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Old 10-23-2021, 07:06 PM   #1
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Test drive dealership policy

My wife and I are RV shopping, finally ready to get something, hopefully driving to Elkhart IN next week for a larger selection. I wanted to wait a bit to save up more and get a used DP, She was all set to get a trailer to pull behind her grand Cherokee L, that is until she saw the size it can safely pull (or more what I would fell comfortable with pulling) and how most trailers aren’t so good in cold weather.

We have visited several dealers, walked through numerous trailers and motorized RV’s, we also drove a few DP’s trying to get it all narrowed down. The one dealer we visited (Arbogast RV) only had one we were kinda interested in, it was a mid C, not sure what they are called or classified. It was on the F550 platform awd larger then a normal class C but smaller then the super C’s. We asked if we could go on a test drive and the response was….. No, the only way we do test drives is if a contract is written and deposit made on the RV.

We were totally shocked… we asked if he was serious about not being able to drive anything w/o a contract and deposit? What if there are several we are interested in? He replied yes that’s their policy…. Needless to say we walked away
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Old 10-23-2021, 07:18 PM   #2
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I walked away too, that's a cheap sales trick IMO. I asked that salesman if he bought a car without driving it first; he very reluctantly said no.
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Old 10-23-2021, 08:06 PM   #3
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I walked away too, that's a cheap sales trick IMO. I asked that salesman if he bought a car without driving it first; he very reluctantly said no.
I think the OP ran into a used car salesman that was out of work and is now selling RV’s. However, I understand their position but it is what it is if they want to sell. Glad they moved on.
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Old 10-23-2021, 08:10 PM   #4
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I would find a new dealer and maybe let management know why you should be shopping elsewhere.
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Old 10-23-2021, 09:09 PM   #5
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.... We asked if we could go on a test drive and the response was….. No, the only way we do test drives is if a contract is written and deposit made on the RV.

......
This policy makes sense to me.

The only time I spend in my car is when I am driving it.

Spend very little time driving the MH and a lot of time living in it.

Step 1: Find a floor plan DW likes.

Step 2: Narrow it down to several different makers with the floor plan you like.

Step 3: Make an offer.

Step 4: Test drive to make sure it runs.

Dealers and RV shows are a good way to shop for a floor plan.

I mostly looked at MH from private owners through Craigs list. They were more knowledgeable about the rig and often willing to let you test drive it.
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Old 10-23-2021, 09:24 PM   #6
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Just to show you how much things have changed.. DW and I went to arborgast and this was 2016 ... they had rv's stacked every where.. they were begging us to drive.. things they and i could not afford.. 1 followed us home same day.. now I get calls they want us to bring back and let them resale it .. when we went there in 2016.. there was 3 lots full.. I asked for test drive.. sales lady had plates on it and gave keys and card.. asked if we needed her to ride a long.. we said no.. she said ok.. have fun..
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Old 10-24-2021, 05:25 AM   #7
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Trying to get it narrowed down? You wanted a trailer, maybe a mh, maybe a dp, maybe a class c?
You drove a few DPs. I get the dealer, you are killing time.
Figure out what type you want then ask for a test drive .
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Old 10-24-2021, 05:58 AM   #8
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Test drive dealership policy

Well I feel for you but I see the business position. There are lots of looky loos. You have driven a few rv’s already but not bought. Rvs are in low supply supposedly. How would you feel buying a brand new ( at the inflated prices they are now) Motorhome that 30 people before you had taken out for a test drive? Running over curbs etc ( because they are new to Motorhomes).
It isn’t like a car. Once you decide on what you want put some money down like a credit card deposit all clearly written down subject to a satisfactory test drive , your satisfaction . Don’t like it ? Then get your money back. It’s a hassle yes ,but it keeps the driving down to the serious buyers, not the “hey let’s go drive some rvs today”people. Don’t believe those folks exist? If so you haven’t dealt with the public much. Did you look like a buyer “ready to buy” or the guy above to the dealer? The new rv I buy hopefully hasn’t been a “tester”.
Walk into any sports car dealer and say I’d like to take the $150,000 sports car with 7 miles on the odometer that’s sitting on the showroom floor for a test drive ( with no discussion of price or seriousness of an offer ) how far do you think that will go?
Just posting a different view. In days past they probably did have a model they would use as a test drive unit. Now they can sell whatever and not assume the risk.
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Old 10-24-2021, 06:17 AM   #9
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Around here different dealers have different rules about test drives, some allow them, some don't. There was one used RV that we were VERY interested in that I wanted to test drive. They told me the same thing as what was said to the OP, only with a signed contract. I said I wasn't going to go through that hassle for something I wasn't sure I wanted to buy. They said "It's the rule", I said "Then we're at an impasse" thanked the salesperson for his time and left. Never heard from them again, never went back.
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Old 10-24-2021, 06:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BillJinOR View Post
Well I feel for you but I see the business position. There are lots of looky loos. You have driven a few rv’s already but not bought. Rvs are in low supply supposedly. How would you feel buying a brand new ( at the inflated prices they are now) Motorhome that 30 people before you had taken out for a test drive? Running over curbs etc ( because they are new to Motorhomes).
It isn’t like a car. Once you decide on what you want put some money down like a credit card deposit all clearly written down subject to a satisfactory test drive , your satisfaction . Don’t like it ? Then get your money back. It’s a hassle yes ,but it keeps the driving down to the serious buyers, not the “hey let’s go drive some rvs today”people. Don’t believe those folks exist? If so you haven’t dealt with the public much. Did you look like a buyer “ready to buy” or the guy above to the dealer? The new rv I buy hopefully hasn’t been a “tester”.
Walk into any sports car dealer and say I’d like to take the $150,000 sports car with 7 miles on the odometer that’s sitting on the showroom floor for a test drive ( with no discussion of price or seriousness of an offer ) how far do you think that will go?
Just posting a different view. In days past they probably did have a model they would use as a test drive unit. Now they can sell whatever and not assume the risk.

Very well put. My initial thought was how crazy the dealer is for that policy. Yes, the $150,000 sports car analogy sold me. These are expensive beasts, so I do get the position the dealer is taking.
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Old 10-24-2021, 07:05 AM   #11
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Would your auto policy cover it if you smash it?
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Old 10-24-2021, 07:23 AM   #12
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This policy makes sense to me.

The only time I spend in my car is when I am driving it.

Spend very little time driving the MH and a lot of time living in it.

Step 1: Find a floor plan DW likes.

Step 2: Narrow it down to several different makers with the floor plan you like.

Step 3: Make an offer.

Step 4: Test drive to make sure it runs.

Dealers and RV shows are a good way to shop for a floor plan.

I mostly looked at MH from private owners through Craigs list. They were more knowledgeable about the rig and often willing to let you test drive it.
This actually makes sense to me. By the time I get to a test drive, I've pretty much decided to buy UNLESS something on the test drive doesn't go as expected. That applies to all vehicles, from 2-wheels up.

OTOH, I would be reluctant to sign a sales contract and write a check just for the test drive. That implies that if anything gets damaged, it's mine. I sure wouldn't deliberately take any chances or damage it, but as the bumper stickers say, "Stuff happens."
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Old 10-24-2021, 07:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by BillJinOR View Post
Well I feel for you but I see the business position. There are lots of looky loos. You have driven a few rv’s already but not bought. Rvs are in low supply supposedly. How would you feel buying a brand new ( at the inflated prices they are now) Motorhome that 30 people before you had taken out for a test drive? Running over curbs etc ( because they are new to Motorhomes).
It isn’t like a car. Once you decide on what you want put some money down like a credit card deposit all clearly written down subject to a satisfactory test drive , your satisfaction . Don’t like it ? Then get your money back. It’s a hassle yes ,but it keeps the driving down to the serious buyers, not the “hey let’s go drive some rvs today”people. Don’t believe those folks exist? If so you haven’t dealt with the public much. Did you look like a buyer “ready to buy” or the guy above to the dealer? The new rv I buy hopefully hasn’t been a “tester”.
Walk into any sports car dealer and say I’d like to take the $150,000 sports car with 7 miles on the odometer that’s sitting on the showroom floor for a test drive ( with no discussion of price or seriousness of an offer ) how far do you think that will go?
Just posting a different view. In days past they probably did have a model they would use as a test drive unit. Now they can sell whatever and not assume the risk.
Totally agree. Well stated
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Old 10-24-2021, 07:56 AM   #14
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I would be pissed if 10 people already drove my “new” rv. To me it isn’t new with 150-200 miles on it. New is 50 miles or less with the plastic still on the seats!
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