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Old 01-28-2017, 07:09 AM   #1
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Are you a "do it yourself" or "pay someone" Kind of a person?

After purchasing our used DP in December we have learned a lot about it. (with no help from previous owner)

With 68000 miles and incomplete service records, we have decided to ease our minds and start our own service records.

I have no problem with preventive maintenance on our (smaller) vehicles, in fact, I just rebuilt the trans in my Dodge Ram without a second thought.

My question for you is this: Do you pay for services and hope that they are done right or do you take care of the preventive maintenance yourself?
Were you intimidated the first time that you serviced the transmission, fuel filters, changed the oil or coolant in your motorhome? (okay, that's two questions)
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:23 AM   #2
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For me I would say a little of both. At one time I would do almost everything myself.

As I have gotten older, I have lots of things done for me. When I do I check out who is doing the work. Such as oil and filter changes, I once did but now have Speedco do it. I can have them count grease fittings and watch them change oil and filters.

I have learned not to let CW do anything. I have a local RV dealer that I really trust.

If on a Freightliner chassis you can have all maintenance done a their facility in Gaffney SC. Bit expensive but lots of people do that. Other manufacturers may have the same service, not sure.

Any appliance and such repairs I still try to do it myself.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:25 AM   #3
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In most instances, unless the item is under warranty, I do all my own work including chassis lubrication, oil/filter changes, transaxle service and just about everything else. Like I said, if it's under warranty then I'll let someone else get dirty. Obviously such things as alignment, tire replacement and things where I don't have the tools, knowledge or other equipment necessary I'll pay someone to do the job. (not often)


Same holds true for all my cars including installation of towing base plates, wiring for stop/turn/clearance lights
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:33 AM   #4
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Some people are comfortable doing their own maintenance and some are not. All the freightliner systems are heavier and more complex than a automobile. For example, I have no capability to handle 5 gallons of oil vs 5 quarts of oil that is in a car engine. Engine coolant is different than a car and is usually tested and refreshed with additives rather than changed out. Fuel filters must be done correctly or starting the engine again is an issue.

Inside the coach there are systems that you can handle fairly easily. Some manufacturers will only sell repair parts to authorized facilities. It is up to you. I have repair records but that does not really help the next time whatever it was breaks.
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:39 AM   #5
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If you rebuilt a truck transmission on your own, you can handle most any motor home -- often the only difference is size and volume. For example: my pickup holds 6 qrts of oil, my Cummins 400 hold 6.5 gals. Frankly, most RV manufacturers are only "assemblers" of other peoples' products, ex--Cummins, Allison, Meritor, Koni, etc. Lots of detailed information about these products on the web. The only limiting factor is desire, flexibility, and ability to fit under the rig.
PS--these rigs are also your house so knowledge of plumbing, electrical, propane, appliance repair and carpentry is also good [smile].....safe travels.....
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:08 AM   #6
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I do what I can and pay for the rest. I may supervise the work however to insure it is done right.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:11 AM   #7
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Like LJowdy I do almost everything myself. Cheaper, done right, keeps me busier. So far fixed 135 mfger problems, 80 improvements, found servicing easier than I thought, and new challenges. I keep my eye on potential problems before they get expensive. 68 years old, not on any meds.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:23 AM   #8
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Depends on the complexity of the preventive or remediation task, where I am, how I feel, the cost in time and money, etc. Try to do as much as reasonable/possible myself. Do use Speedco for oil and filter changes as it's not that much more money than DIY, oil disposal, etc.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:41 AM   #9
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At one time we were DIY on everything we did, unless it required a professional license. Blissfully, we have reached the age and stage of life where we can afford to pay other competent professionals to do many of those things. So now we pick and choose, doing what we want of the work and paying very competent people to do the rest. Of course, we also happen to be blessed to have an abundance of those very competent people around here...
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:48 AM   #10
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For some work like oil changes it's easier and not that much more expensive with a gasser to let the inspection station change the oil and do the chassis lube job. I use a facility that specializes in MDT trucks so the are not surprised at what I have in a MH. For house stuff I do as good or better than anyone I can hire and I then know what was done. ;-)
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:53 AM   #11
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Unfortunately we fall into the group who must pay to have things done, both lack of knowledge and age/physical abilities.
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:11 AM   #12
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Like most of the others I do what I can myself, but there are a few things I have others do. I just took my motorhome into the local independent shop yesterday with brake problems for example.
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:28 AM   #13
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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.

Regards,

Dan
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
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.
Sometimes. There are also a number of DIYers who overestimate their abilities (look up Dunning-Kruger effect).


Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
And how many stories have we seen with repairs done poorly?
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.
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