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  #1  
Old 06-22-2006, 01:36 PM
Grouse
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Default Dealer support?

I have always enjoyed good relationships with dealers .... lawn & garden equipment, cars, trucks, RVs, appliances & etc. I have found those relationships important in resolving both warranty claims and non warranty issues amicably. I happen to be one of those people who is willing to pay more to have and maintain those relationships.

This has served me well for years. Many is the time I have had a questionable situation that proably should not have been covered without cost, but was. Why? Long term relationships have value for both me and the vendor.

This brings me to an observation: Based on several months of reading posts in this forum, it seems obvious to me that there is tremendous brand loyalty (Trailmanor) but not dealer loyalty. Two notable exceptions seem to be Cheasapeake RV & Dinuba RV. A few favorable and not so favorable reports on other dealers in the posts but not quite like the two I've named.

The dilema for me is that with the weak dealer network, my closest opportunities to build a relatationship with a dealer is 4-6 hours away if I rule out the Detroit metro area dealer based on YWorrydog's posts. Hard to build solid relationships at those distances. With an RV this is especially important because I need the dealer to handle maintenance and repairs (no time or inclination to do myself). Unlike most, if not all of you, I have no mechanical skills, and no desire to develop them. My RV is for leisure, and maintaining it is not something I enjoy.

So when I see a great deal (3124KS @ Caribou RV) and see that they have basically phased out Trailmanor plus they are so far away that no real opportunity for a solid relationship exists, it is no deal for me. Kind of like going to the big box store (lowes or home depot) to buy an appliance instead of going to the local appliance store who usually offers great service and charges the same price in most cases.

Furthermore, whether meant this way or not, it has been clearly implied that you can't trust an ordinary RV dealer to work on your TM. This concept baffles because most of the TM is std issue RV, but I assume (yes, I know what *** u me means)TM owners know whereof they speak. Further baffles me because with rare exception I have found RV dealers to be a hard working honest lot who deliver more value than they receive in income.

This lack of dealers dilema has actually kept me from purchasing a trialmanor. You see, I want a great product and great service. I'm really not willing to compromise. I'll probably stop to talk to Danny's in Coloma, WI and/or Mentor & Posts in Ohio. But this is not convenient. I can only hope the dealer is so good that distance does not become an issue.

Sorry for the long post and for venting my frustration. Wishing all of you safe and happy camping (or should I say TMing).
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2006, 03:21 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grouse
This brings me to an observation: Based on several months of reading posts in this forum, it seems obvious to me that there is tremendous brand loyalty (Trailmanor) but not dealer loyalty. Two notable exceptions seem to be Cheasapeake RV & Dinuba RV.
If you read closely, I think you will see repeated good comments on a few others, such as MCD on Cape Cod, The Car Show in C-Springs, and Custom RV in Anaheim - but perhaps none near you.

Quote:
Furthermore, whether meant this way or not, it has been clearly implied that you can't trust an ordinary RV dealer to work on your TM. This concept baffles because most of the TM is std issue RV ...
I think you have answered your own question. You CAN trust an ordinary dealer to work on the "std issue RV" stuff. After all, a 3-way gas refrig in a TM is no different from the same 3-way gas refrig in a Jayco, etc. And the refrigerator warranty, or air conditioner warranty, or whatever, will be honored equally at a TM dealer or non-TM dealer or service center.

But (and it's a big BUT), it is hard to expect a non-TM dealer to repair something that is very TM-specific, such as the lift system. The TM design is quite innovative compared to the cookie-cutter design of other travel trailers. It should be no surprise that experience, knowledge, factory training, and access to the factory's staff, are important. I think (and it is worth confirming) that for these items, the TM warranty requires work be done by an authorized TM dealer.

Don't be discouraged. By its nature, this discussion board is a place where problems are discussed. I am under the impression, though, that TMs have no more (or fewer) problems than other travel trailers. Have you tried reading (for example) the Open Roads Forum (www.rv.net/forum)?

Bill
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  #3  
Old 06-22-2006, 03:46 PM
Freedom
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I agree with Bill. My local RV dealer, Chuck's RV in Mead, WA. isn't a TM dealer, but I would trust him with any work I would need that I couldn't handle. Our tent trailer was repaired by them and they aren't a Palomino dealer either. The Palomino work was warranty work and Dometic honored the warranty. You need to establish a relationship with a local dealer and then they can work on your TM. They may need a little guidance the first time on how to set it up and such, but they'll catch on real quickly. I used to work in the travel trailer business, ( 1970's) and we would not have needed to have you show us twice how to set up a TM. What I'm trying to say is: Trust your local RV repair guys - they are usually very smart and trustworthy.
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2006, 04:40 PM
coulter
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We just purchased a 3023 from Danny's in Coloma.. And drove from SW MO to do so. We have a dealer within 75 miles of here, but Trailmanors is just a sideline brand, and we weren't impressed with them. Danny and his assistant were great! Price was right, they know the answers to all the questions, and Danny has been very responsive SINCE the purchase. I think you would be well satisfied if you decide to deal with Danny.

Leesa Coulter
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2006, 04:43 PM
PopBeavers
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Well, if it almost never needs repairs then it almost is not an issue.

I took delivery of my TM 2720 in March 2005. After 7 trips or so I noticed a few cosmetic things. I waited until December to take it in. Under warranty they fixed the following:

adjusted level of front bunk (probably required a TM dealer)
unkinked air vent hose in water tank (a nit)
installed Norcold fix as per Norcold service bulletin (any Norcold dealer could do that if I left the TM open)
demonstrated how to open the top of the stove for cleaning (I could not get it to unlatch)
had them adjust the brakes while they had it (billable to me)

Before the first trip this year I took it back (actually they drove 120 miles to come and get it) to repair a crack in the tongue.

Been out 3 trips so far this year with no additional issues. I don't anticipate any either.

I wish my cars were this reliable.
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  #6  
Old 06-22-2006, 06:05 PM
sinjin
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Grouse: Chat with Danny at Danny's campers before you toss in the towel. We got ours from him a couple of months ago and are very happy with the service. We drove from the St. Louis area up to get it.

coulter: I bet you dealt with the same Mo. dealer we did. We were ready to buy and couldn't get them quote us a price either in person or via the internet. We bought from Danny's within a week of visiting the "local" dealer.
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  #7  
Old 06-22-2006, 06:29 PM
Grouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
But (and it's a big BUT), it is hard to expect a non-TM dealer to repair something that is very TM-specific, such as the lift system. The TM design is quite innovative compared to the cookie-cutter design of other travel trailers. It should be no surprise that experience, knowledge, factory training, and access to the factory's staff, are important. I think (and it is worth confirming) that for these items, the TM warranty requires work be done by an authorized TM dealer.Bill
Actually Bill, that is part of my point. With the nearest "good" TM dealer 4-6 hours away, that isn't convenient, means warranty repairs take careful planning and extra expense, and generally detracts from the value of a TM. Frankly, I fault the factory for not providing an incentive plan that would encourage more dealers to handle their brand. After all, this is a niche market (not every one wants to spend the same as buying a 3 room slide out conventional trailer and get something that requires physical set up and limited space ... even though it is well built and easy to tow). Plus I still contend that it is hard to build relationships with a dealer that is separated from you both by considerable time and distance. After all, once the sale is made you no longer provide much benefit to a distant dealer.

Coulter & Sinjin,

Thanks for the kudos for Danny's. I can understand why after talking to him on the phone. I'm looking forward to my visit, now hopefully in August. Life intervened and did not make it earlier this year as anticipated.

PopBeavers,

I'm not sure I'm as optimistic as you. Unfortunately there seems to be a "party" line regarding quality on the board, but privately I have received several contacts telling me that the TM does indeed have reliability issues. Maybe it has improved in recent years, but that is not what I've heard off board. I can only hope you're right.

Sooo, I'm still back at the future as it were. Still hoping for a good "local" dealer who handles TM. Guess I could consider anyone within 100 miles to be local (PopBeavers, I'll concede the 120 miles you have as being local) but alas none are to be found.
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  #8  
Old 06-23-2006, 05:18 PM
YWORRYDOG YWORRYDOG is offline
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Just to let you all know, we would defiantly purchase a TM again, but not from M&M! I would shop price this time,anywhere with in a few days travel. Taking the first offer from M&M did not get us any service. I have found that a local RV repair place can handle anything on appliances etc. I would use the TM Factory for anything else, making it a vacation trip.
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2006, 09:06 PM
MidwestDave
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Default Dealer choice

I would also like to recommend Danny's in Coloma Wi. We purchased a new 2720 there in May and are totally satisfied with the price as well as his help learning about the trailer. This is our first trailer and could have gone to a closer dealer however after meeting Danny and talking with him we decided to deal with him . Danny is building a new facility in Westfield Wi just ten miles south of Coloma.
He is a good person to deal with in my estimation!

Midwest Dave
Quad Cities USA
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