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Old 12-31-2015, 03:18 PM   #1
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Dealer vs product?

My wife and I have been researching TT's for several months. We finally found a product that we both like - a Jayco expandable. However, it is only offered close-by at a large corporate dealer whom I have read very bad things about in terms of customer service and warranty work.

On the other hand, a well respected local dealer offers a similar expandable - a K-Z Spree Escape - but it lacks a few of the "bells and whistles" that are important to us and it doesn't appear to be constructed as well. What is your advice, do we go with the product we love or the dealer we love?

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Old 12-31-2015, 03:20 PM   #2
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Ask the dealer you love if they can get you the trailer you love, and see where that conversation goes.

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Old 12-31-2015, 03:32 PM   #3
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Customer service

I would be interested what Jayco customer service would advise? Perhaps there are options for warranty service in the area. Happy hunting.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:05 PM   #4
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I agree with checking if Jayco would authorize another local dealer to work on your unit and take that dealer out of the picture (post purchase).

I would say purchase the unit you want first and get everything you want. Since Jayco has a 2 year warranty, you'd only have to live with that dealer (for warranty work) during 2 years, assuming Jayco wouldn't authorize anyone else to work on it. If they're a bad dealer, after the warranty runs out you probably wouldn't deal with them again. Hopefully you'll be living with your trailer longer than two years.

I purchased from a dealer that I ended up hating and a unit that had a significant number of issues. For the minor things I couldn't fix myself, I took it to a dealer I trust and paid for the repairs. I had to get the fridge fixed under warranty so I took that back to the original dealer. It was a Keystone so customer service was pretty bad.

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Old 01-01-2016, 11:02 AM   #5
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I would never buy an RV based on a dealer concerning warranty work. I bought my current 5th wheel 300 miles from my home. Nearest dealers are 50 and 70 miles away. I've heard good and bad from the 70 mile away dealer. Never even consulted the dealer that's 50 miles away. I heard the best reviews about the one that's 300 miles away. Those reviews were about the buying process as opposed to warranty work.
My last TT we owned prior to our 5er was bought in town. That dealer went out of business about 1.5 years after purchase. Lotta good that deal was.
My MFG allows me to take it wherever I want for warranty work as long as it's authorized. Fortunately there's an authorized independent RV shop in my town.
Skip forward to season 3. I'm out of warranty and no longer have a need for a good dealer. I got the good deal on purchase. I'm on my own for repairs. Everyone is eventually on their own too.
Getting a good deal at the time of purchase is IMO the most important. And I certainly wouldn't sacrifice layout or amenities just because a certain dealer sells certain RVs near me.
As a matter of fact the town I live in is really a one horse town for most everything. From cars to RVs. I've bought most my cars and trucks out of town and will more than likely buy my next RV out of town also. The local dealers just don't carry the brands I'm interested in. And they think all their stuff comes with a pot of gold.
Too many people get caught up in the 'need a good dealer thing'. Probably because they don't know how to or are too lazy to or aren't in good enough physical condition to do most repairs on their own. Sometimes it's much easier to just do the work myself than to drag the trailer to a dealer for a 30 minute fix that you can Google yourself online.
Get the RV you really like because that's what you'll be stuck with for the next bunch of years. Better to be happy for the long run than short run.
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:00 PM   #6
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To a certain extent I agree with Cumminsfan. The factors that a buyer would need to consider before going too far away are these: What happens if you buy something that is related to a lemon? What is the actual cost of going far afield to buy the coach?

Let's take the first one. There is no such thing as a coach that is perfect when delivered to the buyer and will remain so throughout the warranty period. That means that you most likely will have to take the coach back to the selling dealer at some point. Taking Cumminsfan's example, he is going to have to drive a minimum of 50 miles one way no matter what, and 300 miles one way to the selling dealer. If he goes to one of the close dealers, it is possible that he can drive there, get the problem fixed, and return home all in one day. With the distant dealer, though, that isn't going to happen. He might be able to drive the coach there, drop it, and return home the same day, and then reverse the process when the coach is done (if it is going to take some time), or at least spend the night (or two) and then come home.

From what I've read, many dealers have enough work that they put their own customers first, even for warranty work, so even though the actual work may only take an hour or two it may be a day or two before the dealer gets around to your coach - and that's assuming that the parts needed are on hand. If they have to be ordered it can be even longer.

Now to the second point. The Internet can certainly help buyers pick out what they want, but no dealer is going to work a deal that involves a trade without seeing it first. That means that you have to take your old coach 300 miles for him to appraise it. Even if you left early in the morning and made did the deal the same day, are you really going to drive home that same night? No, you're going to spend the night at the dealership's campground while you make out your punch list. If you are lucky you won't have much in that list and everything can be taken care of first thing in the morning, so you can get home that night. All this assumes that the selling dealer has exactly what you want.

What happens if he doesn't? You drive your car/truck 300 miles, look at the offerings, decide on what you want, and drive home. Some time later (or the same trip) you take your coach to the dealership for appraisal, then spend the night at your expense there before heading home. When your new coach comes in you get to repeat the process. How much does it cost to haul your old coach around? That has to be added to the purchase price. Obviously, going from a dealer 50 miles away to one 70 miles away isn't much of a difference, but even 70 miles to 300 miles is quite a difference.

I'm not opposed to going farther away to deal with a better dealership, but I do want to make sure that some of the "hidden" costs are brought to light. Cumminsfan also mentions that the local dealers don't have the brands he's interested in. That alone is reason to go farther afield, but then don't expect the local guys to handle the warranty work, either. First of all, they aren't authorized to do so. Secondly, even if they could somehow get temporary authorization, do they really know what they're doing on a brand they don't see every day? I'm not sure I'd want to find out.
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:00 AM   #7
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Cumminsfan gave you some good information. I came to the forums for advice on brands and then the dealers, was that ever a mistake!

In my case, my great dealer became my enemy with the first warranty issue. The trailer turned out to be the absolute worse purchase decision of my life.

Figure out what you want and need and buy at the lowest price possible. If warranty repairs become a problem, fix it yourself or pay a local guy to make the repairs. My 2 year warranty was a joke.
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:33 PM   #8
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"but no dealer is going to work a deal that involves a trade without seeing it first."

Have not found that to be true for 2 trailers I bought with a trade--the dealer just simply will give you a value that he knows he can live with. Somewhere in the deal, he is going to make money...that also has worked for me on several car deals distant from my home.

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Old 01-03-2016, 07:23 PM   #9
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Thanks for the thoughtful replies to my post. I'm still "in the hunt". tim

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