RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > Just Conversation
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-13-2019, 08:33 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 70
Avoiding labor cost shock

I’ve been a do-it-yourselfer for over 40 years. As I age, the “executive function” of my brain tells me to farm out some work to “professionals”. I am starting to feel that my time is more important than $$$.

I went to a generator repair place and paid $180 for the elderly owner to diagnose a non-cranking issue. He said he “redid some connections “.
It turns out that he whacked the base of the starter solenoid to change the contact point (I know because months later the problem recurred and my brother talked me through the procedure. IT TOOK ME 10 MINUTES!!!

Recently went to an RV repair place to get the Onan oil and filter changed. I watched the “technician” press the “stop” side of the rocker switch because he said he was going to warm up the generator first and he was “priming the carburetor”. $115 labor for a 15-minute job that took Goofy an hour??

Do these people have no conscience? I treat people fairly, and expect the same from others. $100+/hour for ignorant wrench-turning??

Admittedly I’ve been overwhelmed by personal issues, (thus the farming out of problems) but I cannot understand how any non-technical person can own an rv (especially an older one) and not feel like a sheep going to slaughter.

Thanks for hearing out my rant.
__________________

tanksalotct is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-13-2019, 08:48 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
wildtoad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,246
I always get amused at labor rate threads. $100-$150 per hour labor rates may seem high (an they are) until you figure the cost of keeping the doors open so they can provide the requested services. Taxes, building costs, insurance, benefits, vehicles, power, salaries for the people who don’t turn a wrench but deal with customers, paperwork, environmental controls, training, FICA and other mandatory business expenses. If they only charged $50 for a job you could do yourself then you may end up doing it yourself cause they would go broke.
__________________

__________________
Tom Wilds
Blythewood SC
2016 Newmar Bay Star Sport 3004
2015 Jeep Wrangler 2DR 4WD Sahara, Automatic, Hard Top
wildtoad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2019, 08:53 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: FL
Posts: 470
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksalotct View Post
I’ve been a do-it-yourselfer for over 40 years. As I age, the “executive function” of my brain tells me to farm out some work to “professionals”. I am starting to feel that my time is more important than $$$.

I went to a generator repair place and paid $180 for the elderly owner to diagnose a non-cranking issue. He said he “redid some connections “.
It turns out that he whacked the base of the starter solenoid to change the contact point (I know because months later the problem recurred and my brother talked me through the procedure. IT TOOK ME 10 MINUTES!!!

Recently went to an RV repair place to get the Onan oil and filter changed. I watched the “technician” press the “stop” side of the rocker switch because he said he was going to warm up the generator first and he was “priming the carburetor”. $115 labor for a 15-minute job that took Goofy an hour??

Do these people have no conscience? I treat people fairly, and expect the same from others. $100+/hour for ignorant wrench-turning??

Admittedly I’ve been overwhelmed by personal issues, (thus the farming out of problems) but I cannot understand how any non-technical person can own an rv (especially an older one) and not feel like a sheep going to slaughter.

Thanks for hearing out my rant.

While I am still relatively young, early 50’s I feel the same way. I try and do most everything myself but still need the service of “professionals” from time to time. I have no problem paying for quality work but with paying $150/hr which is what Freightliner charges and I receive substandard work I have issues with that.
__________________
Lenny and Shawna 2015 Newmar Dutchstar 4366 43' Tag 450 Cummins, Freightliner Custom Chassis Towing a 2016 Ram 2500 4x4 Diesel 8 ft bed with Blue OX. 2014 Harley Ultra Limited with 3 Beagle Hounds
lenny-shawna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2019, 09:11 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Howard County,MD
Posts: 11
It's been said already but most don't understand he overhead charges a business must pay just to keep their doors open.
A 3 or 4 bay shop can easily have 20,000 in expenses per month before the first wrench is turned.
Rent, taxes, and insurance are required before any work is done. Did I mention tools and equipment required.
How much do you think a hydraulic lift cost? How about a HVAC machine? I could go on and on. Waste oil disposal fees, dumpster fees.
When a shop charges $150 an hour, they are not just pocketing the $150 as pure profit.
Owning a repair shop is not the gravy train some imply. Most don't know or appreciate a good shop when they experience it.
Yes it is expensive to have your rig worked on at a registered licensed shop.
Lantley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2019, 05:08 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: FL
Posts: 470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lantley View Post
It's been said already but most don't understand he overhead charges a business must pay just to keep their doors open.
A 3 or 4 bay shop can easily have 20,000 in expenses per month before the first wrench is turned.
Rent, taxes, and insurance are required before any work is done. Did I mention tools and equipment required.
How much do you think a hydraulic lift cost? How about a HVAC machine? I could go on and on. Waste oil disposal fees, dumpster fees.
When a shop charges $150 an hour, they are not just pocketing the $150 as pure profit.
Owning a repair shop is not the gravy train some imply. Most don't know or appreciate a good shop when they experience it.
Yes it is expensive to have your rig worked on at a registered licensed shop.
What you are alluding too is a “CODB” or “cost of doing business”, the issue lies not with what they charge but the lack of quality for said money.

In my situation, I was charged $150/hr and a very young man in his very early 20’s with almost no experience did the work.

What I failed to say was that I was called to their shop saying I first had to take the rig to an rv dealer to remove the walls in the master bath so they could access the engine compartment to change the leaking fan gear box. I told them the floor and closet has a hatch that simply needs to be removed to access that area.

They actually told me they have an “rv expert” working on it and mine does not have those access points.

Once I drove the hr with traffic to their shop it took me 3 minutes to expose the area and that is when I was talking to their “22-24” year old “expert”. The kid not only failed to open my bedroom slide as no one could figure out how but used dog bones to take my 50 amp rig down to 20 amps so he could plug it in.

So $150 for that? Not only that, but I asked how exactly it could cost over $3000 in labor for a invoice that exceed 5k to replace the gear box that may or may not have been leaking as many hear suggests it could simple be a tube that needs to be extended and that’s the leak source.
__________________
Lenny and Shawna 2015 Newmar Dutchstar 4366 43' Tag 450 Cummins, Freightliner Custom Chassis Towing a 2016 Ram 2500 4x4 Diesel 8 ft bed with Blue OX. 2014 Harley Ultra Limited with 3 Beagle Hounds
lenny-shawna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2019, 07:17 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
jacwjames's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 6,099
RVer's are competing with other businesses for this support. If you take your rig to a large truck shop they also support all the OTR trucks. When a truck breaks down they want it on the road ASAP or they are loosing money so the repair shops are able to charge these premiums. RVer's shouldn't expect special treatment.
__________________
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
jacwjames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2019, 07:24 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
wildtoad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,246
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
RVer's are competing with other businesses for this support. If you take your rig to a large truck shop they also support all the OTR trucks. When a truck breaks down they want it on the road ASAP or they are loosing money so the repair shops are able to charge these premiums. RVer's shouldn't expect special treatment.
First I agree with those who get frustrated at paying pro rates for amateur results.

And I agree with the quoted post that trucks used for business take precedent of recreational vehicles. Whoever I take mine in I always take the toad as I know I’ll have to come back later to pick it up.
__________________
Tom Wilds
Blythewood SC
2016 Newmar Bay Star Sport 3004
2015 Jeep Wrangler 2DR 4WD Sahara, Automatic, Hard Top
wildtoad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2019, 07:33 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Rocky Larson's Avatar
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 768
"I watched the “technician” press the “stop” side of the rocker switch because he said he was going to warm up the generator first and he was “priming the carburetor”. "


Are you saying you thought this "priming" was unexpected on your part"

I do it every time by the book>


From the ONAN manual:
Starting And Stopping Procedures
Your Cummins Onan generator can be started and stopped from the integral
control panel on the generator, or from the optional remote control panel inside the
vehicle if your RV is so equipped. Your Operator’s Manual outlines the simple steps
for starting and stopping. Remember to:
• Before starting the generator, turn off air conditioners and large electrical loads.
• Before starting in cold weather, turn off all appliances for best long-term
performance.
Prime by holding stop (all Quiet Diesels, Quiet Gas 3600-7000).
• To start - press and hold start at the control panel or at the set.
- Quiet Diesel: auto pre-heat flash, then crank/start
- Don’t over-crank with no start
• Before turning on appliances, let the generator warm up for a few minutes.
• Turn off air conditioners and large electrical loads and allow the generator to run
for 3-5 minutes before stopping, to allow the generator to cool down.
__________________
Jan and Rocky
Volunteers USFWS. 8000 hrs each, 25 refuges. 04 Allegro 30DA, WH 8.1, Banks, 2012 Jeep Liberty , Brake Buddy Adv Select, 300watts Solar, "Philippians 4:11-13 KJV"
Rocky Larson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2019, 07:47 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
TonyMac's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Layton, Utah
Posts: 2,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky Larson View Post
"
Prime by holding stop (all Quiet Diesels, Quiet Gas 3600-7000).
I have never done this, but in full disclosure, I read the manual a long time ago but don't remember the steps. What I do remember is that I press and hold the start switch. The RUN light blinks, but it doesn't crank, until it is ready. I believe it is priming and warming the intake during the time the RUN light is blinking. There is no "Hold the STOP button" in my genset start procedure, from either the dash switch or the switch on the genset.
__________________
Cheers,
TonyMac
2006 Monaco Safari Cheetah 40PMT
TonyMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2019, 08:07 AM   #10
NXR
Senior Member
 
NXR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 926
What Rocky wrote is indeed the current procedure for our 2019 Onan 5500 QG generator. If I just press the Start part of the rocker switch on the generator it immediately cranks and for a long time before sputtering to a start. (The inside control panel builds in the priming cycle so I just press Autostart on it.)

The labor rate at an independent mechanical shop here is $125/hour and they have tools, lifts, insurance, a building and a lot of other infrastructure to support and maintain. Our RV dealer is $108/hour.

When I started working in 1973 our electronics shop charged $15/hour and we heard the same types of comments. I was making about 20% of the charged rate.

If the same ratio holds today, the person doing the work is making $25/hour for a $125/hour rate or $52,000 a year before taxes.

Ray
__________________
2020 Forest River Georgetown GT5 34H5
NXR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2019, 08:22 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Houston TX.
Posts: 543
Like already a stated do everything you can yourself. I suggest instead of going to dealers look at Mobil RV techs in your area. I have used them all over the west when needing work and have had good luck. Like you I got tired a long time ago for paying to teach shop techs the job they should already know. Many times I knew way more than they did. Good luck in the future and I hope your health does not prevent you from continuing the rv life.

Enjoy the journey
__________________
Bob & Jenise Part timers 2020 Entegra Esteem 29V class c. 2017 Jeep Rubicon
Full timed in 2008 Newmar Essex
Trapperbob11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2019, 10:03 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 70
Thanks for the replies!
Re: starting Onan generator- ours is a 1999 Onan 4000. It immediately starts up every time just by pressing “start”. It runs initially off the fuel in the carburetor bowl. It makes no sense to me what “priming” would do, but I only have mine as a reference point. Probably different models are of a different design.

Re: quality of labor; that is a good part of my frustration. I resent paying such a rate for stupidity. Plus, if he was organized, the oil change should be 1/2 hour TOPS.
The person who troubleshot my generator and fixed it by whacking the solenoid was just greedy.
tanksalotct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2019, 04:27 PM   #13
PKI
Senior Member
 
PKI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 265
Neighbor told me a story once. One of his friends ask him how he set his consulting rates. He told me that he looks in a mirror and calls out a number. Then he raises the number by $10 and looks in the mirror again while calling out the new number. He repeats the process until he is smiling and laughing uncontrollably. At that point he knows the price is right. I think he teaches this technique to a lot of RV repair shops.

It costs less to do the work yourself. If you can do the work, you likely will do a better job for less cost. However, as we age, our ability to do some things drops off. There is also the life work balance issue .... when working, I could justify someone else fixing something, because I was efficient at making money and they were efficient at fixing stuff. Free time needed to be used for just a bit of recreation. When I retired, that all changed. Even though it took me four days to replace a set of brakes, there was no labor cost and I got a lot of satisfaction knowing the job was done correctly. Besides, it was more fun than mowing the lawn.

Do it while you can. Life is too short to worry about such trivial things. And know that an RVer can take the rig to the best shop with the most reasonable rate. You always need to take another trip anyway. . Pat
__________________
Travel Safe and with a Smile! Pat
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2019, 05:13 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
wildtoad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,246
Priming assures there is fuel where it needs to be without excess usage of the starter. In the same section of the manual on priming it says to excessively crank the unit. I’ve found by pressing stop for 15-30 seconds the gen starts much easier.
__________________

__________________
Tom Wilds
Blythewood SC
2016 Newmar Bay Star Sport 3004
2015 Jeep Wrangler 2DR 4WD Sahara, Automatic, Hard Top
wildtoad is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Left Shock Good, Right Shock Shot... Also, Various Random Pics Ocean Mist Monaco Owner's Forum 6 07-17-2017 10:16 PM
Diesel Pusher Maintenance Cost Shock! VoiceNinja Class A Motorhome Discussions 12 05-29-2017 03:44 PM
Labor day weekend trip too much labor.. Bigblue12v Travel Trailer Discussion 26 09-07-2012 08:40 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×