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Author Topic: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences  (Read 5947 times)

UK-RV

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Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« on: September 30, 2006, 07:15:58 AM »

Hi Guys

Are we alone here in the HUGE variances in servicing costs for our RV ?

We are now on 21,000 miles, so have had 3 standard services so far, with a fourth coming in 3,000 miles.

Our first 6,000 mile service was completed at Freightliner in Vancouver and was quoted at an estimate of $500cdn - but actually cost $800cdn.

Our 12,000 service (twice as much work as the 6,000) was done nr Calgary and cost $250cdn.

Then, our 18,000 service (same as 6,000) was $550cdn and done by Freightliner in Halifax, NS.

I appreciate that many of you will have service completed at one local facility and maybe only once per year, but how much would you expect to pay for a 6,000 mile service etc ?

Thanks
Paul

Ned

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2006, 07:25:53 AM »
Our annual chassis and engine service runs from $500-$1000 depending on whether it's M1, M2 or M3 level service.  We almost always have it done at Freightliner in Phoenix.  The standard services are flat rated at FL so any variance comes from additional items we either request (such as generator service) or additional parts.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2006, 07:59:48 AM »
Paul,
I'm not surprised that you see wide variances in costs.  There is a big difference in labor rates across the continent, both US and Canada. And prices can be driven down (or sometimes up) by competition (or collusion)  too.

Ned...
You mentioned a flat rate for FL service - I assume the flat rate is set in terms of hours, not dollars.   A shop with a $125/hour shop time rate would therefore still cost more than a shop with a $100/hr rate.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Ned

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2006, 08:09:11 AM »
Each FL shop may have a different hourly rate, thus a different flat rate.  It's a flat rate in that in includes a list of service items for one price, and is not billed by the part and hour.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Jeff

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2006, 09:19:43 AM »
My last three services:

M3 (Valley Freightliner WA including Tranny and Cooling flush)    525.00
M1 (Frieghtliner Gaffney including decassant cartride change)     190.00
M2 (Freightliner Oklahoma City)                                              240.00

I am not sure what Gaffney's labor rate is but the othersw were 92.00 and 95.00


BernieD

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2006, 09:27:56 AM »
Paul

It is somewhat hard to compare to your example. Usually the 1st service on a DP coach is at 5,000 miles +/- to change the filters on the transmission. Every thing else is normally done on an annual basis since we usually don't rack up enough miles to do the service based on miles vs months. So your second service, at about 12,000 miles or 12 months, would be for a lube, oil change, filters and inspection, and your next service a year later. Spartan now recommends a 6 month lubing, I am not sure about FL, but then you wouldn't have any other service until the end of each year. if you are putting on 15,000 miles or more, change that to mileage.

If you were only doing the recommended service, I would expect the tranny service to be $200-300. Annual lube, oil filters and inspection to be in the same ballpark plus any replacements needed by the inspection. As you get to the end of the second year, you start to have additional parts called for replacement, such as air filters, water separators, coolant, etc. These vary by manufacturer.

As Ned and Gary said, hourly rates vary all over the place, I've seen from $60/hour to $125. The other thing is that the service dealer knows what is called for at that service call. I've had Freightliner dealers, working on a Freightliner, give me blatantly wrong information on what is required at that service. Go by the manual and tell the service writer what you want done and when the last time you had that serviced.

Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Ned

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2006, 09:52:57 AM »
I've had Freightliner dealers, working on a Freightliner, give me blatantly wrong information on what is required at that service. Go by the manual and tell the service writer what you want done and when the last time you had that serviced.

That's why we try to have all of our annual service done at the same shop every year.  They have a record of what's been done to the coach in the past.  And I trust the service manager :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

BernieD

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2006, 01:50:08 PM »
That's why we try to have all of our annual service done at the same shop every year.  They have a record of what's been done to the coach in the past.  And I trust the service manager :)

Ned

Unfortunately, the FL dealer that steered me wrong was the Phoenix shop when they were still on Oncanto St. in town. Once they moved out to Tollison, they revamped the shop and service people to become the excellent dealer it is today.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Ned

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2006, 01:59:43 PM »
We never had to deal with the old shop, and have always gone to the Oasis service center.  They really are excellent, but not cheap :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

JohnSandyWhite

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2006, 04:26:16 AM »
 :) To put things into perspective. After our tour we returned to our friend in Longwood, Orlando to ready our Newmar for shipping. We went to a local Mechanic who does all the work on our friends RV's before he sells them on. We had a leak on the passenger side exhaust manifold that had got steadily worse during our journey. The mechanic qouted us $1200. We did it ourselves back in the UK for $20.  ;D
Been there, done that. But I never stop learning

UK-RV

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2006, 07:58:44 PM »

OMG

Ive just had an email back from the Freightliner Service Centre in Las Vegas.

I asked how much an M3 or 24,000 mile service would cost for our RV and sent a .pdf with the pages from the service manual.

They have just replied stating the service would take 18hrs over 3 days and cost $3,000 - YES $3,000

I remember reading the earlier post stating "....M3 (Valley Freightliner WA including Tranny and Cooling flush)    525.00...."

So, how can one Freightliner service centre charge $525 and another $3000 - I know hourly rates can vary, but what are they paying Las Vegas staff - gold nuggets?

Paul

PS where is valley freightliner please ?

Tom

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2006, 08:13:54 PM »
Paul,

It sounds like you need to find out what's involved in each service - what do they do, are parts covered, etc. Otherwise you're trying to compare apples and oranges.

I understand that you sent them a copy of pages from your service manual, but ....

Quote
where is valley freightliner please ?

Google says ..... here.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2006, 08:16:10 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Lowell

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2006, 08:53:43 PM »
What is the going rate for repacking trailer wheel bearings?
Lowell

2005 Cherokee28A TT
pulled by 2009 Dodge 1500 Crew Cab 4X4
KF7YET

Tempe, Arizona

UK-RV

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2006, 09:04:48 PM »
Tom

Ned stated a Freightliner M3 (24,000) mile service to be upto $1,000 in Pheonix.

Jeff stated the same Freightliner M3 service to be $525 in Washington.

I dont think any difference between apples and oranges can amount to a $2000-$2500 difference.

I think that not only are Las Vegas paying staff in Gold, they must also have been planning to use gold-plated parts for my M3 Freightliner service.  ;D

Paul

Anyone know of any reputable Freightliner service centres in Arizona (not too far from LV)?





Ned

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2006, 09:19:29 PM »
I've had a lot of service done at FL Oasis Center in Phoenix.  I wouldn't take a motorhome to any but an Oasis service center.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Jeff

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2006, 09:20:16 PM »
Paul:

I just had an M3 completed at the factory Freightliner Service Center in Gaffney,SC. As a FCOC member I receive a 15% discount on parts and the labor rate is 74.00, and these people get it done in a hurry.!

A full M3 with front bearing flush and refill is $1450.00, without the front bearing flush it is $1050.00.  (I did not have the bearings flushed as FL reccommended checking the grease and if it is clean and clear just checking levels) .

Unless you specified the following items be accomplished Mt Vernon did not:

1. Flush hydraulic system and refill.
2. Replace air dryer catridges.
3. Change rear differential grease.
4, Probably other items that I did not know enough to inquire about.

Most labor rates I have seen in the field are in the $95.00/hr range so the price would be at least $1200-$1300. As has been stated you need a breakdown of what is being done to compare apples to apples.

I was in Gaffney to attend Camp Freightliner, the two day owner's maintenance course. It was the consensus of everyone there including the instructor that the only way to know what you are getting in a M2 or M3 was to take the manual list in and receive a quote for what you want done on an ala carte basis as what each service center does varies. I have been to Las Vegas FL and received excellent service so it may be that they accomplish every item on the list while others do not unless you request it be accomplished.

Carl L

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2006, 09:27:09 PM »
As a general rule, automotive service, among other things, is cheaper in small towns and cities than big cities.   One of the big driving costs is land.  Vancouver BC for instance has some of the highest land values in North America.   Calgary is a city on the plains -- lots of cheap land.  Labor costs are another factor.  Big city shops must compete for competent mechanics and the mechanics demand decent wages to cover their own costs of living.  
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

UK-RV

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2006, 10:08:40 PM »

OK

So what people are saying is that, despite the literature stating exactly what should be performed under an M3 service, you (or Freightliner) may choose not to have it all done.

Does this not invalidate the engine/chassis etc warranties ?

I cant see how you can claim to have maintained the vehicle correctly if you decide not to follow the recommended schedule.

Am I missing something here?

We have now had 2x M1 and 1x M2 and are planning 1x M3 service - all since February 06 and with 24,000 miles travelled.

Would we be safe (warranty wise) to simply tell the FL service centre what has been done to date and leave it for them to decide what is required? (and get quote etc first)

Thanks
Paul



blueblood

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2006, 04:49:10 AM »
Paul:

I just had an M3 completed at the factory Freightliner Service Center in Gaffney,SC. As a FCOC member I receive a 15% discount on parts and the labor rate is 74.00, and these people get it done in a hurry.!

.

The discount is 5 % unless somethong has changed very recently.
Leo

blueblood

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2006, 04:53:15 AM »
Paul

It is somewhat hard to compare to your example. Usually the 1st service on a DP coach is at 5,000 miles +/- to change the filters on the transmission.

FWIW - For new MH's the 5000 mile change has been dropped. They have changed to a new filter that makes it unnecessary.

Also, They are going retroactive to 2004 and extending warranty on all MH series trannys to 5yrs and 200,000 miles from 2 yrs 80,000 miles. (tannys before 2004 had 5 yrs and unlimited miles)
Leo

Jeff

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2006, 09:39:00 PM »
OK

So what people are saying is that, despite the literature stating exactly what should be performed under an M3 service, you (or Freightliner) may choose not to have it all done.

Does this not invalidate the engine/chassis etc warranties ?

I cant see how you can claim to have maintained the vehicle correctly if you decide not to follow the recommended schedule.

Am I missing something here?

We have now had 2x M1 and 1x M2 and are planning 1x M3 service - all since February 06 and with 24,000 miles travelled.

Would we be safe (warranty wise) to simply tell the FL service centre what has been done to date and leave it for them to decide what is required? (and get quote etc first)

Thanks
Paul




Paul:

That is pretty much what you have to do. For instance your chassis is new enough (1/04) that the Allison tranny came with Transynd fluid out of Freightliner while mine came with standard ATF. With Transynd you are required to change fluid every 4 years or 150,000 miles, not 12 months or 25,000 miles that standard ATF requires so you will save 400-500 dollars there alone. The requirement to change the air dryer desiccant cartridges is every 18 months for chassis built before 6/2003 and every 36 months for those after so you will not need them as well. I guess what this shows is that there is no standard price for a M3 inspection without going down the list to check all items.

These intervals are in your Freightliner Owner's manual.


Quote
The discount is 5 % unless somethong has changed very recently.


Leo:

You are right, 5%.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 09:43:01 PM by Jeff Cousins »

UK-RV

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2006, 06:51:31 AM »

aaargh, if only it was that simple.

Our manuals state we should use one fluid yet there is a sticker on the engine compartment stating you MUST use a different one.

So, we arent sure which has been used by which service centre.

All good fun !!

Paul

rtaylor

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2006, 08:43:29 PM »
Blueblood I don't know where you got your info but Allison still wants a 5000 mile filter change the only difference is only the Lube filter is changed not the main. The fluid is not drained just replace whats lost during filter change.

jimnbubba

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2006, 09:10:08 PM »
Paul: seems as though you should stay away from Las Vegas ,the Oasis was no good and now your having problems with Freightliner

blueblood

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2006, 07:03:44 AM »
Blueblood I don't know where you got your info but Allison still wants a 5000 mile filter change the only difference is only the Lube filter is changed not the main. The fluid is not drained just replace whats lost during filter change.

See http://www.allisontransmission.com/servlet/DownloadOnDemand?ApplicationID=155&DownloadID=5 

drill down to Fluid Exchnage
« Last Edit: October 28, 2006, 07:35:26 AM by blueblood »
Leo

UK-RV

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2006, 10:56:59 AM »

jimnbubba

what "problems" are we having with Freightliner ?

i think I asked whether $3,000 was typical for a 24,000 mile service as that was the price quoted by them - and others are having similar work completed elsewhere for much less.

ive not had any work done there, so wouldnt have any problems to complain of would I ?

given that you suggested in the Oasis thread that we "go back to the UK" and now "leave vegas", together with a strange quote about Royalty, Im starting to think you dont like us Brits !!  :-* :-*

Paul

Shayne

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2006, 11:33:44 AM »
Paul   Don't believe it's that way at all.  Sometimes things are read into the conversation by one party thinking of something else while reading are reading it in the wrong text from which it was intended. 
Mind you I'm not making excuses for, nor am I apologizing for such behavior.  That's up to the individual and not me. 
So from the standpoint of sanity amongst us, don't think we as a group or a nation have such feelings.
As a feel society some times we do act strangely as do others in other nations. 
Possibly it was a statement made with Tongue in cheek and with no intention of upsetting anyone.  That's just my take on it.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

jimnbubba

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2006, 02:31:47 PM »
Paul: The problem I have is that you have had 2 post's,both were complaining about something,first that you paid $10 a night at the Oasis,then the disparity in costs for your RV ,some of us in the USA are tired of forigners complaing about our country

Shayne

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2006, 02:44:39 PM »
Minority talking Paul  Pay no heed.  Thanks for spending time and money here in this country.  Personally I've observed many good posts from you and in many ways simpathize with you because you are not familiar with some methods used here in this country.   When You hear statment of that nature, consider the source and continue with what you are doing.  This forum is for all that seek help and that's all you are doing.    Should others not like your posts Why in the hell do they read them?  Thats my take on it.  Hang in there Paul  things have got to get better.  We've all had problems at one time or another.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Mick & Pat

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2006, 03:08:22 PM »
some of us in the USA are tired of forigners complaing about our country

Sorry to point out the obvious but unless you are an American Indian aren't you a foreigner? ;) :)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2006, 05:07:58 AM by Mick »
Regards Mick & Pat Podmore.

UK couple who toured USA / Canada. Oct 2007 - Aug 2009

2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S,Cat C7, Freightliner XC Chassis  2008 Jeep Liberty Ltd 3.7 .

UK-RV

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2006, 03:09:42 PM »
Shayne

Thanks for the support.

Yes, there are a number of things we don't understand both in terms of the RV and the US in general.

As such, I do tend to ask a lot - and query a lot too.

So any help I can get is much appreciated.

To think : I could have paid $3000 for a service, when Freightliner Head Office may now confirm (or not) that a less thorough service is needed for my vehicle, due to it's age rather than mileage. The benefit of the forum is people can offer their help and I certainly very much appreciate it.

My wording may be different to what Americans are used to - my humour definately is - so I would ask members to read my comments with that in mind.

Unfortunately, I also tend to call a spade a spade which can be offensive to some - to those, I would ask (as you suggest) that they simply ignore me - the wife does.  ;D

Paul


rtaylor

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2006, 05:58:33 PM »
Blueblood if you read closely they are referring to the MAIN filter. They still want the LUBE filter changed at 5000 miles. I have verified this with my Allison rep. I do this for a living everyday and hear every opinion that is out there. DO NOT PUT YOUR WARRANTY IN JEOPARDY. Change the lube filter at 5000 miles.

Shayne

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2006, 10:35:05 PM »
Mick  the only fault with your statement that I can find is the fact that I didn't think of it.   Thanks for reminding me.  It's now time for me to rethink the Indian lore that I studied for years while doing  Indian Interpative Dancing.  Many Many Moons ago this occurred.  Again  Great statement'
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

blueblood

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2006, 08:31:31 AM »
Blueblood if you read closely they are referring to the MAIN filter. They still want the LUBE filter changed at 5000 miles. I have verified this with my Allison rep. I do this for a living everyday and hear every opinion that is out there. DO NOT PUT YOUR WARRANTY IN JEOPARDY. Change the lube filter at 5000 miles.

First, I did do my Main at 5000 (Stewart and Stevenson Detroit Allison WY) because I didn't have this information. However, if one looks at the flow charts on pages 6 and 7 before and after applicable SN's you'll see the Lube was not covered in the 5000 mile requirement either before this last change or after; only the Main in pre-changeover SN and and then niether in the post SN change. Both cases are for 100% Transynd. 
« Last Edit: October 31, 2006, 09:12:00 AM by blueblood »
Leo

Graeme

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Re: Servicing Costs - HUGE differences
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2006, 02:05:47 PM »
Paul, our Diplomat is 15 months old. we had the Allison filter change around 5k miles by Allison in Vancouver for C$238.99.
The Cummins 400ISL first service was at 20k, including all filters & chassis lube. The Onan was also serviced . Total cost @ Cummins Louisville = $642.12.
The Roadmaster chassis also needs a lube around every 5k miles which I usually do myself.

 

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