Dedicated FG service facility? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-10-2009, 04:15 PM   #1
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Though I understand that the "sub-culture" of egg-owners is relatively small within the RV industry, I'm surprised to find no real aftermarket "service centers" or facilities for repairs, or upgrades, or supplemental equipment sales specifically for fiberglass trailers. Sure, some big RV centers can provide a lot, but with a serious commitment to specific needs of egg-owners?

Other than the collective wisdom, experience and good sense found here on the FGRV forum, I can't find a professional resource that provides turn-key or all-in-one support capability. Do you know of any?-

Are all egg owners (like me) so idiosyncratic that we need to do everything ourselves? Obviously, that's a big part of the culture. But, are there any folks out there that would like to get into an egg but don't have our skills or inclination to do the work sometimes required to make them as comfortable and fun as they can be?

Whatda think?
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
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I think it's a matter of logistics and money. How many eggs are there in a given area that could support a dedicated egg RV center? Probably not enough to make a good business. Especially when you factor in the number of people in any particular area that DIY. After all, other than the frame and the shell, everything else comes from a different manufacturer. Granted larger RV service centers don't often like to work on an egg... the frame and the shell, but will service the furnace, refrigerator, etc.

Building and modifying an older egg is quite a bit like building a hotrod. It's never done for money (because it's a money pit!), but done for self-satisfaction and pride. Even those that buy a trailer and go looking for someone to work on it, quite often with the help of members of this forum, etc. are willing to tackle almost anything themselves. That's a pride thing too. Given enough money, anyone can buy just about anything. But doing it yourself and learning in the process is priceless.

My 2-1/2 cents.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:35 PM   #3
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Robert, I agree with Donna. However after seeing the pictures of the inside of your "project", I would let you work on my Burro anytime. I would love to have the skill to build the cabinets you did in the front of your trailer. The commute is just too far.

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Old 12-11-2009, 08:48 AM   #4
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Robert,

You raise good points, your skill as a craftsman does your name well, however after looking into it I found obstacles beyond my control, As a mobile service I do not have an area to do fiberglass work in commercially, when I found a place the insurance was huge...The E.P.A. regs on this industry are also very intimidating...I would have my market impinged on from every boat shop out there that is already grandfathered in which as a new shop I would not be...Some fiberglass trailer plants are doing side work like bath tubs and spas to just to make it, even the spa shops are doing side work now and to stay alive, I would do boats if I could get away with it...Insurance repair is where the money is now but these trailers are generally totaled in the vast majority of the cases. I have placed an un-justified amount of cash into my re-model because I love the stupid trailer...Its like my favorite dog that never died.

If you can figure out a niche that is survivable as a business plan please post it.

This issue has mildly vexed me...Under U.S. law its going to be tough...The day of the craftsman or the skilled technician is coming to a close I fear...Quality loses out to often over speed and low cost. A good job reflecting the character of the worker replaced by .32 cents an hour...Be careful what you pay for, you might just get it.

I just putter along and let the busy world and the X generation, the Me generation and generation Y spin themselves into butter...I do have friends with the best toys which come and go as often as I still hang laundry on the line to be frugal.

My fiberglass trailer outlasts it all...

Happy Camping, Safe Trails.
Harry


Quote:
Though I understand that the "sub-culture" of egg-owners is relatively small within the RV industry, I'm surprised to find no real aftermarket "service centers" or facilities for repairs, or upgrades, or supplemental equipment sales specifically for fiberglass trailers. Sure, some big RV centers can provide a lot, but with a serious commitment to specific needs of egg-owners?

Other than the collective wisdom, experience and good sense found here on the FGRV forum, I can't find a professional resource that provides turn-key or all-in-one support capability. Do you know of any?-

Are all egg owners (like me) so idiosyncratic that we need to do everything ourselves? Obviously, that's a big part of the culture. But, are there any folks out there that would like to get into an egg but don't have our skills or inclination to do the work sometimes required to make them as comfortable and fun as they can be?

Whatda think?
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:08 PM   #5
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Something I've been thinking about.. is if an individual who's knowledgeable about molded fiberglass RV mods and needs, it MAY be possible to earn some extra coin, or at least pay for a vacation by following the egg gatherings... and making modifications (for pay). For instance, I would like to have a Fantastic Fan installed. I'll be attending a couple of gatherings in 2010 and would like someone who knows what they're doing.. do the job. I don't expect anything for free, would pay current rate charged by an RV shop. But, would like the individual to have knowledge about what's needed and do a professional job.

Okay, that's out loud thinking. I know there could be a problem about payment. For instance, the largest gathering in Oregon is held in a state park... and the exchange of money is expressly forbidden. But something could be done covertly.

Hummmmm
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:48 PM   #6
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Hi Donna,

Your idea is one that cruisers use (that is, long distance sailboat cruisers, who typically stop and anchor in foreign countries along the way).

Oftentimes in the remoter places along the way, there are no local people who know how to work on the fiberglass and various electrical systems, and/or there is a language or standards-of-work difference, or a lack of parts/supplies.

In response to this, there are other, handy-and-willing-to-work cruisers, who will work on cruising boats at anchor. They'll do fiberglass work, appropriate carpentry, electrical work, etc. They typically carry the basics with them.

In some places there is no difficulty; in others payment or etc. has to be more carefully arranged. Usually people do this in places where there isn't a good local option (as there is often not with eggs).

If I were looking to take my Boler someplace for work, I would probably choose a good boatyard for fiberglass or electrical work, and then a welder or RV shop for frame or welding work. From reading reports here it does sound like there are a lot of "handyman" RV workers that aren't quite up to snuff, especially on our eggs. Of course there are some gems, too.

Raya
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:37 PM   #7
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You are on to something alright Donna. In fact here in Texas we have a fellow Casita owner who does a lot of mods at some of our rallys.


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Old 12-15-2009, 10:03 AM   #8
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I realize that we egg-owners are a finite and unique group. I totally appreciate Donna's hot rodders analogy. In fact, as a vintage Bronco owner, I'm always looking for replacement parts, or mods, or even mechanical tips or advice. There are a few of these aftermarket specialty facilities scattered around the country with legit support and service capabilities. When I was rebuilding my Scamp, the best source for info was right here on the forum. I got more answers from you folks than anything the Scamp people could tell me. Sheesh, from what I've read, Raya has contributed more cogent and detailed information than I've found speaking with any vendor, supplier or mechanic! I'm surprised (and curious) that there is no go-to, turn-key FG facility.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:08 PM   #9
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Robert,
Maybe it would be like A Field of Dreams ... "If you build it they will come."
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Robert,
Maybe it would be like A Field of Dreams ... "If you build it they will come."


I like that!
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