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Old 05-22-2020, 04:49 PM   #101
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East to West is a new division for FR. It's a crowded field of long established trailer brands so E to W has a lot of competition. Plus they only make a few different sizes and floorplans, compared to similar divisions like Salem, Wildwood, Cherokee or Evo.
The Della Terra stick and tin line has only been out for around a couple of years. Only 9 models.
Their new Alta aluminum/filon ultralight line just was introduced last year. Only 7 models.
So it's going to take some time for dealers to recognize East to West.

Thanks for that. I'm new to all this (currently researching our first RV) and Its the sort of information I was hoping EastToWest might provide me with...so far they haven't responded to either of the two emails Ive sent their sales dept, but these are strange times. Made a please to our reputable local dealer to see if I can factory order through them
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:23 PM   #102
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The RV Industry is NOT like the Auto Industry. They can't require a dealer to service units they didn't sell.
RV Dealers are independent contractors, not a franchise. They can pick and choose and drop any of the RV brands they carry.

True but they could put incentives into the contracts that gave dealers who do service any unit and get good reviews get better reimbursement for services and better prices for new units.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:34 PM   #103
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True but they could put incentives into the contracts that gave dealers who do service any unit and get good reviews get better reimbursement for services and better prices for new units.
And, FR, for instance.........can tell Charlie's RV that they will no more be allowed to sell FR units unless they agree to service any FR unit on the planet.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:39 PM   #104
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And, FR, for instance.........can tell Charlie's RV that they will no more be allowed to sell FR units unless they agree to service any FR unit on the planet.
RV dealers don't care. They can go to another RV manufacturer and replace the FR line with one from Thor or another company. RV manufacturers have very little leverage unless it's a really popular line for that dealer.
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:50 PM   #105
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And, FR, for instance.........can tell Charlie's RV that they will no more be allowed to sell FR units unless they agree to service any FR unit on the planet.
That will never happen until they convert every dealer to a franchise, and until every other RV manufacturer does the same or their dealers will just move to another brand. That actually would increase the sales and service footprint for other manufacturers.

With the absolutely wide A to Z product lines from each manufacturer, no dealer could afford to train their people on every model nor could they afford to stock parts. The manufacturers would have to subsidize them and that cost will get transferred to us, the buyers, on every unit sold even if they rarely need warranty service.

No manufacturer exists because of service. They exist because of sales and dealers are how sales happen. Dealers hold the upper hand because annual RV sales absolutely pale in comparison to cars and trucks.

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Old 05-22-2020, 11:13 PM   #106
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The RV Industry is NOT like the Auto Industry. They can't require a dealer to service units they didn't sell.
RV Dealers are independent contractors, not a franchise. They can pick and choose and drop any of the RV brands they carry.
But... Isn't this a problem which could be remedied by FR *IF* they cared at all about customer service? They could choose to sell only to dealers who agreed to honor a manufacterer warranty.

Similarly, they could stop relying on the "well every single part is warrantied by the individual manufacturer" excuse. I get it. FR basically buys a chassis or axles from somebody else, builds a cheap frame of a camper/RV on top, and then fills it with parts and accessories manufactured by others. But if they really wanted to show commitment to customers or a commitment to selling a quality product, they would warranty ALL issues and then settle the claim with the individual part manufacturer on the back end. When a switch on my F150 broke and the window stopped working, I took it to Ford and they fixed it because the truck was under warranty. They didn't refer me to whatever tier 2 manufacturer produced that switch.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:35 PM   #107
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When a switch on my F150 broke and the window stopped working, I took it to Ford and they fixed it because the truck was under warranty. They didn't refer me to whatever tier 2 manufacturer produced that switch.
You can't compare or equate the Auto Industry with the RV Industry. It's a argument that will always fail.
The only thing that they have in common, is that they both sell things on wheels through dealerships. Other than that, they couldn't be more different.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:53 AM   #108
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That is why they could give dealers who do honor all warranty and extra point or two lower cost on new units, money talks.
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:24 PM   #109
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That is why they could give dealers who do honor all warranty and extra point or two lower cost on new units, money talks.
You are assuming that Forest River cares (or tracks) which dealer sells and which dealer does the warranty work on a particular VIN. Why would Forest River care who does your warranty work? As far as Forest River is concerned, that's the dealer's problem.

Unlike many new cars and trucks, the dealers, because they are not franchises, own the RVs that have been delivered to them. One dealer doesn't know what units are on another dealer's lot, much less where a unit was purchased from if it wasn't from him.

OTOH, we are shopping for a new minivan right now. On Toyota's web site, even I can see from home which dealers have which models, colors, etc. The dealer has even better visibility of all Toyota dealer stock nation-wide and what is in the pipeline, down to the VIN.

Automobiles and trucks have made tremendous strides in improving quality and performance in the past 50 years. Prices have also doubled after inflation. 50 years ago a new Ford Maverick was being advertised with an MSRP of $1,999. Today, after inflation that would be $12K. Try buying any new car today for $12K. There aren't a lot of choices below $24K, although many of them would be a better car than that Maverick. Do you really want to double the price (or more) to get the improved quality and warranty service that today's cars offer? Double the price of your camper for an enforceable 3 year warranty, and better build quality? I wouldn't be owning a camper at double the price.

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Old 05-24-2020, 04:14 PM   #110
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You are assuming that Forest River cares (or tracks) which dealer sells and which dealer does the warranty work on a particular VIN. Why would Forest River care who does your warranty work? As far as Forest River is concerned, that's the dealer's problem.

Unlike many new cars and trucks, the dealers, because they are not franchises, own the RVs that have been delivered to them. One dealer doesn't know what units are on another dealer's lot, much less where a unit was purchased from if it wasn't from him.

OTOH, we are shopping for a new minivan right now. On Toyota's web site, even I can see from home which dealers have which models, colors, etc. The dealer has even better visibility of all Toyota dealer stock nation-wide and what is in the pipeline, down to the VIN.

Automobiles and trucks have made tremendous strides in improving quality and performance in the past 50 years. Prices have also doubled after inflation. 50 years ago a new Ford Maverick was being advertised with an MSRP of $1,999. Today, after inflation that would be $12K. Try buying any new car today for $12K. There aren't a lot of choices below $24K, although many of them would be a better car than that Maverick. Do you really want to double the price (or more) to get the improved quality and warranty service that today's cars offer? Double the price of your camper for an enforceable 3 year warranty, and better build quality? I wouldn't be owning a camper at double the price.

Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21BHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time

Of course they know who they sold what VIN to and who got paid to do work on that VIN. How else are they going to know if it is a valid warranty claim or not, or if a particular shop is scamming them with bogus repairs. They might not leverage the info but somebody is tracking warranty work and costs.
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:36 PM   #111
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We purchased a new 2019 39RKFB last October for $74,000.00 from a dealer in Utah. We are in NE Washington. I started out by checking the north Spokane Wa. dealer who carried the 39RKFB RV and they had a 2019 listed for $135,000.00 and they weren't willing to budge very much at all on the price and that is why I started looking on line for one. The Utah dealer sent me a purchase order and I took that paperwork to the N Spokane store. I told them if they got at least within $10,000.00 of the Utah price, I would buy in Spokane but they wouldn't go below $115,000.00 and they were surprised that I would drive 10 hrs. to save $41,000.00 and I told them in a heart beat. What is ironic is the one we purchased in Utah is a mirror image of the one in Spokane and the one in Spokane is still on their lot as of last week. Now that I have installed 6 solar panels, 10 lithium batteries, and replaced the converter-charger and the solar controller, I am sure I have no more warranty. We have owned several trailers, a camper, and a DRV Luxury Suite, and so far I feel the build of the 39RKFB is very good, especially after using it a few times and after crawling all through the basement wiring and etc.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:04 PM   #112
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I was going to buy my trailer outside my state due to a better deal. I called Forest River and asked them about how to go about getting a trailer serviced in my state that was purchased out of state. They stated that it could be done, but HIGHLY recommends that you buy from a local dealership. I spoke with the local dealership that supplied my trailer model and they said they were contracted with Forest River and would service it even though I wasn't purchasing it from them. BUT I would be last in line for any service requests; which could be months of waiting. In the end I went to the local dealership and showed what I would be paying if I bought out of state and they came came down in their price (very close to what I would have paid). Figured it was a small trade off for having that peace of mind.
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:28 PM   #113
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You can't compare or equate the Auto Industry with the RV Industry. It's a argument that will always fail.
The only thing that they have in common, is that they both sell things on wheels through dealerships. Other than that, they couldn't be more different.
One big difference, parts for "automobiles" are required to be available for a specified amount of time. With recreational vehicles that time frame is much less. That is why Harley lobbied to have motorcycles declared "RV" instead of "automobile".
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:56 PM   #114
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Warranty vs. customer pay

I don't have much experience with RV dealers but I worked in accounting with auto dealers for 25 years. I believe the same principles apply to both.


The auto dealer is told how much he gets paid for warranty labor, and in 25 years, I never saw a factory that paid retail rates for warranty labor. It was frequently as much as a third less. Dealers disliked warranty labor because it was not profitable. Dealers that did a lot of warranty work were usually dealers whose service departments were good at driving away customer-pay service work.


The auto dealer is also told how much he will make on warranty parts. Again, this is usually under the retail parts price, but not always as bad as the labor factor.


Therefore, warranty work was not as profitable as customer-pay work. Customer pay work then got priority over warranty, where possible.


If Forest River (or any other RV manufacturer) is not requiring the dealer to provide warranty service to any FR product, then I can see dealers telling customers that they don't have time to service FR products not purchased there, unless they need the warranty work during the winter months in order to keep the shop open and the heat on.


I bought my new Rockwood Roo (seven years ago???) from a local dealer. I price-shopped the online dealers and that mega-dealer in eastern Indiana (6 hours away) and managed to get my local dealer to at least come close to their price. I've had very little need for warranty service since the dealer did a GREAT job of PDI and delivery inspection with the customer (me) going through all the how-to stuff even though this was not my first camper. As a result, when I trashed my power awning against a tree, I went back to them for the new awning (customer pay) and a few minor service items (mostly freebies!). That dealer is Bill Thomas Campers in Wentzville, MO.



Based on my experience and information from a number of friends (some of whom work or have worked for RV dealers), RV techs are substantially underpaid compared to auto/truck techs. They constantly deal with non-standard products, so the best keep moving around until they find the money and benefits they want. Therefore, service at any given dealership will be great one time, then horrible another time.


I've never needed service on the road. From friends, I believe most decent dealers will provide good and timely service to travelers in need when things break down. Trying to get warranty service on the road, however, could be dicey.
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Old 05-29-2020, 07:38 AM   #115
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Ok, the site team is closing this thread as it's turning personal which we have deleted those posts
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