A Crooked Dealer?

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Bayrat

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Joined
Aug 21, 2012
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142
Please read my thread about the Monaco coach that I viewed and test drove on Saturday. I have been stewing about something since I tracked down the extent of the water damage in that beautiful motor home and it suddenly hit me. When I initially spotted the water damage via the pictures on the dealers website I emailed the salesman that had been interacting with me on this unit and asked him how extensive the damage might be. I told him that I was not going to drive two hours to look at something that was severely compromised. At that point, he seemed to vanish and when I called due to no email response from him, the owner stated that the salesman was busy. He also assured me that the water damage was minimal, a stain on the ceiling. The rest of the story is on my other thread but the ODD part of all this is that the salesman, the one that was very anxious for me to see that coach on Saturday, was nowhere to be found when I arrived. In fact, every excuse in the book was used to explain his absence. Initially this new salesman had told me that he would be there waiting for me.. Should not have taken me this long to determine that the dealer/owner was trying to pull a fast one on me. Still bummed...
 

DearMissMermaid

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Dec 26, 2009
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2,572
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on the move, USA
Don't be bummed out.

Time and time again dealers and repairman look at me (single female) and treat me like a complete idiot, trying to sell me beach front  land on Mars. It's extremely frustrating at times.  I was often dismissed as not being worthy of their time, because I had bought an old used beat up car to go searching for RV's. I knew once I bought my RV, I was going to ditch the car and just drive the RV. (Three years of fulltiming  later, I am still happy with this choice.)

But they looked at my old beat up car, assumed I was some air headed idiot and proceeded to bring out their snake oil. 

They had no idea, I had worked overseas for 2+ decades and only recently landed back in America. After checking out rental car rates,  I searched for a used clunker to get me around.

Many salesmen and owners will simply do ANYTHING to close a deal including lie, cheat and steal. I wasted loads of time and gas money  tracking down RV's only to find out that the owner or dealer had told me really tall tales and the rig was in hopeless shape, or ridiculously overpriced given the current shape,  but they were optimistic they could bully me into buying it.

The market is flooded with used RV's.  You just have to keep looking with phenomenal patience until you stumble into that wonderful bargain that works for you.  In the interim all your efforts are the price of an education (that's how I looked at it!)

After I finally  bought my used RV, the old beat up car I had paid $800 for and drove thousands of miles  for  7 months  was sold for $1100 cash.  Do you think I could have bought a brand new car, drove it all that time then walked away with a 38% profit?  And they thought I was the idiot...  ;D

 

COMer

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Aug 25, 2009
Posts
1,663
The Mermaid gives you good advice.  Without losing too much money, you have learend a valuable lesson that we all must, and some of us pay buckets of money by the time we get to where you are.  Dealers cannot be trusted!  Not the bad ones and not the good ones.  None of them, and most people who are selling their own rig can't be either.  It's something about our DNA that makes it so difficult.  Dealers are used to having people lie to them and must feel that if somebody last week traded in a rig that turned out to have problems, it's OK to treat you the same way.  Don't expect anybody to accurately represent their RV and do your own investigation and make your own observations  You have learend quite a bit already and are in a much better position to do this.  Between the experience you have detailed on the forum and the advice many forum members have given you, you are much better qualified and will be able to spot the RV of your dreams when it appears.  Keep looking and keep positive and keep ignoring all those promises and things that dealers tell you.  It's unlikely they are accurate.  I suppose there are honest dealers but they are hidden in a sea of ones you can't trust. 
 

Bayrat

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Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Posts
142
You both are so right-on about this process. After doing further research on how to spot de-lamination in the walls I went back to the pictures of the National Tradeswinds that I intend to drive this week, it's very clean but missing the diesel genset I want. I noticed ripples or swelling in the area at the bottom of the wall on both sides just forward of the rear cap seam. This could be shadows in the picture. Either way, I'm going to give it a good once over on the outside, I found nothing on the inside when I checked walls and cupboards. I started searching for bus conversions last night in hopes they have a less leak prone construction, but there is not much available in my area.
 

COMer

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Aug 25, 2009
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1,663
De-lamination can be a big problem because there is just about no way to repair other than tearing out walls.  And I don't know of a way to shrink it once it starts except that Tom S once said that changing climates made his shrink.  Hotter and dryer maybe caused them to lessen but I would not count on that.  You are right that it looks like ripples on the outside and if it's inside, it could look like pock marked bulges.  It is often caused by water infiltration at the seam where the roof joins the side walls. You can check to see if that seam looks deteriorated.  It is easy to repair with seam sealer caulk or a strip of eterabond tape but the damage is already done.

Regarding my previous note.  I got to thinking after I hit "post" that I may have made a generalization that was incorrect.  We have some people in the forum that work for dealers and are probably very honest.  There must be others also.  But the ability to trust any dealer, or RV salesman, is what you would like to do and just isn't practical.  There are enough bad ones to taint the whole process, unfortunately.  And I have been told by dealers that their justification for doing what they do, is that customers who lie to them have trained them.  Not sure this works for me.
 

ironrat

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Joined
May 11, 2011
Posts
358
Location
Loma Rica, Ca
There are good people and bad, and they are who make up any deal/dealer. The buyers are the same untrusted people, but of course not all. How many times do you hear someone with a problem RV and the advise is to get rid of it, trade it in? Do you really think anyone will tell the dealer, hey this is a piece of junk I need to get rid of this piece of ----!! Again not all people are this way but I would say the majority is this way in selling and buying of items. Know what you want and how much you want to pay and find that unit and you will be fine but understand the above points!
 

dan2

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Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Posts
193
Always check their BBB rating, a good starting point. Sales people don't get paid for units they don't sell. He did his job and got you
on the lot. Sad but true :(
 

Bayrat

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Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Posts
142
I know that same holds true for almost any purchase, both unscrupulous customers and dealers. If I get rid of something that has an issue which is a detractor from the value of the item I always attempt to let the buyer know. The last time I traded the admiral's car one of the front brakes started making noise on the way to pick up her new ride, could have been a pad fell apart, who knows. I told the sales manager and offered to pay for it if it was anything serious. Never heard back but my conscience is clear.
 

catblaster

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Jan 11, 2010
Posts
2,702
Location
Kissimmee, Floriduh
I guess I got lucky, our old winnwbago is everything our dealer said it was. The price was good, everything worked with no problems. The only questionable problem was with the prep in the back shop. Bubba removed a video switcher (didn't notice till we got it home) and even admitted that if he had known about the three new optima house batteries he would have taken them for his pick-em-up-truck.

I hope you find a dealer as good as ours.

I said the price was good because the bottom fell out since we bought it, otherwise we would still be money ahead. He dropped from 49K to 39K and we finally settled on 34K out the door. That was a few years ago.....later Will
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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24,944
Location
Davison Michigan
I still recall the salesman who wrote up my order.. He told me I"d be getting a Ford Triton V-10 with an Allison Transmission.

I was fairly sure he'd gotten that wrong.. I'm much happier with my Chevy V-8 as I'm not a Ford fan.. Oh, He got the transmission right.

Why was I fairly sure he was wrong:  The allison does not bolt to the ford block without an adapt-a-kit.
 

larry6943

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Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Posts
56
Location
Tulalip,WA
I was told  by the sales person at Camping World about "The little old lady from Pasadena" when I went to look at a 1999 PaceArrow, everything looked and sounded great to so discounting the Little old lady story I bought the rig.
About a year later I was camped in Washington and saw this guy behind me just staring and not saying anything. A couple of months later we were at the same park again and there he was, looking my way, so I approched him and come to find out he was the "Little Old Lady", he had taken the Pacearrow in for front end work and fell in love with the 40 footer he was driving.
 

Koodog

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Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Posts
465
Location
Boncarbo, CO
Bayrat.....tired of dealing with dealers yet? You couldn't pay me to listen to their BS. We went private on our rig and have been truly satisfied. Not to mention the previous owners did not have a huge asphalt lot,  billion candlepower lighting, and a huge showroom to have to pay for. Makes bargining a wee bit easier. :)
 

DearMissMermaid

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Dec 26, 2009
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2,572
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on the move, USA
Not all dealers are bad (just most?)

Whenever I am in SC, I detour over to Porters RV Sales on I-85  near Williamston (between the Georgia border and Greenville). Other dealers should take lessons from these folks! 

They only sell used RV's not new. They don't service RV's other than the ones they repair and  prep for sale.  They don't sell parts to the public.

What they do is unlock every RV on the lot in the morning. When you show up, they give you a print out of the inventory and prices. You are free to wander through any and all of the RV's WITHOUT a sales person. They even provide a golf cart in case you can't walk that far.

If something tickles your fancy, you can check the price on the inventory sheet then go find a salesman to negotiate with.

I recently spent an entire Saturday there in 2012 with a friend who is interested in RV's. We had an absolute blast and it was certainly very educational.

While I was hunting for my RV, I visited them several times in 2009  hoping to find something to make a deal over, but as it was, I ended up buying from a remote owner elsewhere.  Just being able to see dozens and dozens of RV's gave me a rapid education on coming up with my short  "must have" list and my long "wish it had" list.

If you are ever in the area, it's a fun day to go look and see. You might just find your next RV there.

Even though I have stopped in numerous dealer lots, I have never found one as accommodating as theirs.
 
P

PatrioticStabilist

Guest
That's the way PPL is.  You can look to your hearts content there is no pressure at all or wasn't when I bought.  I would go there again to buy.

But there's are basically consignment, up to you to have it inspected and they advise you too.  They told me they are amazed that less then 10% do and many are making an investment of $300k and up.  The salesmen told me it just amazes him.
 

Jeff Brown

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Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Posts
717
Location
So Cal
We dealt with several lots when we were looking, and we did get one really good salesman at one lot who seemed to be working pretty hard to find us what we wanted at our price.  But in the end our Bounder came from a private party who was hard up for cash, and had the title to his motorhome.  We were very close to a deal that I really wanted on a Southwind that was the size I wanted and a year or two newer than our Bounder.  In the end according to the salesman (who I mostly believe) they had just sunk too much money in the Southwind when they brought it in.  For instance if they had replaced the awning with a standard awning instead of the top end power version, and if a few other things they could have done the deal we wanted...  Well we got the Bounder for 10k less than the offer they wouldn't take on the Southwind.  It is one year older, 5 feet longer, and I had to spend a few hundred replacing all of the brass fixtures for nickle.  But in the end we got a great rig for our family.  I sometimes wish it was just a bit smaller.

So for dealers, yeah they are largely crooked, but they have the inventory and nothing but time to spend selling it.  When it comes time to buy another unit, I'm not sure if we will shop dealers or not, but I'm not planning on shopping again anytime soon!

Jeff
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
I don't know that all that many RV salesmen outright lie, but far too many of them are ignorant about RVs but quite glib in their sales patter regardless. They make you want to believe, whether they know anything useful or not.  In general, they simply are not a quality source of RVing info. If they have any training at all, it is likely to be (1) how to close a sale, and (2) the alleged advantages of the brands they are selling (learned entirely from the RV manufacturer's marketing people).

As for dealers, well, they are merely trying to maximize their investment by getting as high a price for their goods as they can.

A few larger dealers try to train their sales people in RVing subjects, including safety, weights, etc., but most don't have the resources to do that sort of thing.
 

Tom

Administrator
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Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,724
If they have any training at all, it is likely to be (1) how to close a sale....

I'm reminded of a message I posted some years ago; Here's an (edited) extract:

Our VP of sales held an international sales conference and, for a motivational speaker, invited a seasoned automotive sales pro. This guy had worked at various levels before starting his own "salesman training school". Although our industry had little in common with automobiles, the guy was a real hoot. He did a skit and played the parts of the customer and the various guys on the other side of the table (salesman, sales manager, closer, etc).

When it was all over, the guy next to me said "I didn't hear a word he said because you were laughing so hard and so loud through the whole thing".

Every time I get asked one of those questions such as "what will it take for you to take this car (or RV) home today?" I chuckle to myself and say "I went to the same class".

I've had at least one RV salesman tell me that "selling/buying RVs is not like selling/buying a car; It's more like selling/buying a house". Sure thing buddy.

I've had a car salesman tell me "it's just a piece of sheet metal to me, and I have no attachment to the cars I sell". Give that guy a medal for honesty! (I bought a new car from him.)
 

davencjkan

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Joined
Oct 23, 2009
Posts
102
Location
Where we park it!!
When we bought our motorhome, which we love today, the guy told us that there was a problem with the hot water heater.  There was snow on the ground and we were very new to all this.  OK.  We bought the motorhome, took it to a rv service place that we trusted, and found out that there was indeed a problem with the hot water heater - there wasn't one.  The hole was empty.  Lesson learned!!!!
 

Kevin Means

Site Team
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Posts
5,029
Location
Lakeside, California
"When we bought our motorhome, which we love today, the guy told us that there was a problem with the hot water heater." There wasn't one - just a hole!

LOL!! (OMG! I Just about fell out of my chair laughing!). And you guys all say salesman aren't honest!  :)

Kev
 

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