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Old 06-15-2016, 10:20 PM   #1
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Buying an RV: Wholesale vs regular Dealer

So I am looking for my first RV. Just can't really pull the string until next year. I think. Got the bug so I'm trying to find what is best fit for my family.
So trying to do my homework leaving no stone unturned so we can get the best bang for our buck.
I have noticed some wholesale RV dealers with what on the surface looks like good deals. In one case I saw a $14 K difference in a very solid brand from the wholesale place compared to the dealer in a neighboring town.
Problem is the wholesale dealer is 1000 miles away so it's hard to put your hand on the product, plus there's another $1500 to deliver. But still on the service looks like a good deal.
But I still don't know really if I'm comparing apples to apples or apples to lemons. ( as in lemon law type rejects).
Plus a dozen other issues have me second guessing what looks like a sweet deal.
Plus the financial side of me is saying, "relax, wait until you are ready, there will be other opportunities when you are truly ready next year. Stay with the plan."
But still, when the time is ready, is that an avenue to explore-- comparing wholesale dealers with regular retail dealers?
Anyone have any knowledge of a truly reputable wholesale dealer(s) that you can trust. Or is it truly" if it seems too good to be true," then there's something amiss.
There are surely pros and cons to each, just wondered if anyone would share their experience or something they learned from a friend.
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:42 AM   #2
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I would tell the retail dealer to match the wholesale dealer's price. You know 30% discounts off retail are practically the norm. (I am not exactly sure what you mean by "wholesale dealer" but bargain using prices from any source you have).
Have you thought about buying used? The previous owner will have paid the depreciation and worked out any initial bugs...
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:38 AM   #3
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In my humble opinion, no such thing as a wholesale rv dealer, otherwise wouldn't everyone buy from them? Since you are new to the rv world I second the other poster's suggestion that you buy used. Have you rented an rv? Do you know what floorplan you prefer? It's really hard to know until you spend time in it. Many people have gone whole hog, new rig, new truck, etc, then decide it's not for them and lose all the depreciation. Look for a gently used rig, well cared for, get an inspection. You can always buy new later. Buying an rv from 1,000 miles away is asking for hassle, would you do that for a car or a house?
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:45 AM   #4
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Buying an RV: Wholesale vs regular Dealer

We have rented -- tried a c class leprechaun and had fun, but realized it was not for us.
Probably looking at a fifth wheel. All this will happen in about 6 months. Looking at bunkhouse type floorplans but still would like decent living room seating. Perhaps I could use a wholesale offer to get a local dealer to give us the best pricing like was suggested.
But yes, We are looking for a good used rig, but a little concerned that we won't get serviced by the local dealers when we need work done.
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:06 PM   #5
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For what it's worth info - We have bought twice from RVW in Lake City Ohio and saved quite a bit each time, but we are only a couple hours from them. First time we priced the same TT from a dealer in Cincy and showed them the RVW price and asked them if they would match it and they said that RVW would never sell us the TT at the price they quoted. They were wrong and we got the trailer for several thousand less than the best price the other dealer would do. RVW is right near Buckeye State park and we stayed there a couple days to make sure everything worked. When we bought they would not do trades but have heard they do now.
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:56 PM   #6
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Don't expect a wholesale deal to have been serviced by the dealer, meaning you may need to change belts hoses fluids, tires, brakes, house system condition...even if its been safety checked doesn't mean it's been repaired. A retail deal generally should be ready to roll. The wholesale deal is cheaper for a reason and can be a great deal if you are any bit self-sufficient but if you need to write a check for every little thing it might not be the great bargain it appears to be on the surface.
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:30 PM   #7
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I fail to understand why local dealers won't service what they didn't sell.

Think of the thousands of full-timers out there that roam the country and don't have a local dealer. Somehow they get service. We surely did. They surely don't drive back to where they purchased and many purchase through a private party and yet they seem to get service.

The most time we've ever spent was two nights on the service facility's lot. Of course, we called stating what needs to be done. They ordered any parts needed. We arrived on the appointed date; spent the night and the next morning they took our motorhome in for servicing. We left in the afternoon and if it was too late we spent another night and left in the morning.
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:40 PM   #8
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I fail to understand why local dealers won't service what they didn't sell.

Think of the thousands of full-timers out there that roam the country and don't have a local dealer. Somehow they get service. We surely did. They surely don't drive back to where they purchased and many purchase through a private party and yet they seem to get service.

The most time we've ever spent was two nights on the service facility's lot. Of course, we called stating what needs to be done. They ordered any parts needed. We arrived on the appointed date; spent the night and the next morning they took our motorhome in for servicing. We left in the afternoon and if it was too late we spent another night and left in the morning.
I think this applies more to Warranty work. Warranty work is almost always a lower pay rate per job than if they charge you cash. So for the dealer, for them to spend time/money doing a job that pays a lower rate, they want to make sure they got money upfront on the initial sale. Manufacturers almost always have some type of centralized system the dealer can check warranty status and repair status on RV's and they can determine where you purchased the RV.
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:41 PM   #9
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I bought a TT through RV Wholesale and pick it up in Elkhart Indiana. The sale and pickup went smooth. I had no problem getting warranty service at a local dealer. A year later I sold it through PPL for what I paid for it. My $.02.
I have had no trouble getting service from a local Fleetwood dealer on My Bounder even though I bought it through PPL.
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:11 PM   #10
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I think this applies more to Warranty work. Warranty work is almost always a lower pay rate per job than if they charge you cash. So for the dealer, for them to spend time/money doing a job that pays a lower rate, they want to make sure they got money upfront on the initial sale. Manufacturers almost always have some type of centralized system the dealer can check warranty status and repair status on RV's and they can determine where you purchased the RV.
But....full-timers buy new and they get warranty work done as they travel. They do not return to the dealer. It can be done.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:30 PM   #11
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Don't expect a wholesale deal to have been serviced by the dealer, meaning you may need to change belts hoses fluids, tires, brakes, house system condition...even if its been safety checked doesn't mean it's been repaired. A retail deal generally should be ready to roll. The wholesale deal is cheaper for a reason and can be a great deal if you are any bit self-sufficient but if you need to write a check for every little thing it might not be the great bargain it appears to be on the surface.
I get your point, but a fifth wheel should involve less dealer prep ( I would guess?)
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:40 PM   #12
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Take it from a dealer, there are no "wholesale dealers". It is just an advertising ploy. The wholesale dealer doesnt have a place he can buy RV's for less money and pass it along to you. Now, he may have some poor quality units he took in trade or bought at auction that he can sell cheaper than a like unit that is in good shape. Steer clear of these type of places and buy from a reputable dealer or a private party that can show you service records.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:52 AM   #13
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Buyer beware

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Originally Posted by mojoracing View Post
Take it from a dealer, there are no "wholesale dealers". It is just an advertising ploy. The wholesale dealer doesnt have a place he can buy RV's for less money and pass it along to you. Now, he may have some poor quality units he took in trade or bought at auction that he can sell cheaper than a like unit that is in good shape. Steer clear of these type of places and buy from a reputable dealer or a private party that can show you service records.
I second this thought.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:33 PM   #14
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I get your point, but a fifth wheel should involve less dealer prep ( I would guess?)
If you're looking for new, I suppose the only difference would be in how much one values dealer service. Prep is prep it needs to meet manufacturers standards or the dealer stands to lose the franchise. Technically any dealer that sells and services a brand will honor a warranty but if you buy something at Wholesaler A and think retailer B is going to give that questionable warranty claim benefit of doubt think again.
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