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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > Nearly impossible to get Class C Chassis serviced?

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Iautox

Colorado

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Posted: 05/19/22 03:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

New to forum, but not RVing. Have owned popup, hybrids, travel trailers, and pickup campers. Have been without an RV for 8 years, but been delivering new Class C rental units from the factory to various rental locations for 8 years to get our RV fix. Decided to buy a class C so we could do short trips, pull a trailer with a motorcycle in it, and go when delivery season was over. So I found a 2001 Four Winds 28 foot Class C on a 2000 Chev Express G 3500 chassis. A legit 41K miles and in good shape with new tires. Super dusty inside and faded on the outside, but everything worked except for the furnace blower motor. Rides nicer and is quieter than the new Fords we have been delivering.

I'm mechanical to some extent and do all the simple maintainence on my vehicles, oil changes, other fluids, sparkplugs, brakes, etc.

However after the first time out a fuel line has started to leak and it appears to be coming from where the lines disappear under the tank cover and head to the in tank fuel pump. The tank butts up against a frame cross member so I think it needs to be dropped to see what is going on. Only leaks when pressurized. At any rate something I'd not like to do on a crush asphalt driveway or really at all.

Called dozens of auto shops and no one will do a Class C because they can't fit it in or lift it. Many shops referred me to a large GMC light, medium and heavy duty dealership that does service RVs. Unforturnately they won't work on RVs older than 15 years. All local RV dealers I called will only work on the house side. Finally found two shops about 45 minutes away in opposite directions that will work on Class Cs. Unfortunately the first appointments are June 16th, and July 11th. Doesn't do me much good for a trip next week. I'm in the Denver, Colorado metro area.

My questions is: Is my experience common? What happens if I break down several states away and I can't do the repairs?

I bought it at a good price and once this gas line issue if fixed it will be good to go. If serving is this hard to find then I just want to admit to myself I made a mistake and sell it this summer before something else breaks.

I'd consider a TT again except I wanted to pull a trailer for my motorcycle and can't do that with a TT unless I get a toyhauler, but then I need something bigger to haul that and with the lack of new trucks/SUVs and run up in used prices it is crazy to buy something now. So back to flying places or taking the motorcycle all the way. Still can get in a rental delivery or two though.

rlw999

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Posted: 05/19/22 03:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I found a small independent shop that was willing to put it on ramps in their parking area to do the work. But it was pretty minor work, they didn't have to drop the tank.

"Unfortunately they won't work on RVs older than 15 years"

I can understand why they do that -- it's hard to say what they're going to find when they start working, they may tell you that it's going to be $300 to drop the tank and fix the line, then they find out that the tank straps are rusted, so they have to cut them off and replace them, that's another $300, then they find the leak in the fitting that goes into the tank, but it's rusted in place too, and they risk ruining the tank, which would be another $500 to replace (assuming they can even find one).

So now your $300 repair is over $1000, and they have to tow your RV out of their garage while they wait for parts. Someone with a 20+ year old RV may not want to pay that much, meanwhile they've left their bay occupied for a day while they work on it, which means a commercial truck (who *will* pay for a $1000 repair to get his truck back on the road) is waiting

Lwiddis

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Posted: 05/19/22 03:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welcome! Your issue has been discussed before and there isn’t a good answer IMO other than keep calling independent shops and…er…begging.


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Son of Norway

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Posted: 05/19/22 05:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Try Best Auto and Motorhome. 303-422-7304. Talk to Jack. We had a decent experience there about 4 years ago. Yes, it is very hard to find a good shop for older RV's. Expect problems at any shop you find and try to plan ahead. I wind up doing a lot of mechanical work myself. After having to drop my gas tank 4 times I replaced all the fuel lines and went with an external fuel pump. One of the better decisions that I have made.

* This post was edited 05/19/22 05:41pm by Son of Norway *


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garym114

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Posted: 05/19/22 05:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most gas motorhomes and class c have the same gas tank and hose arrangement, hoses usually feed the generator. Had my tank dropped and the fuel pump replaced about two years ago on my F53 Ford chassis motorhome. It was done by a local diesel truck shop. They did not put it on a lift. They used roll around floor jacks to get up to drop the tank.
First place I called.


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wildtoad

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Posted: 05/19/22 05:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Try getting a Ford dealer to work on a Class A or C. Many if not most will not accept them, many will do simple tasks that don’t require a lift. Mine was a current year model. I called Ford and every dealer they suggested would not work on it. I take mine to a truck service center.

Had a VW based Winnebago Rialta and could not get local VW dealerships to service it. Had to find a independent service company. I once asked my local Camping World what they told their customers to do about service. They recommended a small independent shop 20 miles away. Went there and quickly turned around.


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Dutch_12078

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Posted: 05/19/22 05:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've had good luck using independent truck shops for our Class A's and C's over the years.


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Bobbo

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Posted: 05/19/22 08:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I had a MH with a Ford chassis, I took it to the Ford dealer in town who worked on ambulances.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 05/19/22 10:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been seeing this more and more. My longtime shop made the decision not to work on motorhomes anymore about 2 years ago. They only had one lift that could handle them. They said it was insurance reasons.

You can try a mobile mechanic for a lot of stuff. But for a fuel leak, I would try the above suggestions.

And yes, many places who WILL work on a motorhome, won't work on an older one. My '75 is heck trying to find someone willing to work on it.


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Iautox

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Posted: 05/20/22 01:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks all for the quick replies. Son of Norway, I have sent an email (the recommendation on their website for quicker response and also it was after hours by the time I saw your recommendation) to Best Auto and Motorhome. Also called a friend of a friend who rents out used Class C motorhomes for some advice. He says it is easy to drop the gas tank which he has done several times without lifting the unit. If Best Auto and Motorhome has a long lead time I guess I have no alternative, but to give it a try. Unfortunately it was 89 degrees in Denver today and I was sweating riding my motorcycle. Tomorrow and Saturday winter returns with temps in the 30's and snow, sigh. Hope fully there is enough space in the new barn at my spouse's brother's place to at least do this semi indoors on level concrete rather than a crush asphalt driveway in the open where I did all the fluid changes. Still pondering if I really want to go cross country routinely with few repair facilities booked out long into the future. Especially since wildtoad says he can't even get a current year Ford Class C serviced at a dealer. That is really disapointing. Having a local truck center or independant shop you can go to is great, but it still leave the problem of something going wrong far from home with no where to turn. Doesn't provide much piece of mind. Fortunately the spouse if a flight attendant for a regional airline with multiple major airline that we can fly standby for free. May have to resume paying through the nose for hotel rooms and renting cars. That is problematic too since rental cars are in short supply and unavailable some of the places and times we want to go. When available they are very expensive even with a very good air crew discount. So much so that we took an hour and a half Uber ride for $205 rather than a one way car rental. Never thought there would be any circumstance where a $205 for an Uber would be acceptable let alone welcome under the time constraints and alternative costs we were looking at. Crazy **** post covid world!

(Mod Note: Off-topic political rant deleted.)

Hope I get my gas line fixed, lol. At least that is how I think this all started. Think the motorhome is old enough not to have a catalytic converter so I'm good there. However there could be someone living in it when I wake up tomorrow. Hope I can evict them......

* This post was edited 05/23/22 11:26am by an administrator/moderator *

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