Caution should be used when dealing with the Long View RV Center located on I-4 just North East of Tampa Florida. This Dealer agreed to do a "Tow-able Inspection" on a used 2003 Salem travel trailer we purchased from them, which we were told would cover all major travel trailer systems to insure the travel trailer was SAFE to tow on the highway. In fact, our salesman even told us the dealer had a legal obligation to do this inspection. I do not know about the legal requirement issue, if any.
Upon pickup and orientation of the travel trailer, the salesman assured us the inspections had been completed and everything was safe for our 100 mile trip, up Interstate 4, to our home.
After leaving, we drove about 30 miles and had a travel trailer tire blow out. Several calls to the dealer service department and the salesmen ended with them leaving us stranded on the side of the highway, at rush hour and in the dark, with no help. The dealer had us on hold for over an hour and was going to help us and kept telling us not to worry, before dumping us because it was time for them to go home. We then called a wrecker service who showed up and changed our tire and followed us to the next exit.
Ok, Ok, buying a used travel trailer, I should have had jacks and good spare tire but all that was at home, not in the travel trailer at this time. The dealer did include what was an unsafe spare tire on the travel trailer. We had been and were very adamant about making sure the travel trailer was in a safe "tow-able" condition and we were assured by the salesman the travel trailer was inspected and safe to take on the highway and the 100 mile trip home.
We had to leave the travel trailer overnight, at the LOVE'S TRUCK STOP at exit 44 on I-4. Thank You very MUCH Love's for your help - My wife and I truly appreciate your gracious assistance. The reason we had to leave the travel trailer was that there were 2 other tires that were deemed, by the wrecker driver, to be totally unsafe to be on the road. Although the tires had been painted/coated with a nice "tire black" substance, the tires had dry rot and mfg dates showing a mfg date of 2002 (over 10 years old).
Also, the tow truck operator had a difficult time removing the blown tire as the lug nut studs were quite rusted under the plastic nut caps. The wheels had obviously not been removed recently, even though the dealer stated the "tow-able inspection" included a safety check of the wheels, brakes and bearings. Obviously NOT Done.
Upon contacting the dealer the next morning, the dealer agreed to replace the 3 bad tires and had a tire company go to the LOVE's Truck Stop and replace them, at their own cost.
I picked up the travel trailer and returned to the dealer where the dealer then performed the proper inspections, removing the wheels, inspecting the brakes and re-packing the bearings, again at the dealers cost.
We left with the travel trailer and made it the 100 miles to home in Orlando only to find one tire with two side by side lug nuts missing. I did stop at a rest area, about 50 miles from the dealer and did a walk around but did not see any missing lug nuts, all were covered with plastic caps. The lug nuts fell off in the last 50 miles.
I will praise the dealer for taking care of part of the expense caused due to their negligence. However, when the tire had the blow out, $675 worth of damage, this dealers own estimate, was caused to the fender and fender area. The dealer refuses to fix this damage.
Had the dealer done a proper safety inspection of, at minimum the tires alone, this damage would have never occurred.
From the negligent safety inspection and the negligence in securing the wheel lug nuts after the safety inspection, I feel there is sufficient cause to warn others of this dealer incompetence and endangerment of our lives.
There is a lot more to this whole story but I am sticking to just the most important issues, the SAFETY Issue and the dealers refusal to repair the damage caused by their employee negligence.
We are totally disappointed in the owners of this beautiful dealership refusing to stand behind their service and allowing the integrity of their operation to slump to such a low level. I strongly advise customers or potential customers to do a through internet search of this dealer before engaging their service. Buyer Beware, do your "due diligence"!
Poor work and poor attitude - When we left the dealership the first time, we were very happy with the service department and left them very positive feedback, then we learned that the work had not been done and/or done negligently.