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Old 04-19-2012, 09:57 AM   #1
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Warranty work from a different dealer

We bought a Surveyor hybrid in January and just took it out for the first time last weekend. We discovered that the tub drain line was leaking. I tried to tighten things up at the connections but it still leaked.
The dealer I bought from is more than 3 1/2 hours away 1 way. They were willing to help but the expense to go that far just doesn't seem worth it for such a minor problem.
I called coach net and they found a local dealer who is a certified repair place for forest river.
I've scheduled with them to take the trailer in for the repairs. my question is, do I pay them for the repair and then get reimbursed from Forest river or will this dealer just get paid from forest river for the warrantee work?
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:32 AM   #2
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I moved this question to the top of the Tech area. It is a great question and applies to everyone. I would LOVE to know the answer to this too.

Once I blew off my so called "dealer," I decided to do all work myself.

However, if I ever do need warranty work (all out of warranty by now) in the future; it would be good to know.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:37 AM   #3
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i bought my Roo hybrid from a dealer 2000 miles away. before i bought it, i contacted FR to find local FR dealers that would do the warranty work.
they found a FR popup dealer in town who was happy to do it.
they contacted FR to get approval for the work.
they later dropped FR products and FR found another dealer, that didn't sell FR products, but did warranty work for FR.

i could have used an independent RV shop but would have to have the work approved by FR and then pay for the work and have FR reimburse me.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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When I had my warranty work done the local shop attached to a dealer that did not sell Prime Time Tracers (approved by Forest River to do Warranty work and where we were always happy with the work they did over the last 5 years on our old trailer) charged me an extra $100 labor to replace the defective refrigerator (it never worked from day 1) in my new unit and got the rest from Forest River. They said it actually took them longer to do the work then Forest River would cover. Currently working with Forest River to get the $100 back. Beware when buying a trailer at an RV show from a dealer that is not local, more on the story later.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:17 AM   #5
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We purchased our Roo 23SS last April from RV Wholesalers, I have it in for warranty work right now. The closest RV dealer to me said he was happy to do the work, I never asked if they sold FOrest River, but I didn't see any of their products on his lot. The dealer handled Forest River directly all warranty work was apprved in advance and FR will be paying him directly. I was very pleased with the result. On a sidenote this dealer was not part of RV Wholesalers "service network".
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lriel View Post
We purchased our Roo 23SS last April from RV Wholesalers, I have it in for warranty work right now. The closest RV dealer to me said he was happy to do the work, I never asked if they sold FOrest River, but I didn't see any of their products on his lot. The dealer handled Forest River directly all warranty work was apprved in advance and FR will be paying him directly. I was very pleased with the result. On a sidenote this dealer was not part of RV Wholesalers "service network".

Your experience is the exception - not the rule. Forest rivers warranty network and the bizarre relationship they allow their dealers to perpetuate is a joke, and in any other industry would be the basis of a class action lawsuit. Wonder when someone is going to force some sense into these jokers?
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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Its not just Forest River, brookside. All trailer manufacturers I know of do it this way.

The dealers are independent and each one can decide what work they want to do.

Some dealers, maybe most, are happy for the work. All take care of their buying customers first. Some dealers refuse to do work. It is what it is.

Consider yourselves lucky when you have a good dealer or independent service shop nearby.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:29 PM   #8
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The dealers are independent and each one can decide what work they want to do.
triguy, I think this is where we let them (both the RV manufacturers and dealers) slip. Auto dealers are also independently owned, yet (and this is the big difference) as AUTHORIZED representatives of their respective manufacturers they are required to perform all warranty work.

Remember we, as campers and RVs owners, are not asking the trailer shop down the street to do warranty work and deal with the manufacturer for payment. No, we are going to dealers that carry and represent themselves (and probably pay a pretty penny for their exclusive rights to the region) as an authorized brand dealer to do repair work as the manufacturer's representatives that they are.

Yes, I'm lucky enough to have a very good dealer that has handled all issues to date, but what about if I find myself traveling the country and encounter an issue? What then? Should I not be able to find the nearest Rockwood (or FR) authorized dealer and ask for repairs? I think we should. And please, this has nothing to do with the amount of money we pay for our RVs, as it doesn't apply to the cost of my automobile.

This brings to mind a recent posting on how a group of national retailers was recognizing a prominent builder, yet the same retailers won't stand behind that builder's product if not purchased from them!
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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I know, Frank.

Its sad that RV dealers are allowed to act this way and that RV manufacturer's perpetuate the business structure. I agree with you that we, the consumer, have allowed this structure.

I'm not actually supporting, but I am trying to explain in the thread the reality of the situation (especially for the future buyer who is new to RVing): Dealers are not contractually obligated to service everyone; even through they carry that brand.

How is this known? Besides the countless threads on the various RV sites documenting people's experiences, Forest River and the other companies are fairly explicit about it. Copied from the back of the Flagstaff brochure:
Forest River, Inc. strongly encourages our retail customers
to purchase from their local dealership whenever possible
due to the following factors:
1) Our Dealers are as a rule, independently owned and
operated businesses. Outside of those customers they
personally sold products to, they are not contractually
obligated to perform warranty service on Forest River
products that were purchased elsewhere. There may be an
occasion that you would be required to return to the point
of purchase to satisfy warranty requirements.
2) Although many dealerships will eventually service
products not purchased at their place of business, they
will usually take care of their customers and other Forest
River customers who are traveling away from their local
dealer as they would their own.
The comparison to the auto industry is problematic I believe. My understanding is that the auto industry requires dealers to sign agreements stating they will perform warranty work and the auto manufacturers pay them a fair rate for warranty work.

This is not true in the RV industry where warranty work is supposedly paid less (than what the service department would typically charge) and the manufacturer does not have written requirements.
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kwjeepxj View Post
They said it actually took them longer to do the work then Forest River would cover. Currently working with Forest River to get the $100 back.
Great news, the rep from Prime Time contacted my wife today. Prime Time is sending us a check for the extra labor cost.

THANK YOU PRIME TIME
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