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Old 01-28-2017, 11:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
I learned a long time ago that you often can do it better than the guy you pay for doing it.
Even if I heed to buy a new tool for thd job it is usually cheaper overall.

And nobody cares more about your coach than you do.
With youtube, and other online resources you can learn the details if it is something you have not tackled before.

And how many stories have we seen with repairs done poorly?

Lastly there is the hassle of getting it out of storage and taking it to the shop.


Those would be my thoughts also. I would add books and manuals to the sources of information. I have a factory shop manual for each of my vehicles.

Like many others here I've always done all my own maintenance that didn't require tools that couldn't be justified such as those needed for alignment. This has been true for everything I've ever owned, including bikes, cars, trucks, boats, aircraft, houses, RVs, etc. For me, much of the the reward in doing this is to learn and understand how things work as well as picking up a "few" tools in the process. Another reward is in knowing exactly how well the job was done. It also comes in handy when something breaks on the road. At 77 I feel blessed to still be able to do this and will continue as long as I am able to.

I keep a maintenance record written in a small spiral notebook in all my vehicles. Otherwise, I would never remember what was done.

Best of luck.

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Old 01-28-2017, 11:21 AM   #16
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I've done all my own work on all my cars/trucks/motor homes/boats/motorcycles and more for decades. That includes but, is not limited to: mechanical/engine/trans/differentials/brakes and more but also, paint, electrical, wiring, welding, sealing and a whole lot more. I've done more on this present motorhome than all the other ones we've had combined. I figure that, in the 50 years of driving and ownership of dozens of all the vehicles mentioned above, I've saved no less than $100,000.00 in that time.

As has been stated a few times already, it's a matter of what one is comfortable with in terms of attacking a project on any particular vehicle. To me, motor homes, even this large D/P that we have now, is not all that much more complicated than any of the smaller vehicles/trucks etc. that I've done work on, it's JUST A LOT BIGGER. At least in the basic mechanical application that is. When it comes to high-tech electrical, gauges, sending units, "CAN-BUSS, Multi-Plex wiring and all that, that stuff is WAAAAAY over my head.

Many people (guys) simply don't have, never have had, never will have, the desire to work on their own equipment, don't have the proper tools to, don't have the area to do the work, even if they wanted to. Everyone's got a comfort zone. My age and flexibility are working against each other now so, things may be changing for the future. 'Till then, I'll keep wrenching on what ever I can so I can afford diesel for our fun trips.
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:25 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by TechWriter View Post
Sometimes. There are also a number of DIYers who overestimate their abilities (look up Dunning-Kruger effect).

This sword cuts both ways -- I have a feeling DIYers screw up as often as repair shops.

Don't get me wrong . . . I think it's great to DIY . . . when you actually know what you're doing. However, when you don't . . .

For example, just got done "fixing" a handyman's attempt at wiring accessories to a used Jeep I just bought. The guy connected each of his add ons directly to the Jeep's battery -- no fusing. You may think he was "sloppy" but he could have very well thought that he was doing a great job. Dunning-Kruger.

Finally, if you're on the road full time like me, DIY will be limited because packing all those tools probably won't be an option, and many campgrounds won't let you do major repairs on site.
I'm wondering how anyone would ever learn how to do anything without first trying? There are many sources of information to help in determining if something is being done correctly or not. Even then a first attempt may not be successful and will have to be done over, sometimes using the information gained from the previous attempt to achieve success (from personal experience).

IMHO, there are responsible people who do a little research before attempting something new, and then there are others. The others can be found anywhere. A DIYer can place themselves in either category.

Just my 2c.

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Old 01-28-2017, 12:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TechWriter View Post
Sometimes. There are also a number of DIYers who overestimate their abilities (look up Dunning-Kruger effect).
Very good counter to that is that people who know what a bad job looks like usually know how it should be done correctly. Those that don't usually don't even know that something should be repaired...unless it completely does not work.

But you have a valid argument....changing oil on a car does not require you to pre-fill the oil filter. And this is asking for an argument...but the majority of mechanics always pre-fill the larger diesel oil filters. Mine holds almost a full gallon. I think Dunning caught Kruger doing this when he was changing his oil


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Old 01-28-2017, 12:14 PM   #19
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Having been a contractor these past 35 years and tradesman before I appreciate the service by true professionals that know and enjoy their work. Warranty is not bad either.
Finding those is the challenge.
Tissue being said I do the little honey dos myself but carry a pretty comprehensive service plan and have the house issues delt with by our local Fleetwood dealer who has been family owned since 1947.
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dix39 View Post
I'm wondering how anyone would ever learn how to do anything without first trying?
Mmmmm . . . if you decide to take up bomb defusing, gives us all a heads up before you cut the blue wire. Or was it the yellow wire?
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Old 01-28-2017, 03:02 PM   #21
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Old 01-28-2017, 03:47 PM   #22
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Back in the 1960's & 70's large extended families did everything and anything together. From building houses, garages, barns or businesses, to camping & boating or traveling the states, whatever had to get done they pitched in together and did it all.

In the 1980's the baby boomers started dying off and this is the time that adults from the 60's were working and making good money with retirement in their sites (still doing what had to get done) themselves.

The 1990's splintered American families apart due to the factories closing and laying folks off. Those who retired at that point, probably had a pension and some cash assets. Those that kept working have been stuck at the same pay scale for decades.

The "disposable society" emerged at this point from cheap products and cars. After a few years of use, most products broke and you couldn't simply look online for a replacement part.

Then came the "I want it now" kiddos, quickly followed by the "everyone's a winner" and now we have almost entire "trash" areas in every state.

The good news is; now we can acquire replacement parts and get back to fixing things ourselves.

Count me in the -- if I don't have what's necessary "go to the rental store" and get the job done myself club.
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Old 01-28-2017, 04:03 PM   #23
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If you can't do it yourself and are worried about the Service center prices you can do a little investigation and find that most of the mechanics that work in serviced centers, especially Truck places, will do moonlighting work at a very reduced hourly rate. Where to look? Hang around a fuel stop and find a local independent truck driver and ask. Interesting what you can find.
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Old 01-28-2017, 04:16 PM   #24
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I'm reminded of a class on how to change your oil. It was mostly a sell job of why to pay a professional. I usually do these days as it's a few bucks extra for the guy running the inspection station so he does not need to find something else. At 71 with 4 joints replaced I am less than thrilled getting under the truck or car. MH not so bad. I still do my own brakes.

Dunning-Kruger is the simple recognition of a learning curve for most complicated tasks. Any of us who have been technology workers and/or long term DIY are familiar with the issues so all we need is a quick look at the directions to see if anything changed. Most maintenance is not all that hard or complicated. New construction is a different story. I usually figure I need to save enough to make it worth doing it twice or I am into a repair that a pro will want to just demolish and start over because it's faster and easier for him. My time is cheap to me and the challenge can be interesting. ;-)
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Old 01-28-2017, 04:17 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by TechWriter View Post
Mmmmm . . . if you decide to take up bomb defusing, gives us all a heads up before you cut the blue wire. Or was it the yellow wire?
That example seems a little extreme given the context of this discussion, but I would guess the folks who do that learned somewhere. I think the point was that we can learn to do just about anything we want to, the information is available. All we have to do is use it.

Just the way I see it, others may differ.

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Old 01-28-2017, 05:16 PM   #26
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I am a do it yourself type. Only because I don't want to pay the shop rates. My wife still gives me a hard time, because I still change oil in our cars.

I do like to learn about how my vehicles work just in case something happens on the road.
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Old 01-28-2017, 05:29 PM   #27
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I do most everything myself, less the tires, alignment, ect. I have the knowledge and tools is the only reason.
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Old 01-28-2017, 05:40 PM   #28
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Some folks have checkbooks and some have tool boxes.

I use my toolbox as much as I can. I don't like the high dollar shop rates in my area ($135 hr).

I let the local tire shop do the oil changes.

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