All of the pictures in this post are from a trip I made to Bangladesh last century. Can't tell you much about them in this century, except that Bangladesh was more than a world away from where we lived in California at the time!Last time I mentioned that we had received an insult from an RV service facility, and we felt, well, insulted.
Our Rosie, our motorhome, has lived outdoors all her ten years, most recently in a storage lot in southeast Arizona, where the sun shines strong and hard. As a result, we want to get Rosie all prettied up: strip off the old decals, put on some pretty new paint and a couple of conservative swirls -- nothing fancy, mind you, not at all like some of the monsters we see every day. Just a swipe or a swoosh in a calm color.
Good friend Nick Russell, of the Gypsy Journal, strongly recommends a place in Elkhart, Indiana, but recognizes that it would cost us a bunch of time and a bundle of dollars to get there, then we'd have to stay in a motel for a few weeks -- yeccchh! So as a second alternative, perhaps slightly higher priced, but certainly closer, he suggested we look up RV Renovators in Mesa, AZ, right next door to Phoenix, who had done some good cabinetry work for him. If we took Rosie there, we could come right back to Benson and live at home for the time it would take for the makeover.
We looked up RV Renovators on the Internet over the weekend, looked pretty darn good on their website. They even had a link where you could ask for an on-line quick estimate. They'd get back to us in a couple of business days. So we typed in that we wanted to get our 2001 36' Itasca Suncruiser updated: strip off the faded and cracked decals, new paint and a conservative stripe or two.
Days went by with no response, so we got the phone number and called the place. I asked about what I wanted, saying that the decoration we wanted would be a casual little foof, not a spectacular bunch of creative stuff. I was told that a good makeover for a class A motorhome would usually run about $8000 to $10000. Had the man stopped there, I wouldn't have batted an eye. But no, he had to say more.
"Most of our work," he pointed out, "is with the high end vehicles.I can't pull men off of work llke that to take care of your little foof job." Was he content to stop there? Hell no!
He went on to say that with "low level" jobs like ours (and here he was ASSUMING one helluva lot!) he would recommend we go to Maaco. Maaco!
Maaco advertises bargain car painting! They'd slap a coat of enamel on our motorhome, and we'd be scraping our windows for months! (Of course, I am exaggerating just a little bit, but years ago we had Maaco paint one of our cars, and they didn't even paint the edges of the doors!)Now tell me -- do we have a right to feel insulted?
Do you think we'll even drive anywhere near RV Renovators?
Will we be cutting off our noses to spite our faces if we don't give them a chance to redeem themselves? We know that if we decide to go to Indiana next summer to the place that Nick recommends, we'll be well satisfied with the job that is done. But think about the costs. It's 1820 miles from Benson to Elkhart, that's 3640 miles round trip, that's 520 gallons of gas at $4 a gallon, that's $2080 just for gasoline. Oh yes, we drive maybe 180 miles a day, and spend a day of two sitting after a driving day. That's 20 driving days, 30 sitting days, three weeks in a cheap motel once we get there, and three meals a day in restaurants for those three weeks.
So we turn to you, dear blogging friends. What do we do? I've bought a heat gun, and I've already started peeling off the damaged decals. But once I've done that, then what? We'll have a two-toned white and bronze motorhome, but the white will be several shades all by itself. Do we ignore that and just stay away from the "high end" parks that don't like 10+ year old RVs? We pretty much do that already. Let's hear from our readers -- the door is open, and we'll entertain any suggestions.