Dealer vs non-Dealer discussion - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-04-2008, 05:10 PM   #1
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Split off, discussion about dealers...

Mr. Thoen has a great product but does not take the care in assembling these units. Being a former dealer and suffering at the hands of this man has left me a little bitter with him. He does not perform a PDI on the units he sells and he does not pay his warranty any way. It has been left up to us to not only make a customer happy but to eat all the costs of the repairs. On example he did not install circuit protection at his power converter and when the wires that he installed chafed and shorted it burned up the power converter and the wiring to the vehicle. We repaired it with circuit protection and Trillium would not pay for the repair. If you do not allow for a buisness to make a profit they can not offer a service, employment and products. Yes there are horror stories but you never hear of the good news. Good news does not make good news only bad news makes good news. Being a dealer is what I have chosen and I like selling fun. If a manufacuter does not have a dealer network how do you expect to be looked after when you travel?
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:20 PM   #2
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Keith: I am sorry you had a negative experience in your business dealings.

When I owned a Casita (as you know, they do not have a dealer network) the warranty work I needed done (refrigerator, awning, and a couple of other minor issues) were OK'd by Casita in Texas to the RV service company I used was in California. They have always been known for their great service integrity.

I hear the same thing about Scamp.
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:59 PM   #3
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Kieth,
I have had the same kind of response Mike is talking with my Scamp. The more I think about the more I like the idea NO dealer network. Dealer networks cost money to establish and maintain. They're always wanting something. The mark ups for parts can be very high. If you're on the road and have a problem you have to find a dealer that handles your trailer. With no network, all you have to find is an RV or trailer shop that can do the repairs. No dealer network costs.

One might wonder what costs there is in maintaining a dealer network. Literature doesn't come cheap. All those nice glossy things you pick all the time are pretty expensive. Give aways, like key chains, pens, etc. are also expensive. Each one may not cost a lot but by the time you send that stuff to a 100+ dealers, you've add quite a bit to the cost of the trailer. Then dealers want you to share in TV, radio, and news paper ad costs. Is it any wonder that your standard sticky is so expensive?
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:41 PM   #4
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Keith: I am sorry you had a negative experience in your business dealings.
When I owned a Casita (as you know, they do not have a dealer network) the warranty work I needed done (refrigerator, awning, and a couple of other minor issues) were OK'd by Casita in Texas to the RV service company I used was in California. They have always been known for their great service integrity.
I hear the same thing about Scamp.
I imagine the RV service company has technicians on staff and the parts used are the same parts that I have to buy and stock. A retail repair is more expensive than what factorys pay dealers so Casita is paying a lot for the repair. Still a retail repair shop could be only repairs or it could be an actual RV dealership. Any way you are looking at it you are relying on some sort of net work that pays heat, light, rent, wages, taxes ect. Services are performed at a cost and though I too look for that deal I still pay heat, light ect. I don't know what you do for a living but imagine if someone found a way to bypass your company and you lost your job because they felt your products where too expensive and went direct. I am not condemening the practise just putting out a different view.
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:25 PM   #5
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We all have competition and different business models. I have certainly had to change mine to be competitive. Molded fiberglass RVs seem to fit a very unique market that is best served, in many cases, by direct sales. The fiberglass body is almost never the problem. The installed appliances are. This is very different then my experience with a sticky and the leaks.

Instead of giving a dealer a 30% or 40% markup, the factory sells for less and the owners show their trailers as a satisfied customer and a referral. A budget is kept by the factory for on location service.

With my new Bigfoot, which is sold through a dealer network, I tried to order a replacement "dog house" for the front tongue. The local dealer wanted just under $700 USD for a small 5 lb. fiberglass hood. I can have one custom made for less by a local surf board shop.

If the RV service repair shop was NOT satisfied with Scamp or Casita's offer of payment, their nation wide warranty would not be worth anything. The fact is, my local RV repair guy was VERY happy with the arrangement both times.
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:45 PM   #6
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I understand you have had a disagreement with Trillium. Thank you for your opinion. This topic is closed.
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