Finding Our New Home, Part 2 Bailey

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...there was still a massive hole in our stomach knowing they have the 5th wheel and our money, yet we have had nothing but empty promises.
2014 Bayhill 320RS

In Part 1 we shared with you our Camping World struggles with:  our salesman not being at our appointment on time, the unit not being ready to view like they said it would, a dangled low-interest rate they rescinded, a very one-sided negotiation and days of waiting for simple answers.  

However, we still purchased the Bayhill 320RS on January 30, 2018, at which they set the pickup date as February 17th.  It was established over 2-weeks out because they were ‘busy’ and needed time to do their final inspection along with fixing and cleaning a few things we requested.  They also needed to clean out the winterized water tank, so that we could start our full-time adventure.

Our plan to pick it up was simple: when Don got off work, we would drive through the night from Western Montana to Southern Idaho and spend the night.  That would give us a full day to be at Camping World and tow the Bayhill home that next day. Then we could start loading our belongings into it, which would aid us in keeping our belongings separate from the Estate Sale.

More bad news

It was a simple plan we thought, given traveling this time of year can be tricky if a snowstorm pops up.  Just as easy, our plans were ruined! Camping World called 3-HOURS before we were going to be on the road to inform us that a slideout on the Bayhill broke.  They said they would fix it, no cost to us, as it happened during their final inspection. Of course, they didn’t have the parts for it and could only estimate when they would have them.  They also needed installation time, so Camping World wanted the new pick-up date to be March 2nd. Of course, this happened to be the same weekend as our Estate Sale which we had already advertised for, but we would make it work somehow.

All we wanted to do was scream!  We had a limited amount of time, and they knew that.  So why wait until the day before we are going to pick it up to start the inspection and cleaning?!   Our salesman was apologetic, but that meant nothing to us. Again, we had no kind words to say about Camping World.  All we could do was wait on the ordered parts and see if we could get it before March 2nd.

The trickle down

We called the hotel to explain why we would not be there in a few hours and to see if they would waive the cancellation fee.  With some grief, it all worked out.

Next, we got on the phone with our new RV insurance company to tell them what happened and asked if they could change the date on the policy to March 2nd.  We didn’t want to pay for insurance for something that we didn’t even own, yet! Thankfully without any push back or problems they sent out an updated policy that day.   Wow, we wished more companies were this accommodating.

Then we called our Credit Union to tell them what happened.  They were just as upset as we were about the whole ordeal. They had already mailed the check because Camping World wanted it by the 16th.  So the Credit Union got on the phone with Camping World, left several messages and so did we. Several days later (a typical theme of Camping World) they told our Credit Union they would not cash the check until we were there to pick up the Bayhill. There was a massive hole in our stomach knowing they have the 5th wheel and our money, yet we have nothing but empty promises.  Would Camping World keep their promise? We would find out later!

New pick-up date March 2nd

Our plan remained the same, to go down the night before so we would have a fresh start come morning to be at Camping World.   On March 1st (before we left), we were told that the service department ordered the WRONG part. Our salesman even said to us that the mechanic was trying to pull off a used part from another 5th wheel (different brand) to fix ours.  Luck stepped in, and the piece did not work on slideout! So again, they ordered parts to fix the slideout and stated they could not expedite the shipping as it had to ship via freight. Camping World could only give us an estimated time frame of when they might receive the parts and would update us when they had a shipping notification from the factory.

About 4-days later our Salesman called to say they ‘hoped’ to have the new parts at Camping World no later than March 12th and he would push on them to get the slideout fixed that day.   Since we needed to be out of our house by March 15th, we wanted to believe them. However, we purchase the Bayhill on January 30th and are now looking at March 12th for picking it up; we were seriously wondering if it would ever happen.  We kept looking online at other 5th wheels, hoping something on our short list would come available, so we could call it quits at Camping World.

Our RV insurance was active as of March 1st. However, we would not have the Bayhill until mid-March. So we called them to see if they could move the policy start date once again. Unfortunately, they were not able to do so. I informed them that we had not taken possession of the 5th wheel yet and Camping World has not taken payment.  They said if the deal falls through to let them know and they could issue a policy refund. Otherwise, at this point, they could not change the date, again.

Was the 13th going to be lucky or not?  

We get a call informing us that the Bayhill has been fixed and to come down “right away” to pick it up.  Then Camping World proceeds to say the Bayhill has “been on their lot way too long” and we need to be there today to get it.  That’s always wonderful to hear since none of it was our fault and we would have loved to have had it anytime during the last 6-weeks.  

Our plan was similar to the other two times we tried to pick up the Bayhill.  But this time we would be forced to drive the 5th wheel to a family members property in Eastern Washington, drop it off, drive to Western Montana so we can finish packing and clean the house.  Our rental inspection was set for the morning of March 15th so that we could maximize our deposit refund and return our keys. Our new adventure would begin very soon – if all went well on the 13th.   

Just like January 30th (purchased the Bayhill), our salesman would meet us when Camping World opened.  Again, he was not there waiting for us. We waited about 45 minutes in the lobby as others pretended to be working, to finally be passed off to an RV tech that would do the walk-through of the Bayhill instead of our Salesman.   We were told several times to allow 3-hours to go over the 5th wheel.

Great!  We liked the idea of having the RV Tech since he would know all the ins and outs of the 5th wheel.  That would give us time to go over every question we may have, test everything and get to know our new ‘home.’   We had never owned an RV of any type before, so we were interested in learning. Don has a background in mechanical engineering, so besides the basics that the everyday RV’er may need to know for a weekend trip, we wanted to know a little more (so we could troubleshoot and fix it).

Camping World walkthrough

You could tell the head technician did NOT want to be there with us like he had something better to be doing.  Maybe that was sipping coffee in his warm office rather than outside in the cold with us. Either way, he was the one that drew the short straw to do this 3-hour walkthrough with us.

When we entered the Bayhill, it had not been cleaned!  The bra and dress were still on the unmade bed, cleaning tools were in the shower, and the oven had not been touched.  The trim pieces that needed to be tacked up in January still had not been done either. The water was still pink (winterized), which means they didn’t get it ready for us to use that night.  

That 3-hour walkthrough was only a quick 30 minutes.  Most of the questions we asked the technician he did not have an answer for and tried to pass it off saying that the manufacturer (Evergreen) was out of business.   That is true. We knew that. But the majority of parts and features are the same in all 5th wheels.

Out of frustration we just wanted to hook up and be on our way, knowing we would figure it out on our own.  However, we still had to deal with the finance department while waiting for the other department to clean the unit, fix the trim and flush the water tank.  So telling us a couple of days ago that ‘the Bayhill is ready’ wasn’t exactly a true statement on Camping World’s part.

Finalizing paperwork

In typical Camping World fashion, we had to sit and wait for the finance person who was not there at the start of her shift.   Our salesman informed us that she was running late and apparently under the weather. We did a few laps of their minimal store area, to stretch our legs.   If it had been nice out we would have easily walked around the block a few times, to de-stress, mostly.

When she was ready, we went over all the same options as before (See Part 1) which we still declined.  Getting an extended warranty (as they called it) on the 4-year-old Bayhill who’s manufacturer is out of business makes no sense.  What a big waste of time! We declined all of what she was going over when she sent the email back in January. Our minds had not changed any.   

We had the numbers from our Credit Union, so when the paperwork came out for us to look at, it didn’t seem right.  Where was our $500 we were to get back? That ‘holding deposit’ was put on a credit card back in January, since we were supposed to pick up the Bayhill in February. She didn’t know what we were talking about and looked at us like we were trying to scam them.  Digging through the pile of papers on her desk she finds the $500 holding deposit receipt (in Part 1 we explain this). We again stated that our Salesman assured us we would get the deposit back when we picked up the 5th wheel. She looked at the loan paperwork and “someone” put the $500 as a down deposit on the loan.  We asked, “why would we only put down $500 on the Bayhill AND do so on a credit card that has an interest rate 10-times higher than our loan”? She was not sure what was going on, so she went to a manager’s office. Several minutes went by before she came back to advise us that Camping World could not refund the $500.   I’m not sure how we kept from walking away at that point – we were both livid.

In silence we looked over the last of the paperwork, all you could hear was her coughing from time to time.

Is it ready yet?

By now it was lunch time, we walked by our salesman that was eating and anxiously asked what our timeline was for the Bayhill to be ready.  Unfortunately, he did not do much checking in with us while we were there. He went to find out, again we stood around waiting. A few minutes later he tells us that the Bayhill needs more time before it would be ready.  We reminded him of our long drive, in sketchy weather, and should have already been on the road. There was nothing we could do to speed this up, so we went to lunch for an hour and hoped we would come back to the Bayhill being ready for us.

Of course, when we came back an hour later, the 5th wheel was not ready.   We were both very upset with everything, and we were toying with the notion to walk away from the deal.  Sadly, we needed our ‘new home’ in just a couple days to start the full-time adventure. Our next step to vent our frustration was to see the finance person.  We went over our story with her since January, the broken slideout, the multiple delays in picking it up and now today’s fiasco. At this point, would felt it would be nice to receive a little compensation for the ordeal.   She went to her manager to “see what Camping World could do for us.” Uggg, we were so tired of hearing that.

Instead of sitting in the two camping chairs in their lobby we walked every aisle of the Camping World store (all 10 rows).   About 30 minutes later the finance person found us and handed us a gift card. It wasn’t much, but it was something and could buy us some much-needed aspirin in their store.

Finally, after two more hours of just sitting and doing nothing but watching the clock go around and people pretending to work, we were on the road!  Thankfully it was not snowing, just a little gloomy, which matched our mood. What should have been a wonderful and happy experience was a 6-week walking nightmare!  

On the way home, we received a message from our Credit Union that Camping World had cashed the check 1-week BEFORE the 13th.  No surprise, but we were sure pissed and betrayed. The whole time we were there, they had our money and could have refunded the $500 holding deposit they applied in error as a down deposit.  It also would have made our prior thoughts of walking away more difficult. Now we had to re-do the loan paperwork at the bank when we were back in Washington State on the 16th. If the interest rate fiasco in Part 1 were a slap in the face, we would equate the cashing the check early as a punch in the gut!

The day after picking it up

We had spent our first night in the Bayhill which was interesting.   Our truck through a Check Engine light during the drive. But we did make it to our destination in Eastern Washington from Southern Idaho.  We even made it back to our house in Montana so we could finish packing, cleaning up and dropped the keys off.

Final thoughts

What should be a joyful experience was filled with discontent and frustration.   Nothing went the way it should have over the last 6-weeks with Camping World. They were never prompt in any manner, nor did they ever appear to care.   We are writing this 1-year later to say we still have never received any sales follow-up by Camping World or our Salesman. We have never gone out of our way to go into any Camping World at this point unless it was to pick up odds and ends needed for RV life.

On March 16, 2018, we began our new adventure as full-time RV’ers with our Bayhill 320RS named Bailey.  It has been full of excitement with a few challenges tossed in. However, we can say our choice to full-time in this Bayhill was worth the hardship that Camping World put us through.  We have been inside a handful of others RVs when shows come into town, but would not trade Bailey for anything else.

See you in our next adventure!

Melissa McElfresh

Melissa McElfresh

In 2012 I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), which made me realize life is too short and not to take simple things for granted. As an avid indoor-girl with allergies, I did not go on hikes of any sort. But, one day my Marine husband, Don, asked if I would go on a 'nature walk' with him. It was on the paved Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park. I went and was hooked, eager for our next adventure! The desire to see new places, meet new people, experience new cultures, has aided me to share with you my new adventure.

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We are sharing our adventures to not only document our full-time living in a 5th wheel but to provide others with information.  Our extensive research involved searching for answers to these questions: how to begin this lifestyle, what RV is best to live in full-time and what jobs could we do to support our dream.  However, we did not find a lot of answers out there that pertained to our quest.  Quickly we realized people choose this lifestyle and their RV for many different reasons.  There is no right or wrong answer.  We are here to provide you with another perspective.

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