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Old 05-13-2016, 01:08 PM   #1
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: 2016 Newmar
State: Indiana
Posts: 317
THOR #1075
Where To Purchase

A friend of mine is looking or a new unit. Rather than buy from a local dealer he is pricing regionally and even further. He has found a couple of "discount" type places that will order and offer a much lower price than offered at local dealers.

He asked me but I don't really know the answer. Is there an issue with buying from an online discount dealer like RV One or something similar? Does the price difference, say 20 to 40K make a difference or not? The upside is price but what are the downsides?

Phil
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:37 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: hurricane 32n
State: Florida
Posts: 772
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First thing that comes to my mind would be service after the sale. I like to have a dealer that I can trust and that will take care of larger issues I might have. just my 2 cents
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:42 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 23U
State: Illinois
Posts: 476
THOR #992
Phil, From reading posts on this sight it seems that a local dealer is extremely important for warranty and service issues. I am sure you will get some replies on the good, bad and the ugly of discount dealers. I bought local because I found a really good deal on a very slightly used unit and the dealer I bought from is great and if I upgrade I will go back. I guess it depends on how much differents there is in the price.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:16 PM   #4
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: 2016 Newmar
State: Indiana
Posts: 317
THOR #1075
Location

This area is far enough away from any Class A dealer and very close to the Indiana manufacturers. With that in mind I didn't think it would matter much. Does throwing that into the equation make a difference?

Since warranty ended I have always used an area RV dealer that does not have class A but a good service department. They welcome any business.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:55 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Thor Axis/Vegas 24.1
State: California
Posts: 4
THOR #4253
Where to buy?

We too are in the market for a 2017 Axis/Vegas 24.1, and don't know where to buy. We live about an hour north of Los Angeles, CA. There is a Camping World about an hour east of us but it has horrific reviews (are there any CWs that have good reviews?). Mike Thompson RV is about two hours south of us. We bought our first RV in 1992 from them with fantastic support, service, etc. We bought our second RV from them in 2006 and it turned out to be a terrible experience! Sky River is about two hours north of us and has some good reviews but I know nothing about them. Any ideas? suggestions? help?
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:27 PM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: California
Posts: 130
THOR #3552
Quote:
We too are in the market for a 2017 Axis/Vegas 24.1, and don't know where to buy.
We ended up buying from Total Value RV in Indiana. The sale went smoothly (no hidden costs or pressure for upgrades). They also did a good job pre-inspecting the unit (I sent them my PDI list ahead of time). There were a couple of reasons we ended up buying so far from home:

- We had a terrible experience at Camping World up in Oregon (they repeatedly lied to us)
- Reviews for other dealers near home were terrible
- Price
- We were able to break in the RV instead of some random guy driving it out. I have even seen delivery guys towing their cars behind the new RVs (not supposed to tow anything for the first couple thousand miles).
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:51 PM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Georgia
Posts: 824
THOR #1123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
We ended up buying from Total Value RV in Indiana. The sale went smoothly (no hidden costs or pressure for upgrades). They also did a good job pre-inspecting the unit (I sent them my PDI list ahead of time). There were a couple of reasons we ended up buying so far from home:

- We had a terrible experience at Camping World up in Oregon (they repeatedly lied to us)
- Reviews for other dealers near home were terrible
- Price
- We were able to break in the RV instead of some random guy driving it out. I have even seen delivery guys towing their cars behind the new RVs (not supposed to tow anything for the first couple thousand miles).
We also purchased our new 2015 Axis from Total Value RV almost 2 years ago and for many of the same reasons as mentioned above; low mileage since the factory is less than 50 miles away, better pricing than several dealerships we had contacted in many states, good customer reviews and friendly/responsive staff. Haven't regretted buying from them in the least.
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:30 PM   #8
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Thor Axis/Vegas 24.1
State: California
Posts: 4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry View Post
We also purchased our new 2015 Axis from Total Value RV almost 2 years ago and for many of the same reasons as mentioned above; low mileage since the factory is less than 50 miles away, better pricing than several dealerships we had contacted in many states, good customer reviews and friendly/responsive staff. Haven't regretted buying from them in the least.
Thanks for that info, but I'm curious! Did you drive there in your present motorhome and trade that in? How did that work? And did you order it to your specifications or buy one already in stock?
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:52 PM   #9
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: California
Posts: 130
THOR #3552
Quote:
Did you drive there in your present motorhome and trade that in? How did that work? And did you order it to your specifications or buy one already in stock?
We had them order it from the factory (they did not have the 6 speed in stock). Then flew to Chicago (Midway) and rented a car one way. Total Value has a couple of camping spaces (water and power), so we stayed overnight to check every thing out. It would be a fun drive home if you take your time, but we had to get back and did it in 4 days.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:03 PM   #10
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Georgia
Posts: 824
THOR #1123
We had sold our previous TT prior to finding the MH we wanted. The Axis seemed to fit our wants and needs perfectly in the style and size we were looking for. We found Total Value via internet and began seeking price quotes, etc. from various Thor dealerships. We found one at a Camping World in Foley, Al and walked through it so we knew what the floor-plan was and liked it right away.

After negotiating with Total Value RV, and discussing the various options we wanted, exterior and interior design, etc., we were put on a waiting list for ours to be built and knew when it would be available for pick up. So, we flew into South Bend, met at the airport and driven back to TV as a part of the services they offered. We knew the day it would be available for us to pick up so the airline reservations could be made.

After arrival at TV, we went through the PDI checklist and given the walk through before signing anything. They took care of a few quality issues that we found and the papers were signed. Very likable staff of folks. They even allowed us to use a car on the lot to drive over and tour the beautiful Notre Dame campus while some of the work was being done.

There's an area just outside their facility with water and electricity hookup that they allow you to stay in overnight at no cost and become accustomed to everything in the MH. The next day they are there to answer any questions or fine tune anything you might find that's needed.

We then drove it on its maiden voyage back home to GA without incident. All was a very pleasurable experience.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:16 PM   #11
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Vegas 24.1
State: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,308
THOR #2601
Phil --

The first thing he should check is whether that price is real. When I bought my 2015 Vegas my out the door price was $74,900. That included options: 15K A/C, Outside TV, Two house batteries, MaxxAir fans in bedroom & living room, Black & Gray tank heaters. It also included FL sales tax, title, and license. No way I can believe he can get a new Axis/Vegas from 'Madman Mertz Cheapo RVs" for $14 - $54,000.

Second thing he needs to find out is does that discount dealer have a service facility, and if so how far will he have to drive for warranty work. And we all know -- THER WILL BE WARANTy WORK. He also needs to determine if after driving to that discount dealer's service facility to validate the warranty repair, will he have to leave the RV there waiting for the part and repair schedule.

Tell him to just read the horror stories here (or on any other RV forum) about the months that owners have had no access to their RV awaiting repair. There was one owner in the Thor Forums whose RV was at the dealer for something like 9 months awaiting slide repair -- and then when they got the RV back the slide was not repaired correctly. There was also the description of a Newmar owner one of our folks met who has a defective dishwasher. The Dishwasher manufacturer would not honor the warranty because the dishwasher was designed for house use only -- not bouncing around in a RV. The Newmar factory agreed to replace the dishwasher, now all he has to do is drive 1000 miles to the factory.

I would say that price differential would have to be pretty high before I'd buy from anyone other than my local dealer. First off, I'm going to research all the dealers in my area for ratings about their service. Most dealers can give you a good deal on price. But the convenience of having a dealer whose service you trust and is local -- to me -- far outweighs price.

... just the humble opinion of an awful frugal Yankee.
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Old 05-14-2016, 04:25 AM   #12
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport34F
State: California
Posts: 91
THOR #3382
Where to buy

If I had it to do over, I would NEVER buy a new RV!

The first year depreciation is like 20%, and the first 3 years its 40%. The ONLY thing you get buying new is a manufacturers warranty. While that definitely has some value, its not worth anywhere near what it costs you over buying something 3-6 years old. You can buy a 3-6 year old RV in excellent condition, with low miles, and complete service records, for 40-60% less than what you would pay for a new model. If you are worried about maintenance costs, you can buy a third party service contract, and still be money way ahead. Plus most used coaches often come with additional equipment and options, that are not reflected in the sales price.

With a third party service contract, you can often have much more choice of repair facilities as well.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:39 PM   #13
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Brand: Keystone
Model: Cougar 30 RLS 5th wheel
State: Colorado
Posts: 264
THOR #2204
OK, I'll tell you my experience with buying out of state.

We looked at the model hurricane (same color, floor plan etc.)
at CW here in Colorado, then I shopped on line and ended up
buying from Motorhome Specialties in Texas for a savings of
about $20K. Well worth the time and $$ to travel 750 miles
each way.

The only authorized Thor dealers in Colorado is CW. Yes they
have fixed my warranty items, but they are honest about that
they will work on their sold units first, yours second. It usually
takes me about 3 weeks to get an appointment.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:51 PM   #14
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Vegas 25.2
State: Oregon
Posts: 907
THOR #2271
My 2˘

Check online to see if there is a Thor Authorized Service Center near your home. I bought my RV from a dealer that is 6 hours away from my house. I could have saved even more money if I had bought it from Total Value and had the time to drive it to California. So mine was the cheapest price relatively local to me. My selling dealer has been very good to me as far as authorizing warranty work by a local repair shop.

The thing to understand is that, unlike the automobile market, RV Dealers do not have to service your RV. Only the selling dealer has that obligation. My local Thor dealer wanted $13k more for the same model and now refuses to service my RV because I did not buy it from them.

BUT, don't worry about all this. Buy your RV for the best price you can. Take your time and drive it home. Find a local repair shop with this website.

Most of all, Have fun!
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Old 07-01-2016, 02:10 PM   #15
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2017 Axis 25.2 E-450
State: Texas
Posts: 90
THOR #4181
Good Day, Folks,
Just a little information.
We recently purchased a 2017 Axis 25.2 on an E450 Chassis. We developed a relationship with the Thor plant prior to ordering. We contacted 7 major dealers and chatted about our needs and specifications. Once we had settled on the dealers and the specs we sent out a “request for bid,” with decision criteria, by email with a bid closing time and explained our plan to order the next day after bid close and analyses. In the bid process we explained it was a onetime, closed bid process. There was no going to and from one dealer to another or “checking with the manager.”
We received all the bids on a Tuesday evening and awarded the bid by COB the next day.
We bought for 34% under MSRP drive off the lot price.
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:32 AM   #16
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 22E
State: Washington
Posts: 304
THOR #4719
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryJames View Post
Good Day, Folks,
Just a little information.
We recently purchased a 2017 Axis 25.2 on an E450 Chassis. We developed a relationship with the Thor plant prior to ordering. We contacted 7 major dealers and chatted about our needs and specifications. Once we had settled on the dealers and the specs we sent out a “request for bid,” with decision criteria, by email with a bid closing time and explained our plan to order the next day after bid close and analyses. In the bid process we explained it was a onetime, closed bid process. There was no going to and from one dealer to another or “checking with the manager.”
We received all the bids on a Tuesday evening and awarded the bid by COB the next day.
We bought for 34% under MSRP drive off the lot price.
Great idea,

We just purchased A new 2017 Four Winds. We were not as organized as you, but did get a price that was significantly lower than we could get locally. There is only one Thor dealer near us. We had decided after a bunch of research that the shorter Four Winds models were the only Class C that would get up our steep driveway to the RV parking. The criteria was short and high clearance rear overhang. I checked with the local dealer's service facility and they said they be happy to get the business and so far they been very accommodating. The Dealer we purchased from was a long days drive away but the savings made it a no brainer decision. On the way back we spent a day and two nights at my sister's home. That added some fun to the trip.

It's probably not for everyone, but so far we're glad we did it.

Ken
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:06 AM   #17
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Brand: Still Looking
State: Alabama
Posts: 245
THOR #4160
Seeing all the positive reviews of Total Value RV is making me feel like I have made a good decision. I pick my 2017 Challenger 37LX in about 3 weeks from them and drive it back down to Austin, TX. I ordered from them for all the same reasons mentioned above. So far, Total Value RV has been great with communication and providing me updates. As for Motorhome Specialists, I went over there a few months back and after seeing how long some of the coaches have been sitting on the lot and not really maintained plus the extra 1K plus mileage really deterred me away. There was no way I was going to Camping World after all the horror stories I have already heard. I would prefer to put the initial miles on my new coach.
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:05 PM   #18
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 29.4
State: Indiana
Posts: 15
THOR #5452
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryJames View Post
Good Day, Folks,
Just a little information.
We recently purchased a 2017 Axis 25.2 on an E450 Chassis. We developed a relationship with the Thor plant prior to ordering. We contacted 7 major dealers and chatted about our needs and specifications. Once we had settled on the dealers and the specs we sent out a “request for bid,” with decision criteria, by email with a bid closing time and explained our plan to order the next day after bid close and analyses. In the bid process we explained it was a onetime, closed bid process. There was no going to and from one dealer to another or “checking with the manager.”
We received all the bids on a Tuesday evening and awarded the bid by COB the next day.
We bought for 34% under MSRP drive off the lot price.
Hi,
This is a great idea! I am in the process of gathering initial price quotes from several dealers and am exhausted that it seems they are going to make this process difficult. I'm looking at the 2017 ACE 29.4 and RV Direct is by far the cheapest, even with delivery. But after reading these comments, I'm concerned going to a wholesaler because of the service aspect.

Would you mind sharing with me your "bid" sheet? I'm excited it seems you got a serious response without haggling.

Thanks,
Sue
Please email me
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:45 PM   #19
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 35SF
State: Missouri
Posts: 649
THOR #2020
Quote:
Originally Posted by bevedfelker View Post
Phil --

The first thing he should check is whether that price is real. When I bought my 2015 Vegas my out the door price was $74,900. That included options: 15K A/C, Outside TV, Two house batteries, MaxxAir fans in bedroom & living room, Black & Gray tank heaters. It also included FL sales tax, title, and license. No way I can believe he can get a new Axis/Vegas from 'Madman Mertz Cheapo RVs" for $14 - $54,000.
As an FYI, we looked at a 2016 Thor Chateau 28Z. We had also looked at an identical Four Winds 28Z at another local dealer. Both of these are in the Saint Louis MO area. There was a $13K difference between the two. The higher cost was from a dealer that had just built a $5 million dollar service center and has probably 100 units sitting on the lot. The second is a dealer that has been there for years and the place shows it. They have a small, old service center and maybe 25 units on the lot. We had to order what we wanted but for a $13K savings we were more than happy to wait. In addition, both times we have had to take it in for minor issues we have be more than satisfied. So sometimes you can save a bunch of money and don't even have to travel.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:17 PM   #20
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2017 Axis 25.2 E-450
State: Texas
Posts: 90
THOR #4181
Good day, Sue, We have sent you an e-mail with the bid request document. We also included RV Direct in our bids, we actually talked to all the bidders prior to the bid request and we researched the actual owners cost from Thor. RV direct did not come in best bid. Our decision was based on analyses of the proposals’ responses to with respect to price, location, ongoing warranty and service options and options for aftermarket equipment modifications. After the first request a couple of the bidders asked us to call back with the best price we get then they would talk! So we sent the following clarification note:

"A brief Clarification on our Request for bid to purchase Thor Motorhomes Axis / Vegas 25.2 RV

Good Evening folks, thank you for your assistance,
After receiving a couple of questions / comments it may be useful to share some information / guidance on our current RV purchase bid request. For example, last December our company was requested to bid on support to 3 projects for the NASA Cleveland Glenn Facility. Management called the team together and asked us the question, “Would we like to have a reasonable % of something” rather than have “100% of nothing if we bid too high?” The team crafted our company’s bid based on that statement knowing that we would have one chance at the opportunity to bid and we would essentially have no further conversation before the bid was awarded … other than any clarification on scope questions prior to bid submission.

This bidding approach may be unusual for some of you, who may be more familiar with conducting client purchase negotiations over time, and perhaps even potentially being subjected to “price wars” generated by your potential clients roaming between dealers pitting one against the other. This is not our intention. Our sole intention is to assume you will have provided us up front with your very best cost and response to the points in the Thor Axis / Vegas RV bid request … and all we have to do is assess the bids received and the answers received and to award the order without any further discussion. … (other than to advise the unsuccessful bidders after the order has been placed.)

Please understand, if you choose not to offer your very best bid we do not intend to initiate negotiations or in any way start playing one dealer against the other dealer(s). We are on a time clock and we will place the order on schedule.
Again thank you again so much for all your efforts to assist us in our RV purchase experience."


... Ethically when one uses this approach one has to be (1) Willing not to play one dealer off against the other after the bid is received and (2) MOST IMPORTANTLY ... be actually ready to write a check the day after the bids are received ... otherwise I do not recommend this approach.
It worked for us but may not suit other folks.
Good Luck,
James
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