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Old 03-12-2011, 03:05 PM   #1
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Typical Dealer Destination Charges

We're waiting to take delivery of a new travel trailer on order with Jayco. Our purchase experience with the local dealer has been fine with one exception. During the negotiations we were told by the dealer that the destination charges were $2800 for a unit weighing less than 3000 lbs.

What we didn't understand and have only recently discovered was that all travel trailers are towed from the factory to the selling dealer via contract transport companies.

This means that all trailers have miles on them when they're purchased. In our case it's 1900 miles from the factory to the dealer.

Please share what destinations charges you've seen on your past RV purchases?
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:24 PM   #2
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As far as I know, $0 on mine. I picked mine up from RVdirect`s Albany NY location and one of their selling points is no delivery charges if you pick up the unit from one of their 4 locations. There were no itemized destination or dealer prep charges on my invoice. They do charge to deliver to your house if you so choose that option, after a walk through inspection by the customer at their location. Some manufacturers do not require this inspection and the dealer can deliver the unit to your house without you ever seeing it first. Not sure that`s such a good idea anyway, if there are issues upon arrival. -Lee
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mrnoyb View Post
We're waiting to take delivery of a new travel trailer on order with Jayco. Our purchase experience with the local dealer has been fine with one exception. During the negotiations we were told by the dealer that the destination charges were $2800 for a unit weighing less than 3000 lbs.

What we didn't understand and have only recently discovered was that all travel trailers are towed from the factory to the selling dealer via contract transport companies.

This means that all trailers have miles on them when they're purchased. In our case it's 1900 miles from the factory to the dealer.

Please share what destinations charges you've seen on your past RV purchases?
Picking mine up tomorrow from a dealer 1400 miles from the factory.
No destination charges.

Tom
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:16 PM   #4
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If you are picking it up directly from the dealer, the price you negotiate for is the bottom line. However he wants to pencil it out for his accounting purposes is up to him. If you are concerned about the shipping charge being tacked on, go to RV Wholesalers and see what they charge for delivery. Another way to look at it is to figur what it would cost you for fuel, food, and lodging for you to drive to the factory and pick it up. Again, the minutia of the dealers accounting is really up to him. I would stand on an offer or go elsewhere.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:51 PM   #5
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I don't know how things have changed since we purchased our Eagle back in 2000, but the price negotiated was the price we paid. If there was any destination charge, it was never mentioned and already included in the selling price.

The only type of RV trailer I've ever known to be "truckable" are pop-ups.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
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You can avoid destination charges if you buy from a dealer close to the factory. Otherwise someone is going to get paid to deliver it. Some dealers include it in their price and others try and make the price look better and add it on. Trucking expences are on everything we buy.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:00 AM   #7
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If you are picking it up directly from the dealer, the price you negotiate for is the bottom line. However he wants to pencil it out for his accounting purposes is up to him. If you are concerned about the shipping charge being tacked on, go to RV Wholesalers and see what they charge for delivery. Another way to look at it is to figur what it would cost you for fuel, food, and lodging for you to drive to the factory and pick it up. Again, the minutia of the dealers accounting is really up to him. I would stand on an offer or go elsewhere.
RV Wholesalers quoted $2943 to tow 3215 lbs 1922 miles. It appears $2800 may be a valid number.

I'm not dissatisfied with the final purchase price we got from our local dealer. I'm just surprised to learn how the distribution system really works with RVs.

Would you buy a new car with hundreds of miles on the odometer because it had to be driven to the dealer from the factory?

Thanks for the referral to the delivery charge calculator.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:10 AM   #8
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RV Wholesalers quoted $2943 to tow 3215 lbs 1922 miles. It appears $2800 may be a valid number.

I'm not dissatisfied with the final purchase price we got from our local dealer. I'm just surprised to learn how the distribution system really works with RVs.

[I]Would you buy a new car with hundreds of miles on the odometer because it had to be driven to the dealer from the factory.
It is not like they are going to get the engine hot or abuse the transmission on the way to the dealer.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:26 AM   #9
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Trailer delivery charges are always part of the final price, regardless of whether they are identified by the dealer or not.

Believe me, none of the manufacturers deliver trailers to the dealers for free.

There are about 250,000 towed RVs made each year. The companies all contract to a RV Transport Company to deliver the trailers.

I worked for Classic and then Quality, both are very reputable companies. While I was delivering for Classic, I often picked up JayCos for delivery from the Middlebury plant.

Transport companies charge the manufacturers a per mile cost for delivery. Included in that cost is the transport companies overhead. This overhead includes storage yards amd buildings, insurance, DOT registration and individual registration plates for every trailer they deliver (usually from Minnesota), and paying the often large fees that many States charge in addition to license registration. They also pay for monitoring the drivers as required for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that includes daily driver logs, physicals, drug testing,etc.

Drivers are paid per mile andreimbursement of actual fees based on receipts submitted. Fees for travel include tolls, fuel tax costs (Saskatchewan is the most) and some State charge to enter into their State even if you are not delivering there. I think NM is $25, AZ is $100, Washington State is $35.00 and in some States (like Idaho and Wyoming) you have buy a temporary registration permit if you don't use their license plates.

The driver is also paid a fuel surcharge based on the current cost of diesel.

Drivers are required to provide their own equipment but it is subject to inspection by both State DOT enforcement police and the companies themselves. There is also a required maintenance inspection by the State of Indiana every six months.

But, the bottomn line, the driver is paid +/- about $1.25 per mile. Some are slightly higher, some slightly lowered. There is additiona pay for Canada, usually .10-.20 per mile.

So, the companys charge the manufacturers somewhere between $2 and $3 per mile. I was never privy to the exact cost but it is a highly competitive business so it is pretty close to what the drivers are paid.

The maufacturers do not use rail transport for several reasons. The first is that there is no rail car designed specifically for an RV. Loading one aboard a car would also be problematic because how do you get the tow vehicle off? The trailers are not stressed for pickup by a crane like a piggyback container is and if they were, they would cost a lot more.

There are no yards for distribution and if there were, who would pay for them? Again, there are only 250,000 trailers made every year by a great number of manufacturers. The costs of maintaining delivery points all over the country and Canada would also be a big problem.

Almost all the transport companies forbid their drivers from entering into or using the trailer while in transit. I never did (I had a crew cab F350 dually with rear changed to a sleeper compartment) but I have seen drivers do it. They invariably get caught or reported and then terminated and I would suspect, blackballed by the transport company.

Drivers are contractors so there are no company benefits. That means they must file their own taxes, pay Social Security and Medicare, keep their own books and for that reason, many are retirees with healthcare provided with their pensions (Medicare and TriCare seem to be the most used)

The old adage is, "if you ain't moving, you ain't making money" holds true for transport drivers. But they have to use the FMCSA rules which means a max of 11 hour driving days and mandatory 34 hours after 70 hours of work.

I was a hobby driver in that I have three retirement pensions (four with SSA) and I still managed to average just over 100,000 miles per year.

The furthest ride I took was a JayCo to Prince George, Britsh Columbia. The longest ride I took was a Raptor toy hauler to Redmond, OR and then a pickup in Pendleton OR with a delivery to Grande Prairie Alberta, return to the US for another pickup at Pendleton OR and a delivery to Lubbock, TX and then finally home to northern Illinois.

I was stopped on Trans Canada 16 east of Edmonton for an 1 1/2 hours while park personnel of the Elk Island Provincial Park moved a herd of 7,000 bison ("You yanks call them buffalo") from the north side of the park to the south side. I had a wolf pack chase a mule deer across the highway in front of me in British Columbia and managed to get my video camera out in time to catch the last two of the pack as they scampered away in pursuit.

I have been stranded on I-80 in Wyoming three separate times because of snow, they just close the highway down and you are stuck where ever you are when it happens. I wnt down I-80 from Indiana headed west 67 times, I headed east 31 times. I have gone down I-65/I-75 17 times and west on I-44 19 times.

The ride back home is unpaid so whatever milage you are paid is for the one way delivery.

Hope this explains the process.

This is a my truck with a 5er in a Utah rest area in 2008:



I finally got fed up paying for repairs/maintenance for my 6.0L turbo diesel ($11,000.00 in 2008 alone) and walked away from the business.
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:17 PM   #10
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...Would you buy a new car with hundreds of miles on the odometer because it had to be driven to the dealer from the factory?
Yes, I have- although it wasn't hundreds of miles. I looked at a vehicle on a dealer's lot but when I went back to purchase it, learned that he had traded it to another dealer. Now he had to trade something else on his lot to get back the one I wanted to buy. So it had about 50 miles on it. My 1996 Ford F-250 had 72 miles on it when purchased because it also had been previously traded between two other Ford dealers before my dealer traded another vehicle to get it for me. Even my 2009 GMC had 21 miles on the clock when I took delivery even though it had not been traded at all.

Please keep in mind that you're dealing with a totally different "animal" here. Via what means would you have expected an object that varies from 9 to 12 feet high, 7 to 8.5 feet wide and 12 to over 30 feet long be transported? Loaded on any normal height flatbed trailer, it would be taller than the clearance height of any number of underpasses and tunnels. My Eagle 266 FBS is 10.5 feet high. On a flatbed, it would be around 15 or more feet high. And as for just loading it onto a flatbed, you'd better not be daydreaming while you're backing it on as there isn't much "wiggle room" for error.

If the thought of wear and tear in transporting a travel trailer is bothering you this much, I'd suggest that you never upgrade to class "C" or "A" motorhome as these are driven from the manufacturer too- and now you do have an engine, transmission, etc to consider. This is one reason why people who have the time go to the manufacturer and tow (or drive) their new rig home.
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