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Old 08-03-2016, 05:28 AM   #1
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Out of state purchase? Service -

Hello, considering a new Winnebago ERA and found offerings considerably less expensive from out of state dealers. I don't mind spending $250 for a one way flight and a drive home to save $10,000 +. Still I am concerned about warranty work and service. Can anyone help who might have done this? I would rather deal locally, but the savings are considerable. Thanks.

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Old 08-03-2016, 07:51 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mrfuni View Post
Hello, considering a new Winnebago ERA and found offerings considerably less expensive from out of state dealers. I don't mind spending $250 for a one way flight and a drive home to save $10,000 +. Still I am concerned about warranty work and service. Can anyone help who might have done this? I would rather deal locally, but the savings are considerable. Thanks.
Buying a coach locally may be worthwhile if you never travel far from your local dealer.
However if you travel in, (aka: USE), your coach it makes no difference where you buy it.

In it's 20 year life my coach has never been anywhere near the dealer I bought it from when it needed warranty or other service work...(besides they went out of business in 1997... 1 year after I bought my coach).

'96 Safari, 148k miles

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Old 08-03-2016, 08:00 AM   #3
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We have two local RV dealers but neither carry Thor. Made the 650 mile trip to MHSRV since that had 7 of the model we wanted in stock. We have had no trouble having the local RV dealer fix the one thing wrong with the coach. Thor paid for the fix.
Jim & Roy Davis
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:07 AM   #4
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While I understand that when you are traveling you will be at the mercy of the nearest dealer for an issue that is "trip impacting", for regular scheduled service and most warranty and / repair work, most people would prefer to not do that while they are on the road (full timers excluded in this senario obviously), and do it while home between trips.

And, if you are on your "home turf" with an RV with a local dealership, and you bought elsewhere, chances are you are not going to be a priority for them vs. thier local based customer or those on the road with emergency work required. Nor can you expect them to do any sort of "favors" to help you out. And why should they?

Buy a TV on line and save $50, then try to take it back to Best Buy to get it replaced if there is a problem, not going to happen. High end car dealers are getting tired of the same game too, someone buys a car outside of town, and then they expect the local dealer to jump through hoops for them because they spent $150k on a car; (massive volumes at Ford, Toyota etc. mask the problem there).

It's a great deal for a non local dealer to throw out a great price, when they know they will never have to deal with you again.

So, you simply have to weigh the cost savings vs. convienince factor........

We paid slightly more to buy local, and have found it to have been a wise investment. Now, what the break point would have been, not sure, but we were within what I considered a reasonable difference.

One big advantage to buying local was we spent time at our dealer 3 or 4 times between the time our coach was delivered (we special ordered it) and our delivery date. We had the opportunity to go over the coach with the tech each time, so we did not have an overwhelming PDI experieice with a list of things that needed to be fixed that day so we could drive off. And, we were able to ask questions each day about operation, so again, it wasn't like drinking out of a fire hose to learn about the coach. Even if you bought off the lot, if you buy local you don't have to drive off the day of delivery if you have things that need to be addressed, just leave it there and let them fix it before you leave with the RV.

Our dealer also arranged for a somewhat expensive item we bought and did not like, to be returned after we used it several times. Immediate cash back in our pocket.

I take the opportunity to buy most RV supplies from them when I can, which gives me an opportunity to visit with our sales person (which we really like) and the service team who all know us now.

For our 2 scheduled maintenances (the first with our initial warranty list), I have called the service advisor ahead of time to talk about the best time to bring it in given thier schedule and ours (why make it hard on them to meet your expectations if you don't have to; but I know for many it is a power trip they like to take........ "I NEED this tomorrow, even if they aren't going to use thier RV for a month.....) We also had 2 odd "need a quick simple fix" warranty items that came up, where we did need a quicker turn around and they happily accommodated us.

Is every dealer the same, no. Just our experieice buying local.........

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Old 08-03-2016, 09:09 AM   #5
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Depends on you local dealers! Back in 2002 we bought a new Cedar Creek 5er at an RV show in Atlanta, GA. Our local dealer would not work on it at all! I found a dealer about 100 miles away that would. It can be a real problem, but as someone said, if you will be traveling in it all the time it won't make any difference!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:39 AM   #6
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Buying local s always my 1st choice, but what if no one in area carries the type RV you want let allows the brand. We bought out of state. When we did have an issue on the road, we had good response from a Camping World near our location. One thing about RVs, most of the internal systems, appliances, etc. are made by a small number of manufactures. Most any good dealer can service or repair.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:16 PM   #7
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From reading comments on the forums it must depend on the manufacturer and OP, I don't know anything about Winnebago and its dealer network.

However, we bought from dealers that we never returned to - Travel Supreme and Newmar RVs.

All dealers in their network willingly worked on all their products even if not buying from them or they would be excluded from being a dealer. To these companies, the dealers are their main contact with a customer and they treat customers, accordingly.

Manufacturers should stand on their dealers to do the right thing.
Full-timed for 16 Years
. . . Back in S&B Again
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:34 PM   #8
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Going to any Rv repair shop under warranty would be like trying to use a coupon. There is a million reasons why they won't pay or blame the other company that had a hand in the build. If I need repair or service I show up with money and go to the front of the warranty line. I have had 3 used Winnebago motor homes over 20 years and haven't needed to go for repair yet.
Good luck in your decision.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:35 PM   #9
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I live in LA and bought in Texas. A great dealer in LA is only one hour away but they never could get the one we wanted. They have done warranty, wreck and other repairs on ours without question. They may assume I used to live in tx and moved to LA, or they may just be decent people. Either way, it's never been an issue. But others have had opposite experiences. Good luck.
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:03 AM   #10
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WE have no "home base" and bought our coach in Florida. Traveling around the country we have had lots of problems with getting warrantee work done. In fact we actually got the factory rep involved and they did "grease" the way for us.

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Old 08-04-2016, 05:10 AM   #11
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2 Local RV dealers in my area have a "Priority" status for service on the units they sold, They will service a unit they didn't sell, this season it's over a 3 month wait!!!

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Old 08-04-2016, 05:32 AM   #12
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I'd show the local dealer my paperwork to let him know you're a serious buyer, and offer a last chance at making a deal with you. At that point you've done what you could to make the deal with him, and there can be no grudge held over. One that might haunt you when it comes to doing warranty work on your coach.

I'd also be really, really, careful of the PDI the coach gets at the out of town dealer. Your local dealer is not going to think kindly of anything you're asking him to do that is the delivering dealer's responsibility. It would be pretty easy for the delivering dealer to take advantage of that situation, knowing full well you'll be hesitant returning the coach to him.....
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Old 08-04-2016, 05:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mrfuni View Post
Hello, considering a new Winnebago ERA and found offerings considerably less expensive from out of state dealers. I don't mind spending $250 for a one way flight and a drive home to save $10,000 +. Still I am concerned about warranty work and service. Can anyone help who might have done this? I would rather deal locally, but the savings are considerable. Thanks.
I have no experience buying a MH so can't confirm the opinions of the writer, but you might want to read this article. Drop down to internet shopping if you're in a hurry.
RV Industry Death Spiral – Part 7: RV owners share the blame | RV Daily Report
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:08 AM   #14
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Appreciate you help. My intention is to stay local unless a super deal on exactly what I am looking for.

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