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Old 03-03-2015, 08:50 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Local dealer vs out of town

Hello all,

Looking for guidance on our first RV purchase. We want to buy a new GT but the local dealerships are unwilling to negotiate anywhere close to dealerships only a 4-5 hour drive away. I have also read that the first year could require lots of little fixes along the way. I would like to get feedback from people on the following:

1. Success working with local dealers for warranty when not purchased locally
2. Forest River willingness to pay 3rd party repair centers for warranty work

Ultimately, the potential savings is $8-10K, but it's it worth the hassle getting work done on the RV

Many thanks.

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Old 03-03-2015, 08:54 AM   #2
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Your local dealer will probably refuse and or put you on the back of the list behind there purchasing customers for warranty work if you buy elsewhere.


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Old 03-03-2015, 09:16 AM   #3
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I'm new to this forum, but not new to RVing. As mentioned you'll not have a very warm reception at your local dealer, nor will you have much luck in FR approving warranty work at the hands of a 3rd party repair facility. Part of owning an RV is fixing the little things which don't really need a dealers involvement. I was in your position with about a $9000 spread between local and 3 hr away ... I figured I could make a bunch of trips for $9000. In 5 years, I only made the trip once.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:22 AM   #4
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My "local dealer" is still 70 miles away but this is how I did it on our last two trailers. I searched the internet for the best price on the unit I wanted. I got them to email me an invoice showing the vin# and options and their price. I took that to my dealer. The first one I bought the local dealer was about $800 higher. When I figured the cost of gas and a night in a motel it was about a break even deal and this was without figuring my time. Two years later I bought another trailer from the same dealer this time I showed them the invoice and they matched it exactly. They have taken care of my service work and I am a "Happy Camper".
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:25 AM   #5
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The RV industry isn't like the automobile industry as far as having warranty work done. Like TURBS said they can refuse to do work on unit that isn't purchased from them. If they agree to do warranty work on your camper you'll be put at the back of their waiting list. Every camper brochure I've ever seen stated 'Purchase from your local dealer'. 8-10K savings is a huge chunk of change. Question is if it's worth the hassle for you to save $$. You might get lucky and have very small issues arise that you can take care of yourself. But the larger issues that have to be corrected by a dealer could involve big amounts of time that your camper is sitting on their lot waiting for the repairs to get done, plus the cost of gas and your time. If it were only a difference of 2-3K between dealer prices I'd say buy local. But at 8-10K savings it might be worth the gamble. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jcw View Post
Ultimately, the potential savings is $8-10K, but it's it worth the hassle getting work done on the RV.
Wow, that's a huge difference. You mean to say your local guy is $8K over his nearest competitor? That's a lot. I drove 500 mi. to save $3K. I sure as hell would drive that far for $8k. (The quality and reputation of Rockwood made me decide to roll the dice.) I had no warranty issues so the gamble paid off.
Wright and Penny
(with Fitz and Lizzie, the camping kitties)
Richmond, Va.
2010 Tundra 4X4 5.7L V8
2014 Rockwood 2604WS
Life is a cruel teacher. She gives the test first; the lesson then follows.
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:16 AM   #7
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We bought our Lacrosse locally in the end but it was a process to negotiate the deal, it took several tries to work the deal. We also shopped several dealers looking as much as 400 miles away but in the end our local dealer management was amiable to our offer.

My difference was a few grand and worth the effort, had the local dealer not worked with me I would have driven to the other offer without hesitation.

One thing I would have done had I decided to get the trailer “out of town” was have the dealer allow us to spend a night or two there and repair anything needed then.
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:06 PM   #8
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We bought in Ohio to save about $8000 and used our local dealer in South Carolina for repairs. They did the work but did not give us high priority or do great work. The service mgr said "the factory reimbursements for labor are lower than actual labor" and they loose money on such repairs. Got through the warranty and do all repairs myself.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:31 PM   #9
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We just ordered our first ever brand new TT from the local dealer.
We could have saved thousands vs internet quotes......
Local guy took our trade, has to make a profit and no long trip to pickup and tow TT home.
We went local.
(we did let them know how far off they were :0)
I think we will get along fine, though.

Good luck on your purchase and $8000 is a pretty wide spread.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:36 PM   #10
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I bought my TT from RV Wholesalers, shipping it from IN to CA. Saved a lot of money over local dealers. FR does honor third party warranty service...I had some minor issues initially while under warranty for which FR referred me to a local independent RV service provider. The claim was submitted and paid in full within a few weeks.

I have fixed/upgraded/added-on many other items over the past 5 years of owning this RV, doing the work myself. This has resulted in a better understanding of how my RV systems work and that the quality of work is good.

2015 Rockwood A128S
2010 Rockwood 2604
2014 Ford F-250 CC SB 2WD
2008 Toyota Sequoia 2WD
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