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As a full-timer, how do you establish a relationship with a trusted local RV shop? After all, when you’re nomadic, “local” kind of loses its meaning. But even those of us who don’t have a fixed home base often find ourselves gravitating toward our favorite parts of the world year after year. This provides ample opportunity to patronize the same businesses repeatedly, allowing us to establish trusted relationships with “local” companies.
Even though we can go anywhere we want, any time we want, it makes sense that after 15 years on the road, 55 US states and Canadian Provinces (with new ones to be added this year!), we’ve figured out the places we like the most. Since we grew up in the East, it’s understandable that reaching escape velocity allowed us to search out the most dramatic natural beauty we could find. So you’ll most often find us roaming from the Rockies to the Pacific.
Our typical snowbird path takes us from beautiful British Columbia to the Desert Southwest. During that time, we’ve had service work performed at lots of places. A few of them have become favorites that we return to when we’re in the area, mostly in the Desert SW, such as Massey’s Diesel in Phoenix, where we’ve had great work done many times.
But until last year, we hadn’t identified a favorite shop in the northern part of our most common travel area. So what to do when we want to get service work done in the summer? Head to Phoenix?! Not bloody likely!
We had a great experience last August with First Truck Centre in Surrey, BC, right outside Vancouver. So when we heard that they were opening a new facility in Abbotsford (which is close to a place where we often spend time in the Fraser Valley), we thought:
- We already had a very positive experience with First Truck, so the new shop would likely be a winner, too
- Abbotsford is convenient to anywhere we stay in the Fraser Valley and the US border
- New facility = super clean
We were correct on all counts! On the “close to the US border” front, First Truck Centre is exactly a 1/2-mile drive from the Sumas, WA border crossing. Hard to get much closer to the States and still be in Canada!
We made an appointment for routine chassis maintenance, and we share all that was done in the video above, which is Part One. In our next video, Part Two, we’ll cover one of the most common questions we hear: What maintenance items do we handle ourselves, which do we leave to the pros, which can go either way, and how do we decide which are which… and why?
If you’re planning, or thinking about, RVing in BC’s Lower Mainland, we LOVE and highly recommend the area. Vancouver is our absolute favorite city in North America, and the Fraser Valley all the way out to Hope is gorgeous and well worth a visit. First Truck Centre is a great shop, so if you’re due for maintenance, consider checking them out.
We’ve only been to the two locations, but they’re run by the same company as their other locations in Alberta, so we assume that they all provide service we’d be happy with. If you look at their pricing, remember that as of this writing, the current exchange rate means you’ll get about a 25% discount on your US dollars. So don’t get sticker shock if the prices look 25% higher. That means they’re actually the same!
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Some of Our Favorite RV Gear, Available on Amazon:
- Viair 400P-RV Portable Compressor
- LevelmatePRO Bluetooth RV Leveling Device
- Utility Blocks – Single
- Utility Blocks – 4 Pack
- 20′ Heavy Duty Sewer Hose
- 20′ Sewer Hose Support
- 45° Clear Sewer Elbow
- 25′ NeverKink Drinking Water Hose
- Adjustable Water Pressure Regulator
- Meguiar’s NXT 2.0 Wax
- Aerospace 303
- Invisible Glass w/Rain Repellent
- 360 Siphon Vent – White
- 360 Siphon Vent – Black
Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.