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Old 06-01-2016, 06:10 PM   #1
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Most important in RV purchase

Going over all the different aspects of a 5ver purchase, I'm very curious about the most important aspect of the purchase. Is it which dealer, as in they have great service and sales reputation, or the actual brand of RV you purchase? I hope I made my question clear. Just FYI, we know the floor plan so it's just down to manufacture and dealer, thus the question.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:29 AM   #2
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I'm a relative newb to RVing. For me, after narrowing down my search to a few manufactures and floor plans, I was all about finding a nice slightly used trailer.

I am a pretty handy guy that can tackle most DIY projects and feel I won't have to rely much on a servicing dealer so I bought a 2 year old Cedar Creek that was stored indoors when not in use and checked out perfectly upon inspection. The first owner brought it in to the selling dealer for a couple repairs under warranty (worked out the bugs) and everything on the rig works as it should.

I spent about 2/3 of what I would have if purchasing new to aquire it and thouroughly cleaned if for my wife and I to enjoy for (hopefully many years). I added slide toppers, new Goodyear G614 tires and disc brakes to it myself and am still about 15k below the cost of new. I found ours on RVTrader.com (private party)

For me (because I'm handy) the most important aspect was the total cost to get in. Slightly used satisfied that.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:23 PM   #3
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Everyone has their opinions on this. To us it all about quality of the product and floor plan. I also do all of my own service, including a full axle/brake upgrade. Assuming you're using your rig away from home, your local dealer/service center won't be the one you may need to use anyway. In our case we selected a used Excel 5th from a Excel dealer in Moriarty, NM. We live just up the road in Santa Fe. The Excel 30RSO is near perfect for our needs and use. We plan on keeping it for a long time.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:02 AM   #4
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What I look for

#1 - Does my wife like it (this is a real deal killer)
#2 - Can we get to the restroom or the frig without moving a slide out.
#3 - The quality of materials used (cabinets, furniture, appliances), if they go cheap I would guess most of the trailer is going to be built that way.
#4 - How comfortable is the unit sitting on the lot without AC/Heat applied. This will give me an idea how well insulated the unit is.
#5 - I feel you can only do so much in an 8 foot wide space so floorplan is on the list but every manufacturer has identical floorplans.

That is my opinion of what I look for. I am sure there are better lists.

Safe travels everyone.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:39 AM   #5
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#1 - Does my wife like it (this is a real deal killer) ABSOLUTELY TRUE!!!!
#2 - Can we get to the restroom or the frig without moving a slide out. ANOTHER TRUE ONE - THE RIGS NEXT TO USELESS OTHERWISE
#3 - The quality of materials used (cabinets, furniture, appliances), if they go cheap I would guess most of the trailer is going to be built that way. UNFORTUNATELY ALMOST ALL OF THEM ARE MADE WITH CHEAP MATERIALS.
#4 - How comfortable is the unit sitting on the lot without AC/Heat applied. This will give me an idea how well insulated the unit is. DON'T THINK THIS REALLY APPLIES - AFTER A FEW DAYS EVERYTHING WILL BE AMBIENT.
#5 - I feel you can only do so much in an 8 foot wide space so floorplan is on the list but every manufacturer has identical floorplans. THEY ONLY HAVE A FEW DIFFERENT FP'S - REAR ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM, REAR KITCHEN, ETC.

That is my opinion of what I look for. I am sure there are better lists.

Safe travels everyone.
I've found that EVERY dealer will tell you their the best and inspect everything, blah, blah, blah. I don't trust any of them. I prefer larger ones as they will most likely know what they're doing at least in a general way. I also thoroughly and completely inspect with slides in and slides out. Also inspect every system in every mode of operation (AC/DC/propane). Dealers hate to do it, but insist on getting some water in the tank and check for leaks and that all the faucets work. Also check with a hose connected to the city water inlet. They'll tell you they can't do that, but INSIST and tell them you'll walk if they don't. Don't sign or drive off the lot without making certain you are satisfied with everything including cosmetic things. If you're handy and willing to fix identified small items, that's OK - but be certain to point them out to the sales guy. If there's enough of them, ask for a discount, parts, or whatever to offset the time you'll have to put in.

I've found that this is about the only way to get it through to a dealership's management that they need to clean up their act if needed. It works and will save you a lot of aggravation, pain and trouble!
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:49 AM   #6
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Buying an RV?

Consider this:

1. Never buy new.

2. Never buy an RV.

Got that?
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:54 AM   #7
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Manufacturer first. Buy the one that has best quality reputation in your price range. Then dealer, but it's really important that you find a dealership with a good reputation. I would ask others in your area for a reference. If you are buying new, the dealership will do all of the warranty service and if you buy an extended warranty, they may also be the primary service provider unless you are more than 100 miles away. (Learned this the hard way) A poor service dept in your dealership can make your purchase and service experience a nightmare. Good Luck!
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:05 AM   #8
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After buying my units I've never been back to the dealers.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by wayno347 View Post
Consider this:

1. Never buy new.

2. Never buy an RV.

Got that?
?? This is an RV forum

1. I needed financing because I didn't have $15-20k, but I had a little extra money in the monthly budget and wanted to take the family on a cross country trip to the Grand Canyon. So the dealer had to provide that, which most do.

2. Floor plan. Have two kids so I needed a bunk house arrangement. Most manufacturers have similar floor plans, but not every dealer had a bunk house in stock, and I didn't want to special order, so this pushed me to a dealer 90 miles away.

3. Tow vehicle. A new truck was out of the question, so I needed a "lite" model less than 5k lbs. Again, not every dealer has something appropriate in inventory.

All of these conditions pretty much made the decision for me--I didn't have much other choice to get what I needed/wanted.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:20 PM   #10
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I think you start with the dealership and not only speak with the sales ppl but also have them give you a tour of the maintenance area. I would also ask them how long does it take to get an appointment on an average basis. By touring around, you can get a feel of how organized and how professional they are. Due to warranty work, and there will be some, you have to hook up with a dealer w/in a decent drive from you so in that sense you are limited as to what they carry and what they can order for you. I think, seeing my wife and I are looking for a new full profile 5th wheel, that there are so many great units out there with great quality that a dealership near you will have something you'll be happy with. Don't forget if they don't have it in stock, you can ask them to check to see if another dealer in the area has it in stock so you can at least do a walk through and then the dealers can do a transfer to your preferred dealer.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:33 PM   #11
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Picking a quality manufacturer is really important as spending a few more dollars on the front end will save you time, money, and downtime in the shop down the road. But choosing the right dealer is huge too. If they don't treat you right before the sale, and during the process, they are definitely not going to be of any help after the sale. Most likely when you really need help, you will be a distance away from the dealer you bought it from when problems arise. Most quality Manufacturers will make sure you are taken care of no matter where you are. If they give you the BS of you need to buy it here because we only service what we sell, or your going to have to wait a long time for service if you buy it elsewhere and bring here for service, stay away from that dealership. A quality Manufacturer will have a variety of places and mobile mechanics they will authorize to do warranty work. After it is out of warranty, it has been my experience that the small private repair only shops provide, better, less expensive, and more timely repairs than the dealerships do.
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Old 06-03-2016, 03:53 PM   #12
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All very good replies and info. We have several good dealers that have good comments, although old, on here that are within 15 to 30 minutes of me. One is a sandpiper dealer and the other is a montana dealer. The wife likes the mid bunk floor plans and if we do get one I want to order one so we get what we want and not some dealers idea of what's good.
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Old 06-03-2016, 04:37 PM   #13
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When we picked our new (used) 5th the dealer had invited us to spend at least one night camped in their with hook ups to test everything. In the morning we asked questions and had a few things done. This was st Kays RV in New Mexico, great people there.
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Old 06-03-2016, 04:50 PM   #14
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I've heard numerous times about people doing that. I think I would be more inclined to push that if I wasnt so close to dealers.
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