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Old 02-11-2016, 12:00 PM   #1
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Normal dealer practice?

Currently we are in Palm Springs, CA but have inquired about a coach upgrade in Arizona. Like the coach model and price appears fair. But, before I head 300 miles to fully inspect after the deal is agreed to, I would like to know all systems work...air/furnace/plumbing/generator etc, etc. The will provide new tires but won't do the full checkup and make it delivery ready until I am there and have actually seen the coach.

The problem as I see it is that after I drive 300 miles (one way) and say I'll take it subject them making sure everything is good to go, it could conceivably take several day if not weeks, in case of an actual needed repair, before it is ready for me to bring back to California.

Is this pretty much the way dealers work. They clean it up a bit, throw it on the lot, but don't put anything into it until it is SOLD....thanks.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:19 PM   #2
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I think so.

I've heard that very statement from dealers...a lot. It made no sense to me since when I sell something I make sure its cleaned, greased and ready to go.

Then I started thinking from the dealers point of view. They want to maximize profit and would rather not do anything at all to the coach. I've decided that they do it this way so they can repair as little as possible.

If they go through the coach, then they'll identify every thing and incur an expense to fix everything. If they let you look at it and agree to fix what you identify, then they only fix what you found. It could save them plenty and cost you a lot.

Caveat Emptor as they say.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:33 PM   #3
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When we were looking to upgrade back in pre-2008 when we bought our current coach we stopped and looked at a lot of coaches and I was surprised at the number of them that were filthy. This was all over the East coast as we were stopping at many places as we were looking for a used coach.

In particular, Lazy Days in Florida is a large dealership, as they take trade-ins they just put them out on the lot as is and if somebody makes a deal on it they clean it up for sale and take care of all the PDI items found. We looked a Nice Discovery that was completely trashed in side and reeked of cigarette smoke. A completely disappointing experience.

I guess the dealer may do this for several reasons. One would be not wasting there resources on a coach that may sit in their lot for a while anyway. The other is some people may not be as keen on what requires fixing so it may save them in the long run not having to fix things that aren't noted by the new buyer.

We ultimately found a used coach in late 2008 When we called the seller who buy and sold them he was very apologetic and said he hadn't had time to really clean it up the way he normally would as he just got it on his lot. When we stopped to look at it I both me and my wife were surprised at how nice the coach looked. The dealer spent several hours with us walking through it and explaining everything. This was a small dealership. We ultimately made a deal over the phone several days later, he said he had gone through the rig completely and fixed everything. When I picked up the rig it was cleaned up even better and the only real problem we found after we started using it was the stove igniter didn't work, not a big enough deal for me to even complain about.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:42 PM   #4
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Dealers rarely put much 'time' into a NEW unit until SOLD.

You don't need to drive 300 miles to get an impression of what is 'normal'
Take a walk thru any
RV Dealer and take a look at USED Units sitting on lot.
Dirty, broken items etc.

Salemen....don't worry we'll have everything taken care of
Don't Worry---Be Happy!
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:53 PM   #5
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Have you placed any earnest money down on it? I can understand their reluctance to put time (which equates to MONEY) into it at this point. I'm sure if you like it you can negotiate that everything MUST WORK at the agreed price.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:06 PM   #6
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When we bought ours and traded our rig in they did not even put our trade up for sale until it was reconditioned. That was at North Trail RV in Ft. Myers
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:06 PM   #7
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Sounds like pretty normal practice to me. The dealer isn't going to put money needed for normal cash flow into a unit until there's a reasonable chance of recovering it.

As an example a unit may have been traded in that needs some work. The dealer can either put the money in it at the time it's traded in or wait until there's a potential buyer. Given that motorhomes don't sell as fast as cars the dealer could have the money tied up for weeks and even months. That money could be better spent paying utilities, salaries, and bank notes rather than sitting on the lot.

When a potential buyer comes along there's always a price negotiation. Some buyers would rather pay a few dollars less and make some repairs themselves. Others want the unit in top shape when they take possession and are willing to pay a greater price to do so. If the dealer has already put a ton of money in the unit they have less room for negotiation. They have a set amount of money they need to recover in addition to the profit they expect to generate.

In extreme cases the unit may be on the lot longer than expected and eventually sold at auction. If that's the case you can almost be assured that the dealer will not recover any money put into it for repairs.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:27 PM   #8
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Some dealers will wash the unit and clean the inside just enough to be presentable, but will do nothing else until there is a fish on the line. Then they will ask you what they need to do to make the deal. They may or may not point out things they know need attention, to be fair they may not know as they haven't checked it out.

Many people say they will buy used as most of the defects have been fixed. You may find out this is a fallacy. Have the thing inspected before you agree to buy it.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:31 PM   #9
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In my opinion dealers dont fix rvs up before selling because they dont have to. It seems there are a lot of buyers out there willing to buy them anyway.

We bought our current RV in Arizona even though we lived in Iowa at the time. After a lot of time on the phone, and pictures of the RV, we agreed to a price if the RV was everything they said it was, and put down $1000 that was refundable if the RV was not what they said it was.

Fortunately, it was as they said, and didnt need any repairs before we were able to drive it home. Had we found things wrong with the RV that would take time to repair, we would have walked, but others dont seem to be of the same mind.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:55 PM   #10
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Sounds like the dealer I was working with in Arizona. They don't do any work on the coach until the deal is done. They are strictly a consignment shop, and charge the seller for the repairs. They charged me $500 to drive it across town to the freightliner dealer for the chassis inspection, which was to include an oil sample and engine code reading. I called freightliner after the inspection and the dealer had paid for the "quick" inspection, not the full inspection- no code reading or oil sample. Between that and the other fees they were going to charge, I walked away from it. I just didn't have a good feeling. They also wouldn't talk price until after all inspections (I wanted the coach inspected, too) because he said it's a waste of their time having to go through negotiations twice.

The next coach we found looked great in the pictures, but I am SO glad I spent the money to fly from New Hampshire to Texas to inspect it personally. I found over 30 items, some I want them to fix, some I'll fix myself. There's no way you can show up to close on a coach without having it inspected first as you will surely find things wrong that can't be fixed on the spot.

Plan on two trips, one to inspect, the other to pick it up after the things are fixed.

Good luck!

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Old 02-11-2016, 02:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
Sounds like pretty normal practice to me. The dealer isn't going to put money needed for normal cash flow into a unit until there's a reasonable chance of recovering it.

As an example a unit may have been traded in that needs some work. The dealer can either put the money in it at the time it's traded in or wait until there's a potential buyer. Given that motorhomes don't sell as fast as cars the dealer could have the money tied up for weeks and even months. That money could be better spent paying utilities, salaries, and bank notes rather than sitting on the lot.

When a potential buyer comes along there's always a price negotiation. Some buyers would rather pay a few dollars less and make some repairs themselves. Others want the unit in top shape when they take possession and are willing to pay a greater price to do so. If the dealer has already put a ton of money in the unit they have less room for negotiation. They have a set amount of money they need to recover in addition to the profit they expect to generate.

In extreme cases the unit may be on the lot longer than expected and eventually sold at auction. If that's the case you can almost be assured that the dealer will not recover any money put into it for repairs.
Bingo!!! I'm sure if you knew HOW many people "BUY" They do the work and they never pick up... you would prob. understand it better. example in this tread.. Dealer took it to freightliner and the customer walked away... There might have been something wrong there might not have. Point is.. When your spending that much money.. The 300 mile trip would be minor to me. the last one I bought I flew from PA to Tampa to look at it. Gave them A 10000 deposit and left A list. came back A month later and picked it up.
Now the check list that needed to be taken care of AFTER the sale went not so good!! took it to another site they own in Albany NY Lets say I will NEVER set foot in THAT place again!!!
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:23 PM   #12
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Just to clarify, I PAID the dealer $500 for an inspection that freightliner quoted me $300 to perform. I figured $200 was adequate compensation for their time, but the dealer only ordered and paid for a $100 inspection. BTW, freightliner found a leaking exhaust gasket and other problems...

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Old 02-11-2016, 02:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wbonsell View Post
Currently we are in Palm Springs, CA but have inquired about a coach upgrade in Arizona. Like the coach model and price appears fair. But, before I head 300 miles to fully inspect after the deal is agreed to, I would like to know all systems work...air/furnace/plumbing/generator etc, etc. The will provide new tires but won't do the full checkup and make it delivery ready until I am there and have actually seen the coach.

The problem as I see it is that after I drive 300 miles (one way) and say I'll take it subject them making sure everything is good to go, it could conceivably take several day if not weeks, in case of an actual needed repair, before it is ready for me to bring back to California.

Is this pretty much the way dealers work. They clean it up a bit, throw it on the lot, but don't put anything into it until it is SOLD....thanks.
Pictures,pictures and then have it inspected,inspected,inspected.. Make a weekend out of the short trip..Maybe there will be other units around at other dealers while there. Did I say have it inspected inspected.

Good luck on your choice
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:45 PM   #14
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I think that is pretty normal for most dealers! There's two sides to everything, and I can see where they are coming from. I think the only way they would do that is for you to put down a sizable amount, say $500, that would be non-refundable if you decide not to take the RV!
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