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Repair vs use... keep or sell?


Rikadoo

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Ok so maybe this is just me ... venting, i dont know yet, however when i bought my 36 ft DP i was star struck, the size (my last mh was a 30 ft gasser), the power, the quiet cab when driving, the room, storage the list goes on an on.

Then i retired, then covid hit, it was good timing as it gave me time to keep my hands busy. I fixed this an that spending at first small amounts of time an money, however lately its beginning to feel like a lot more of both time an money. Now don't get me wrong, being retired time is plentiful, but the money thing is beginning to be a continual drain. My coach is a 2003 so everything i “get into” involves repairing the main reason i started the project in the first place however there are always, surrounding upgrades that i know are better to address now rather than later on the side of the road.

At first it was fun, just knowing that soon i would be cruising down the road seeing all the sights, blowin' the air horns at all the cute little critters frolicking on the side of the road, waving at everbody i meet on my journey... has now turned to flippen off all the inconsiderate drivers cutting in front of me to make there last minute driving decision to exit the freeway, scrapping of the migration of yellow butterflies off the windshield, limited camp areas cause now it “in” to be rving, an of course the search for the lowest cost fuel😖😖😖

This may all be magnified by the fact my spouse is decided to keep working, an has not embraced the same understanding that our time on this round rock is limited and that since life is a gift why not go out an live everyday like someone left the gate open!!! 
I don't know, it seems like what i thought would happen did not, yet what i did not expect to happen has☹️ 
So I'm just looking at if what people have said over the years has any merit, in that rving is expensive, an opportunity to travel is small, ya work till ya die!!!

I truly understand i am blessed that there are alot of people cant afford to retire, let alone buy a awesome coach like i have, i guess im second guessing my decision givin cost vs useage... its kinda like in the movie Robin hood with Robin Williams  where he cant fly because... as Tink said “He cant fly cause he lost his happy thought”

Anyone else feel this or have dealt with the same kinda s***, i just turned 68 an it feels like i have one shoe nailed to the floor! Most of my people i hang with are still working an some are younger, however they all seem to resist the thought of retirement cause they cant, don't want to, or too young to. Knock on wood i still have my health an my want, yet it feels like I'm missing something... or worse yet, sitting on the pitty pot!

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I feel what you are saying, a lot. I’m nowhere near retirement, but know that I have a limited amount of time, and health. 
 

Reading over your post, I know what would pain me the most, my wife not being on the same page. It’s been a struggle for my wife to get the idea of our older MH. But she’s coming around. She even said she likes it now that I have it mostly complete. If we were not on the same page, life would suck. 
 

Not wanting to sound like DR Phil, but getting your wife involved would help, IMO. 

I am trying to get this MH more off grid ready. Mostly just to get off the freeways, back into places where there are not too many people. 
 

Our coach is like yours, almost 20 yrs old and stuff is wearing out. Just hard plumbed the kitchen drains while on vacation as I type, and now the step cover stopped working. Still can’t figure out one leg of my 120 that won’t work with the GFCI. 
 

Anyway, try and find any sort of joy, if just for a night here or there. 
 

 

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WOW, are you inside my brain?  We just bought a 38ft 03 HR Endeavor in Feb coming from a 32 ft gasser.  1st diesel.  I'll be 68 in 4 months.  Wife still works and really doesn't do the RV thing (although she promised she would).  I'm gone about every other weekend (motorcycle racing), so the RV is a tool to do what I want to do. 

Like you, it's a MUCH quieter drive, road bumps don't feel like RxR tracks, you can actually put stuff in the storage bays.  OTOH the generator is noisier than expected but the furnace and AC units are quieter than the gasser.  I just bought a HF Predator 3500 genny (goes in the trailer) so we'll see how that goes this weekend.  Tomorrow, actually.

We (DW & I) tried the camping thing.  Pretty boring.  What do RV'ers do to stay engaged while parked?  We walked the dogs a lot!  Good thing they had internet (and a view of the Southern sky!).  She doesn't want to spend the money for a baseplate! 

But yeah, it's more work and worry than I imagined.  My last trip I started losing boost (and power).  Was afraid I wouldn't make it home.  Now that I know how to change a fuel filter I can tackle that on the road.  And the stupid Nevercold.  It's useless on propane (stays lit constantly).  If money were no object I'd already have an Amish or JD Ref replacement.  Too much off the grid for a house fridge.  PO put TPMS sensors on each wheel and somehow the sensors put the valve cores down into the stem.  One sensor kept reading low so manually checking air meant a quick rush to back the core out and back in, sealing the air inside (after losing 10 psi), then running the engine to use the coach air to refill.  The back valve stems are impossible to get to.  I have to hug the outer tire (sketchy!) so I can put a chuck on the stem from between the tires.  . . . . I'm starting to rant, like you. 

My biggest gripe about cars are the ones that don't know how to get ON the interstate.  They poke along the on ramp until they get onto the interstate, THEN they accelerate!  I'd move over if I could, but not always possible. 

I kinda miss the old gasser.  It was getting high mileage (150k) but felt if I went much higher it would be real hard to sell.  I was wrong - it was hard to sell anyway, even with this crazy seller's market. 

Look into the TSD card.  I save ~$30/fillup.  Petro and TA Truck Stops are roughly 60c off posted price. 

One nice thing - I drove all the way from SC to VA and back home to GA on one tank of fuel, right in the middle of the fuel shortage crisis.  Sweet. 

But I'm not a quitter!  Hang in there.

Best,

- bob

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This is not a cheap sport, even doing all of my own repairs and maintenance, but worth it to BOTH of us. Fortunately we are able to use ours 5-6 months/year. Bummer that the wife keeps working... is it a money thing, health insurance, or a habit. A detached retina (poor depth perception) got me out of the habit of running my equipment every day... hard to break habits with just willpower.

In hindsight, one of the best things (not at the time) that happened when I was 24, my 61 year old father went from excellent health to dead in 6 months... pancreatic cancer. I said then, I’m not waiting to retirement age to travel and being self employed, we have...50 states and 80+ countries. 

If you can’t get the wife to come around, now is a good time to sell a RV... cheaper than a divorce I’ve been told.
 

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Hope what I’m gonna say is ok on this forum—here goes anyway. Join FMCA or Good Sams, then join a local chapter. You will meet some of the finest people you could hopefully meet plus they are friendly. Usually the have a 3-4 day trip each month (weather permit) and it’s usually rather close and it’s just plain fun. My wife and I don’t get to travel all that much but these short trips are a blast. Be safe, Be Blessed and most any trip is worth taking. 

Jim

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Owning an RV service center we see customers from every stage of life. Since we are a small service company we get to spend time talking with customers and I can honestly say you are not alone. We get a lot of Husbands who come in for service alone because their wife is working. But we also have a large contingent of retired full timers as well who sold their home, stored their belongings, bought a coach and hit the road. We are also seeing more " young-un's " coming in with a nice coach and both are still working.........Remotely.........From their coach. When they get bored with the scenery they pack up, fire up the bus and head for better scenery. All while working. To say I am not envious of these kid's would be an understatement.

Life is all about what you make of it. We are all tuned to different wave lengths in life with different wants and needs and I have never felt that my way or someone else's way is the right way. We all live according to what floats our boats. As for myself I have been a workaholic since I was 12. Many of my adult years included working 2 and 3 jobs at the same time. I retired young in 2000. Went nuts 2 years later and 5 years after that started my first of 2 RV companies. I just retired 18 months ago - again. I went nut's and am back working more then I want to or should. I am not happy unless I am working and a lot of that stems from not pursuing any hobbies. My only hobby is flying airplanes and if you think a coach is expensive try flying. My favorite plane to fly happens to be $ 500 per hour on a wet lease basis.  Calculate that one out. I have finally come to the conclusion that I am wired for 440 and have to be energized all the time. In other words I go through life at 100 mph and cannot slow down.

A married couple not always agrees on the same trajectory in life. The prize goes to the man and woman who can come together through compromise and move on together happily. The one thing all of us has to remember is that: We only get one shot at life. Make it the happiest - Make it the best. 🙂

 

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Another sympathiser here.

At Times I  get very frustrated, seems like problems crop up faster than I can fix them.  When I finally decide to swallow the pill and pay for someone to do the repair. I find that there charging $120 to $150 per hour + materials I get sick. Not even mentioning the fact, When doing research they would have used the wrong fasteners. 

Monaco will not give any technical support for the older coaches. 

I will soon be posting a video on my beltline repair were all the rivets have failed.  (Roof separation from side wall)

Here's my mantra.  Sometimes life is a bitch, sometimes tomorrow is just another day.  Right now life is a bitch.  

Right now I'm on track for earning $500 a week for my efforts because I'm not paying someone else plus getting the job done right. I also have the privilege of helping other people out in the process.  

 

 

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Funny that Chris T mentioned "workaholic", when I went back to grad school we were put on teams of 5 or 6.  Part of the process was team members ranking their teammates and then the advisors sitting down with each of use to discuss strengths or weaknesses.  Every time I got my review I'd sit down and the advisor would open with "they say you are a workaholic".  I feel your pain!!  ( I told several class mates they'd never work for me, too lazy, I'd fire their ASS!)

I retired in 2014 at the age of 54, completely burned out with my last year traveling internationally with +250 days on the road.  The only benefit was that I made enough money to be able to walk away.  Although I did do a short 7 moth consulting gig in 2018, this was more of a favor trying to help the company I use to work for locally but then the CEO found out I was helping and asked if I'd go to Canada and help that location which I did for 4 months flying in on a 20 in 10 out rotation. 

I spent a year doing some traveling in 2014-15 and then dove into building a house, doing as much of the work myself, even harvesting wood off the property for flooring, doors, cabinets all of which I made and installed.   Then last year turned my attention to building an RV garage and workshop, finished that earlier this year. 

I kept telling my wife that I'm going pack the RV and hit the road, she has no interest.  Unless it has something to do with dogs she's happy staying home!!

So I've spent the last month working on the RV, last big trip was 2015.  I was able to replace the Nocold with a Samsung in 2019 so that was already dune but  I wanted to make sure it was ready to travel so I've

  1. Done a complete service including a visual inspection of all welds.
  2. Did a brake leak down test and brake test.
  3. During the period the coach was parked while building the house we had bouts of mice so I leaned out all the basement compartments and all the cabinets in the RV.  All base cabinet has signs of mice so it took me several days. 
  4. Checked all electrical connections, service panel, transfer switch, and surge protector.  Also batteries and connections in the front drives side run bay and rear passenger side run bays.
  5. My original power cord was showing signs of age so I purchase a new one, I carry a 30 amp cord also and replace one end as it was broken.
  6. Clean and painted the roof.
  7. Did a FASS install using info from Monacoer's and IRV2 forum as guidance (great help).  This took some time as I ordered parts and did the install.  Part of this involved installed a pressure gauge, in order to run the wires I had to drop the center ceiling panel where guess what I found a large mouse nest.
  8. Tested all the systems, found the propane detector was probably installed wrong from the factory.
  9. Water heater would not work on propane, when through it and got it working.
  10. Just went and had 6 new tires installed yesterday (BTW, had a hard time finding tires and the ones I got had date code of 3320, shop owner said best he could do, buy them, don't buy them, he didn't care he said he knew he could sell them)
  11. Driving to get tire my VMSpc would not work so yesterday afternoon getting my VMSpc working, had to uninstall the program and reinstall and had to manually install the drivers to get it working right.  I also loaded the software on my other laptop as a back up.

So I spent ~+$6K getting the rig ready to travel .   Can you imagine what it would have cost to have someone else do all what I did. 

Have a short shakedown trip scheduled next week .  Will come back and restock the pantry and fridge, cloths, linens etc and head out after memorial day.  Heading north with no specific plans, will catch up with family and friends.

Wish me luck

 

 

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18 hours ago, cbr046 said:

WOW, are you inside my brain?  We just bought a 38ft 03 HR Endeavor in Feb coming from a 32 ft gasser.  1st diesel.  I'll be 68 in 4 months.  Wife still works and really doesn't do the RV thing (although she promised she would).  I'm gone about every other weekend (motorcycle racing), so the RV is a tool to do what I want to do. 

Like you, it's a MUCH quieter drive, road bumps don't feel like RxR tracks, you can actually put stuff in the storage bays.  OTOH the generator is noisier than expected but the furnace and AC units are quieter than the gasser.  I just bought a HF Predator 3500 genny (goes in the trailer) so we'll see how that goes this weekend.  Tomorrow, actually.

We (DW & I) tried the camping thing.  Pretty boring.  What do RV'ers do to stay engaged while parked?  We walked the dogs a lot!  Good thing they had internet (and a view of the Southern sky!).  She doesn't want to spend the money for a baseplate! 

But yeah, it's more work and worry than I imagined.  My last trip I started losing boost (and power).  Was afraid I wouldn't make it home.  Now that I know how to change a fuel filter I can tackle that on the road.  And the stupid Nevercold.  It's useless on propane (stays lit constantly).  If money were no object I'd already have an Amish or JD Ref replacement.  Too much off the grid for a house fridge.  PO put TPMS sensors on each wheel and somehow the sensors put the valve cores down into the stem.  One sensor kept reading low so manually checking air meant a quick rush to back the core out and back in, sealing the air inside (after losing 10 psi), then running the engine to use the coach air to refill.  The back valve stems are impossible to get to.  I have to hug the outer tire (sketchy!) so I can put a chuck on the stem from between the tires.  . . . . I'm starting to rant, like you. 

My biggest gripe about cars are the ones that don't know how to get ON the interstate.  They poke along the on ramp until they get onto the interstate, THEN they accelerate!  I'd move over if I could, but not always possible. 

I kinda miss the old gasser.  It was getting high mileage (150k) but felt if I went much higher it would be real hard to sell.  I was wrong - it was hard to sell anyway, even with this crazy seller's market. 

Look into the TSD card.  I save ~$30/fillup.  Petro and TA Truck Stops are roughly 60c off posted price. 

One nice thing - I drove all the way from SC to VA and back home to GA on one tank of fuel, right in the middle of the fuel shortage crisis.  Sweet. 

But I'm not a quitter!  Hang in there.

Best,

- bob

Bob,

Get a set of these to check and fill your tires.  They really help.

https://www.amazon.com/Milton-S986-Service-Gauge-Straight/dp/B000COMXI6/ref=zg_bs_15706661_5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=BQZV2NECGPC3ERPRMVYM

https://www.amazon.com/Milton-S-693-12-Extended-Reach-Chuck/dp/B004QI1WEA/ref=zg_bs_15706661_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=BQZV2NECGPC3ERPRMVYM

 

 

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Some of you young folks are giving up to soon -- Life don`t stop at 65 -- I`m 84 & my wife`s 87 -- We purchased our first motorhome (18ft mini) in 1980 -- We`ve owned 8 coaches over the years & now have a 07,42' Camelot that we purchased new -- It now has 100,000 miles -- All the coaches have been money pits -- Makes no different what make or age of the coach you own, It`s gonna cost you -- We sure don`t travel as much as in the past & will probably sell the Camelot after we  attend the FMCA rally in Gillette WY -- But we`ve enjoyed the ride, & don`t miss all the money it cost to keep the RV`s going --   Bill Willard

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41 minutes ago, dl_racing427 said:

I don't remember why (maybe wheel spoke hole is too small), but a back ended chuck doesn't work.

Something like this, though . . . . with the clip-on chuck but needs a longer hose.  Several Amazon drivers & I are on first name basis.  Need to slow down!

https://www.amazon.com/AZUNO-Flashlight-Compressor-Accessories-Extension/dp/B07MBY35K6/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=air+gauge+chuck&qid=1621690773&s=automotive&sr=1-4

71X7aMy6pnL._SL1200_.jpg

Thanks for the suggestion. 

Best,

- bob

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Bill, my role model is a  couple that bought a new 45’ Beaver, drove across country in 3 days to a Beaver Rally (back in the day). She was limping from a broken leg snow skiing... both were 84. We’ll be at the Gillette pre rally too.

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Thank you everyone, i know there are times people start looking down rather than up, guess i been seeing more of my shoes than the sky! I see thru your replies and i hear you, it feels good to open your head to folks an get some honest feedback. When im in my coach it feels like my own apartment that i can take almost anywhere, an when i have done that it feels great. I will try to re-focus an find my happy thought once again, thank you for sharring. Rik Whitfield

p.s. as for the electronic tire pressure gauge, they are awsome in getting correct pressures, i have owned one for years as a proffesional mechanic, i just found simple is better, an when i bought my Vaiair it came with a great gauge however i had a rubber hose made with the double foot valve on it that chucked into the gauge handle, i can tell you there is no 1 foot valve that  works for all tires an like some i have had to put my hand between tires to air the inner dual “sketchy” then i finally bought extension hoses for my rig an attaced them to the center cap..... MUCH BETTER!!!

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25 minutes ago, Ivylog said:

Bill, my role model is a  couple that bought a new 45’ Beaver, drove across country in 3 days to a Beaver Rally (back in the day). She was limping from a broken leg snow skiing... both were 84. We’ll be at the Gillette pre rally too.

My wife has serious knee problems, so we are renting a golf cart at the rally -- We`ll be in the high rent district -- 50amp with full hook-ups -- Drop by for a visit -- Bill Willard

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Wow,  this may be the best thread ever.  Rickadoo has so precisely given us a peep into his life,  and that's not easy,  hence the saying a picture is worth a thousand words.   The other stories give us a glimpse as well showing the human family struggles we all have.   We feel we know them a little more now and that's good.

William Willard,  I have enjoyed your posts here and on other forums and had no idea you were 84, congratulations,  I'm right behind you at 80 yrs young.   Our friends have all aged out one way or another and no longer RV but we still go although not to the extent as before.  Life gets in the way, kids, grandkids,  and now great grandkids.  How can that be, I don't see us as that old.  So many birthdays and graduations I'm going broke LOL

I have said for a long time that life is all about decisions especially those made in haste or not thought through.  Decisions can haunt one for the rest of their life.    I have washed my hands of bad decisions and walked away,  sometimes taking a beating for the sake of family relations etc.  I realized long ago that making myself happy was best done by making the wife happy.   2 happy people, that's the way life should be,  right?

RVing can be as expensive as you want to make it, but unfortunately you cannot make it as cheap as one might want it to be.   To be able to retire and RV is truly a blessing that most will never enjoy.   As great as we think RVing is, many people just don't see it, it's not for them, and that's ok.    I have people occasionally ask  me how are you saving any money,  DUH, it's not about saving money.  We could pay for many motels/hotels and flights for the price of the coach alone.      Inflation may put a stop to a lot of these things though unless they stop the craziness in DC

Ivylog ( Dick )  50 states and 80 countries.   That is impressive, I must say you haven't been sitting around, well I guess driving is sitting isn't it.

Everyone has a life story, some are fascinating, many like mine are boring by comparison.  Still I'm amazed when I look back how 2 kids started out with nothing and still have most of it,  just kidding.   We had dreams but I don't honestly know much we believed,  mostly we just kept up the struggle, lived with in our means  and it all began to come together.   It helped that we had friends ahead of us making mistakes so we could try to avoid those same mistakes.  I have never told them about it though, and probably shouldn't. 

Life is good, enjoy it while you can.

Edited by Ray Davis
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What a great thread. Thank you Rik for sharing and opening this door. Hopefully you’ve gotten some encouragement here. Wish we were all sitting around a campfire discussing this, because I’d really enjoy putting faces with all the names.  Maybe we can do that next Feb. at the Gathering?
 

I will say this thread makes me feel like I’m just getting started on my second career and RVing at 60, and I’m blessed to have a wife that loves to RV as much or more than I do. We both still work, but she only works part time at a church, and I’m lucky to have a job that can be done from anywhere. If I could just talk her into selling the house 😂

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Gentelmen, i am truly touched with such words of grace an compasion and Men sharing there kind words, without getting all ... gentel on everybody, yearssssss ago i belonged to a group that is was just people sharing there inner most responces to questions. It was genuine an very healing, i have felt sence retiring i need work to keep my hands busy an my mind active, however i have struggled with what that work would look like. I believe i need to relook at that list i have made for myself an act on it. Thank you again,

Rik Whitfield

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1 hour ago, Scotty Hutto said:

 

I will say this thread makes me feel like I’m just getting started on my second career and RVing at 60,

60,  I've got kids that old. 😲  Not really but very close. :classic_rolleyes:   The clock never stops, you gotta do it or forget it, all to soon you won't be able to 👨🏻‍🦯

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2 hours ago, Ray Davis said:

60,  I've got kids that old. 😲  Not really but very close. :classic_rolleyes:   The clock never stops, you gotta do it or forget it, all to soon you won't be able to 👨🏻‍🦯

We,ve got kids that old, & older -- Bill Willard

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We have a very distinquished member of this group who has attended many Monaco Gatherings. He is a former fighter pilot from the Korean War, a fellow Marine and an amazing person. I have always been honored to call him a very dear friend of mine. I have worked on his coach, helped him troubleshoot issues and we continue to exchange weekly e-mails - mainly about flying.

2 years ago he removed his fuel tank on his diplomat for repair- By himself. I knew better then to scold him as he is in amazing physical condition and also has the Can Do Marine Attitude. Last year he called me and said " Chris, I sold the old Dip ". Thinking he finally was retiring from the road he went on to tell me " I bought myself a Prevost ". I damn near fell over in my tracks. So what is the big deal ? My friend is 92 years old.

I have to also give a huge call out to Bill Williard. He too has been a hero of mine for many years. I will never forget when I made all new fabric replacements for his coach. Window, patio and door awnings along with 4 slide toppers. Bill and his wife did the change out by themselves. I was completely floored. In fact, Bill has came to the rescue of many RV'ers over the years helping them with problems.

Just goes to show you that hidden within our ranks are some amazing people and RV'ers and some with many, many miles on their coaches as well as their bodies. God bless them all. For some people ............. Age is just a number.

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Our story is very much the same.  We didn't buy the coach to save money, that's for sure.  I hate to fly commercial and I'm hoping I never have to fly that way again.  TSA I don't need.  I'll keep my belt and shoes on thank you.  It may take me longer to get there, but I'll get there.  Also, the DW can somehow manage to put half her wardrobe into a suitcase, which I then have to lug around and up stairs at hotels, no more of that.

Money, yeah, it cost a lot of money.  Fortunately we are both retired and I'd rather run out of money before I run out of life.  When working I was around enough refinery or chemical plant explosions to see just how fast your life can end.  My last job prior to retiring I had the misfortune of being around a kid that wasn't paying attention in an operating refinery, 600 degree diesel under pressure.  Long story short, my life could have ended that day in a fiery ball of flames.  That was enough for me.  I would like to go out on my own terms.

So back to the coach.  Our 10kw has less than 2,000 hours and it may need a rebuild, which is way early in my opinion.  A new one may run around $15 large installed.  Will I pay if I have to?  Yeah.  Trust me, my blood pressure soars when I see these labor rates, especially when half these kids don't know what they are working on.  We have finally come to the conclusion that it pays to search out the small shops, the do excellent work for the most part.  We are done with Cummin's, Speedco and the likes.

I'm in the process of putting in a new monitor for the back and side cameras after the shop I took it to said it was just a loose connection, they didn't charge me, but as soon as I left the parking lot the camera quit working.  I get home and take the dash apart, inside I see the mice have been busy.  Now I'm thinking, what kind of person gets in behind the dash to fiddle with the camera monitor connections, and had to see the mice nest and droppings, and just leaves it?  Gee, maybe a vacuum?  I don't get it.

I can live with spending the money on repairs since there is no end in sight.  But the lack of workmanship is what burns me.  Another good one.  I have an air leak, again, on the road.  I get a guy out to fix it.  He shows up with no soap bottle and tells me he has to leave to go get one.  No, I'll let you use mine.  He has a buddy with him and I'm paying these two by the hour.  So I'm watching and helping with getting them tools after they crawl under.  So we air up and there are some bubbles still.  So he wrenches a little tighter and we try again.  Bubbles.  I'm watching the clock thinking this has to stop.  So again we check for bubbles.  I can see some more bubbles, small, but there.  He says he's got it.  I see he doesn't but at this point I agree just to stop the clock and figure I'll just finish the job.  This is the crap that gets to me. 

Would I give it up?  Nah.  Getting ready to roll out again, after a few minor repairs.  LOL.

Woody Miller

09 Dynasty Regal IV

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