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Old 07-15-2019, 04:35 PM   #1
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Looking for honest reputable RV dealer in North Florida

My husband and I are looking at travel trailers and we read reviews on everything including RV dealerships and it seems this is an area where a buyer really needs to be on guard. We are leaning toward the Grand Design Imagine XLS 21BHE. It seems there are no dealers who are honest. Surely, there must be one somewhere in North Florida. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:23 PM   #2
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You need to semi trust just about all dealers. Just semi trust them. I like Ocean Grove in St. Augustine and even La Mesa in Sanford but I do not fully trust them.

My 1st two trailers I bought, those two dealers went out of business. Did they tell me they were going to close...no they did not.

RV dealers and Car dealers are kinda the same with car dealers being a little bit more trustworthy.

So what do you not trust knowing they really are not trustworthy?
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:01 AM   #3
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Light your lantern and walk the streets looking.

Buyer beware.

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Old 07-16-2019, 09:33 AM   #4
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We bought our first TT at Camping World on I-95 north in Jax. The salesman quit within the month, and we really weren't happy with service - everything seemed to be a challenge to get done and they always wanted to upsell. Our second TT was purchased at TravelCamp on Beach Blvd in Jax. So far, very happy. I was pleased with what was offered for our trade. I asked for a group 27 (versus 24) battery and to have tires with a newer manufacture date. Both were done without extra cost or added grief. No pressure during closing to purchase their extended warranty. The PDI was also much more thorough than the one at CW; again, no grief as we went over everything with a fine-toothed comb. We had to have a screen replaced (it was discovered bent and wouldn't seal during the PDI); Winnebago seemed to be the hold-up on a timely replacement, but they (dealer) came through eventually. We dealt with Paul Cox as the salesman. Good luck in your search.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:39 AM   #5
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We've been to at least 8 dealerships in the Central Florida area and, sadly, found that most of the salespeople we dealt with knew less than we do, and we're rank newbies. They're eager to call you to ask when you're going to buy, but they can't provide basic information on the rigs they sell. If it's not obvious, they don't know. Proceed with that in mind.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:07 AM   #6
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There are no honest dealerships. You have to be your own advocate.
Shoot for 80% of MSRP on a new unit. Insist on NEW batteries. Get all repairs or adjustments done BEFORE you hand over final payment. Don’t expect them to honor verbal agreements, get everything in writing.
Keep in mind, their goal is to separate you from your money. After they achieve that goal, you are no longer important to them.
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:12 PM   #7
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Hello Rondibell - A sad but truth situation be told here. But it sounds like you have "zeroed in" on the Grand Design. Let me make a couple of suggestions.
1. Go to the manufactures web site and download all available literature on the unit. Carefully read through it. You will gain answers to a lot of questions.
2. Any unanswered question, call their customer service. By the way, this would be a good time to tell them about the lack of information that these "so called salesman" you have dealed with.
3. Now armed with everything you can "Go to War" (i.e. shopping) for the best deal in your area.
Best Regards,
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:14 PM   #8
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NO such thing !
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:19 PM   #9
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Between ourselves and in-laws we bought 4 different RVs from Rivers RV west off I10 and were always pleased with the deal and after purchase service. They have been bought out by one of Camping World's competitors, Campers Inn. I don't know if they are still good.
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:03 PM   #10
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So sad to hear about the perception of RV dealerships
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:16 AM   #11
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This would be a road trip for, but maybe worth a look. North Charleston S.C. is the home of family owned "The Trail Center", but they don't have Grand Design.
https://www.trailcenter.com/

We rented from them one year for a beach trip. It's hard to find a dealer who will rent, but they did, and it was an amazingly good experience. The PDI/demo on the rental which was a popup was the most detailed and friendly I've ever seen.

I'm sure the rental program is used to draw customers to new units. Owner made sure to say hello and thank us for the business. Well stocked parts and accessories area, service department well organized, and tool chests were in impressive condition. (I always look for that).

Anyhow, the point of the story is, there are very few businesses that leave me with the feeling that I would enjoy spending money with them, again. This was one, it was several years ago, it stuck with me, and if I were in the market, they would be the first place I'd look and they are a days drive from me.

Just looked at the staff page, same service manager, owner, old school building, etc. and that's been about 10 years since I rented from them.

Here's and organization of independent RV dealers with a fairly high threshold of standards to be a member. Trail Center is one, check out the service department videos. Anyhow, there is a Grand Design dealer in Ft. Myers who is also a member of Route 66, Palm RV, I would guess they'd be worth a look.
http://www.route66rv.com/dealers/FL
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by HDGoose View Post
So sad to hear about the perception of RV dealerships
Unfortunately, it seems they've worked hard to earn that perception. I read a lot on various blogs and forums before making our first visit to a big, local dealership, and wasn't convinced it could be that bad. I was armed with a list of questions, none of them technical (or even difficult; things like "where does the slide come to when it's closed," "is this rig set up to have a washer/dryer" and "how big is the fresh water tank"), and the salespeople were unable to answer the questions. One lady told us, "I just started working here, so I don't know anything about the motorhomes I'm going to show you."

And she was right. She didn't. Literally had zero training.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:19 AM   #13
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The more knowledgeable you become the more you will see the shortcomings of those seeking to sell you the RV. The internet is full of info on the units you are considering from the manufacturer as well as user reviews. Beware tho with reviews. When a person has a problem with their unit the frustrations and fears come through. Research is the key to limiting problems but understand that brand new vehicles are very complex, they are assembled by humans and parts do fail. My DP has over 150,000 parts; the old TT had over 80,000 parts - I have and had problems crop every time I was out . Learning to perform basic unit maintenance and repairs is a necessity to having a favorable experience - again there are several online sources that can serve as help for just about any problem you will be faced with.

Fortunately I have not had to have any dealings with RV dealers or repair facilities in Northern Florida however I offer you this website: RV Repairs - Find Near Me You can call or visit as needed.

Best wishes in your search. Let us know what you find out and what decisions you make.

Drive safe and enjoy - Richard
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rrtribble View Post
The more knowledgeable you become the more you will see the shortcomings of those seeking to sell you the RV. The internet is full of info on the units you are considering from the manufacturer as well as user reviews. Beware tho with reviews. When a person has a problem with their unit the frustrations and fears come through. Research is the key to limiting problems but understand that brand new vehicles are very complex, they are assembled by humans and parts do fail. My DP has over 150,000 parts; the old TT had over 80,000 parts - I have and had problems crop every time I was out . Learning to perform basic unit maintenance and repairs is a necessity to having a favorable experience - again there are several online sources that can serve as help for just about any problem you will be faced with.

Fortunately I have not had to have any dealings with RV dealers or repair facilities in Northern Florida however I offer you this website: RV Repairs - Find Near Me You can call or visit as needed.

Best wishes in your search. Let us know what you find out and what decisions you make.

Drive safe and enjoy - Richard
Thank you, rrtribble. Very good advice. I've read a lot of horror stories about certain brands and I admit, I have intentionally steered clear of all of them. I appreciate your advice.
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