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Old 07-26-2012, 01:01 PM   #1
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1992 36' Land Yacht
Grayson , Georgia
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Who here works on their own MH

Just curious as to how many on these forums actually do their own wrenching and what systems they've worked on?

Brakes? Engine? Suspension? Plumbing? Propane systems? Electrical? Generator? Interior repair?

I've been getting into some heavy repairs with my project over the last year and was curious if working on your own MH is the norm or the exception. Kind of thinking that most RV owners use an RV center to do the major repairs but AS owners always seem like a breed of there own.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
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I have always done everything, from brakes to riveting. That's how I know for sure that things are done right, because I really dislike bad work. Some things take a little longer, but once I know how to do it, I usually understand the instructions
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:25 PM   #3
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1977 28' Argosy 28
dexter , New York
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I just bought a 77 argosy 28ft. MH Ido all my own repair 2 reasons one I can I like to and the local rv shop is 86.oo per hr, . no way from me and they dont have AS parts AS dealer is 2 states away Mas. or N H . 2nd . I do all my own work on every thing I own cars van motorcycle bike house . know how is the most important thing I have gained in life . and when that one or 2 things come along that I cant fix no repairman is going to take advantage of me . Most of the chassis systems are easy or common to other vechels , spelling is not my strong suite sorry ,
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:56 PM   #4
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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I do all of the work on our '74 Argosy 26' trailer. That way at least I know where to find the guy that screwed it up. And all he charges is sweat equity. The only thing I would pay for is body and paint work. I don't like doing it and am not good at it.
I have totally remodeled the plumbing, upgraded the electrical (both 120 volt and 12 volt) , remodeled the cabinets in the bath and galley. Installed an inverter to supply 120 volt power when boon docking, also installed solar..
All it takes is time and $$$$$$$.
Even if you make a mistake and have to do it over. It still is less expensive in my opinion. Besides that, if you do it yourself, you know how it was done and how it should work.
So! Go for it!!!
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:05 AM   #5
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I've always worked on every vehicle that I've ever owned. Built many motorcycles and a few race cars (hot rods) back in the day. Our AS/MH isn't any different mechanically just some aspects are larger and heavier to handle. My age comes into mind here.

As far as the coach goes every section of it is a learning curve as I've never had any type RV before. That right there is where these forums are invaluable. I've been stumped many times troubleshooting various items and asked here for opinions with great results. It's good knowing I can pass on what I've learned here to others asking too.

Couldn't agree more with posts above saying you know it's done right if you do it yourself, even if you have to do it twice. Sure is nice when camping out in the boonies knowing that your at least half way ready to keep everything working if trouble arises.

One time I can think of where someone else worked on my coach is after it was side swiped and the local AS dealer had to replace the entire side skin, rear wrap etc. They welcomed me to stop in through all phases of this work. Glad I did too because learned quite a bit on how these are constructed as well as getting to know some really good people. That was one area I'm glad I didn't attempt doing myself.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:41 AM   #6
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
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I have worked on several Airstream Trailers doing any and everything. I'm too fussy and prefer doing everything I'm able to do. I have a 1979 Excella Motorhome which I gutted and have done everything except the big heavy things like replacing the motor (although I created the electrical harness) and the P30 rear end. I'd have don't the engine too but don't have the equipment or the place to do it. The transmission is on my list and will be something to have a professional do for me.

As much as I might complain from time to time, this is something I choose to do and really derive a great deal of joy from it. My youngest son will inherit the motorhome because he loves it and is the one who knows how to deal with mechanical things.

My feeling about working on this project is to do everything I can myself.

Have fun and enjoy what you do...

Mary
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:26 AM   #7
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For me it depends. My time is worth money, too. I assess what's involved and whether I have the proper tools and facilities. I then have to decide if dedicating my time on the motor home (or trailer) is more valuable than other things. For example, if I am going to need most of two weekend days and 4 weeknights after work to complete a task, that's basically 6 days that I'm hardly going to see my family. My work schedule can interfere with that, too. If I can take that same job to a local, trustworthy shop and get it done in 1 day for $750, then that's something I have to weigh-out. No time lost from my life, but $750 out of my bank account. Is the time with my family and a weekend lost worth $750? $1000? $1250? I have to make that call.

When it comes to Airstream or camper specific stuff, though, I do all my own work. There is no Airstream dealer nearby. I don't trust just any camper dealer to do Airstream work nor to work on something so old as mine. If I ever get to the point that I need major work done and I can't do it myself (i.e. panel replacement) then I'll have to weigh taking it to the factory (3 hours away) vs. P&S Trailers (2 hours away).
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:29 AM   #8
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Wonderful connection caused a double post
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:32 AM   #9
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
boca raton , Florida
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Do most of my own repair, seek help for engine, transmition, etc from a machanic, but will do all the rest. The forums have been great to find out how to and inreturn give advice aftering figuring out special fixes. I think the cost to me of a classic would be prohibitive if all repairs went to a shop!
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:56 AM   #10
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1992 36' Land Yacht
Grayson , Georgia
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To date I've done the following on my 92 LY motorhome since it's purchase in November of 2011:
Replaced all brake pads and rubber lines on main brake system

Replaced backup camera

Rebuilt interior walls on about 3/4 of the unit by removing everything to the outer wall and then rebuilding back to the interior

Rebuild headliner over cab area

Replaced all batteries and installed manual cutoff switch

Repaired entrance step motor

Replaced the water heater

Repaired 2 exterior fiberglass cracks (repaired and repainted)

Installed new surround sound system in main cabin area

Repaired HWH auto leveling system (repair broken wires and replace bad jack)

Replaced engine plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor

Replaced fuel filter

Clear coated all exterior

Etern-a-bond taped all roof seams

Removed/repaired and reinstalled Onan genset (rebuilt carb, replaced brushes and cleaned slip rings)

Cleaned all carpets

Added crown molding to the bedroom.

Added 26" flat panel TV in main cabin and 19" flat panel in the bedroom.

Added satellite system
On the list of things still to do are:
Replace TAG axle brakes and controller (complete Dexter Nev-R-Adjust assemblies and Tekonsha Prodigy P2).

Fix intermittent wipers (Turn on for no reason)

Fix intermittent horn (blows when it feels like it)

Clean and sanitize the water systems
Get ready for the Petit Lemans at Road Atlanta on October 17-20th for her first trip away from home since she arrived.
I knew that this would be a major project and I've learned a lot along the way. I'm excited that the ole LY may be just about ready for her maiden voyage. She sat for more then 7 years when the PO ran into major health issues. I picked her up for $2000 due to roof leaks and have sunk another $4000 into her. I've given her more blood and sweat then I can think of. Still a labor of love though.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:35 PM   #11
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1977 20' Argosy 20
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Does fixing the AC install, installing a fantastic fan, and a new TV antenna count?
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:12 AM   #12
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I can only afford to do it all myself.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1985air345 View Post
Does fixing the AC install, installing a fantastic fan, and a new TV antenna count?

Heck yeah, big time! But I am still wondering, if you ever fixed that hose reel on your 345 in 2002 ...
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:01 AM   #14
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1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
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Do all my own work on Airstream and SOB motorhome.

1. Can't take the $100 hr rate shops charge.

2. I trust my work over others and know when to seek help if I need it.

So far never had to use a shop except buying new tires.
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