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zduke4x 02-04-2004 03:39 PM

Tampa Bay Area Repairs
Is there any ratings of dealers or repair centers for service and repairs out there on the internet that anyone has found?

I have had such mixed luck with my local dealers...some ok to some awful...engine/tire/chassis repairs actually seem easier to get quality at fair prices.

RV repairs for stoves, reefer, heater,wiring/electric, etc. are my greatest problems.

I do as much as I can myself but cannot handle everything even with the forums advice.

I am particularly interested in reports on mid Florida repair service, I don't mind reasonable travel distances.

rluhr 02-04-2004 04:08 PM

I called Bates RV (Dover, FL near Tampa) about a brake problem last week and was told their first service appt opening was in March! So while I can't comment on their service quality, the availability left something to be desired ...

I've heard Walt's RV in Ocala is good. I'm planning to meet up with Walt at the Florida State Rally in Sarasota.

kooblekidz 02-04-2004 04:28 PM

Tampa area repairs
I am in Palmetto, which is not too far from Tampa and attending the RV Service Academy. Some of the guys in the class are already RV Techs and just going for certification, the facility we go to school in also works on RV's. What do you need done? As a fellow airstreamer I would be happy to research it for you and even try and get a close estimate.
Eric Hedin
'84 345

zduke4x 02-04-2004 09:34 PM

I have had the same problem with Bates....getting in and out in a reasonable timeframe..

New RV techs must need some cash or a project...will PM you..thanks..jem

newae 02-05-2004 04:00 AM

I had the same problem with Bates. They just didnt seem to care if they had my business or not. I finally went to Walt in Ocala. I recently picked my trailer up and was pleased with his work. I would recommend him.


James Witt 02-05-2004 07:29 AM

Bates RV
I had some repair work done by Bates RV on a 1995 28ft Classic Excella in Dec. 2002. All the damage was done by a flat. The wheel well was replaced, wheel well moulding replaced, complete lower panel that runs from the back up to the door was replaced and all the decals on the right side were replaced.
On our next trip the bottom hinge on the door came off. The two bolts that hold the hinge to the door frame were left out. Only thing holding the hinge on were the two small screws from the inside.
The decals started coming off around all the edges. I had to trim them so they would not flutter when towing. The wheel well moulding did not fit very well so they filled the crack with about 3/4 inch of black caulking. I started looking at the rivets and noticed several were not pulled up snug. Bottom line is, they will never get any more business from me.

zduke4x 02-05-2004 03:17 PM

Register Chevrolet
I see the ads on cable for Airstream at Register Chevrolet in Brookesville....has anyone got any experience with them?

Who are you using that is not an Airstream dealer?

Thanks a lot for any advice....jem

AV8 02-05-2004 05:31 PM

I did have some work done at Register. Not a lot but they were pleasant enough. I had the bearings repacked, brakes inspected, and a tail light “fixed”. 2000 miles later the wheels have not fallen off and the brakes continued to work, but the bad ground on the lights they fixed didn’t happen. But to be honest they may have been confused about which side. However it should not be rocket science to see which turn signal was not working. But I was only in town for a few hours so I did not have a chance to find out why they did not actually fix the light. So I guess I would give them 2 out of 3 stars ;-)

newae 02-05-2004 09:59 PM

Like I said earlier, I like Walts. All he does is Airstreams. He had about 10 he was working on when I dropped mine off. He replaced my fresh water tank, repaired two leaks and rebuilt the bottom to the cabinet over the stove. The bottom of the cabinet had rotted from water leaking through the stove vent. He fabricated a new cabinet bottom and it looks great.

Camp-Dog 02-23-2005 12:45 PM

Atleast know I know I'm not the only one having problems with Bates. You would think that after spending nearly 50k on an RV they'd atleast return a phone call....nope, nada. I've left numerous messages and still no callback. It's unfortunate they are the only AS dealer in this part of the state. I'm at the point where I wish I'd have driven an extra 200 miles just to work with another dealer.

TinWoodsman 02-23-2005 01:17 PM


Originally Posted by Camp-Dog
...I wish I'd have driven an extra 200 miles just to work with another dealer.

I'm planning to make a trip over to Bates to look at a 16' Bambi. What other dealer would you try if you had it to do over again?

I'll edit to specify "to buy an AS".

jcanavera 02-23-2005 02:41 PM

My recommendation is also Walt's. I have never had to use him, but he comes with glowing recommendations from various Yahoo Airstream members and from a fellow I met from downstate Missouri. Very honest and does good work.


Camp-Dog 02-23-2005 02:54 PM

If you plan on buying Bates is OK, they offer a pretty good price. But from my own experience I'd never deal with them again. Just be sure there is nothing missing or anything you may need to go back for. Seems that once the deal is done they want nothing to do with you. Not that I expect anything above and beyond, but a return phone call would be a nice start. I would equate buying a new AS from Bates to buying a brand new Mercedes from a Yugo dealer....don't expect much after the sale.

Bates has a good inventory for browsing, go ahead and look, but I think the guy in Ocala would probably match the price and be much for dependable AFTER the sale.

Ed Keyes 02-23-2005 05:09 PM

Tampa Bay Area Repairs
Second the motion....... Go to Walts in Ocala. Had mine serviced there several times and he knows AS's. Easy to do business with, reasonable on price and you can count on him. Bought 2, AS's from Bates and as stated earlier you can make a good deal there. Forget service. Register in Brooksville is friendly but they only have one tech. who is supposed to know AS's trailers and would rate as a 5 on a scale from 1 to 10

TinWoodsman 02-23-2005 06:38 PM

Thanks for the info on Bates. That agrees with everything else I've read on this forum about them. I like the Mercedes from a Yugo dealer illustration!

Pick 02-23-2005 07:36 PM

There is another Airstream dealer in Alachua, JD Sanders. I have never had any work done there, but buy parts from them.

nickcrowhurst 02-24-2005 07:31 AM

Walt has done good work for me, and I highly recommend him. He is a gentleman, and an Airstream scholar. Nick.

zekethebear 11-20-2006 06:41 PM

Tampa Bay Area Repairs
I had a 34' Excella for 14 years that was serviced by Dean & Pam at RV Renovators in Pinellas Park. They always did excellant work and gave me the 'right' price. They service all kinds of RVs, but Dean used to be an Airstream guy at a dealer in the area-----not Bates.


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