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Buying First Camper - PDI before signing paperwork to purchase

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  • Buying First Camper - PDI before signing paperwork to purchase

    We will be buying our first travel trailer within a couple weeks when it arrives at the dealer (2020 GD Imagine XLS 22MLE). We did not order it - they are rerouting one meant for another dealership. We saw another unit of the same camper they are sending up to a local RV show so we knew we wanted it. The sales manager wanted to rush paperwork before PDI when my husband went up to look at the one they had and settle on the price. We put down $500 to hold the one they are sending for us. This was in the email from my salesperson "When you come in to pick up your camper, you will go through it at first since you have not seen it yet, then you will do your financial paperwork with Mike, and then you will do your full demonstration of the camper. They will also show you how to hook up the hitch at the end of the demonstration." I have been on several different owner forums recently and the consensus seems to be - Don't complete purchase paperwork until AFTER the full PDI. Is this what most of you "seasoned" owners have done?

  • #2
    My .02: don't sign anything until you're satisfied with the camper. My wife and I spent 7 hours (no kidding) checking everything on our 315RLTS. I spent a good part of a week assembling a checklist (from multiple sources) and after reading, reading, reading about what to check. My dealer, Campers Inn, was exceptionally accommodating. I'd warned them in advance what I was going to do and even sent them my checklist. They never once hurried me or asked me to sign anything. (I didn't need to put down any money to "hold" the camper, either.)

    It's been awhile and I haven't updated it since I took delivery (Jul 18) but the attached should give you an idea of what we did. (I tried to upload the excel version but the forum won't allow me--so it's a PDF version.)

    PDI Checklist v2.pdf

    One more thought: don't forget to look under the trailer. If it wasn't kept clean of road salt (it is winter!) you'd be amazed at how quickly the underside can get severely corroded.
    Attached Files
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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    • #3
      CampCinci

      This is a tough one. If you can convince this dealer to do the PDI before you sign the paperwork, this is obviously the best plan. I can tell you that our dealer refused to do this and insisted on the process that you describe. We could do our own walk through before signing, but the paperwork had to be complete before a full PDI. We had time on our side (because we didn't need the camper right away) so we followed their process and ended up leaving "our" trailer with the dealer for two months after purchase for them to correct the things we found at PDI.

      This does not seem "right" . . . but, does seem to be an RV dealer expectation.

      Rob
      Cate & Rob
      (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
      2015 Reflection 303RLS
      2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package
      Whitby, Ontario, Canada

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      • #4
        We are going to stick to our guns on the PDI prior to paperwork. My husband emailed the salesperson last night that we will sign after the PDI and expect to have at least 2 - 3 hours. Her most recent reply states that it is no problem, but she is saying now an hour to hour and a half for the "demonstration." I really feel that the ball is in our court, though. Thanks for the replies and for the PDI checklist!!

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        • #5
          I agree that it is best to do full disclosure before signing...get any issues resolved before purchasing otherwise you will have to make return trips to the dealer to address any warrant issues...please don’t ask me how I know...sigh....
          2019 F150 Lariat (5.0, 3.73 7000 GVWR, Tow)
          2020 2600RB

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          • #6
            I can't imagine a dealer doing paperwork first, then the PDI, unless there are some extenuating timing issues with another PDI occurring at the same time.
            Scott M. Barlag, RV Product Specialist, Camp-Land RV, Burns Harbor, IN

            Comment


            • #7
              When I Purchased our Reflection 337RLS in mid February the dealer did a complete PDI, and demonstrated that all of the features on the camper were working, and made sure we knew how to operate them all. It included a complete walk around inside and out looking for flaws. There were no flaws found, and everything was in perfect working order. This process was between 90 min, and 2 hours in length. Because it was February in Michigan, this was done in a large heated service bay. (I then had them install MAX AIR vent covers and slide toppers on all 3 slides)
              When all that was accomplished, and all of our questions were answered, we sat down and did the paperwork.
              While we were doing the paperwork, they re-winterized the rig.
              After the paperwork, a hitch technician walked us through the hitching process, then pulled the rig to a departure area, and we were off.
              It was a very thorough and professional procedure.
              My wife and I really enjoyed the experience.
              2020 Reflection 337RLS
              2019 F350 CCLB 6.7L

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by screamingbear1 View Post
                When I Purchased our Reflection 337RLS in mid February the dealer did a complete PDI, and demonstrated that all of the features on the camper were working, and made sure we knew how to operate them all. It included a complete walk around inside and out looking for flaws. There were no flaws found, and everything was in perfect working order. This process was between 90 min, and 2 hours in length. Because it was February in Michigan, this was done in a large heated service bay. (I then had them install MAX AIR vent covers and slide toppers on all 3 slides)
                When all that was accomplished, and all of our questions were answered, we sat down and did the paperwork.
                While we were doing the paperwork, they re-winterized the rig.
                After the paperwork, a hitch technician walked us through the hitching process, then pulled the rig to a departure area, and we were off.
                It was a very thorough and professional procedure.
                My wife and I really enjoyed the experience.
                Feel free to name the dealership! We need to know who the 'good guys' are. I often remark what a great experience I had with Campers Inn, Byron GA, when I bought my 315RLTS.
                Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

                Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

                Comment


                • #9
                  My vote would be to follow everything that howson (above) said to the "T". He is right on the money. print out the second checklist and brew a pot of coffee. Your time will be well spent.
                  Dave and Sue
                  2020 GD 2250RK
                  2019 F-150 XLT, 5.0
                  Curt 17500 WDH
                  GY Endurance, Dexter EZ Flex
                  Tampa Bay

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by howson View Post

                    Feel free to name the dealership! We need to know who the 'good guys' are. I often remark what a great experience I had with Campers Inn, Byron GA, when I bought my 315RLTS.
                    I have not been on this forum for a while, but the dealer was General RV in Wixom, MI

                    2020 Reflection 337RLS
                    2019 F350 CCLB 6.7L

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