Article and Video: Why Camping World is not an RVer’s friend

54
41

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR
If you have read this newsletter for long, you know how disturbed, even angry I am about Camping World, which is doing all it can to force buyers into 15- and 20-year loans on the purchase of new RVs.

I do not like what Camping World has become — a money grubbing machine for its CEO Marcus Lemonis. He has all but dismantled the once RVer-friendly Good Sam Club, and has cut competition from RV dealers by buying up existing RV dealerships to turn them into Camping Worlds, where the sale of an RV is incidental to earning huge sums of money on over-priced warranties and interest on even cheap RVs for 15 to 20 years. You want to pay cash or finance an RV on your own? Be prepared to pay a higher price for the rig.

Don’t miss the survey below

Most RVers who finance those RVs will be upside down on their loans for the life of the loan, or darn close to it, and when they decide to trade them in 5 or 10 years they learn they’ll need to come up with extra cash – sometimes thousands of dollars – $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more is not uncommon. So they keep their RVs because they can’t afford to buy a new one.


Look at the example above. In theory, that cheap Thor motorhome above might go 5 to 10 years without any major problems. But, like I said, that’s “in theory.” They are never meant to last very long. Read comments from Thor owners at PissedConsumer.com and at the Better Business Bureau to learn more. Often, there are problems right from the first. But Camping World pushes Thor RVs out the door as fast as it can.

Please watch the video from The RV Show USA radio program (as it was recorded on Facebook), where host Alan Warren interviews RV dealer Kevin Frazer, who is an outspoken critic of Camping World and its high pressure tactics. You will find it fascinating! After watching, forward it to anyone you know who’s planning to buy an RV. You will be doing them a huge favor.

Please leave your comments and don’t miss the survey below.

SURVEY

If you bought an RV from Camping World, please answer this quick poll. If you didn’t, just click the bottom left of the poll to see the responses of those who voted.

 

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mike S
Guest
Mike S

Be aware no matter who you use. We purchased from Holiday World and basically saw the same thing, however we led them to beleive we would finace the Class A unit while getting our walk out price set and wound up paying cash in the finance office. They were very unhappy with us!

mike s.
Guest
mike s.

Remember! anytime you are purchasing a car, rv, boat etc.. it is none of the dealerships business how you are going to pay until you have a walk out price you agree with. Never show your cards and always give them the impression that you have many options for making the purchase. This way the price will not be determined on whether they will make a ton of money on interest.

steven Markman
Guest
steven Markman

We have bought 4 RV’s from the only full service dealer in Manassas, Va. Then it was REINES RV. Deals were OK, but their service was so slow we missed many of our trips. They always told us they couldn’t find enough mechanics!! we had to wait weeks for service. Camping world bought them in 2016 and I was thrilled as I loved their stores and the fact that I could get service anywhere in the country. After our trip to Florida this spring we had some service issues. In late June I took the rig in to our new… Read more »

Vic
Guest
Vic

I have never met a dealer that was concerned about me being under water because all they cared about was closing the deal!

Susan hall
Guest
Susan hall

Whatever you do don’t go to generalrv in Novi, mi. They treat you the same way camping world did. We had a rude sales person quick to sign papers and quick to get you out the door. Never a thank you for buying a $100,000 machine? I suggest to find a little mom & pop dealer and be happy. Please don’t go to general rev or used salesperson Dan.

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

Our salesman was terrific. We’ve known him for several years and he’s a great guy I would trust in any situation. However, ours was the last RV he sold as he retired right afterwards. The service department wasn’t so great. We drove three hours each way to pick up our 5th wheel and told them what time we would be there. They hadn’t done a single thing to it since getting it from the factory. They had to hurry to do something and wouldn’t let us in to see it. We went to lunch and came back. Fortunately this isn’t… Read more »

Bill Walker
Guest
Bill Walker

I agree. Our Camping World in Lowell, AR is the pits. Took my fifth-wheel there with a refrigerator error code and their solution was to buy a new refer. I said okay and the new one had the same error code, so they ordered another refer. After driving ways and setting up – same code reading. They offered to order another refer but I took it to a local Mom and Pop dealer and he said it could not be the refer. Instead he check the circuitry and found that it was a bad inverter – cost $166.00. This was… Read more »

theresa brown
Guest
theresa brown

so, we gave camping world 2 tries for service work and both times HUGELY disappointed, in fact, we were outright lied to on second try. we’ll never go back there again, and now, I urge anybody with an RV to boycott this crap hole, since mr. Lemonis (CEO) found it necessary to advise all conservatives not to shop at his stores – I promise, that I NEVER, go near camping world, ever…

Dick Carlson
Guest
Dick Carlson

Chuck, I commend you for this. I’d drifted away from your writing a few years ago, thinking that you’d become a shill for the industry. So pleased that you’re telling the truth about the biggest frog in the pond. I try to share this stuff on “noob” forums and elsewhere. It’s clear (to me) that he intends to sell off his interest when things go bad. Very short-term business model.

Raymond Brown
Guest
Raymond Brown

We traded in a too-small Pleasure-Way for a just-right-size 2012 Itasca Reyo 25T mini-Class A. Got what we wanted on the Pleasure-Way (payoff amount). Got a great price on the Reyo but we had spotted it on RVTrader and did not just walk onto the lot. In fact, we drove from Las Vegas to Mesa, AZ to see it. Another thing we did is have it fully inspected by both RVIA and Wholesale Warranties. Mesa Camping World resolved every issue the inspector found including a set of new Cooper LT tires. Transaction went off without a hitch.

ScrewedByCampingWorld
Guest
ScrewedByCampingWorld

A couple years ago we traded in our smaller “couple” trailer at CW for a much larger trailer to fit several “fullsize” adopted kids.  Since it was winter (when many RV shows are, here), the water system was winterized, the roof was icey/snowcovered (and probably brittle to get on to inspect). I had them write into the contract that anything not functional or perfect WOULD be fixed by them once warmer. They included a pile of free services (de/winterize, storage, several hundred in store credit once we use the unit, etc)… All good??? Unfortunately the unit had a lot of… Read more »

Larry
Guest
Larry

I purchased my TT from CW 3 years ago. The purchase price was competitive. I love my TT but I gave up on CW after my first camping trip. I had a leak on the gray water tank. Dropped it off on the way home from our trip. Picked it up a week later and nothing had been done. After that I had A/C problems and could not get anyone in the service department to even talk to me. Fortunately I found a certified tech who has a shop two miles from me who has taken care of any problems… Read more »

Thom Sloan
Guest
Thom Sloan

A Customer called to ask me to repair his tankless water heater, he told me he just had it fixed at CW, but it still doesn’t work, I found out CW had installed jumpers around the safety thermostats, plus he had them install a new power converter, they did not replace the old power converter, they just wired a new one in, didn’t even unplug the old one. I found the old still working, just needed a fuse! Every day I have to fix CW repairs. Please make sure the Technician is certified!

Renee Galligher
Guest
Renee Galligher

Buyer Beware should always be the mantra. We almost purchased from CW years ago, but after taking several days to make a decision, on the 3rd day and visit back to the motorhome in question, the salesperson rudely told us we had to make a decision! I knew that, but her attitude turned me off and we didn’t buy. Best decision we made. Their financing policy isn’t what concerns me, but instead their monopoly of the RV industry! They are taking over everywhere and their service is not good, not because I know personally, but what form what I’ve read.… Read more »

mike s.
Guest
mike s.

Renee,
We Trump supporters should make an effort to let CW know that is for sure one of the reasons we wont do business with them.

Captn John
Guest
Captn John

So ~~ I make 2 dealer calls out of the area and visit a dealer 1 3/4 hours from CW. 2 hits on my credit report. ALL 3 offer 15 & 20 year loans like CW. Asked all 3 about financing a no trade 5er deal. Same response from all 3 when asked about financing; “how much being put down and where do you want your payment to be?”. The 3rd stated “a check for $XXXX and the payment will be lower than you asked for” a few more questions and “240 months”. High pressure at 2 like a NEVER… Read more »

Renee Galligher
Guest
Renee Galligher

You’re right, which is why I said Buyer Beware. The only place that I have personal experience with in limiting length of financing was our credit union. Thanks to them, our FW will be paid in full in 17 months. Yes, I’m counting. Yes, we’re keeping it. Yes, it’s a high quality unit.

Joe Allen
Guest
Joe Allen

Marcus Lemonis, the CEO of CW won’t see any more of my business! This includes Good Sam, their warranty program, their repairs, etc. When you own a huge corporation like this, you don’t go running your mouth about the president of the United States! Aside from the fact that they routinely cheat consumers with their financial plans, it seems Lemonis has no love for people who voted for Trump and does not need our business. So be it! I received a cold call the other day from Good Sam asking for my membership renew and I explained just why I… Read more »

fRANÇOIS rOCHON
Guest
fRANÇOIS rOCHON

Remember a few years back a tire blowout had destroyed my propane lines I stopped by CW west of Houston and was told “there is a 3 weeks waiting line” I said but I am in DEEP trouble… Sorry sir we have a 3 weeks waiting line… went back a mile west to Holiday World They said they where verry busy but would see what they could do… Service manager discussed with the counter clerk… asked me if I was ready rignt then… said yes… he told me we are taking you in, repair should take 4-5 hours… THAT IS… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

I knew all about all the bad PR of CW so it was buyer beware when we went in to CW just to look. We were just going to give them our name and what we were looking for, they had just gotten in the unit that we eventually bought. While looking inside and outside at the coach, I nosed through the owners manual, found the name and telephone number of the previous owner, called him talked to his wife for about 5 or 6 minutes. I found out what they gave them on trade in on a new MH… Read more »

Renee Galligher
Guest
Renee Galligher

Good for you MIke!

Roy Ellithorpe
Guest
Roy Ellithorpe

I’m a big believer in free enterprise, which by definition includes buyer beware. This does make it difficult for many people, but some things you just have to learn the hard way. My dislike of CW comes from the time they tried to buy an independent dealership who for years had been the major supporter of several local (I believe) equestrian events. When the owner wouldn’t sell, they went after her sponsorships and suppliers. I don’t remember the whole story or the details, but I’m pretty sure that RV TRAVEL reported on it. I have no problem setting up next… Read more »

ReneeG
Guest
ReneeG

Interesting. That’s exactly what happened to one of our local dealers and one of their employees. They let them keep their name and when the employee left because they didn’t want anything to do with CW, CW went after them in their new RV business. He has since gotten around it legally, but what a bunch of ****!

Tom Moeller
Guest
Tom Moeller

I purchased a used Newmar from camping world in Spartanburg,SC.I paid cash with my trade.They were great with only a few issues that came up on the walk thru before I laid any money down on the.This CW has a very good google review,many of them don’t.
The video has been around awhile and it’s just a sales add for wolverines rv.While he say is maybe true about CW financing,no one is holding a gun to anybody.The young buyers today need more education on dealing in the F and I office.Thats big profits for the dealer.

Robbie
Guest
Robbie

Interesting comments. I was in CW yesterday to buy a vent cover for my Fantastic Vent. Their price was very comparable to my research on the internet to other suppliers. The benefit was that I could have it NOW. My wife and I strolled all of the aisles…and WOW….we know prices, an would never buy any of that junk. Lots of low quality “RV” stuff you can buy without the “RV” label anywhere at a much lower price. We luckily only bought one item.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Went to CW to purchase a start/run cap for our A/C. Service manager did not even get out of his chair. Instead, wanted to sell me a new A/C. Later, bought the needed part at LazyDays in Tucson, where they were actually interested in what I wanted, looked up the part number, and went out into the warehouse to get one off the shelf. $28 later, A/C very happy.

Gary
Guest
Gary

Chuck, I enjoy your newsletter, but I have to say blackballing CW in the same issue you point to Wall Drug’s finding a niche market is a bit ironic. It seems that we in America always blame someone else. Part of it is probably that we need to have Personal Finance taught in the school systems from first grade on, but still, it is not anyone’s right to own an RV. It is a privilege and if it cannot be afforded, then don’t do it. I say this from experience. It took me years to figure that out, always buying… Read more »

Bob Gash
Guest
Bob Gash

Gary, sorry, but I must disagree with your comment.

At least IMO, part of Chuck’s mission is to review, analyze, and comment on trends in the RV industry – both positive and negative.

In the case of CW, Chuck is simply stating his opinion that their practice of pushing extended-term financing will become a negative for many buyers.

Of course, readers may agree or disagree with Chuck’s positions; however, I, for one, am glad he has the courage to alert his readers on what he considers to be potentially problematic practices and products.

Donald N Wright
Guest
Donald N Wright

Purchased my used Aliner from RV Max, who was bought out by Camping World. Thought things would get better, instead things got worse. CW may sell Aliners, but they hate to service them and they don’t have the parts to repair them. Now I use Carriage House and Princess Craft RV. Now I worry about those warranties…

JBC
Guest
JBC

Buy only small products there that are competitively priced. My go to is directly from the manufacturer, Amazon or Walmart (online, free delivery to local store). Our CW has some very good floor staff, just too few of them. The service counter staff are terrible. You can wait a long time just to be told that they are waiting for a shipment, it’s only available online, etc. I would never use CW to purchase/service a motorhome/trailer. Always work with a local independent for service needs.

John M Ford
Guest
John M Ford

While I agree the the buyer has to bear some personal responsibility, it is also reasonable to expect ethical behavior from the sellers. For instance, I believe that it would have been ethical for the CW salesman I dealt with to have informed me that the coach I bought had not only been used as a rental vehicle, but was in fact, originally built by Thor as a rental unit for Camping World. I also consider that when the finance person I was talking to found out I was considering using my local credit union, told me that she knew,… Read more »

Peggy
Guest
Peggy

We bought our used 2007 Sunline Solaris from Camping World, Hanover, PA. We love our camper. However, we use a local RV repair service for any repairs so we don’t deal with their service department and we paid cash for it so it is not financed. I would never buy new campers.