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Old 05-16-2020, 03:03 PM   #41
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I'll expound on the reason my camper has never been back to the local dealer where I bought it. Within a couple months after buying it we were on (I believe) our second shakedown camping trip at a state park on the Tennessee River. Checkout was on a Sunday, after a 4 night stay, and when we were packing up, my slides would not retract. In a panic, we pulled all our paper work and finally reached a # for emergency service furnished by the dealer. His advice.....bring it to the shop tomorrow and we'll have a look at it. What?? My slides won't move and I'm in a state park and supposed to leave....
So I get out my multi-meter and see that there is no power going to the slide solenoid when the button is pushed. By taking the solenoid wire off the rear jack solenoid and placing it on the slide solenoid, going to manual mode on the jacks and triggering it, the slides came in.
When I got home and the next week, I put a switch from the battery to the slide solenoid so that I could power it up when I wanted to. It stayed that way for a couple years until I mentioned it to an Amish tech at the Goshen rally and he said it was probably the Alta circuit board and he would bring me one the next day. He fixed it in 20 minutes the next day. When I mentioned that my camper nose would settle a bit every day, he put some gauges on the system and said that one jack showed a small internal leak. They came back the next day with three guys and changed the affected jack out.
I decided then that I would never go to the trouble of going back to my local dealer for anything.
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:13 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
As stated before, they don't want warranty work because it doesn't pay well.
I understand that this is the assumption underlying all of these arguments, but is it true?
Any actual, real world intel from an actual bona fide dealer service writer out there regarding the price charged/payment received by a dealer's service department on two identical repairs, one under warranty and one not under warranty?

Also, I'm fully aware of all the regular drawbacks of getting warranty work done from the perspective of the consumer (e.g., long wait times, multiple trips, not done right, etc.) and, frankly, I've been fortunate to not have to deal with any warranty issues in the RV world (a couple of recalls, yes). But I have had a lot of warranty work done in the automotive/motorcycle world and I've just never had the impression that warranty work wasn't profitable (it may not be AS profitable, but that still wouldn't support a refusal to do it).
Maybe this is just a case of "Covid Curiosity" (the phenomenon of drilling down to the granular level on a topic out of sheer curiosity/boredom versus a real need to know!! )
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:13 PM   #43
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A good independent RV shop will probably do better work than a dealer. When we first got our Cardinal it spent weeks at the dealer to fix minor issues. One time I took it in for five issues, when I went to pick it up they had only addressed three of them. Took another week to finish. This dealer was 70 miles from my house. I then switched to a local independent shop and received quicker, better service.
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:04 PM   #44
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This whole conversation has to do with "what if". I refuse to deal with anyone whom threatens me with If I don't they won't. And, what is to say that the local dealer's service is all that stellar? On multiple occasions we have given the local people the chance for our business, but ultimately we are more concerned about the bottom line.

Best price does not mean poor service. If what we are buying is prepped correctly, there may be no need for warranty. That has held true for the last truck, motor home and boat purchases. Not once in for warranty.

On our last truck purchase, we gave the local dealer the chance for our business. The sales people quoted a price that shorted the rebates offered.We already had a quote from a competitor on virtually the same truck, so we knew in advance what rebates would be applied on the sale. The frosting came when the local dealer said to bring in any deal and they would beat it. Why would we do that? If they are applying only a portion of factory rebates, who is getting the rest? Local and integrity may not necessarily be used in the same sentence.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:35 AM   #45
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USMCbh1983, please share the dealer name in Michigan so I dont purchase from them in the future.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:13 AM   #46
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Jeff Couch was convicted and sentenced for aggravated felonious assault just to clear up a misstated comment. The majority of dealers (my families dealerships included) put warranty work at the bottom of the priorities list like most all other dealers do, Non-warranty work is heavily padded in terms of labor and parts, they can't do that with warranty because the factory supplies the parts and pays fixed fees for labor to the dealer. Dealers don't want anymore warranty work than they have to take, hence the if you didn't buy it here don't bring it here for warranty. RV Techs don't make the kind of money a Auto Tech does so the dealers tend to hire poorly skilled RV Techs because they're cheap, many of the really good and experienced techs bail out of dealerships and go private or Mobile where they can make a lot more money. I've never taken any of my RVs back to the dealer for work, it's mostly a waste of time. I do the work myself, take it to an independent or the factory if it's a big deal. I bought my Cedar Creek from Jeff Couch and saved $10K more than any other dealer within 5 states around me. In my case price is all that matters, I told Jeff Couch once my Creek left his lot he would never see it again. It goes to Orvan Fry for warranty work and some other work that Orvan does extremely well. As far as Jeff Couch goes, I don't have to like him, I had heard stories about him and his anger management issues but I only bought an RV from him.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:21 AM   #47
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Non-warranty work is heavily padded in terms of labor and parts, they can't do that with warranty because the factory supplies the parts and pays fixed fees for labor to the dealer. Dealers don't want anymore warranty work than they have to take,
Daycruiser - thanks for the insight (and, I'm assuming it's solid intel based on your family's ownership of RV dealerships). This makes more sense - Dealerships don't WANT to do more warranty work that they need to because the profit margins are less, but it's not some punitive action taken against someone for not buying an RV at their dealership. I also understand the concept of prioritizing service - if there are two service spots open for warranty work and three units, the locally purchased units are going to get priority. But getting low priority, or non-priority, for warranty seems to be a common theme, whether the unit was purchased locally or not!
That said (and without getting into family dynamics ), that fact that your family owns RV dealerships and you still chose to buy from an out of state dealer seems to suggest that passing on a higher priced local deal is not going to be the death knell of a relationship with that local dealer. (Of course, based on the posts above, the quality of the service department MAY be the death knell! )
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:54 AM   #48
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I am looking to purchase a trailer. I got a quote from an out of state dealer that was very very competitive. I spoke to a local dealer who said that they will not service anything from that particular dealer and that I won't find anyone in the state that will. I was told I could verify that with other people. So I did.

I called around and spoke to the service departments at 4 other dealers. When I asked them, 3 said they would service it, 1 said they aren't servicing anything unless purchased from them because they are so busy, and nobody ever heard of the dealer that I mentioned.

What's interesting is that when I spoke to salesmen at 2 additional dealers, they both gave me a line that I won't be able to get my trailer serviced if I buy elsewhere and that 99.9% of the dealers only service those who buy from them. Even with that said, though, they still never heard of the out of state dealer.

My lengthy post leads to this: has anyone else run into this?

Get use to it. We have been camping for over 40 years and I can tell you from experience. About 97% of all dealers are the best bull**** artist there are.


They have a true art for disparaging their competition. Any opportunity to disparage their competition will not be missed.



Buy from us and you will always be the first in line for service.



We cant service you if you purchase elsewhere.


Well, what do you expect, you purchased XY brand instead of YZ brand and they sell both.



That's the way they make um now a days.


That's supposed to be like that.


The parts are on order.


We sent your rebate check 6 weeks ago even though you only purchased the TT 4 weeks ago. They are magical.


If at all possible buy local. Sound to me your local is not so good.



Best of luck. Have fun. After a while it becomes comical and you have to smile.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:14 AM   #49
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Why does everybody want to buy from a dealer who has a crappy service dept?

Even when I'm only spending $300 on electronics, I consider the return policy, my reaction to the sales people, accuracy of the information I'm given, etc., besides lowest price when I decide where I am going to spend my money. I have found buying from discount specialty places on line is usually a better experience than Amazon. Etrailer or Newegg or similar get my business.

On vehicles where I'm spending $30K+, I won't go to places where I get treated like crap. One bad experience with the sales manager in a dealership, and that's it. I'll drive the extra 50 miles up to Denver for a better experience. At both automobile and RV dealers, I wander around the service dept, overhearing conversations. If I see several disgruntled customers arguing with their service writers - that's not a good sign. If I'm not allowed to talk to mechanics who are repairing or prepping my RV - that's not a good sign.

I have found MOST places with GOOD service departments (fair, work with you, don't overcharge or try to tack on extra work) don't charge top dollar in their sales department and don't have a butt head for a sales manager, either. I give my business to those places.

just my experiences
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:48 AM   #50
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In my opinion, Dealership Service depts are the last thing I worry about. If there is something major that I missed during a PDI (which I have not done but could happen I guess), it's going back to the factory. If it's something small (which I have had 2 dozens of things over the course of 3 RV's over 11 years) I repair it myself. If it happens after the warranty has expired, if it's not an issue I can address, I'm calling a mobile repair tech as they earn their business with their reputation and from discussions I've had and situations I've been witnessed to, are as someone previously stated, the cream of the crop as far as RV service techs because their experience and skill level outpaced a RV dealerships ability to pay them for their top notch skills.

No Extended Warranty, No Dealership service departments in 11 years and it's not burnt me yet. And I've likely saved 10k on the 2 new RV purchases and a couple more grand on not buying the extended warranties.

If your not handy with basic plumbing, electrical and basic tools, this might not be the right path for you but if you are, you're way ahead of the game putting the money back in your pocket and dealing with mobile techs if something comes up you can't handle.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:51 AM   #51
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One aspect I have not read here yet is how your location in the country factors in. Us northerners do not have a 12 month camping season. It's more like April/May into maybe October.

So our dealers and service facilities get swamped for six months yet they have to staff for known high and low demand periods. They likely have more than enough demand from their own sales and repeat service customers so they need to keep that group happy.

Due to the reduced camping season our dealers also are far and few between.

Ray
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:44 AM   #52
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Why does everybody want to buy from a dealer who has a crappy service dept?

I have found MOST places with GOOD service departments (fair, work with you, don't overcharge or try to tack on extra work) don't charge top dollar in their sales department and don't have a butt head for a sales manager, either. I give my business to those places.

just my experiences
Fred W
Reminds me of a time after retirement that I might like to sell at an auto dealership. I went in for an interview with the sales manager. While in his office before the interview started, a shop employee knocked on the office door. The shop person stated that they had promised the warranty customer the car that day and the repair part did not come in. He asked if he could take the part off a car in stock to keep the customer happy. As I recall, it was a belt. The request sounded reasonable and the shop guy was sincere.

The sales manager came unhinged and dressed down the shop person in front of me, a complete stranger. It was clear that the new car buyer would not get his car back as promised. It didn't end there. The manager then took it upon himself to demean his staff to me after the employee left the office. I stayed for the interview, but the red flags were up.

Well, I got a second interview, this time with the dealership owner. While in his office, he first had to make arrangements for one of his shop employees to gas his wife's car. Okay? The first question he asked of me was, "Why do you want to work here?" My response, "I'm not sure I do". A bit taken back, he responded that he had never had that response on an employment interview. I followed through with the interview more for curiosity than wanting to work there. I had pretty much made up my mind after the first interview.

Following the second interview, I got a call with a job offer. I turned it down.
My take was that the management would not support their staff-that would be me. Further, if I sold a vehicle, I would expect the dealership to stand behind the service end. They had proven early that they were not willing to go the extra mile This was a good example of a local dealer with poor business practices.

When we were negotiating for our MH, one of the shop personnel came to the person we were dealing with and asked a similar question as had the car dealer shop person. In this instance, no hesitation, do it. We knew this was going to go well. The dealer did everything they promised, went through a complete walk-through and we never had a problem.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:45 PM   #53
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The manager acted poorly to the employee, however I don't think stripping parts from new vehicles is right either. Who knows if the swapped part would be reinstalled correctly. I bought a new Ford truck back in the 90's and it had an AM radio. When I looked at the build sheet it was supposed to have an am/fm cassette. Yep, they swapped it out to make a different sale. They swapped another back into my truck after I complained. I never did business with them again.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:23 PM   #54
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We bought our travel trailer to facilitate a move from Texas to Washington. We have two dobermans - which meant, on a 6-7 day drive, we would otherwise spend maybe 3-4 hours each evening searching for a hotel that would allow them. We've had no problem finding dealers or independents willing to service the trailer after our move. No one has hinted "we only serve those that buy from us." That said, a local buyer may receive more attention, or higher priority than you - but that is an ongoing relationship development issue. Service Managers have revenue and profitability targets too. They should want your service business now, and potential upgrade business in the future. Personally, I think its says a lot about their business practices (and ethics).
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:30 PM   #55
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I think what you'll find, behind the scenes, is that a dealer service center may not have the capacity or employees to handle 'all' the units that may want servicing, therefore the dealer HAS to have a business plan to help handle that - they are CERTAINLY going to be partial to those who have purchased FROM them...simple. It's an easy choice, though others who did not purchase from them may be put off by it, but they are also probably not the 'long term' customers, or potentially those who are going to 'upgrade' anyway.
If you purchased from that dealer, and you wanted service quickly, only to find that so many others were put ahead of you that did NOT purchase from that dealer, you might find the shoe on the other 'foot', so to speak.

In the end, you might actually APPRECIATE your own dealer for having this 'customer-centric' kind of business decision in place - it protects YOU, their customer.
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:04 PM   #56
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The manager acted poorly to the employee, however I don't think stripping parts from new vehicles is right either. Who knows if the swapped part would be reinstalled correctly. I bought a new Ford truck back in the 90's and it had an AM radio. When I looked at the build sheet it was supposed to have an am/fm cassette. Yep, they swapped it out to make a different sale. They swapped another back into my truck after I complained. I never did business with them again.
In aircraft maintenance, cannibalization was hated with a passion. You always ended up with a hangar queen that would take untold labor to replace all the parts that had been stripped out. And every part that was cannibalized was three times the labor - removing it from the hangar queen, installing it in the aircraft you were trying to fix, and putting the part back into the hangar queen. Nevertheless, there were times when pace of operations and lack of parts required you to cannibalize. I have had a car dealership do it for me when they were trying to complete a sale to me on the last day of the month (raising their monthly incentive was worth the cost of cannibalization).

But I think the real point was the dressing down of the mechanic who suggested cannibalization in front of a stranger. The right thing to do would have been for the manager to excuse himself and have the discussion in private.

Fred W
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:21 PM   #57
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The manager acted poorly to the employee, however I don't think stripping parts from new vehicles is right either. Who knows if the swapped part would be reinstalled correctly. I bought a new Ford truck back in the 90's and it had an AM radio. When I looked at the build sheet it was supposed to have an am/fm cassette. Yep, they swapped it out to make a different sale. They swapped another back into my truck after I complained. I never did business with them again.
Something few outside the industry know, all those new cars on a dealers lot do not belong to him. They are being "floored" and the factory still owns them. Dealer pays a fee each month for the privilege of having all that inventory.

Taking parts from them can put a dealer in violation of flooring agreement.

Dealer does own his used csr inventory.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:14 PM   #58
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I am looking to purchase a trailer. I got a quote from an out of state dealer that was very very competitive. I spoke to a local dealer who said that they will not service anything from that particular dealer and that I won't find anyone in the state that will. I was told I could verify that with other people. So I did.

I called around and spoke to the service departments at 4 other dealers. When I asked them, 3 said they would service it, 1 said they aren't servicing anything unless purchased from them because they are so busy, and nobody ever heard of the dealer that I mentioned.

What's interesting is that when I spoke to salesmen at 2 additional dealers, they both gave me a line that I won't be able to get my trailer serviced if I buy elsewhere and that 99.9% of the dealers only service those who buy from them. Even with that said, though, they still never heard of the out of state dealer.

My lengthy post leads to this: has anyone else run into this?
No. They will lose franchise if they do not service. My bet is they do not have franchise.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:18 PM   #59
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YEP

Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCbh1983 View Post
I am looking to purchase a trailer. I got a quote from an out of state dealer that was very very competitive. I spoke to a local dealer who said that they will not service anything from that particular dealer and that I won't find anyone in the state that will. I was told I could verify that with other people. So I did.

I called around and spoke to the service departments at 4 other dealers. When I asked them, 3 said they would service it, 1 said they aren't servicing anything unless purchased from them because they are so busy, and nobody ever heard of the dealer that I mentioned.

What's interesting is that when I spoke to salesmen at 2 additional dealers, they both gave me a line that I won't be able to get my trailer serviced if I buy elsewhere and that 99.9% of the dealers only service those who buy from them. Even with that said, though, they still never heard of the out of state dealer.

My lengthy post leads to this: has anyone else run into this?
The salesman I bought my FR from in Fla. lied to my face when I asked about warranted work being done in my home state NY. "Oh yes, any FR dealer". Lied straight up. And that was when I cancelled my extended warranty. Another rip off to avoid when purchasing an RV. Thankfully I am mechanically inclined and have done anything that has come up. Nothing very serious...so far.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:51 PM   #60
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We purchased our Rockwood in Michigan. We were traveling in California and needed warranty work. We contacted FR, they referred us to two "approved" dealers. One told us we would always be at the end of the line, as they would always take their customers first. The wait? At least six months. The second dealer saw the Michigan plate and siad, "take it back where you got it".
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