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Old 07-10-2006, 10:42 PM   #1
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We are about ready to purchase our first RV or 5th Wheel. The question I have is about where to purchase. Is it better to purchase around your home town/state versus purchasing out of state? This question comes up because of a conversation I had with a friend who purchased at one of the large RV shows in So. Cal. and felt that would be the way to go since there was such a huge selection and they were "really dealing" at the show. The next show is in the fall, so that is why the question now. I live in the Phoenix, AZ area and they have pretty large RV shows there also. So is it more advantageous to purchase "locally" where the dealer is the one you work with from the start vs. buying outside the area and then relying on the local dealer for service, etc.?
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:42 PM   #2
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We are about ready to purchase our first RV or 5th Wheel. The question I have is about where to purchase. Is it better to purchase around your home town/state versus purchasing out of state? This question comes up because of a conversation I had with a friend who purchased at one of the large RV shows in So. Cal. and felt that would be the way to go since there was such a huge selection and they were "really dealing" at the show. The next show is in the fall, so that is why the question now. I live in the Phoenix, AZ area and they have pretty large RV shows there also. So is it more advantageous to purchase "locally" where the dealer is the one you work with from the start vs. buying outside the area and then relying on the local dealer for service, etc.?
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Old 07-11-2006, 12:20 AM   #3
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Scotty, when dealerships get busy then those units that were sold by them get the prefered treatment and the others are on the back burner. Some dealership may even refuse to work on the unit unleass you bought it there. If when after you buy the coach and you leave the area traveling, it may not matter as you will not be "home" to take it back to the dealer. I am sure you will get lots of conversation on this topic and you can do a search (click on the "find" button) of this topic for past discusions as well.
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:38 PM   #4
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Scotty.

My take on this its different choices for whatever may work for you. I drove 1200 miles and picked up my new MH. I felt like the difference in what I saved and how I was treated was worth that. I know the service I got the first time I bought a mh from the same dealer I would have to use locally and decided if its repairs to the mh itself and its nothing that needs immediate attention I will make that list and plan a trip to the factory to have it repaired, ( sorta a vacation) and if its something that needs immediate attention I would be better off calling a mobile tech and have them come out to the unit and repair and pay the bill myself. I think I will still be ahead. Its my home as well and I still work so I am not willing to leave it in the shop sitting for weeks and nothing being done nor the hassle of even going there. Good Luck on your purchase tho.
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:20 PM   #5
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I have mixed feelings on this quandry. I purchased new from my local Winnebago dealer, I figured I would get the best service. 30 days later he was out of business. Winnebago hooked me up to another dealer in another state. I have been very satisfied with his service. Wish now I purchased off him, although he has treaated me as though I did.
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Old 07-12-2006, 05:08 PM   #6
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I agree with Mike (RV Wizard). I have never been refused service by any RV Dealer, but I have received preferred treatment from the Dealer where I purchased the Motorhome.

I understand that there are dealers, usually VERY LARGE dealers, that refuse to work on anything that was not purchased from them. One I know of has this policy, but when you call in for an appointment you may have to wait months to get into that VERY LARGE dealers service department. Kind of makes you wonder???

If any dealer "threatened" to not work on a Motorhome if it was not purchased from them I would walk out the door. Too many dealers, with too many good buys to be held hostage by a dealer for service.

I am on my fourth Motorhome, and it has never been an issue for me. Very often some of the work such as HWH, Dometic, Coleman, Onan,ect. will actually refer away from actual dealers and towards other repair facilities in your area.

Once you are out of warranty, which usually doesn't take long for most RV's, I have found the non-dealer speacialty repair facilities to be far more efficient in resolving issues.

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Old 07-13-2006, 11:36 AM   #7
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Dealers vary so much in their policies, quality of service and post-sale atitude towards customers that I hesitate to advise either way on this question. Certainly there are good examples in the arguments from both sides.

I personally have never been turned away from a dealer because we didn't buy there. Just the opposite, in fact. We've had excellent waranty service from places that never saw us before and probably won't ever see us again! Unless, that is, we have a problem in the same city some time in the future. That's good, since we travel all over the country anyway.

It might be worth talking to the service manager at local dealers before deciding to but elsewhere. Ask if the service department will do warranty work on rigs bought elsewhere. In my experience, in larger dealerships the service department is run like separate business. They are happy to service any rig and waranty work is is welcome - they just bill the manufacturer for whatever is needed to do the job right. In smaller dealerships, the sales and service might be more integrated and the priorities decided by the owner/sales manager. The service staff is often small and everybody works on the problem of the moment. Outsider rigs therefore may wait for attention.

Personally, I would shop for selection and price first and service & convenience last. If the deals are fairly close, then I would probably give the nod to the dealer nearest me. When we bought the current rig, a dealer in California beat the best deal in Florida by a couple hundred bucks. That wasn't enough to make me go cross country. But the deal I took was from a place 100 miles away rather than one about 50 miles nearer. Price difference was over $2000 and the higher priced guy did not seem anxious to earn my business. So he didn't get it.
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:19 PM   #8
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I like to stay local if I can. I am fortunate to have several good dealers in the area. I feel it's important to support your community whenever you can. That being said I won't throw good money away. If the deal is that much better to out weigh conveinence of being local go for it. My .02. Scotty.
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Old 07-15-2006, 11:26 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your advise and experiences. I usually like doing business locally and developing a relationship with the shop or dealer who will be doing the service that I cannot do. That being said I also will do my "homework" and shop for the best fair price that I can find within reason, as RV Roamer expressed. I had trouble once with a car dealer when I bought a car out of the local area and I went to them for service. They did the work but certaily let me know I would have been treated better if I had purchased there. Needless to say I never did purchase from them nor continued to do business there.
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