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Old 09-09-2017, 10:51 AM   #1
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Best Dealer in TX, FL, Rockies, maybe even AZ?

Mollysdad posted asking about the best dealer, preferably on the east coast. I'd like to duplicate his post but focus more towards TX, FL or the Rocky Mtn states. We are very flexible in our schedule and have to travel to various parts of the country so we're quite flexible on where we buy. Since we'll be 3/4 timing in the Rockies and probably end up using either TX or FL for a residency once we get our TT we'd prefer to be somewhat near a dealer TX, FL or the Rockies, maybe even AZ.

We stopped by three AS dealers so far, two in southern CA, one in Salt Lake, all three seemed nice and may get a chance to bid on our purchase but having someone closer to our planned travel locations/residency maybe a bit better. Has anyone dealt with the dealer in Salt Lake in the last year? They got new owners this year and seem really nice but the inventory is small and the team's knowledge seems to be just ramping up, little concerned service may be inexperienced (no proof, just concerned).

We are about 90% settled on the 30' Classic but plan to finalize our decision after our visit to the big RV show in Hershey PA next week. We're going to stop by Colonial while we're back east. Based on your comments on Mollysdad's post about Patrick at Colonial I'll call him to arrange an appointment. We live in the Durango, CO area now.

So for folks that bought in TX, FL, Rockies, maybe even AZ - "in your opinion, who's the best Airstream dealer?" Like Mollysdad I agree that "Best can be price, service, attitude, sales staff, attention to detail after the sale." I really want a dealer that is very thorough in the PDI and service/parts. Having a salesperson who is knowledgeable and easy to work with, especially in price negotiations, would be a great bonus.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:24 AM   #2
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Hi

If you are going to be at Hershey, there's a very high probability you will run into Colonial and Patrick at the show.

I would give some thought to where you are most willing to "give up" the trailer as you look at your regional options. If it has to sit in the shop for a couple of days in pieces, what's the best choice for "back up housing"? Trying to live in a trailer while they tear out something major might not be much fun.

I will not argue with the 30' Classic being a good choice I would suggest that a day (or two) spent sitting in the various models is time well spent. You need to find a dealer that will let you do that un-hassled. There are a lot of little floor plan / comfort / fit details that only make sense after you have been in one for a while. Indeed there is a chance that you will simply "go big". No approach is perfect ....

There is no absolute requirement that you buy an AS and get it serviced at the same dealer. Most of us seem to think it's a good idea. Some dealers are a bit "hard sell" about it as well. My guess is that you will be valued as a customer if you are in the service department on a regular basis.

Cost wise, money is money. That said, there are a lot of components to any sale. Driving 3,000 miles at 10 MPG to save $20 does not add up. I may be retired, but even my time has *some* value (at least to me). It's never happened on an RV, but there have been deals on things that I'd gladly have forked more money over on, just to be rid of the people involved. Some hassles you just don't need.

How important is web presence and internet smarts? These days running around the country, that can be an issue. If it is, does the same slick process than backs up sales also extend to service? .... hmmmm....

Lots to think about ....

Bob
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:37 AM   #3
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Don't overlook Leisuretime RV in Oklahoma City.They beat ALL the major dealers in price when i recently bought my 2018 Int. Serenity 27FB twin. Also cant say enough about their prompt service in correcting a few minor issues on delivery.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:56 AM   #4
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If you're willing to consider Florida (though you may want to reconsider after Hurricane Irma passes) then you might as well include Foley RV (AKA Airstream of Mississippi) which is on the way to Florida. I've dealt with them ever since I bought my Airstream from them, and have nothing but good things to say about them.

It doesn't hurt that Rick Foley, the owner, also personally owns Airstreams and Argosys, so he has an owner's perspective as well as a dealer's perspective.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
...If you are going to be at Hershey, there's a very high probability you will run into Colonial and Patrick at the show.
That would be great, haven't talked with Patrick yet to know for sure but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Quote:
I would give some thought to where you are most willing to "give up" the trailer as you look at your regional options. If it has to sit in the shop for a couple of days in pieces, what's the best choice for "back up housing"? Trying to live in a trailer while they tear out something major might not be much fun.
Yeah, one of the hassles of having an RV be your primary home. Since we plan to sell our house here in the Rockies and downsize to one in FL or TX I'm just hoping we'll be lucky enough that anything major enough to be without the AS can wait until we're back in "winter" home.

Quote:
I will not argue with the 30' Classic being a good choice I would suggest that a day (or two) spent sitting in the various models is time well spent. You need to find a dealer that will let you do that un-hassled. There are a lot of little floor plan / comfort / fit details that only make sense after you have been in one for a while. Indeed there is a chance that you will simply "go big". No approach is perfect ....
You read our minds Bob, that is our exact plan. We've done a little bit of it but the dealers hovered too much to maximize the time. Now that we are close to our final decision we will ask the dealer let us just have some time alone. We both agree with you - it's time to really "feel" what it means to be in that space. We even plan to mock out doing things like fixing meals, watching TV, using the bath spaces, bedroom, wardrobe, etc., in mock situations we are concocting. The dealer that let's us do that will get bonus consideration in the final decision of where to buy.

Quote:
There is no absolute requirement that you buy an AS and get it serviced at the same dealer. Most of us seem to think it's a good idea. Some dealers are a bit "hard sell" about it as well. My guess is that you will be valued as a customer if you are in the service department on a regular basis.
I'm hoping that will be the case, I've never had a problem with any vehicles I bought in using other dealers. I did notice one other poster reporting problems with a particular dealer and they are off my list because of it.

Quote:
Cost wise, money is money. That said, there are a lot of components to any sale. Driving 3,000 miles at 10 MPG to save $20 does not add up. I may be retired, but even my time has *some* value (at least to me). It's never happened on an RV, but there have been deals on things that I'd gladly have forked more money over on, just to be rid of the people involved. Some hassles you just don't need.
So true, and this gets all factored into our final decision metrics. That said using a trip from a dealer to be our maiden voyage could also be in our plan. Once we've camped near the dealership for a few days to shake out the worst of the issues of course. What can I say, we love to travel!

Lots of great perspective - thanks Bob!
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:55 PM   #6
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If you are going to be at Hershey, there's a very high probability you will run into Colonial and Patrick at the show...
Just spoke to Patrick, he'll be there, Colonel will be there with all their big-wigs, and several of the senior AS team will be there, all together in the same tent. They expect to sell 40 AS's next week - WOW! Even better news for us is that the model we are particularly leaning towards will be there to check out. Excitement building!
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:34 AM   #7
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Hi

A big RV show is a zoo. It's fun and it's exciting. You can see a *lot* of models from a lot of outfits in a short time. It's *not* the place or the time to really settle in and look at this or that trailer.

At least in my experience, Colonial is quite happy to let you sit in a variety of models and work things out. They are a bit over a two hour drive from Hershey. I don't know what your or their plans are for the week. A stop there this Tuesday or the Monday after the show might be a useful detour. Of course if 100% of their inventory is at the show .... not such a good plan.

Bob (the guy on the floor taking apart the electrical panel in the 2018 30' Classic you are about to buy at the show .... just to see what's inside ...)
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
... A big RV show is a zoo. It's fun and it's exciting. You can see a *lot* of models from a lot of outfits in a short time. It's *not* the place or the time to really settle in and look at this or that trailer.

Bob (the guy on the floor taking apart the electrical panel in the 2018 30' Classic you are about to buy at the show .... just to see what's inside ...)
Yeah, Patrick and I are working on the plan to get the "feel" of the AS. I'll be watching for that dude poking his head behind the panel!
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:33 AM   #9
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For various reasons I would avoid Windish in Colorado. I love Holiday Travel Trailers in Alburquerque. They are a small, family-owned business, so don't have a lot of inventory, but might be worth a call. If you buy somewhere else, I recommend using Holiday TT for service if you are in the ABQ area.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:37 AM   #10
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When I was shopping for our AS two years ago, I found Denny at Desert Autoplex, in Mesa, AZ, to be remarkably helpful.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:54 PM   #11
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Best Dealer

I can't say "best," because I haven't dealt with anyone else, but I can highly recommend Holiday Travel Trailer, now Airstream of New Mexico, in Albuquerque. Since you are so close right now in Mancos, don't pass up the opportunity to talk with Dan Dissmore, (505) 294-8280, the sales manager. We've dealt with them for maintenance for the last seven years, and their shop is first rate. Very knowledgable and responsive. We just bought a pre-owned AS, our second, from them, and couldn't be happier with the details of purchase and follow up. The new inventory is not large, and demand is high right now, but they have a reputation of matching the big guys price offers, but you may have to order and wait for delivery, depending on what you want. Can't recommend them highly enough.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:13 PM   #12
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Love this forum! Thanks folks for the great responses keep them coming. I hadn't even thought about Albuquerque. To be honest we've had less than stellar journey's to Albuquerque for a variety of reasons. Just goes to show, can't always judge a city by first impressions...

If Holiday Travel pans out it would be nice to have a dealer somewhat close to us for the first few months before our house in CO sells. They are even a little closer than the guys in Salt Lake - bonus!

We often find ourselves in Phoenix so Mesa may be the next best thing, that or OK. All the more to add to our list to harass when it comes to serious negotiations.
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:58 PM   #13
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RV shows...the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

A big RV show is a zoo. It's fun and it's exciting. You can see a *lot* of models from a lot of outfits in a short time. It's *not* the place or the time to really settle in and look at this or that trailer.

At least in my experience, Colonial is quite happy to let you sit in a variety of models and work things out. They are a bit over a two hour drive from Hershey. I don't know what your or their plans are for the week. A stop there this Tuesday or the Monday after the show might be a useful detour. Of course if 100% of their inventory is at the show .... not such a good plan.

Bob (the guy on the floor taking apart the electrical panel in the 2018 30' Classic you are about to buy at the show .... just to see what's inside ...)
Agree with the premise that an RV show can be a good place to go to see various models, of RV's, but I have found that most AS dealers do not bring the entire inventory to the show, due to cost and space. Several big dealers have more of a selection if you check on line.

I found if you do some on-line shopping with dealers, you can zero into the features/specs and perhaps then visit that dealer to check out. Important to spend a fair amount of time in the units of choice to see if they really will be comfortable for your use model....we found NW AS Adventures has a very good selection at their Fairfield CA store, and the other locations in WA, OR, and ID. Not plugging them, but if you want to shop without driving across to PA or NJ, that would be my suggestion. We have done this now several times...on our 4th AS in 10 years. Patrick has helped with several questions I have had over the years, and would love to buy from him sometime if he weren't so far from TX. Negotiating can be exhausting...but if you can get to 20%+, you will be doing pretty good. You may have to drive to FL, CA, or somewhere else. On the Camping side, We have enjoyed many memories in our AS's. Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:39 PM   #14
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I have been previously admonished for sharing details about our buying experience on this forum so I'll just say that we would recommend against buying from the Airstream dealer in Colorado. If you would like more information about our experience, please feel free to contact me directly.
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