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Old 08-09-2016, 06:02 AM   #31
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Posts: 11
For us 650 miles was worth the drive

We recently bought a 2503S and drove 650 miles to save $3500 versus our local dealer. The rig has been perfect.

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Old 08-09-2016, 07:48 AM   #32
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Posts: 132
Between a Rock and a piece of Wood

Will tell you my experience. Bought my FR new from the local dealer but
their Tech is a real goof so what does it matter if I take the unit back to
the dealer. Had a warranty issue with the built in switches on several
ceiling lights. Took it in to my dealer. The goof repaired them under warranty but did a really lousy job of it. I could do way better myself.
But I can't do it under warranty.
The other issue was I was down in Arizona on a camping trip and
lost shore power. Asked around at the CG and they recommended a
certain Mobile Tech. Called the Tech. Told him the story and he told me
he was authorized to do FR warranty work on my trailer. I hired him,
FR approved the repair, and 4 hours later I was a Very Happy Camper!
So even if you take it back to where you bought it doesn't mean you'll
be satisfied with the work. Also there's some "really good" Mobile Techs
out there.
Also I recommend you only buy used. There are 2 or 3 year old
trailers out there in excellent condition. Why pay new rates? Plus as
someone else mentioned above you are better to drive a long distance
to get the trailer you want rather than settle for something else.
I've never heard of any dealer "refusing" to fix your trailer just because
you didn't buy it there. Usually the issue is it's camping season and
they are booked solid.

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Old 08-09-2016, 09:28 AM   #33
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Location: SouthWest Michigan
Posts: 2,100
Originally Posted by DNA Dan View Post

I am interested in purchasing a new TT - Rockwood 2504s to be exact. Nearest dealer to me is 300+ miles away. We did drive to this dealer and checked out the unit for the first time, we really like it. This dealer however quoted me a price that is 8K+ more than average of what I see this trailer selling for. So to the internet I go, finding dealer after dealer that can sell me the trailer MUCH cheaper. Then I see on the back of the Forest River brochure that dealers give "priority" service to folks that purchase at their local dealer. Reading stories on these forums about dealers denying service to "non-local" folks I am concerned about purchasing out of state for a cheaper price. 8K though? I am sure the dealer had more to give on the price, but it seems like there are some huge fluctuations in price on these things.

So finally my questions - Does it pay to buy from a local dealer or not? At what point does it not make sense?$500? 1k? 2? Given that my nearest local dealer is 300+ miles away, should I just buy a brand that is local to me? In other words, is having a dealer nearby a very important aspect of owning one of these things? Do they require a lot of warranty work? Once out of warranty, will just about any dealer work on them?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide.

- Confused potential future trailer owner
My 2 cents,,, I would look for something local,,, if @ all possible ???

Your relationship with the dealer will become very important !!!
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:01 AM   #34
Learning a lot as I go...
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 186
Responses here are all over the map...

As already pointed out, with Rockwood you can also play the Flagstaff card (as OP has figured out).

A big part of the question is how willing and capable are you of making your own repairs? Just how dependent on "warranty" are you?

In my own case I can fix most anything and do not pay too much attention to warranties.

My research indicated a substantial regional difference in prices with the west coast being more expensive than the midwest. I was not willing to travel quite that far just to save money (travel costs would offset and exceed savings quickly). The research did give me a very good idea what range of prices were out there so I knew "market value".

The closest dealer was an hour away... but they were inflexible on price thus driving further afield to a bigger dealer 2+ hours away (bigger: you know the type that advertise on TV all the time and such). The story there shifted because in spite of listing 6 units on the internet as in inventory they in reality had NONE. And none of our second choice. And one already sold but we could look at it of our third. They also had a sharp sales guy who listened to what we were saying, understood features of what we wanted to look at, and asked us to humor him and look at a different unit he *did* have. The DW liked it, bigger than what I was thinking of but had some nice features I could get behind so we took it home (but that required a second trip...).

Never been back since.

So to me this is a simple cut and dry decision... I would go further for a $8000 savings. I would not worry about warranty and fix it myself. Of as others have pointed out FR does seem to support alternatives for warranty service (that mobile tech sounds like a great way to go to me: no towing to them and waiting).
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:17 AM   #35
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 82
Seems to be a lot of thoughts and discussion about possible warranty repairs. Most people plan to keep their unit longer than the warranty period. A few dealers are good and will try to accomplish repairs in a timely and competent manner. Most dealers provide little if any reliable service after papers are signed. Each owner needs to learn and perform basic maintenance and repair as well as research for reputable service providers in your area. Keep timing in mind. If you take your rig in during slower seasons, you may get faster service. Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:08 AM   #36
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Posts: 5
Thanks for all the suggestions! You guys are awesome!

Crunching the numbers is pretty sickening. I can get a new model DELIVERED to my house cheaper than buying from a "local" dealer 300 miles away and STILL COME OUT AHEAD!!. I completely agree about the west being substantially higher, at least with models I have looked at. I am in the northwest rocky mountains and there is a ton of camping/fishing/hiking outdoor stuff here so I guess they figure they can charge a premium for units. With dealers spaced so far apart distance-wise they probably feel they have the market cornered. I can do warranty work no problem. I actually prefer to do it my way. Can you order parts from FR directly or do they only sell parts to dealers?
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:49 AM   #37
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Location: Hillsboro
Posts: 107
Everybody has the right to their own opinion but here was my thinking. I talked to the dealer and he told me the price. I told him that I could get the trailer for $8,000 cheaper. I told him I would prefer to purchase locally so would he be willing to deal with me. He said no and he would be reluctant to do my warranty work. I asked him if he got paid for warranty and he said yes. He then added that I would have to get the trailer to Oregon. I told him I could get that done for $900. The deal was pay my $8000 or I won't do your warranty. I paid $950 to have it towed to my house and parked in the driveway, including a $50 tip. Found a repair shop that was authorized to work on FR. Had minor repairs performed on warranty at that shop. Had $7050 in my pocket to add a couple of items to the trailer. Before you pay an extra $8,000, check into the options you might have. Many shops are authorized for warranty work, or can be very quickly. Of course this is not the solution for everyone but it worked for me.

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Old 08-09-2016, 04:39 PM   #38
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Falstaff & Rockwood are exactly the same. We ordered ours over the internet and called and saved enough. The Dealer we bought form was near the factory and had no delivery charge. We saved about 6k.
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:42 PM   #39
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The markup on rvs is about
40% over msrp.
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Old 08-09-2016, 05:18 PM   #40
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Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,756
Being the dealers are independent you hear everything. Of course we did not buy.... but were in one dealership that stated they would work on any trailer at their rates but...... would only do warranty work for their own customers that bought the trailer from them..(They sell Forest River Salem and Cardinal models)

Also was told the only way they sell campers is at full retail..... If we were not interested there were plenty of people that will pay.....and they do..... sad.



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