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Old 03-28-2016, 10:39 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Meridian Idaho
Posts: 51
Are there any good Forest River/Coachmen dealers

This is my time to vent, sorry. I think that I have made a mistake in the purchase of our new Coachman 215 RBK. I had to purchase this unit 5 1/2 hours north of my location (on one of Idahos goat trails), they were the closest dealer for this unit. I have spoken to a number of Forest River/Coachman dealers here in the valley and asked them if they would perform any necessary warranty work for me. I am a realist and this is not my first rodeo, I know something will come up. They all seems to feel the same way, they would reluctantly work on my unit. But they would put me on the back burner. In other words if a customer of theirs comes in and they are working my my unit, they will move on to them and back to me later even if I have an appointment. Which is making me wonder if I made a mistake with this purchase. To be honest if there was a way to back out of my deal (they are all ready adding my upgrades) with the vendor in northern Idaho I would probably do it.

What scares me if I am on the road and have an issue that needs to be resolved what is going to happen. We are planing on taking this unit on the 2400 mile trip the first of May.

When I contacted Forest River they responded:
"Yes you can take your coach to any Coachmen or Forest River dealer regardless of what they sell at that location. You may want to check with a few of the area dealers to make sure they will work on your coach though.
Some dealers regardless of who the manufacturer is will not work on anything they do not sell. Please steer away from these dealers as they are in the business of Sales and not Customer Service." It seems as if they know there is a issue but do not want to deal with it.

Any thoughts from the RV Community. How would you handle this? I am getting the same comments everywhere.

Bob k

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Old 03-28-2016, 10:52 AM   #2
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I was also told that. It didn't happen though. When I had to have warranty work done, they treated me the same as any other customer. They did mention at least a gazillion times that I didn't buy it there but no negative action was taken against me.

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Old 03-28-2016, 10:52 AM   #3
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You'll have this "problem" no matter what brand you buy.
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Old 03-28-2016, 11:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
You'll have this "problem" no matter what brand you buy.
I have heard this on just about every brand at one point or another. There are some decent dealers out there, but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule. I have had issues with some CW's and others have been fine. I have dealt with one dealer that was great to me, even though I hadn't purchased there. Other people have had crappy service from the same dealer and they did purchase there. I would do my due diligence, a thorough PDI and make sure EVERYTHING major is fixed prior to leaving the selling dealer. If there are any major issues I would walk away.

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Old 03-28-2016, 11:49 AM   #5
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I bought "locally" from "the best local dealer". Found I was best served by an independent local RV repair shop. Independent repair place makes their living from repairs - not from sales. Dealer (in my experience) sees service as an "expense to be minimized " and sees sales as their business. When under warranty, got pre-approval from FR, paid independent myself, reimbursed by FR.
For chassis issues, I go to a Sprinter or Mercedes service center (dealer). No issues getting chassis service "on the road".
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:03 PM   #6
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Find you a good indepedant service shop. Your unit probably won't break down in your driveway anyhow. If you have a issue,let your service guy do the work. If you are handy,try calling Coachman and have the ship you the pieces.
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:52 PM   #7
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If your unit breaks down on the rod, you aren't going to take it to your "selling dealer" anyway. We've bought all 3 of our units from a very good FR dealer just outside of St. Louis. When we did have a problem, on the road, a dealer in Ottumwa, Iowa, whom I'd never heard of, recognized that we were travelling through from outside the state. I called him at 4:30 p.m. He said it was too late to do anything that evening (I was already in a campground 45 minutes from him) but if I could get there early the next day, he would see what he could do. Arrived at his shop at 8:00 a.m., had the problem resolved, and was on our way before 10:00 a.m. So, to answer your question, yep, there are some very good dealers out there.

Kudos to Bowling Motors and RV in Ottumwa, Iowa. Customer service above and beyond.
Mike and Yvonne
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:55 PM   #8
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We just purchased a Coachmen and spent a week in it. So far so good and I really like. Depending on what you have done - signed paperwork put money down. You might be able to back out but may lose some money. If you are really that concerned then it is best to get out. But if you are nervous go with your instinct. You probably did a lot of research before deciding on it.

You never know what will happen but do a good inspection prior. Good Luck.
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Old 03-28-2016, 02:19 PM   #9
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Its all about "greasing their palm", since there is no real regulation for RVs like there are on vehicles its all about how to get your RV in the dealership to be worked on. It is the old adage of money talks bul#$%^t walks. The service manager is the one who sets the schedule, he is the one who decides when, where and why.

Dealerships know that they make money on selling the rv not working on warranty work. The guy who needs work done and is out of warranty and has to pay for the work is getting serviced before you. Its all about the money. It is like that anywhere you go. Do not get me wrong there are the exceptional few, but, as stated above they are far and few between.
The best thing you can do is get your tools together and learn to do it yourself. With that think of the satisfaction you will get knowing you did it yourself. One last note take pictures before during and after so you can keep track of it all.
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:36 PM   #10
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I purchased my Grey Wolf 25RR in Indiana and live in Milwaukee and went to I-94 RV in Kenosha where I was pretty much told to go %#@& myself because I hadn't bought from them.
I'm a lifelong camper, but first time RV'er.
However, I did go to Burlington RV which ended up closer to my house and they couldn't have been nicer, and from now on each and every purchase, upgrade or warranty work will be down at their shop.
Burlington RV is hands above all the rest in the area, so yes there are some bad apples out there, but keep looking and you'll find people to help you that love this lifestyle as much as we do.
Not everyone has their head in a black tank

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