Tuesday, March 20, 2012

We got it!

So we picked up the camper today. And it is now at our house. Overall, we are happy with it, but there was some frustration at the dealership. Yesterday, I went up after lunch to start the paperwork, hand over the cashier's check, and get a demonstration and do a walkthrough on our new unit. My dad met me there to be a second set of eyes and ears during this. When we got part way through, I realized that there seemed to be a few items missing that we thought would be included.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's here!

We secured out funding today at Bank of the West and will go for our walkthrough and demo tomorrow. Then Saturday (when we have more time), we'll go finish the paperwork and bring it home!

We ended up getting it from Olathe Ford RV, in Gardner, Kansas. They are VERY friendly, and despite my frustration with being "forced" to buy local even though it costs $2000 more, I'm happy with the price and the service record of the dealership. I'll post some pictures tomorrow hopefully. My wife has to work all day, so my mom and dad are meeting me there. Dad to help me understand all the instructions. Mom to take some video of it so we don't forget anything. I'll try to post the video, if it is helpful.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The local dealer...

I'm a pretty savvy shopper and consumer in general. I'm not afraid to ask to speak to a manager, or call the Better Business Beaureau as needed to get the results I feel I deserve. I also like to shop local when I can. We live in a small (less than 12,000 residents) city in Kansas, so keeping local retailers in business is important. I will not be taken advantage of by a local business, simply because they know that there are not many options available to me. There are ALWAYS options.

With all that said, we've talked to a local RV dealer about 30 miles from our house. They have a ice inventory, polite sales people, and a reputable service department. My only problem is, the place looks like a bad used card dealership on the inside of their office. Old furniture, nobody wears dress shoes, just not classy at all on the inside. Now, I'm not being snooty, but they are selling $400,000 RV's there, I think they could use a little facelift there. I mean they have all of their brochures stacked up in the corner in no specific order on some crummy shelves.

So after we took some time to look inside a dozen or so, we agreed on one that seemed like the best fit. A bunkhouse, 26 footer, with no slide-outs. It was within our budget, and seemed to have everything we wanted. Or thought we wanted. Then we went to the Kansas City RV show at Bartle Hall. We'll just say that there were a lot of campers there, obviously. We walked out deciding that we indeed wanted a slide-out, LIKED the triple bunk that we thought we wouldn't, and decided to go with a 28' trailer (close to 30' after we add a bike rack).

That is when I started really shopping around. I soon learned that there are "wholesale" RV dealers. Mi put that in quotes because they aren't technically wholesale, but their pricing and service is similar to wholesale. They do most of their sales online and deliver the trailers. The list prices at these places are at least $3000 less than those of the loca guys. On some units $5000 less! No to be fair, the local dealer did have "show pricing that was $2,000 less than their sticker price. Let me give you the numbers.

I think the MSRP for the Forest River Wildwood 26TBSS is $24,000. The local dealer had a sticker price of $19,000. Then at the RV show they dropped it down to a sale price of $17,950. I found two dealers online, one in Ohio, or Kentucky and the other in Wisconsin that it (or the equal Salem model) for about $15,000. So if it would cost me $500 round trip to drive to either of those dealers, it meant that the local unit was about $2,500 more. So I knew that is where I needed to start my negotiations. I like to think that I'm good at negotiating on vehicles, but seriously, they do this every day. They are the masters at getting every penny possible out of the sale, it is their job.

I just put it all on the table for our sales guy. Told him that I would really prefer to purchase locally, but I have to save money where I can. And $2,500 is a LOT of money.

Monday, March 5, 2012

We're buying a camper!

I don't plan on going back in time too much right now. Let's just say that I grew up camping, with family. That is what I want for my kids too. I don't plan on freezing my butt off on the floor of a tent. Hopefully we are about a week away from owning our very own, brand new, thirty foot travel trailer! We are buying from a local dealer (wow, that is a sore subject that I'll elaborate on more another time) and right now we are still waiting for it to be delivered to them. Then we'll go up and finalize our purchase and bring it home. I just hope I can get a little practice towing and backing it before we take it out for my birthday later this month.

We are getting the Forest River Wildwood, 26TBSS.

I'll find a nice YouTube video or online site with interior photos soon.