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Old 05-23-2018, 09:21 AM   #1
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Buy Local

I've read countless threads where folks are not getting satisfactory service/warranty treatment with their local dealer from whom they did NOT purchase their trailer, frustrated that the dealer they bought from is "3-4 hours away" and they don't think they should/could make the drive.

I can't recall too many threads where folks have issues that their local dealer that they did buy from couldn't address, but that some other "non-selling" dealer 3-4 hours away did easily address.

Could I have saved $1k-$2k if I purchased my TT from a "Superstore" 3 hours down the road? Yes. Was I happy to pay my local dealer $1k-$2k more knowing that they value my relationship and that they'll be there for me when I need them? Hell yes!!!

Moral of the story - you get what you pay for!!! If making this major "nice to have" but don't "need to have" purchase can't be done locally because of $1k-$2k, then maybe you should rethink the purchase entirely.

I'm not trying to call anyone out. I know from personal experience that people come on here for advice before making their first purchase. Hopefully this thread will help them out as well.

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Old 05-23-2018, 09:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csyrell View Post
I've read countless threads where folks are not getting satisfactory service/warranty treatment with their local dealer from whom they did NOT purchase their trailer, frustrated that the dealer they bought from is "3-4 hours away" and they don't think they should/could make the drive.

I can't recall too many threads where folks have issues that their local dealer that they did buy from couldn't address, but that some other "non-selling" dealer 3-4 hours away did easily address.

Could I have saved $1k-$2k if I purchased my TT from a "Superstore" 3 hours down the road? Yes. Was I happy to pay my local dealer $1k-$2k more knowing that they value my relationship and that they'll be there for me when I need them? Hell yes!!!

Moral of the story - you get what you pay for!!! If making this major "nice to have" but don't "need to have" purchase can't be done locally because of $1k-$2k, then maybe you should rethink the purchase entirely.

I'm not trying to call anyone out. I know from personal experience that people come on here for advice before making their first purchase. Hopefully this thread will help them out as well.


I guess it's a roll of the dice considering the warranty is only good for a year two at best if you can still get the 2nd year after that your free to take it anywhere to get repaired.

Personally I bought 250 miles away got a 3.5K better deal and yep I took it to the local dealer for some minor warranty work and yes I was put on the back on the wait list which was fine with me in reality the local dealer service was lousy a bunch of bumbling stumbling idiots.

IMHO would have been better off taking the trailer 250 miles back to to where I bought it so I'm glad I didn't buy local I saved 3.5K and their service dept stinks to boot.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:37 AM   #3
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Buy from the dealer with the best $$$ deal. Doesn't matter if it is 1000 miles away. Never return to any dealer for service. Use independent service only shops/mobile for warranty work. You will get better service and only be without your rig for hours/days instead of weeks/months.

We have been doing this for years and are MUCH happier. We use our RV a lot and things rarely break close to home, so relying on a local dealer for service just doesn't make sense.

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Old 05-23-2018, 09:41 AM   #4
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I did not have a local dealer for the trailer i purchased. The local dealer had just gone out of business. There was a dealer 3 hours away but they wanted 8k more than the dealer I purchased from. Now from a business stand point it seems crazy for a dealer to care where you bought from as the majority of there profit comes from service not sales. The standard trailer comes with a 1 year warranty. So wouldn't it make sense to do a few warranty repairs and earn a customer that you can earn profit on. I did the same thing with my truck. I purchased it at 1 dealer because they had the truck I wanted and have it serviced at another because the service department is better and the dealer doing the service will come out better over time. I am lucky enough to have an RV dealer close by that does not care where you purchased and because of that they have a customer that will continue to spend money there. I agree convenience is worth paying for but only to a certain extent. I believe when your not buying local it's usually because of more than 1 or 2k dollars.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
Buy from the dealer with the best $$$ deal. Doesn't matter if it is 1000 miles away. Never return to any dealer for service. Use independent service only shops/mobile for warranty work. You will get better service and only be without your rig for hours/days instead of weeks/months.

We have been doing this for years and are MUCH happier. We use our RV a lot and things rarely break close to home, so relying on a local dealer for service just doesn't make sense.

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X2...Now I live 2500 miles away from my selling dealership and haven't needed any work done since and my warranty is expired that's what I am going to do for any future work that I may need.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:43 AM   #6
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Now vice versa. We bought our trailer local and saved almost $2000 but they are known for not having the best service department. Should we have spent more and traveled the 4 hours one way to another dealer? Our last trailer we had for 12 years and never once had to take it in for service. I guess its a gamble either way.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:44 AM   #7
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I agree with you if your local dealer is competent. Our local dealer is a crook and the service department is an absolute joke. There is no way that I'm going to give them my service when I buy my next trailer. Example of their attitude, my BIL brought his 6 month old trailer in for a leak around the bedroom vent, the local dealer refused to do the repair under warranty because he hadn't brought it in for the required roof inspection every three months. Who takes their trailer in for roof inspection every three months. They wanted to charged him so he took it home and had a independent guy do it for half the cost. He bought the trailer from these guys, it should happen like this. I have heard other stories but they are second hand reports so I won't go there.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:44 AM   #8
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In theory that works. In reality, we picked both our campers online and had to find selling dealers for them.

In one case, the closest dealer was 75 minutes away but didn't get great reviews on service and became obstinate during the sale. The next closest dealer was about 3 1/2 hours away. They're who I bought from. And their service department SUUUUUUUCKED.

With this camper, there were only 12-15 of this model in the country east of Texas/Colorado. I tried dealing with the dealer that was closest to me, but they became deceitful a few days before we were to go pickup the camper. I had to go with the next closest. And sadly, they too SUUUUUUCK from a service perspective.

If you have a good local dealer, good on ya. But it's rare.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:44 AM   #9
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Sorry. Local dealer was $26,000 more, on his best deal.

But he did some warranty work anyway. No issues.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:46 AM   #10
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I agree you should buy local..... but

The local dealer didn't have the model we wanted and we wanted to see the unit in advance.

We wanted an available unit so that we could start traveling.

So we bought an available unit 300+ miles from home.

You are correct. The local dealer didn't want to deal with it, but given their long waiting time for warranty work (6 months), we dealt with the problems ourselves or used a mobile mechanic and since it was a small item, we just paid him.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:51 AM   #11
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I would have gladly bought from my local dealer for $2,000 more. But I chose to buy my trailer for $8,600 less a few hours away. But thats just me... We have a local guy that we choose to service our RV regardless of where we purchase, and FR will approve him to do warranty work. I personally wouldnt recommend that people simply buy local just to buy local, but instead I'd recommend they see if there is a local RV serviceman that can handle their needs. Then buy the trailer at the best price for you. That way you get the service you want, and you get the RV at the price you want. That may not be possible for everyone, every situation is different. Just my thoughts.

But I do agree that it is tiresome to hear complaints about service. Maybe not everyone knows that info before buying, but I would think the majority know that it is a risk if they choose to buy from somewhere else.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:04 AM   #12
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I bought mine over 1000 miles from home and saved for 10k vs the local dealer which had some pretty bad reviews. I knew going in that I would fix most anything that went wrong or have a mobile service take care of it. The savings for me was well worth it.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:14 AM   #13
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When I settled on the 5'ver I wanted I did an internet search to see who had them, and there were three of them in the entire US of A west of the Mississippi.

One was in Montana...the other two were 40 miles from my house north of Denver, Colorado.

Needless to say...one of those two is hitched up to my truck right now out in front of my new home in Yuma, Arizona as I'm leaving this morning for a three week trip!

I will say that this dealership promised the stars when I mentioned service...

But when the time came...they failed miserably!

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Old 05-23-2018, 10:26 AM   #14
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Does anyone have any experience submitting a first warranty claim directly to Forest River because they used an independent shop for their work? If so, how did it go, any concerns?
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:40 AM   #15
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Does anyone have any experience submitting a first warranty claim directly to Forest River because they used an independent shop for their work? If so, how did it go, any concerns?
The large majority of the independents we have used got pre-approval before they started work. FR payed them directly, and for us, it was same process as if a dealer had done it. Only better

There have been a few that got pre-approval for warranty work and then we paid them and FR reimbursed us later. We have never had to deal directly with FR for warranty.

Either way, it was a much better experience than using any dealer for service. And much quicker.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:57 AM   #16
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Great points all the way around!!!

I agree that sometimes the savings can be too great to ignore (although I'd wonder why my local dealer couldn't at least come close for an exact same model).

I guess if you need to travel to purchase because the price savings is just too great, or if you can't wait to order for the exact model you want, then don't be surprised if you don't get the all-star treatment from your local dealer.
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:07 AM   #17
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We use our unit for "Travel" that means most of the time we are 1000s of miles from the Dealer where we bought! We have used every type of Service that you can think of ,we always call Forest River for approval "BEFORE" any work is performed,then again when the Service determines the issue! We pay and FR reimburse us! We have even been to the Factory for Repair! Buy wherever you want! Youroo!!
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:29 AM   #18
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All good points. Our nearest dealer was $9000 higher than the dealer 1200 miles away. I drove the 1200 miles with no regrets. The dealer PDI was excellent so that I didn't need any specialized Dynamax service. My Aqua-hot failed and Aqua-hot sent a mobile service truck to me. That's it!! NMWildcat is right on. Don't worry about needing the local dealer. They only want to sell new.
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Old 05-23-2018, 01:55 PM   #19
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When we were ready to buy there was no local dealer carrying what we wanted, so we did most of the order direct with the factory and had a dealer 7 miles from the factory handle the sale, probably the easiest deal they ever did plus sold our trade in in less then 3 days, guess we took really great care of the Cedar Creek, glad the new owners were happy to find it. Never planned to go back to that dealer and between myself and the Goshen rally what little issues we had were taken care of.
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Old 05-23-2018, 02:04 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by csyrell View Post
I've read countless threads where folks are not getting satisfactory service/warranty treatment with their local dealer from whom they did NOT purchase their trailer, frustrated that the dealer they bought from is "3-4 hours away" and they don't think they should/could make the drive.

I can't recall too many threads where folks have issues that their local dealer that they did buy from couldn't address, but that some other "non-selling" dealer 3-4 hours away did easily address.
Not sure where you're getting your info from but I've been a member of numerous RV forums for 15 years and I've seen hundreds of posts by owners who bought local, only to find that they still get lousy service and poor treatment.

Buying local is NO guarantee of getting a positive treatment.
We bought our first trailer from a dealer 2000 miles away.
FR found us numerous local dealers that were willing to do the warranty work.
Never had any problem other than I knew I would be at the end of the line.
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