any field are very hard to find. I think it started way back in the 70s when shop proprietors didn't want the counter people to make change. They insisted that the cash register do that. That encourages the new people to rely on the register rather then their own brain to solve simple math problems. They also started using software to calculate different discounts rather then forcing the sales people to do it on paper. Go to a store now that actually counts out change or even has mediocre manners in their sales force.

I was skilled in understanding computer controls in the Bosch fuel injection systems used in the early 70s Volvos, BMWs, and Porsches. I had 200 hours of training by Bosch and countless hours problem solving on the job. Then, in aircraft work in the service and finally as a carpenter building custom houses. I was expected to frame, hang rock, do layout, assist in routing plumbing and electrical wiring, and right down to paint and finish carpentry, building stairs and handrails, stain grade crown molding, etc. Eventually becomming a construction superintendant of a large crew. Now, I run a University lab full of grad students. In every job from then to now I was always called the get done guy. Why? Because I go the extra step to solve the little things that always turn to big problems later and because I had smart people expecting the same from me.

I expect and demand forward and thoughtful discorse between myself and my students. I also expect some problems to arise because there are always more then one way to solve a problem and I have come to look carefully at somene elses suggestions because two heads are always better then one and perhaps that's what's missing in our workforce today. In my time, my bosses expected me to think for myself and solve problems as they came up. It's a skill that needs time and motivation to develope. Today the workers are just expected to follow the rules no matter what and little responsibility is given the lowly STARTING mechanic or carpenter.

At U.C. we are expected to crank out research and able students. Not an easy task in todays world but I have always expected the students under my tutilage to succeed rather then fail and I give them those same basic skills of thinking for themselves and fundimental problem solving that can be transferred to any job. I also give to them the freedom to fail miserably and learn from it. Now, that said, I have to admit that I work with the finest students and coleagues and the best and brightest.

Ultimately, we ourselves have to motivate our own children and those under our direction to think for themselves and not take away the freedom to make a mistake and learn from it but sadly even those skills also have been lost and we wonder at the skill level of our service people. Perhaps if we too had grown up where little responsibility is given or expected we also would be as we view these workers who provide mediocre work.
-Paul R. Haller-
Hear,Hear Paul, Right on 100%. Congratulations you have spelled it out...
Don and Maxine McQueen
1996 Damon Intruder
F53 Chassis 33 ft
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:05 PM   #18
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This is one of the reasons I take my coach to Dave's RV in Danbury, CT. Even though we live on the west coast, we travel east once per year to see family. We always plan a stop at Dave's and they always take great care of us. Windshield replacement, install flat screens, find and repair roof leak, enjoy their barbeque... Are they less expensive than anyone else? No. Am I confident they are doing everything correct and telling me what they find is the truth? Yes.
Tom & Kelly
'02 Mt. Aire DP 4095
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:20 PM   #19
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The answer is very simple... If no one can do it to your satisfaction...

It Works for me I do all of my own work...

and someday this darn thing might even roll down the road again
1999 Fleetwood Bounder 32H
Many Places Full Time
No Dog * No Cat * No Co-Pilot
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BryanL View Post
re: "The technology is much more complex than it was prior to the emission control and electronics revolution of the 1970's and 1980's. The work is now not just physically hard, but mentally also."

I think holding myths like this to be a significant part of the problem.
Much clipped.

I agree Bryanl... I will cite an example I've used before with some expansion.

Now the 8.1L Vortec V8 that sits in the doghouse is way more "Technical" than the flat 4 that ran my old English Ford Anglia, many years ago. Even with the computer knowledge I have I'd be approaching work on it with.. Some trepidation or with an expert at my elbow, one or the other.

BUT: I do not go to an RV dealer if it needs service,, CHEVY dealer yes, RV dealer no, I mean Chevy built that engine.

I did, however, go to the RV dealer when Dometic issued a recall on my refrigerator... They did the work, near as I can tell they did it well, but while the technician was doing it I commented to the write up desk how the drip tube (The one that drips condensate on the ground as the thing works) was not put out through a vent hole when I first got the rig, and it should be.

I was assured (By both the service consulant and by a technician) that they ALWAYS put it out through a vent hole like they should.

First thing I did, even before unlocking the door, when the keys were returned..... Put that tube out through the vent hole.

NOW that technology... Has not changed since my grandpa was in diapers. Not one bit.. yet that's what he messed up.

As to why I returned to the factory for a warranty job.....

The job required specialized tools the factory has in abundance and the dealer has not at all. But that was a special job.

I went back one more time to the factory,, To pick up a part I planned to put in myself.. They did it for me for free. (5 minute job at the most and 4 of it paperwork)
Home is where I park it!
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:18 PM   #21
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Texas Techs?

Originally Posted by TNT-FLY View Post
Is it just me or is it an anomaly that the service technicians in the RV space are mediocre at best...
Okay, I'm scared. Where in Texas are you? If you're talking the DFW south area, we need to compare notes
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:47 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by RVNeophytes2

Okay, I'm scared. Where in Texas are you? If you're talking the DFW south area, we need to compare notes
DFW north area.....
TEXAS - Fleetwood 40G 2011
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:57 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by TNT-FLY View Post
Is it just me or is it an anomaly that the service technicians in the RV space are mediocre at best. This has been my experience with my RVs. Now to be fair, I happen to be a perfectionist and I usually research the things that need service to ensure I am not scammed or put in danger due to poor service. I have found that the 10 or so tech's that have worked on my unit(s) did not meet my standards which are high. Some of the infractions are petty perhaps, but others are more substantial. For example, is it normal that technicians use the toilet in my RV and is it petty for me to be offended when I find they urinated on the toilet seat?

Every time I have had my RV in for service I have to revisit the work. It is simple things like they didn't put all the rubber pads back on the bunk DVD player the had a bulb out? More substance?...they replaced the seal on my slide out because it was loose on the top. However when they finished, I noticed the top was fine but the bottom was loose! Every time I have to educate them. Today it was how to program the KVH Satellite system accurately. I find it exhausting to try and manage the repair people and they find it abrasive when I am always insisting or guiding them to improve their work results.

Do most of you just live with the mediocracy or do you hold these people to high standards. If you insist on high standards, how do you do it without appearing like you are "inspecting and complaining" about the work they do?
I ran into the EXACT same thing. I received my rig with a wax line going around the entire rig and everything above that line filthy. The owner of the dealership walked me to the rig and says "Doesn't she look great?" My response, no, actually it looks awful! He took great offense to this as if I should be happy that 10% of the rig was cleaned.

They worked on the slide seal and broke the slide trim causing yet another ticket, then they installed a digital converter box with a bare AC plug wire so when I reached behind there one day I got electrocuted and they blamed that on a mouse that somehow left the entire coach alone, no poop but ate this one wire.

My list of shoddy work would be too long to get into here so I completely understand where you're coming from. The last time my rig was there the bathroom smelled of urine and the seat was covered and so was the floor. The black tank was 1/4 full as if they allowed everybody in the place use it. The owners response again, "I'm very proud of my team and their workmanship" so obviously he must reward mediocrity.

I'll never do business with them again, also I am finding that most dealers just care enough to sell the coach, after that they could care less which is unfortunate. So our next purchase is going to be much much more researched than our first one was.

Good luck with the rig!
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:15 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Route 66
That's the reason many of us returned to the factory for service.
If the factory did it right most would only have to return for annual maintenance not fixes that shouldn't be there in the first place.
Ron & Wendy-Kansas
94 Pace Arrow 34 ft
25 yr Army retired 2006
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:42 PM   #25
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No matter how you slice it, when a dealer says they have qualified technicians then they should be qualified. They should also be clean, courteous and timely, I expect that from my employees and demand it from businesses I purchase from, or they lose my business.

These same dealers make claims of 200 point inspections and when you ask them for the completed checklist they balk.

I understand they are in business to make money, everybody who owns a business is. What I don't get is why the majority of dealers, be they RV Auto or otherwise do the minimum even when they make a mistake which causes them to lose customers. Yet they don't care because they believe another dummy will replace the last one.

I was at a car dealer in the late 1990's where a salesman told me point blank, if you're not interested in this car no worries, there will be somebody else in the door 2 seconds after you leave.

That dealer is no longer in business. The dealer I bought my RV from lied about his years in business, the amount of time he has been selling RV's and even lied about how long he was at that location. The amount of lies he spewed in retrospect now that I researched the things he said is utterly amazing.

I have been buying cars from the same Ford dealer since 1984 because they treat me the way a customer should be treated. So I don't think I'm impossible to please, I just think that some dealers could care less about you after you sign on the dotted line and I wish all of them a quick death (out of business).
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:02 PM   #26
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My experience has been that individuals rather then repair shops have done the best diagnostic and repair work on my RVs. It does take some asking around and research and in an emergency situation maybe there would not be time for the research. Many individual RV repair persons are mobile and that can be another plus. There is one fellow who shows up at many larger west coast rallys who is very good and a his and her pair of techs in Yuma AZ who are just excellent. Both are mobile and carry lots of parts.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:50 PM   #27
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Okay, Iíll admit it. Iím very hard to please. While I was still working as an airline pilot I got into a discussion one day with one of my passengers as she was about to get on my plane. I told her that, to one degree or another, all pilots are obsessive-compulsive. Anyone who is not either gets out of the job or kills himself. I explained that she does not want to fly with a pilot who is not obsessive-compulsive.
Given my nature, I find that I have to do my own work on almost every job that comes up.
I know that the RV mechanic, or carpenter, or roofer, or whatever, CAN do a better job than I can. The problem is that he WONíT do a better job, because he doesnít care as much as I do.
If I am able to find a place where the work is done to my standards without my supervision, I return whenever itís necessary. However, itís virtually impossible to find such a place, because they are rare. If you are able to find such a place, it will be busy and expensive. Most times, Iíd rather get in line to pay the high price than fix my problem myself, but I usually donít get the chance because I canít find anyone who gives a hoot.
Iím beginning to think that there are two problems that have created this situation. The first problem is business managers who absolutely refuse to pay what good employees demand. This results in businesses hiring poor employees.
The other problem is todayís entitlement society. We have been told, mostly by politicians and other rabble rousers, that we have a right to almost anything, and that someone else is supposed to pay for it. This has created a couple of generations that will not put out the effort to get the job done correctly because they feel they have the right to a paycheck, whether they perform or not.
We Americans seem to be exacerbating both of these problems, not solving them. I donít have much hope that Iíll find too many good technicians during the rest of my life. I only hope that America fixes what ails her sooner rather than later.
Ė Loren
2012 New Horizons 36' Travel Trailer, Front Kitchen
2008 Dodge Ram, 6.7 liter Cummins Diesel, 4WD, Quad Cab
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:53 AM   #28
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I do my own work.

I mow my own lawn.
I maintain/repair my own house. Cars. Motorcycle. Lawn Tractor. and of course I take care of my own motorhome.

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