RV Dealership Employee Sheds Truth on Industry Practices
There’s no doubt that many RVers are fed up with the industry practices.
Visit any RV online forum, and you’ll see comments from disgruntled owners. Rarely, however, do industry insiders share their personal experiences.
Today we’ve got the scoop straight from the source.
Let’s dive in.
Who’s Spilling the Tea?
On the Reddit RV community called GoRVing, an RV dealership employee has opened up a can of worms. Their name on Reddit is u/Kirk_Hinrich, and here’s how he introduces himself:
“After 7 years of working in almost every department for rv dealerships and corporate offices, I just had my second baby and I am ready to move on to a different industry.
I think there is a lot of trust issues between customers and sales/ service employees and I hope I can help answer any questions.”
Like all Reddit posts, anonymity allows users to share more than they would in the public spotlight.
It also means verifying accuracy is impossible. Whether you read on for education or entertainment, take it with a grain of salt and use your judgment to determine accuracy.
We can’t validate any of the following claims due to the source of the original post (Reddit).
However, it’s not too hard to believe what is said.
Is MSRP Real, and How Much Less Than It Should I Pay?
We all know MSRP is rarely paid, but how does a dealership use that number? Well, Kirk_Hinrich says, “Depending on the dealership, sometimes that msrp is just a made up number.”
20% off the MSRP is a reasonable expectation.
If you can get the listed sale price as the actual price paid, that’s a good deal. Often fees and taxes can jack the sale price right back up to the MSRP.
Kirk_Hinrich continues, “Usually they have a sale price at least 20% lower. In my opinion, a fair deal to negotiate is to try and get that listed sale price out the door after taxes, title, licensing, etc.”
Has Quality Gotten Worse?
Redditor Fearless-Deer9250 wants to know if quality has really gotten worse over the last two years.
The OP’s response was somewhat reassuring. He says:
“The construction itself hasn’t really changed. The biggest thing is the high demand as well as parts/labor shortages. The manufacturers are pushing them out much faster without property quality checking them…”
New or Used?
Should RVers buy a new or used unit? It’s a question as old as RVing itself. And, there are people firmly positioned on either side of the argument.
The fact is, RV dealers make good money from selling both new and used.
Here’s what Kirk_Hinrich thinks about the issue:
It can all depend on your situation and plans so there isn’t really a right or wrong answer. If it was me personally, i would prefer getting one that is used but I know has been through the proper inspections to make sure everything is working and in good shape.
A lot of older models were built better, but if the previous owner didn’t care about maintenance, it won’t matter.”
What’s the most common way people get ripped off at an RV dealer?
We decided to join the conversation and ask Kirk_Hinrich a question on Reddit, too.
Our question is, “What’s the most common way people get ripped off at a dealership?”
Here’s the frightening answer:
“On the day you pick up your new camper, you will be excited and spend a good chunk of your day there. Most places are going to bring you into a finance office for a long time and wear you out with all their information. Not all of it is bogus but once you sign up for one thing, they will keep going and going.
Just make sure you listen and know what you are signing up for. Too many times people see their first payoff amount and don’t realize there is thousands more than what you thought.
Large dealerships get kickbacks from the bank and they will sometimes sell you the camper below cost because they will make way more off of financing.”
If you see a “finance discount” price, know that something is fishy.”
He spells it out with a straightforward sentence…” They are all selling cheap units and a low price and making their money on the back end.”
Are RV Dealers Really That Bad?
Even after reading the insight from an RV dealer employee, it doesn’t seem like dealers are all to blame.
The RV manufacturers need to increase quality and quality control.
And, the consumer needs to become educated on the buying and financing process before getting an RV on a whim.
What do you think about these insights?
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Why so many recalls. Where to get slide out serviced?
Good story, and so true. I was in the car biz both sales and service for 45 years. I saw crappy quality come and go as the ”bean counter’s” took over the car company’s…then, maybe something happen’s like the asian companies came to America and kicked the Big three’s Ass. All of the sudden, quality starts going back the other way….for awhile. I hope Quality does the same thing in the rv industry now that we have the conversation going. And , Yes the RV dealers [Just like the Auto Dealers] Know they can get you in the door with low advertised prices, and sock it too you in the ”rear end” of the deal with Financing and add on’s.One Tip, Untill things settle down [The covid hangover] if you do buy a New RV, just spend some time going over everything to find the ”issue’s” befor you head out!
About buying and selling your RV. I’v been thru 2 lemon lawsuits. Buying used after the 1st buyer has fixed everything and taking the 1st hit . I have bought new 3 times and 2 resulted in lemon law suits.
My attorney told me on one case the rv engineer told him even through the class A sold for $160K the company only had half that in costs to build. So 30% reduction in price should be where you start to buy.
I’v been reading your site for maybe 2 yrs. You do a great job writting but I have been RVing since 1999 bought 2 new class A’s one new trailer and one used class A. Crossed the USA 3 times. I remember early in my reading of your articles you seem to focus a lot on food.
Most of the RV ers I know rarely go for the food experience we go for the scenic/entertainment value in the trip not for food.
You are way off in your obseveration of 55+ parks especially in the parks with 500 to 2000 sites .
I’m always curious how you can find so many different ideas to write about keep up the good work. Ted and Janet
So true! Bought a used RV, asked the salesman specifically to check roof condition. He got up and looked, “looks fine”!
Went to pickup, they pulled generator for service. Didn’t get for 3months. 4 months later, we got 6″ of rain, roof around vent leaked, dealer did nothing.
Stored for winter. Following summer, got ready to use. AC not cooling! 1 month to get into shop.
Had to be replaced, used GS extended warranty. First AC damaged in shipment, was not notified. Got second, ready to pickup after 4 months! Extended warranty covered 1 hr of labor! Told they do pay for “upgrades” since original no longer available.
Used once, then winter!
Following spring it was converter and CO2 replacement, 1 month.
Started AC and left running, checked following week, not working! Another month to get appointment. New AC failed, Dometic only warranties 1 calendar year! Another replacement, took 3 months! Plus the cab center light assembly just “fell out.” Ordered trim parts from dealer, never came!
Dealer finished work, brought home & stored Nov 2019!
Covid parked all 2020.
No longer can afford to move it! So it sits on the drive!
I read, and hear of so many failures of dealers, parts, and manufactures. People stressing to have a certified RV instection bef pi re purchasing. Great, but not all areas have inspectors or solar dealers or even service that can install a Composting toilet!
The full-time traveler blogs can either do the work or can afford to have it done! I cannot get on roof anymore, don’t have tools/equiptment to do repairs. Service this year went to $140 per hour! RVing is not for someone on SS!
“Has Quality Gotten Worse?
“The [industry insider’s] response was somewhat reassuring. He says:
“The construction itself hasn’t really changed. The biggest thing is the high demand as well as parts/labor shortages. The manufacturers are pushing them out much faster without property [sic] quality checking them…”
Well, wait a minute. If the mfrs are pushing them out much faster without properly quality checking them, then the construction HAS changed. >:-(
Not reassuring at all! 🙁