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Old 08-08-2016, 12:09 PM   #1
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Between a ROCK and a piece of WOOD

Hello,

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
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:16 PM   #2
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First and most important if you settle for something that is not what you want you will never be happy and it will eat at you. I bought from a dealer 400 miles away because they had what I wanted, the local Boise dealer was way high in price for the same unit. They did say they don't want to work on units they didn't sell. The few things I needed warranty on I just called the dealer setup an appointment to camp at there place and made a camping trip out of the 400 miles. I will add if you are handy I feel its better to fix some thing yourself.
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:42 PM   #3
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Sometimes you get very lucky and don't need any warranty work from the dealer. Rare it seems but it does happen, especially if you are very handy in many trades. With FR there are many lines duplicated under a different name. You may find the same unit with a different name and a few cosmetic changes close to home and at a better price. How much money vs how far if you need warranty is a difficult decision. Even if you can find another dealer to do warranty work it may take several months to get it done as you are at the bottom of the list. Any unit from any builder can (most say WILL) have problems.
My savings was about $2000 for a 2450 mile drive, far from your potential savings. Time, fuel, road expenses, etc, and it was not worth it to me. Having bought my 2nd unit from the same dealer they know me and take good care of me. I have not needed warranty work on either from my dealer that required taking the 5er in, at least not yet. So things can be great, OK, bad, or horrible ~~ I always lose when I gamble.
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:58 PM   #4
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have you looked for Flagstaff dealers closer to you? Flagstaff makes the same trailer by forest river and the only difference is the outside name badge
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Old 08-08-2016, 01:07 PM   #5
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have you looked for Flagstaff dealers closer to you? Flagstaff makes the same trailer by forest river and the only difference is the outside name badge
Yes I am aware of that, unfortunately it's the same dealer or it's someone farther away. Even if I buy from a dealer 300 miles from me they know they are the only dealer for miles, so their prices tend to higher. I guess either way it's going to be a long drive or a long wait. Can a dealer completely refuse to service a warranty? Or if I call FR can they force the service to occur? I realize it won't be a speedy experience, but it sounds like it's inconvenient for me either way.
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Old 08-08-2016, 01:19 PM   #6
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My understanding is they don't have to do warranty work. I may be wrong and someone on the forum will know. FR does authorize SOB dealers and repair centers to do work I've been told
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Old 08-08-2016, 01:27 PM   #7
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IMO, 300 miles is not local. It's a long drive to go there and back (600 miles) in one day. You should figure in the cost of a motel room and meals for one night if you ever had to use them.

With regard to the question of whether or not to pay more for a local dealer, you first have to determine if you even want to deal with that dealership based on references about their after-sales service. If they have a poor reputation to start with, I wouldn't give them my business even if they are a couple miles away. Good RV repair services can be hard to find so I'd be inclined to buy from a dealership with a good reputation rather than just because they are closer. FR can point you to another FR dealer who can take care of warranty repairs if you need any. If the "local" dealer has a good reputation but insists on taking $8000 more than another dealer, I'd go elsewhere. $8000 is a lot of warranty repairs.

If you search the forum, you'll find a lot of recommendations for dealers. Don't be afraid to buy from a dealer that's farther away if they have a very good reputation. That will reduce the chances of having a poor buying experience.
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Old 08-08-2016, 01:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DNA Dan View Post
Yes I am aware of that, unfortunately it's the same dealer or it's someone farther away. Even if I buy from a dealer 300 miles from me they know they are the only dealer for miles, so their prices tend to higher. I guess either way it's going to be a long drive or a long wait. Can a dealer completely refuse to service a warranty? Or if I call FR can they force the service to occur? I realize it won't be a speedy experience, but it sounds like it's inconvenient for me either way.
Forest River can not make a dealer do your warranty work, but with that being said if your traveling and have a problem they can call a local dealer for you and get you to the front of the line. So if your traveling it's different. If its only because you bought from another dealer because of price they can refuse.....
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Old 08-08-2016, 01:57 PM   #9
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Forest River cannot force any dealer to perform warranty work on your unit. The only dealers that had to work on a new RV was Jaco but now that they have been bought by Thor I doubt that they keep that arrangement for much longer. You may be able to fine a RV repair shop closer to you to perform the warranty work, or a local mobile tech can also be approved by FR to perform the warranty work. Find a shop that has a good reputation and use them for warranty work.
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:12 PM   #10
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Have the same issue with dealer 130 miles away. BUT they had the closest unit that we really liked, the unit was on the lot and was tricked out with some extras. Find out about warranty issue after purchase, called Flagstaff maintence number on FROG links and they looked up FR dealers in my area. They gave me two within 30 miles of me, one sells Rockwiood, the other Salmen and Sandpiper etc. either dealer will work on my Flagstaff if I have issues. Feel like FR is will to work with us if needed on the 2017 we just purchased. One note, do have a serious couch issue, opted to drive to the FROG rally 450 miles away to deal with it!
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