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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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Anonymous

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Let’s not forget that I’m the height of Corona Virus they hid positive test from employees so they wouldn’t have to miss work to quarantine, so yea classy organization

Anonymous

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

I worked at a Gander. I can tell you cpl things to look out for…. Environmental Protection Package is a SCAM! they sell it really high because it’s a non refundable add on unlike service contracts or Gap Protection. So many times they will cut prices on cancelable products and raise the price on Environmental package because you can’t cancel it. Most times it’s not even installed on unit. The “MSRP” is so high a Bank wouldn’t even finance that amount so they show you a discount. Also they have been known to offer cash discounts in return for you financing RV with them, which allows them to add couple points to your interest rates which they get paid on.. in short I wouldn’t trust a word from them as a employee or a customer.

Micheal Whelan

Monday 7th of March 2022

Have to agree with your article. As a formerly dedicated Camping World customer we also put them in the rear view mirror. Yes they were always high in price (sometimes the highest) but they always had what we needed. Our decision to leave them happened on a Florida trip. A simple valve to my toilet need replacement. With a Camping World near by we drove down. Not being familiar with the systems I wanted them to install it also. Valve price $70, install $150.... Wow! Then we were told it would be two weeks before they could get to it. Deciding to look around we stopped at a mom and pop RV shop. They had the valve, $19. Said you can change it out easily in about 10 minutes and lent me the tools. Twenty minutes later ( first time is slower) the job was done. Good bye Camping World. Decided to try them again a few years later when it was time for a new motorhome. Price wise they were high but had what we wanted. With price being a negotiation we got it down to what was acceptable. Then the sales guy said he could only do that if we financed with them. This was a cash deal and he blew it. Found the coach we wanted at a different dealer for a way better price. They also had a rep for great service. They got the deal. Bye bye Camping World. After they bought Good Sam Club who we had used for years the price went up a little the service down a lot. Now we are FMCA happy customers. Our experience has been the good deals and service are not with the "big box" RV stores but with the local shops. When I am getting ready to purchase an item for the RV I do go to Camping World to touch and feel it. Then to Amazon to purchase. Better price and guarantee with easy return if something is not right.

Marty Malone

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

I totally agree with you all on gander and camping world. They are just in it for the buck that's my experiences with both of them. They will also try to hide defects in the RVs they try to sale.

Ricard

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.

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