Single mom pays price for taking Camping World salesman’s advice

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How important is doing your research and homework before buying an RV?

Listen to Jessica Knoelk’s story of how her dream of RV ownership became a nightmare, as explained in an interview on The RV Show USA. She says now she should never have accepted what her Camping World salesman told her.

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Jim

WHY is it these women first thing out of their mouth is “I AM A SINGLE MOM” who cares, I am not the father. My first question is why? Were you ever married? or you just like having kids? The latter is your fault. Either way what does that have to do with anything?
Or are you all advertising for a man?
I am sorry for ranting about something that has nothing to do with the story.
Or does it, she started it with “I AM A SINGLE MOM”

Ryan

The best rule is to look at the stickers on trailer/camper and your tow vehicles rating. Only accept a trailer that is 75% of your tow vehicles rating. Partially due to the amount of extra weight people put in their tow vehicle to go camping ( inc extra people on vehicle). I’ve done this and never had a problem.

Captn John

Yes, she is a mess. At a minimum 99.999% her own fault. No research, asked no one for help during the process either. Would like to see the numbers on her door. If the salesman knew enough to look he probably knew enough to give decent advice. ***

Gary S.

The first thing anyone even thinking about buying a trailer should hear is Never, Never, Never believe it when a salesman tells you, ‘Your truck can pull it.’ I was at a show in January where I saw a 5th wheel with that handwritten sign on the door ‘Weight is only xxxx lbs!’. From the size of the camper, it just looked wrong and I stepped around and looked at the sticker. The GVWR was between 4-5000 lbs over what the sign on the door said.

Notwithstanding that, its still ultimately up to the purchaser to match up their vehicle and camper. But its a damn shame and deceitful that the sellers are so blatantly misstating weights and what can be towed.

jgvtxman

I feel bad for Jessica of course. Horrible first experience. However, there are some basic mistakes made along the way—some very innocent and others easily avoided. 90% of these have nothing to do with Camping World and I would be right up there with others criticizing their practices. First of all, an eco boost twin turbo engine is a beast with plenty of power to pull the trailer provided it has the proper gear ratio and setup (i.e. springs, sway bars, proper towing pkg which includes trans oil cooler, etc.). Does Jessica know about tow/haul mode? Was it hot summer and how fast was she trying to go? Did she have the truck loaded full and was she hauling all sorts of water in the tanks? Many variables. They make trucks with that engine with gears like 3:31 rear end just for good mileage, that don’t have a max tow pkg, so you have to check all the numbers to get the actual towing capacity. Secondly, she was snookered into GS insurance and was lied to about coverage that day. Her normal insurance would have been in effect most likely and she could have called right away to add it anyway. Camping World lie/trick. Thirdly, she believed that an ESP on a trailer would also cover the tow vehicle. I think not! Never heard of that at least. Like a warranty on a car wouldn’t cover the trailer. Hello? A decent (not GS) insurance might have covered the fridge problem somehow, but again, nothing to do with Jessica or Camping World. By interview time, (which was never brought out by host) she should know the answers as to why and what for regarding CW and GS and the actual towing capacities of the truck. We are missing many facts here and sort of sadly, another case of poor victim syndrome. This may sound insensitive, but I don’t mean for it to. Good luck in the future as it will get better.

Mark Hallewell

I waited about one year before buying an RV. That gave me plenty of time to read books, magazines and videos about the RV lifestyle and consequently I made an informed purchase with no regrets.

This woman should have verified for herself the towing capacity of her truck. It is written on the specifications plate of her truck along with the tire pressure, weight, etc. Did she really need such a huge RV for her and her son only? How did she manage to run out of drinking water on her trip? Anyone who is not financially well off and does not have a house or apartment has no business buying an RV to live in as their primary home. Obviously Snowbirds who are financially secure and buy a motorhome to live in 24/7 are an exception to this rule.

Anyone who drives through Montana knows how steep the roads are. Towing a trailer up a steep hill in summer will put a big strain on the engine and transmission. The secret to avoid engine and transmission damage is to let the tow vehicle idle for a few minutes before shutting off the engine so the cooling system can circulate a few more times and cool the engine and transmission down.

Camping world is making enormous inroads into the RV industry. They recently bought out Tom Rapier RV who used to be one of the biggest RV dealers in the USA with three branches.

Robert B.

Like Jessica, I too had gone to a Camping World a couple years ago to buy a trailer and the salesman tried to put me into a rig that was too big for my 4 Runner. After seeing that they would try to sell me something too big to tow, I decided NOT to buy at Camping World and went to a mom and pop RV dealer (Trail Center, Charleston, SC) and found they were honest and sold me a trailer that was within weight limits. It’s been a very happy 2 years RV’ing. I also am very careful to maintain my 4 Runner and trailer to avoid breaking down. We took a trip out to Montana, like this lady did, and had a wonderful trip. So sorry that wasn’t the case for her. Every time I pass a Camping World I thank God I didn’t buy there.

Bill T.

Sorry but the fault lies with her. Other than looking at the models you want to physically see, on the lot, 90% of the RV research should happen prior to viewings at the dealer. She should have read the Ford manual for towing capacity of her truck, and be ready with arrangements to inspect the rig and close the deal. The salesperson is there to get you the keys and organize the paperwork. Thanks Chuck for the story. The more the word gets out there the better consumers can learn to protect themselves.

LR Lee

I just listened to this podcast (posted on YouTube). I’m sorry but 99% of this lady’s issues are her own fault! Yes, it’s totally wrong that the dealer sold her unit out from under her but she agrees that they made it right in the end = satisfied. Sure the salesman could’ve advised her incorrectly regarding her tow vehicle. THAT’S WHERE OTHERS FAULTS ENDS.The remainder of fault lies on this lady.
Firstly, it’s darn near common sense that a V6 (even being turbo’ed) isn’t capable of safely towing a trailer of that size. Secondly, she didn’t take the advice of others & made a conscious decision to continue on her trip several hours despite it already overheating… of course it’s going to fail. Which, in turn, leads to her being “stranded” and everything else that follows.
Thanks for sharing this good content. Bottom line is being a first time RV owner (& jumping into “full-timing” at that!), you must educate yourself on everything. Don’t rely on others (especially salespeople/dealers as their goal is one thing = $$$$$) to do the research for you. Purchasing an RV for full-timing is a major life & financial decision. Would you do the same if you were buying a car? A home?! Real estate?!!?… No, you wouldn’t (or as my point is, you shouldn’t!).
Warmest Regards,
LR