My name is Morgan Campbell-Westerhoff. I am an active duty Service member in the United States Navy. In October of 2017, I transferred from Hawaii to Jacksonville Fl. I was living in a travel trailer that was passed down to my husband and me, from his parents. We realized it had severe water damage shortly after moving to Jacksonville, FL. Knowing that Camping World was in close proximity and considered a patriotic company we decided to look at the travel trailers they had available. After spending some time there, we came across the closest thing I could think of to my dream trailer. A 2018 Dutchmen Aerolite 2820 RESL. The sales representative informed us that we would get at least $2500 for the trade in, which was the down payment for our new trailer. Just a few days later, my husband and I were back at Camping World to purchase the trailer.
When we arrived at Camping World the day of the purchase, we were told that our previous trailer would be appraised and then we would be told how much we would actually get for it. Again, the sales representative assured us that we would get at least our down payment. Shortly after arriving at Camping World, we were whisked into the financial consultant’s office, who informed us that we would only get $500 for our trailer. When I asked why we were not getting the $2500 that we were told we would get for it, he said that he had spoken with the sales representative and they agreed it was only worth $500. Since the sales representative had been with my husband and I from the second we got to Camping World until we walked into the finance office, I knew this was a lie.
After an incredibly brief description of the paperwork, I was signing. We left the finance office and sat in the waiting area for several hours. We were then told that the trailer was ready for us to take, but since we were living in our previous trailer, we had to move everything from our previous trailer to the new Aerolite. After about 30 minutes of us scrambling to move everything, the sales representative started coming outside to check on our progress. He did this every 10-15 minutes because it was the end of his shift and he wanted to leave for the day. I found this frustrating since we sat in Camping World almost the entire day while they were doing who knows what.
When we finally arrived at the campground we were residing at, we started noticing some issues. There were grease stains in the floor that took me months of scrubbing to get out. On one of the walls, I noticed a bubbling effect in the wallpaper. It was not very noticeable, and I just assumed caused by someone doing a poor job of applying it. At Camping World, I noticed the fridge light was orange and asked why. They assured me it would be green before we left, which it was still orange when we arrived at the campground. The following day I was trying to cook something in a crockpot and realized that none of the outlets in our kitchen area were working. Therefore, we scheduled an appointment with Camping World to get our less than a week-old trailer looked at.
When we arrived at Camping World our sales representative did not remember who we were. The RV technician said the GFCI outlet was bad and it took him several hours to fix the issue. A few weeks later, I looked at my bank statement for the trailer. I was setting up my account for the bank. When I logged on it said I owed $35,008. I knew there must have been a mistake. The trailer price was only about $27,000 and I had put $2500 as the down payment. Therefore, I called the bank to see what the mistake was. I looked through the paperwork much more closely and realized that everything the sales representative had told me to sign added a significant amount of money to trailer. I was charged over $10,000 extra in “services” that the sales representative told me I should purchase.
Several months later, our awning broke. Therefore, we went to Camping World to see if they recommended any mobile RV technicians. We called the man they recommended and he “fixed” our awning. In May of 2019, our refrigerator stopped running off the electricity and the GFCI outlet stopped working. Frustrated I decided to change it out myself because the previous year our RV technician told my husband and me that we could do it ourselves. As if my trailer had not been a nightmare to begin with on July 3, 2019 the air conditioning stopped working. It was almost 11 PM so I could not call Camping World to bring my trailer in and the next day was a holiday. I tested the air conditioning for 3 days to see if it had just been acting strange but to no avail. On July 5, 2019, I called Camping World to schedule bringing my trailer in. The soonest appointment available was July 10, 2019. My husband dropped the trailer off on the 10th. They informed him that they would not be able to look at it for at least a week. Frustrated I called them on the 12th to see why.
On July 12, my service advisor told me that the air conditioning turned on as soon as they plugged the trailer in to a power source. This made absolutely no sense because I had tried for 3 days to get the air conditioning to work. She then informed me that there was $10,000 dollars in water damage. Therefore, I went to Camping World to see what she was talking about. When I arrived, I noticed that the air conditioning was running without the filter on, which is against the manufacturer’s warranty.
As for the water damage, in Camping World’s opinion, part of this damage was caused by a poor installation of our awning and a small amount of water damage to the slide. I asked why this was $10,000 worth of damage and they said because they would have to replace the entire floor of the slide. Unsure of what to do I decided I would file a claim with my insurance company. While I was still with the service advisor and technician, I asked if they had been able to figure out what was wrong with the GFCI outlet and the fridge. They told me that if I wanted to figure out what was wrong then I would have to pay $150 for them to diagnose the issue. My whole trailer was still under the “extended service plan warranty” and the appliance was still under the manufacturer’s warranty. I did not understand why I needed to pay for a diagnosis if it was still covered under the warranty. They also informed me that none of the damage to the trailer was covered under my extended warranty. Frustrated that I paid $2973 dollars on a warranty that basically covers nothing, I left Camping World.
The following week I called to see if I could get a WRITTEN estimate of the damages. My service advisor asked if it was for the insurance company or me. I did not really understand why it made any difference, so I said it was for myself. She informed me that she could more than likely get one together by July 19. During this week, I went in to put a tarp on the damaged area of my trailer. One of the employees came out to assist me in getting the tarp on and he noticed that the cover to the air conditioning unit was not secured. The screws that keep the air conditioning cover in place were sitting on top of the trailer along with a power drill. It seemed strange to me that the air conditioning would be in this state if when they turned it on it worked “perfectly fine.” I also noticed that the tires were very low on air and asked if they had done the 12-point inspection. He looked through the paperwork and said that they had. I asked why the tires had not been filled with air and he said he did not know why and that it should have been done during the 12-point inspection. On July 22, my repair adjuster went to look at the damages to the trailer. The repair adjuster appeared to be unprofessionally friendly with the Camping World employees. It felt as if there was no chance of getting an unbiased inspection.
I waited for several weeks after the inspection to find out if it had been approved or not. In the meantime, I called Camping World to see if I could get a WRITTEN estimate AGAIN. The service advisor told me I should just wait to see what the insurance company said. I told her that I did not think the slide out would be covered by insurance and asked if I could just get an estimate to the slide. On Friday I was told it would cost approximately $4,200. I called again the following Monday to see if they could give me the estimate in WRITING. My service advisor then informed me that the damages would cost $5,600. How did the price go up $1,200 dollars?!
On August 6, 2019, I was informed that my claim was denied. With a heavy heart, I called Camping World again. I told them that none of the damages were going to be covered and that I would like a WRITTEN estimate. The service advisor told me that the total estimate was $10,282 in repairs. She informed me that the estimate did not include the damage to the roof. Mind you that the roof damage was a scratch that was approximately 1 inch in length. She said that Camping World does not patch roofs so the cost to replace the roof would be another $9,000-$10,000.
I informed her that I would need to find a way to come up with the money. I haven’t had my trailer for almost an entire month at this point. She told me to email her when I was ready for them to order parts. I was baffled that they would order the parts and start the repairs on my trailer without giving me a written estimate substantiating that the actual cost of my repairs. How are they coming up with a repair cost of $10,282? If they can give me the cost verbally, why won’t they give me a written estimate?
My entire experience with Camping World Jacksonville has been an utter and complete nightmare from day one. I legitimately believe I am in Camping World purgatory at this point. On August 10, I emailed my service advisor asking for a WRITTEN estimate. It is now August 20; I have not received a WRITTEN estimate to this day. I am writing to you because you are my last hope. I feel that people need to know of the nightmare that is Camping World. I feel I have completely been taken advantage of because of my age and the fact that I am a military member. From day one, the employees of Camping World just saw me as a paycheck. In addition, I feel I am still being treated in this manner.