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Old 03-26-2014, 04:42 PM   #15
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Excellent points! I really appreciate the feedback from everyone!!
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:33 PM   #16
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I bought locally and paid too much, BUT they fixed everything I asked for friendly. I did not have to fly/drive to go get it or take it back far away for service. You can not drive a coach for less than $1.25/mile. A car for less than $.60/mile. Doesn't take long to offset the savings and convenience of local sales and service. Above person drove 600 miles x2 ways x 1.25 = $1500! If he had to leave it and drove back in his car too add another $1440 (2 trips), Total $2940.
I can buy a lot of diesel with the $40,000 I saved by driving 600 miles. The closest dealer that carries my brand of motorhome is still over a hundred miles away, and they wanted that much more than what I paid for a comparable coach. The only dealers that were in the ballpark were even further than the 600 miles I traveled (1000 and 1500 miles).

I'm not sure how you arrived at your costs, but your $1500 is about double what it costs me. I realize that there are hidden costs such as tires, batteries, etc., but they are time based rather than mileage based in my experience.

I did not have to leave the coach for service. I stayed in/with the coach until repairs were made. I ate/drank at the Crown Club for free (except Sundays), and used their power, water, and WiFi.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:56 PM   #17
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I also found the local dealer (Clarksville, IN) to have the attitude of "if you don't buy from us, it will be a LONG wait for you to try to get service". What a terrible business attitude. I get service from an independent mechanic or just fix things myself. I even told Thor about my issues with said dealer and they authorized my independent mechanic to handle some warranty work. I've never had an Rv "in the shop" for more than a day. And I make sure to tell everyone I can about the local dealers attitude.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:58 PM   #18
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To add, like most consumer products these days, these RVs are a commodity, but yours from whoever will give you the best price. You have choices on your service needs after the purchase. What an absurd, archaic thought that a dealer can threaten a consumer with the service department.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:01 AM   #19
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Sounds like I'm in the minority by far. I shopped around in-state in other cities, assuming no one local sold motorhomes (only trailers). On a whim one day I checked a local dealer I had bought a used motorhome from over 20 years ago. It turned out he had just started back selling motorhomes when the economy started improving. His service manager has been with him for 40 years.

Like others on this post, I thought "I'll buy from him if his price is equivalent to cost of buying out of state plus cost of driving there and back." He shocked me when he beat every price I had seen (in-state dealers and online...even eBay). So, in my case, it paid to at least give the local guy a chance. Note: We have received the unit, did the dealer walk-through, and traveled in it twice. They apparently did a great job prepping the unit; we have only found one or two very minor issues. Let's just say we lucked out.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:00 AM   #20
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To add, like most consumer products these days, these RVs are a commodity, but yours from whoever will give you the best price. You have choices on your service needs after the purchase. What an absurd, archaic thought that a dealer can threaten a consumer with the service department.
I agree. Moreover, the dealers where I live send the work out for things like chassis alignment and engine work anyway. I just eliminate the middleman, the dealer, and have my work done there. My local dealers have the same opportunity to earn my business as any other anywhere.

If the local dealer won't service purchases from elsewhere it eliminates not only that dealer but that brand from consideration.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:39 AM   #21
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We bought a 5er at the Atlanta RV Show in 2002. I didn't really consider the possible problem of local service. Cedar Creek was willing to pay the local dealer for warranty service even though he was not a Cedar Creek dealer. Cedar Creek is made by Forest River, and the local dealer sold other Forest River products. He refused to service it! I was able to do most of the repairs myself, and Cedar Creek even paid me labor to do them! I did have the services of a local independent tech that I could use after the warranty period. Sure is something to think about!
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:29 AM   #22
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Question Warranty Work

Remember a dealer gets paid by the company who built the Rv. So if their turning you away their turning down money. I dont think their in business to do that.. So it really should'nt matter if they sold you the rv or not. Maybe they have other reasons for turning warrany work away..
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:11 AM   #23
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Remember a dealer gets paid by the company who built the Rv. So if their turning you away their turning down money. I dont think their in business to do that.. So it really should'nt matter if they sold you the rv or not. Maybe they have other reasons for turning warrany work away..

I've been told that the dealer doesn't make nearly as much on warranty work and regular hourly work. Anyway, this dealer did it out of spite because we bought the RV out of town!
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:00 AM   #24
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I tried calling the local (45 minutes away) Fleetwood dealer yesterday for service on my Motorhome. "Did you buy it here?" Was the first thing I was asked. I'm the second owner ( bought from my parents who bought it locally, but the dealer retired and closed down). I told them "no" and was told they were busy "until June" and to call back closer to June to get an appointment.

Now, there are only 4 Fleetwood dealers here in Alberta and they're all owned by the same company, just different locations!

Other (closer) dealers have told me that they either only service what they sell or cannot get my Motorhome in their shop (yet they sell 5th wheel trailers larger than my 34' Southwind). I guess I'll have to get my Power Gear jacks serviced somewhere else.

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Old 03-27-2014, 11:03 AM   #25
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Generally warranty work pays 60% to 65% of the retail rate. The profit margin is in the 15% to 20% range or the retail price depending on the dealer.

Given a dealer has a customer labor rate of $100.00 per hour they are making $15.00 to $20.00 per hour of labor they turn. If the Warranty rate is only $65.00 per hour the dealer looses $15.00 per hour they turn in to the manufacturer.

The manufacturers also use a flat rate schedule that pays a set amount for diagnosing replacing a specific defective part. A the dealer might spend 3 hours diagnosing a problem and another hour replacing the part (4 hours total labor time). If the factory flat rate only pays 2 hours for the process the dealer looses $270.00 to $280.00 each time.

Warranty work is a no win situation for most dealers. They loose on the hourly rate the manufacturer pays and also loose on the amount of time the manufacturer pays. That's why a lot of dealers refuse to work on units they don't sell. They see warranty work as a necessary evil. They put up with it when they make a profit selling a motorhome or trailer, but not when the profit of a sale goes elsewhere.
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:12 PM   #26
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That is why I ended up buying a Class C when I could have gotten a more preferable Class A for the same price, but not handled by the local reputable dealer.
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:36 PM   #27
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Finding service after the sale can be a real pain. Many dealers will tell you outright, if you did not buy it there, expect a long wait or no service at all. Speaking as a tech, warranty work is at total loser. Neither I, nor any of my competitors will accept warranty work of any kind, extended or factory. For our large local dealers, if you bought what they sell from someone else, they will tell you not to bring it onto the lot. Most dealers are very straightforward about this, so if in doubt, ask before you buy.

In part it is a money issue, but the other factor is all the phone work, paper work, you name it. It can be incredibly frustrating. The RVIA (the RV manufacturers' organization) is aware service after the sale is a problem. The bottom line is there is just a lot of service work out there without doing warranty work.

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Old 12-23-2015, 08:14 PM   #28
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Makes it difficult to buy the MH one really wants.
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