never underestimate your value - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-21-2006, 08:19 PM   #1
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Trailer: 2000 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
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hi all you handyfolks out there.

heading for st petersburg fl in the am. or the pm, whenever i get packed.

never think your tinkering has no monetary worth. even if you are retired from "work" where you used to get a paycheck. i just got my casita back today after the technician fixed the short in the outside porch light (remember the recent saga with the refrigerator wiring?) and hooked up the gas line to my new stove. he also straightened the threaded rod that functions as the lp gas tank holder and installed a new bar on the top between the two tanks. oh, yeah, he added a breakaway switch. and showed me how to light the water heater. it didn't light but that is because he was just showing me how it WOULD light once i have water in it (after i get to florida where it won't freeze).


charges for this added up to $396.00.

is it any wonder i have asked several of you to help me fix things? i would much rather have given any one of YOU the same amount of money, then i wouldn't also have to hear all about how bad it is to have such a tiny fiberglass trailer with carpet on the walls and a prodigy break controller.

am i just being a grouch or does this seem unreasonable to anyone else???? i am sure the bill was not padded to cover the cost of the shop owner's wasted gasoline. he just happened to pull up in his great, big ford explorer and left it running for 20 minutes or so while he was inside. nobody inside it who needed warmth, it was just easier for him.

yes, i am a grouch today. but tomorrow...........tomorrow..........
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:24 PM   #2
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Maybe he is just envious that you get to go to Florida with your trailer and he has to stay there with his big gas guzzler.
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:48 PM   #3
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never think your tinkering has no monetary worth.

charges for this added up to $396.00.

am i just being a grouch or does this seem unreasonable to anyone else????
I have recently been on BOTH sides of this equation...
Going to an established FOR PROFIT business for services these days can be an education in economics. However, I also work for such a business. My gut feeling is that in this situation, no, it is not unreasonable. BUT, depending on your ability to pay; I would also be a little grouchy myself. I was grouchy when I was presented a bill by a plumber to work at my house. The shoe was definately on the other foot at that time.

I can't really afford me.
I feel your pain.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:48 AM   #4
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Here is how to figure the cost out

1. call it a trailer add 1 $ sign
2. call it an Rv add 2 $$ signs
3. call it a "retired owners Rv" add 3 $$$ signs
4. having a buddy help you fix that dang peice of junk in the drive way one 12 pack of beer!!!
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Old 12-22-2006, 07:01 AM   #5
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It's the way of capitalism. Pay the smuck who does the work $10 an hour, but charge the customer $100 an hour...gotta pay all the support staff ya know. Just be glad you didn't have to take it to a government "company."

RV's are purchased with disposable income....now some other's want to help you "dispose," of whatever money you have I guess the bottom line is you did get the trailer fixed. If you would have needed to fix it yourself...what is your time/frustration worth?

When I was MUCH younger, single and thought I was hot #@$! I drove a Porsche. Don't even get me started on what it cost everytime to drive in for service, etc. I just chalk it up to an expensive experience....what a memory But I lived through it!

Just this week I had to take my F-150 in for service...the "Service Engine Soon" light had come on. Should have unplugged it...Merry Christmas to me. Trade you bills Alice

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Old 12-22-2006, 07:45 AM   #6
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Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
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Shop rates, depending on where you live now run from $80 to $120/hour. Geez... who knew my DIY repairs were worth that?

Roger
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:27 AM   #7
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Arizona
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Just this week I had to take my F-150 in for service...the "Service Engine Soon" light had come on. Should have unplugged it...Merry Christmas to me.
Three words: black electrical tape!
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:37 AM   #8
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I do agree that it all depends on ones financial situation. There have been times in my life that half that amount would have been impossible for me. Today, I could handle something like that a little better. However, what irritates me is to pay a huge amount then find out they did a worse job than I would have done.

As far as what you had done, if it didn't leave a enormous hole in your pocket, I think I wouldn't mind so much. I hate to chase electrical shorts. Plus you had a new gas line installed and tested and had your breakaway switch installed. Sure, for some people those are easy fix-its, but ... well I purchased a break away switch several months ago and I still haven't installed it.
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:57 AM   #9
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Suz brings up an excellent point. When I was younger, I did ALL of my own mechanical repair and household repair work. I could barely afford the tools and parts with which to do the repairs, much less labor... but of course I couldn't afford to be without transportation either. I spent many a miserable hour in all kinds of weather repairing the cheap junk cars I could afford. I changed out the water pump on a '77 Ford F250 with a 3/8" drive ratchet set in a campground in BoonToolies Montana a bunch of years ago in 100* heat while on 'vacation' pulling our 23' Airstream Safari. Ah the joys of automobile maintenance.

Then, when I hit my mid-thirties, I started doing some restoration work on Toyota Land Cruisers and and Datsun Z cars, and did it for "fun". But, I had a garage with heat and I didn't "have" to do it.

Now in my early 50s I find that I enjoy doing some things, and I'm fortunate that I have a couple of quality mechanics here in our town whose labor rates are affordable to do the things I choose not to do. I still do the majority of the household repairs, and most of the minor repairs on my income properties, but I'm also fortunate enough to have the income to be able to afford to have other repairs done when I don't have the time or just choose not to.

I still cringe at dealership shop hour rates though. I DON'T have THAT kind of income!

Roger
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:20 AM   #10
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thanks everybody, for helping me keep it in perspective. i guess i never REALLY appreciated my daughter who was always in the garage working on cars. the best investment i made was $300 for a car when she was 15. it kept her in the garage (with all the guys in the neighborhood hanging around) for years before she finally got it running to her satisfaction. i think she made one trip (to the gas station, as i recall) and it then sat in the driveway with its hulking motor panting for more. gas probably.

that experience led to her building a truck from the ground up. that truck was featured in a hot rod magazine with 4-5 pages of pictures and story.

now that she is long grown and not in the area, i guess i miss her.
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:24 AM   #11
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I still cringe at dealership shop hour rates though. I DON'T have THAT kind of income!

I hear that! My dog and I were heading west towing the trailer in September when I had to stop and have some auto repairs done. Since I didn't know anyone and still many miles and several hours from my destination in the boonies, I was at the mercy of a dealership. $700+ and several hours later I was on my way. At first I was a little but quickly shifted my thinking. I was very fortunate that I have OnStar and never had to take my hands off the wheel nor even slow down my rig. My problem was diagnosed and a choice of repair places were given while I was still driving down the road. She even gave me the mileage, exit number and explicit directions once I decided where I wanted it repaired. Did I pay too much for those repairs? Probably. But I saved much time and, more than likely, one or two overnight stays in a city I did not know. So, in the end, I felt like I came out okay because of my situation. IF I had been at home, it would have been a different story, but I wasn't, so I quickly decided that I was okay with it. What I paid for that day was service. They allowed me to park the trailer inside the fence close to the shop. This gave me and my dog a place to hang out until it was repaired. When I got ready to go, I had a malfunction in my trailer connection. Four guys were on it, diagnosed it, and repaired it in a matter of a few minutes. All at no extra charge. What a deal!

So ... my theory is this: Weigh what you pay against the services you receive, and then you can decide if it was too much.
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Old 12-22-2006, 02:55 PM   #12
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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It's the way of capitalism. Pay the smuck who does the work $10 an hour, but charge the customer $100 an hour...gotta pay all the support staff ya know...
Yes, the business does have to pay all of the support staff, and the rent on the property, and the utility bills, and the cost of maintaining the equipment, and buying new or replacement equipment, and consumable supplies, and salary for staff when they are on paid holidays or working on non-billable activities, and benefits for the staff... and maybe leave something in return for the owner's investment.
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:58 PM   #13
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Trailer: 2003 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe and 1989 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
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When it comes to the (new) computerized rigs, i have a bit of money saving advice for everyone.

When the (check engine ) light comes on, Go to your neighborhood Checker or Autozone and ask them to scan your vehicle to find out what the problem is. There is no charge for this.

In most cases this will save you close to $100 that the dealer will charge to scan your rig.

This will also give you a heads up on the needed repairs.

I always do this to try and keep the service shop honest in what they want to do to my truck.



I am always looking for ways to save a buck and this really works for me.

Harv in Colo.
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:04 PM   #14
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Reminds me of an old adage:
If you can work with your hands you will never go hungery.
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