By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A lively discussion broke out on an RV forum: An RV shopper and his wife had in mind a new toy hauler. They’d done their research, they knew what they wanted. Once on a dealer’s lot, things got a bit thick. A different toy hauler caught their eye, and soon, they’d plunked down a $6,000 deposit and signed off on the contract, and a delivery date was scheduled.
Back home the customer started doing a little pencil pushing. The RV he’d just bought turned out to be way over the limits of the towing capability of his pickup truck. In the “heat of the moment” of shopping, he’d forgotten that important factor. He’d done his research for the “first rig,” and it was well within the scope of his tow vehicle, but, oh dear, that new one.
What’s to be done, he asked the forum members. Was there a way he could get out of that contract?
In the dozens of responses he received, emotions ran from calm and collected, to heated – some downright nasty. Both the customer and the dealership were made out to be the villain, and suggestions ranged from simply never picking up the trailer, to biting the bullet and buying a big enough truck to tote the rig.
There’s a lot of elements to the tale, but one thing to be taken away is this: When you’re spending money, particularly big money, go slow, double check, and do your homework. From a legal standpoint, the customer put himself on the line when he signed the dotted line. In the state where the transaction occurred there’s no “cooling off” period – that is, a time frame where you can change your mind, cancel the deal, and get your money back. From a strictly legal standpoint, the buyer is stuck.
On the other hand, there’s Solomon’s advice: “If you have been caught by the sayings of your mouth, take this action then, my son, and deliver yourself … go humble yourself and storm your fellowman with importunities.” We could hope that the RV dealer is reasonable, and would offer some sort of an out. Perhaps a, “Buy a different RV from me, and your deposit applies.”
The reality being that not everyone out there is reasonable, here’s another case of being a smart shopper. When you go shopping for an RV, know your limits. Not just knowing how much you can safely (and legally) tow with your tow vehicle, you have other limits, too. How many buyers have been enamored with a “different” rig that’s only “a little bit more money,” and later found themselves in a world of hurt when they couldn’t make the payments?
Take your time with a decision, and don’t let a pushy salesman (or a pushy heart) force you into an immediate decision. There’s lots of wisdom in “sleeping on it.” It’s not very likely that your ‘dream RV’ will walk off the lot in the next day or two. Even if it does, how much better it become someone else’s heartache and not yours.