Monday, April 9, 2012

THE ENDEAVOR RV, WHY WE’RE HAPPY WE DID IT

I created a page a few weeks back called “The Endeavor Story” that outlines some of the things we have gone through while on this journey of first time Class A RV ownership. I know I posted that we have had some serious doubts as to whether buying an RV was a stupid idea or not and I know I have blogged this question a few times while we have waited for repairs to be done or more to the point, to be done OVER. 

Ronda and I have never really doubted the purchase and your comments helped drive the point home. I have wanted to own a motorhome since I sat in one back in 1974. Since that time my family always used tents and in 1997 I stepped up to what I considered the big leagues when I purchased my first large pop-up camper, it was huge! After I gave it to my brother to use for his family I bought a big 5 room tent that took about 30 minutes to put up but once up it was like a mansion! It had a front room for cooking, 2 bedrooms and a main big center room that we could all sit in and talk when the weather turned bad.

My back couldn’t handle tent camping anymore so I gave my sister the monster tent and gave up camping for a few years. My Mom was sick and we spent a lot of time over the span of 7 years going to the local hospitals. You know you’re in hospitals too much when the cafeteria staff give you employee discounts, we were there that often. When she came down with Pancreatic cancer I would work from the hospital whenever I could. We didn’t go camping between 2004 and 2009 at all. We talked about it though and when Mom died the realization that life is very short hit me like a brick wall.

So, when we made the decision to start looking at campers we were hooked or maybe I was hooked and she was on board. Smile with tongue out  I can only be into something all the way, half assed, half baked one foot in just doesn’t work for me. So when I went looking at rigs I wanted to make sure we got the right rig for us and I dug into that project like a tick on a mule! The multitude of shady RV dealerships can be daunting, the sleazy salesman can make you want to give up. The lack of knowledge of the product they’re selling can drive you batty, I hate being a newb at something and knowing more about what I’m buying than the salesperson does! Disappointed smile

At this time I don’t believe there is an RV dealership out there that cares about a customer who buys an 11 year old RV, not one. These rigs are older and yield much less profit and the odds of the customer coming in again to buy a new rig is very low so they get you out the door and that’s it. I think on average the customers that come in don’t know what to look for even after a repair is completed so they assume it’s done and are on their way and the dealer never hears from them again because more RV’s go back into storage instead of being used.

This would explain the shock of the owner of the RV dealership when he expected me to take delivery with a stupid grin on my face and accept the lousy clean up job they did. He never expected me to hold him to his word, you’d think he would be upset with his staff for doing lousy work, apparently the customer is never right even when they can show how badly the work was done.

Getting back to was the purchase a mistake? Ronda and I are 100% on the same page by saying no! We are happy we bought the RV and the fun we have had has far out weighed the bad. Even last year on our first trip when the water line burst we had a blast that weekend and I learned some new things.

The RV is teaching me patients, to a level I didn’t think was possible and certainly wasn’t capable of when I was younger. Strike that, the RV isn’t teaching me patients, RV dealerships are, and so is my wife. The RV would be perfect if the repairs had been done right the first time but nearly every single repair that has been done save the ones done by me has taken 2 times to get completed. If that doesn’t teach you something, nothing will. 15 years ago I would have lost it on these service guys but a temper doesn’t get things done.

Also, Ronda has taught me patients, I call her when things go bad so she helps me throw water on the boiler to calm down. Almost always this works, Winking smile women make men better people, ever notice that? I think this experience is teaching her some things as well, like patients with me!

Speaking of Ronda, she is doing very well since the surgery and can’t wait for our first trip of the year. We aren’t sure when that will be now that the slide topper has to be repaired or replaced. We’re waiting for an update from the dealership, this is one repair that has to be completed before we can take the rig out. I am going to patiently wait for their call and pray that it’s done right and we can finally pick it up and use it.

Have a great week everybody! Thumbs up

13 comments:

Judy and Emma said...

I hope your patience will be rewarded.

TexCyn said...

That topper should not be a hard time consuming fix. It sucks that you've had to go back so often. As you know, I had similiar problems recently too. I told the guy that I had to pay my friend gas each time & that it sucked up gas bring the RV back each time. So I stayed while they did the final work when I showed up & found it still leaking!
We've not had any really hard rains since I've taken it home. Only a 10 min rain storm & it didn't leak then, so my fingers are crossed.
RV's are good to have. Your first camping trip out this season is going to be soooo refreshing!!

Erik's RV Blog said...

TexCyn - I read your story earlier today but blogger was being buggy so couldn't comment. I'll head over there now and chime in.

Merikay said...

Hopefully the topper will be fixed and you will be on your way to a good summer.

We are glad we bought one too, even though it looks like it will be a long time before we can use it as much as we want.

JOJO said...

Hang in there Erik it has to get fixed and be ready soon.

Happy to hear Ronda is doing well and she is ready to hit the road too.

Diana said...

You and Ronda should take your first trip to Southern Illinois Erik. There are a lot of beautiful places to see. Alto Pass, Garden of the Gods and so much more. And it's been very beautiful here. Everything is blooming and the weather is perfect for camping.
I know I am always bugging you two to come this way. I'm sorry. If you ever do you must let me know, Maybe I could swing by for a visit! Love Di ♥

Erik's RV Blog said...

You guys are awesome.... just sayin.

Big Matt said...

Heh, didn't know one could learn "patients" without being a Doctor :p.

Erik's RV Blog said...

Matt - Ack, yeah I keep making that mistake! Doh...

The Good Luck Duck said...

Our feeling is that buying from a private party is a better situation. There ought to be extra service and protection paid for by the extra a dealership charges, but there rarely is. I think private parties are more likely to come clean about what they know than a dealer (even if a dealer knows the rig's history). That's all ancient history, though, and now you have a great rig that you're making your own! It's hard finding the one that just feels good.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Our feeling is that buying from a private party is a better situation. There ought to be extra service and protection paid for by the extra a dealership charges, but there rarely is. I think private parties are more likely to come clean about what they know than a dealer (even if a dealer knows the rig's history). That's all ancient history, though, and now you have a great rig that you're making your own! It's hard finding the one that just feels good.

Ken Pratt said...

Good service is hard to come by and I have never understood the mentality that says selling a new RV is more profitable than selling a used RV or servicing them.
Most owners look at the new unit sales as the Holy Grail. You must sell new to survive but most new units go for far less profit that you might imagine and it is the trade in or the used unit they bought at auction or private party that really brings in the profit. That being said, now that the customer has a unit that you sold, would't it make sense to service that unit? Get parts, accessory and labor sales from the same customer you just sold. He/she is your customer, after all and there is money in the backend of the building. A knowledgeable staff with customer skills can create more profit for a dealer than any one of his sales people can.
Taking care of the customer after the sale will lead to word of mouth and generally more sales to friends, family and maybe even another unit to the person that you took care of.....
If I was this dealer I would be trying to keep you as a customer in my shop by doing the best job I could for you and would have started with a clean vehicle at delivery.

Erik's RV Blog said...

Ken,

Agreed 1000% which is why I can't figure out how these places stay in business! 2 years and the track record of 3 different places is horrid.

Makes no sense to me...