Whether you get your camper used or new, there will likely come a day when you will need to repair your camper. Should you make the repairs yourself? Should you leave the job to a professional? How do you find the right person for the job? LoveToKnow asked these questions to collision repair expert Robert Ashby of Apex Collision in Mobile, Alabama. Read what he had to say in this exclusive interview.
About Robert Ashby
Robert has been in the collision repair industry since 1987. He began as a painter and then moved into sales and management. In 2006 he opened his own shop, Apex Collision, and has been helping people fix their cars and campers ever since.
He typically works on cars, but also repairs large motor homes and campers when the need arises. Robert has graciously agreed to answer some questions to help you the next time you have the need to repair your camper.
Repair Your Camper for the DIY'er
Is it better to repair a used camper or buy new?
I think it would depend on the condition of the trailer. When buying used, make sure to perform a thorough inspection and consider future maintenance and repair costs. Look at things like plastic or vinyl windows and moveable parts. Look for damage and stains from leaks etc., especially around a/c units. Has the trailer been kept out of the weather or in a garage or carport?
How hard is it for RV owners to repair their own campers?
I'd have to say that depends on the repair and the skill level of the do-it-yourselfer. Types of repairs that someone could do themselves include small touch-ups and replacing small parts.A little common sense goes a long way when deciding whether or not to try repairs on your own. Everybody has a different skill level and knowledge base. Some things should be left to the pros, like any major cosmetic repair. Definitely anything structural or electrical should be handled by a professional.
Is it difficult to find parts for camper and tent trailer repair?
Parts sourcing can be an issue. Many items need to be purchased from the manufacturer or dealer. Keep in mind, getting parts for recreational vehicles takes longer than buying auto parts because of shipping.
What You Should Know
What should people know about getting repairs done?
For cosmetic and fiberglass repairs, shop around at some local auto body repair shop (like Apex Collision). Most body shops have labor rates that are considerably lower than a specialized RV shop so we can save owners money and still provide a quality repair done in a timely manner. Obviously, only leave your RV with someone you are comfortable with. Ask questions!
What are some good resources to learn about repairs?
Use the search function (on the Internet) and find multiple sources to confirm what you read. Keep in mind that there is a ton of misinformation on the web regarding body and paint repair, so seek out reliable sources.
If you'd like more information about the best way to repair your camper, contact Apex Collision, 7951 Tanner Williams Road, Mobile, AL, 36608. Email them at ApexCollision (at) gmail (dot) com.
Love to Know Camping would like to thank Robert Ashby for taking time from his busy schedule to share his expertise about RV repair.