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Old 04-26-2008, 04:33 AM   #1
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Most of you probably first knew of WRV's closure by reading this forum. We found out in a far different manner before it was ever posted.

While on our trip to Florida earlier this month, we looked at a 36' Allegro Bus. As most of you probably know, it is built on a huck-bolted chassis designed by Gary Jones, who designed the Peak chassis for WRV. We got a price on a trade, but wanted to think about it to make sure this was the right move. Also, the 36' we looked at was sold, so we couldn't drive it.

We came home and called Tiffin dealers nearer our home. We wanted to deal closer to home if we could. Only two were interested in our coach. One said they would beat the price we had been given. They were to call back with a firm offer. When the saleman called back, he said, "Western RV is closing; I have called all over the U.S., and nobody wants your coach." (That was a chilling moment!) I said that I had just talked with someone in WRV. He politely, but firmly replied, "I am not disputing your word, but they are going under. They will be closing their doors very soon." He said they would have to keep our coach on their lot, rather than wholesale it; and they already had two Travel Supremes. They would have to have $10,000 MORE to be willing to take it.

Another dealer in Alabama had come close to the Florida price. Buddy and I talked about the situation and quickly decided to call this dealer as well as the one in Florida and tell them what we had been told about WRV's closing. No way were we going to try to "firm up" a deal trying to beat the timing of this becoming general knowledge. We wanted to deal with "all cards on the table." When I called the one in Alabama, I was told that they did know about it when I was given the quote (and said they had known for two weeks). They wanted us to go ahead and bring our coach in for them to sell while we were awaiting the new coach on order. I asked about being protected "legally" and was told this would be done. Well, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to find out how "well" we would be protected. I called back and was put in touch with the business manager. I explained my fears and asked how long the dealer had been in business. Well, I got a long, round about answer, but FINALLY the bottom line was that he had bought it in Nov. of '07. My next question, "Is the dealership paid for?" He curtly replied, "Of course not; he operates on credit just like everyone else." I called the saleman back and said that, while we were not worried about Tiffin going out of business in the 10 weeks that it would take to get our coach, we were concerned that if the dealer sold our coach and happened to close doors, we would be "up a creek without a paddle." I asked if we could make a deal with a deposit (which we would be willing to forfeit if we backed out--contrary to what we would have to do with the Florida dealer) and deliver our coach when we picked up the new one. He said he didn't think that would be a problem, but would have to talk with the owner. In about two minutes, the saleman called back and said the owner said, "All deals are off," and that he did not want to trade for our coach! (Guess he didn't take too kindly to my inquiries as to his financial status.)

The Florida dealer said they would honor their offer--that they based their appraisals by current book prices, and that the book prices reflecting the closure of the company would not be reflected for several months. To shorten this story, we made the deal and ordered the coach. We were told we would be given a full refund of deposit if we were not saisfied with the Allegro Bus--that they had no problem selling them.

I did not post this because we wanted to go to the factory and make absolutely sure we wanted to get the coach. We spent all day (came with the workers and left when they did). We had a long test drive, factory tour, two meetings with Bob Tiffin (who is as gracious as we had been told), meetings with others, time spent examining coaches, etc. etc. The conclusion--yes, we wanted the Allegro Bus.

While we were still in Florida, we called one of the salesmen (whom we had grown to like) for an Alpine dealer who comes to all the rallies. We asked him about consignment of our motor home or outright selling. He said that he would talk with his manager and call us back the next day, giving us three prices--what a broker would pay, what we would need to agree to and could expect to get from consignment, and what we should expect on a trade. He did not call back the next day as he said he would. He did not call back the next day or the next. By then, we already knew why he didn't call back. This disappointed us, as we would have prefered he called back with "bad" news than to not have kept his word. I read some of these posts that were written a couple days before and around the time of closure and wondered why they were worded as they were, given that I had already been told of events that were to happen.

We made the tentative decision to trade our Alpine for the Allegro Bus before we knew WRV was closing. I am glad for that, because we didn't do it with that "pressure" being part of the decision making process. When we did find that out, it seemed like affirmation that we were doing the right thing. I will certainly say that the closing entered in to the confirmation of our decision.

You have been such a good group and are such wonderful people. We appreciate all of your help so much. It has been a pleasure to meet some of you in person and "correspond" with others. As I have said many times before, the personnel at WRV treated us more than fairly. For that, too, we are appreciative.

Alpines can make the turn in our driveway with no problem; they (and their owners) are always welcome here at the farm.

Beverly and Buddy Biggs
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Old 04-26-2008, 04:33 AM   #2
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Most of you probably first knew of WRV's closure by reading this forum. We found out in a far different manner before it was ever posted.

While on our trip to Florida earlier this month, we looked at a 36' Allegro Bus. As most of you probably know, it is built on a huck-bolted chassis designed by Gary Jones, who designed the Peak chassis for WRV. We got a price on a trade, but wanted to think about it to make sure this was the right move. Also, the 36' we looked at was sold, so we couldn't drive it.

We came home and called Tiffin dealers nearer our home. We wanted to deal closer to home if we could. Only two were interested in our coach. One said they would beat the price we had been given. They were to call back with a firm offer. When the saleman called back, he said, "Western RV is closing; I have called all over the U.S., and nobody wants your coach." (That was a chilling moment!) I said that I had just talked with someone in WRV. He politely, but firmly replied, "I am not disputing your word, but they are going under. They will be closing their doors very soon." He said they would have to keep our coach on their lot, rather than wholesale it; and they already had two Travel Supremes. They would have to have $10,000 MORE to be willing to take it.

Another dealer in Alabama had come close to the Florida price. Buddy and I talked about the situation and quickly decided to call this dealer as well as the one in Florida and tell them what we had been told about WRV's closing. No way were we going to try to "firm up" a deal trying to beat the timing of this becoming general knowledge. We wanted to deal with "all cards on the table." When I called the one in Alabama, I was told that they did know about it when I was given the quote (and said they had known for two weeks). They wanted us to go ahead and bring our coach in for them to sell while we were awaiting the new coach on order. I asked about being protected "legally" and was told this would be done. Well, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to find out how "well" we would be protected. I called back and was put in touch with the business manager. I explained my fears and asked how long the dealer had been in business. Well, I got a long, round about answer, but FINALLY the bottom line was that he had bought it in Nov. of '07. My next question, "Is the dealership paid for?" He curtly replied, "Of course not; he operates on credit just like everyone else." I called the saleman back and said that, while we were not worried about Tiffin going out of business in the 10 weeks that it would take to get our coach, we were concerned that if the dealer sold our coach and happened to close doors, we would be "up a creek without a paddle." I asked if we could make a deal with a deposit (which we would be willing to forfeit if we backed out--contrary to what we would have to do with the Florida dealer) and deliver our coach when we picked up the new one. He said he didn't think that would be a problem, but would have to talk with the owner. In about two minutes, the saleman called back and said the owner said, "All deals are off," and that he did not want to trade for our coach! (Guess he didn't take too kindly to my inquiries as to his financial status.)

The Florida dealer said they would honor their offer--that they based their appraisals by current book prices, and that the book prices reflecting the closure of the company would not be reflected for several months. To shorten this story, we made the deal and ordered the coach. We were told we would be given a full refund of deposit if we were not saisfied with the Allegro Bus--that they had no problem selling them.

I did not post this because we wanted to go to the factory and make absolutely sure we wanted to get the coach. We spent all day (came with the workers and left when they did). We had a long test drive, factory tour, two meetings with Bob Tiffin (who is as gracious as we had been told), meetings with others, time spent examining coaches, etc. etc. The conclusion--yes, we wanted the Allegro Bus.

While we were still in Florida, we called one of the salesmen (whom we had grown to like) for an Alpine dealer who comes to all the rallies. We asked him about consignment of our motor home or outright selling. He said that he would talk with his manager and call us back the next day, giving us three prices--what a broker would pay, what we would need to agree to and could expect to get from consignment, and what we should expect on a trade. He did not call back the next day as he said he would. He did not call back the next day or the next. By then, we already knew why he didn't call back. This disappointed us, as we would have prefered he called back with "bad" news than to not have kept his word. I read some of these posts that were written a couple days before and around the time of closure and wondered why they were worded as they were, given that I had already been told of events that were to happen.

We made the tentative decision to trade our Alpine for the Allegro Bus before we knew WRV was closing. I am glad for that, because we didn't do it with that "pressure" being part of the decision making process. When we did find that out, it seemed like affirmation that we were doing the right thing. I will certainly say that the closing entered in to the confirmation of our decision.

You have been such a good group and are such wonderful people. We appreciate all of your help so much. It has been a pleasure to meet some of you in person and "correspond" with others. As I have said many times before, the personnel at WRV treated us more than fairly. For that, too, we are appreciative.

Alpines can make the turn in our driveway with no problem; they (and their owners) are always welcome here at the farm.

Beverly and Buddy Biggs
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:53 AM   #3
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Good for you for pressing the dealership on details. I agree I would rather have bad news than be ignored. Painting with a broad brush here, but I wish there was a way to buy motorhomes (test drive and all) without dealerships. I am always on defensive offense and I don't like the hussle we get from many dealers. Dealerships just seem to be awful.

Best of luck to you on your new Allegro.

Signed

Anonymous
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:10 AM   #4
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I am curious about the chassis. Is the huck bolted chassis available on the 36'? Is the 425 the engine used? I have a friend that has a Zephyr and loves it. He is a former Alpine owner.
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Old 04-26-2008, 12:55 PM   #5
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Lundy,

Yes, the huck bolted chassis is available on the 36'. It is only available on this size (new out in Feb. of this year) and the 40'. The 425 engine is used.

Beverly
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Old 04-26-2008, 12:57 PM   #6
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I suggested a coupla years ago (B4 Monomoy) to Ron Doyle that he consider a customer-direct model for selling coaches, like Mediterranean Yachts uses. They started w/one model, which they still make. Last time I checked they had 2 IIRC. Yachts get service wherever they can, much like motorhomes, and are a conglomeration of gizmos mfg'rd by multifarious outfits of widely varying competence. Med yacht buyers are on their Xth boat, having settled on a level of quality and design (high but not stratospheric) that suits them. This is definitely not a high growth strategy, and would relegate any manufacturer to small mintages. Med Yachts would be a bigger outfit if they had dealerships all over the world, due to their superior boat. Either their server is down right now, or they are out of business (maybe swallowed by another mfg'r?) Med Yachts

It is the Newell way of life (Newell BTW expanded recently to accommodate their backload), and I know they are still in business.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:13 AM   #7
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I think Alpine would still be open under a system such as E-Mike suggested. Lazy Daze is an example. It is the finest Class C on the market (IMO) and has never operated thru dealers. Alpine is a similar classic in the Class A market--tops in engineering and design . Their plant was state of the art--such a shame that they did not have quality control to match. We would have loved to have felt comfortable keeping ours.

Beverly
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:34 AM   #8
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Would mind telling nme of FLorida dealership?

We are flying this upcoming weekend to lazy days and kind of plan to trade ours in, but would like not to waste time if we will get down-graded in our coach value trade in allowance. Thank you for your thoughts. tgfettig@milwpc.com
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:38 PM   #9
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TGF, Lazy Days is the dealership in Florida. We are very satisfied with them so far. We think they were very fair to us. If you are only going for that reason, you need to be prepared that all dealerships are going to take into consideration the fact that WRV has closed.

Beverly
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:04 PM   #10
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Just think, it won't be long until our coaches are collector items. I figure by 2010 the value will double! Unfortunately, diesel will be at $10/gal.

Hey, I'm in it for the long haul.....I love my Alpine Coach!
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:34 PM   #11
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I agree with Jerry, that the value will double. But then again I believe in the Tooth Fairy too.

But I do agree with him that I am in it for the long haul and love my coach. Trade-in value is the least of my worries.

Just to make sure it is clear, when Beverly praised the Lazy Daze a few posts earlier, she was talking about the Class C manufacturer in Pomona, CA, not the Florida dealership. The next post from Beverly was praising the Florida dealership too.

I also liked the Lazy Daze motorhome way of doing business. All sales factory direct, no dealers and no haggling on price. And very few options. You placed your order, and they built it for you. They sell and build however many motorhomes they can profitably build. And no more. But they don't build slides or diesel pushers.
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:22 PM   #12
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Me three! We, too, are in it for the long haul, as we really love our coach. The only upside we can see with the current situation is that it will save us a bunch of money, as we won't be tempted to buy yet another new Alpine!
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Old 04-28-2008, 03:37 PM   #13
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Sorry to confuse some folks, but I was referencing doing business with Lazy Days RV Center in Tampa, Fl>TGF
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Old 04-28-2008, 03:51 PM   #14
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Yes, when I was talking of Class C's I was talking of Lazy Daze with the Z (and definitely praising them from experience--we had two).

With the dealership Lazy Days in Fl, I didn't mean the compliment strongly enough to be "praising" them. So far, we have been pleased. We have many weeks to go before getting the Allegro Bus. It's not over 'til it's over.

TGF, if you are making a special trip, which I understood it to be, just to maybe trade with Lazy Days, I would suggest a phone call first to get some ideas of what they will do.

Beverly
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