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Why We Don’t Shop at Gander RV & Outdoors

Why We Don’t Shop at Gander RV & Outdoors

Why We Don’t Shop at Gander RV & Outdoors

Gander RV & Outdoors might look appealing, but to us, at least, looks can be deceiving. This RV sales and outdoor retailer isn’t exactly the best deal in town.

Before you go buying outdoor gear — or an RV — from this retailer, read why we’ve stopped shopping here. 

Let’s get started!

What Is Gander RV & Outdoors? 

Gander RV & Outdoors is a chain of RV dealerships and RV supply stores owned by Camping World Holdings.

The Gander name comes from the chain’s former designation as Gander Mountain, a chain of outdoor supply stores with camping, hunting, fishing, and other products. Gander RV & Outdoors now falls under the Camping World umbrella.

What Happened to Gander Mountain?

Gander Mountain went bankrupt, and Camping World Holdings purchased the chain in 2017.

The company closed many of its 126 stores after 57 years of business. When Camping World purchased Gander Mountain, CEO Marcus Lemonis decided to keep about 70 stores open, but only those with a “clear path to profitability.” 

Camping World since rebranded the store to Gander RV & Outdoors.

On site, the stores focus mostly on RV sales and some outdoor and camping products. The online presence includes a robust outdoor gear website and RV inventory, paired with the Camping World website. 

Pro Tip: Before we quit Camping World, we looked into Is Camping World Worth It? Read more to find out!

Woman signing a time out.
With Camping World now owning Gander RV & Outdoors, we are steering clear of shopping from them.

Who Owns Gander RV & Outdoors? 

Camping World Holdings now owns the brand.

It also owns other major brands like Erehwon Mountain Outfitters, Good Sam, Overton’s, Rock/Creek Outfitters, and more. What was once an outdoor enthusiast’s niche retailer is now part of a retail giant. 

5 Reasons We Don’t Shop at Gander RV & Outdoors

We steer clear of Gander RV & Outdoors for many reasons. Here are the top five. 

1. Camping World. Enough Said

We explain why we dropped Camping World in this article, but we’ll sum it up for you here. Camping World has received a ton of negative press over the past several years, in part due to CEO Marcus Lemonis. 

Camping World seems to (us, at least) jack up the prices on every product in their stores by 20-30%. They’ll only match online pricing if you sign up for a membership (which also costs money).

These reasons are why we dropped this brand altogether. 

Couple hiking together.

2. Customer Service

Simply put, we like to support local retailers with great customer service. When a publicly traded company acquires niche brands, it’s rare they can keep customer service front and center.

Share holder profitability usually takes precedence.

3. High Prices

Products in-store typically cost more, and the only way to get them to match their online pricing is if you sign up for a Good Sam Membership for $30 per year.

Essentially, you may have to sign up for something you may never even use just to match their own pricing.

RV driving on road.

4. Service Experiences

Some customers report extremely long wait times, bad quality of service, difficulty communicating with service center staff, and more. It seems like the RV service centers are understaffed, and the existing employees may not have much experience.

Pro Tip: If you’re considering buying an RV, why not try an RV auction! This is Where You Can Find an RV Auction.

5. Seem to Care More About Sales Than Customers

The way the Gander RV parent company scoops up any outdoor retailer in distress makes it seem like profits come before customers.

If they truly cared about customers, they would focus their efforts on expanding their service centers and creating a more positive customer experience. 

This Is Why We Steer Clear of Gander RV

Gander RV & Outdoors and its parent company, Camping World, might be household names, but we stay far away.

And it’s not just us.

Many RVers who have been around the industry for a while know better than to try to head into one of their stores and service centers. 

We can find the same products and more through online retailers. When we’re traveling and need parts or service, we’ll support local economies by choosing a local business.

We know we’ll get personalized attention and care and feel much better spending our money on small businesses instead of handing it over to a money-hungry corporation.

What’s your experience with Camping World or Gander RV & Outdoors?

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Thursday 4th of November 2021

I worked for Cabelas for many years (before Bass Pro bought them, and before they went public). I can say Cabelas, Bass Pro and Gander all mark up their prices 200-400%. I say this as a fact. The single item that they make the least on are fishing lures. They are lucky to make .50 on them.

Matt Conway

Monday 25th of October 2021

We purchased a used RV from Gander in Statesboro, NC last year. The purchase process was easy and when we picked up the RV the staff was very knowledgeable and went over the RV and how everything worked in great detail. We had a weight distribution hitch installed when we picked it up. Later in the year we dropped it off for service and had an electric jack and slide-out awning installed along with replacing a couple rooftop items that were cracked, and had the axles serviced. Although it took a while to get the RV in and out for the service (they had LOTS of RVs lined up in the parking lot for service), I had no complaints with the work and had good interaction with the service department. We also bought a new queen mattress online from Gander. Sure Gander has high prices for parts and service, but they also have a large stock of stuff. In my experiences with the Statesboro, NC Gander RV over the past 18 months I don't have any complaints and I like the staff.


Saturday 23rd of October 2021

My wife thought I was being quite an ass the first time I had a fit with a cashier at Camping World after they tried to upsell me a Good Sam membership that we had just renewed a month before. But I have an instinct for these things and I knew then something she had yet to realize...Camping World is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.

They do not care about their customers, they only care about maximizing the amount of cash they can move from your pocket, into their pockets.

Later we learned what a scumbag Mark Lemonis is, and how many other businesses (and business owners) he has ruined in his sick pursuit of greed.

Then came his 2nd Ammendment virtue signaling episode where he tweeted something to the affect that "2nd Ammendment supporters need not shop in his stores" (or words to that affect) and I knew my instincts about him were correct.

He's a money grubbing, liberal elite wanna be, who was an orphaned street urchin on the war ravaged streets of Beirut Lebanon until someone adopted him and he ended up in the U.S.

I doubt you could ever cultivate that survival instinct and ultimate selfishness out of a person like that, but plenty of refugees have come here who don't prey on other people the way he does.

After reading about the case and watching his depositions from one lawsuit he was involved in (on youtube) it was obvious to me that he's a predator who gets joy from screwing these people over...just my opinion.

Albert Pietrowiak

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

When they purchased the rights to gander mountain the CEO came out and said when opening the stores in Wisconsin they didn’t want your everyday hunter or fisherman in their stores. They wanted more upstanding customers. So you open a outdoor store in one of the biggest hunting and fishing states in the country. Never been in their store and never will be. If you want to offend the people in Wisconsin cause of our life style take your store else where. We hunting and fishermen will spend our money at fleet farm , farm and fleet , cableas and other small outdoor businesses here in Wisconsin!!!!!!


Friday 22nd of October 2021

I like camping world but seldom do they stock items you need. Getting them faster and cheaper from Amazon is a no brainer. Their service is terrible. They can't keep good employees. Their RV mechanics/techs are limited and some are clueless when it comes to repairs. Managers are better suited to work at a car wash. Many times I have wondered why Marcus says he cares about customers but does little to solve the problems. They'll be bankrupt in a few years unless changes are made.

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