One of the things about the RV labor rates is that there really is no standard. One shop will have a different rate than another repair shop. When you contact different repair shops you never know when they will boost their hourly labor rate because they think you can afford it
There is supposed to be an industry standard guidebook to help repair shops set their hourly or shop rate. The two are also not supposed to be the same. But if you get a place that charges less than $100 per hour for labor, you either got a good deal or the repairs are suspect.
To learn more about this topic and how much you can expect to pay just continue to read our article. It is filled with facts and figures which may not be the same as you have experienced. There are different labor rates charged by different repair shops.
There are different standards and practices books published each year. Most of them will not have any information on how long it will take to repair different parts in your RV.
The one that we found that did contain this information is- NTDA SERVICE DEPARTMENT LABOR HOURS GUIDE and it is 40 pages of times it should take a dealer or repair shop to do the work.
Two important details you should be aware of. First, this guide does not place any standards on the amount the repair shop will charge for their work. Labor costs are not a part of this guide.
Second, the hours listed are based on the information received by participating shops. The total labor hours may be more or less than is stated in the guide.
The example we linked to above is just that, an example. It is from 2018 and you should contact the agency in charge to receive a more up-to-date guidebook.
We know of at least 1 repair shop that uses this or a guide like this one to help them set their labor hours but not rates. Each shop will have its own labor rate and that is what you can expect no matter which guide you use to determine if you were fairly charged or not.
Another guidebook option is the 12th Edition Service Management Guide and it will cost you a little bit of money to get it. There may be other guides you can find in an internet search but there is no guarantee that any RV repair shop is following any of those guides.
There are stores that do not advertise their rates. One example is General RV Center which has several outlets throughout the US. You would have to contact them to get their rate.
So far, the figure that has been mentioned as an average labor rate for RVs is $140. But that may change as the years pass. In looking at what is being paid by owners who report their labor costs, that average seems to be on the low side.
However, if your insurance company, etc., is paying for the repair work, the rate goes up to $170 per hour. The reason for the increase in the average cost is that repair shops say they spend a lot of time filling out forms and doing other paperwork.
That extra time needs to be compensated so they factor it into the cost of the work they have to do. One thing to keep in mind is that while there are guidelines for labor hours, the hours listed in those guidebooks may not be the real time hours.
What that means is that the repair shop may encounter extra work not listed in the guidebooks and must apply more labor hours to the work. This has happened as the dealers have been known to make mistakes in the amount of work involved in the repair.
You cannot take what those guidebooks state as gospel truth. There will be issues not covered in their information gathering process and the figures are just guides, not mandatory work time.
Those words mean that if you have a guidebook, do not rely on it totally and start an argument with the repair shop. They are merely guides.
This is one of the more difficult categories to provide information. Not because there is no information but because there is no set standard RV repair companies can charge to make the repairs.
The RV repair shops are free to set their own rates and you have to do some comparison shopping, if you are able, and look for the most affordable repair shop.
What has been reported is often the owners paying the bill and not the repair shops charging the labor rates. The figures have been as low as $149 for Newmar repair work in Florida. The same owner also reported that Newmar’s price is $140 with a winter rate of $115.
Another owner reported paying $150 at Marathon and $185 at NIRVC Vegas, and Glamp Daddy is supposed to charge $189. Local Freightliner shops were said to be charging $190.
Those fees are what you would be paying if your repair work is not covered under a warranty or an extended warranty. While some companies charge more for warranty, etc., work, some of the warranty companies set lower flat labor rates.
For example, they may only state they will pay $125, $113, or $115 per hour for labor rates. The issue with these warranty payments is that it is possible the repair shop may look to you to cover the difference. That would depend on the shop.
Those fees are just for when you tow or bring your RV to their shop. For mobile service on company charges a $3.50 per mile travel fee with a $50 minimum. Then their labor rate is $175. Just keep in mind that their labor fee is not the same as the hourly rate.
You are paying for all or part of an hour at the set $175. Finally, while we are providing some rates here, they will change. Some of these figures are from this year, others are from 2 years ago and what the company will charge depends on the repair shop.
This is a bit harder to answer as there are a wide variety of technicians involved. You may not necessarily have your interior components repaired by an RV repair shop. The rates charged would be up to the company that repairs or makes those components.
But one figure that we did come across was roughly $80 per hour. You can probably find that cost a lot cheaper in shops nearer to your location. Depending on what is being repaired the cost could go up to $105 per hour for labor.
To service your built-in generator, the labor cost can be around $75 per hour. For the kitchen sink repair, one charge was $60 per hour for labor. What you will pay for labor when you need to repair your interior or components will vary.
Each technician or repair shop will have its own fee and those fees can be competitive. You may find that in your city or location, everyone charges about the same for labor.
But it will still pay to shop around as you can sometimes find a great deal when you check everyone first. Then you may be charged only one fee and the cost includes parts, labor, and tax. You may not know exactly what you paid for the labor part of the repair.
This can be a sensitive subject in many cases as people do not like finding out that the shop will charge more than the insurance company is willing to pay. It is common knowledge that the insurance company’s coverage and the repair shop’s labor rates are very different.
For example, one insurance company was only willing to pay $110 per hour for labor even though the shop wanted $150. In this case, the insurance company did the contacting of other repair shops in the area to find one that would accept $110 per hour for labor.
Another example was when a fridge needed to be repaired. The insurance company would only pay $113 while the repair shop wanted $125. The owner convinced the company to take the lower amount based on the fact he was a repeat customer.
The rest of the story was that the repair shop only listed 4 hours to do the repair but it took 6 instead. The shop lost roughly $250 but the discrepancy in actual and estimated labor hours was due to the shop’s error of not seeing the complete problem.
Part of the issue in these situations is that insurance companies are not required to pay the labor rate charged by repair shops. However, under insurance laws, they are required to make you whole whether by paying for the repair or calling the RV a total loss.
What that means is that the insurance company has to have at least one shop that will accept their payment and have a qualified repairman/mechanic on staff to do the work. Everything is subjective of course and the results may vary.
Not everyone lists all the costs independently and often provide ballpark estimates to give you an idea of what your costs will be. Then not every repair is going to be the same as RV and trailer sizes and designs vary.
What your friend paid may not be what you will pay for the same repair as different shops charge different prices. Here are some ballpark costs so you have an idea of what to expect when you get your repair bill.
1. Replacing the fridge- you can expect to pay anywhere between $600 and $3500. Of course, a pop-up fridge is going to be cheaper than a 5th-wheel fridge to replace.
2. AC units- depends on what is wrong, but average ballpark costs range between $600 and $3500 with some being cheaper than that lower figure.
3. Fresh water system- keeping this system in top shape after the damage is done can run you in the neighborhood of $200 to $900 and keep in mind these are average ballpark figures and you may have spent more than that on this repair.
4. The waste system- a much dirtier job to do and there may be more components that need to be repaired or replaced. The average cost for this repair runs between $400 and $3400.
5. Slide-outs- always a difficult component to repair. Plus, the repairs are not always that cheap. Depending on what is wrong, you are looking at paying between $500 and $1700 if not more.
While it is important to get figures for labor costs please keep in mind that the costs listed above are all examples and do not reflect the costs of any actual RV company, dealer, or RV repair shop.
Each location will charge its own labor rate depending on its location and competition. Then prices change from year to year and not every repair shop offers winter rates.
This information is presented to give you an idea of what you may pay when you need repairs to your RV.
If you thought that the purchase price for your specific RV was high and bad enough, you do not want to look at labor hour rates. Those rates are one reason why many RV owners do their own repairs once they are out from under their warranty coverages.
For those who own older RVs, pre-2000, the cost you pay may be high due to the lack of availability of parts. You may pay more for the parts than the labor involved.