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Old 09-19-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
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How important is a "Home" dealership?

Going to be buying my first RV - prob a 5ver. I am in the Air Force for another 8 or so years until retirement and have two more moves in my future. I have been hearing from the dealership and locals that having a 'home" dealership, aka the place you bought it, to take care of things when they go wrong is almost a must. I tend to think that no matter where I go, I should be able to find a dealership that either a) sells the same brand of RV, or b) wants more business and will figure things out with me to get a solution if and when things are not right. Haven't owned my own RV yet, but also don't want until I am "relocated permanently." Opinions?

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Old 09-19-2012, 03:04 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and thank you for your service.

This is always a selling point local dealers will try to use... and there is probably some validity to it in some cases, but there's now way I would call it anything close to a "must".

If a particular dealer's shop is always busy, you may have to wait a bit for an appointment but you'll get in. When I bought my new 40DP, I shopped via the web nation wide and got a half dozen dealers to give me their "best price" via email. I took those emails to my local dealer who wouldn't match the lowest. I told them I was willing to pay a small premium to buy locally but not more than about 2%.

They did the deal and I always had good support from them.

Are you buying new? If not, I don't think it's as big a deal. Are you going to be living in it? If so, your best bet might be to find a local mobile RV tech who is warranty authorized and can come to your site to do most repairs. A fiver shouldn't have near the complexity of repairs that a motor home faces and that should simplify your challenge a bit.

Best of luck.


Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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Not going to be living in it - just for camping; weekend trips and a couple of 10 day trips planned for next year. We've narrowed it down to two - one's a new 2013 model and the other is a barely used 2011 that still looks pretty new, which is also a brand the dealership sells. I didn't expect it to be a huge issue, however they kind of have my DW sold on that aspect....just wanted to be sure on it so as to have it blow up on me later...i hate the "I told you it was a bad idea" statements.

I didn't think of the web quotes....that's a great idea. Gotta love the internet!
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:10 PM   #4
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Being near your "home" dealer for routine stuff may be helpful, but what difference does it make when you have an issue that can't wait and you are 900 miles away on your 10 day trip?
'05 Dutch Star 4015, '16 Rubicon OlllllO, & HD Ultra ElectraGlide, NKK14278L
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:25 PM   #5
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I bought somewhere else and have never been back to them for service. I've had zero problems getting my local dealer to handle any warranty or other repair issues.
Travel well, travel safe,
2006 Tiffin Phaeton - 2011 Cadillac SRX
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #6
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We've found in most cases when you purchase from a dealer, what you drive out in, is what you got. When repairs are needed.....oh well. You can hear raves and horror stories about this or that dealer. Rarely do two owners agree on the level of service they receive. We have found that independent Repair compaines are superior. Why? Because they make their entire living servicing owners, regardless of brand or how much they paid for their unit. Dealers, independents all get there parts from the same sources. Unless a body part is needed most services aviod the coach mfg. They consider the MH mfg to just be a middleman when parts are needed. Another good example is the MH chassis. Most chassis are mfg by Freightliner, Spartan, Navistar while many dealers claim that some mfg make there own chassis. The truth is MH mfg buy a chassis, put a box on it, Some buy a front and rear cap. Then they purchase the goodies inside and install them. There are good and bad dealers and independent services everywhere. When you DON'T need service visit the shops and see if there existing customers are Happy or Mad. Good luck....ed
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:08 PM   #7
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We bought our first RV in 1978, and have upgraded to new RVs 5 times since then - none of the dealers we've dealt with are still in business (maybe we're bad luck or something!) although they were all in business long enough to take care of any warranty issues. A local dealer can be comforting, but as noted any dealer handling your particular brand can work on that brand, and once the warranty period is over you can find a reputable local repair shop that might be a better deal than any dealer.
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
2007 Bounder 35E being pushed by a 2008 smart fortwo Passion
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:46 AM   #8
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I'd say it's only important if you're buying new and have a lot of initial "bugs" to work out while in warranty. Other than that, like others said you are likely to be far from home when you need service anyhow.
Sarah (RVM69), Hubby, and Harry the RVin' Dog
.......2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

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Old 09-20-2012, 12:33 PM   #9
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I gave up on the selling dealer when I bought my 1st coach. When I took it back for warranty work they didn't have a mech capable of running a screw driver let alone anything requireing technical knowledge. I did run into one dealer of the same brand that would not work on coaches he didn't sell.

2006 Sea Breeze LX 8341 on a Workhorse W22 Chassis with 22.5 Alcoa Alum wheels,
2011 Chevy Colorado 4X4 with Ready Brake
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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We bought our second class A new from a dealer 6 hours away. Had a few problems all covered under warranty. The dealer went to bat for us when one of the vendors felt their awning slide was ok when it had stretch out of shape in just three months. The dealer negotiated the deal, furnishising free labor from his shop to remove and re install the awning.. This gesture enabled us to rectify a wrong. IMHO this would not of happened from another dealer handling like product. Their is something to be said for customer loyalty dealer relations. Choose the dealer wisely, ask for customer recommendations. If the dealer is top shelf they will have a long list. So, in our case the home dealer was the way to go!
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:27 PM   #11
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We bought our Fleetwood MH in Myrtle Beach last spring after getting home we had a problem with a slide wall. We made a appt. with Southaven RV in Southaven, MS. and after driving down there twice in MH (220 miles each way) they said they would not fixes it since we did not buy it there. They knew this at time appt. was made we told them. Had to call Fleetwood to find where we needed to take it to and was told back to Fleetwood in Decatur, In. 485 miles each way but they fixed it for us. Was on vacation when we lost the engine in our intruder (18,500 miles on it) so that's why we bought so far way from home (775 miles) next time I will make sure there a closer dealer before buying a brand new one. Thanks for your service to our country
2009 Fleetwood Bounder 35E
Living the good life USCG
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:38 PM   #12
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You didn't specify what kind of RV you are looking to purchase but Tiffin Motorhomes will authorize warranty work at any dealer you choose. So if you are unhappy with the dealer you purchased from you are not stuck with them.

Good luck on your next 8 years in the Air Force.

Jon & Sue Francis (Retired U.S.A.F.)
Lil Girl-Rescued, Abby Rescued, Peaches Rescued
06 Allegro 35TSA Workhorse Chassis
2013 Chevy Spark Dinghy
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:12 PM   #13
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To me None! 1st is Service, 2nd do they have the floorplan/coach we want and 3rd. Price.
Don and Nancy
[2014 40QBH Phaeton, 2015 Buick Enclave, 2yr old sisters Sara n Kaycee, Havanese, Two Segways
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:25 PM   #14
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Our Winnebago dealer is just up the road from us, and their price was as good as anything we found on line, and I know they work on all Winnie's no matter where they were purchased, what I appreciate is because we are their customer, they deliver and return our Sightseer to the Ford truck repair facility ( 90 miles away ) for warranty and recall service.

2012 Winnebago Sightseer
2003 Wrangler
...and a dog named Belle
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