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Old 06-17-2010, 04:24 AM   #1
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Contacting FR/ surprise response

Gonna try not to turn this into a novel, so... Wanted to contact Forest River to get info about XLR toyhaulers. Amazes me they don't have any contact info on their website. So I did a search on hear, still can't find any numbers. Search just turns up threadfs with those words in them. Did another search on FR website and got local dealer name, called them, and they gave me a number to call. After 3 people, I got a voicemail box and left message. got a call back within 30 mins. from East coast rep. 2nd part of the story- Sept. of 09 I foolishly teaded my Cedar Creek 5er on a Keystone Raptor. Been nothing but trouble from day 1, and after using it 4 times last year wife wanted me to dump it. Local staeler wanted me to take about a $15,000 depreciation hit, I said no, wife was all for it (Tells you what she thinks of the RAptor!) Things are looking a little better for us this year, so I started looking at XLR's again, cause I really miss the FR quality. Got to talking with the rep about all of my issues and bad dealer I bought from, (he knew them with out me even saying who they were). Told him I had been looking on the internet. He brought up RV wholesalers, and I was shocked when he said he had no use for them, and didn't have a problem telling any of his dealers not to service any unit that came from them. He said they are everything that is wrong with the RV industry, that they don't play by the rules. I'm not trying to get the guy in trouble, cause he seemed like a genuinely nice guy, but I was really surprised at that remark. I was looking at RVw, and also RV Direct (Thanks NWJeeper), but now I don't know if I'd trust buying from them. Guess I was just wondering if anyone ever had an issue with service after buyig from them.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:25 AM   #2
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We bought from Buffalo RV which is part of RV Direct and I can not say enough good things about them and the whole experience. They have been above board and honest about everything and gone out of their way to take care of any and all concerns we have had. I think the dealer you are talking to just doesn't like to compete against someone who is willing to deal. That's my take. Buffalo RV saved us thousands of dollars compared to every Berkshire dealer we talked to, and we talked to most of them.

If you'd like more info feel free to PM me.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:45 AM   #3
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RV Wholesalers

Something happened there.

When I bought my Flagstaff last year they had the "Dealer Wholesale" (in quotes on purpose since that is NOT what the dealer pays. It is even less.) prices for the basic unit plus the "Dealer Wholesale" prices for EVERY option.

I worked for several months designing the unit I wanted with each option. and writing down each option's wholesale price so I knew (as close as possible) the base negotiating price when I went to my LOCAL dealers.

Armed with all that information, my dealer was VERY flexible with his markup. We closed the deal at $2,000 over the RV Wholesaler's price on the base unit and all options at the wholesale cost reflected on their web site. He was "happy" (he closed didn't he) and, BOY, so was I.

That worked out to be about 27% under published MSRP.

I have NO doubt that working UP to that negotiated price was much better for me than working DOWN from his first offer.

It also did not hurt that it was a factory order and he did not need to handle the unit very much.

The POINT -
I was just on the RV Wholsaler's web site and they NO LONGER list the MSRP or the Wholesale prices. They just give you a "monthly payment" calculated on that number. Sombody made a stink and their web site is not as "helpful" as it once was.

So, the lesson is that there is a LOT more markup in RVs than in the automobile industry and more room to wiggle than most realize.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:33 AM   #4
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Since I wouldn't trust my local dealer to service anything I own it didn't make any difference to me to buy from RVDirect. When it has come down to getting it serviced, well, I do a lot of my own work because I don't trust others. For the things that have gone wrong that I cant deal with like the Amana Microwave, I called the Amana service store nearyby and they sent a tech out to the house to fix the microwave under warranty. For the refrigerator I went to Dometic's website and found an RV service facility nearby that is the authorized service center here for Dometic. For my bedroom TV, check valve for black water flush and a wood grate on the intake of the furnace that cracked I called FR directly (John Armstrong) and he just sent me a new TV, Grate and check valve. FR has been open to allowing non FR dealers or service centers do work when it outside of their ability, such as a front end alignment or removing the unneeded shim from the spring pack, both of which have to be done by a large truck service shop.

I would say that the Rep you talked to is tyring to protect HIS dealers and isn't necessarily working in the interest of FR so much but his own pocket. Think about it, he gets paid when HIS dealers he represents sell rigs. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

If being able to take your rig to an actual FR dealer to have service done is important to you then RVdirect or RV Wholesale might not be for you. If on the other hand you can do your own work and you don't mind finding the service shops for the individual components that can do the work then you don't have much to worry about.

One other thought. If RV Wholesalers or RVDirect aren't "playing by the rules" why does FR continue to sell rigs to them????
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:33 AM   #5
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We purchased our Rockwood from RVWholesalers on April 1st, 2010. The remote for the Concertone does not work and we called RVWholesalers who quickly informed me that they only handle warranty issues by e-mail. Long story short it has been over a month and after numerous e-mails we still do not have a working remote. I called and spoke to one of the owners who assured me that he would have this taken care of, well that was at the end of May and still nothing. They told me that it would not be to their advantage to send me a new remote unless I send mine back which I am willing to do. They then had me fill out a form so that they can charge me for the remote if I fail to return the broken one. I have done all of this, as of 2 weeks ago they said they got authorization to send the new remote but of course they haven't. I have e-mailed them again and have not gotten any response. We got a great price from RVWolesalers and the people were all friendly when we picked up our tt, however they are doing nothing but giving me the runaround now.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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I bought my 2604 SS from RV Direct last October. Picked it up in Elkhart. No problems except the control for the heated mattress was missing. The rep in Elkhart ordered it before I left and it was at my home in Texas before I got home (3 days).
As for service and warrenty work I have had no problems with local dealers, Funtime now out of business, and Sun Belt RV. Sun Belt fixed my broken power tongue jack without charge the day before I left on a 18 day South Dakota trip, and it is still working. They have ordered a new jack and day/night shade under warrenty, should be in today.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:46 PM   #7
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I was hoping not to ruffle too many feathers with this,(and thanks for not busting on me about defecting to Keystone) just thought it was weird a rep would tell me things like that. Like I said, he seemed to be voicing more of his opinion rather than Forst Rivers, and I understood that. Only other issue I had was they went and switched the servicing dealer in my area to Boat and Rv in Pa, and I remember reading a few bad reviews here about them as far as service. As far as servicing things myself, that's a catch=22 for me. I worked as a mechanic for years, and used to build houses, so I'm pretty confident in my own abilities. That being said, it really burns my butt when I think about how much money you fork over for these things, then have to work on it yourself! Gonna go out and at least look at them-they're supposed to be getting the new ones in in July. One other point that was made-If I found a dealer I really liked and they were willing to work on my trailer, would that be an issue for FR?
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWJeeper View Post
FR has been open to allowing non FR dealers or service centers do work when it outside of their ability, such as a front end alignment or removing the unneeded shim from the spring pack, both of which have to be done by a large truck service shop.
I guess I'm spoiled. My dealer (Dave's RV - Claremore OK) can do the larger repairs in house (Example: Shim removal from spring pack) and has a full body shop (I really hope I never use that). For alignments they refer folks to a place they take rigs to.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMike View Post
I was hoping not to ruffle too many feathers with this,(and thanks for not busting on me about defecting to Keystone) just thought it was weird a rep would tell me things like that. Like I said, he seemed to be voicing more of his opinion rather than Forst Rivers, and I understood that. Only other issue I had was they went and switched the servicing dealer in my area to Boat and Rv in Pa, and I remember reading a few bad reviews here about them as far as service. As far as servicing things myself, that's a catch=22 for me. I worked as a mechanic for years, and used to build houses, so I'm pretty confident in my own abilities. That being said, it really burns my butt when I think about how much money you fork over for these things, then have to work on it yourself! Gonna go out and at least look at them-they're supposed to be getting the new ones in in July. One other point that was made-If I found a dealer I really liked and they were willing to work on my trailer, would that be an issue for FR?
Mighty Mike,
Absolutely agree with you. These rigs are EXPENSIVE. Part of the expense is the anticipation of a warranty repair, which, is fine , and understandable. Unfortunately, many times the repair involves "tooth pulling" and negotiation-which "burns my butt" too. I had some serious issues with my coach. I "spec'd" mine out with the dealer/salesman, and provided a typed list of the options BEFORE signing the paperwork . You would think the Coach would be delivered as ordered. What ended up happening was me fighting "multiple " issues most of which I won. The dealer / salesman flat out lied on two issues. Granted, there are good / bad dealers, but what I expereinced was nothing less than disappointing. I did call Forest River. Their "concern " was not exactly overwhelming, helpful, or solution oriented. The FR "Rep" was useless. I am sure others have had excellent experiences wiht FR, I wish I was one of them. What ever happened to the "service the customer" mentality. I am still waiting for a "Satisfaction Survey" to complete....I have a feeling it will not show up in the mail....
(Also, I agree with NW Jeeper re doing own repairs. I generally don't trust folks to do mine either. The problem is , you already paid for them to do the repairs (Warranty!!!))
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