Facts A Buyer Should Know About Evaluating And Purchasing A Toy Hauler
A Sale Getting Off To A Wrong Start
Here is an actual case by case scenario of how many sales get started. The buyer looks at a number of trailers on the internet and begins calling to shop the trailer for the best price. Almost always the buyer advises the dealer that they are shopping only and while they are looking for quality and longevity, price is very important. If the dealer ask them do you want price or quality, the answer is usually the same, this being both!
This is the most critical point in the entire buy / sell scenario and it usually takes a turn for the worse right here. The message that the dealer gets is simple. The trailer must look as though it is a good unit and worthy of it’s sale price but some how must be less costly and better than other trailers that the buyer is pricing. In some instances the dealer will ask the buyer what trailers they are looking at, the Equipment they come with and the price that they were quoted. Buyers get upset when this question is asked and the dealer advises that they need to know the other trailers specs and price so that they know what they are competing with.
The buyer does not always remember how the other trailers were constructed, the type of materials engaged, whether real wood or composite board and other important issues that are vital for the purposes of comparing apples to apples and providing a price on building a similar trailer on a less costly basis. The dealer now has little to go on, as they are dealing with a ghost trailer and is reminded by the buyer over and again that the price has got to be competitive, as the buyer is looking at trailers with dirt cheap prices. The concept of selling this buyer a quality trailer at this time is very much lost. The only thing left to salvage the sale is to give the buyer exactly what they are asking for; a cheap trailer for a cheap price with a manufacturer that has no warranty or will be out of business shortly with a warranty that will not be honored.
Does Composite Or Particle Board Really Save Money
There is no Right way to do something wrong! Composite and Particle board have no place in a Hi Line Trailer or any Trailer, unless the Trailer is on a Planet where there is no water or humidity! Building a Trailer with Composite or Particle Board is like making tires out of Doughnuts; however, as long as consumers continue to tell dealers that price is very important, dealers will continue to give consumers what they ask for; Composite and Particle Board!
Are All Trailer Warrantys Created Equal?
There is a recent blog on the internet concerning a Georgia trailer manufacturer, by a disgruntled buyer who claims that he purchased a 7 X 14 trailer and the walls are buckling, warping and cracking. Also, that he has contacted the dealer who sold him the trailer and can get no assistance. Further, that he previously owned a Haulmark with indications of it being trouble free. Is it likely that there is a great deal more to the big picture than what is being reported?
Specifically, this is not about where to fix the blame; this is about the validity and effectiveness of Warrant's issued by out of State Manufacturers. Here is the original story that appears on the I-Net.
Most of the other manufacturers honor a warranty issue in the state of Georgia only where the trailers are usually made and no where else. In essence these warranty’s are very limited! This is possibly one of the reasons why the above buyer will not be able to receive warranty repairs; The buyer resides in N.C. and the manufacturer is in Georgia, where he must transport the trailer for repairs.
Good Price Vs Good Trailer
Many times buyers, by their actions compel dealers to work for little to nothing, leaving no room for any mistake or repairs; just a small profit with no room to honor a legitimate warranty claim at a later date. The above referenced buyer reports that he owned a Haulmark first, which is a quality trailer in general that gave him no trouble. Then he decided to buy a less expensive trailer that according to the buyer, developed major problems. Based upon many years of experience, there appears to be much more to the big picture than what was reported.
Did the buyer focus on good price over good trailer and did he pay a price for buying price? We lost several prospects recently, because we were unable to compete with ghost trailers and refused to sell price as we can not afford to be listed in a forum, like the one above. Some buyers are very unreasonable and demand a great deal for very little. They basically push dealers into a corner and force them to sell junk for the sake of saving money and then condemn the dealer at a later date for doing exactly what the buyer told them to do; sell them junk. Specifically, Buyers oftentimes choose GOOD PRICE over good trailer!
Dealers are people too that have families to support and sometimes do what they feel is necessary to put food on the table in the bad times that we are presently caught up in. While this is not justified, there are no lack of buyers that initiate these circumstances, which later back fire on both buyer and dealer!
A Rude Awakening
Recently, a man contacted us to have a ceiling mounted Happijac bed repaired. He purchased a different brand of trailer from another dealer and set the trailer up with a Happijac bed. In the middle of the night the bed collapsed and landed on two Harley Davidson motorcycles.
The bed broke loose from one side of the wall striking bike one and pushing it against bike two; then both bikes fell to the floor. The damage to the bikes was $2,800.00. Insurance did not cover this loss, as it did not come under collision or comprehensive.
Limitation Of Geographical Warrantys
While the above referenced trailer was covered under a warranty, the trailer was out of the geographical coverage range and the manufacturer would not authorize repairs out of state! The reason that the bed collapsed was due to the fact that the walls and ceiling were not reinforced with vertical and horizontal struts and beams. The cost of this separate procedure averages $250.00 per bed. The cost not to have the walls reinforced could run into thousands, depending on the circumstances. Our cost to reinforce the walls for a Happijac bed installation is $250.00; occasionally, customers challenge wall and ceiling reinforcement, claiming that it is an unnecessary expense. Most dealers do not reinforce the walls and ceilings and will agree with customers 100% just to make a sale. The rest is very predictable and collapse is almost always!
Planned Bankruptcy’s / Bogus Warrantys
In the past three years five trailer manufacturers in Georgia have gone bankrupt. Some of these were planned bankruptcies, in that they build several million dollars worth of trailers, sell them and close down prior to the warranty claims and the law suits begin to flow in. This is a very common practice in the trailer business!
Georgia Transporters is a former failure with thousands of warranty claims unpaid! We lost many sales to them, because they offered a six year warranty and we instead offered a three year, but stable, effective and honest warranty that will HONOR OUT OF STATE WARRANTY CLAIMS. Forest River is Nation Wide and they have over 3500 Service and warranty dealers available throughout the United States to serve our buyers. Few if any manufacturers can make this statement. Aside from this they are owned by Warren Buffet, second richest man in the World; Forest River is the largest in the World and they are very stable; they will be here tomorrow and will out perform any other manufacturer!
Warrantys are like Insurance Claims; they are a Direct Financial Drain on the Manufacturer and are as welcome as the Illegitimate Child at a Family Picnic !
The Perfect way to Discourage a Customer from making a Warranty Claim is to Compel them to Make an 800 – 1000 Mile Journey back to the Factory inGeorgia in Order for the Claim to be Honored; Don’t Believe this; just Google some of the Brand Names of Trailers you have been looking at and Review some of the Many Consumer Complaints and Horror Stories about Break Downs, Bogus Warranty’s and Refusal to Service Broken Trailers by Manufactures!
Why does this Happen? Simple! When a Manufacturer Sells a Trailer to a Dealer for an all So Good Price of $1,500.00, which Generates no more than a Pure Junker that will literally Fall Apart, there is Barely a $300.00 Profit Margin and Absolutely No Room Left for a Warranty Claim! This works the same on Larger Trailers and Toy Haulers as well! You may save $200.00 / $300.00 Up Front but sooner than you think, you will Incur a $500.00 / $1,000.00 Warranty Claim that will Not Be Honored, unless you Return the Trailer to Georgia for an Inspection and Approval, which May also be Rejected if it is Determined that there was Operator Error Involved! Please be Assured that Forest River Will Not do this to Customers. You will Receive First Class Service and No Excuses or Journeys to Georgia!
Some People will Risk Big Money on a Junker Just to Save a Little Money on a Quality Trailer: What will you do???
All New Wide Body Toy Hauler
Our all new wide body Toy Hauler has been Re-Engineered with Modifications to the Right and Left Rear Corner Post. These Corner Post which are 6” wide and 2” thick and face the Rear of the trailer (street side) are now twisted vertically, so that the 6” wide section of the Corner Post now faces the curb side, Rather than the street side. This allows a wider vehicle or freight to be loaded through the Rear Entrance of the Toy Hauler, with No Compromise to the Structural Integrity of the Toy Hauler or its Frame.
The previous Ramp Opening Width on an 8’6” X 16’ or 8’6” X 20’, etc. was 90” wide; the new width is now 96” wide. Thus we have an entirely New Model which we call the “ WIDE BODY EDITION “ and now we incorporate this New Engineering into all of our models as a STANDARD FEATURE.
The Ramp is also Wider to match up to the Wider Entrance and accommodate a wide vehicle or cargo, while passing through the entrance. In about ten years from now our competitors will wake up and upgrade their trailers also, by copying our World Class Champion Design and Engineering.This is only one of the many Design Features and Engineering Endeavors that give you Tomorrows Technology today!
Safety Vs Price
When we tell a customer that they need 12” on centers for the type of load they have, we are often times told that they can’t afford the additional cross members and further, that we must compete with the other dealers, if we want the sale; we stop right there and let the other dealers take the stress, take the wrap and get written up in the forums.
Trailers Are Made Much Like Cars.
Trailers are made much in the same way as cars. You can build a trailer with the same quality parts and materials as a Mercedes Benz; or you can build a junker. The manufacturer has nothing to do with it, as they simply follow instructions and the build sheet that the dealer and buyer prepare for the construction of the trailer. If the manufacturer gets a bad write up in a forum, it is because they were instructed by the buyer to build a sub standard trailer with sub standard materials or sell them one already made in the same fashion for the sake of saving money!
Longer Trailers Require Multiple Frame Reinforcements
While adding four more feet to a 16’ foot trailer does not amount to much more cost and expense, the cost and expense escalates more rapidly from 20’ to 24’ and 24’ to 28’, as the frame requires multiple reinforcement at the above points to avoid radical flexing, bending and possible collapse. Not all manufacturers reinforce their frames safely or effectively and this is the reason why many trailers flex, bend and sometimes crack or completely break and hit the road.
30 Amp Vs 50 Amp Electrical Service
Recently, we have decided to equip all of our toy haulers with 50 amp breaker fuse boxes and wire the entire trailer with 50 amp wiring as well. This will allow the buyer to equip the trailer with additional 110 electrical outlets and the occupants to run just about every appliance, to include the air conditioning, cove lighting, fridge, micro, hot water heater, sink and toilet pumps, without over loading the circuits or tripping the breakers. While this system adds to the cost of the unit, it is a great safety feature.
Caution With 30 Amp Systems
Caution should be exercised when operating with a 30 amp system especially when engaging more than five circuits. Four 110 electrical outlets in the trailer require one circuit to function. Our new 50 amp system will now enable you to add several additional 110 electrical outlets which will function very safely with our new 50 amp system. Thus, you can add additional 110 electrical outlets in the right front and rear and left rear of the unit to facilitate every vantage point and situation that can and will arise. This will add convenience and pleasure to the ownership of the trailer.
The air conditioning requires a circuit all for itself. The 110 outlets situated on the wall behind the kitchen sink and on the wall behind the bathroom sink are GFI outlets. Two of these GFI 110 outlets require one circuit for their operation. Circuits get used up fast when engaging numerous 110 electrical outlets or running several appliances at the same time.
What Are Ground Fault Iterrupters?
Ground fault interrupters are designed to protect from electrical shock by interrupting a household circuit when there is a difference in the currents in the "hot" and neutral wires. Such a difference indicates that an abnormal diversion of current from the "hot" wire is occuring. Such a current might be flowing in the ground wire, such as a leakage current from a motor or from capacitors.
More importantly, that current diversion may be occuring because a person has come into contact with the "hot" wire and is being shocked. When this occurs the GFI is designed to shut down to protect an individual from continuous electric shock. When a 110 electrical outlet is situated near water the hazard is increased and this is why we engage the GFI 110, instead of the non GFI outlet.
Emergency Egress Window
If a vehicle crashed into the side door of your trailer day or night and generated a fire, how would you escape to safety? Suppose someone parked a vehicle against the side door of your trailer and threatened to harm you unless you paid a ransom! Suppose the side door on your trailer jammed and you could not get out! Suppose there was an outside brush fire and you could not open the side door of your trailer and escape to safety! Suppose a Skunk or dangerous animal or Reptile situated itself at or near the side door of your trailer and restricted your exit! Regardless of the reason a side door to your trailer is unable to be opened, all of our trailers now come equipped with an Emergency Egress Escape window that un-bolts and pops out within seconds so you can escape to safety. This new window is installed on the opposite side of the side door to the trailer and has already saved lives. This is one of many STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES engineered in all Aero Trailers.
So Called Good Deals That Go Bad
Is it a good deal if you pay $2,000.00 / $3,000.00 less on a Toy Hauler and find out later that the floor and walls are breaking, buckling, cracking, warping or expanding, because they were made out of composite or particle board, instead of real ply wood?
Is it a good deal if you pay $2,000.00 / $3,000.00 less on a Toy Hauler and later find that your air conditioning runs constantly and the temperature is still warm or hot because the trailer was not properly insulated or insulated at all?
Is it a good deal if you pay less for installation cost and eliminate wall reinforcement on a ceiling mounted Happijac bed and later the bed falls down in the middle of the night and damages your cargo?
Where To Buy
Generator sizes are the most frequently discussed item. Generators are expensive and the best place to purchase them at a lower than average price is at Home Depot, Lowes, Harbor Freight or any other supplier near you. If the unit breaks you will be close to your supplier and will avoid shipping the unit long distances and incurring a long wait for repair and a large freight bill.
I would suggest going with a 50 AMP System for the Trailer and a 7500 / 8000 Watt Generator which will most likely run a Micro, A/C, Hot Plate, Hair Dryer, Coffee Maker, Florescent Lights, Sink, Shower and Toilet with the least amount of over loading, etc.
Operating Multiple Appliances
Using the trailer like you were at Home will result in many, if not all of the above Appliances and Electrical Devices operating at the same time! Always go extra heavy duty, so you will obviate the flipping of Breakers while in the middle of cooking, washing your hands or showering with the Air and other appliances going.
Electric Usage Charts
Most stores that sell Generators have an Electric Usage Chart that will document just how many Watts is required for a Light Bulb, Florescent Light, Coffee Maker, Micro Waive, A/C Unit, etc. and can assist you full well to determine the exact size of Generator required to meet your needs.
There are four locations that a generator could be placed:
Caution: Every 12” that a Tongue is lengthened generates an additional 200/250 lbs of Stress on the center of the Tongue and Surrounding Structure. Add the Weight of the Generator and the Center of the Tongue is at High Risk for a Bend or Total Collapse!
This is done by installing a Vented Door on the side of the trailer and Building a Box that will range in size ( 2’6” wide x 3’ deep ) This box is well insulated and will house the Generator. This is called a Dog House.
The Dog House takes up space inside the Trailer and is better engaged with a Longer Unit. There are different approaches to the Construction of this Dog House. The Kitchen Sink is located on the left side of the Trailer.
Placing the Dog House 2’-3’ back from the Kitchen Sink will work, but will interfere with the Parking of a Motorcycle on the left side of the Trailer. Adding 2 additional feet to the Kitchen Sink Assembly and Housing the Dog House Under the Sink may work better, but it will take up the necessary space Required to fit a Motorcycle on the left Rear side of the Trailer.
Regardless of the above Installation, the Next Size up Trailer will have to be Engaged, in order for a Motorcycle to fit on the left Rear side of the Trailer / usually an FLHTUCI, FLASTF, FLHR, etc. which are all exactly 8’ in Length from Front Tire to Rear Tire and require an un-obstructed 8’ of Space. Our Entry Level Trailer is 16’ in Length; the next size up is a 20’ Unit. This 20’ Unit will work just fine with a Generator Dog House Installation.
How The Exotic V-Nose Functions
The Double Radius Designer V-Nose that comes standard on all of our trailers is a very Special and Aerodynamic V-Nose that is a Double Radius on the outside and Cathedral (round) on the inside.
The outer right and left side of the V-Nose tuck in and form valleys that act as smooth channels which slow the air down as the trailer is being pulled. The rounded corners quickly remove the air from the channels and slide this air away from the trailer rapidly, so as to decrease the overall Drag Factor and offer more fuel economy. The Aerodynamic Design will also decrease the strain on the drive line of the towing vehicle and allow for cooler operating temperatures of both the engine and transmission.
The second most important feature of the Double Radius V-Nose is the inside Cathedral (round) interior. UNLIKE most other standard traditional pie shaped V-Nose Trailers that have no cargo space in the right and left front nose section , the Double Radius is instead round on the inside and offers much more space that can be fully accessed for motorcycles or other cargo.
These rounded Aero Dynamic DESIGN FEATURES are engaged by Ferrari Lamborghini, Porsche and many other Exotic Car Manufacturers, who have spent tens of Millions in Engineering to have the Fastest Cars in the World.
While the Double Radius V-Nose on the Aero Trailer is designed specifically for Performance, it manifest a very Exotic Appearance and offers a more spacious up front interior than most others. Once you own one of these World Class Champions, you will never switch.
Making A Sound Decision
Do you want a REAL GENUINE WARRANTY that REALLY WORKS or do you just want to save a few bucks up front and run the risk of being STRANDED like MR NORTH CAROLINA
Have you been able to determine who controls PRICE and QUALITY and have you decided whether it will be PRICE or QUALITY for you?
Have you been able to determine that there is always a big difference between a GOOD PRICE and a GOOD TRAILER and have you decided whether it will be GOOD PRICE or GOOD TRAILER for you?
Engineering And Design
We Engineer and design our own trailers, engaging very high quality parts and materials. We seldom experience any problems or warranty claims, simply because we go preventative and will not engage sub-standard materials or work product, leave out important parts or build a unit that is not properly insulated.
We can make recommendations that will lower your cost, cut some corners and come up with solutions that can save you money, without compromising the integrity of the trailer; just give this some old fashioned thought. CALL for PRICE on LARGER TRAILERS up to 53’ long.
It is a wise idea to procure both manufacturer and customer references on all dealers! Get the facts or the facts will get you; when you get em, get em right, or they will get you wrong!
Customer references will be provided under separate cover; references for Forest River are as follows:
MR Kevin Smith is the S.E. Regional Operations Manager / V.P. of the Ocilla Georgia Forest River Plant and will also be glad to act as a reference. His phone number is 229-468-7244. If MR Smith is not available, ask for MR Tim Cox, who is in the Sales Dept. His phone number is 229-468-7810. Please Feel free to run the name Tony Mancuso and Aero Trailers by these people and you will have complete confidence and peace of mind when dealing with us.
Thank you for your interest in Aero Trailers and good luck with the right decisions.
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