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Old 08-04-2012, 11:24 AM   #57
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Ranger, women (usually single) are a growing RV demographic. I know a few who would love to get into RV'g, but they are intimidated by it. And it's not really the hooking-up or towing that they are fretting about. It's the maintenance/repair. Remove that fear and you have a new customer.

As you can see, I briefly entertained selling the FaN this morning. Was just feeling frustrated. I have changed my mind, but with the benefit of a maintenance seminar, I would definitely keep it until I had to be carried out. (I might even buy a newer or bigger Airstream sometime down the line.)

I know many Airstream dealers read these forums. Anyone care to step up to the plate??

Or better yet, have Airstream host one....anywhere.....anytime. I would willingly pay!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:56 AM   #58
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Fan,

I'm certainly glad you decided to stay with us. You give a different and interesting view on many things.

Regarding dealers giving repair training: it would take a very altruistic dealer indeed to show people how to avoid to have to come to his shop. I suspect that the service department is an important source of regular revenue for a lot of dealers. With the contraction of the dealer pool, it would appear that they are going to want to hang on to every penny possible from all potential sources.

And yet, a smart, forward-thinking dealer WOULD do this, since even IF the dealer gave a ton of repair and maintenance information out, he would realize that there is still a lot of people that would not want to do the work themselves, even if they know how to do it.

So, let's hope that some of those smart, forward-thinking dealers are reading this thread.
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:46 PM   #59
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Aage, I thought about that - the potential loss of revenue with the AS service departments.

My apologies - I was not clear about "maintenance" and "repair."
I really meant education on "preventative" maintenance and small repairs. Better yet, emergency repair on the road until you can get to a dealership.

As you wrote, many have no intention of doing the medium to major maintenance/repair issues themselves. (And count me in big time on that!)

If a dealership offered a seminar on preventative maintenance/small and/or emergency repair, it would be beneficial to them (and ultimately Airstream) for these reasons:

- it would free-up their appointment book somewhat - reduce the nit-picky things. Those with serious repairs have to wait long enough to get their trailer back, never mind being put on a waiting list which can be anywhere from two weeks to a month.
This would put any potential owner off; frustrate the current owners. Businesses excel when they focus on the long-term picture vs. the day-to-day operation.

- a lot of the owner preventative maintenance is not done or done wrongly. The same with repair. These owners then tell everyone under the sun that Airstreams are crap. Bad PR, borne out of ignorance

- the key to customer loyalty are those businesses who champion "We are with you on this" instead of "You buy from us." Give that to a customer, and you have one for life. Let the customer bring in new business via that word-of-mouth

- Airstreams are expensive. It would take many basic service appointments to equate with that kind of net profit

".... a smart, forward-thinking dealer WOULD do this..."
Exactly!

"I'm certainly glad you decided to stay with us. You give a different and interesting view on many things."
In the context of that preventative maintenance and minor/emergency repair, I wouldn't be offended if you changed "different and interesting" to the "dufus's view on many things."

Thanks Aage.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #60
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You need a bigger trailer. There is no way we could get our 31 foot trailer far enough off pavement, to make driving to the store an inconvenience. There's a solution to every problem.

Ken
Ken, we'll think about it.... but our idea of camping is off-the-beaten track kind of stuff. For sure we wouldn't haul a big ***expensive*** trailer into places like the Needles Outpost campground near Canyonlands NP, the North San Rafael Swell (the "little Grand Canyon",) or the Natural Bridges overflow campsites in Utah; or Angel Peak (the "overflow" campground for Chaco Canyon in NM.)

The real challenge, as-is, is backing the Bambi into Len's brother's driveway in Vancouver, in a neighbourhood with the older narrow driveways and cars parked on both sides of the street. Oh, well, at least that site has a plug-in.

Sometimes Small is Beautiful!
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:12 PM   #61
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If you want to understand why you do what you do (and why your spouse doesn't!), take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). There is a fair amount of research that says we hire people like us, but marry our opposites. (Then we try to change them into a copy of us, which....of course....never works.) Within this instrument you'll see that some folks are naturally wired for spontaneity and spur of the moment lives -- while others prefer being planned and orderly. Wanna check? Open your wallet. If all the bills are sequentially arranged and facing the same direction, then you're a planned and orderly type. IF you do a checklist and do something that wasn't on it, write it in and then cross it off (to get credit, of course), then you are hyper-organized). Not here to do Psych 101. We are the way we are. The good news: the older you get, the mellower you get!
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:33 PM   #62
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The good news: the older you get, the mellower you get!
That is good news indeed. Retirement is the next phase in my life I'm looking forward to, but being that I'm 50, that's a ways out still. I look forward to the day that I carry a cell phone because I want to, not because I have to carry it due to the job requirements. I recall the days when I had to carry a pager and a cell phone. Thank goodness the technology progressed where we can now carry one device. But I also think that sometimes it's actually technology that brings more stress to situations. Unfortunately the cell phone charger cord, the laptop, the wireless card are all on my checklist.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:03 PM   #63
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Ken, we'll think about it.... but our idea of camping is off-the-beaten track kind of stuff. For sure we wouldn't haul a big ***expensive*** trailer into places like the Needles Outpost campground near Canyonlands NP, the North San Rafael Swell (the "little Grand Canyon",) or the Natural Bridges overflow campsites in Utah; or Angel Peak (the "overflow" campground for Chaco Canyon in NM.)

The real challenge, as-is, is backing the Bambi into Len's brother's driveway in Vancouver, in a neighbourhood with the older narrow driveways and cars parked on both sides of the street. Oh, well, at least that site has a plug-in.

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That is us, too!
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:21 PM   #64
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We purchased these previously owned Beach Cruisers on Craigslist. I think these will be fun for the camping trips and will offer up some great exercise. Now we just need the temps to cool down a little.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:29 PM   #65
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...guess I'd also add that those folks who lead the "Type A" lifestyle tend to have a higher degree of coronary/artery disease. You'll spot these folks who go on vacation and NEVER get away from work email/phone calls, etc. If you ski, these are the people at mid-mountain lunchtime who ignore their families and are texting/talking to the office. VERY sad!
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:58 PM   #66
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BAB, I'm not so sure. I noted above that Len and I tend to keep a packing list on our computer and then revise it and print it out for each trip depending upon where we're headed. But the reason is that I am normally so disorganized that I'd forget important stuff, otherwise.

Oh, like the time we were boondocking in a provincial park and forgot the gas can for the generator. I forget which trip it was, but do remember the experience of running out of toilet paper with no quick trip to town really feasible.

Us retirees, thankfully, are not so wired-in to "the office", especially in places without cell phone service, like a lot of big national parks.

Meyers-Briggs? I'm some weird type that accounts for about 2% of the population. I think we're the eccentrics.

Jeanne
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:41 AM   #67
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Regarding dealers giving repair training: it would take a very altruistic dealer indeed to show people how to avoid to have to come to his shop. I suspect that the service department is an important source of regular revenue for a lot of dealers.
Sadly, the biggest hurdle to this sort of training at Jackson Center would be INSURANCE! No matter where you take your vehicles for service, you see signs posted, "No Customers Allowed in Service Areas" or words to that effect. The one and only reason for those signs is the company's insurance policy. There is too much potential for people to get hurt, which leads to lawsuits and payouts.

So, any training would have to be off-site, at a location not addressed in the insurance policy, and if the trainers were savvy they would make all students sign a waiver absolving the trainer of responsibility for any injuries or damage.

Now, if the organizers of a maintenance rally were to specifically INVITE the service technicians at Jackson Center to attend, you might be able to press one into service as a trainer.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:56 AM   #68
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Sadly, the biggest hurdle to this sort of training at Jackson Center would be INSURANCE! No matter where you take your vehicles for service, you see signs posted, "No Customers Allowed in Service Areas" or words to that effect. The one and only reason for those signs is the company's insurance policy. There is too much potential for people to get hurt, which leads to lawsuits and payouts.
You're right, I've seen that type of sign in nearly every vehicle service center in recent memory. My wife recalls such signs posted at the entrance to the service bays at JC. However, when we had our trailer serviced this year during Alumapalooza, we were permitted to go into the service area and talk to the service techs throughout the entire process. As you can imagine, it was very busy at the service center that week, but it seemed like all customers were permitted to enter and exit freely. So, there may be exceptions during special events. I noticed they had yellow lines down the center of the building, and around the sides of each bay. But the techs didn't appear to be concerned about anyone crossing the lines. The "riveting contest" was held in the service area.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:24 PM   #69
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I suspect those "no customers in service area" signs do double duty. They are part CYA to satisfy liability insurers and part pretext to eject customers who get obnoxious.

My dad was a diesel mechanic (back before they decided to be called technicians) and did most of his work at customer sites. One of his customers often seemed to want to tell Dad how to fix the problem, and eventually when he walked into the shop and started talking, Dad would stop working and listen for a while, then point out that his rate for listening was the same as his rate for fixing the truck, but it was easier work to listen.

Knowing Dad, I suspect the last part was a lie. It was probably much harder for him to listen to the guy blathering on than to work on the truck. Eventually Mr. Hammons figured out it was costing him money and left Dad to his work.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:31 PM   #70
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If you want to understand why you do what you do (and why your spouse doesn't!), take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). There is a fair amount of research that says we hire people like us, but marry our opposites. (Then we try to change them into a copy of us, which....of course....never works.) Within this instrument you'll see that some folks are naturally wired for spontaneity and spur of the moment lives -- while others prefer being planned and orderly. Wanna check? Open your wallet. If all the bills are sequentially arranged and facing the same direction, then you're a planned and orderly type. IF you do a checklist and do something that wasn't on it, write it in and then cross it off (to get credit, of course), then you are hyper-organized). Not here to do Psych 101. We are the way we are. The good news: the older you get, the mellower you get!
I wonder if I should admit how eerily familiar the highlighted part is...

In my defense (which probably makes me look even worse) I write it in and check it off so I'll have it written down and later add it to the baseline checklist spreadsheet I use as a template for each printed trip checklist.
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