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

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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.

 

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56 Comments
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Mark Jones
24 days ago

I just found out they wont finance anything under 8000. why

M Searfoss
1 year ago

Do not buy from Camping World, they will kiss your ass to buy it make all kinds of promises, and soon as you leave there lot all bets are off, please don’t make the mistake of buying anything at Camping World.

Mike S
1 year ago

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.
1 year ago
Reply to  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
1 year ago

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 Manassas camping world for service warranty fixes. I was told service was busy and it will be 2 MONTHES before they can get to it!! WHEN I MADE THE LAST INQUIREY ON 8/16 THEY HAVE NOT EVEN ORDERED THE PARTS NEEDED BUT THEY HOPE TO SERVICE IT IN EARLY September!! Their reason, they do not have enough mechanics!!
I will buy supply items from CW, But I will NOT buy another RV from them.

Vic
2 years ago

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
2 years ago

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
2 years ago

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 our first 5th wheel so my husband knows how to use and fix it. Later we ordered a part and the parts guy was pretty good. I talked to him on a Friday and he said the part was in. Saturday we drove the three hours each way again and they couldn’t find the part. I said I just talked to (I forgot his name) and he said it was here. They said on Saturday he doesn’t work here anymore (they were changing managers and I guess he was a casualty) and the parts department is locked. My husband noticed a box sitting in the area which was about the right size. He suggested several times that they look in the box. He finally got a little huffy and they looked in the box. Lo and behold it was the part! We have yet to find a Camping World service department that is any good. I could go on but I won’t.

Bill Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  Cindy

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 after spending 3 months in the shop at Camping World with a cost of almost $3,000.00. And like your experience, it seemed each time I went in there was new personnel. Even after the ordeal, a new parts manager called me stating that my bill was unpaid, even though I had my paid receipt. I was thrilled when they opened this store, but not anymore. Will not go to Camping World again, unless it is a last ditch-effort!

theresa brown
2 years ago

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
2 years ago

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
2 years ago

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
2 years ago

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 hidden damage (including water damage they covered but left leaking), and ALL the various free services and location-only gift cards became worthless a couple weeks after the sale when that location abruptly closed.  Other CW locations washed their hands of making good on ANY of their franchises’ misdeeds. The manager who MADE the deal moved to another CW location, and still refused to honor anything. If there could be an example of NOT standing behind a sale, they did it.  

Since then, I’ve gotten really familiar with interior panels, replacing UV-baked roof vents, roof sealants and eternabond tape! You could say I got an education in RV buying at CW…

Larry
2 years ago

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 that I have had under warranty. What would take weeks to get CW to even look at, my tech normally fixes (correctly) in a few hours. I stopped wasting my time with CW.

Thom Sloan
2 years ago

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
2 years ago

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. Plus, Lemonis’s comment on Trump supporters! Well, we go out of our way to shop somewhere else. A friend of ours left a current RV dealership because of CW buying it. Then when he opened his own mobile service, CW threatened him if he did work on their units for their customers. He settled that by opening a separate business.

mike s.
1 year ago

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
2 years ago

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 felt at CW. So ~~ CW is bad because it is no different than others?

Renee Galligher
2 years ago
Reply to  Captn John

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.

Chip Cavender
2 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

If you can get a 20 year loan and a low monthly payment at a low interest rate, why not take it.?
That is what I did after getting a good sale price.
(I did not buy from Camping World)
Then I paid 2 or 3 payments a month. Sometimes 1 payment each month.
That way I could control the resulting length of the loan and enjoy the low interest rate.
I paid the loan off in 7 years.
Right ? Wrong ? I felt very comfortable with the results.

Joe Allen
2 years ago

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 would not be doing any more business with CW. The same went for the NFL package from Directv. They won’t see my money anymore either! Bottom line, like someone else on here stated, we are grown adults and need to decide who gets our money and who doesn’t!

fRANÇOIS rOCHON
2 years ago

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 WHAT I CALL SERVICE !

Mike
2 years ago

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 so I offered them $8000 less than they were asking and told them I talked to the previous owner that traded in the day before, had not cleaned it up and they took my offer since I had made the telephone call. They probably didn’t know I had nosed through the owners manual but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Have been very pleased with our Minnie Winnie.

Renee Galligher
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Good for you MIke!

Roy Ellithorpe
2 years ago

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 door, but bullying your suppliers into cutting you off crosses a line.

ReneeG
2 years ago
Reply to  Roy Ellithorpe

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
2 years ago

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.