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Old 08-19-2019, 03:34 PM   #1
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Long Distance Purchase

Got something interesting going on and would like the opinions of someone with experience. I'm looking to trade my current travel trailer. I went back to my local dealer where we got our current one, found a unit we're absolutely in love with. When we ran the numbers, it was above my price range (+-$44000). I found the exact same unit at a major dealer however, it's about a 900 mile trip to make the trade. Their price was +-$36000. I contacted my local dealer with the numbers trying to negotiate a better deal locally. I think this was a mistake. They came back with "If you're buying out of state, are you willing to drag it 1000 miles for service? Good luck with that." They also mentioned that the price I got probably doesn't include all the "hidden" fees. What the heck are those??? I didn't remember any hidden fees when I bought the first one.

I'm looking to hear from anyone with experience buying from a long distance. Other than routine, accidental breakage, State inspection, etc., what service should I need? I can do my own winterization and such. Where do you go for service if the local guy is going to give you a hard time.The next closest dealer is 60 miles away but he doesn't have the unit I want.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:01 PM   #2
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Have you called or sent an email to the out of state dealer? Get a firm invoice before thinking about traveling. That will take care of the hidden cost story. Also ask about how you will get it registered in your state.


If I did this I'd take a week or so of camping with the new unit near the dealer you are buying from, before pulling it home. That way you can bring it back to the dealer for any small problems. Get them to give you assurances that the shop will deal with those right away not the usual 3 week wait.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:36 PM   #3
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I recently purchased my Tour 500 miles from home. Would have gone farther for the right deal.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:41 PM   #4
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I bought mine from another state about 100 miles away. I got a transportation permit back to my state. I didn't understand that it was only get for one day. I didn't drive it directly to the DMV that day. I tried to register is a week later and they said I needed to bring it in for a VIN inspection. I had to buy another 1 day transportation permit to get the VIN inspection so I could complete the registrations.

I didn't have a local dealer that sold the Arctic Fox so I was satisfied with my experience. I haven't had to return my trailer for service in the 16 months I have owned it.
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:01 PM   #5
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As full-timers, we bought in one place and never returned. I would guess the majority of full-timers never return to the selling dealer. They travel and if something brakes they probably need repair at the 'nearest' dealer.

In the future if you don't want to deal with your hometown dealer, then take it to the one 60 mi. away. It doesn't matter if he didn't carry the same model.

'Hidden fees' - call the dealer again and confirm that the price he gave you is the price out the door. He should be quoting you the complete price - no hidden fees.

Your hometown dealer is being stubborn.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:40 PM   #6
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A reputable dealer should have some sort of warranty on this unit. Is it new? If so it should have a warranty with it. Last year we bought a used M H in Florida.
Three phone calls, 2 sets of pics in about 4 hrs and sent them a down payment
over the phone. Flew from Ca. to Florida 3 days later, 4 hrs to go thru everything and 5 days to get back home. The add said new tires. I got home and found out they were the wrong size. One call and they told me to take it to a tire shop, sell the new tires to them and have the right size put on at their cost.
So, depends on the dealer IMO.
Been very happy with our purchase.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:21 PM   #7
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I recently made a purchase near Chicago (northern Indiana) last September and I live all the way here in Miami, over 1300 miles away. But I was saving nearly 6,000 dollars and so I was able to talk a buddy of mine to go with me. We left here Saturday night and drove 28 hours straight pulling my trailer I was trading in. The first night we slept in a Walmart parking lot for a few hours and then we drove straight and arrived at a campground after midnight on the Sunday. On Monday I traded in my trailer and bought the new one and then we made our way back down, not stopping to sleep and we arrived Tuesday night. To me it was worth it, a little crazy trip but fun nonetheless. This summer I was able to take it to a Keystone dealership down here and they did warranty work no problem. I too had the same fears that you do but so far nothing would dissuade me from doing it again. I searched for months ands tried to get dealerships down here to lower their price but they still couldn't beat the 6,000 dollars less than the dealerships up there. I was told that the lot I bought it from was right near the factory so they can sell them for a lot cheaper. My advice is to do it, if you think you will save in the long run. I figured after the expense of trip I still came out 4,000 dollars or so ahead so for me it was worth it
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:05 AM   #8
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Thank you everyone for the input. Guess I don't feel so bad for buying away from home. That 6,000 will go quite a way on the road.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:06 AM   #9
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Is that dealer that is 60 miles away willing to service your rig?
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:25 AM   #10
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I bought my 2005 Sea Breeze from a consignment dealer in Houston, TX, about a 6 hour drive from home . I was much less ($10,000) than buying from a dealer in the area. It was well worth it, even with fighting the Houston traffic on the weekend before Christmas, Whoo Hoo! There is an independent RV shop about 20 minutes away that can handle anything i need.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:42 AM   #11
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We bought our RV 1000 miles away from our home. BUT here's where to be careful. Many dealers (all of 'em maybe) will low ball you from a distance just to get you to their door.

When we bought we had paperwork drawn up - the amount of the trade-in, the price of the new RV, the VIN number, everything laid out.

We could show up and not like the RV and back out or they could not approve of our trade-in and back out. So, we had fail-safes. But if everything checked out as described then the deal was done. It did and it was.

We also purchased a new Arctic Fox from a dealer that special ordered the TT for us. They were 1700 miles from our home and 5 miles from the factory. We did everything over the phone and via email. Then we drove up to Oregon and picked up the RV and paid for it as we had arranged 6-months prior.

But you have to be careful. In a previous RV purchase we had a dealer 80 miles from our home claim to have LOTs of the RVs we were interested in looking at in stock. They didn't. They had only one. The lie was to get us to the dealership. We found out before making the short trip to them but you can bet we'll never visit that place ever for any reason.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:57 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dar_n_Rick View Post
Thank you everyone for the input. Guess I don't feel so bad for buying away from home. That 6,000 will go quite a way on the road.
There is a dealer in Nappanee IA that has great prices on towables.

Family owned.

No hidden fees...
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