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Old 10-12-2016, 07:52 PM   #1
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RV Dealerships

I am very new to the RVing world and am on a slow learning curve about it all. SOOO much to learn! I am somewhat confused (A normal state for me!) about RV dealership relationships with their customers. I read where it is probably more important to buy from a reputable dealer than to get the best price. One that has a good service department and provides good customer service and continues to take care of you after the sale. So what are we to do if the only place that has the motor home you want is a thousand miles away? I can't take it back to them to change to oil. Or to do anything for that matter. So am I limited to the dealerships close to me in order to get my motor home serviced? Or could I buy it in a far away land, and then establish a relationship with a local dealer in my area? That is what I do with my cars, are RV's somehow different in this respect?
We don't live in a large metro area and our options are limited. Sorry if this is stupid question, but I really want to figure out how this works in the RV world.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:01 PM   #2
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One thing to think about, normal PM on engine or chassis should be done at a authorized dealer, not a RV shop. Example, cummins engine, take to a cummins service center, frightliner chassis, take to frightliner etc. Lucky for use we have a very good cummins/frightliner dealer just up the road. Our RV dealer is worthless for the most part and we do the coach work ourself.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:05 PM   #3
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MHO...buy where you can get what you want...if a local dealer will not service you then find a shop that does not sell new or sell anything for that matter. A repair shop will usually have more talented employees that a shop that think they have a captive clientle

Chassis service I would go with the manufacturer's shop, usually talented employees. Service geared to getting vehicles back on the road.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:09 PM   #4
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I have to add my 2 cents worth.. I drove a lot of new trucks off the lot during the time I owned a business... I never returned the truck to the dealer unless it was warranty work.. it was my belief that you often didn't get true professional service on a commercial chassis from a dealer... I had a excellent independent shop who did all the work we didn't do ourselves... you do not need a "dealer" to service to maintain warranty... just receipts from where its done...

Look at all the freight trucks on the road.... they never get back to the dealer... except for warranty work... they each have their own service centers with excellent mechanics... and you take a carrier like UPS who has the ability to do most of their own warranty work in house at some of their service locations..
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:42 PM   #5
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I have a 2004 Class C motorhome with a Ford chassis and engine that I purchased from a dealer about 40 miles away.
All of the work on the Ford part if the motorhome is done by my regular mechanic who works on our other vehicles.
All of the camper work I either do myself or take it to a dealer about 15 miles away who only sells campers and fifth wheels.
As long as it's someone that you trust and does good work you should be fine.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelag View Post
I have to add my 2 cents worth.. I drove a lot of new trucks off the lot during the time I owned a business... I never returned the truck to the dealer unless it was warranty work.. it was my belief that you often didn't get true professional service on a commercial chassis from a dealer... I had a excellent independent shop who did all the work we didn't do ourselves... you do not need a "dealer" to service to maintain warranty... just receipts from where its done...

Look at all the freight trucks on the road.... they never get back to the dealer... except for warranty work... they each have their own service centers with excellent mechanics... and you take a carrier like UPS who has the ability to do most of their own warranty work in house at some of their service locations..
Sad that you're of the opinion that since you evidently had a poor dealer in your area that you automatically assume that we all must NOT be "true professional" and all the "excellent" mechanics work at the freight company shop or independent garage

I for one was a dealer tech for many years and take offense of your Statement.

Your grossly mistaken, although my post is almost as helpless as was your input was to the OP.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:49 PM   #7
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As full-timers who traveled constantly, we never returned to our selling dealer and never had an issue getting service. We had very little warranty issues and they were found the first month. We visited one dealer for one of the issues and the rest, the manufacturer sent us replacements which we installed ourselves. For anything other than the 'house' we went to a certified service facility. Rarely would a traveling full-timer return to the dealer.

There are also great mobile RV service people to use. If you're in a RV park and need something done, ask the office and they probably have a recommendation.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:56 PM   #8
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We bought ours from Camping World only because of the fantastic deal we got. We went in knowing we would never take it back to Camping World. So basically we do not have a warranty.
We do have the option of going to Indiana to get factory service but we are in Georgia.
We have a very good RV shop close to us. We recently had a few issues that should have been warranty but we looked at it a different way. We could have taken it to Camping World locally, they would have kept it for 3 months and screwed it up worse. We could have taken it to Indiana with a week off of work, incurred campground cost and diesel fuel there and back costing us at least $3500 with lost wages included, or we could take it to the reputable shop 15 miles down the road. We saved $2500 doing the latter.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mackwrench View Post
Sad that you're of the opinion that since you evidently had a poor dealer in your area that you automatically assume that we all must NOT be "true professional" and all the "excellent" mechanics work at the freight company shop or independent garage

I for one was a dealer tech for many years and take offense of your Statement.

Your grossly mistaken, although my post is almost as helpless as was your input was to the OP.
X2

Not all dealers are scum. Nor are all independents great. It goes for the auto industry and the truck industry as well as the RV industry. Its our job to filter through it all and support those who deserve our support.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:26 PM   #10
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This reading has been really interesting. My personal point of view is that inital problems need to handled by the dealer. Warranty issues can be handled by any dealer. Beyond that a good locale mobile service tech can often be your best friend. Then again I might be biased on that as I am kicking around a mobile tech and upgrade venture.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:01 AM   #11
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I would go after the best price. Each component in an RV is warranted by the mfg of that component, not the builder of the RV. Warranties are only for a year, generally. If you have problems with the build of your RV then the dealer may be of some use but you will lose use of your RV for months. Better to go back to the mfg. Dealers are primarily interested in selling, not servicing. A dealer, if you are paying, charges a lot more/hour than an independent. An independent is there to get your problem fixed, get paid and move on to the next person.

We had a regulator go out that the mfg of the RV said they would cover. Put a new one on, shipped the old one back with the invoice and was fully refunded. The mfg original stance was to take it to a dealer 2 hours away. Sorry, but I value my time also, 4 hours of travel, ?? hours of waiting, for a $30 item. No way.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:09 AM   #12
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Buy where you can get best price. Lots of service options available. Unlikely you will continue service from selling dealer anyway.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:14 AM   #13
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Very interesting. So what I am reading is that service after the sale is pretty much a non issue when it comes to a dealership. So I should only consider the buying experience and not the service department when shopping for an RV. For me, this is really good news! I live in an area where the closest large city is over a hundred miles away, so my options are pretty limited for finding the right motor home for me. OTOH, I do believe there are several RV service shops around in my area. I should look to those for service and warranty work.
Thanks for the input, VERY helpful!
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
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X2

Not all dealers are scum. Nor are all independents great. It goes for the auto industry and the truck industry as well as the RV industry. Its our job to filter through it all and support those who deserve our support.
jt
Thanks! That's correct. I understand that many RV dealers don't hire or encourage any OEM technician training or certification. There are certifications out there for RV techs: Home
While I'm not certified on RV's, I am in many, many other areas. My training, was not easy, or cheap so I expect appropriate compensation. Too bad many RV dealers / shops don't employ or encourage more training and certification, we all suffer because of it.....

I understand that a lot of folks can't do their own repairs or more importantly maintenance. It's up to the MH owner to take responsibility to learn who and where the coach should be worked on. But for goodness sake, take it to the OEM chassis dealer for engine, chassis, suspension, BRAKES and axle repairs / maintenance. Yes it's a few more $$$ but you'll be getting technicians that have knowledge of YOUR equipment.
If you have have a bad experience at your dealer, take it to another until you find one that your comfortable with.

As far as the motor coach side, good luck, I read a lot of people here have about the same issues with every brand of coach in every part of the country.....but if a factory authorized dealer can't or wont perform warranty repairs, I'd call the mfg, the dealer principle, and who ever else would listen to me rant until I got some satisfaction.

Really a shame the coach dealer network is as bad is it as, there's so much work out there......but it's not that way on the chassis side.

Good luck and enjoy your new to you motor coach!!
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