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Old 01-25-2016, 04:25 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37RB
State: South Dakota
Posts: 60
THOR #3558
A Thor dealer refuses to do service work

I'm a new owner, 2016 Outlaw Class A 37RB. Purchased from MotorHome Specialists in Texas. Flew down and picked it up. On our trip back towards Maryland we realized the dash heater was not working, only blowing cold air at our feet. No real big deal as the furnace was working and kept everything toasty.

We were in a rush to beat the blizzard and didn't try to get it fixed until we were close to our destination. I called Leos's Vacation Land in Gambrills Maryland since I know they are a Thor dealer. The young lady in the service department told me that since I did not purchase from them they would not do any service work. Not even warranty issues. As you can guess I'm not pleased with them and will never set foot on their property.

I'm told that dealers are independent and Thor has no control over their policies. I disagree. If a dealer is selling Thor RVs, they are representing Thor. If they refuse to help an owner Thor should no longer supply RVs to them. To me it's that simple.

Now don't get me wrong. I love this RV and found another dealer that will take care of my issue. Our RV is in storeage for the next month or so, so it's fine if I have to wait a bit.

I'm just a bit upset and worried that at some point I'll run into another lousy dealer like Leo's and be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Anyone else have a similar experience? Am I overreacting?
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:36 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 28H
State: California
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THOR #3559
I would call Thor's customer service 800# - I don't have it handy or I would give it to you.
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:57 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37RB
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THOR #3558
I called them. They told me the dealer issue was out of their control. On my own I found another dealer that scheduled an appointment for us no questions asked.

My issue is that Thor allows a place to call themselves a Thor dealer and refuse to work on a Thor product if you didn't buy it from them.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:00 PM   #4
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Brand: Keystone
Model: Cougar 30 RLS 5th wheel
State: Colorado
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THOR #2204
I live in Colorado and also went to Motorhome Specialist in Texas to purchase
my MH. Here in CO the only THOR authorized dealers are Camping World, their
lead time for an appointment can be long, but they have done the warranty
work plus some I pay work I have needed.

Just my $0.02
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:07 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 34E
State: California
Posts: 524
THOR #937
I purchased my Thor motorhome in Georgia and live in Southern California, so I was totally dependent on local Thor dealerships during the warranty period.

I first visited Mike Thompson's RV in Fountain Valley because they are very convenient to visit during my lunch break. On my way to the office, I actually walked inside a few Windsport motorhomes, and a Pallazo.

In the office I spoke with the woman at the counter and she asked if I purchased my Hurricane there. After I said no, she promptly said that they could not work on Hurricanes as they do not sell them. I mentioned that they are mechanically identical to the Windsport models filling up their lot. She just said no.

The tiny detail that works in the dealership's favor is that they are one of only three remaining RV dealerships in all of the metro area of Southern California, so they are swamped with more business and work than they can handle. They can and most frequently do cherry pick their work.

What works against the dealership in a major metro area is social media like Twitter, Yelp, and Facebook. After a few months of countless negative reviews and posts they realized that there are far more Hurricanes than Windsports in this region of the country, and they were losing ALOT of potential business by alienating potential new customers and pissing off current owners. Lo and behold they magically discontinued selling Windsports and now carry the Hurricane line.

Oh, and they very happily service Hurricanes there now!!
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:40 PM   #6
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Model: Outlaw 37RB
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THOR #3558
I've already posted my complaint on Leo's FB page and monitor it for a reply.

I will continue to spread the word until I get tired. Lol

Starting in April we will be full timers and I'm not looking forward to running into anymore dealers with this attitude.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:10 PM   #7
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Model: 2015 Vegas 24.1
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THOR #2601
So if you buy locally and then move 1000 miles away you are supposed to drive your coach back the thousand miles for warranty service. There are simply some things that do not meet the sobriety testvat the Dixie Bar and Grill.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:17 PM   #8
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Model: 2015 Vegas 24.1
State: Pennsylvania
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THOR #2601
...and what about a serious warranty issue while traveling? Am I supposed to have the coach towed back to the dealer where I bought it if the issue must be corrected to operate the unit? If an authorized Thor dealer anywhere calls in a warranty issue, doesn't Thor send them parts and reimburse them for labor? Guess these things shouldn't have wheels because we are liable to drive out from under the selling dealers protective umbrella. This really is beyond believable.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:20 PM   #9
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Model: Freedom Elite 28H
State: California
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THOR #3559
Warranty work should be handled by any authorized dealer. If I drive my new Chevy from California to Florida and it develops a problem - shouldn't any authorized Chevrolet or GM dealer take care of it? It should work for RVs too but it does not appear so from reading some of these posts. In the case of warranty work not being done or honoring the warranty, I would complain to the manufacturer. After all, RVs are meant for traveling and if it's going to happen, your probably not going to be near home, unfortunately.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:50 PM   #10
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37RB
State: South Dakota
Posts: 60
THOR #3558
I've had one email returned from Thor stating they have no control over individual dealers. I'm not gonna stop there. I'll keep bugging people until I just get tired of it, I guess.

I've left a less than stellar review on the offending dealers Facebook page. I continue to wait for a response from them. I'll see if I can leave a remark on Yelp and use my wife's Twitter and pass the word on there as well.

I really believe Thor should make all their dealers step up but that's probably not going to happen.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:27 PM   #11
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THOR #1469
Thor's website mentions this and recommends using the selling dealer for warranty work.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:37 PM   #12
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37RB
State: South Dakota
Posts: 60
THOR #3558
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
Thor's website mentions this and recommends using the selling dealer for warranty work.
My home address is South Dakota, I'm currently in Maryland and will be working in Pennsylvania from April to November. I purchased my coach in Texas because it was $8000 cheaper to do so. You're telling me I should pick up my anchor and drive 1500 miles back to Texas for something that any Thor dealer should be able to fix?
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:54 PM   #13
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THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyOutlaw View Post
My home address is South Dakota, I'm currently in Maryland and will be working in Pennsylvania from April to November. I purchased my coach in Texas because it was $8000 cheaper to do so. You're telling me I should pick up my anchor and drive 1500 miles back to Texas for something that any Thor dealer should be able to fix?
I'm not telling you anything.

https://thormotorcoach.com/RV-Dealers/

You might try calling Thor and asking for their assistance in finding a dealer willing to perform work on your coach.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:08 AM   #14
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37RB
State: South Dakota
Posts: 60
THOR #3558
Dave, my apologies. I quoted you but my comment was better aimed at Thor.

I have a dealer lined up to do the repair, so I'm good there. I'm just not on board with Thor being hands off in situations like this.

If this is standard policy with RV dealers then I guess I'll have to live with it. Can't say I'll be happy with it tho.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:42 AM   #15
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THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyOutlaw View Post
Dave, my apologies. I quoted you but my comment was better aimed at Thor.

I have a dealer lined up to do the repair, so I'm good there. I'm just not on board with Thor being hands off in situations like this.

If this is standard policy with RV dealers then I guess I'll have to live with it. Can't say I'll be happy with it tho.
Something a lot of folks do not know about the RV Industry is the dealer owns (bought and paid for) every RV on their lot before it was delivered to them. When you put that in context, why would any dealer want to have their service department work at reduced (warranty) labor rates on a unit for which they did not receive any sales compensation. Most RV service departments have long wait times for sales profit customers so they do not need the additional work.

When you really sit back and think about it, to me at least, I have to ask myself what is wrong with a service department that can get a non sales based profit customer in for warranty work in a timely manner? Are they that hard up for business and if so why?

I have 4 relatively large RV dealers within a 100 mile drive of the house. None of them will perform warranty work for folks that did not buy the RV from them. All of them however, will accept paying service customers outside the RV warranty period or for services not covered by warranty such as state inspections, oil changes etc...
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:49 AM   #16
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Model: Outlaw 37RB
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THOR #3558
Well.........I guess I have a lot to learn
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:43 AM   #17
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Model: 2016 Siesta Sprinter 24ST
State: Florida
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THOR #2812
My dealer here in Pensacola has the following on his website.

"We don't care where you bought your RV. When it comes to RV service, repairs, collision and body repairs you really need to get to us at Carpenter's Campers ! We welcome Insurance and Warranty work and invite you to call us for Expert RV Service".

He does seem to give some priority to his customers and someone in transit with their trip interrupted. Good dealer.. (and it's only 5 miles away!)
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:46 AM   #18
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Model: Outlaw 37RB
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THOR #3558
I'm glad there are upstanding dealers out there. This dealer I'm complaining about just left a bad taste in my mouth. I'll get over it
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:57 PM   #19
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Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
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THOR #2121
Dealers may be trying to discourage internet sales from volume dealers based solely on price. Not assisting travelers away from home in need of immediate repairs may be a very different issue for them.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:18 PM   #20
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 25.2
State: Washington, D.C.
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THOR #3141
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyOutlaw View Post
I'm a new owner, 2016 Outlaw Class A 37RB. Purchased from MotorHome Specialists in Texas. Flew down and picked it up. On our trip back towards Maryland we realized the dash heater was not working, only blowing cold air at our feet. No real big deal as the furnace was working and kept everything toasty.

We were in a rush to beat the blizzard and didn't try to get it fixed until we were close to our destination. I called Leos's Vacation Land in Gambrills Maryland since I know they are a Thor dealer. The young lady in the service department told me that since I did not purchase from them they would not do any service work. Not even warranty issues. As you can guess I'm not pleased with them and will never set foot on their property.

I'm told that dealers are independent and Thor has no control over their policies. I disagree. If a dealer is selling Thor RVs, they are representing Thor. If they refuse to help an owner Thor should no longer supply RVs to them. To me it's that simple.

Now don't get me wrong. I love this RV and found another dealer that will take care of my issue. Our RV is in storeage for the next month or so, so it's fine if I have to wait a bit.

I'm just a bit upset and worried that at some point I'll run into another lousy dealer like Leo's and be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Anyone else have a similar experience? Am I overreacting?
Boy, did I learn this lesson the hard way. I purchased my RV from Prosser's in Wisconsin. I negotiated an unbeatable price on the phone with them. My local dealer (Leo's RV in Gambrills) couldn't come within $3k of that price, but when I told him I was buying elsewhere, the salesman warned me, "Your gonna regret that decision."

What he knew and I didn't, was that dealers around the country had formed a sort of alliance to deter people from bargain hunting. It's an attempt to protect their business model, which is seriously threatened by internet commerce. They will only service an RV that was sold either by them, or one of their "partners" around the country. It becomes a powerful part of their selling proposition and a way to force consumers' hands into paying inflated prices.

A person can argue that the automobile industry is different, and that it shouldn't be this way. You might even believe that the dealers' strategy will backfire eventually. I personally agree. But nothing will change the fact that this is a universal truth about the RV industry, and Thor has decided it's beyond their control.

The good news is that this is only a major issue during the warranty period. It's much easier to find a "non-dealer" repair shop to service your RV after that. I've even found service centers that don't sell RV's, so you know they'd be willing to work on your RV regardless of where it was purchased.

To sum up, the salesman at Leo's RV was wrong. I don't regret my decision to pursue the lowest purchase price. I regret that Thor doesn't exercise their tremendous influence to stop this practice.
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