Servicing Costs - HUGE differences

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UK-RV

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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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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.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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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.
 

Ned

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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.
 

Jeff

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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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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.

 

Ned

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BernieD said:
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 :)
 

BernieD

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Ned said:
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.
 

Ned

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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 :)
 

JohnSandyWhite

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:) 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
 

UK-RV

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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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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 ....

where is valley freightliner please ?

Google says ..... here.
 

UK-RV

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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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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.
 

Jeff

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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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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. ?
 

UK-RV

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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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Jeff Cousins said:
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.
 

blueblood

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BernieD said:
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)
 
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