Thursday, March 31, 2011

Was it an insult, or what was it?

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.


  1. Wow, that was very insulting! I guess I would bite off my nose to spite my face. We had some wonderful paint work done in Red Bay, Alabama - but that would also be a long drive for you. Maybe some of your many blog readers will know of a place closer to your home.

  2. Hell would freeze over before I would give my business to someone who insulted me that badly. I'd plan to enjoy the trip to Indiana - once you get across the Mississippi River you will be in God's country anyway, and there are a lot of beautiful things to see outside the southwest.

    By the way, I would write to the President of RV Renovators (hopefully you weren't speaking to him) and include your blog today. Don't just link to it - cut and paste so it won't take anyone away from high-end jobs too long to read it. I think I'd also send a copy to the Chamber of Commerce for the city/town they are in.

  3. WOW, I'd be insulted for sure! If that's their attitude -- and I can just see their noses up in the air -- it would be very difficult for me to give them a chance on my MH. I'd do more research and see what else I could find in the Phoenix large as the Phoenix area is, surely they are not the only game in town.

  4. At the end of 2008, we had our 2002 MH cleaned, polished, re-striped (with decals), washed and hand waxed by RV Stripes in San Bernardino, CA - still a distance from you, but not as far as Indiana. We couldn't believe what a great job they did - our oxidized MH looked brand new. If you think driving to San Bernardino might be worth the trip, call and talk with Valerie. Here is link to their website - check out the gallery of before and after photos:

    Here is a link to my blog post that shows our MH when we got her back, and the difference in the old stripes vs. the new:

    As you can see, our MH is mostly white. Not all of the white pieces are the same white any longer - some a little yellower, some a little creamier. Oh, well - not perfect, but nice and shiny - and MUCH less expensive than a full paint job!

  5. I guess it would be insulting if you take the RV Renovators comments personally. It doesn't sound like he acted very diplomatically but I'd probably just look at the issue involved. This outfit just doesn't want to paint your rig.

    Big deal! Their loss! Other outfits undoubtedly would be anxious to get an 8K to 10K paint job and not all of them are Maaco's.

  6. Just my humble opinion, but I wouldn't go near those guys if you paid me. Business is business, and if they don't want your eight to ten grand, then that's a kind of snobbery I didn't think was too terribly popular when a lot of folks are still scrambling to get paid once in a while.
    Even if the guy had said, "Look, we're crazy busy for the next while, but why don't you try us again in a couple months?" at least that would have been a brush off without sounding like such a snob.
    There's bound to be a body shop that's willing to do the work close by, and probably at a better price. I've known guys who could do an outstanding job of painting a car in a driveway. That's only a car mind you, but still. A lot of it has to do with prep work and choosing the proper day.
    Don't give up.
    Put the word out, you'll find someone.

  7. No, I would never even remotely consider the RV Renovators nor would I consider spending all that time & money to drive that far just to have the rig foofed up. I think your answer lies much closer to home & your search for a solution should continue until you hit upon the 'right place.' For sure there has to be places in the Southwest that can do that little foof job for you.

  8. I'm with Gypsy. No way would I go near that place. I'm sure with some further research and word of mouth you have just got to find something that is closer to you. Keep trying. But that was uncalled for and to bad you couldn't report them to the BBB.

  9. I am not one to take that lying down...and I LOVE to write...I would put these same thoughts you gave here down in a letter to the President of the Company...You should be able to find that out online...Then I would stamp it and send it POST HASTE!!! THE NERVE!!!!!! And the shame of it is that you probably talked to an "underling"...

  10. Good grief what a company!! I wouldn't do business with them and I would let everybody I know how you were treated!! Those high end RV RESORTS seem to be a bunch of snobby people anyway!!! I'd much rather be around happy, fun loving campers!!


  11. P.S. None of the pictures showed up though. :-(


  12. Couldn't see your pictures. As someone else said, I would send a letter to the owner/president of the company. Not expecting them to say or do anything but to share your experience with him/her. Hope you can find someone to do the job you want/need.

  13. Unfortunately, that kind of insult seems to be getting more and more common. It's unanimous, I wouldn't use that company and I might consider writing to the president of the company, as others have suggested. It must be nice to have so much business that you can turn business away. Keep looking--you'll get the job done!

    I couldn't get your pictures to load, either, but I thought that maybe it's because I don't have a very good internet connection right now.

  14. I am not commenting in support of how you were treated by RV Renovators but rather to tell of my experience with them.

    I have a 2000 Class C that I wanted to re-model. I stopped at their shop and told one of the sales reps what I wanted and asked for an estimate.

    The sales rep sent a tech out to look it over and came back with an estimate. It was far too high for me to have them do it but I was treated with courtesy. I did not get the impression that I was being put down in any way.

    Jerry, you might contact D & J RV Repair in Sierra Vista. They do not do any painting but they probably know someone in the area that they could recommend. Ask for Mitch, the owner. He can come across as being hard to work with also but is a nice guy that knows RVs.


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