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!
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.
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.
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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