The trailer was at Colin Hyde’s for a few weeks. It got new grey tanks, a new AC, a partial belly pan replacement and lots of little things addressed.
We left in the afternoon and knocked a few hours off our trip. We spent the night in Saratoga Springs, but obviously we didn’t have our camper so we stayed in a hotel called the Downtowner.
We continued onto Plattsburgh the next morning and picked the trailer up around noon.
The quality of the workmanship was top-notch. Much better than I could have ever hoped to have done myself. The cost? – That’s another thing! Due to the vagaries with all the different types of trailers that comes into his shop, Colin charges by the hour. His rate of $75/hr seems reasonable. Listen, the local Firestone tire shop gets $100/hr! What I was not prepared for was the total number of hours, which totaled almost 80. Add in materials and tax and we’re looking at a $7,500 bill!
Now, I want to be perfectly clear here – I don’t think Colin overcharged or anything of the sort – he’s the best around and needs to be compensated for his time and expertise – but if I knew in advance that the addition of grey tanks would ultimately run me $7,500 – I don’t think I would have done it. I took on a part-time job in the fall and financed these improvements with the money I made from that job. I naively thought I’d have some money left over to pay for a portion of my travel expenses this summer.
The bottom line is this – I now have a vintage Airstream that has had most of its major systems and mechanicals replaced. Because my wife and I did all the work up to the point of the grey tank install ourselves this was the first time we had to pay for any labor. I am happy with the way it turned out.