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Old 05-12-2019, 06:42 AM   #1
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California , MD
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Buy Local (80 Miles Away) or Colonial AS (220 miles away)

Hi Team,

So considering the price between these two options is basically the same. Where would you chose to buy at:

Airstream of VA (80 miles away). As local as it gets for us.
They are now owned by Camping World and are building a huge new Airstream Only Dealer/Showroom. They will occupy it in about 4 weeks. A plus here is:
1) Closest
2) Country wide network of Camping World Dealers.

OR

Colonial of NJ
As i quickly found from reading this forum. They have an excellent reputation. Chatting with Patrick was amazing. He is as knowledgeable and friendly as he seems in the videos. A Plus here is
1) Reputation
2) Patrick . His youtube vids played a big role in our selection.

So which would you chose? Any other Pros/Cons I should consider?
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cru-in View Post
Hi Team,

So considering the price between these two options is basically the same. Where would you chose to buy at:

Airstream of VA (80 miles away). As local as it gets for us.
They are now owned by Camping World
I see you're in Maryland. I vote for Colonial.
Camping World, love them or hate them, has many angry posts on YouTube about their methods.
I've never heard a bad word about Colonial, and they're #1 in sales.

I bought from a dealer 120 miles away, even though there's one 20 miles away, and I considered Colonial, but it's a thousand miles away, and the first towing miles would have been near Philly, DC, and NJ.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:21 AM   #3
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Everything is about people.

Buy from Patrick. These are good people.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:32 AM   #4
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I am from Texas, and we purchased our trailer from Colonial Airstream. Extremely professional at sales time, even more incredible at dealer preparation prior to delivery. Just a wonderful experience. Even two years later, I still see the benifits of a quality and responsible dealer having checked everything prior to delivery.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:41 AM   #5
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There will be warranty issues that will need to be addressed. Having a reputable service department behind sales is a definite plus. Our local Camping World had mediocre service at best. Colonial has a good service department and they know AS.

So if you have the time and means to travel to Colonial periodically they would get my vote.

How do prices compare?
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:48 AM   #6
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My trailer was originally sold by Colonial and their PDI was apparently outstanding. On this forum their reputation is tops. My nearest dealer does not care where the Airstream was purchased, for service. The service dept is a completely separate business unit. Perhaps Colonial will match any price from VA, if Colonial is not already lower, when you get quotes. I would go to Colonial.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:50 AM   #7
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Like Mollysdad, I had a choice between a dealer 20 miles away or dealers 70, 160, and Colonial—850 miles away. The dealer 20 miles away didn’t return phone calls or emails in a reasonable time (finally heard back from them about 5 months after I purchased elsewhere ). The dealer 70 miles away gave me a deadline for placing an order and I didn’t feel comfortable with that.

In the end it came down to Woodlands and Colonial. They were both awesome to work with and very open to what I wanted to do. The deciding factor? Spending my $ in the midwest vs. on the east coast. That was all.

Go with some combination of due diligence and gut feel (i.e. don’t rely solely on reviews—at this price point, every dealer has bad reviews left by customers with exaggerated senses of entitlement). Do business with who you feel the most comfortable with. Remember that service and sales are for all intents and purposes different businesses running under the same roof, so if the purchase entitles you to some dealer service perks or if you want to have your unit serviced at the dealership you purchased from, talk to the service manager (or customers in the waiting room).
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:04 AM   #8
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Five-Rivet

In May, 2017 AS started their Five Rivet dealer standards recognition program. Dealers must meet high standards in AS sales and service and meet exceptional scores in customer service surveys.

Airstream of Virginia and Colonial Airstream are both Five Rivet certified dealers by AS.


https://media.airstream.com/press-re...dards-program/



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Old 05-12-2019, 08:40 AM   #9
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In these discussions, I'm always amused by the different perspectives. We took a 3400-mile round-trip to purchase from Colonial, even though the local AS dealer is only 2 miles from my house. Nick (and Patrick) at Colonial were able to answer my questions either immediately, or within a few hours of my asking. My local guys might take a week to get back to me--if they even bothered to call back at all. Plus, Colonial was many thousands of dollars cheaper than the local yahoos.

But the purchase is only a single transaction. Service is an ongoing issue. Ideally, I would go back to Colonial or even Jackson Center, but the distance is quite far as to be impractical most of the time. I'm "stuck" using the local dealer for service, and I only hope they don't penalize me for purchasing elsewhere. If you are worried about this, then purchase locally. Otherwise, my vote is drive to NJ.

On a personal note, I grew up about 20 minutes from Jackson Center and my folks still live there. I imagine we'll be doing periodic road trips to west central Ohio, so if I plan ahead, JC can handle all my fixer-ups.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZOZ View Post

Airstream of Virginia and Colonial Airstream are both Five Rivet certified dealers by AS.


https://media.airstream.com/press-re...dards-program/



zoz
Although the OP noted Airstream of Virginia is now owned by Camping World, so that might change things. And it might not.

I'm a two timer at Colonial and think they're the best.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:22 AM   #11
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Here's our experience. We searched about a year before finally deciding on an 05 Safari. The closest dealer ended up having the one we liked which being the closest dealer I think made our decision a bit easier. They were upfront with us through the process while visiting them a few times throughout that year, they give their customers priority unless the other person has a safety issue and they are traveling through. I'm glad we went with the closest one. We new buying a used one may have some small issues and as soon as we found them they have taken care of them quickly! The service department has been great even though as the wife I'm the one that has talked to them the most and I feel that says alot about them. (I'm the one that wanted the airstream the most. Lol) They've taken time to answer all of my questions. So talk to the closest dealer and ask them if they prioritize their customers first then is a cash customer the same as a warranty customer that bought somewhere else. The dealers only have so much time and so many employees so I understand them prioritizing certain areas. Like some else said use your gut if something seems off then decide to go the other route. Good luck! It's nice that you have two 5 Rivet dealers to choose from.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:26 AM   #12
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If I were looking to purchase, I would certainly consider giving Patrick my business. I've spoken to him a few times in the past and gotten straitforward answers. His expertise and opinions are appreciated.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:35 AM   #13
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It depends on you. If you will tow to Colonial for warranty and other dealer work, use them. If there is the potential that using the dealer 80 miles from your home would be easier for your needs, then consider them carefully.

We believe a local dealer is the best solution if they can do the work competently and are an organization with which you can build a relationship.

Good Luck with your new coach purchase. Pat
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:47 AM   #14
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I would run (fast) from Camping World. Ethics?
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