Be Careful, There Really snakes in Idaho
I am a newbie to the Winne Owners Forum. In the past I have been here as a visitor and was always impressed with the wealth of information available on these pages. My wife and I own a 2002 Journey. Purchased in 2015. We have owned RVs in various forms for over 20 years.
Last week we had a real bad experience traveling through Idaho and I would like to share it with you all. My post is more informational than it is seeking advice, it is to late for advice.
Snake River RV in Twin Falls ID quoted us $140.00 per hour to do repairs. And then charged us $280.00 per hour after they were done.
If you want the details read on:
While traveling on I-84 through Idaho on Saturday October 21st we encountered a freak wind storm with side winds of up to 70 mph. The winds caused serious roof damage to our 2002 Winnebago Journey. On Monday the 23rd we found a repair shop that would do the needed repairs that day and get us on our way. Temperatures had been in the mid 40’s to low 50’s, so I wanted a shop that could put our RV inside to apply the caulking, and Snake River RV in Twin Falls ID met that criteria.
I’m a DIY guy and merely wanted the roof secure so we could drive the remaining 500 miles to Wenatchee where I would do a complete repair in my shop. Prior to the actual repair I spent 20 minutes in the shop conversing with two employees from Snake River RV, Richard and Amber. They had another MH outside in need of the identical repair and wanted to use mine to perfect the best method. We discussed several ways they wanted to secure the roof. Amber wanted to drill it and rivet it to the sub frame, Richard wanted to put a trim piece over it and screw that through the roof into the sub frame (both ideas had potential to do irreparable damage to the fiberglass) Winnebago wants it glued and caulked. It took some time, but I convinced them the “Winnebago Way” was what they should do. In a bit I, caught Amber, the roof expert, installing the formed Styrofoam under the fiberglass upside down! Moments later, in the office, I asked Richard how much this would cost us. While in front of Amber as well as the owner’s daughter he said their normal rate is $115.00 per hour but since this was a rush, we would be charged $140.00 per hour. A quick calculation resulted in me saying, ok around five to six hundred. NO ONE PRESENT IN THE OFFICE CONTRADICTED THAT NUMBER. We wanted to get on our way home, so I agreed to the inflated rate.
Three hours later Richard called to say the work was done and that the owner, Bill Hart said to charge us $280.00 per hour.
Needless to say, I was furious. I called Bill for an explanation he told me the rate increased because two people worked on the RV. Really? $280 per hour. Really? I am glad the local Ford dealership doesn’t charge that way; they have twenty techs working in their shop. Bill refused to back down. He actually said “those were two skilled techs working on this project, I had to pay their wages” (refer to the above described conversations to ascertain their level of skill and you decide the accuracy of that statement…I mean…Taping and caulking…Really?).It is important to note that Richard was well aware that it would be him and Amber doing this work when he quoted us the $140 per hour rate. Richard has been employed there 14 months; you’d think he would know the shop rate!
I just have to add; if I had actually known the rate was going to be $280.00 per hour, I would have burned rubber backing out of their shop, they prevented me from making that decision
So, here’s the situation: we are in Twin Falls (500 miles from home), our temporary lodging is behind the closed doors of a shop (cat inside) and the owner is extorting us at a rate of $140.00 per hour. What could we do? What would you have done? I called my credit card company to discuss my options but because the two techs were standing in front of the shop staring at us, my wife relinquished and paid the bill. I figured I would work it out with the bank subsequently and, in addition, to do my best to warn other travelers to steer clear of what, in my opinion is a predatory business. And also, not to be stupid like me, get it upfront in writing!