Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Richmond, IN
I thought I would post our experiences with RV Wholesalers in Lakeview, OH. From what I saw the forums recommended Wanna RV or RVW. I chose RVW because it was 1/2 the distance closer than Wanna - I probably should have shopped Wanna, but didn't. The other thing that ultimately sold me on RVW was they use a service network, NOT dealers. I found a service guy just down the road from me, plus they said there are several thousand independent service centers across the U.S.
I should preface this by saying we had 2 negative experiences with Camping World. We bought a 17' 2011 Mini-Lite Etc from Camping World of Indianapolis. Supposedly, Camping World had done a dealer prep or inspection or whatever they called it. When we were looking at it before we bought it, I noticed the anode for the water heater was down to the wire (it was laying outside the water heater). When we got the trailer home, I saw that they just put that same plug back in (the nut was rusted so it was easy to tell)! In addition to that, the fresh water tank was missing a fore/aft bracket, the two cross brackets had bent, and the tank was about to fall out. Fortunately I had read about this problem on these forums and got under to look before we took a week long trip. I replaced the fore/aft bracket and put 1/4" angle iron in for the cross members like many others have done. Our second negative experience was that I purchased a shelf to go on the tongue for storage, but when I got it home, I saw that two of the brackets were missing. I called them right away and talked to the person I bought it from, and she said they didn't have another one, but she'd talk to service and get back to me. No one ever called. I called back a few days later and talked to someone else who said they'd take care of it, but I never heard from them. I ended up going to TSC and buying some angle iron. That was easier than re-packaging the whole thing and buying another one.
We had already decided we wanted a 2509S (we had seen one locally), so I used RVW's online quote tool to quote several different options. Their tool is a little cumbersome; you select your options and submit them, then wait for an e-mail that gives you the quote. The e-mail doesn't show you the options you selected, only the price, so I saved the quote summary screen from the browser as a PDF file with the dollar amount in the file name. There wasn't an easy way to figure out what each option cost aside from requesting a bare-bones unit, then requesting each option individually and doing the math. I know I did a spreadsheet that showed what each option cost, but I'll be darned if I can find it. Here's a summary:
$24,207 - base unit: Slatewood Cabinetry, Trailer package D, CO detector, heated mattress, water purifier, Maxair Fan, 12V battery, dealer prep
$24,992 - base plus thermopane, 15K air upgrade, extra MAXXAIR Fan
$25,317 - base plus thermopane, 15K air upgrade, extra MAXXAIR Fan, 12V fridge with 190W solar
$25,807 - base plus thermopane, 15K air upgrade, extra MAXXAIR Fan, 12V fridge with 190W solar, slideout awning
$25,417 - base plus thermopane, 15K air upgrade, extra MAXXAIR Fan, 12V fridge with 190W solar, Newport Ash cabinets
The price difference wasn't enough to affect our decision on what to get, so we ended up with option 2, plus a slideout awning and 190W solar. I didn't want the 12V fridge. We ended up paying $24,827, plus another $650 in documentation fees ($250), title fee ($45), and factory freight ($360). The order was placed 9/5/2020. The entire order procedure was done over the phone with electronic signatures, etc, and was very smooth. It was done in one session in well under an hour. They told us it would be 6-8 weeks before it came in. We also bought in to the extended warranty. Hopefully that is money wasted!
From what I have read one these forums, I could have easily done the solar upgrade (supposedly the wires are already run), and if I had, I probably would have gone for at least 400 watts. I also probably should have had them keep both batteries and bought LiFEPO4 cells and built my own battery bank. The savings on the solar array would have paid for the battery upgrade I think.
At the 5 week mark we were looking at a trip in the next week or so, so I e-mailed them asking what they thought delivery would be based on the trend they had seen in deliveries since we ordered our unit. I was disappointed that the response was pretty much "your unit isn't in yet, I doubt it will be" with no projection. BUT, they always responded quickly to my e-mails.
On December 9th we got notification that the camper was in, and scheduled (via e-mail) to pick it up on December 21st, which was the first date it would be available to pick up.
I had been prepping for the PDI, and had a list of tools and equipment I was going to use during the PDI. As it turns out, I used none of that. We showed up, did a very brief, and in my opinion incomplete, PDI. The person doing the PDI was pleasant and covered the basics, I just feel like if we hadn't had a camper before, we would have had a lot of questions. As an example, he didn't cover where the battery cutoff was (it was kind of hidden in the tongue), he didn't cover much in terms of the solar or inverter, and I'm not sure I'd have known that the propane tanks were empty if I hadn't asked. I was mostly OK with that as I was somewhat familiar anyway (having seen a lot of walk throughs on youtube), and I'm a "figure it out myself" kind of guy anyway. We didn't really test anything (except maybe the lights). They said everything (HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical) had been tested before the PDI, and I trusted them.
The closing did take a bit and involved a lot more paperwork, but it wasn't unreasonable. After the closing the owner came out and spoke with us to make sure we were happy with the deal and about getting service. The only disappointing side to the closing was the owner asking us about our religious beliefs, which I feel have no place in a business transaction.
We pulled it home with my F250 without a WDH, and it was fine at back country speeds, but when I got on the interstate I felt like I needed to keep it under 65MPH. I have since purchased an Andersen WDH but have not towed the camper anywhere yet. RVW would have sold me an Equ-al-zer hitch installed for $625, but I wanted the Andersen - hopefully I like it! I found it on Facebook Marketplace (newest model, used twice) for $300(shipped).
Two positives and one slightly negative - we got two free director's chairs, AND they sent us cookies about a week after the sale! The negative was that the propane tanks were empty. In addition to that, we were supposed to get a heated mattress, but I don't think we did. I've e-mailed them and they are checking on that. I still need to double double check that we don't have a heated mattress (I know we didn't get a cord).
Since then it has been sitting on our back patio and we have been upgrading various things so I've been running the heater a lot and using the electric. I have not found a single problem, but I haven't put any water in it because it has already been winterized. I also put about 40 psi of air into the plumbing system and it held.
In short, I'd buy from RVW again - the process was pretty painless and the communication was good.