Shop labor rates

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Jayflight

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Posts
97
Over the course of the last few years and as I age out of doing my own work, I have been amazed at the labor rates for rvs and for dealer performed work. Luckily I had an independent guy do some stuff, and found that he was more than a professional doing an hours of work when charging for an hour. I was more than willing to pay him a 100 bucks an hour versus my last experience at an rv outlet of 140 bucks. I also experienced an independent in Memphis charging 150 an hour. I am curious about what many here are seeing if you take your vehicles and campers-motorhomes into a shop for work.
 

Ex-Calif

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Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
1,045
I don't know what normal is but $100 an hour seems pretty high. $50 - $75 would be what I am shopping for.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
99
Location
Bad Water Texas
RV dealer shop labor rates have always been high and now are off the charts. $100 is low these days, and $125-$150 or more is common.
Gary,

Thank goodness you and the other "Old Pros" share your knowledge Freely ($0.00), out of the love for the,
"RVn, Drain your Pocket book game".

You guys could make a fortune charging for the knowledge you freely share on these boards.

A tip of the hat to you, Sir!

Appreciate you all!

JD
 

Old_Crow

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Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
2,151
Location
Arizona
Avoid RV dealers for chassis work find good commercial vehicle shops. In NY my shop is less than $100 per hour and in Arizona $85.00 per hour. Both do excellent work. For the house part find a good mobile RV repair guy
When my coach blew the first spark plug, I was towed me to a Ford dealership. They charged me almost $800 to install the insert and replace the coil and plug.
When I had the second one come out, I found an independent shop who put aside work to fit me in(as opposed to leaving me parked in a dirt lot for 4 days first), did the job quickly and efficiently, and only changed me $250.
Told him I'd be back in November for him to do the rest of them.
 

Old_Crow

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Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
2,151
Location
Arizona
It's often hard to convince RV owners that they don't have to go to an RV dealer shop for everything on their RV. Especially for chassis repairs on a motorized RV.
Having worked at GM dealerships most of my career, I'm aware of the difference in the level of training between dealership techs and Joe's Garage techs. I requested the tow to the Ford dealer because I knew it was an engine problem.
The second time, the Ford dealer in Las Cruces totally blew me off("we don't work on motor homes, and if we did, it'd be next month before we could get to you.")so I had to look for alternate solutions. Most of the truck shops in town were full up for about a week, but one guy recommended the place where I ended up. I drove away from there happy.
 

SeilerBird

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Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
15,362
I don't mind $100 an hour for labor. What ticks me off is the fact that the mechanic still only gets $10 to $20 per hour and the rest goes to the shop. I therefore use mobile mechanics. They still charge $100 an hour but at least the worker gets the money.
 

Old_Crow

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Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
2,151
Location
Arizona
I don't mind $100 an hour for labor. What ticks me off is the fact that the mechanic still only gets $10 to $20 per hour and the rest goes to the shop. I therefore use mobile mechanics. They still charge $100 an hour but at least the worker gets the money.
What most people don't take into consideration is that a shop owner has to pay rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, permits, shop provided special tools, non-essential labor wages(parts guy, receptionist, service writer, detail guy, etc.), uniforms, and shop supplies.
18 years ago, when I quit the dealership in Arkansas, I was getting $20/hr.

Mobile guys still have to take a portion of that $100/hr to pay for truck, maintenance, business license fees, gas, accountant, etc. Independents are less likely to have special tools that are required for a proper repair in some instances. Also, for a lot of jobs, scheduling may be weather dependent.
The only advantage(and remember, I had my own shop for about 8 years)is not having to work for someone else.
Nothing against mobile guys, and for most coach related jobs I don't want to tackle myself I'll use them. Engine and chassis repairs, not so much.

Most dealerships are set up so the shop(hopefully)pays the fixed expenses. The profits come from the liars, uh, salespeople in the front of the building.
 

TonyL

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Posts
276
Location
UK
As a retired HVAC engineer and having ran my own company for 4 years before retiring here in the UK, the labor rates in the US always horrifies me. I ran a fully equipped van with all the equipment necessary to install, repair and service all types of air conditioning, chillers, oil and gas fired combustion appliances, both domestic and commercial and charged £40 ($56) an hour.
No wonder that I never needed to advertise for work👍
TonyL
 
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