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Old 03-02-2016, 01:29 PM   #11
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My issue with buying a guide is that it likely is one person's opinion. Guides are helpful in researching certain specs on RVs, but they can be outdated as soon as published. Manufacturers change their builds year to year in some cases.

I think you are much better served by attending RV shows or dealerships and looking at them yourself, perhaps with a friend who is an experienced RVer.

Asking questions on this forum is also a good strategy.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:52 PM   #12
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It's a shame you're not near an RV factory. We went through three different manufacturer's plants and all were different in the way they do things, even though the process is the same. We were very happy seeing first hand how our then, Flagsatff 829fkss was "put together" and shocked at how it was done at a different manufacturer.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:56 PM   #13
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I've had at least one of almost all types of RVs since the mid-70s. Only had one (1) dealership that I would recommend, but now defunct. My rules are 1) locate a NON-DEALER RV repair shop within a couple hours drive of where you live, 2) do your research but realize, as others have said, even the best manufacturers have lapses, 3) get the best price you can within a day or two's drive from your home base, 4) put aside cash equal to about 10% to 15% of the purchase price to have the NON-DEALER repair shop fix the fixable shortcomings. Remember that really major stuff will qualify for going back to the factory for fixes. (Done that and it works.)

The reality is that most problems are not really that major, it's just the hassle of several trips to the dealer, and several weeks of missed camping while you wait on a $10 part or to have the repair actually done. NON-Dealer shops generally want you in and out as quick as possible, and since you're a paying customer, will want you to want to use them again.

I would say that there are "GOOD" dealers. In 40 years of RVing I've had one! Best characteristic to look for, other than neighbor recommendations, is that they carry at least one line of "premium" manufacturers, as in Newmar and Tiffin. The upper line manufacturer's generally try to sell through superior service dealerships - albeit not always.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
Unfortunately there are no universal solutions to purchasing a problem free RV. As you will see by viewing various threads here, one buyer will have only a few minor issues with a model where the next purchaser has major issues with the same model. As RV's are still produced by humans ( that have good and bad days) quality can vary greatly. The best solution is to choose the model you like, become very familiar with it's features and do a detailed PDI testing out everything (including roof) before signing anything. Be wary of the salesman that tells you they can clean it and have t ready for pick up tomorrow. Do not let the excitement of picking it up cloud your judgement and accept a unit with issues that the dealer promises to fix later. You are buying this to enjoy. Getting things corrected prior to signing will always be faster than getting them corrected once you sign and drive it off the lot. Follow your gut. If something does not seem right it probably isn't. Get the 2nd year FR warranty. Then come back and post pictures of you enjoying it.
I agree completely with this entire comment. I took an entire day during my PDI. Salesman got all frustrated, wanting to move on to the next sale. Top, bottom front to back. I checked and operated everything in the unit.

My thought on the comment of some people having issues and some people not having or having less issues with the same model is this. Some folks are handy/ mechanically minded and fix some things their selves depending on the nature of the repair needed. Some people are not. I mean no disrespect to anyone. Sure if my fridge went out I would take it in for warranty work/ replacement. The 1st rain with my new rv it leaked. I climbed the ladder and found the missed spot of sealant and repaired it in 5 minutes with some standard silicone. Been good for 2 years. I could have hauled it to dealer and waited who knows how long for it to be repaired then come on to the forum and complained.

I also spent a lot of my research time, researching the dealerships. Picking the unit was easy, I knew what I wanted. but ANYTIME you have ANYTHING with electrics and mechanical/plumbing items it will have some type of issues. Doesn't matter if its a $5k pop up or a high dollar class A. The integrity and customer service of the dealership is where its at. I probably spent as much time if not more researching dealers than the unit its self.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BandJCarm View Post
as folks who are about to spend 1/2 of our retirement money and order a new 5'er, is this worth $139.00?

If not, where can truly meaningful data be found?

Thanks.

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You can get as good - probably better - info right here on the FRF

Assuming, that is, you are planning on buying a Forest River Product

Seriously, a lot of the forum members are past owners of SOB RVs (Some Other Brand ) and have knowledge in that area as well.

Questions? Ask away! First question is are you getting a Motorhome or a Tow Behind?
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:42 PM   #16
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That's true, but may be the good news/bad news.
The warranty is only as good as the people who do the work.
If you read this forum, you will find:
1) Generally, the only dealer willing to do warranty work is the one you bought it from, which in many cases is far from your home.
2) Dealers generally don't like to do warranty work.
3) The quality of the work done by dealers varies considerably.
4) You must be out of warranty before a third party service contract kicks in.
There are a lot of RV repair places that do quality work on warranty work or have I just been lucky finding them.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:42 PM   #17
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Thanks again. Good responses.

Chateau, we did that. I was visiting my daughter in S. Carolina and we went and sat in many of them and inspected closely at a huge dealer. No salesman ever came near! We took all afternoon.

We came away impressed with the CC 36CKTS and are about to pull the trigger on ordering. My sphincter is closing tightly and I'm running in circles trying to ensure we are not messing up. I have a big history of head slapping AFTER a big decision!

Thanks again!
That is a great model. I purchased one in August 2014 and love it. The layout of the whole RV and the location of electrical outlets in the bedroom is what sold us.
I did this without reading any forums and I didn't even know what a PDI was. I guess I lucked out because I have only had minor issues with it. This forum is a source of some good information and I would have used it prior to purchasing my CC 36CKTS if I had known about it.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:45 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=RubberNail;1118192]I've had at least one of almost all types of RVs since the mid-70s. Only had one (1) dealership that I would recommend, but now defunct. My rules are 1) locate a NON-DEALER RV repair shop within a couple hours drive of where you live, 2) do your research but realize, as others have said, even the best manufacturers have lapses, 3) get the best price you can within a day or two's drive from your home base, 4) put aside cash equal to about 10% to 15% of the purchase price to have the NON-DEALER repair shop fix the fixable shortcomings. Remember that really major stuff will qualify for going back to the factory for fixes. (Done that and it works.)
The reality is that most problems are not really that major, it's just the hassle of several trips to the dealer, and several weeks of missed camping while you wait on a $10 part or to have the repair actually done. NON-Dealer shops generally want you in and out as quick as possible, and since you're a paying customer, will want you to want to use them again.

Very good advice!
One thing regarding warranties is that you can often get Forest River to authorize warranty repairs at a non-dealer. This is not an official policy on their part, involves some convincing on your part (be nice!) and varies with which model of FR you have, and who you talk to that day at customer service. Also, if you're on the road, and unable to obtain warranty service nearby, FR is more likely to help.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:05 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Big Vic View Post
My issue with buying a guide is that it likely is one person's opinion. Guides are helpful in researching certain specs on RVs, but they can be outdated as soon as published. Manufacturers change their builds year to year in some cases.

I think you are much better served by attending RV shows or dealerships and looking at them yourself, perhaps with a friend who is an experienced RVer.

Asking questions on this forum is also a good strategy.
The guide I suggested is updated yearly, and they do a lot of research before publishing. It is only a tool, and should not be your "only" tool in making decisions. However, you can get good information on the forums, but keep in mind posters are more likely to write about the issues they have than how happy they were that the kitchen drawer opens properly every time. Human nature.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubberNail View Post
I've had at least one of almost all types of RVs since the mid-70s. Only had one (1) dealership that I would recommend, but now defunct. My rules are 1) locate a NON-DEALER RV repair shop within a couple hours drive of where you live, 2) do your research but realize, as others have said, even the best manufacturers have lapses, 3) get the best price you can within a day or two's drive from your home base, 4) put aside cash equal to about 10% to 15% of the purchase price to have the NON-DEALER repair shop fix the fixable shortcomings. Remember that really major stuff will qualify for going back to the factory for fixes. (Done that and it works.)

The reality is that most problems are not really that major, it's just the hassle of several trips to the dealer, and several weeks of missed camping while you wait on a $10 part or to have the repair actually done. NON-Dealer shops generally want you in and out as quick as possible, and since you're a paying customer, will want you to want to use them again.

I would say that there are "GOOD" dealers. In 40 years of RVing I've had one! Best characteristic to look for, other than neighbor recommendations, is that they carry at least one line of "premium" manufacturers, as in Newmar and Tiffin. The upper line manufacturer's generally try to sell through superior service dealerships - albeit not always.
Good info.

There is a FR Dealer here in town. He's $25,000 more, best price, for same model. I'm at top of my budget now, can't go any higher, much less by that amount. If he will not do warranty work (even though I'm sure I'll be at end of list), Forest River has lied to me and we'll deal with that at the proper time.

I also have an Independent RV Repair guy about 40 miles away. Already used him once on our existing TT. Excellent work. Comes to you for the added cost of fuel. He fixed a plumbing problem in our driveway. So that exists.

My FIL had an old TT made in the early 70's. The ones today make that look like a Model T. Cars/trucks are amazingly better, and so are these things. Yet, some of the issues on manufacturing problems are hard to understand, I admit.
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