Ready to pickup new RV from dealer but issues exist

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jeffj

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Joined
Aug 2, 2019
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17
Location
Victorville, CA
Would like to hear some suggestions or comments regarding our situation. Extremely long-winded but we felt it necessary to explain the circumstances that led us here.

A few weeks ago, we visited an RV dealership (let?s call it Lot A) about 3 hours from our home. They have a sister location (Lot B) about 1 hour from our home. We?ve been shopping around for a while and narrowed our search to a handful of RVs. We liked the Lot A sales rep and, if it worked out, wanted to buy from him.

After more research, I told the Lot A rep that I?d like to see my shortlist again but that we want to visit Lot B to do so. He was okay with that and we headed down there last Sunday. After leaving Lot B, I called the Lot A rep and told him that we are interested in a specific model: 2019 Thor Chateau 25V. Turns out the dealership has a 25V model on both lots.

He told me that we?d be negotiating for the RV located on Lot A (his), not the RV that we walked through on the Lot B. I inquired whether his Lot A RV was identical to the Lot B and he said "if it was not, he'd make it so."  We began negotiating and we got them to come down $10K before lunch. We hammered all afternoon and into the evening and they dropped down $6K more.

The following day we wanted to see and inspect the negotiated Lot A RV. Before any papers were signed, we found issues and started making a list. That is when we realized that the RVs were NOT alike and the Lot B RV has $4000 more in options.  To make matters worse, the condition of the Lot A RV is/was much worse than the one we walked through on Lot B.

Halfway through our inspection, we were interrupted and was told the finance manager is ready and we needed to get the paperwork done now. Reluctantly, we headed to the office and I informed them both they are not identical RVs and we have issues with this one. We compared the manufacturer stickers and sure enough ? we ended up negotiating on the lesser of rigs. After some arguing back and forth, we still felt we got a good deal and were willing to forego the differences. They said there shouldn?t be any problems making these repairs.

Anyway, we made a $5000 down payment and completed most of the paperwork. We headed back outside and continued our inspection now rushed for various reasons. That evening, I forwarded the incomplete list of deficiencies along with photos to the finance manager.

A variety of dropped balls on their part but ? yesterday I was informed the issues list had been submitted to the service department but they didn?t think they could complete all 17 items in time for our scheduled Saturday pickup. Two emails and left a voice message, but I haven?t heard from him yet today.

I believe since we are purchasing a "new" RV, certain items should be in very good, if not excellent, condition. The other items (not listed) are negligible and I can probably, although reluctantly, fix them myself after acceptance of vehicle. The items below are things we feel MUST be fixed before we accept the RV, however long it takes, as I?m confident that our repairs will be at the bottom of the list after we give them the final cash payment.

Repair slide topper, missing hinge, broken arm, ripped awning
Refrigerator should be cooling to 34? - 36?
Repair a 6-foot x 1-foot scratch/scuff on roof
Repair 2 x body scratches
Repair or replace linoleum floor (huge bubbles and serious scuffs)
Repair or replace inoperable entry door deadbolt
Replace two frayed bed cushions
Replace cracked toilet lid

Repairs could take weeks or longer. I want my RV, but should we just wait until all these items are fixed? I don't look forward to driving three hours only to find items still not repaired. Are we being unreasonable?

 

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darsben

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Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
If you pick up the rig before all work is done you will regret it. The dealer once he has your money has less interest in repairing the issues, Ask when it can be done. If it acceptable to you then do another walk through after purchase to make sure they did not band-aid a problem to get your money. Once you pay you are just another guy waiting in line for service. If the time line is not good for you get your deposit back and then go to the other dealer.
DO NOT TAKE THE RIG WITHOUT THE REPAIRS MADE
If the place you purchased is Camping World then I would not trust them to keep their word or make the repairs correctly!
 

Back2PA

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Jul 26, 2015
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5,766
Do NOT pickup the unit or sign another paper until the punch list is clear, you have tested all systems to your satisfaction and you take it for a test drive. Let them know it will sit on their lot until it's fixed, and you are prepared to cancel the deal if it's not fixed in a timely fashion (perhaps a week). Be ready to walk away (after you get your money back). Fixing it is their problem, not yours.
 

ChasA

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Mar 21, 2009
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2,325
Get your deposit back and find something that is a Thor product.

Edit... I meant to say NOT a Thor. Sorry
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Your story does not speak well of the dealerships integrity or even professionalism. More like a shady used car dealer.  They have already abused your good nature during the negotiations, and now they want you to rush through the "paperwork" and give them money but are not prepared to fulfill their part of the bargain.  I would trust nothing, which means do not take delivery until everything is the way you want it.  I know it is disappointing, but you will probably be even more frustrated if you don't wait.

Frankly, you have already given them too much slack. Don't give any more.
 

SpencerPJ

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Geeze, a 2019 with those issues already. That in itself would scare me away.  and X2 about Camping World.
 

scottydl

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Land of Lincoln
You have illustrated one of the reasons we often recommend buying gently used RV's... not only can you save a bunch of money, but all of these bothersome "shakedown" dealer issues are handled by the previous owner(s). RV dealership service centers are often not equipped with the staff/parts to make numerous repairs within a couple days. Waiting weeks or months for repairs is common with new units, which IMO greatly reduces the value of the already-meager 1 year warranty on most new RV's.

If you're already locked into the deal, legally or otherwise, then don't give up any more ground as Gary said. But you are somewhat powerless to speed up their repair process... it'll be done when it'll be done. If you can get out of the deal, that wouldn't be a bad idea either. Use your gut feeling and go from there, and do not fork over any more money or leave with the RV until you feel GREAT about the purchase.
 

jeffj

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Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Posts
17
Location
Victorville, CA
Thank you all for the suggestions and feedback. I needed the confirmation that I'm doing the right thing for ME.

I got to thinking about the *real* age of this RV. Ford completed the chassis in June 2018, Thor manufactured the RV in August 2018. It's been on the lot for what ... maybe close to a year? I wonder how many potential buyers (and their kids) have trampled through it? :eek:

I can understand the wear on tear over that year, but there's also significant damage like the missing slide topper bracket - I'd be worried that entire assembly would fly off on the highway and hurt someone. IMO, there's no way the topper can be "repaired" ... it has to be replaced.

And what about the 6' x 1' "scuff" on the roof (running east/west?) which appears to expose raw fiberglass material. Where does this kind of damage come from sitting on a sales lot? (rhetorical) 

I emailed the manager of the dealership last night and told him we are willing to wait for "however long it takes" to complete all the repairs. What do you know?  He frantically called me within 15 minutes and, of course, he's telling me that they are working hard on the RV and expect to get all of the repairs done by tomorrow.  ::)  I will be furious if we drive the three hours and he's been spouting BS all along. On this visit, I think I'll record the entire conversation.  :eek: 

I'm supposed to hear from the manager this afternoon as to the status of the repairs.  Hopefully, we'll be posting pictures of our new RV!!  ;D ;D
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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They will rush through some half-assed repairs just to get your money and get you out the door. They know you won't want to go home empty handed and will take advantage if they can.

I'm another who is unimpressed with Thor RVs. Thor has cobbled together a conglomerate of low end brands whose primary focus seems to be low price (with commensurate low quality).
 

SpencerPJ

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Good Luck  :))  Frustrating times when it's supposed to be exciting times.  Hope it works out, if not, I bet the reason is a better option is just around the corner.  Keep us posted, but I personally wouldn't give a drop further than you have already. We all hear of so many stories of slippery RV salespeople and managers, it's like they are the leftovers from the used car 'Buy Here Pay Here' lots.
 

winona

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Nov 17, 2015
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Indiana
I agree with all the above.  Once the RV is off their lot and into your driveway, they're looking for the next buyer, not an RV to sit waiting to get into the repair shop.
 

KandT

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Jul 27, 2016
Posts
1,394
I would politely ask for my money back.  You haven't taken possession of the vehicle and therefore haven't bought it. 

I saw you put quotes around "new".  Is this some sort of demo unit or something.  That cushion looks warn hard.  like it was taken from show to show and everyone at that show sat on it.

I am boggled by the topper?  I get that there will be some transit marks but that's looks like it is on a 25 year old rig.

Please put your emotions aside while you can still get out. 

You sound like a nice guy and maybe too nice to get your money back.  Maybe a lawyer would call and handle the transaction for $200??  Saved you way more in the long run!!
 

jeffj

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Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Posts
17
Location
Victorville, CA
KandT said:
I saw you put quotes around "new".  Is this some sort of demo unit or something.  That cushion looks warn hard.  like it was taken from show to show and everyone at that show sat on it. I am boggled by the topper?  I get that there will be some transit marks but that's looks like it is on a 25 year old rig.

Based on the Thor "Manufacture Date" the rig is approximately one year old and it's worn as bad as it is because it's been trampled on by prospective buyers while sitting on the lot. It only has 2,300 miles on it - that's typical for RVs driven from Elkhart, IN (Thor mfg) to Los Angeles. So it's "new" from a dealer standpoint but has been dragged around a little. In the case of the topper, I have no idea how that could even happen unless someone drove it under a low hanging tree with the slide open.

In any case, good news! The dealer has replaced the topper as well as a few other items, and has repaired all the rest. We will be going down tomorrow and do a final inspection and if it passes, we'll leave there with a new RV.  Note, I mentioned we got a very good deal on this rig - nearly half of retail, so some minor scratches here and there are not going to be a deal breaker - but don't tell the dealer that!
 

darsben

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Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
jeffj said:
Based on the Thor "Manufacture Date" the rig is approximately one year old and it's worn as bad as it is because it's been trampled on by prospective buyers while sitting on the lot. It only has 2,300 miles on it - that's typical for RVs driven from Elkhart, IN (Thor mfg) to Los Angeles. So it's "new" from a dealer standpoint but has been dragged around a little. In the case of the topper, I have no idea how that could even happen unless someone drove it under a low hanging tree with the slide open.

In any case, good news! The dealer has replaced the topper as well as a few other items, and has repaired all the rest. We will be going down tomorrow and do a final inspection and if it passes, we'll leave there with a new RV.  Note, I mentioned we got a very good deal on this rig - nearly half of retail, so some minor scratches here and there are not going to be a deal breaker - but don't tell the dealer that!

That is not such a great deal.
Retail on a RV is a made up number that can usually be specified by the dealer.So one dealer can specify $30,000 retail price for a particular trailer another can say $35,000 for the exact same trailer. In addition people are able to negotiate about 30%off a pristine trailer of the current model year
My feeling is you have been bitten by the RV bug  and will let yourself be taken by the dealer
Good Luck with your purchase and I hope it works out well for you.
 

JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
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It could easily have been driven to multiple RV shows last winter and spring and had literally thousands of people tramping through it.  I cannot imagine a new RV having that much damage without being used!
 

jeffj

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Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Posts
17
Location
Victorville, CA
JudyJB said:
It could easily have been driven to multiple RV shows last winter and spring and had literally thousands of people tramping through it.  I cannot imagine a new RV having that much damage without being used!

Yeah, I agree, but I looked at several of the Thor RVs on the lot and they ALL had over 2000 miles. I believe the dealer. They gotta get to CA somehow and it's not gonna be by air. That being said, you are right, I'm pretty sure that it was at least in the one big spring show out here in LA and it had lots of people in it. Thousands? :eek:
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
Option 1: make them make Lot A rig identical to Lot b and fix everything
Option 2: Make them fix everything and give you a free extendrd warranty

What I suggest is Option3  Lot C  A different deraler as this one started by misrepresenting the Lot A RV and the Lot B RV as identical even though they are not and thus you can not trust them PERIOD.
 
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