Saturday, September 30, 2023


Another RV Horror Story, again about Camping World

Dear editor
We are in our 60s and wanted a smaller camper. We were going to get a travel trailer and then got interested in class C motorhomes, used or leftover. We have a 33-foot Laredo, but it is too long. We have not used it that much but we thought maybe a small class C would be great.

We almost bought a leftover Freedom Elite 24-foot with a Mercedes engine because it was on sale. But the day before the time came to sign papers, I did research and upon our appointment decided to look at all the areas of concern listed by customers by the Better Business Bureau.

Camping World coerced us to sign, telling us they would deal with any issues. We almost bought a really bad deal. Luckily, the seat belt would not work and we did not drive it off the lot. While they were working on that, my husband found a hole behind the seat; you could see to the ground. They claimed it passed a water pressure test but my husband was still looking and he could get his hand through to the inside in a warped area of the slideout so we don’t know how it possibly passed any water test.

I also had found water inside above the bed and outside in the lights and storage areas. They said it was just because they had just washed it. I asked what if it rains?

We later found that in the hordes of paperwork we signed we did not realize that some of the paperwork was “as is”.

We got info from our insurance man and our bank and we are out of the deal waiting to get our finances all straightened out and that our down payment is back safe. 

My question is, how do we know that we can find a good left over or slightly used reasonable camper “name” for our camping pleasure. Can you tell us something that would help. We are still wiping our brows and going “Whew!” 

Dear “Lucky RVers!”
Good to hear that you wised up fast enough to avoid signing a deal with Camping World. Our advice is, as always, do your research, and have any rig you are considering buying inspected by a professional RV technician or other highly knowledgeable person. And, our advice: Stay clear of Camping World. If you think that’s bad advice click here to read what others think of the company.

Perhaps readers can provide some of their own advice below in the comments.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


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So judgy
3 years ago

The CW in St.George, UT has always been great to deal with for repairs to our Class A diesel pusher. They have been not only nice, but the repairs have been done right and done on time. Our experience with CW has been that – just like shopping at Wal-Mart – some are great, some NOT.

Jesse Crouse
3 years ago

I am in the Plumbing & Heating “PROFESSION”. I only work with people and other companies by REFERENCES. Someone put their name behind another persons name. BUY AN RV THE SAME WAY. I have bought 2 travel trailers and 2 motor homes from the SAME dealer- NO problems that weren’t fixed.End of story!

Thom Ritter
3 years ago

When we did the walk-through when buying our 2013 Coachmen Mirada new, the “technician” in sloppy overalls said “They can slap one of these together in 8 hours!”…not a confidence builder!
I am a lifetime mechanic, so I have taken care of any issues on my own, rather than rely on their buffoons.
I feel sorry for folks who have to take their coach into a dealer for repairs.

3 years ago

Yes, good day! My wife and I would like to say, after we did our research last spring, we will never buy our used Motorhome from any big name dealer or private party! We highly suggest you go to Parkway RV Center page on YouTube, and check them out! It’s a family owned business for 50+ years now! And they do have very high reputation. We are purchasing our first from them, early next year! We watch the tour videos they have, nearly everyday!! Good luck in your RV search!!

3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene

Sounds like this post is nothing more than an advertisement for Parkway RV Center. I looked at the reviews on Facebook and this place sounds like a nightmare.

4 years ago

Buy a no slide LazyDaze Class C.

Paul Stough
4 years ago

It seems to me that there are a good number of people who go to Camping World hoping for a bad experience, just so they have something to complain about on forums like this.

RV Staff
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Stough

Uh huh. 😉 —Diane at

Ed D.
4 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Please tell me you are being facetious and not agreeing with what this individual posted?

RV Staff
4 years ago
Reply to  Ed D.

Hi, Ed. Yes, I was definitely being facetious. It’s difficult to see, but that’s a winking emoji I added. —Diane at

Paul Stough
4 years ago

I would like to know how you were coerced? Did they physically threaten you, or are you just totally inept at dealing with sales people?

Ed D.
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Stough

I’d like to know why you are so rude and condescending to a fellow rv’er?

4 years ago

On the Friday before Memorial Day in 2018, we were at an RV Park near Valdosta, GA. Our slide outs would not retract. We couldn’t move. Valdosta RV sent a repairman to us who worked for more than 2 hours. He finally found the short circuit, and repaired it. I cannot say enough good things about Valdosta RV.

3 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Thanks for the review of Valdosta RV were frequently thru this section of I 75.👍

4 years ago

One thing I believe in is finding a dealer you can feel that they are at least mostly HONEST. I was lucky with the dealer I first bought a TT from. He first advised that as we were close to retirement, to make certain floorplans into consideration. He was right. A walk around bed was the best for us. It was fall so we would have our new TT by spring. When it came in, he said it would take a week or two to check everything about it. By time we did the PDI, he had fixed any problems. As this was our first TT and the first time I would be towing anything, he took me out on the road and gave me a lesson. He was a small family dealer, repair facility and campground owner. As I said, I was lucky.

Robin Canfield
4 years ago

I am confused,the folks said they avoided a mess then said they had signed the paperwork , then said they were waiting to get their down payment back? I doubt that Camping World would cancel a sale after collecting the down payment. So what really happened?

4 years ago
Reply to  Robin Canfield

I agree this story is lacking a lot of the story.

4 years ago
Reply to  Tom

“Lacking” certainly is one way to phrase it. How precisely does a store “coerce” someone into signing a contract? That’s a pretty strong word to use in writing in a public venue.

And this? “We later found that in the hordes of paperwork we signed we did not realize that some of the paperwork was “as is”.”

They’re in their 60’s and they don’t know they are supposed to read paperwork and contracts before signing it? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a purchase agreement for anything where phrases such as “as is” were not bold-faced and usually are in all caps.

4 years ago

Friends Don’t Let Friends go to Camping World!

4 years ago
Reply to  Mobeans

Now that Statement should be on a BUMPER STICKER!

Kimberly Suzelle Jones
4 years ago

Yea i bought a 2005 Pilgrim fifth wheel from camping world in Cleburne Tx BEWARE dont buy from them !!

Vanessa Simmons
4 years ago

Apache RV in Portland OR. Small “local” (also have lots in the Seattle area). The first place I went was CW because they are big and in your face right next to I-84. Just looked around wasn’t anywhere near buying then. Driving to Denny’s one morning I noticed this little RV lot. Stopped in and the sales person walked me through multiple new and used units in my price range. No high pressure. A few months later I went to the RV show and looked for them. The model I had decided on was no longer in production but found another one I am currently sitting in. No pressure.

3 years ago

Apache RV seems like they are great. Considering buying my first trailer from them. They seem really no pressure and giving me the facts. Even told me, “That’s what the published spec says, but it’s really longer than that. Let me get a tape measure and we’ll check.” Saved me because I thought the trailer would fit in my garage, but it would not. Considering a smaller model now.

Larry Bunch
4 years ago

I bought a Forest River Surveyor fifth wheel new from Demartini RV store in Grass Valley California. I had a lot of problems with it and they took care of everything. Then while it was under warranty the remote dump black water cable would not completely shut off. I took it to camping world inVacaville Calif. Because I live only a few blocks from them. They dropped the belly pan and it sat for 3 weeks untouched. I kept complaining. Finally I went in there and told the service advisor lady that if they did not have it fixed by 5 pm I would return with a sledge hammer and beat all the glass out of their store. The lady screamed and ran out of the store and ran away. I guess she quit. Finally

4 years ago
Reply to  Larry Bunch

C’mon! You’re killing me with the suspense, you writing this from jail perhaps?

Stay cool

Cindy Martin
4 years ago
Reply to  Larry Bunch

We had a similar problem. Took our unit in with storm damage – needed AC repaired, anennae and awning replaced. It took them 6 weeks. They replaced the AC without permission, and did such a bad job installing the antennae that it rained in! We had to repair it ourselves. Took ‘WAY too long as we were living in it at the time and had to stay with our son for those 6 weeks. He didn’t really have room for the 3 of us in his tiny apartment 60 miles away. This was in Indianapolis in 2009, I think. So they took forever, replaced parts without asking, did a bad install job….what else is there to say?

Robert Helgeson
4 years ago

Get a Phoenix Cruiser. Do the factory tour in Elkhart. We have the 3100, love it, drove it 15,000 miles over 5 months from Florida to Alaska and back. Quality product with excellent factory backing.

4 years ago

Get a Pleasure Way.

Mark w
3 years ago
Reply to  Susan

I just sold my 2017 pleasure way. Only one complaint the three drawers that slide out are made very cheaply and when I put dishes etc. in them they went off kilter and wouldn’t close properly and opened on there own while driving. Other then that there about the best RVs you’ll find.

4 years ago

We purchased a travel trailer from our local Camping World 2 years ago. Our only complaint, so far, is their service department. Our first visit, after a long road trip, for numerous warranty issues took 3 months to complete before we got the trailer back. Our most recent warranty repair and some general maintanence took 5 weeks before we picked it up. One of my complaints was the tongue Jack didn’t always work since buying it. They said it was okay. While they were hooking me up my service adviser informed me that the tongue Jack failed. They had a new one installed in 30 minutes covered by our warranty service plan. Needless to say I left with a smile on my face.

4 years ago
Reply to  WMSCV

A nurse at the local VA told me that she and her husband had purchased a TT at CW about a year earlier. Their first RV of any kind. They quickly took it for a weekend shakedown and discovered some problems. The return to CW for the repairs, was the last time they saw their unit for 6 months. They got their TT back and the problems were still not addressed.

David Friar
4 years ago

I have noticed that some Camping World locations have changed their name to Gander RV. They are the same company, so I wonder if this is their way of getting away from their bad reputation.

Linda Brady
4 years ago
Reply to  David Friar

You are probably right! CW’s other marketing strategy is to buy up smaller dealers, keep the name the same, move in CW or Gander merchandise, and “distance” themselves from the bad rep! Screw me once shame you; screw me twice shame on me! Sorry, CW, saw that one coming and ain’t buying it.

Chuck Wagoner
4 years ago

While in Denver, CO. last fall, we stopped in at Camping World to ask a question. The conversation went like this – service mgr
asked “can I help you”?.
I said “I have a question about our 5th wheel camper”. Service manager said “bring it in and we can help you”.
I again said “I just have a question about” –
I was interrupted by the service manager saying “we don’t answer questions, we just fix the problem, bring it in”.
I looked him in the eye and said “not a chance”. We left with the knowledge that camping world is neither helpful or a place we will return to.

Edward Thompson
4 years ago

My wife and I had an excellent experience with Timberview RV in Frankfort, IL.

We purchased our Shadow Cruiser travel trailer via the Internet and the salesperson was totally honest, responsive and transparent.

After driving 1000+ miles from Jacksonville Florida, we picked up our camper on a very cold March morning! The unit was prepped in their heated servicing building and a technician spent more than two hours with us as we closely inspected the unit and learned how all the systems worked. We completed the paperwork in 15 minutes and there were no hidden fees or surprises.

Every person we worked with at the dealership was friendly and competent.

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