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This page I wrote for my old rv website RVforSaleGuide.com before discovering the Vanabode as the best travel vehicle for long term fun. People still like big rv's despite the much greater cost and trouble to operate, so here's what I know about them.
This RV dealers article will help you determine if your dealer is worth what you are paying him and how to find a good one. If you're buying a new or used rv make sure and read our rv buyers guide first - it could save you a lot of money and hassle. There are a few things that one should consider when choosing a dealer from whom you may purchase one of the most expensive machines on the market.
The single most important issue to consider is to determine how long the rv dealer has been in business. The longer the better. When a company is established and in one place for a long time it's because they are doing something right. That's the kind of dealer you want, one with a reputation to uphold. One that will go out of their way to make sure you are happy and you don't squeal any complaints to the neighborhood they intend to be in for a long time.
Well established rv dealers tend to have a much better handle on parts availability, and the repair of weird difficult to diagnose problems, both under warranty and on older coaches. The dealer that can swap your hot water heater in an hour instead of a day is valuable when you are short on time or live full time in the rv like we do.
Well established dealers also work better with you when it comes time to trade your rv in and get another one. They love repeat buyers and will often reward you with a great experience and price. Established rv dealerships have better mechanics and ones who stick around for the long term. Often when certain difficult repairs are to be made, like adjusting the valves on your $20,000 diesel engine, ONLY a very experienced mechanic should be involved. If they make a mistake you may not know it for a year. By then it will be too late and difficult to prove who is at fault.
Rv dealerships that have well established product lines can often beat even the little dealerships with their lower overhead "dealership in an abandoned field" strategy. Warranty repairs are very important on new motorhomes and fifth wheels. The rv has millions of moving parts and EVERY one of them is susceptible to being assembled incorrectly, made of inferior materials, or open to premature wear. You want a good dealer behind you when this happens.
If you are purchasing an expensive rv, or your first rv, they can be extremely valuable in terms of free, helpful, money saving information. One strategy I employ is to decide on two equally qualified rv dealers, and let them fight over me with price and availability of the actual rv unit I want. So, take the time to find a good, competent, affordable, rv dealership.