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Old 07-18-2015, 07:11 PM   #1
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How did you purchase your fifth wheel?

Hello all, I'm new to the forum and doing my research for a new fifth wheel. I have been reading a lot of posts where folks call the factory and deal directly with a factory rep to make a purchase. The fact that you can get a 5er factory direct seams a little strange, but if it's true I'm only 5 hours away from the RV capital of the world. So here is my question: How did you pursue your RV purchase, Factory Direct, Authorized Dealer, Wholesale, The Big Box Store (CW), RV show??? Go...

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Old 07-18-2015, 07:34 PM   #2
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Most manufacturers only sell through their dealer network and most do not allow a delivery at the factory.

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Old 07-18-2015, 07:49 PM   #3
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Salvage auction.
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:50 PM   #4
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JayC that's what I was thinking to, a lot of dealership contracts with companies I have dealt with clearly states no direct sales. But I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:17 PM   #5
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I bought my toyhauler from a wholesaler - The Original RV Wholesalers - RV Sales, RV Parts, RV Dealer, RV Super Store Dealer, 5th Wheel, Forest River. I live in the south, so I had the trailer delivered. I was very happy with the process and the savings. I had a couple of warranty issues in the first year. RVwhosalers warranty rep helped me with the claim and the items were repaired locally.

I did not have any RV experience, so I have had to read the manuals and figure some things out. It was 2 years before someone showed me how to make my water heater run on electricity . Buying from a good dealer and getting a good walk-through should help with things like that. I'm just not sure it's worth 15-20K.
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:31 PM   #6
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I researched fifth wheel trailers very carefully, and got on RVTraders.com. It's not very hard to figure out who the dominant dealer is in any retail market--one that's willing to compete for your business with a fair price.

I found my local dealer was unwilling to "deal" on price, as he wanted $8K more than the dominant dealer 175 miles away. I found another dealer with a great reputation that beat the dominant dealer's deal by $900--and he modified a stock order to my specs. and still delivered it in 3 weeks.

After watching RV websites for the last year, the quality of the dealer is also as important as getting a fair deal on the price. Don't deal with a dealer that's famous for his horror story lack of service.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by genxrainman View Post
JayC that's what I was thinking to, a lot of dealership contracts with companies I have dealt with clearly states no direct sales. But I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule.
Most manufacturers will not sell direct, but a few have customer service reps who will work with directly with a customer on custom features provided that customer is already working through a dealer. Of course, that's only true if the manufacturer is willing to add custom features in the first place - most won't.
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:35 AM   #8
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Went to the dealer told them how big of one needed then picked out one I could afford. If money were no object I would have chosen a different one but that's life.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:22 AM   #9
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Some manufactures do sell directly to the customer and eliminating the dealer. These are usually the very high end units such as Forks RV. Forks RV builds the Continental Coach also there is New Horizons and Space Craft to name just a few. See the Trailer Life August 2015 issue; they have an article on buying direct from certain manufactures which are listed at the end of this article.
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:09 AM   #10
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One factor to include in your analysis is how you plan to manage warranty repairs/items. Dealers are less inclined to work on "non-sale" units (ie units that were not bought at their dealership), and are certainly not forced to do so by the manufacturer. Not a big deal for some owners who do most their own work and ignore a lot of the minor warranty items (just fix them vs taking back to dealer).

Some manufacturers will deal directly with the end user for warranty item (ie replace part but usually not labor); others won't even answer the phone from a non-dealer.

If you are planning to use the selling dealer as the repair shop, you may want to consider that as a big plus to buy at an authorized dealership.

If you do not care for any after sales service from a dealership/manufacturer, go get the best price where you can.

My thoughts.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:12 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the replies so far, great information!
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:07 PM   #12
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When we had issues with one dealer, the manufacture caught wind of it and contacted us direct. He offered to get us the unit we wanted and delivery it to the dealer of our choice. The dealer we use was great, we had several add on products and everything was ready within a week. We got the unit for about 20% off and got the hitch, camera, vented washer/dryer and labor thrown in. All dealers are different and all manufactures are different. We're happy this manufacture stepped in and helped us.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:35 PM   #13
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Made purchase price agreement with dealer by email, got pre approval from credit union at 2.39%. Took credit letter to dealership for pick up. No credit hassles and no long sales pitch.

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