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Old 05-13-2024, 04:34 PM   #1
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Cautionary tale if making a RV show purchase

Just wanted to share this cause I must have been naive / ignorant / optimistic to the ins & outs that go into buying at a show so that others can avoid that roller coaster effect & just feel good that things are going as they should.


Our last purchase was 2013, off the lot, new, cash, for our first camper from a small dealership. Time to move up - been to the Tampa show a few years in a row & time to get the new one (narrowed to 3 brands & because our previous FR was great we decided to stay with what we knew to be decent). Love our decision & placed the order.

Large national dealership & sales rep had been flown in from out of state. No biggie right? WRONG! Pricing based on financing so that they get the bank kick back after 6 months - not a biggie with us cause it amounted to a couple bucks & we were getting custom order we wanted. Credit goes thru fine in Jan.

Supposed to be in Tampa on the lot in 4-6 months, came in early in less than 2 (but we were not ready to pick up yet as we had plans with the old camper). Wonderful. Know we will pick up in May. Discuss the financing options with the finance person (not sales person) so they can have everything ready to go in May.

Now May - they need all the paperwork signed before we can get a demo of the unit on the lot. This causes a delay because electronic is not acceptable. We go look at the TT, they fed ex the finance papers from out of state for us to sign after that.

Let me tell you ..... those papers included the fact that we had thoroughly inspected the trailer (they won't demo until after paperwork goes thru), that there might be a credit service charge, misspellings on the pages (i.e. Instalment), under penalties of perjury that we had inspected the VIN number (we had not and were at home not on the lot), that we had accepted delivery & inspection of the TT located on their lot in NY (we are in FL) with full insurance while on their lot, that they could use our info for group mailings that we could only partially decline unless we signed we were in CA and that we agree to arbitration over any issues (thought this was a GOOD idea).


One by one the above issues I texted to their finance person today & she finally asked us to call her manager over why we were refusing to sign some of them. Very brief chat when we told him we were not signing a contract that was a lie. Manager sent over the buyers order for us to pay to them in NY in full & be done.

Guess no one reads the contracts as they truly thought we would just sign all these false statements. And for what? To just make me write my own buyer beware post to all the different camping blogs I am part of????

Buying from a show???? Get a local dealer & local sales rep to be involved at the show or hard pass .....
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Old 05-13-2024, 05:45 PM   #2
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I bought at the Hershey RV show from Camping World in Hanover, PA. Haggled the price with the salesman, sales manager balked about giving us the off road package at a price he said was costing them money, so split the difference on that. Contract signed stating price includes no additional fees or BS. Done. But I would never finance a toy/luxury item, so it simplifies things. And yes, they pushed hard for me to finance.
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Old 05-13-2024, 07:22 PM   #3
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Camping World by chance? Sounds like their MO.

We bought our first camper at the Hershey show a few years ago from Keystone RV in South central PA. It was a somewhat local to us dealer. Put down a deposit, they put in the order, they called when it was delivered. We did our PDI at the dealership when it arrived. Had a few minor things fixed. Signed the papers (after reading them). Gave them a check.

Your right, local is better, maybe a few $ more but no traveling out of state to buy a camper sight unseen in your case. I read of one person buying the camper site unseen 900 miles away. Signing the papers, taking ownership and hiring a transporter to bring it to them. Wow. What a leap of faith.

I sold cars in a past life and would tell customers that no matter how good a $ deal you get, it's still a bad deal if your not happy in the end.
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Old 05-13-2024, 08:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by REL View Post
Camping World by chance? Sounds like their MO.

We bought our first camper at the Hershey show a few years ago from Keystone RV in South central PA. It was a somewhat local to us dealer. Put down a deposit, they put in the order, they called when it was delivered. We did our PDI at the dealership when it arrived. Had a few minor things fixed. Signed the papers (after reading them). Gave them a check.

Your right, local is better, maybe a few $ more but no traveling out of state to buy a camper sight unseen in your case. I read of one person buying the camper site unseen 900 miles away. Signing the papers, taking ownership and hiring a transporter to bring it to them. Wow. What a leap of faith.

I sold cars in a past life and would tell customers that no matter how good a $ deal you get, it's still a bad deal if your not happy in the end.
Yeah, I would only do that with a new order from the factory. But really, what's the difference buying sight unseen from the factory, or new one already delivered to their lot?
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Old 05-14-2024, 02:40 PM   #5
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So what was the outcome? Did you sign the papers?

Sounds like a very unethical dealer.

We bought from a dealer 300 miles away. When we went to pick it up, we wouldn't sign the final papers until all the things that need to be fixed had been repaired. They didn't like it, but they managed to get everything fixed overnight.
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Old 05-14-2024, 04:20 PM   #6
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My brother bought a unit at a show from a salesman the dealer had flown to help sell units. He later found out that not a single promise the traveling salesman made was any good. He was told the salesman did not work for them so they did not have to honor his promises. He now knows he should have gotten it in writing.
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Old 05-14-2024, 05:32 PM   #7
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It sounds like the experience might align with what you'd expect from General RV, a major player in Florida. Considering the reviews, the situation you described seems familiar. When I was eyeing an APEX 208BB-N at the Jacksonville RV in February, we hammered out a deal that suited me, and I confirmed I'd be there Wednesday without any deposit or formal commitment. A salesperson called to confirm, and I reiterated that I'd only pay the show price, with taxes and tags being the only additional costs. And that's exactly what I got!

The key takeaway is to thoroughly research the dealership beforehand thoroughly. Reading reviews can give you insights into potential pitfalls and help you anticipate their tactics. During the final negotiation, I held firm, saying "no" to numerous add-ons. Ultimately, it's about being well-informed, knowing what to expect, and being ready to walk away if necessary.
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Old 05-15-2024, 06:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by NJKris View Post
Yeah, I would only do that with a new order from the factory. But really, what's the difference buying sight unseen from the factory, or new one already delivered to their lot?
I didn't buy it (sign anything) until it was at their lot and my PDI was complete.
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Old 05-15-2024, 07:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I didn't buy it (sign anything) until it was at their lot and my PDI was complete.
Same here when we ordered.
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Old 05-15-2024, 08:56 AM   #10
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I had to put a deposit down and sign the contract to get the 'show' pricing. Didn't mind at all since it was all locked in on a contract. $17,600 for a brand new fully loaded RV I thought was a good deal.
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Old 05-17-2024, 10:01 PM   #11
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So we sent the paid in full check to NY (where the saleperson had been flown in from for the show) for the TT located in Tampa on the lot. Waiting for the demo walk thru to be scheduled.
Happy with the show price. Really ticked that they wanted us to sign papers that were outright lies when we had agreed to finance just so they would get the bank kickback if it took us 6+ months to pay off (when we had full payment in hand and they would not give us the low price without financing).

Very concerned that they required full payment before the demo would even be scheduled. And so far no one has the correct national chain ....
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Old 05-18-2024, 01:51 PM   #12
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And so far no one has the correct national chain ....
I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was not Bish's RV. My first choice would have been CW. Second choice GM.
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Old 05-20-2024, 04:16 PM   #13
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here is a clue ;-)
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Old 05-20-2024, 04:31 PM   #14
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Very concerned that they required full payment before the demo would even be scheduled. And so far no one has the correct national chain ....
I agree with you. Hopefully they are a bit more honest then they've demonstrated.
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Old 05-20-2024, 04:59 PM   #15
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I think at that point I would have walked even if you think the price is good. Later RJD
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Old 05-20-2024, 06:26 PM   #16
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Another one bites the dust…

Have you ever been in a camping world and listened to the music they play? “Another one bites the dust” is a popular one. My wife and I bought a new 2020 FR Mini lite at CW. �� we paid half down in cash and financed the other 1/2. We were told we would get a complete walk thru after we signed the papers. We counted 6 things that didnt work and wanted them repaired before we took delivery they then told us we had to schedule thru the service dept.? 2 weeks out. We said no, and they said well thats the best we can do you own it now. So they have a 800 phone number on the wall and the millionair that owns CWorld Marcus Lamonis. The picture says if your not happy call ME. So I did. Of course I got his assistant. The service mgr stood there starting to sweat when he heard me describe the issue, and the location, then the service mgrs name, then I was placed on hold and I heard the phone ring and the service manager paged to the phone������ the next thing I know is our camper was being pulled i to service and we were treated to lunch while we waited. About 4 hours later but every thing was repaired. ( Anniston Alabama. May 2020)
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Old 05-20-2024, 08:25 PM   #17
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Bought a trailer 800 miles away.

I’m that guy. I bought a trailer 800 miles away based on the floor plan in the brochures. I paid cash and the dealer helped me hire a crazy guy to haul it to my house. I tried to buy locally but the local wanted an extra $7,000 for the identical trailer. I told the local what I was going to do but he wouldn’t come down a penny. It cost me $700 to have it hauled to my house. I hauled it to a site 70 miles away the next day and lived in it for 18 months. The dealer was supposed to check everything out but obviously didn’t. I had water coming into the front of the trailer coming from the upper clearance lights that hadn’t been caulked and all of my under sink pipes leaked. I decided if I was going to have a trailer I needed to be able to fix it. I got it all squared away and made some other improvements. I loved living in it. It saved me a lot of money every month for rent and the initial $7,000. The only really bad thing was that when they cut the hole for the black tank they left the piece in the tank and it blocked my black tank from emptying. Now that was a crappy story😂
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Old 05-20-2024, 10:53 PM   #18
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We drove 4000 miles RT, to pick up our first new RV.
Bought from a well respected family dealership. Made sure that I could get local dealers that would do the warranty work. Of course I had to wait, so I dropped it off in November and said I'll pick it up in April.
Never had any issues with them since I gave them plenty of time.
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Old 05-21-2024, 06:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsnellen View Post
It sounds like the experience might align with what you'd expect from General RV, a major player in Florida. Considering the reviews, the situation you described seems familiar. When I was eyeing an APEX 208BB-N at the Jacksonville RV in February, we hammered out a deal that suited me, and I confirmed I'd be there Wednesday without any deposit or formal commitment. A salesperson called to confirm, and I reiterated that I'd only pay the show price, with taxes and tags being the only additional costs. And that's exactly what I got!

The key takeaway is to thoroughly research the dealership beforehand thoroughly. Reading reviews can give you insights into potential pitfalls and help you anticipate their tactics. During the final negotiation, I held firm, saying "no" to numerous add-ons. Ultimately, it's about being well-informed, knowing what to expect, and being ready to walk away if necessary.
That was my first thought, General Rv is a major player nation wide with their HQ in Novi, MI. These national dealers have taken over and pull all kinds of tricks to scam the customer.
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Old 05-21-2024, 06:49 AM   #20
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Disapointed

Two words Blue Compass, good people but their financial practices are unethical imo. Not just at a show it's a corporate problem.. buyer be ware I'll never use them again. My story is they sold me a camper with a known electrical problem. They didn't let me know till after all paperwork was signed. Then they told me. I'd of had to hire a lawyer to back on the deal and it just wasn't worth the added frustration to me. I like my forest River but will never step foot in this company again.. good luck out there!
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