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Old 02-15-2011, 10:00 PM   #1
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Buying out of area

I'm hoping to get some input from more experienced buyers. We're considering the purchase of a Fleetwood Discovery 42A and can only find "distant" deals. Knowing that there will be some warranty repairs, my question is, Do you get decent service from your local dealer when you didn't purchase from them? I understand they get paid the same, but wonder if you get put on the bottom of the list or if there is any difference? My local said they would order one for me but don't seem as interested in making the same deal I've found elsewhere. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:11 PM   #2
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In the case of our dealer, priority is given to customers who buy from them. It is something I appreciate & is good customer service from my point of view. However, the owner with a unit needing service who didn't buy from them who gets bumped by me who did, probably has a different opinion.

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Old 02-16-2011, 08:45 AM   #3
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It's one of the problems with the RV industry.

You are usually at the back of the line if you can get in line at all.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:05 AM   #4
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Having purchased a used MH from a person that purchased from a dealer in another state I have a good reason to believe in the service offered by the selling dealer.
I seems the Motor Home manufactures ship many problems to the dealers and they are expected to solve them. (in other words, clean up after them)

I have to admit my opinion was formed from only one purchase, as I have no experience with other Manufactures habits.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:14 AM   #5
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Check state sales and registration tax, it may be cheaper in your state. Find first the best place for registration.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:15 AM   #6
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The issue also arises when traveling and you need service or you move to a different area.

You still may find it difficult to get service.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:08 AM   #7
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There's really two different issues here. The 'house' part of the RV, and the chassis. Few dealers will do chassis work, warranty or not, so that's really not much of an issue. It's the house part you'll be dependant on a dealer for, or the factory.

We purchased a rig out of state in the mid 90s. The model we wanted was not available at a local dealer, nor could they even come within the same galexy on price. Unfortunately we had a long list of warranty issues that needed to be dealt with. It was our amazing fortune to have left it at a local dealer that welcomed us with open arms, and did an outstanding job of taking care of the rig. It paid off for the local dealer when, years later, we were shopping for something they did offer and we made a purchase from them. Unfortunately, the service department completely bombed in their incompetent attempts to take care of the inevitable warranty issues we had with that rig. Go figure???

Now I'm retired. I have the time and I have an appointment to take it back to the manufacturer to repair the long list of warranty items we've documented. We bought this rig out of state. There are no local dealers for what we wanted. I was shopping at multiple dealers, in different states, and took the deal that was best for us.

Bottom line. If there is a local dealer, and they can come reasonably close to matching what I could get out of state, I'd do business locally, as most of us would prefer. But if the difference is a year's worth of pension checks...
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:40 AM   #8
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RV dealers are not necessarily the best place to take your RV for repairs unless you are talking warranty work. There are several repair facilities throughout the country where you will get better service.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:47 AM   #9
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Sorry, I misunderstood the subject. My suggestion would be to stick around and live in your new MH for a couple of weeks. This should give you time to locate items that need attention. After you return home and find problems, the best way is take you MH to the factory for repairs. This is not the most convenient way but is the best way.

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Old 02-16-2011, 11:23 AM   #10
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The dealer that we purchased from offers a $75 an hour rate for service to the customer who bought from them. Other dealers in the area are charging $130 an hour. The consideraton is...do I take it to the $75 an hour dealer and wait a week to get it repaired or to the $130 an hour dealership who gets the job done the same day? So far I have chosen the latter. Joe
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:56 PM   #11
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I had a dealer tell me they are now making most of their money on warranty work and repairs rather than new vehicle sales. He's happy to have my warranty work, even though I did not buy from him.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:46 PM   #12
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I've always felt that is better to establish a relationship with the local dealer be it cars, rv's or whatever. And I agree that if they can compete on price, features then it is smart to support your local guy. However, if you find a significantly better deal elsewhere then go for it.

I contend that many dealers understand their main revenue source is from their service department not new sales, especially in down economies. Giving priority to customers who bought from you is good business, but a good service manager will make sure all customers are treated fairly.

Several members of this forum have mentioned that they received good service at Tom Johnson's RV in NC while on the road. Makes me want to take a look at their site.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:54 PM   #13
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Franchised dealers of a particular brand of motorhome are required by the franchise agreement to perform legitimate warranty repairs on these units while they are within the warranty period. Customer "goodwill" repairs however, are a different situation. An appreciative selling dealer will perform many small adjustments and repairs ,that do not qualify for warranty at factory expense, free of charge, as a goodwill measure for thier buying customer. Were it me, I would try and buy local.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselclacker View Post
Franchised dealers of a particular brand of motorhome are required by the franchise agreement to perform legitimate warranty repairs on these units while they are within the warranty period. Customer "goodwill" repairs however, are a different situation. An appreciative selling dealer will perform many small adjustments and repairs ,that do not qualify for warranty at factory expense, free of charge, as a goodwill measure for thier buying customer. Were it me, I would try and buy local.

Dieselclacker
I believe you are mistaken. A dealer does not have to perform warranty work on your vehicle, even if they sold it to you, be it a MH or auto.

An acquaintance of mine bought a new Beaver MH. He took it back to the dealer for some warranty work. They started the work but my acquaintance, who is somewhat of an AH, was in their face constantly demanding things. After one day they told him to take it elsewhere. He called the manufacturer and complained, they told him it was up to the dealer and they could nothing.

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