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Old 11-06-2015, 12:03 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Vegas 24.1
State: Maryland
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PDI fees from dealer

I'd like to hear people's experiences with the fees the dealer charges. We were set to pick up our 24.1 Vegas this weekend when we got the breakdown of the transaction. The dealer was charging $1495 for PDI and $589 processing fee. When asked they said the PDI fee was for filling the tanks, gas and propane, 160 point check and for our walk through of the RV. He didn't really explain the processing fee. Have you been hit with the same type of charges? Thanks!
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:29 PM   #2
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I'd have refused to pay them if it wasn't in a signed contract..........and I'd make sure the Dealer's name was posted all over this forum, and others. That's fraud.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:31 PM   #3
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I paid $499 for the PDI. They are ripping you off.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:35 PM   #4
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We refused to pay our PDI as the RV was not 100% when we picked it up. The $1495 seems a bit high, I think Camping World charges $899. Usually, you have 1 hour scheduled with a tech or delivery person for the walk thru. Make sure they show you everything and if something doesn't work tell them you want the PDI fee reduced. In my opinion, everything should be perfect, that is what you are paying the PDI for. If it isn't perfect, adjust the fee. One area they frequently miss is the heating system. Have them fire it up and leave it on for at least 15 minutes. If it wasn't done previously, it will set off the smoke alarm. The manufacturer of the heating pipes oils them in the process. The first couple of times you fire the system, it will smoke inside the coach and smell like plastic burning. A good PDI will burn the system for a couple of hours and than air out the coach. It is something you shouldn't have to do as you are paying for it.

Fred

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Old 11-06-2015, 12:53 PM   #5
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If I purchased a new rig I would expect it "perfect" and not have to pay extra for that. Am I missing something here? And I'm on my 3rd RV. Unless you purchased a used unit "as is." Then I would expect to pay wholesale.
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:33 PM   #6
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Model: 2015 Vegas 24.1
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My dealer chargede s $475 processing fee. There was no PDI fee. My chassis gas tank was full and so was the propane tank. We spent about 3 hours on the PDI and the dealer demonstrated every system and ensured everything worked. It was about 85 degrees outside and he even made sure the heater worked. The refrigerator was even pre-cooled. They had washed and waxed the coach. By the time we finished the paperwork, the 4 minor discrepancies we found had been fixed. We bought the RV at General RV in Tampa. They are the largest family owned dealer with 15 locations.
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:55 PM   #7
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I don't recall a PDI fee at all, but no doubt if it wasn't there it was buried in the purchase price or something else. It certainly wasn't 100%

I figure it certainly costs the dealer something for the time and materials involved.... but my feeling is that should be part of the negotiated price, not some added on junk fee.

Regardless, in my case I got my money's worth.... except that it should have been all done before I arrived.

I spent all together something like 4-5 hours inspecting or waiting for things to be addressed. I could tell they only planned on an hour or so, but regardless were very patient, working past closing time.
We found several things during my inspection, and many more I didn't catch till later.

I really don't think they did much beyond a good wash and cleaning, and spray on wax or protectant of some sort, before my designated PDI time.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:04 PM   #8
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We didn't have any PDI fees explicitly called out on any of the contracts we signed.

Our dealer did spend a good 2 hours or so walking through everything in the RV: how to use, how to winterize (if needed), etc. During that walkthrough they also noted anything that they needed to fix (in our case it was only about 2 items). There was only one item that they really didn't do and turned out to be a very minor issue (They didn't run the water system off the pump; they did use the outside water but not the pump. Turned out our strainer was loose and leaked a little but all I had to do was tighten up the cover and that fixed it).
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:16 PM   #9
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No PDI or processing fee when I bought mine from Total Value RV in Elkhart, IN. I was given a walk out price when we negotiated and there were no hidden fees. A service tech walked us thru and demonstrated everything. We pointed out a few things and it was taken care of then or the next morning. They invited us to stay at there site overnight to "play" with it free of charge which had electricity and water. They started to work on the few things we had found early the next morning and had us on our way back to GA by early afternoon.


A family owned business who were the greatest to work with.


I think somebody is trying to rip you off by charging those fees. I would refuse to pay that unless it's in a signed contract.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:21 PM   #10
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We were also given a full tank of propane and half tank of gas.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:52 PM   #11
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Thanks to all of you for your responses. We haven't signed anything and the deal is off. They offered to reduce the PDI fee to $1000, but we didn't counter offer because we weren't happy with their attitude. We thought we would get a better deal on a 2015 but now we will probably get a 2016. But that's not bad either!!
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsowards View Post
..We haven't signed anything and the deal is off. ...
Good for you. Glad you caught them!

I will only pay what is on the contract. The sale price of the RV, and the sales tax and licensing fees. I'm on my third motorhome and it's always full of fuel, propane, washed/waxed.

I took delivery of my motorhome in Florida after flying out from California with my kids and planned to stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness for the first night... So, when I picked up my 2014 Thor, the dealer included at no charge a "starter package" with a flat of water bottles in the pre-cooled refrigerator, a bunch of coupons for "free" camping, (Thousand Trails, Colorado River Adventures, KOA, etc....), a bag full of stuff to make s'mores, campfire wire hot-dog skewers, four Coleman bag camp chairs, a 25' water hose, a water filter, a plastic water pressure thingy, and two not-too-shabby aluminum LED flashlights, (they still had the Costco sticker on them).
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:19 PM   #13
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That dealer really took care of you!
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:29 PM   #14
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Run, Toto, run!

PDI should be free - it's their responsibility to ensure that the coach is clean and defect-free before delivery. Anything they find and fix is covered under warranty (assuming a new unit) and will certainly have been billed back to Thor. Charging you is double dipping.

The dealer will want to do the PDI in an hour. To do it well will take 4 hours minimum.

Fees for filling the tanks are not unreasonable. But, if the fee they are charging is out of line with reality - demand they deliver it empty. No propane, 5 gallons of gas.

From your note, I suspect that you've already paid for the unit? If so, that's too bad. You were ripped off to the tune of about $1900. (Assuming that gas and LP tanks really are full). "Processing Fees" are roughly equivalent to "Additional Dealer Profit". The dealer will probably have to pay a small fee for title processing, but nothing near the $600 they charged you.

A friend of mine always carries a clipboard when he buys a new vehicle. On the back, he's taped a sign that says, in big black letters, "A reduction of $500 additional buyer savings will be applied to the negotiated price of any vehicle purchased." He's never paid the fee...

I recommend not signing anything until after the PDI is complete. That way you can demand inclusion of any/all issues as dealer "we-owe" items in the contract. When you do that you put the warranty hassles back on the dealer. Makes life much better. My dealer didn't like doing it that way, but when they understood that I'd walk otherwise they gave in. This is probably not possible if you are not buying a unit off the lot.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:43 PM   #15
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No PDI fee and the propane was full and gas was half full (40 gallons). Vehicle was detailed and the PDI took almost 3 hours due to a couple minor issues that needed to be corrected.

I recommend calling Thor and asking if they allow dealers to charge for a PDI inspection when it is required as stated in the owners manual.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:56 PM   #16
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Do you pay a car dealer a "dealer prep" fee to get a vehicle ready for delivery? I don't recall that I ever have - that responsibility comes with their territory. To the best of my knowledge, I've never paid a PDI, "make ready" or other similar fee on an RV, either.

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Old 11-06-2015, 04:59 PM   #17
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Model: Axis 25.1
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Lsowards, do you mind saying who the dealer is? We've begun initial negotiations with CW on a 2016 Axis 25.1 and I'm wondering if this is something to look out for. Anyone have experience dealing with CW?
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:16 PM   #18
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RV1863, we bought ours from the Golden CW in July. There was no PDI fee. Propane and gas were both full.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:43 PM   #19
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Lsowards,

I managed to miss the note that said you'd walked. Glad to hear it!

We purchased our unit from CW in Colorado Springs. No PDI fee, LP and gas tank were both full - no charge. We over-paid a bit for the unit, but that was may fault for not having done quite enough homework.

To RustyJC - I never pay for extended warranties, "dealer prep", "additional dealer profit", or "dealer-applied upgrades" like fabric or paint protectant. If a dealer insists they get to sell the vehicle to someone else. I've only had to walk once.

A friend loaned me a copy of "Don't Get Taken Every Time" a long time ago. It describes the car buying process (game) to a "T". It's amusing to go into a car dealership and watch the sales team follow the script - even when they know you know exactly what they are doing.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:51 PM   #20
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Randy,

Yes, thankfully we hadn't signed anything before finding this out. And now that I've heard from so many of you we know we did the right thing. Someone asked who the dealer is - it is Safford RV in Virginia. The finance guy said it is standard at their dealership to charge both the PDI and the processing fee. Just to add to this, the sales person called me and said we were losing a good deal and that the dealership was losing money on this and her commission was less than $100!!!
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