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Old 11-21-2016, 08:07 PM   #1
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Question about not buying local

I am just starting to look for a TT, and it seems that RVDirect will be about $8K cheaper than the 2 dealers I have local. To me, that is an easy decision to travel about 800 miles (I live in NE Texas) to save that much money.

My question is concerning getting service. I have heard stories about how the local dealer will not provide warranty service unless you buy from them. I would like to hear from people that have bought non-local, and what your actual results were trying to get local service.

Thanks
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:32 PM   #2
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I bought my TT from Indiana RV Connection. I would have preferred to buy locally (that means within AZ or Las Vegas), but had no reasonable discussions with any local salesperson. It was worth the 3,600 mile round trip, 6 days on the road, and 6 nights in motels.

All my warranty work and other service work has been happily performed by Affinity RV in Prescott Valley, AZ (I haven't tried their service facility in Prescott). The work and the scheduling have been top notch.

I couldn't happier with my purchase or my dealer. Not everyone on this forum has been as happy. So, as they say, YMMV.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:40 PM   #3
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There has been reports on these forums of dealers either refusing service or putting people at the bottom of the list, if they bought elsewhere. It seems to depend on the dealer.
Have you tried getting your local dealer to price match? I did this with my local, relatively small, dealer. He could not match the price but he did get close enough that it was not worth it to me to drive and have to pick up the trailer from far away.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:43 PM   #4
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Tim, I looked at online prices too when we bought our 5'er but was warned heavily that RV dealer support is not like a standard Chevy/Ford dealer. I did however use the quote from RV direct for bargaining power and got the best price I could find in all of Texas (yes we drove to everyone in our hunt). If you are buying in Texas, I would tell you to give Randy a call at Jerry's Campers in Abilene. While he was higher than online, as expected; he beat every other dealer by almost $5k. Customer service was always amazing and same day fast. Good luck and happy hunting, Mike

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Old 11-21-2016, 11:05 PM   #5
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What your going to find here is that some have had issues getting service and others have not... but at the end of the day it gets down to the specific dealer.

I also agree that an 8000$ price difference is significant but I would try to strike a local deal that both parties would be happy with using that as a negotiation tool.

I am very fortunate in that I have a smaller local dealer who understands his market and prices his rigs competitively while at the same time providing top notch service to his customer base. If you were travelling through the area and had a true emergency such as a slide that would not go in, I do believe he would work you in to get you back on the road.... however if you showed up with your air conditioning not working and a gripe list a mile long about loose trim pieces, a door askew, or some other non-emergency I'm certain you would be told that your rig isn't a priority and it will be dealt with as they have time...

It's the nature of the business, most of these guys don't have twenty mechanics and ten bays to work in... most of the smaller guys have a small staff and the ability to work on a few rigs at a time, and the same staff is prepping the new stuff for their customers.

So really i think the best thing you can do is find out what the policies of the dealers your likely to use will be and see how it plays out.... most of the answer will depend on how you ask the question so be prepared for that.

Honestly, if your somewhat handy, have an 8th grade education, or a desire to learn, there is very little on a travel trailer you cannot take care of yourself short of a major system failure that truly need dealer authorization to warranty. With all the rigs I've owned the only time I truly needed dealer intervention was with a cracked heat exchanger on my Arctic Fox, everything else has been pretty trivial and I've done most all of it on my own.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanNJanice View Post
There has been reports on these forums of dealers either refusing service or putting people at the bottom of the list, if they bought elsewhere. It seems to depend on the dealer.
Have you tried getting your local dealer to price match? I did this with my local, relatively small, dealer. He could not match the price but he did get close enough that it was not worth it to me to drive and have to pick up the trailer from far away.
Exactly what I did. Their deal was close enough that I bought locally, but definitely price shop to have a target price.
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:40 AM   #7
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We bought our Pinnacle from Colerain in Ohio. Beat our local dealers by way more than $8000. Haven't had any warranty problems other than a collapsed awning which they worked with Carefree and had another shipped to me. Since buying last July, there's a couple TSBs that have come out and at first I had a bit of a problem with the local dealer, but a call to Jayco seemed to solve that. No problems since.
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:41 PM   #8
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We bought our 5er on line from a Tucson AZ dealer. We have had warranty work done at other dealers than where we bought it and have had no problems getting service in a timely manner.
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:01 AM   #9
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Shop local dealers and ask them for their best price. Let them know you are shopping several dealers. I would not threaten them with an online price and then show up 6 months later with the RV you bought online.

I bought online and have had my W Hawk serviced at one of the dealers that I shopped before buying. Having not made a scene with them, I doubt they remembered me a year later. Service was good and timely.
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Old 12-11-2016, 11:31 AM   #10
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I bought from a dealer 500 miles away, mostly because he had in stock what I wanted. I had no problems with getting warranty service in my area. Now that the warranty has run its course, I do most of the service myself and take it to a non-rv-selling mechanic for items that are too large for me to handle.
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