I took delivery of my new Rockwood Roo 235s from RV Wholesalers on Friday. Entirely a positive experience.
Appointment time was set for noon on Friday. My dad and I drove the ~430 some odd-miles up from St Louis to take advantage of RVW’s good pricing and straightforward way of doing business
. The trip was non-eventful (save for a storm of the 17-year cicadas starting in Dayton and following us through Ohio), being mostly a straight shot up I-70. Our GPS took us in to Lakeview via the backroads, which made for a more direct route, although one using secondary and smaller roads. (If you come from the west, make sure to check your route before blinding doing whatever the GPS tells you).
RVW is right up Main Street in Lakeview, a block or two to the west of US Rte 33. You think you’ve gone out of your way, but – sure enough – they appear after driving though a small neighborhood. Three big storage lots to the West, the dealership and covered bays to the East. Make the turn into the driveway, bear right and drive clockwise around the building. The main door is on the side of the building facing AWAY from Main Street – just drive slowly, you’ll find it.
We arrived right on the dot of noon, and walked into the office. A long counter off to the left was setup for final paperwork and handover, the main office space was to the right, a u-shaped counter that seemed to serve as the nerve center. Immediately inside the main door was a dry-erase board with customer names for pickup. My name was front and center.
We talked with one of the office workers, who pulled a tech to walk us through the RV, introduce us to all the ancillary systems, and answer questions for us. Spry, tan, older gentleman with lots of boating and RV experience who had taken this job as his retirement job, helping make dreams come true. He directed us to the delivery bay where my new Roo was plugged in, clean and waiting.
From a customer perspective, the RVW dealership building is broken into several different rooms (each with several bays), the LAST of which is a set of customer-focused delivery bays for PDI. Spotlessly clean, the floor was freshly epoxy-coated (and a little slippery), the lights were all on, and there was power and water next to every door. RVs were being set up for walkthroughs and handovers by an entire team of RVW employees, all of which were helpful and eager to make our visit smooth and easy. There was a RVW carpet at the foot of every RV, and our AC was up and running (something we’re grateful for – it was 95į with Ohio humidity that day).
We walked through the entire RV with our guide, starting from the hitch, working our way around, and asking questions along the entire way. He was incredibly friendly and accommodating. He helped my dad and me with a great deal of patience, a ton of practical knowledge and advice, as well as humility and a willingness to answer questions, get answers, and help with tiny little details. With plenty of lead time from ordering to delivery (early February to early June), I had LOTS of opportunity to learn as much as I could through videos and asking questions here. The upshot of this is that I was well prepared to (1) know generally how things worked, (2) what to ask, and (3) have some idea when to ask about opinions and best practices (beyond just information about the coach).
Our walkthrough and system explanation took about 45min to an hour, at which point my dad and I settled in to do our own quality check. We used Triguy’s PDI checklist for hybrids, fantastic resource. I had built two trailer kits for this trip: one with trailer gear (and tools), and one with towing gear (and tools). Everything from screwguns, to flashlights, from square drivers to levels, electrical testers and even a ladder. We got to work going through and testing every system, turning every screw, checking every panel, testing every function. From the tow hitch to the television. We tested it on city water, we tested in with fresh water on water pump. We tested it on battery (and solar panel), as well as on shore power. Thanks to FRF, we were prepared to look into every system (I was even not surprised to find a China Bomb sitting under the spare cover – that is going to get upgraded pronto). I don’t know if the Roo knew what hit it.
Four solid hours later, the only things we found were a missing screw on the MORryde steps (one of the frame screws that secures the unit to the door frame), a not-entirely-driven in screw on one corner of the slide, a small dent in the guttering on the slide side (looks like someone laid a ladder onto the gutter), the Global Link locks and keys were pretty much garbage (but functioned properly) and the propane cover had one of the plastic “ears” (that hold the two halves to one another) broken off. The gent who initially walked us through our Roo secured a new cover for us, and gifted us with a small shock cord to hold it down.
A small aside, the new Roo’s come with the Truck Systems TST-507 color TPMS monitor system. It would have been phenomenal if someone could have set this up for us, or walked us through it. The sheer volume of options on the unit, as well as the trailer-and-tire specific information required, is going to mean I have to do a lot more studying in order to do it right (likely, I’ll lean on you good people here on FRF).
First, David Durnell was communicative and helpful. I reached out to him to compliment him on his sales process and our sales associate, Nathan. I was made plans and was looking forward to meeting David, but learned that he was out of town on that particular Friday. It was hot in Ohio that day, but worse down in Florida, so he gets an easy pass. David, if I make it out that way again (or you ever come through St. Louis, let me know). I still want to meet you and shake that hand.
Nathan, my salesman, did a fine job of pre-sale support, paperwork and closing information. He got a little quiet via email after I had sent in my deposit, but I think that was due to the fact that – once they have your deposit and they’ve put in your order – there’s pretty much nothing to report. Not until the factory tells the dealership that your trailer is in production and will be done. I mentioned this prior to delivery, and Nathan stepped right up with information again. Good guy, he came down to introduce himself while I was mid PDI. I was surprised he was so young, he handled himself very professionally over email and the phone.
The gent who performed our walkthrough was simply astounding. He gave honest opinions, gave plenty of great information, and said straightaway when he didn’t know something, but would find out. He hunted down techs and other folks with answers, and made sure we had what we needed. I am indebted to this gentleman, and spiffed him with a nice cash tip. He immediately turned it down saying it was not necessary, but – as the practical face of RVW AND the introduction to my first camping trailer – he was *entirely* worth it. Best $50 I spent that day.
Lastly, a younger gal who helped me through paperwork in the office. She was engaging, effective, sassy and fun, but to the point and got me taken care of in short order. I think signing papers and handing over a check took about 15 minutes.
We took possession of the trailer at 5pm, too late to get on the road (definitely with a new trailer and first time tow vehicle). I was initially going to leave the trailer on RVW’s lot and collect it in the morning, spending the night at the Super 8 in nearby Bellefontaine. After reviewing our route home, I elected to take the new 235s with me, leaving it in the hotel parking lot overnight. We left before 6 the next morning and made it home that night, safe and sound (stopping to check torque values on the new wheels, as well as temps on the tires and brakes).
Kudos to the entire RVW team, and special thanks to the people who directly helped me and my dad with my 235s. You guys did a great job with this newbie.