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Old 02-07-2010, 08:36 AM   #1
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Newbie Question about Dealers

Hi, I'm new and doing research on buying my first RV - a 5th wheel. I'm very interested in the Carriage products but live in North Texas and there is only one type of dealer that sells them - ExploreUSA. Is the dealer as important and I think they are and how do I know if they provide good service if I don't know any other Carriage owners? Thanks!

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Old 02-07-2010, 09:18 AM   #2
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Tough question. A really good dealer can be a big help, but many (most) of them are just selling and don't provide much in the way of after sale support. And if you are a traveler, you probably won't be near the selling dealer when you need help anyway.

If you like the Carriage brand, you may want to join the Carriage Travel Club, an active organization of Carriage owners. You can learn a lot about the brand and dealers from other owners.

Carriage Travel Club - Welcome

Gary Brinck
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Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:16 AM   #3
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Thanks Gary - I'll try that.
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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Hi inquirer,
Welcome to iRV2. The importance of the dealer depends on several things. In addition to what Gary mentioned:
1. How handy are you? Can you repair the coach systems and components yourself?
2. How long is the warranty? The longer the warranty, the more important the dealer.
3. Where is the factory? Can you take to coach to the factory for service?
4. How often will you use the coach?
5. Is the coach your new home or to be used on summer and short trips?

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:07 PM   #5
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One good place to check service experience of other RVers is www.rvservicereviews.com .
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:29 PM   #6
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Carriage is a great brand of upscale 5th wheels. My son is the Pres. and CEO and he and his crew take great pride in their products. Yes I know I own a MH but that's a personal preference for me not a reflection on Carriage as a manufacturer.
Tom "Rocket Heart" Emahiser
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:06 PM   #7
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Carriage Dealers

Check the www.carriageowners.com website. It has a section on dealers. We are on our third Carriage and feel it's the best on the market.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:15 AM   #8
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On a positive side, we have not faced hard time dealing with our dealer in the past and we do hope to sail through Texas soon.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:43 AM   #9
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I'll provide my somewhat cynical input based on my personal experience. This is in no way meant to impugn any dealers out there.

Today, I go strictly on the lowest price, adjusted to account for any distance from my location to the selling dealership. My experience, based on too many rvs (7 over 20 years) is that, large or small, the dealerships were all left wanting in terms of service after the sale. So if I am going to be disappointed and frustrated, at least, I want to pay as little as possible for the experience.

Just another opinion. While I would like to continue testing my theory, there is not another RV purchase in the near future. I think I have learned. What is that sound in the background? It is the wife ROFLAO. No respect.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:50 AM   #10
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Another approach is to investigate whether or not the manufacturer will authorize warranty repairs at an independent RV service/repair shop. I've never failed to be disappointed every time I've dealt with our selling dealer's service departments (they have 2 stores), yet we've bought 2 RVs from them (does that say something about my being a slow learner? ). On the other hand, we've found an excellent RV service/repair facility here in the NW Houston/Harris County area for any major items I can't (or don't want to) handle myself.

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Old 03-17-2010, 08:09 PM   #11
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I, to, am in the research phase of becoming a full-time RVer and really like the Carriage Cameo. The NuWa Hitchhiker is also of interest to us. There is an owners forum at: Carriage Owners.net where you can have discussions or just read what they have to say. There is a guy from carriage who monitors the site to give advice, etc. but the forum is independent of Carriage Inc. Would be interested in what you end up with. So far, my dealer experience has been helpful,, but overall they just try to sell a unit. I have been to 2 so far, and will hit the third when the weather gets nicer. Also, go to a campground, see what folks have and talk with them. They are usually more than happy to tell you about their unit, dealer, etc.

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