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Old 02-05-2019, 04:49 AM   #1
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Default Buying a new RV sight unseen

I've been having difficulty finding the right RV at a dealer in my area, and don't want to wait the 5+ months it sounds like a new order would take. So I've started looking further afield, and having found a couple options, am now faced with what it would really mean to buy something several states away. I'm unfortunately not able to take the time off to be able to drive it home, so I'm faced with a transport charge (either shipping on a flatbed or hiring a one-way driver), and one of two options for purchasing: either flying out to inspect it before finalizing the purchase, or rely solely on a FaceTime walk through for the inspection.

Anybody do something like this? I've seen plenty of comments in places about people flying out somewhere and then driving home, but has anyone actually purchased an RV and had it delivered without having seen it in person? I wouldn't dream of doing this with a used RV, but with a new one it seems like the risk should be much lower. I've driven and seen the model I'm interested in, it's only the combination of colors and options that I can't get locally. I have a local dealer who can do warranty repairs should anything be wrong, and it sounds like a lot of the issues people have encountered with new RVs didn't show up in the initial test drive or at delivery time anyway. Would I be crazy to skip those steps though?
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:38 AM   #2
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I've been having difficulty finding the right RV at a dealer in my area, and don't want to wait the 5+ months it sounds like a new order would take. So I've started looking further afield, and having found a couple options, am now faced with what it would really mean to buy something several states away. I'm unfortunately not able to take the time off to be able to drive it home, so I'm faced with a transport charge (either shipping on a flatbed or hiring a one-way driver), and one of two options for purchasing: either flying out to inspect it before finalizing the purchase, or rely solely on a FaceTime walk through for the inspection.

Anybody do something like this? I've seen plenty of comments in places about people flying out somewhere and then driving home, but has anyone actually purchased an RV and had it delivered without having seen it in person? I wouldn't dream of doing this with a used RV, but with a new one it seems like the risk should be much lower. I've driven and seen the model I'm interested in, it's only the combination of colors and options that I can't get locally. I have a local dealer who can do warranty repairs should anything be wrong, and it sounds like a lot of the issues people have encountered with new RVs didn't show up in the initial test drive or at delivery time anyway. Would I be crazy to skip those steps though?
I did this. With a reputable dealer and video walkthru we "wired the funds". He stored the vehicle on his lot for a few months till we flew from TPA to EWR and drove it 1,200 miles home. All in all it was a fine experience for us. I think buying from a reputable dealer is the key. Funniest part is we never drove a van or any type of rv before either. We always say think hard and long and know how it is you plan to travel and that is the most important step as that will define an A, C or B. Then gas or diesel. After that the choice has been almost made. :> Best of luck and let us know how you make out!
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:23 PM   #3
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There are about 3 dealers in the country that I trust enough to do something like this. (Hilltop and Lake Region in MN and Sunshine State in FL)

That said, I purchased a condo sight unseen... toured live "online" with my agent... and a second time with my cousin. And three years later did the same with my agent trying to find a townhouse... made 3 offers sight unseen... lost all three.

Depending on the market at the time, there are dealers who will fly you in as part of the deal.

All depends on your appetite for risk.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:35 PM   #4
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Yup, did accept some risk. They just "worked" in a similar way......dealt with email and text communications. Didn't pester me to hop on a call till the deal was prepped. Gave me the best on-line deal I found nationwide on the van with the features my wife had chosen. I hate the guys that say email and about 30 seconds after you send your phone rings.........."why do you think I chose email as my method of communication?......because I don't want to talk to you yet.............."
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:10 PM   #5
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There are professional RV inspectors just like home inspectors. Someone here can probably recommend a company.

We sort-of purchased long distance. What that really means is we put a down payment of $2K with the agreement that if the van wasn't as represented (or there was something wrong with it), we got our money back. If the van was OK, but we just didn't like it, we forfeited. We paid our own airfare and drove it home.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:16 PM   #6
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I bought both of my Roadtreks new, sight unseen. I bought a '05 190P, fully loaded out, through an Online Dealer. I made the initial down payment via CC and the paperwork came via Overnight FedEx. Trust me, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would do such a thing.....but my little voice said go for it. We drove to Indiana and picked it up. In the eight years I had it, it never went to the Dealer for Warranty or other repairs. i bought my '15 210 online, just viewing the pictures provided by the Dealer, and the looking at the add-ons. Again a CC Deposit, and three days later we drove to FL to pick it up......very satisfied! There are Dealers online (Van City & Sunshine State RV) that I believe will pay your airfare out to them, pick up at the airport as part of the Sale; both are very credible. I do remember something about Delivery, but don't know the cost per mile they would charge. Ron
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianh View Post
... I've driven and seen the model I'm interested in, it's only the combination of colors and options that I can't get locally. I have a local dealer who can do warranty repairs should anything be wrong, and it sounds like a lot of the issues people have encountered with new RVs didn't show up in the initial test drive or at delivery time anyway. Would I be crazy to skip those steps though?
Could your local dealer trade for the unit you want? That gives you the added benefit of having bought locally and will help should you need repairs since dealers like to favor their own customers.

You might also ask what people know about the dealer you are considering buying from. Some dealers have better reputations than others and there are some I would buy from without qualm and others I wouldn't buy from if I was standing right there to inspect the unit.
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:32 AM   #8
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Default we just flew from wa to az to buy 10 yr old classb

we hired someone in az to check it out, He found some concerns and missed others.
We will have to have a leaky skylight fixed or replaced ,low mileage, also terrible strong perfumey smell from heater, hope its not covering up something else, exterior compartment doors need to be resealed,. Drives well, will get sumo springs when we can.
warranty work is hard to get done at any other than the dealer you buy from. The dealers 99% of the time service what they sell, and independant shops sometimes have a hard time getting reimbursed for warranty work. do your research ahead of time!!!!!!!!!

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Old 02-06-2019, 10:52 AM   #9
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Personally I wouldn't do it, but if you DO do it, make sure that you are able to verify the condition of the batteries in advance. There's an endless procession of new buyers on forums whose first question is, "How come my batteries won't hold charge?" Answer: Because you were sold a van with damaged ones.

My husband and I are among those who transacted remotely, and then flew three states over to pick up the rig and drive it home. We hired an RV "inspector" in advance. He missed 100% of the problems with our van, amounting to probably $3,000 in repairs if we had paid market rates. We got very good at DIY very fast. Moral of that story: if you hire an inspector, find one who knows the model and brand you are buying. And good luck with that, because most of them are clueless IMO.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:06 PM   #10
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We did. After looking at a few units currently owned by owners in our area we ordered a new unit which took about 4 months to be ready for pickup. We live in PA and the mfgr./dealer is in Texas.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:39 PM   #11
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Thanks for all of the feedback! It was super useful to see how some others were thinking. I can't say I'm surprised to see a mix of reactions, but it's still great to hear about others' experiences. I thought I'd circle back with an update on where I landed.

The short version is that I ended up deciding to buy a new RV from a dealer over 2,000 miles from me and am having it shipped here via flatbed truck. But I am going to fly out to do a walk through in person. Read on for the longer version...

I waffled quite a bit. I really wanted a Pleasure-Way Ascent, but I totally underestimated the lead time I'd need to buy an RV, and discovered that not only were there no new Ascents available anywhere near me, it would be 3-4 months at least before I could acquire one by ordering it. So my options were down to either buying the nearest Ascent I could find in dealer inventory - over 2,000 miles away - or falling back to my second choice, which was a Roadtrek Agile from a local dealer. It was a difficult decision due to the current issues with Roadtrek/EHGNA. Would I have a warranty when the dust settles? Would I be able to get parts for non-warranty repairs? Those are some pretty big unknowns to be facing with your first RV purchase. What originally tilted me toward buying the Roadtrek was that I started seeing some pretty major discounts on them from dealers in other states, including a couple that were less than a 12 hour drive. I thought hey, if I can get a 20% discount, that would go a long way toward offsetting the concerns of Roadtrek going under. I got quotes on a pair of almost-identical builds from the closest other dealers, one of them coming in at a 16% discount and the other 22%. I then made an offer to my local dealer at the 16% discount. They came back with a no-lower-than price that was a measly 5% discount. Apparently their reaction to the Roadtrek issues is that the scarcity will allow them to sell it at that price. I told them to take a hike, that I'd be happy to pay a couple grand more to have the local support and reward the salesman who had spent significant time with us, but the $18K difference was crazy. He told me I should take that 22% discount deal. Which I then tried to do, only to learn that the unit had just been discovered to have a faulty under-hood generator that needed to be replaced, and they didn't know when they'd be able to acquire the replacement because Roadtrek was unable to provide any parts at the moment. Yuck.

Well that experience had me rethinking my decision to settle for the Agile in the first place, so I went back to the remote Ascent option. I was able to allay some of my concerns by arranging to fly out there (at their expense) to do the in-person walk through and finalize the purchase, and by arranging to have it delivered via a flatbed instead of being driven.

I'll be sure and report back to this thread after it has been delivered in case others are considering a similar purchase and find it useful.
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Old 02-25-2019, 11:18 PM   #12
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Hi, would you be willing to recommend the flatbed trucking co. experience after it's completed?
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:57 PM   #13
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Right now, both See Grins in CA and Lake Region in MN have Agiles on sale for between 30-40% off. Prices have been plummeting over the last couple weeks as dealers try to clear the EHGNA products off their lots.

But you will love your PW...
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