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Old 04-01-2024, 01:01 PM   #1
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Camping World(TN) and Forest River NO STAR review

Lets just start this off with, I know.....I should have listened to all the reviews. Lesson learned. This is a multi-review of both the dealer and the camper itself (You'll understand when you read it).



Let this be a learning moment for those researching camper dealers, or campers in general. I'll take you on a brief story about my "time" with Camping World and Forest River.



So my family and I decided we wanted a camper. I work in public safety and my wife is a nurse manager so we wanted to go a step above our every now and then tent camping weekends with the kids. I was told by a friend that Forest Rivers were decent campers, so off we went to our local dealer.....Camping World. They were located on Alcoa Highway south of Knoxville Tennessee, but are moving to Exit 407 on I-40 in Sevierville.



We were greeted at the door by a receptionist who makes sure she gets all your info to spam your phone and email before you can even talk to someone. I suggest give them a fake email and phone number unless you're sure you are purchasing from there. We are introduced to a salesman, asked a few questions about what we want, and we were off to the lot.


We had our eyes on the View series and really liked the 2024 28' model. After a few days of shopping around, we decided to look into it more heavily and see what price we could get. All in all the price point and monthly payments were ok, so we decided to go for it.


Now. You would think a salesman would MAKE SURE that trailer can be hauled by the customers truck right? No. Didnt ask until the day I was supposed to sign paperwork. THEN has the audacity to state "Well where can we deliver it to since you cant tow it?" Yes, let me buy a brand new camper AND truck. The wife will approve that no problem. (Thats sarcasm......)



Well, we had already gave a $500 deposit (which we were verbally told is refundable, but apparently is not), and I didnt feel like loosing that much money on behalf of an idiot salesman. They also would not refund it because its our issues if we couldnt tow the trailer. Fair enough.


So we found an XDBUD 2024 model we liked and could tow. So lets jump to purchase day...


My name on the paperwork was wrong. The PRICE was wrong. The down payment was wrong.



Did you know that any deposit needs to be a cashiers check? We didnt until the day before. Had to have it overnighted because we used an out of state bank (Navy Federal).



Tried to sell me the extra warranty....no thanks. Then this $1000 "Vacation ready" package. Well whats in it? They say its a Good Sam membership, propane, making sure your camper is ready to go camping out the door, a walk around making sure you know how to use it, and a $100 gift card to the store.


Well, I took it.



Fast forward to the "walk around". The service guy was completely UN-interested, and high. Did a terrible job and couldnt answer basic questions.


Drove the unit home.


Wife and I started to set it up. Front jack was broken. Ok. Being a new camper owner, I didnt realize I should have checked the jacks too. Thats on me I guess. Continued to set it up (jack was safely down just had some issues), and my wife took her shoes off getting in the camper.


Well, the carpet on the slideout was SOAKED. On further investigation...there was mold under the carpet on the plywood. Mind you, this is a NEW camper not USED.


We continued to set things up and test everything. Here is our list of things we had issues with:


1. Jack damaged
2. Water/mold problem
3. Toilet would not hold water OR spray water
4. Both front transverse compartments would not lock
5. Outside blackstone grill would not self-ignite
6. Oven wouldnt turn on.


So, contacted the dealership, they didnt really care. Finally got someone from Forest River to call me back, and she was nice and helpful. Dealership took the camper back, and I was told everything would be covered under warranty.


It has been a few weeks since they have had the camper. Last Friday, I was told I could pick it up and it was ready.


Today I drove 45 mins there. Waited around for them to get it out. Then went to inspect the work. Everything started off fine, until I asked if we could hook it up to water to check the toilet. The work order states "Toilet will not flush or hold water".



Guess what didnt work? You guessed it! The toilet. The service guy comes over dumbfounded. Well something inside the toilet is broken and will take either all day or a few days to get approved and completed.


Why would you not hook the unit up to water to check your work?



45 minute drive home. Day wasted.


I have paid 2 payments already on this camper that I havent been able to use. Forest River has given no sort of compensation or even a glimmer of empathy. Camping World has given no sort of compensation nor does it seem like they care about their customers. Its VERY aggravating not being able to use a camper that was supposed to be "Ready to go" and I had paid $1000 to make sure of. A camper that had a major water seal issue on the slide out to which had water damage and mold. BRAND NEW CAMPER.


After really looking at the quality of work that was done inside the camper....I'd say Forest Rivers quality has gone by the wayside.


Staples all over, crooked pieces of wood and cabinetry, laminate pealing, etc.



I've learned my lesson. I will try to get rid of this thing as fast as I can and spread the word about this horrible experience.


0 out of 5 stars. Stay Away.



Please feel free to message me if you have questions. I'd be happy to answer them!


- Dave
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Old 04-02-2024, 08:13 AM   #2
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I found out personally about Camping World the same way you did. They totally botched my repair work. I'll never set foot in any of their facilities again.


I now take all my repair work to independently owned shops. Much better experience with people who really now how to repair RVs.


Hope you can overcome these issues and experience the fun that RVing provides us.
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Old 04-02-2024, 08:42 AM   #3
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Sorry you had issues..........

but the bottom line is do your homework before buying and do a through PDI on your new unit before purchase.

The good news is other than the potential roof / window leak your issues are minor and all too common with all RVs these days.

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Old 04-02-2024, 08:51 AM   #4
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This should be a wake-up call to everyone- stay away from Camping World.
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:09 AM   #5
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Lesson learned: do a thorough PDI no matter what. This all could have been avoided if you had done that. I wouldnít sign anything until they fixed everything I found in my PDI. They hated me. If you are new, hire someone to do it for you.

Dealers hate deliveries and love it when someone doesnít do a PDI or opts to get stuff fixed later because they want the RV.
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:26 AM   #6
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Marcus Lemonis the new owner of CW is very aggressive with his businesses. I like to find service oriented companies. I will pay more to work with them. I live in a rural area where word of mouth means something. People build their reputations with service.

I am considering upgrading my 2012 Rockwood, but will buy used. I may not risk buying a rig made during Covid or one made recently. A good used trailer taken care of sometimes has all of the bugs worked out of it.
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Old 04-02-2024, 01:01 PM   #7
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Regarding Forest River quality, be aware that saying Forest River is like saying General Motors. They make lots of different brands and not all have the same quality. Rockwoods and Flagstaff are known to be high quality, at least most people seem to think so.
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Old 04-02-2024, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaklevel View Post
Sorry you had issues..........

but the bottom line is do your homework before buying and do a through PDI on your new unit before purchase.

The good news is other than the potential roof / window leak your issues are minor and all too common with all RVs these days.

I agree. The OP had problems because they went in unprepared and didn't follow advice on PDI and paperwork found everywhere.

This had nothing to do with CW and FR. This was all on the OP.

I can't imagine being so unprepared that I would buy an RV my tow vehicle could not tow.
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Old 04-02-2024, 01:23 PM   #9
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Yeah I feel ya on Camping World. My wife and I went to upgrade our unit as well a month a go and decided to see what they had. I was trying to give her all the options out there. We did our homework before hand and knew going in exactly what we could pull with a little wiggle room. Sure enough the sales guy, young kid and super nice, took us around to a bunch of rigs and of course she fell in love with one of them, but I explained to her that there was no way I felt comfortable with that much weight and length on a half ton. It could have pulled it without a problem but the kid insisted it would be fine.

Paperwork time they came back with trade in numbers and of course all the hidden fees and I was like, yeah I don't think so.

They were bound and determined to sell this rig to me, and he had the manager come talk with us about it. When I explained what Truck I had he was instantly like "yeah you probably cant haul that safely with your truck", which I responded yes I am aware.

We ended up with a Flagstaff 529BH we have now and absolutely love it. There have been a couple of really minor issues that were easy fixes on my part, but what rig doesn't have them. Flagstaff is a very well built unit.

Bottom line is, do your homework before you go, and always do a complete PDI. I think our PDI was like 2 hours or more. If you don't feel confident with it hire an inspector to do it for you.
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Old 04-02-2024, 02:00 PM   #10
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The PDI that us seasoned RVers know all about, sounds like the exact thing that the OP paid $1,000 for. First, it should be free to get the PDI, so I am curious if this is a Camping World thing at all CW locations, or if this is a dealer specific thing, and not all CW locations participate? My next concern with the practice of charging for it to be "camping ready" gets my spidey senses going. Sounds to me like you have the option of paying $1,000 for the PDI, OR you can skip the $1,000 fee and not get the PDI and then the dealer will give you the "well if you had paid for the PDI these items would have been found before you took delivery..." line. Making it more challenging to get them to fix the things they are obligated to fix (under warranty). I find many of the CW tactics off putting. They are a business, and businesses are there to make money, but sometimes its just too obnoxious. $1,000 for a service that should be included on any deal automatically falls into obnoxious.

That said, it is inexcusable for the trailer to be sold with a leak. I dont put that on the OP at all. That was clearly a manufacturing defect.

The trailer size versus truck capability debate is something that drives me wild with RV sales people. I can appreciate trying to make the sale, but sometimes its just ridiculous what they will tell you when it comes to towing. At this point I am pretty sure the sales people would sell a toy hauler to someone driving a Tacoma... There should be laws about that kind of thing, but that is a different issue altogether.

The other unfortunate issues are just considered "normal" with RVs, sadly. If you take delivery of an RV and dont find at least 3-5 little things that need to be adjusted/fixed/replaced you are pretty lucky.
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Old 04-02-2024, 02:10 PM   #11
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Op as mentioned should have done his home work. Had he come to to this forum he would have seen the reviews given about CW. Feel sorry you found out the hard way. By the way I see where this was your first post. Welcome to the forum.. Later RJD
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Old 04-02-2024, 03:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semperfi24 View Post
The PDI that us seasoned RVers know all about, sounds like the exact thing that the OP paid $1,000 for. First, it should be free to get the PDI, so I am curious if this is a Camping World thing at all CW locations, or if this is a dealer specific thing, and not all CW locations participate? My next concern with the practice of charging for it to be "camping ready" gets my spidey senses going. Sounds to me like you have the option of paying $1,000 for the PDI, OR you can skip the $1,000 fee and not get the PDI and then the dealer will give you the "well if you had paid for the PDI these items would have been found before you took delivery..." line. Making it more challenging to get them to fix the things they are obligated to fix (under warranty). I find many of the CW tactics off putting. They are a business, and businesses are there to make money, but sometimes its just too obnoxious. $1,000 for a service that should be included on any deal automatically falls into obnoxious.

That said, it is inexcusable for the trailer to be sold with a leak. I dont put that on the OP at all. That was clearly a manufacturing defect.

The trailer size versus truck capability debate is something that drives me wild with RV sales people. I can appreciate trying to make the sale, but sometimes its just ridiculous what they will tell you when it comes to towing. At this point I am pretty sure the sales people would sell a toy hauler to someone driving a Tacoma... There should be laws about that kind of thing, but that is a different issue altogether.

The other unfortunate issues are just considered "normal" with RVs, sadly. If you take delivery of an RV and dont find at least 3-5 little things that need to be adjusted/fixed/replaced you are pretty lucky.
Iím getting the feeling that the PDI charge is at all of them. I know that it was the same in Biloxi when we went, and Great American has one that is even higher along with all their hidden BS fees. I will on occasion but accessories at Camping World but never going to Great American or Camping World for a unit.
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Old 04-02-2024, 03:34 PM   #13
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The DW and I went shopping for a camper at a Camping World about 10 years ago that was enough to turn us away. The whole shopping experience was enough to turn us away. I could not imagine if we actually made a camper purchase.

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Old 04-02-2024, 05:18 PM   #14
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On the other hand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
This was all on the OP.

I can't imagine being so unprepared that I would buy an RV my tow vehicle could not tow.
On the other hand, it was pretty responsible of the Camping World manager to prevent the OP from a dangerous mistake.
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Old 04-02-2024, 07:36 PM   #15
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On the other hand, it was pretty responsible of the Camping World manager to prevent the OP from a dangerous mistake.

Thatís true.
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Old 04-02-2024, 08:43 PM   #16
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I've never done business with them but from what I understand, Camping World is practically notorious, for having good stock inventories (if you need it, they've got it, or can get it) but horrible, after purchase, customer service.
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Old 04-02-2024, 11:23 PM   #17
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On the other hand, it was pretty responsible of the Camping World manager to prevent the OP from a dangerous mistake.
And I completely disagree.

Also, CW was actually responsible in not letting the OP hook up and leave with their inadequate TV.
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Old 04-03-2024, 04:26 AM   #18
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I ordered 3 tubes of Alpha Sealant, 3 tubes of Geocel, and a roll of Butyl Tape from Camping World because they had the absolute best price on sealant. The 6 tubes came in one shipment. The butyl tape came in another a week later. When I opened it they had shipped a set of clip on tablecloth weights that look like little campers instead of a roll of butyl tape. Incompetence at its finest, although I do see how one could confuse the two LOL.
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Old 04-03-2024, 07:53 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
On the other hand, it was pretty responsible of the Camping World manager to prevent the OP from a dangerous mistake.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
And I completely disagree.

Also, CW was actually responsible in not letting the OP hook up and leave with their inadequate TV.
You completely disagree but then say the same thing in different words????

You are both saying CW did a good thing letting the person know they can't tow that weight. At least that is how I read the posts.
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Old 04-03-2024, 08:04 AM   #20
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We bought our Flagstaff TT from an established dealer in New York who has 7 stores in the state. The location we bought from has a Camping World dealership literally next door, about 300' away. When shopping we of course visited that CW location and spent a couple of hours there. The TTs they had were last on our list of the 3 dealerships we shopped at, and what kept them at the bottom of the list is that our salesperson promised us that she would email links to the specific units we had some interest in and follow up with us the next day. Never heard from her again. We have had our share of problems with the dealership we bought from, but after a good conversation with the general manager of the store everything was 100% taken care of. And there were no "hidden" charges for anything (still had the hard sell for 5 different types of extended/additional warranties and add-on packages). I can't imagine a dealer charging a customer for the PDI. They might as well say "we know your camper has issues, and we don't want you to find them before you leave with it".
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