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Old 04-26-2009, 12:29 AM   #1
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Reasonable RV Mechanic Rates

So, given today's economy, what do you think is a reasonable RV mechanic's rate for an old Argosy MH on the West Coast? I'm talking to a guy charging around $100-125 an hour.

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Old 04-26-2009, 01:01 AM   #2
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I'm a service writer at a big rig repair shop, we also do repairs on RVs.
But no body work. Our hourly rate is $85.00. Call around and check in your area. But keep in mind the experience of the mechanics, if they don't know what they're doing it won't matter what they charge per hour.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:16 AM   #3
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$90/hour in Tucson...
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Old 04-26-2009, 05:54 AM   #4
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Cost of doing business

You will find that a business will always charge the going rate of the area that is needed to pay the overhead and make a reasonable profit.
If they charge too much or too little they will go out of business. If he is really good at what he does he will be able to charge on the high end of the scale for that area. Therefore if he has been in business for any length of time he must be charging a proper amount. After all you do want someone that is good at what he does and can get to the problem and fix it quickly and correctly the first time. For this reason it is not always wise to shop for an inexpensive repairman.
But Following that line of reasoning the advice I just gave here isn't worth much since it's free.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:26 AM   #5
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Back at home the local (and very reliable) shop gets $105 an hour.

It is what it is.

On a positive note, I have learned to fix almost everything myself...

mike
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:24 AM   #6
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Jackson Center, OH

At the Airstream mother ship the rates to work on an Airstream is $94/hour I believe. Sounds like a trip to the center of it all might be in your future???
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:29 AM   #7
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Well, I checked my RV center and they're charging $120 an hour. That seems really high given what everyone else has discussed. How do I approach them about this difference? Also, anyone have any good suggestions regarding RV repair shops in the Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz - San Jose area?
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:23 PM   #8
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Don,
Do you need RV work or chassis work?

If RV, many people seems to think highly of Toscano in Los Banos.
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Old 04-28-2009, 02:40 PM   #9
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I was at a very good RV shop today; their flat rate was $85.00. Hey, Guy 99, see you made it back from Ajo.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I was at a very good RV shop today; their flat rate was $85.00. Hey, Guy 99, see you made it back from Ajo.
It's not so much the labor rate, as it is the shops ability and knowledge.

A shop can charge $50.00, but take way too long to fix something.

Or, you can pay a higher rate, and get the job done correctly, and with a minimum of time.

There are way way to many shops that charge "more" per hour, because the owner has a 30-40-50 year old trailer. As they say in Brooklyn, NO WAY JOSE!!!

Selecting a RV shop for repairs, should be done carefully, and certainly have a very good reputation.

Generally speaking, "brand X" shops don't fit the bill when it comes to repairing an Airstream. They simply don't have the knowledge or experience factor with that product.

Some owners do not like to travel very far, to get their coach repaired. But, that's the very reason RV's have wheels.

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Old 04-28-2009, 11:11 PM   #11
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Sometimes more equals less!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Landis View Post
So, given today's economy, what do you think is a reasonable RV mechanic's rate for an old Argosy MH on the West Coast? I'm talking to a guy charging around $100-125 an hour.

donlandis
Hi, are they actually charging $$$$ per hour or a flat rate hour?

Example: I used to charge 4 hours labor [at a Ford dealer] to replace a Mustang heater core; The local Goodyear tire store's labor rate was half the price per hour as we charged, but they wanted 12 hours for the same job. Who had the best deal?

Pick a job/repair and call around. First ask the labor rate, and then ask for the total cost.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:04 AM   #12
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Well, I got the recommendation from a local AS riveter on this site. And the Repair shop owner is very knowledgeable, been in business for 16 + years, and seems to know what he is talking about. But I took the Argosy in over 3 weeks ago and was promised a 500 point inspection taking 8 hours flat rate at $120. I go in tomorrow to pick up the list. But I'm concerned that it's taken so long and I'm concerned about the price and I'm concerned about what list I'll get back and if it was worth the money to find out the problems. I don't have that much money to fix the major stuff that needs to be repaired and I don't feel competent as a novice to make the repairs myself. We'll see. I hope it all works out. If not, then it's time to travel. That's what RVs do best as Andy says.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:12 AM   #13
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I know a place in Colorado that charges $105/hour and can't be trusted. JC charges $94/hour and does very good work in the repair shop. But prices in Ohio are lower for restaurants, but the food is better in a good Denver restaurant. My point is to ask around and then hope you got good advice, and also some people charge a lot and don't deserve it. Price often is a rough measure of quality of work, but sometimes is just a guy out to screw you.

Don, a 500 point inspection sounds made up to me. How does it comes out exactly 500? Is that 8 x 120 for a total of $960? I'd be very nervous about this shop.

I think there are two ways to approach an RV: fix a lot of things yourself and that means learning, making mistakes, but being able to save money and understand what you own, or second, have barrels of money lying around. When something breaks, I try to figure it, read all I can, ask advice, try to do it if there's a chance I can, be willing to do it again if I screw it up, and be willing to admit I can't do certain things (like bodywork).

Good luck and press this place about what they are doing. Everybody gets screwed sometimes.

Gene
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:51 AM   #14
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Inspection program.

I cannot imagine a 500 point inspection program, unless you count many of the rivets too.

Our 250 point written inspection program was put together some 25 years ago, and is still valid today.

A safety inspection program, should be near a dealers cost for labor, since it could be considered promotional.

Certainly, a cost of nearly $1000.00, is way out of reality, for a good safety inspection written report.

A good safety inspection program, should give the owner a complete "umbrella" report of any and all problems the coach may have or about to have. Making a list that replaces everything, is "NOT" a good safety inspection report, and is simply a guessing attempt to dig up business.

Many times owners are willing to take on some of the repairs themselves, once they learn of what's needed. They may or may not have that shop do those items that they don't wish to do.

And, once in a while, especially on a newly acquired used coach, when the itemized list gets up into 5 figures in dollars, as it sometimes does, they quickly rid themselves of that coach, and look for another one.

That being the case, a good safety inspection report, properly written, could save an owners thousands of dollars in repairs that were unknown to them.

A good, well written safety inspection report, should be well detailed and self explanitory. If not, then it becomes useless, since you would have little to nothing to take home and study.

As Gene put it, a customers body should not be introduced to a "tap and die set", by any shop of any kind.

Andy
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