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Is Camping World Worth It?

Is Camping World Worth It?

Is Camping World Worth It?

Ah, Camping World. It’s the “big box” of RV life. The Walmart of camping gear. The easiest place to find trailer things that we aren’t sure we need.

Camping World is a chain of stores and dealerships (over 170 locations) that offer everything you might need to go camping, from RV-friendly toilet paper to the actual camper-trailer.

And, they’re popping up outside major metro areas in prime traffic locations.

In addition, they have Gander RV & Outdoors stores under their brand umbrella. They sell RVs and equipment and have service centers as well. 

But should we shop there? We’re hesitant, to say the least.

No, Camping World isn’t the worst. There are times when they actually make our life easier. However, if we have to, we shop there begrudgingly.

Let’s dive into our reasoning.

#1 – Camping World is Overpriced

If you shop around, you will most likely get better deals elsewhere.

It’s easy to imagine that the chain has a higher overhead for their fancy high traffic locations and marketing. As a result, higher prices are passed down to customers.

Often, you can find products priced lower at other stores. For example, Amazon or Walmart’s camping sections are usually more economical.

Camping World makes money off of financing, too. This can result in a worse deal than using your own bank or shopping for online financing.

RV salesmen’s’ pressure tactics are finely honed to get you to hurry and make large financial decisions. Then they often push add-ons like warranties (cheaper elsewhere) and accessories.

#2 – In Order To Get Their Best Prices, You Must Sign Up for Good Sam

To encourage membership in their Good Sam program, they offer discounts on products if you are a member. Camping World will not honor discounts without the membership.

Moreover, the program may not be useful unless you’re traveling to areas with Good Sam parks. Or if you choose not to use those parks.

The Good Sam membership offers gas discounts at Flying J, but those may not be convenient. Besides, the gas discount may not be cheaper than gas elsewhere.

Pro Tip: Here are the reasons we don’t like the Good Sam Membership.

#3 – Camping World’s Service Departments Often Get Mediocore Reviews

According to online forums, Camping World is notorious for taking a long time to fix campers. To be fair, this is an issue across the entire RV service industry. But, Camping World isn’t doing the stereotype any favors.

There are hundreds if not thousands of more reviews telling stories of campers sitting months waiting for service.

Multiple online reviews report the service quality as hit or miss depending on the location and technician. Some reviews state that they didn’t have a way to move 5th wheel trailers. Consequently, people had to stay with their RV all day and potentially wait around for hours after a scheduled appointment.

Sure, these are all anecdotal stories. But, it’s doesn’t help our confidence towards shopping with them.

A common complaint we’ve seen in online forums is that the level of service completely falls off after you buy a unit, new or used. Others feel the RVs are “lemons” or “built to break.”

#4 – Camping World Seems to Care More About Money and Business Growth

The overall business plan of Camping World appears to be to lure in those that are new to the burgeoning RV industry. They seem to entice customers, through selling the RV lifestyle, to spend as much money as possible on RVs, purchase additional warranties, and use their financing.

What’s worse is that years after this trend has come to light in the RV community, no changes seem to have been made, and more Camping World locations have opened.

It’s fair to say the entire RV manufacturing industry is somewhat to blame. We’d like to see Camping World take the initiative to change the stereotype and deliver high quality RVs and service.

For Now, We’ll Keep Our Visites Limited

While Camping World is the most visible dealership and store location and have attractive marketing and promotions, hundreds upon thousands of complaints, bad ending stories, lemons, customer service complaints, and lawsuits should give you pause before doing business with them.

Sure, if you need a sewer hose or camping chair, Camping World is a safe bet. But, if you’re making a big purchase, do your research before blindly buying.

We want you to have a great RV and camping experience!

The best way to do that is with research and practice.

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Barbara Allen

Saturday 25th of September 2021

We have owned two Class A campers over the years, but decided to switch to a small camper trailer because we are ready for a simpler camping experience. We went to Camping World in Midway, Florida, just to get an idea of what small trailers offer and of pricing. While there, after telling the salesman we were just gathering information to make an informed decision and that we were not interested in a trade-in, he persuaded us to let them run some figures on a camper we liked "just to see" what kind of deal they could give us. Ha! They told us we could trade in our Class A for a $14,000 trailer and we would only owe them $2,500! We walked out. I later sold our Class A for $30,000 and paid cash for a small trailer at a diffetent RV dealer.

Gary Scofield

Saturday 25th of September 2021

I dropped all my Good Sam's & Camping World affiliations with this company's dropping of Trailer Life Magazine & Marcus's untruthfulness until his 3rd issue of the new RV Magazine. I believe there is a big difference in the likes and needs of Travel Trailer users and Recreational Vehicle users. I want places and things that cater to this specific consumer community. My first RV was a motor vehicle and my last two purchases were Travel Trailers, which I purchased from a local area dealer. So I been at this for years and with lots of money. As said earlier in these posts this glamping hobby is about communities and these grouped businesses are pretty much just into making the greatest profits. They can and are not directly helping the different communities their services are for. I don't need to hear or get useless information about RVs but what I need & use with my Lance Travel Trailer and Tow Vehicle. I think using these Two items together is the best and most effective way of doing a Traveling Life style, which I do in these activities! Not some big or little all inclusive Bus. Get a clue about the industry Marcus?

Christie L Twaites

Saturday 25th of September 2021

We bought a 5th wheel from CW IN June 2018 and wanted to go thru our bank and were told they denied us but after checking with our bank found out it was a lie. We have continually had problems and was told by a CW TECH that we should expect problems n I said bs, never have had problems with any other unit we have owned. The problems continued and when we were able to take it in it always was there for 1 to 3 months at a time.So we hired a lawyer to get our money back and when We called to set up a appointment For problems we were told even though we have extended warranty till June 2023 that CW would not service our unit cause we have a lawyer. I called CW and talked with a General Mgr. And he told me we have a lemon. NEVER AGAIN WILL WE DO BUSINESS WITH CW

Doug Davis

Thursday 16th of September 2021

I don't know if it is nationwide but in the DFW market Camping World has over 700 reviews and the average is 1.8 stars with 71% of their reviews being one star. I don't think I have seen a business with reviews that bad.

J.W. Jeter

Sunday 13th of June 2021

Today, we wasted two hours at CW , Springfield ,MO. We had a specific model in mind that was on display. I informed the salesman that we may do an RV trade or buy w/o trade. We then sat for nearly an hour while " numbers were "Crunched ". Eventually we were presented with figures, one with our RV trade and one cash . How it took so long to take the MSRP and add $700 shipping and $200 Admin fee I have no idea. Only an idiot would pay 100% MSRP !!! On the trade-in option, we got a nice $ value but ......off the MSRP, or basically " your RV is nearly worthless!" Amazingly, the salesman and manager didn't really bother trying to sell us after we responded that we wouldn't pay Sticker when we had seen offers from other dealers for at least 15% off MSRP. So...bottom line,. ONLY USE Camping World to sort out/shop RV's and then go to REAL RV DEALERS for purchase.

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