Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV buyers: Never fall for this RV sales gimmick!

By Chuck Woodbury

Camping World is advertising what first appears to be a great opportunity to buy an RV with no hassle. You simply select your RV online, and then a Camping World employee will deliver it right to your front door.

No doubt, some buyers get sucked into this scheme, which, while legal, should be avoided at all costs. As almost every experienced RVer knows, virtually every new RV has problems serious enough to need to be professionally repaired. Most are easily repaired but some are so riddled with defects they can require months in the shop, including many appointments to finally get everything right. It is not uncommon to hear RVers say their new RV was in the shop more the first year than it was in their possession.

Anyone who buys an RV should inspect it up and down, backward and forward, and if they are even halfway smart have a professional RV technician or inspector go through it inch by inch. It’s much like when we buy a home, when a home inspector examines it looking for issues that we would likely never spot on our own.

So what happens when that Camping World (or other RV dealer) employee shows up with your brand-new, beautiful RV? You fall in love, head over heels. Some buyers will probably just sign the paperwork without examining the vehicle at all. They think buying an RV is like buying a car, that everything works.


Watch this video from an RV lemon law attorney.

And even if they spot a problem here or there, and point it out to the delivery person (who is trained in sales), he or she will say, “Oh, no problem. The RV is under warranty. Just make a list, make an appointment and we’ll get everything fixed.”

And the buyer is so blind with RV love, and so afraid to send their beautiful new vehicle back, he or she agrees. “Okay, where do I sign?”

THE ONLY PROBLEM is that when they call to make an appointment, 8 times out of 10 they’ll need to wait a week or two (or longer) to get an appointment, and even when they finally drop it off it can remain there for weeks on end while the dealer waits for parts, or because the service people are so swamped with work, and there’s only so many hours in the day.

So, I say to you, never buy a new RV sight unseen, and steer clear from any dealer that tries to get you to buy that way, especially if they say they’ll deliver the RV to your door.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodburyhttps://rvtravel.com
I'm the founder and publisher of RVtravel.com. 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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Thomas (@guest_94126)
3 years ago

Amazing how someone inserted a camping world ad right in the middle of your article condemning them. At least on my tablet

Rom (@guest_94158)
3 years ago
Reply to  Thomas

It would be the very first RV Outfit whom I would think of when it comes to shady practices, devious statements, and making nightmares from a new buyers dreams.

RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  Thomas

Hi, Thomas. If it’s not the little image that was put in about the article that you’re referring to, it was most likely a Google auto-inserted ad. Those are based on content in the article (Big Brother is watching!), so I’m not surprised that a Camping World ad popped up in the middle of the article. We didn’t put it in there. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Betty Langenfeld (@guest_84305)
3 years ago

What companies sell insurance for motor homes?

Bill. Telephone bill (@guest_81955)
3 years ago

So very true. I flew 300mi north to pick up my used rig with only 10k miles on it. Didn’t drive it until I left the lot. 15 miles down the bumpy road I though why is this road so bumpy.
After 25-30 miles I started to wonder. Long story is it had a bent rim on the front which a tire shop confirmed 65 miles down the road. Drive it. Inspect it, before you take ownership.
The dealer shipped me a new rim.

Mike (@guest_81939)
3 years ago

I bought a new TT from camping world. Repairs were made prior to buying(new). No problem there. When in the office to pay for the trailer the sales guy says, Oh, we forgot to add the $1200. Shipping cost for the trailer. I stood up, said we’re done here. They reconsidered. I know they still made money off of me or they wouldn’t sell me the rig. Such snakes. You need to pay attention to everything. I understand they need to make money to stay in business , but they need to do it honestly. That’s all I’m asking for.

Loretta (@guest_81842)
3 years ago

We bought a used motorhome one time. When we went to pick it up the sales lot was closed. Some kind of emergency. So they said they would deliver it to our house. When they did, they handed us the paperwork to sign, but we noticed the interest rate on the loan was changed to a much higher rate. We told them to take the motorhome back. We wouldn’t sign for it. After several phone calls, the interest rate was changed back to what we had originally agreed to. Be sure to carefully check the paperwork before signing.

Rory R (@guest_81675)
3 years ago

The tip should be “Never buy a RV sight unseen and have it professionally inspected, before you sign anything or take possession”. That goes for any RV, new, used, towable, or motorized. It makes no difference if it is from a dealer or private party, and ask for all maintenance records on a used RV.

TravelingMan (@guest_81551)
3 years ago

Best way to beat this financially….BUY USED! Get a 1 or 2 year old unit. You wont’ have to deal with all of the downtime the previous owner had to. And another fact…If you buy right (hone your negotiating skills), you will have the RV for several years before the depreciated value catches up. We used our unit 4.5 years without loosing a dime due to depreciation.

Rory R (@guest_81676)
3 years ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

That last statement about not losing a dime, sounds like a pipe dream. No shade intended.

TravelingMan (@guest_81986)
3 years ago
Reply to  Rory R

I clarified by stating “the depreciation value”. I never said anything about the crappy repair items. There, I probably lost the entire cost of the RV over 4 years.

John M (@guest_81549)
3 years ago

Years ago there was a slogan the was used by a car dealer “There is a bitt for every car and a car for every butt” Still true today but not just for cars.

Lisa Adcox (@guest_81547)
3 years ago

When I had warranty work done,they did not keep a RV while waiting for parts. I had it and they called me when parts were in. Once Camping world had RV for 4 days and another time for 11. We told them we had reservations and they worked with us. No issues ever.

Captn John (@guest_81546)
3 years ago

CW has an advertising budget BUT they are not the 1st to do this. It has been going on by others long before the bug. People should not be warned as if they buy from anyone in this manner they are in for many more surprises. Without proper research ~~ Darwin Awards for them.

John Seifert (@guest_81439)
3 years ago

Yep..This just happened to me. Bought a camper from Camping World of Katy, Tx. Did the walk through. Guy says I’ll fix that. Yet to will have a lp tank cover. Get it delivered 2 days later wires wrapped up with a bag tied to lp tanks, No tank cover, drawer/cabinet pulls come apart because screws are to short. Screws holding ac thermostat
Barely holding it to the wall. Then thermostat does not work all.the time. Have to surn it on an off manually. Screws all.over camper coming out or loosening because to short. Kitchen table pole holders, coming out, to short.
NO MANUAL AT ALL. Called tech support about the wires and he said, I have no idea. Then when I asked about solar he said, oh maybe that’s what they are. Usuable space is covered with blanks.
Just lousy quality for a 40k trailer.

Let’sbehonest (@guest_80922)
3 years ago

Worst article ever. Whether you pick it up from the store or they drop it at your house it should be ready to go. You’re right campers are Mass-produced homes in hours. There going to need service. Some of that is inexperience as well. Isn’t that why you buy from a place with 100s of service departments?

Joey Belemonte (@guest_80888)
3 years ago

These same people will buy an RV from some wholesaler 800 miles away instead of their local dealer in order to save $1200 and will b*tch when service takes 6 months.

David Diaz (@guest_84922)
3 years ago
Reply to  Joey Belemonte

And they should be able to. Laws need changed so that the purchase and warranty is like a car. If all these idiots would finally band together we could get lemon laws and repairs at all authorized dealers. I can’t imagine being older and stuck with a piece of junk . In RVs you never ever get that you pay for.

Last edited 3 years ago by David Diaz
rvgrandma (@guest_80867)
3 years ago

That is also why I would never buy a car through one of those companies – carvana and vroom are two. I need to sit in the car, drive it to see if I like it before putting out that much money. Buying sight unseen might be the future but not for me.

Ray Woodmancy (@guest_80861)
3 years ago

I did get suckered in that way. But it will never happen again

Alvin (@guest_80847)
3 years ago

Chuck you and I know, and probably a few others do to that more than a few RV/Automobile/truck dealers operate on the principle “there’s a sucker born every second” Until the suckers get smart or don’t take the bait, those who reel them in will prevail. Sad – so dam sad it is.

97TJ (@guest_80770)
3 years ago

caveat emptor
[ˌkavÄ“ËŒĂ€t ˈem(p)ˌtĂŽr]
caveat emptor (noun)

the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.

Larry H Lee (@guest_81585)
3 years ago
Reply to  97TJ

Yes but…. the concept of competition creates some dealers who are (much) better than others at providing a product which has already been inspected and corrections made before the walkthrough. Find those dealers and be happy.

TravelingMan (@guest_81667)
3 years ago
Reply to  97TJ

The RV Industry is TOTALLY Un-Regulated. This needs to change NOW! No more inferior frames, frame supports, trusses, springs, axles, wheels, brakes, suspension. No more leaking roofs without curbs and flashing. No more leaking windows. No more 5th wheels that frame flex and crack the outside walls. No more plumbing and electrical deficiencies. AND…there should be regulation on the RV furniture space to allow residential furniture to placed inside instead of the dimensions that allow ONLY RV Furniture (protectionism – monopolizing) that is overpriced and made with inferior quality. AND…ALL RV’s should be weighed at the dealership with all amenities installed. Not at the manufacture with 4 square walls and no appliances, furniture, bedding or anything else installed. This is a bait-and-switch tactic to sell persons on an RV that can haul more that it should. The sticker inside the door is a blatant lie! IF YOU BUY FROM A LOT OR INDIVIDUAL, DEMAND THAT A WEIGH PER WHEEL be performed!

THEN…Regulate drivers. Make everyone take a driving class to demonstrate that they can handle mountains, curves, traffic, and sizing their tow vehicles correctly. Make sure they understand weight and balance. Make sure they understand driving safety.

When a buyer purchases an RV, just like a car, they expect/demand that it is safe, reliable and accurate as described. Not a piece of S _ _ _ full of false and misleading, bait-and-switch information!

Now…Some of you will say that will drive up the cost. BUNK! It might initially due to greedy manufacturers who see it as an opportunity. But once people stop buying at the (already) ridiculous prices advertised, the prices will come right back down to where they were. And it won’t take long.

Rory R (@guest_81677)
3 years ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

I agree that there should be regulations. But in this political atmosphere, you will not get anything passed that has any teeth in it. It is always best to know how to take care of problems, before they become yours. Pro inspection, before you take possession. You may have researched and looked for the RV you wanted for 3 years, is 3 more days going to kill you. It may feel like it, but it won’t. What might kill you is the frustration you will suffer, after you take possession of a flawed Rig and you are having to move heaven and hell to get it fixed….

TravelingMan (@guest_82175)
3 years ago
Reply to  Rory R

I agree with your comments. RVing takes a bigger back seat to anything else Congress might be considering. And political lobbyists for the RV industry will make sure the pockets are lined well enough so that nothing changes.

I would suggest that if you hire an RV inspector, just like a house…make sure you didn’t just hire one fresh out of school. Try your best to find one that has been doing the service for years and if at all possible, one that actually owns one or lives in one. Ask for a resume…

Bruce Kidd (@guest_84217)
3 years ago
Reply to  97TJ

Caveat emptor in this Intel world means your negative experience, shall be shared with the world. Too many do not use this , allowing sheisters to win.

Tim Pittman (@guest_80500)
3 years ago

Like Chuck mentioned, Camping World is preying on unknowledgeable buyers with this promotion. It amazes me that people would plop down thousands of dollars without doing research in the product they’re buying. After spending just an hour or two researching RV’s and the RV lifestyle a prospective buyer would realize the problems that await them in buying a “new” RV.

This pandemic is causing a spike in new mostly entry and mid level towable RV’s. Some undoubtedly will not have a clue what they are getting into, both the RV lifestyle and issues surrounding the mechanical workings of an RV. I suspect in a year or two there will be a glut of these almost new RV’s for sale.

Gerald A Neier (@guest_80977)
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Pittman

How do I know what to look for if so many new ones have so many problems? Our only experience is renting a couple times at the big name campgrounds and now we are looking at 25 to 30 foot toy haulers, Ozark, Grey Wolf, and Jayco. Should we only be looking at used then?

Glenn (@guest_81561)
3 years ago
Reply to  Gerald A Neier

Do your homework first. Multiple sources online. My Lance Owners Forum has a member that has compiled a great pre-delivery inspection file. If a dealer balks at the inspection before purchase, walk away from the deal.

TravelingMan (@guest_82176)
3 years ago
Reply to  Glenn

This is one of the better sources I have come across for PDI’s:


Also try this one. It looks pretty good.


I have put together my own based on multiple forms and my own observations and experience. There are endless ones on the internet. Just look up RV PDI Check Lists.

RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

Hey, TravelingMan. I just wanted to mention, in case you’re wondering why a lot of your comments don’t get published immediately, that the Spam settings hold a comment for moderation if it has two or more links in it. I try to keep on top of comments being held for moderation, but once in a (great) while I’m actually away from my computer. 😆 —Diane at RVtravel.com

TravelingMan (@guest_82287)
3 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Thanks Diane. I kinda figured that one out along the way and I can see why you do it. But I do appreciate the follow up. When discussing topics, I try to support with outside links as much as possible. Have a great week!

RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

Thanks, TravelingMan. I appreciate that you’re so thorough and include links for more information in your responses, and I’m sure our readers appreciate it also. Have a good night (and week). 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

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