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Old 04-24-2016, 09:19 AM   #1
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Should we buy FRTT out of town?

Hello, I sure hope someone has some insight to a purchase problem we are experiencing. The wife and I really like the Forest River Salem Cruise Lite 261BHXL. In all of our online searches for the 2016 model, we keep finding a dealer that is 250 miles north of us has the best price at 13,500. All of the dealers close to us have the similar FR Wildwood 261BHXL camper for 16,500, and it seems to have less features? Has anyone had any luck it getting a dealer to "match" another non-local dealers pricing. Or, we could drive the 4 hours to the cheaper place, but what if we have issues that come up after the sale?
Any advice would be welcomed.

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Old 04-24-2016, 09:24 AM   #2
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As long as you are aware that local dealers may not work on your unit because you did not buy it from them I see nothing wrong with going for what you want.

Just be prepared to drive it back in the event you need warranty work done.

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Old 04-24-2016, 09:44 AM   #3
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I am sure you will get lots of opinions. The decision is very much dependent on what you expect for after market service. If you are someone who expects to return the unit to the dealer with a long "punch list" of minor things to correct then maybe buy local. If you are OK with fixing the small things and only using the warranty for major items, then long distance may work. The other factor here is the service quality of your local dealer. You are buying the TT to use and enjoy. You can't do that if it is sitting at the dealer awaiting repairs. If you are far away, some times FR will authorize a local shop to do major repairs ( replace AC etc). Also many of the appliances are actually covered under the appliance manufacturers warranty and can be returned to and authorized dealer or repair shop. Check local RV repair facilities and see of they have done warranty work for FR. Finally. Look at numbers. If you are saving $3000 on the unit, you can afford $3000 in out of pocket repairs during the first year and still break even. Good Luck.

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Old 04-24-2016, 10:42 AM   #4
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It never hurts to ask your local dealer to match the $ from the dealer further away from you. Like others have said service is a big factor to consider.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:30 AM   #5
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We purchased ours 3 hours away and saved around 15%, unfortunately it needed repair before the first outing so we contacted the local dealer. He asked where we bought the TT and promptly said we would have to get back to you. Two day later I contacted Forest River and explained the situation. The local dealer called that same day and scheduled an appointment. Luckily that worked for us as we are in for on our second service repair after 2 camping trips.

Some independent shops do warranty work for Forest River also, maybe worth checking around.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:49 PM   #6
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I did

I did with no problems. Saved $3000 by driving 1300 miles round trip. The dealer prep was spot on. Then we drove 50 miles and camped for two days to test everything, couldn't fined any defects.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:55 PM   #7
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Flybob said it best, and succinctly.

We are buying 680 miles from home, and saving $29,000!!!!
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:58 PM   #8
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I bought 800 miles away! Saved $7000+.
Fixed a few minor issues myself. Have enjoyed my unit for 3 years. Lots of help here is better than dealers/delays. Good luck.
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:34 PM   #9
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A few years ago we shopped locally in south Florida and found a TT we liked. Salesman and Mgr wouldn't budge on price. Next day found same unit $7000 cheaper in Elkhart Indiana put down payment on it. Wrote a very nice letter to previous salesman and thanked him and told him we found same unit and were buying elsewhere. 2 days late got a phone call- he said "can we talk about the price"
Told him no because days earlier you were firm on price. He tried to convince me not to buy else where. Told him I gave he and mgr chance and they stood firm. No regrets in purchase. However others are right about servicing warranty issues
THEN AGAIN bought new unit from different dealer in town - buying it there made no difference in service promptness. They had the new unit for 2 months and never touched it, kept putting others in front on work list. I had to contact the CEO of this major outfit. Most of the work was then completed in 3 days. Hum mm?
I would tell your sales person or mgr that you found another and see if he will work with you. You must be happy with what you buy. That's first on list. If other issues arise you can deal with those.
Bought 2 units from a major dealer in Tampa area -issues with service. Once had one for 7 weeks went to pick up and nothing was done. Took it to Frog Rally, service there said they had see pictures before and had sent parts. In the Elkhart Fairgrounds working out of golf carts they made repairs and replacements plus MORE in 3 hours or less AND stopped back next day to see if all was OK. Susan Thornberg and crew were great.
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:40 PM   #10
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The one potential fallacy I see in this ongoing discussion of whether to buy local or not, is the discussion of how good your local dealer is at service.........and not just whether he's higher or lower in initial price.

My local dealer is great at service, but literally awful at initial price. So, I know I can get service here. First year, I may have to be last in line. After that, I'm paying anyway, and he's good so he gets the business.

However, if your local dealer is awful at service, then finding it cheaper elsewhere would seem to be a no-brainer.

In other words, it would be a mistake to automatically assume that every local dealer is good at service and warranty simply because he lives close to you.

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