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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Online sales... a good idea?

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davelinde

Lake Nona, Florida

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Posted: 03/08/19 07:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's been a while since I read these forums regularly. When we bought our 2004 Jayco and later a 2009 Heartland there was still a lot of debate about on-line sales. Was it a good price? Could you get service? Shouldn't you have a local dealer?

From those decade old experiences it was a no-brainer. We bought the Jayco, never needed service, and sold it for nearly what we paid for it. For the Cyclone, we really tried to buy from a local dealer but they were too shady and we ended up buying on-line again for a substantial discount. We actually DID need warranty service (in a big way) and a different local dealer did is (though reluctantly and it took a long time). Ironically since we were moving then the reluctant dealer ended up doing us a favor by storing our RV for "free" and after we got it back we moved 1000 miles away so "local" was no longer meaningful.

In the next few years we may trade in for something smaller (and lighter) than our hauler and DW does drag me to the shows to look and wish. We have a ton of local dealers but I still think the national on-line guys must be a good idea?

What say you all? What has changed since 2007?


Dave Lindemulder
Tammy, Mark & Kirsten
04 Dodge 2500 4x4 SLT QC/SB HO-CTD/48RE
01 Volvo VNL660 singled VED12
09 Heartland Cyclone 3210


monkey44

Cape Cod, MA and Central Fla

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Posted: 03/08/19 08:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we think about local dealer service and warranty - we think about the RV being mostly away from local, because we use it to travel, so if it breaks, we're usually miles and miles from the local dealer ... so, to us that doesn't enter into it ... Either we're home, and it sits, or we're on the road no where near the local dealer. Of course, if you camp local, that advice doesn't help.

We bought ours in Delaware, at an auction (full warranty) and the only time it broke down (Fridge), we were in California, so ran it over to manufacturer and it fixed fridge and found a few other small items that needed a fix too and did it right there -- we overnighted in their parking lot with E/W HU two nights, no dump.


Monkey44
Cape Cod Ma & JAX Fla
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jfkmk

NJ

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Posted: 03/09/19 05:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Both tts we bought new were from “local” dealers, one being an hour from home, one 2 hours from home. Both dealers have phenomenal reputations, which made our decision to buy local easy.

We did need repair on the first tt, where I backed it into something and tore the corner trim off. I called the dealer, made an appointment for the following week and they repaired it while I waited.

Our second tt was on order when we put a deposit on it (dealer had one, but it was already sold). It was taking longer than expected to arrive, so I started looking around at the on-line places. Frankly, none of them came close to matching the price we paid locally.

wanderingaimlessly

SOBOVA

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Posted: 03/09/19 07:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A huge part of the problem is the disappearance of the local dealer. Mega chains buying out the local mom & pop locations and then putting in place all the bad things from the old jokes about used car sales.
Pricing based on you being gouged in the financing, thousands of dollars in hidden fees and mandatory upgrades, and the pressure to buy now or the price will go up next week. All spouted to you by someone that likely has never used the products they are selling as experts.
Use the megastores and rv shows to decide on size and floor plan, and then narrow the field of possible lines according to your wants/needs/budget. (ie; metal or glass sided, interior finishes etc)
And then use the advanced search feature from an online sales program such as
rv trader
or
rvt.com
And search for specifically what you want, visit the dealers websites, see which ones price their units straight up, no fees. And then compare apples to apples , out the door for what your price is.

Local dealer may be convenient sometimes, but many have months long lines for poor service. And if you are using your rig when something breaks, there is a good chance you wont be close to home anyway, so "local" becomes an irrelevant term.

Addy15

Minnesota

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Posted: 03/09/19 02:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have purchased two trailers almost entirely online. With the first one, we found the trailer we liked at a local dealer but couldn't make an acceptable deal with them. So, we went home and started looking online for the trailer and ended up making a deal entirely by e-mail for one at a small dealership about 4 hours away. Never even met the salesperson until we got there to pick it up.

With the second one, we found a trailer we liked that met all of our specifications, but it was a pretty new model and not many dealers had it on their lots yet. So, again we shopped online, were working seriously with about three different dealers in three different states, and finally got a good deal (including an above-retail trade in deal on that first trailer AND upgraded tires) with a small, independent dealer that was in another state but about 3 and a half hours from home. He didn't even have the trailer yet; he had to go get it for us from Indiana because it had just come off the line. We never even saw the trailer until we went to pick it up.

Both dealers have been very good to work with on service issues after the sale. The first one even traveled to meet us half-way to fix a warranty issue once and another time actually came to our storage location to fix a recall issue. We had to take the second one back to the dealer to fix a slide that was off kilter a little, but we made it into a camping weekend so no big deal. We were in and out of the shop within a couple of hours and the dealer even showed us how to fix it ourselves if it happened again. We also needed a small part for the refrigerator but he didn't have it in stock. So he showed us how to install it, then ordered the part and sent it to our home. And he is always available for consult if we have questions about anything.

Online shopping has been a good deal for us.

* This post was edited 03/09/19 04:11pm by Addy15 *

bikendan

Camano Island, Wash.

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Posted: 03/09/19 02:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After a discouraging search, at West Coast dealerships, we found the one we wanted, from a Chicago dealer on the Internet. And it was thousands cheaper than anyone out here.
So we made the 4000 mile roundtrip drive to get it.
Forest River found us 3 local dealers willing to do the warranty work.
Other than being at the back of the line, we never had any issues.
Would do it again, with no hesitation.
We could have also used independent RV shops or a mobile RV tech, for warranty work.


Dan- Firefighter">, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur">, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP">), 2014 Ford F150 Ecoboost, 2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255 w/Equalizer and Prodigy, and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes


jcapps

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Posted: 03/10/19 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tried the"local" dealer 3 hours away. His ad says he would not be undersold. After drove there, test drove one but it did not have the options I wanted. He quoted me a price, since I am moving across the country anyway, I called one of the online guys with a great rep. His price was 10k less
I told the other dealer they were 10k less. Was not trying to shop it because I actually liked the online company. They never even tried. Wanted me to send them the quote. I would have had to put a deposit down to get it in writing, he wanted me to do that then cancel, I refused and bought from the online company. A week later he sends me a link to a used one, same price as I paid to order new. Still did not have all the options. Telling me I can save 10k.....lmao.....They will have to make money on service.


"The great challenge of adulthood is holding on to your idealism after you lose your innocence."
– Bruce Springsteen

"This ain't the practice round"
- a friend


moresmoke

On the beach of lake Agassiz

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Posted: 03/12/19 08:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am at a point I don’t expect a dealer to actually service anything I buy. By the time I jump through all the hoops, and spend the time to deal with their BS it is quicker and cheaper for me to just fix it.

That said, when we bought our TT, the local dealer had the best price “all-in” so they got the sale.

davelinde

Lake Nona, Florida

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Posted: 03/12/19 05:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Other than the trend of small dealerships getting bought by chains it sound like little has changed in the last 10 years. These posts reminded me of the games we played with buying our Cyclone...
We went to see it at a dealership 60 miles away, and had a price in hand from an on-line dealership with the 1000 mile ride to pick it up. After being treated wonderfully... seeing the rig, even hitching it to my truck to measure how much it squatted we started talking price. After letting the sales guy posture and make his best pitch I told him he was off base by more than 5 figures, was he sure. He told me my price was SURELY wrong and missing options so I said THANKS.

I guess we walked so fast they had not been ready for that because while we were driving home they called to tell us that we were... in fact... correct on the bottom line pricing and they could match it "just for us". So I gave them a verbal on a deposit against a credit card with the promise of a contract to follow. When we got the contract there were a dozen items not clear so I sent them back my list of written questions. Apparently they were unfamiliar with actually doing business because after two days I called to find out why my questions were not answered. I was told that my contract was completed and my deposit was not refundable. Since I had never signed anything I called the credit card company, disputed the charge and signed a contract with the on-line folks. I got several calls from various managers and general managers there and told them all that I no longer cared if they beat the price - their business practices were unacceptable to me.

So now to today... I guess the drive up to Indiana is do-able and I might consider on-line direct sales one more time if we decide to pull a trigger on our third (likely last) RV.

Keithk3628

Jacksonville Florida

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Posted: 03/12/19 06:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Online almost for us.

When we went searching for our Outback we shopped locally and found the exact model a couple hours away and looked it over good and decided that was the one, then online we went to find the best price, we were not trading in our Lance TC so it was a little easier.

Anyway we found the best deal online with General RV online sales, gave them a deposit over the phone with our cc and delivery was a month later and we picked it up at General rv dealer only a couple miles away, they handled all the pre check and walk thru at the local dealer and after treated us like we had actually purchased locally, but beat their local price.

I believe it was the best of both worlds, we received warranty for the nose fading and they did us right. So I believe if you can buy locally thru online for best price you win if you need service later.

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