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Old 02-05-2014, 01:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ThebearII View Post
Keep in mind as you read these forums there are hundreds of thousands of RVers who are perfectly happy with their RVs and the service they get

On this and other RV forums you only see the few RVers who either have problems so they come to the forum for answers or to vent or the regular forum readers who chime in

I would guess for every 1 RVer who posts here there are at least 100 RVers who know nothing about these forums or don't read or contribute to the forums threads.

Your are seeing a small sampling of the whole RV world
Or it could be that there aren't very many who bother to join forums such as this one to vent. :-)
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:39 PM   #16
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What... make you wait for service, charge an outrageous fee for services performed by someone making a fraction of what is charged?? Then, will boost their billing hours without any real promise of a successful outcome??? Hey, are we still talking about RV servicing or my doctor's/lawyer's 'practice'?
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:08 PM   #17
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I can't help but compare the crappy Rv's being built to the auto industry of a couple decades ago. The US automakers were producing absolute crap. Foreign automakers started to produce much better cars and forced the US makers to step it up. Seems to me we simply need more competition from someone who will take the time to build a good unit at a competitive price.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:44 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by spritz View Post
I took my 64 Caddie in to a local shop to have the Carb adjusted and was told @ the door their mechanics don't know about Carbs/or work on them.
I was dumbfounded, Honest to God, True Fact.
I don't take anything there nor do I refer anyone to them.
tb,
Perhaps, If you would Google ( Automobile carburetor Repair ) on your Sony Vaio Pro notebook with Windows 8 Pro 64 bit, 4th gen Intel core, 8GB Ram 256 GB, and Graphics 4400, you might be able to find an "Old Codger" like me that can help you to adjust your 64 Caddie Carb.

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Old 02-05-2014, 04:50 PM   #19
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smarty,
That was my exact story that I told all my automotive classes. Detroit had no competition until the first oil embargo in the 70's and gas shot way up. People started looking for cars with good fuel mileage. Japan and others had a ready market.

I don't know who sets the flat-rate for the RV industry but there is an independent agency that does for the car/truck industry. Flat rate is set for each repair say, R&R an alternator belt. It may be .5 (30 minutes). Flat rate is based on 10 being an hour. If the tech does the job properly in 1 minute he charges .5 hours. If he is slow, does not have the proper tools, screws up, breaks a bolt, etc, etc and it takes him 2-hours he still only charges .5 hours. Now if either tech screws the job up then they fix it for no charge. It pays to be speedy and efficient but don't screw it up because the repeat fix is on the tech. YES a good tech can and will flag more than 40 hours of work in a week. Those guys are usually sharp, good diagnostic techs and very skilled. If they have no customers then they don't flag any hours either.

When a vehicle is taken to be serviced if they don't know exactly what is wrong you won't get an estimate of repair until the problem is determined. You should also be charged diagnostic time. Many, many , many, years went by while Detroit refused to allow a dealer to charge for diagnostic time. The tech might devote 1-2 hours of time determining what to fix and could not charge for his diagnostic skills. The public seldom complained while the doctor ran test after test after test to know exactly what you had before they started throwing pills at you.

If while performing a repair, approved by you, additional items are found to need replaced you should be notified before they add those items. If they don't notify you you should not be charged for additional repairs. Make that clear before you leave the shop. Also as some repairs that were initially performed it became a standard practice to replace other items. Timing belts on the aluminum engines. They were so darn difficult to get to after a few times it became standard to replace the water pump, and idler pulley's at the same time. To get to the belt, idler pulley's and water pump it took 4 hours of labor. So while you are there replace them all and avoid having to go back. The belts were usually changed around 70-K miles.

Flat-rate is the only fair way to charge a customer. It is good for both parties. Yes, like any system is can be misused and abused. Remember you as a customer have the right to see what the tech is replacing and why. You also still have the right to see damaged parts. Have them show you why they think this or that is the problem and that's why it needs replaced. Make sure it is working before you leave the shop.

TeJay
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:01 PM   #20
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I think I will chime in here. I have nearly 100K miles on (2) class A rv's. Both from different mfgrs. The first ford f53/460 ran well for over 60k mile. The current one Ford w/V10 is at 55K both have had minimal problems. All problems could be described as std wear and tear. I use a ford dealer 60 miles from home because they are honest and do quality work. I use a local RV mom and pop because while not fast they do it right and charge less than the company dealers a few blocks away. I think most people feel the same. I will purchase a new unit in the spring and fully expect the same good service I have received for many years. I hope I will not be disappointed.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:49 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
smarty,
That was my exact story that I told all my automotive classes. Detroit had no competition until the first oil embargo in the 70's and gas shot way up. People started looking for cars with good fuel mileage. Japan and others had a ready market.

I don't know who sets the flat-rate for the RV industry but there is an independent agency that does for the car/truck industry. Flat rate is set for each repair say, R&R an alternator belt. It may be .5 (30 minutes). Flat rate is based on 10 being an hour. If the tech does the job properly in 1 minute he charges .5 hours. If he is slow, does not have the proper tools, screws up, breaks a bolt, etc, etc and it takes him 2-hours he still only charges .5 hours. Now if either tech screws the job up then they fix it for no charge. It pays to be speedy and efficient but don't screw it up because the repeat fix is on the tech. YES a good tech can and will flag more than 40 hours of work in a week. Those guys are usually sharp, good diagnostic techs and very skilled. If they have no customers then they don't flag any hours either.

When a vehicle is taken to be serviced if they don't know exactly what is wrong you won't get an estimate of repair until the problem is determined. You should also be charged diagnostic time. Many, many , many, years went by while Detroit refused to allow a dealer to charge for diagnostic time. The tech might devote 1-2 hours of time determining what to fix and could not charge for his diagnostic skills. The public seldom complained while the doctor ran test after test after test to know exactly what you had before they started throwing pills at you.

If while performing a repair, approved by you, additional items are found to need replaced you should be notified before they add those items. If they don't notify you you should not be charged for additional repairs. Make that clear before you leave the shop. Also as some repairs that were initially performed it became a standard practice to replace other items. Timing belts on the aluminum engines. They were so darn difficult to get to after a few times it became standard to replace the water pump, and idler pulley's at the same time. To get to the belt, idler pulley's and water pump it took 4 hours of labor. So while you are there replace them all and avoid having to go back. The belts were usually changed around 70-K miles.

Flat-rate is the only fair way to charge a customer. It is good for both parties. Yes, like any system is can be misused and abused. Remember you as a customer have the right to see what the tech is replacing and why. You also still have the right to see damaged parts. Have them show you why they think this or that is the problem and that's why it needs replaced. Make sure it is working before you leave the shop.

TeJay
Perhaps in the car industry.. yes since they're extremely simple anymore - it's pure parts replacement. Gone are the days of troubleshooting and/or repairing alternators, starters, carbs and distributors.

Not so in the RV repair business, many things are far too complex to diagnose without a tech in many cases. 2nd, service techs are never allowed to perform the estimates at dealerships - only the service writers - and for the reasons I stated in my earlier post, most service writers have zero tech experience. Things can, will and do go wrong quickly on flat rate repairs in RV shops.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:19 AM   #22
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94 newmar, automotive repair is not just replacing parts. We have many many hours that go into diagnostics. We chase wires down, electronic issues ect. ect. The good news is that most reputable dealers will eat the diagnostic time if you have them do the repair. Motorhomes and rvs for the most part are no different than cars. As a matter of fact, chassis issues are the same. Granted there is some interface between chassis and house but its limited. When it comes to the house, appliances have the same troubleshooting flowcharts that cars or any other mechanical things have. Granted, slides move in and out, maybe cause a wiring problem ect and have to be chased down but its the same with cars. Ill go so far as to say that when a problem with an individual system on a coach arrises and a tech verifies that there is no problem with the system getting proper voltage from either the chassis or coach electrical system the rest is following the book. Granted it may be harder to get to a hydraulic pump or water heater or whatever on one coach vs another but it all comes out in the wash. As with anything there are exceptions to the rule but not many. I will say that when dealing with structural repairs their may be hidden pitfalls and damage that is hidden but that can certainly be handled more like a body shop with supplemental revisions to the estimate. tejay, you are spot on as far as flat rate. As far as the carburetor comment from the other poster. I received by associates degree in automotive technology in 1986 and was the last graduating class from Ferris State University to study carburetors in any depth according to my old professors. By the time I received my bachelors in automotive management from the same university carbs were a thing of the past. Thats 28 years ago! They just don't teach it anymore. For those that think techs are underpaid……..maybe so but I have yet to have one of my techs offer to pay the mortgage, light bill, taxes, insurance or even for their uniforms. As many of you know I try to walk the line between customer and dealer. The internet and forums tend to be a sounding board for all that is bad and wrong with whatever industry they pertain to. Its a shame we don't report on the good that happens. I know it far outweighs the bad but you sure wouldn't know it by reading on the net. When it comes to RV's I am a customer just like the rest of us. I do however have a little more compassion for the dealers when repairing my rig as I know what can and does happen behind the scenes. Don't get me wrong. I have run into my fair share of bad shop. The bad ones fade away but for the most part the good ones do want to provide you with good fair honest service.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:34 AM   #23
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I had a few problems when I took delivery of our new 5th wheel, but I am lucky enough to have an authorized warranty service tech within 5 miles of me and I have had all my warranty work performed by him, he even makes "house calls". He doesn't sell RVs so he has no axe to grind. Some of the things I had him fix were caused by the dealer we bought from. Our rig sat on the lot for a year, it was special order and had a lot of options nobody wanted to pay for but we got it for a great price and I expected some minor issues so I don't mind taking care of things myself.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:07 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by spritz View Post
I took my 64 Caddie in to a local shop to have the Carb adjusted and was told @ the door their mechanics don't know about Carbs/or work on them.
I was dumbfounded, Honest to God, True Fact.
I don't take anything there nor do I refer anyone to them.
tb,
Shouldn't be surprised. Carbs were used before most mechanics working today, were born!

Only us old geezers remember them.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:59 AM   #25
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Shouldn't be surprised. Carbs were used before most mechanics working today, were born!

Only us old geezers remember them.
I remember the first time I heard they were coming up with a remote start for vehicles. I thought how was that going to work? Was it going to pump the accelerator 2 or 3 times before it cranked, or hold the peddle to floor, or soft peddle the gas? I just knew this would never catch on!
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:25 AM   #26
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mojoracing,
Great comments and perspective on both repair industries. I spent my first 10 years teaching automotive in Canton, MI and I attended a few conferences at FSU. That school has a great reputation in the technical fields. They were always well represented at the Skills (VICA) national contests.

I believe you are correct on both industries. Yes the RV repair industry does involve a larger array of things to know and fix but over my years of teaching kids when I discovered a kid with talent and desire they could just about fix anything. All you had to do was give them a book and some general direction. After about 10 years of teaching I arrived at this philosophy and I shared it with all my students.

No one can know it all. No simple repair will be exactly the same as the last simple repair. My job as the teacher is to present to the necessary knowledge, so students could perform basic repairs and then teach themselves as those repairs change over time. If a person can't teach themselves how to make repairs as the industry changes most won't make it.

The best student that I ever had in 35 years of teaching came into the shop one day and said. "Mr. Gould I'm going to take my alternator out and take it apart today." I asked him why and he said, "Because I've never done it before." He's still the best diagnostic technician in the area and he's never lost his desire to learn.

I retired in 2006 and during all my years of teaching I never stopped learning. I spent part of almost every Summer attending classes either at Ford, Chrysler, or industry specific training seminars. The learning never stopped. That was especially true in about 1978 and beyond when the industry started down the computer road. To say that automotive repair today is mostly parts changing is exactly the opposite. Before computers we used to complain about the industry mechanics being parts changers. The industry worked very hard to get rid of the parts changers. In fact early in the car computer age (1980) every vehicle computer that was removed and replaced (R&R) from the dealer was sent back to the factory for analysis. Better than 90% of those ECM's were working just as designed. If a vehicle came into a dealer not running properly the first comment was, "Hey! just put a new brain in the thing." That's what parts changers did.

The best thing we as consumers can do now is to make sure technicians are told, when appropriate, that they did a good job.

TeJay
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:47 PM   #27
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your right tejay. The only reason I own a motorhome is to keep me busy fixing something! Id be super bored without it and I consider the worst year of ownership the first year! That's when someone else gets to work on it. Your right about being able to fix anything. I go from cars to motorcycles to rv's to appliances. Probably nothing I cant fix. I guess as I get older it really matters what kind of mood im in and if its a challenge or not. A non challenge Ill let somebody else get greasy and stroke a check. LOL
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:57 PM   #28
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I post regularly when a shop does excellent work or goes the extra mile.

My original posting on this was for the shops (dealers) that claim they did
something and you find out differently hundreds of miles down the road.
We. especially snowbirds, hope that the shop actually did all the work asked for
so we will not have a problem in a small town with no service.

Having an Aquahot service done and finding out that all that was done was
a change of filter and nozzle can be a very costly item.

Having a brake job done and having a front wheel seize because the bearings
were not checked or serviced can be very dangerous.

Checking water pressure and leaving your grey tank so full it has backed up into the shower.

Putting in new batteries without tightening the cable connections.

I am not talking about booking flat rate, or knowing about carbs.
I am concerned about a job that was not "FULLY" completed.

This is sloppy work and just borders on a fine line of a law suit that
is costly and hard to prove.

This is the intent of this posting.
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