Wednesday, September 3, 2014

RV cheap tricks

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My husband thinks he’s a bonafide RV mechanic. He will work on a problem until he’s spent more money than having a qualified RV mechanic do the job. He refuses to have anyone work on our rig until he has exhausted his possible do-it-yourself fixes. He has a one-track mind, so whenever he is on a mission to fix something I’ve lost him completely until it gets solved. He is always online looking for advice, tricks of the trade, and cheap fixes. Wouldn’t it be wiser to just have a mechanic repair our rig? Wouldn’t it be cheaper in the long run, less hassle and headache?
--Cheap Tricks in Tampa

Dear Tricks:
Some people want to be a rock star and others an RV mechanic. I think your husband is on the right track. Even if it ends up costing him more money to completely solve a problem, he has educated himself for future situations. Online advice is priceless. There is hardly a subject not covered. We all experience the same mechanical problems sooner or later. You will find people online describing your precise issue, how to fix it, and what parts you will need. I find it amazing. Your husband’s laser focus can be looked at in another way. During the time you lose his attention, you could be stuck in a motel, waiting for a service technician to call and tell you they finally figured out your problem. Some of these people have to think about it for as long as your husband and try as many parts and solutions. The only difference is, they have the meter running at about $100 bucks an hour. Many RV problems come down to plug and play electronic boards in current models. You can often find great trouble-shooting help from aftermarket board companies like Dinosaur. Your husband is building experience that will pay off handsomely in the future. You should be happy and encourage him. A lot of women who used to go for handsome are now looking for handy. You had better keep a close eye on him. 
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink



Anonymous said...

Sounds like a normal man to me.

Anonymous said...

I am sad to see that you didn't mention anything about the "satisfaction of knowing the problem got fixed the way he wanted it to" in the first place.

Anonymous said...

This approach may work fine AT HOME, but on the road...forget it! You're losing valuable doing/seeing time....just find the appropriate shop...check on line about them if possible!...then have it fixed... then go on enjoying what you are out there for in the first place!

Anonymous said...

Wish my hubbie was more of a fix it yourselfer. We ALWAYS need a tech. That's not a fun place to be.

RVgeeks said...

We love your answer Doc! We're all about DIY. Anything we can fix ourselves gives us a tremendous amount of satisfaction, especially if the problem was new to us and required some research to solve. We understand that someone out for a week- or month-long vacation might not want to lose the time involved in DIY, but as full-timers, being more self-sufficient is priceless. And believe us, plenty of shops can get it wrong too. We've had our share of "do-overs" at some shops. Nothing is more aggravating than being 1,000 miles away from the place that did the job wrong just a week ago, and hearing "bring it back for us to take a look" when you call them. :-/

Mark said...

Most of us have experienced those mechanics who know everything but the item they are attempting to fix. I had that experience 2 weeks ago and only realized the outcome of someone fixing one problem but created an ever greater problem, when I got to another Province many miles away. If your husband can fix it let him do so because mechanics at $120/hr don't always get it right either.