Camping World home RV delivery plan is bad idea

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By Chuck Woodbury
OpinionEarlier this week, Camping World announced a new “Home RV Delivery Service” that lets RV buyers shop online for a new RV and have it delivered right to their driveway, sight unseen.

camping world

I think this a terrible idea, another attempt by CEO Marcus Lemonis to extract every dollar he can from you and me, and in particular from members of the Good Sam Club, which he once publicly called “marketing tools.” Under Lemonis’ rule, the Good Sam Club has basically degraded from an active RV enthusiast organization into a mailing list/discount club for Camping World and campgrounds, which pay Lemonis for the privilege of being a Good Sam Park. In my opinion, Lemonis (who has never owned an RV), has no interest in RVers or the RV lifestyle beyond their dollars.

According to Camping World, as touted in a sponsored Facebook message, “the home delivery service will begin in January and select RV models will be available for home delivery.” Customers will find their “perfect RV” online and a driver will bring it to them. They’ll browse select inventory of home delivery RVs and “become familiar with these RVs with detailed walk-through videos, photographs, floor plans, specs and more.” They can then request more info on the RV that’s “right for them,” and a salesperson will be in contact. Camping World staff will work with them on financing (an excellent source of additional profit) and paperwork.


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THIS COMES AT A TIME when defective RVs are rolling off the assembly lines in record numbers. Buyers who do not personally CAREFULLY inspect an RV they plan to buy are playing Russian roulette. Relying on photos, images and product information from Camping World — which will do all it can to make the product look absolutely wonderful — is a terrible idea that consumers should avoid like a charging Grizzly Bear.

If a would-be buyer is not willing to visit a dealership to inspect an RV carefully before buying, he or she should not be buying an RV in the first place.

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Oscar Salas
1 year ago

Below is a letter sent to Camping World headquarters and Keystone Owner’s Relations

I am writing to you as my last hope of getting a resolution regarding warranty repairs to my 2018 Keystone Cougar 5th Wheel (4YDF28324JC502989).
I purchased this unit in April 2018, at the Camping World located in Bakersfield, CA.

I am a Law Enforcement retiree and my wife has been retired due to a disability. We decided to purchase an RV so we can travel during the summer and take a break during the winter, in our home base in Alabama. We basically live in the RV.

While doing the orientation, a few issues were found.
The hose for the outside sprayer was missing.
The top, cover, of the kitchen sink was also missing.
As far as I know, this items were, knowingly, removed from the unit in order to replace items missing in another unit.
The hose for the sprayer was replaced with another from other unit as well as the kitchen sink top.
The dining table was ripped from the floor and the sofa-bed was ripped from the wall. Their solution was to put the, table and sofa’s screws back in the same place, where they originally were. They all came loose during the trip and I had to put new screws so I can safely finish the trip, without furniture bouncing all over. The Bakersfield service department was made aware of all of this.

When I tried to use the Water heater, it didn’t work. Mr. Benjamin Hutchins (bhutchings@campingworld.com) sent a repairman that they use to do repairs on-site for their customers.

Toward the end of June 2018, we embark on a 12,000 miles trip around the country.
Soon after, and before we reached our first destination, the latch on the passenger side LP tank storage compartment came loose and lost. Then I noticed the door was wide open and banging the side of the RV. I Pulled over and secured the door with duct tape.

In Oklahoma, I had a tire going flat, and when the assistance sent by Good Sam Road Assistance, removed the tire, he found out that one of the lug nuts was crossed threaded. He replaced the tire with the spare tire and I had to continue our trip with a missing lug nut.
The driver side skirt, over the RV wheels, lost most of the screws and almost flew open, and could had caused an accident. I checked the screws in the skirt on the passenger side, and they were about to come off. More duct tape on both side.

The slide seals were damaged and replaced. The slide’s seal were damaged again. The parts were ordered but one of the parts was the wrong one. When I traveled back to Alabama, the slide’s seals were sent with me. They still laying behind the recliners, in the slide.

When I left Bakersfield, some of the issues were approved for repair and the proper work orders were transferred to the Camping World in Dothan, AL, which is the closest Camping World to me. As of the writing of this letter, I haven’t heard from Camping World, Dothan, AL.

During our trip back to Alabama, due to my wife specialists appointments, we rested at a truck stop located in Flagstaff, AZ. That night the temperature dropped down to 33 degrees. I proceeded to use the furnace for the first time. Everything went fine until the furnace quit working in the middle of the night. After several attempts, trying to get it going, it didn’t work.

Upon my arrival to Camping World Dothan, Al, Mr. Daniel Paulk (daniel.paulk@campingworld.com) (866-504-3880), checked the thermostat and found a burnt fuse. He proceeded to tell me that they “don’t have that type of fuse in stock” and told if I wanted the furnace going, I have to go the a local car parts store and get one. I couldn’t find one.
That was his solution to the problem. He never offered to help me in any shape or form. I was left there, in the parking lot, to find a solution.

After several attempts to communicate with anybody in the service department, they suggested, and provided the information, for me to call Scott Johnson (334-258-5905) (334—701-7472) (Fax: 334-403-8054) of Vacation Services, so he can look at the problem.
Mr. Johnson, is a preview employee of Camping World, Dothan, and he services warranties for several manufacturers. He found out what the problem was, contacted Camping World, Dothan, Al, but nothing was resolved.

Other things that need to be added to the repair list are:
Skylight over shower, the screws were driven through it and they are barely holding it.
The window panes in the dining room, were overlapping and when my wife went to open one of it, it shattered in million pieces.
A bolt that holds the A/C together was broken and since is not tight, on that end, it leaks when it rains.
The power cord male end needs to be replaced. The work needs to be charged to Camping World, Bakersfield, CA. They offered to replace it at no charge to me.
A light lens, in the bathroom is cracked.

The Camping World, Dothan, customer service has a lot to be DESIRED. They are not only a DISGRACE to the values of the company they work for, but also the values of the manufacturers they represent. I have never, ever, in my life, have been treated the way I have been treated by them. They don’t have a clue as to what customer service is.

I’ve contacted Keystone Owner’s Relations and spoke with Ms. April Goodman (case: JC502989)(goodp@keystonerv.com)(866-425-4369). After explaining my situation, he contacted Camping World, Dothan, AL, and after several tried, she was able to intercede on my behalf. They told her they’ll get in touch with me within a couple of days.

As of the writing of this letter, they haven’t had the DECENCY of contact me in any shape or form.

I have complete documentation including photos. Due to emails size limit, I will be glad to burn everything in a CD and mail it to you.

Travilenman
2 years ago

CW along w/manf’ DONT care if your RV is a POS… They want the $$$$ and too bad so sad, they tell you, when you finally figure out that the shiny new RV is really a POS…Buy one UNSEEN??? Not on my watch…..

James Fulton
2 years ago

IS THE DELIVERY PLAN A BAD IDEA? Unfortunately, if the idea kicks off as a convenience as the internet did to retail industry which is effecting big name stores and the small independent owned stores the “Delivery Plan” will cause a major shift in the way motorhomes of all sizes will be sold. I prefer to shop for ideas on the internet and then go to a dealership to touch, smell and see the coach that I’m interested in. Then I want to set down face to face with the dealer representative to make a deal. Doing business over the telephone and internet makes deal so impersonal. My offer on a coach is based upon my touch, smell and see, not from pictures and hearsay.

Mary Burge
2 years ago

We actually did this . And it worked out fine. We spent time on the internet and we were able to see a unit (live and in person) that was the same mfr. and year, different floor plan. Oredered what we wanted, searched pricing and told them what we wanted to pay etc. and we thought they were going to order it from the factory. Instead, the local CW found one in inventory out of state at another CW and had it delivered to our house by that dealership and we drove it to the local Cw and completed all the paperwork and walk through. No isssues. Completely prepped. The driver drove another unit from this Cw back out of state to his CW , in, I would guess an inventory of like value swap. That was 2 years ago. The local Cw has been completely supportive and we’ve only had little things go wrong.

carl jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Burge

Well that’s different that what this story is about. In your case all CW did was bring in another unit from another location, you went to the local CW, did a walk through and signed papers. This story is about buyers who find and buy the RV online and have it delivered to their driveway without ever stepping foot in the dealership.

Captn John
2 years ago

Well, I too think it is a bad idea but if there is a market others will follow. I live near Myrtle Beach SC and CW sells a lot of units that are delivered to a CG that will never be towed. They have 2 service vans at the location.
I purchased my last 3 units there. Service has been very good, prices also very good. I know the sales mgr well and 1 of the sales persons. Parts managers at both locations ~ we know each other by name.
Recently I ordered a truck accessory at CW online and had it delivered to a parts mgr at CW. It was drop shipped from the mfg. When it arrived they took my truck into a bay and installed. CW at Myrtle techs only knew it arrived and to install. On my 1st trip weeks later it was noticed a smaller item was delivered than ordered. I figured the smaller one cost less than the $560 paid so sent a note on Tuesday and by the following Tuesday I had 2 great options. The accessory cost was refunded.
No, they are not all bad. Actually I have had good luck in several locations but Myrtle Beach has been great.

Clayobx
2 years ago
Reply to  Captn John

You sir definitely have the blessed “luck of the Irish!”

George
2 years ago

I bought an “experienced” fifth wheel (my third) from a dealer who also had a Camping World store. Because of the 5er purchase I got a great discount on products but otherwise, and since, would never buy from CW. Their products are the same as most any other RV store at a very inflated price. Hmm, I wonder how long Lisa has worked for CW.

Kern
2 years ago
Reply to  George

We bought our 2014 Pioneer 25 BH from Camping World. It took 2 years to straighten out the mess the finance guy did on addresses, vehicles, the list goes onl. Also, the walk through person did not know that we could add the heat strip to the A/C unit. It took 4 Camping Worlds techs (repair guys) and even then they did not know much about the heat strip. We bought the strip and had our mobile mechanic install it in a few minutes.

Neil...aka...Neil
2 years ago

Big business models will always ruin little business quality. ALWAYS! Stick with the little guys, they try harder! I’d rather hunt down a mom and pop shop and wait a day for parts rather than wait all day in a place with cheap parts and over inflated labor charges. The mobile RV repair business is booming these days and it’s almost always a better experience than dealerships. References speak louder than anything so do a little research. Also, don’t be afraid to fix some of these things yourself. Almost anything you can imagine is on the internet with regards to repairs or maintenance. YouTube is awesome for this stuff. At least you’ll know it’s done right if you do it!

Tom
2 years ago

Addendum to 7:38 comment above … while I waited 7 hours … over two days for the 4 hoses to arrive … the tech … who told me of his contractual arrangement with CW, wasted none of his time, but immediately diverted to other jobs, so he was not just waiting around for my hoses to arrive! The manager is apparently under pressure with LeMonis to turn in great profit numbers … so in order to secure his employment simply adds unethical hours to the bills of unsuspecting and inexperienced RVr’s! Considering my experience alone, it boggles the mind to project the amazing numbers the manager must turn in … on a monthly basis!! They wanted me to leave the coach there while we waited for parts, but thank God I stayed in the coach for the duration. , or I would have not had such a strong case! I threatened to post the experience online and they expressed no concern … so here it is!!

Tom
2 years ago

I went to a Camping World in Fla last year for a leaking generator water hose. The tech doing the work was not an employee but rather a contractor who was paid for the job … at a predetermined rate. We waited 7 hours for 4 new hoses to arrive … I replaced all 4 … and the actual work took about an hour. I was presented with an 8 hour bill at about $129/hr plus parts!!
I was actually there for the work and when I complained loudly, adding that I used to own heavy trucks, the manager reduced the bill to 2 hrs!! Rip-off … absolutely!!

John Zurflueh
2 years ago

It could be a good service if the dealer delivers units that have been THOROUGHLY inspected and give a complete walk through at delivery. Given the quality problems from RV factories, I believe the dealer needs to be responsible for superficial defects and make it clear that they (the dealer) will represent them in all warranty matters. Keep the pressure on the manufacturers to clean up their quality control!

Ed
2 years ago

This is literally “buyer beware”. Who in their right mind would buy a camper from CW, much less sight unseen. Actually, it’s insulting that he thinks folks trust him enough to buy into this program. Look at PissedOffConsumer.com. Lemonis is nothing more than a modern day P.T. Barnum.

Mike & Louise Bacque
2 years ago

OMG, what a crazy marketing idea. My wife and I have owned 13 RVs in our lifetime and we can attest that you have to see and feel it with your own eyes and touch before buying. There are simply too many considerations in an RV purchase which cannot be had by viewing a brochure or website page. Most people wouldn’t consider buying clothing online for fear of fit and sizing, same goes for an RV, at the very least. Of course, if you have money to burn what’s the worry?!

Jeffrey
2 years ago

The question I have is: Do you have the OPTION to refuse delivery if the RV arrives and you don’t like it, or it is seriously defective? There has to be a 30 day return policy or something???

Knowing the RIP OFF that Camping World is! THIS IS A REALLY BAD IDEA!

Wayne Caldwell
2 years ago

Fantastic idea!!! Now, here in New Mexico, I can go to two company’s websites — one to look at, preview, and order an RV (trailer) and another to look at, preview, and order a new truck. All from the comfort of my recliner that I ordered online from Amazon and was delivered by UPS. As Yakov Smirnoff said in his early days of stand-up comedy, “Wow! What a country!”
And to think, some people will REALLY do this.

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

I don’t think there has EVER been an RV bought with absolutely no problems or issues. This is nuts. Is the driver who delivers your new RV also going to show up with a tool bag, ready to fix all the problems? Of course not. So there you are, ignorant of all things RV (if you’re buying your first RV), and no one around to help you get started. And if you’re NOT new to RV’ing, I can ‘t imagine buying one sight unseen (pictures or not).

Andy - Pargh
2 years ago

So, what type of hoops does the online buyer need to jump through in order to obtain timely service? Will the new RV be delivered with a thorough PDI being performed prior to delivery? Since this program is geared towards buyers who do not live within a reasonable distance to a CampingWorld location, how are initial defects and ongoing service needs handled?

It’s no secret that long waits for service appointments are the norm in this industry and I would rather see an announcement from CampingWorld they are expanding their service facilities nationwide to accommodate the influx of new RV’s on the road than one that simply states they are finding ways to put more units on the road.

Until the RV manufacturing matures to the point where its products are as reliable as today’s automobiles, I don’t see CampingWorld’s home delivery program as one that benefits the consumer.

Paul G
2 years ago
Reply to  Andy - Pargh

Ha! I know you speaking rhetorically about the PDI. Fact is they prolly just tell the customer to schedule an appt and wait in line like the rest.
Sad but mostly likely true. With no current RV lemons laws, the dealers are niot held accountable. meh..

Ken
2 years ago

Rather than trying to sell RVs on line they should work on improving their on line sales of regular products. i.e. is the item in stock at the local store? If not, can you order it online and have it delivered to the local store WITHOUT having to pay extra shipping costs. Other major online retailers (Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc.) do this.

Lisa
2 years ago

I think if someone wants to go that route,Good for them.
I purchased from Camoworld.Great experience. I have used service for Warranty work,Great experience. No issues with CW at all. Sick of the bashing I read and I ask people all the time,have you ever been to CD? Over 70 to 80% say no,I heard. Wow. Every dealer has issues mostly due to manufacturer,not people who sale them. You don’t have to own something that you sale. Stop bashing.

Steve
2 years ago

I would not generally buy one from them in person. Let alone buy one without seeing it. I’ve put deposits on ones I’ve seen online contingent upon me seeing and inspecting it.

Alan
2 years ago

They’ve always been a greedy bunch