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Old 03-01-2016, 08:51 AM   #1
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? re RV Dealer/Factory relationship

While searching for our next rig and seeing advertised "best" prices online that vary by 20K for a given model and going to the RV shows and seeing their "Show" prices, I am curious about how the RV dealer/manufacturer relationship works. Do the dealers actually buy the rigs from the factory or do the dealers sort of lease them from the factory until they are sold? At the last RV show I attended in Richmond, VA, it seemed that the factory reps were working TOO closely with the dealer sales reps to get the highest price possible, no bargains there. Also, does anyone have experience with buying their RV from a dealer in Indiana, close to the factory, or from the big discounter RV dealer in Texas?
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:15 AM   #2
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You should indicate what type / brand you're looking at as the answer may vary.

For instance, buying a Keystone out of Indiana might put you in a bind as the "nationwide" dealer network warrant request always starts with the question "did you buy it here" - other brands, that's not so important...

We bought in TX. We did a nationwide search for the model that we were looking for - price was matched.. I'm still happy with the price.

There are "wholesale" dealers that cannot/do-not advertise prices, but depending on brand, getting them serviced may or may not be an issue.

Pretty much all of them are going to have SOME issues. It's not like buying a car.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:39 PM   #3
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Can't speak for any dealer other than the one I work at. As far as do we buy or lease them goes we "buy" from the manufacturer. I use the term buy loosely as in our case the bank buys them and charges us a floor plan rate for each month we have the unit without it being sold. The bank audits our units monthly to make sure they know what we have to make sure they get their money.

When comparing like manufacturer/model make sure they are optioned the same. We buy ours a certain way based on our past sales and a dealer in another part of the country may option them differently.

As far as manufacturers trying to work closely to get the highest price, I have found exactly the opposite. When we run a show the different manufacturers often throw in incentives to help close the deal. Last show one of the fifth wheel companies were throwing in factory rebates, backup camera systems, and a few other things.

Hope this answers some of your questions.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:57 PM   #4
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Every rig that Newmar makes is presold, none are produced without a paid dealer order. How the dealer comes up with the money is up to them, "flooring" is one way. They make no "spec" models although the dealers do order rigs for their lot hoping to sell them.
Other manufacturers do it differently.
Brian explains it pretty well.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:04 PM   #5
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Every rig that Newmar makes is presold, none are produced without a paid dealer order. How the dealer comes up with the money is up to them, "flooring" is one way. They make no "spec" models although the dealers do order rigs for their lot hoping to sell them.
Other manufacturers do it differently.
Brian explains it pretty well.

We order every unit we have, to our specifications. My understanding is the manufacturers used to force units on dealers. I know when I was at Fleetwood and took a factory tour they said that all the units being built were dealer orders and they no longer built them just to build them.

We also buy in bulk. Instead of buying say 2 at a time of a specific model and then ordering more when they sell, we order 20 at a time. Like anything, you get a better price when you buy in volume.
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Old 03-01-2016, 04:32 PM   #6
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if the factory does not support the dealers the dealer will not support the factory and everybody looses.
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:54 PM   #7
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Narrowed the search down to Coachmen Concord or Leprechaun, Thor Chateau, Jayco Greyhawk, Forest River Sunseeker or Forester 30+ foot models. Thanks for the information.
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:59 PM   #8
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What I'm finding so far is that the in-stock models I like are loaded with high-profit options that I do not need or want but they do not have critical options, like power leveling jacks. Thanks for the information, good to know.
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Old 03-01-2016, 06:15 PM   #9
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When I buy I custom order so that I get exactly the options that I want. This is one of the advantages of buying new vs used. Some say you can get a better price this way since the dealer does not have to use their line of credit and spend money on floorplanning the unit while it sits in inventory.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:58 AM   #10
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Thanks for the comments. Will probably be ordering also. I have this idea now that IF I can find a manufacturer and a dealer willing to work with me, I would order the unit, pick it up at the factory, and drive it to the dealer myself for the pre delivery work.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:37 AM   #11
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Thanks for the comments. Will probably be ordering also. I have this idea now that IF I can find a manufacturer and a dealer willing to work with me, I would order the unit, pick it up at the factory, and drive it to the dealer myself for the pre delivery work.

Good luck. I am only aware of 2 manufacturers that allow you to pick up at the factory, and that is Newmar and American Coach. Based on what you said you were considering above I don't think they will let you, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
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