By Chuck Woodbury
Earlier this week, Camping World announced a new “Home RV Delivery Service” that lets RV buyers shop online for a new RV and have it delivered right to their driveway, sight unseen.
I think this a terrible idea, another attempt by CEO Marcus Lemonis to extract every dollar he can from you and me, and in particular from members of the Good Sam Club, which he once publicly called “marketing tools.” Under Lemonis’ rule, the Good Sam Club has basically degraded from an active RV enthusiast organization into a mailing list/discount club for Camping World and campgrounds, which pay Lemonis for the privilege of being a Good Sam Park. In my opinion, Lemonis (who has never owned an RV), has no interest in RVers or the RV lifestyle beyond their dollars.
According to Camping World, as touted in a sponsored Facebook message, “the home delivery service will begin in January and select RV models will be available for home delivery.” Customers will find their “perfect RV” online and a driver will bring it to them. They’ll browse select inventory of home delivery RVs and “become familiar with these RVs with detailed walk-through videos, photographs, floor plans, specs and more.” They can then request more info on the RV that’s “right for them,” and a salesperson will be in contact. Camping World staff will work with them on financing (an excellent source of additional profit) and paperwork.
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THIS COMES AT A TIME when defective RVs are rolling off the assembly lines in record numbers. Buyers who do not personally CAREFULLY inspect an RV they plan to buy are playing Russian roulette. Relying on photos, images and product information from Camping World — which will do all it can to make the product look absolutely wonderful — is a terrible idea that consumers should avoid like a charging Grizzly Bear.
If a would-be buyer is not willing to visit a dealership to inspect an RV carefully before buying, he or she should not be buying an RV in the first place.