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Old 09-15-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
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service from local dealer vs. selling dealer

Is there ever a problem getting warranty service from a dealer other than the one that sold you the motorhome? I would like to purchase an Allegro 30 GA from the dealer offering the best price. Is it likely the local dealer will provide substandard service knowing they did not make the sale (e.g. low-priority for scheduling work, etc.)? Has anyone had a problem like that or can I expect to get the same treatment as one who bought the coach from them?
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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I have no experence with this except with a car. The Mfg paids the dealer to accomplish Warranty repairs or recall corrections and they pay all the dealers the same for the work so I would believe any dealer would give you the same treatment as it is work in the door of their shop and making you happy will have you coming back to them.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:32 PM   #3
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i would evaluate the real savings when you buy from a distant dealer,altho they will be reimbursed for warranty i am sure you would not be their priority after all they make a lot more selling a new coach than fixing them at factory rate ,if you dont feel comfortable buying there why would you want service there. if you are close in price buy local and dont forget to give the local guy a shot at it and be honest about your best offer,when i was in business i knew what every body was selling for what price a customer would say if i find a better deal will you match it i always said sure but dont tell the other guy my price first ,when asked why i told them because i want you to see how bad they take you, if they think you dont know the price 9 times out ten id get the be-back .i bought local got what i considered a fair price and receive excellent service. the great price should soon disappear when you realize the great value and fun you have after you get a few miles on your rig
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:43 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!

I think this is certainly what a lot of salesmen would have you believe but I don't know if it's true or not.

When I bought my new DP in 2007 I knew what I wanted and googled the details. I got a list of dealers with what I wanted advertised on the web and sent emails to about 10 of them across the country asking for their best price.

About half responded that I would need to call them to discuss it but 5 responded with pretty impressive discounts. I went to my local dealer with the print outs of these offers in hand. Right away I got the line about how people who buy rigs from them go to the head of the line when scheduling service and it's really hard to find anyone to give you an appointment without a weeks long wait unless you bought the coach from them.

They didn't match the best offer but we did settle on a price within about $5K and I was willing to pay that premium to buy locally. They always handled my service in an excellent manner.

I think buying local is a good idea but it's a matter of how much of a premium you're willing to pay for it.

Best of luck...

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Old 09-15-2011, 09:00 PM   #5
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The thing is...when you really need that service, it's not when you're at home, in my experience. When I'm at home (not being a full timer), that's when an extra day or week isn't a big deal.

It'd be when I'm on the road in the middle of a vacation that speedy service would matter.

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Old 09-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #6
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Unfortunately I have first hand experience with this. We bought a CruiserRV travel trailer in March from an out of state dealer and went and drove it home. I fully understood that I would most likely have a problem with the local dealer whom I had talked to about this before I purchased. Sure enough, on the way back we had a problem with a piece of the trailer skirting and when I got home I tried to work with the local dealer and the factory to get this fixed. The local dealer isn't having any of it and I'm stuck. I understand his position. I don't like it, but what can I do? My eyes were open when I did this. I paid about $3K less on a $19-20K deal. Now I have $3K to spend to get my trailer fixed!

One of my thoughts about this is the issue of being on the road and away from the local dealer. How is this much different from the situation I'm in?Less emotion. The dealer in Montana on my way to Glacier doesn't know anything about me. He'll probably do what he can if I limp in with a dead fridge. Will I go to the back of the line? Maybe but the warranty is the warranty.

To make myself feel a little better I did buy an extended warranty. Now that was either smart or stupid and time will tell.

BTW I did work the manufacturer hard on the problem but they were unwilling to try to "make" the local guy do anything for me.

Oh and I have a leaking slide out that I'm trying to figure too. It's always something with these things!

Bottom line: would I do it this way again? I don't know.

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Old 09-15-2011, 09:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kellylipp View Post
BTW I did work the manufacturer hard on the problem but they were unwilling to try to "make" the local guy do anything for me.
My guess is their contract with the dealer keeps them from interfering with the dealers business. Motorhome dealer contracts are not like a car franchise, dealers are not required to take all comers needing warranty work. With a car franchise they are.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:16 PM   #8
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I bought mine in fl because that is where we use it 90% of the time...service there never a problem ...but a new rig can and does have many issues, and many valuable vacation days were lost waiting for work to be completed ...on the other hand the few warranty issues that revealed themselves at home 1300 miles from my selling dealer that could not wait were handled cheerfully by 2 dealers hours from my home. Not so sure how they would react to a list with 30 items though!
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:32 AM   #9
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In my situation, my nearest dealer is 2 hours away. So while I gave my 'local' dealer a shot he was 5 grand away on a lesser equipped model, taking into account the options he was 8k higher. Since I enjoy working on my toys and taking it to the dealer is long drawn out ordeal... I decided to save the money and use it as my very own insurance plan. I'll only go to a dealer if it's something majorly wrong. Small stuff I'll do myself.
Knock on wood I haven't found any major problems.

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Old 09-17-2011, 03:43 PM   #10
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Something else to think about is the cost of the trip to and from that distant dealer just to buy the coach. Suppose that the low cost dealer is 1000 miles away, and your rig gets 10 mpg. That is 200 gallons of fuel you will burn making the round trip. At $5.00/gallon that is $1000. Now add in a couple of nights of camping to and from, and the week's vacation time, and the local dealer's price is a lot more attractive.

All of this presupposes that you are not living and traveling in your coach full time. If so, who is the "local" dealer? The one who happens to be closest to you when you get the bug to trade? Perhaps someone who has actually traded coaches while fulltiming can answer that question.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:08 PM   #11
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I can say with first hand experience, you will be put at the back of the line when you buy from another dealer. Although the manufacturer pays for service work, it is not as much as the dealer charges the customer. Also the manufacturer puts a lot of pressure on the dealer to sell their product and will take away their franchise if the sales are too low.
if I were you, I would get the best price in writing and present it to your dealer and ask him to match it.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:20 PM   #12
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We brought a 2011 allegro bus, had a few problems with dealers service dept. so after last time, I found a service shop that was Tiffin certified for all warranty work, and much closer to home, been there three times all under warranty no problem. We want to go full time as soon as house is sold, so getting the bugs or problems fixed close to home is great. I think when you are on the road, you get it fixed by whoever can do the job. "ENJOY"
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:45 PM   #13
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Although the service bays are operated within the dealership, many dealers operate their service and body shop operations as separate businesses. A quick peek at the licenses on the wall might show that there are 3 or 4 LLCs combining their efforts to create the dealership. Each business is expected to make a profit, so there should be no hard feelings if you bring in a outside MH.
In my 30+ years of MHing I have never experienced a dealer unwilling to service my MH because it was not purchased at there base. I have had to wait for an appointment for non-emergency work, but it was based on the availability of specialized technicians or on the high volume of calls for a recall.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:43 PM   #14
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More first hand experience. Winter in Ga, summer travel, live up North. First call to a GA Tiffin dealer they asked did I buy it there? Only want to be bothered with units they sold. Not an emergency so waited and stopped in Red Bay. Second time was this past summer while traveling out west. Construction in Nebraska got two dings in the windshield. Emailed very specific questions to a Wisc dealer I would have went hundred of miles out of my way for - the email reply was prompt but it answered NONE of my questions only sent a "quote" I never asked for. Good luck and think about it when you buy.
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