Buying an RV: The Issue of Trust

By : CONNIE GALLANT September 11, 2019

To trust is wonderful. But to trust an auto or RV dealership to treat you fairly is a known gamble. How much of a gamble no one knows for sure, but the best bet is that it’s somewhere in the 50/50 range. Although the 50/50 might be a fair enough gamble when buying a household appliance, for most of us it is too much when buying an RV. The following experience was such a gamble.

We received a letter about a couple's experience with trusting an RV dealership. This couple took delivery of a used motor home with the promise that a pre-delivery inspection was done and the report was to follow. They also TOLD the couple that they’d take care of any problem for the next 90 days. So, since the motor home was almost new and the dealership was so adamant that all 102 items on the dealer’s pre-delivery list checked out perfectly, the couple felt confident that they could take it home without a worry.

A week passed and no report. Being patient people, the couple gave the dealer the benefit of the doubt. However, after less than a month, the motor home developed problems that necessitated some repairs. These problems were serious enough that they should have been detected by the pre-delivery inspection. The couple later discovered that a pre-delivery inspection was never performed on the motor home and that they had bought it on a strictly “as-is” basis.

This couple lost the gamble.

In the world of RV sales, to trust the dealer or manufacturer to do the right thing is often folly and could lead to a costly drain not only on your pocketbook, but your time, energy, and emotions. A look behind the scenes tells us that many RV manufacturers and dealers are working the numbers closely. They know the new RV buyers are buying an RV as if they are buying a car or truck—which, of course, is totally wrong.

How do you prevent ending up with a bad buy in the first place? It’s easy. Simply follow some rules.

* Be informed about the reputation of both the dealer and the RV manufacturer before you make a buying decision.

* Use the internet to search for the opinions of users of all the manufacturer’s brands. The manufacturer is the key to quality control for all their brands and warrantee satisfaction. All ratings by RVCG use manufacturer ratings as a key element for brand ratings.

* Know how to sniff out possible flaws. Read and re-read the material available to you as an RVCG member. Look at the product just like you were buying a large-screen TV instead of an RV.

* Be sure that you are getting a fair price and a dealer that you can trust. If you don’t feel that you can trust the salesperson, simply walk away.

* And don't sign anything until you’ve completely reviewed every word. Don’t guess about the fine print. If you feel it’s necessary, take a copy home for further study by yourself or another before you sign.

 How do you know when your trust is earned?

  • When you get straight answers to your questions and good results to your complaints.
  • When written information is clear and given in understandable terms.
  • When words are matched by corresponding action.

 Our job at RV Consumer Group is to teach RVers how to select the right RV for their needs and pocketbooks and how to practice the high art of dealing with salespeople and getting a good buy. The following publications are designed to help you master all of the above:

 With all these learning tools in your hands, there is no reason why you should ever find yourself in a situation like the one the couple featured in this article experienced.

 Remember the old-but-true saying, "Buyer beware!"



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