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Old 03-06-2014, 08:14 PM   #1
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Forest River dilemma

So, here's the situation: DW and I are looking to trade in our Salem for a new camper, a toy hauler. Now, we all know that Forest River makes several different product lines, and not every "Forest River" dealer carries every product line. So I really want to purchase model "X", and I really want to purchase it from dealer "A." The problem is, dealer "A" does not carry line "X," even though he carries other Forest River product lines. I consider this dealer my "home" dealer, as I've spent over two years building up a relationship with them and I feel comfortable with their service. I don't want to buy anywhere else. Because this dealer does not carry product "X," the only way he can order this camper is to begin to carry the product line, in which case he has to order at least four of them for his lot. The dealer doesn't really want to do this, and I can't say I blame him. So is there anything that I, as the end consumer can do? Is there someone at Forest River I can communicate this issue to, to help facilitate the process? Or is it something the parent company and the dealer just have to hash out?

I'm sure Forest River has their reasons for doing things the way they do, but I would think they would jump at the chance for an existing dealer to carry a single sample of a different product line, in the hopes to get more eyeballs on them and possibly more orders. Am I nuts? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:21 PM   #2
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Perhaps it because dealer “B”, who actually carries the brand “X” you want, has an agreement with Forest River for exclusive rights to sell brand “X” within your area. This keeps dealer “A” and dealer “B” from cutting each other’s throat.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
So, here's the situation: DW and I are looking to trade in our Salem for a new camper, a toy hauler. Now, we all know that Forest River makes several different product lines, and not every "Forest River" dealer carries every product line. So I really want to purchase model "X", and I really want to purchase it from dealer "A." The problem is, dealer "A" does not carry line "X," even though he carries other Forest River product lines. I consider this dealer my "home" dealer, as I've spent over two years building up a relationship with them and I feel comfortable with their service. I don't want to buy anywhere else. Because this dealer does not carry product "X," the only way he can order this camper is to begin to carry the product line, in which case he has to order at least four of them for his lot. The dealer doesn't really want to do this, and I can't say I blame him. So is there anything that I, as the end consumer can do? Is there someone at Forest River I can communicate this issue to, to help facilitate the process? Or is it something the parent company and the dealer just have to hash out?



I'm sure Forest River has their reasons for doing things the way they do, but I would think they would jump at the chance for an existing dealer to carry a single sample of a different product line, in the hopes to get more eyeballs on them and possibly more orders. Am I nuts? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

Taranwanderer you have the exact same problem we ran into when we wanted to purchase our toyhauler from our local dealer, but they didnt sell that model. They too, sell other FR models though. Sad part is, we loved the toyhauler, so we drove 699 miles to purchase elsewhere. And, to make it sadder, our local desker will not even do warranty work on our rig because they do not sell that model. Cattch 22....
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
Perhaps it because dealer B, who actually carries the brand X you want, has an agreement with Forest River for exclusive rights to sell brand X within your area. This keeps dealer A and dealer B from cutting each others throat.
I could buy this argument, but according to the dealer locator on Forest River's website, the nearest dealer that sells line "X" is over 2 hours away from dealer "A." It seems that would be far enough away to keep dealers from stepping on each other's toes, but who knows what Forest River deems "far enough apart?" They (FR) sure don't make it easy to buy the RV you want from the dealer you want, do they?
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
I could buy this argument, but according to the dealer locator on Forest River's website, the nearest dealer that sells line "X" is over 2 hours away from dealer "A." It seems that would be far enough away to keep dealers from stepping on each other's toes, but who knows what Forest River deems "far enough apart?" They (FR) sure don't make it easy to buy the RV you want from the dealer you want, do they?
That is exactly what it is. RV's aren't like cars where every house in America has 2, so the territory is spread out more but the concept is the same. No dealer is going to invest in a showroom, staff, inventory, and advertising if the manufacturer is going to let another guy setup across the street and bid him down on every deal. And the scenario you put out there is equally detrimental to a dealer - if another dealer can order you his brands with no effort or investment and cost him a sale they aren't going to go for that either. I'm sure this territory management is the main reason behind the "twins" like Flagstaff and Rockwood. Gives the mfg a way to get more dealers out there without technically having them selling the same models.

We had this exact problem last year. Our dealer, who we really liked and wanted to buy from didn't have and couldn't get what we wanted. No way around it - even he said that. Fortunately, we found exactly what we wanted and the new dealer was great. Still miss the old guys though.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:30 AM   #6
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See, I don't think it's an "exclusivity" type deal--FR is willing to let dealer "A" carry line "X," it's just that they want the dealer to buy 4 of them right off the bat, which seems unreasonable to me for a new product line. I don't think it's a matter of territory.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:48 AM   #7
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My local dealer that also has 10 locations across the country, had a model I was interested in (jayco) at one of the other locations.
My local dealer told me they could not sell me that unit nor service it (warranty)because they didnt carry that unit. If I wanted that unit I would have to buy and service that unit from that other location.
The dealer in my area that handles that unit doesn't exactly have a good reputation around here for sales and bad service.
In the end we like the Lacrosse little bit better over the jayco anyway so it made no difference. The 2 year warranty on the jayco is very attractive.

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Old 03-08-2014, 11:11 PM   #8
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We bought ours in another city, a 2.5 hr drive from where we lived. Most of our local dealers didn't have what we really liked and wanted in a travel trailer and it had to be light enough for us to tow. Most had travel trailers price beyond our reach or too heavy for our TV or the trailer was too long for us and they did not carry the Salem Cruise lite models. We could have gone into single axle trailers or pop ups (would not make me happy) but we eventually found our trailer that fit needs and budget perfectly and got to spend a night camping with it after we had taken possession of it
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:27 PM   #9
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This is the way it is between Mike Thomson RV and Mcmohan. One sells the Forest River Sun seeker the other sells the Forest River Forester. 99.9% the same motorhome. I was told they do this because of thier close proximity to each other.

Forester comes with some of the sun seeker options as standard equip.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:42 AM   #10
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I ran into this same situation with tractors. I am a John Deere man and my local dealer sold both JD and an "orange" brand. About 6 years ago, when I needed parts, I went to the dealer and they said they couldn't help me any longer because they weren't carrying JD any longer. Why? because JD said that to maintain their dealership they had to increase their in stock inventory by $X which the dealer was not willing to invest in. Even though dealers are generally independent (whether tractor or RV) it is still the company that has the product which controls the license agreements to sell or not to sell at a specific dealership. So with my tractor situation instead of a 10 minute ride to my local community dealer, I have a 50 minute drive to do business with someone I don't know. Eventually I will develop a relationship with the new dealer, but Deere & Co. (not the local dealership) chose to cause the dealer to loose business. Ecconomics, pure and (not so) simple!
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