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 > Bringing Trailer in for Service - Need Advice

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InTheRockies

Colorado

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Posted: 03/21/21 05:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all. I've got a few issues with my travel trailer and will be bringing it in for service this week. Was 2 days into my 6 week trip when I discovered two leaks. Also have mice & chipmunks getting into the trailer, and need to address that issue.

Before dropping off the trailer, I wanted to get some input on the issues I'm having the dealer address in an effort to provide them more direction and try to limit the damage to my wallet.

1. Replace the water valve on the toilet - I watched some YouTube videos on this and it seems it should only take 15-20 minutes. Most places seem to want to charge for an hour of labor and $50-$70 for the valve. I'm pretty sure I could do it myself, but it will take longer for me to get the part, and I'm in a hurry to get this stuff done and resume my trip.

2. Identify shower leak and repair. When I pressurized the water system I got quite a bit of water spraying between the tub and the shower surround. Because the water leak is that high up (and I didn't see any evidence of water below the tub where the drain line is), I would think the issue is the tub faucet. I removed the tub faucet and didn't see any evident cracks in the fixture, and the supply lines looked ok from what I could see. Anything else I can do to troubleshoot to save time at the repair shop?

3. Remove portion (8' x 3') of underbelly on rear of trailer, replace insulation soiled by rodents, remove any remnants of rodent activity, and replace underbelly material (it's not coroplast but the thinner, more flexible plastic/vinyl). Any idea how long this might take? I had an estimate from one dealer of 6 hours to do the whole length (17' box; 24' tongue to bumper). So for only about 3 feet of length (and 8' width), any guess on how long this should take?

Thanks in advance.


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Lwiddis

Owens River Road area, north of Mammoth

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Posted: 03/21/21 06:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Remember that repair facilities have minimums for labor. If it is truly a 15 to 20 minute repair, you’ll be charged for an hour. The markup on parts is at least 100%. My Chevy dealer is no different. Nor was I in my working days...either make a fair to me profit, or don’t take the case, repair, order etc. No one is interested in very small potatoes.


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Edd505

Elephant Butte, NM

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Posted: 03/21/21 07:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I personally refuse to pay anyone for something I can do. Buy the parts on line & save. Do what your doing, YouTube's your friend, watch a couple on the subject.

The shower may need a simple re caulking. I admit my wifes better at this than I am, she does cake decorations and says it the same. I can do it but not as smooth a bead as she does.

The chloroplast under is the easiest on you list. Make the opening U cut with the opening to the rear. Get a roll of aluminum tape to close it back up. Tape sticks to almost anything and its water proof, wipe the dirt away from where the tape will go.

You will save many dollars and you can do all these in a day. The dealer will take weeks, and add, taxes, shop supplies, disposal fees etc not in the "estimate". $75 shop rates cheap these days Camping Worlds up to $120 - $130 an hour.


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parcany

Arizona City

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Posted: 03/21/21 08:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dealer works off of Book Time just like car dealers do. If it says 1 hour to replace the kitchen sink and the tech does it in 20 minutes, you will get charged for 1 hour. the tech will get paid for 1 hour. If the tech is good he can get stuff fixed in less time than the book time and make a whole lot of money. Now if the job isn't done right the tech was a fault he fixes it for free. Now some stuff I will fix yet some stuff I will not even tackle. Had a problem with heater, had a repair guy come over and I watched him and what he did. Now if I have a problem I will work on it myself.

Nv Guy

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Posted: 03/21/21 09:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1. Replace the water valve on the toilet - I watched some YouTube videos on this and it seems it should only take 15-20 minutes. Most places seem to want to charge for an hour of labor and $50-$70 for the valve. I'm pretty sure I could do it myself, but it will take longer for me to get the part, and I'm in a hurry to get this stuff done and resume my trip.
As been said most shop have a 1 hour minimum. Also, what is shown on You Tube is not always based on reality. Yes, dealers mark up parts, as does every other retailer.

2. Identify shower leak and repair. When I pressurized the water system I got quite a bit of water spraying between the tub and the shower surround. Because the water leak is that high up (and I didn't see any evidence of water below the tub where the drain line is), I would think the issue is the tub faucet. I removed the tub faucet and didn't see any evident cracks in the fixture, and the supply lines looked ok from what I could see. Anything else I can do to troubleshoot to save time at the repair shop?
If you can, remove the valve and cap the lines then pressurize the system. in addition to eliminating the valve as the source, you can look down thru the holes where the valve was to see if you can see the location of the leak- if it’s still there.

3. Remove portion (8' x 3') of underbelly on rear of trailer, replace insulation soiled by rodents, remove any remnants of rodent activity, and replace underbelly material (it's not coroplast but the thinner, more flexible plastic/vinyl). Any idea how long this might take? I had an estimate from one dealer of 6 hours to do the whole length (17' box; 24' tongue to bumper). So for only about 3 feet of length (and 8' width), any guess on how long this should take?
How do you know the rodents were in only that area? This may turn into one of those ‘chasing the problem” repairs & you may end up having all the insulation replaced.

schlep1967

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Posted: 03/22/21 07:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

InTheRockies wrote:



1. Replace the water valve on the toilet - I watched some YouTube videos on this and it seems it should only take 15-20 minutes. Most places seem to want to charge for an hour of labor and $50-$70 for the valve. I'm pretty sure I could do it myself, but it will take longer for me to get the part, and I'm in a hurry to get this stuff done and resume my trip.
If your repair shop can get the part in one day, you should be able to buy that part from them in one day. Replace it yourself.

2. Identify shower leak and repair. When I pressurized the water system I got quite a bit of water spraying between the tub and the shower surround. Because the water leak is that high up (and I didn't see any evidence of water below the tub where the drain line is), I would think the issue is the tub faucet. I removed the tub faucet and didn't see any evident cracks in the fixture, and the supply lines looked ok from what I could see. Anything else I can do to troubleshoot to save time at the repair shop?
If you have the faucet loose so you can see what is going on, have someone turn on the pump and watch where the water is coming from. Just make sure you tell the pump controller to be ready to turn it off when you tell them. A small hairline crack from freezing will open up under pressure and spray water.

3. Remove portion (8' x 3') of underbelly on rear of trailer, replace insulation soiled by rodents, remove any remnants of rodent activity, and replace underbelly material (it's not coroplast but the thinner, more flexible plastic/vinyl). Any idea how long this might take? I had an estimate from one dealer of 6 hours to do the whole length (17' box; 24' tongue to bumper). So for only about 3 feet of length (and 8' width), any guess on how long this should take?
If rodents are in the back 3 feet, they are most likely in all of it. The only way to know is to pull it down and look. No sense in only doing it half-way.

Thanks in advance.



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InTheRockies

Colorado

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Posted: 03/22/21 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all of the replies. I’ll give the toilet valve a go myself. Will further investigate the shower leak to see if I can pinpoint the issue. I hear you all on the underbelly and insulation and agree that just inspecting the entire undercarriage is the most prudent route rather than having to come back and do it later. Thanks for the input and advice.

ReneeG

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Posted: 03/22/21 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have to add to the rodent issue which was not entirely addressed. How are they getting in? When our unit was brand new, the first trip out to Yellowstone revealed chipmunks, yes chipmunks were getting in our basement and up to our fresh intake under our fridge and chattering away at our dog! Drove her crazy. After that trip, we got under and filled in every space around pipes, etc, with expanding foam and in the basement jammed steel wool in gaps between the basement compartments and covered the heating vents to the basement with fine wire screen and also took off the fresh air intake cover and covered the back of it with the same fine mesh wire. Never have had a problem with rodents of any kind since and we regularly inspect. Oh, and just a note of how they can destroy things if left alone, when we had some repair work done, years later, the techs found a stash of dried mushrooms in the wiring harness. There were enough mushrooms to fill a plastic grocery shopping bag!


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InTheRockies

Colorado

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Posted: 03/22/21 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ReneeG: thanks for that info. I'm sure there are multiple entry points, but the easiest one for them at the moment appears to be several holes/gaps in the underbelly material where they crawl up into the insulation, and from there get into the area underneath the bathtub. I found a huge stash of nuts and seeds in the area under my bathtub. Vacuumed it out as best I can, but they can still gain entry. I will definitely have all the penetrations checked and sealed with spray-foam/steel wool/wire mesh.

Anyone have experience with mice getting in via hot water heater? Not the tank itself, but where the water lines come in?

ReneeG

Meridian, Idaho

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Posted: 03/22/21 11:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

InTheRockies wrote:

ReneeG: thanks for that info. I'm sure there are multiple entry points, but the easiest one for them at the moment appears to be several holes/gaps in the underbelly material where they crawl up into the insulation, and from there get into the area underneath the bathtub. I found a huge stash of nuts and seeds in the area under my bathtub. Vacuumed it out as best I can, but they can still gain entry. I will definitely have all the penetrations checked and sealed with spray-foam/steel wool/wire mesh.

Anyone have experience with mice getting in via hot water heater? Not the tank itself, but where the water lines come in?



No. We didn't find that.

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