Dear Mr. Couch, This letter is to convey my truly positive experience working with Tradewinds RV in the purchase of a "new to us" Open Range Travel Trailer as well as the exceptional service we have received from Tim and your service center.
My wife and I are new to RVing and started the process of educating ourselves about RVing and searching for the travel trailer that would work best for us. Our process started in mid 2009. I did a great deal of reading; researching and we visited a number of RV shows and RV dealers in FL, GA and NC. We were introduced to the Open Range line in November of 2009 at an RV Show in Tampa. From that point, every travel trailer we looked at was compared to the Open Range Journeyer line.
Last summer, we took a Sunday trip to Tradewinds to look at the Open Range and KZ units you had on your lot. At that point, I was struggling with feeling comfortable with the 2009 F150 truck that I owned and if it could handle pulling an Open Range - in particular the JT287RLS (at this point a discontinued model) which, at the time, was their lightest Journeyer Travel Trailer. On our first visit to Tradewinds, we were greeted by Frank Medina. We explained to Frank our situation and wanted to look at your Open Range and KZ Travel Trailers. Frank gave us a master key and let us walk through these units at "our" own pace. This situation was perfect for us and we appreciated the fact that Frank seemed to sense that this visit for us was to explore and narrow our options as to what travel trailers (brand) we were comfortable with. We just didn't need to be pressured at this point in the process. My wife and I kept coming back to the Open Range Journeyer line as the Travel Trailer we liked best, but I continued to struggle with feeling comfortable with my F150 truck. During the remainder of 2010, we made a number of Sunday trips back to Tradewinds and on each visit Frank never pushed us, always letting us go at our own pace and then after changing trucks in January 2011 we made a deal on a used JT337RLS that Frank told us about. Working with Tradewinds and Frank through our search and ultimate purchase of our Open Range Journeyer has been a pleasure. I thank Frank for his "no-pressure" approach. He is a big reason why this sales process was such a pleasure and we chose to purchase from a dealer that is 140 miles away from us especially when we have an Open Range dealer about 30 miles away.
Now let me talk about my service experience with Tradewinds after the sale. Since this JT337RLS was a used unit and Tradewinds RV is 140 miles from my home, I wanted the unit thoroughly checked. I gave Frank a type written check list of things to be done. I also had Frank get me a price to add the second A/C unit. Not having my new truck yet, that was going to give the service department about 3 weeks to install the A/C and go over the whole unit.
I took delivery of my Open Range on Thursday, February 10, 2011. The trip home (first time I had towed a travel trailer) went flawlessly until I got about 10 miles from home. I got a 'trailer wiring' error message on the dash. The next day I received an email from Frank asking how the trip home went. I emailed Frank back and said for the most part the trip went well, but told him about the the trailer wiring error message and asked if he could touch base with Tim, in the service department, and see if there was anything in particular I should/could look for that may be causing the wiring error. The next day Frank called me and told me that after speaking with Tim, and Tim investigating the work requested by me (check brake shoes and function; repack wheel bearings; etc. ) versus what was actually done, that the service department admitted to failing to pull the wheels to thoroughly check the brakes. At first, I was upset as now I would have to tow the trailer back to Ocala (140 miles one way) so soon after picking it up as this was what I was trying to prevent by having the unit thoroughly checked in the first place. Frank told me that after a discussion of the situation, Tradewinds would pay my fuel costs and even an over night stay at a local campground for me to return my trailer to have the brakes checked and the wiring problem corrected. Frank told me Tim would call me to set something up. Tim called me later that day and we set up the date of March 11, for me to tow the trailer back to fix the problem. I agreed that I would accept the reimbursement for fuel, but while I appreciated the offer to cover the campground cost, my wife and I decided we would use this trip as our ' initial shake down trip' and stay in Ocala on Friday and Saturday nights before heading home on Sunday. I felt that we would cover those costs ourselves.
I was initially upset with this situation and the need to tow back to Ocala, but how Tradewinds RV handle this situation and especially the honesty of Tim to accept they messed up, I found absolutely impressive. But, while at this point impressed, I still wondered if everything that was offered and promised would be honored on the actual service date, March 11th.
Last Friday, March 11th, my wife and I got up at 4:00 a.m to get on the road by 5:00 a.m so we would have the trailer at Tradewinds by 8:00/8:30 a.m as i promised Tim it would be. A few days before the 11th, I called Susan to tell her about a few other problems I found that also should have been checked and found prior to delivery and she said they would address them on the 11th, as well. We pulled in around 8:15 a.m and the service department was pleasant and professional. Tim and his staff addressed the brake problem and all other issues and as the day went on, I was wondering if 'I' was going to have to remind Tim about the fuel costs reimbursement. Well, Tim came to me as they were finishing up work on the unit and mentioned getting me a check for the fuel, so I gave him the gas slip from my fill-up when I got into Ocala and he returned with a check.
Mr. Couch, while I was very pleased with my sale experience with Tradewinds and working with Frank, it was how Tradewinds handled the service issue with my brakes that truly impressed me. And it was not the fact that my fuel costs were reimbursed to me, but the fact that Tradewinds (Tim and Frank) were honest with me about the situation and wanted to make it right. That kind of honesty I seriously doubt I would have found at most dealers and for me, is more powerful than money.
While I have an Open Range dealer within 30 miles of me, Tradewinds RV has earned me as a loyal customer. Most people will take the time to write only when things go wrong, bad experiences, etc. however, I am one who beleives it is important to let people know when they have done a great job. I have and will continue to share my positive Sales and Service experience with Tradewinds, Tim and Frank and all the Staff.
You have my permission to share this letter with future customers and even give them my phone number to call me if they have questions about Tradewinds as a Dealer and Service RV facility.
Sincerely, Russell Grimm Russell Grimm 2010 JT337RLS Open Range Travel Trailer
Bobby and I just wanted to thank you for helping make our camping dreams come true! We couldn't be happier! You all helped us so much and we appreciate it. Thank you for all of your help!
Sincerely, Bobby & Andrea VanAssen Bobby & Andrea VanAssen 2011 Jayco Flight
Scott, Thank you for your help. We are so happy with our new Open Range. We couldn't have been more pleased with Tradewinds RV.
Carl & Ruth Carl & Ruth Brinclerhoff Open Range
Dear Sir or Madam: My Husband, Jerry, and I want to express our appreciation for the exceptional customer service and expedience with which Open Range RV Company, and Tradewinds RV Inc., your dealer in Ocala, FL, handled a situation for us recently. We are new to RV'ing and this past winter was our first escape from the cold snow of East Tennessee to the warmer temperatures of Central Florida. After six weeks in a 2007 21' Gulfstream (no slides) that we had recently acquired, we visited Tradewinds looking to upgrade. Frank was our salesman and we were immediately relieved by his no-pressure approach. After a short conversation about the features we were looking for, he pointed us in the right direction and we were able to walk through the RV's on our own and decide which one best suited us and our lifestyle. We looked at trailers by several manufactures, but nothing compared to the design, layout, quality and value of the Open Range. We bought the LT247RLS and picked it up on January 11. We were thrilled. We loved the quality of the materials and workmanship of the trailer, but also that it was very beautiful, comfortable and spacious. We were very proud of it and invited anyone at the RV Park who stopped to admire it to come inside for a tour. Sadly, on the day we had packed up and were ready to leave for home, we walked out of the campground's restroom only to see flames going up the side of our new trailer. With help from other campers and a follow-up by the Fire Dept., the flames inside and out were extinguished and no one was harmed (with the exception of my husband pulling a hamstring muscle when he started running toward the fire). Words cannot describe the disappointment and helplessness we felt at the moment. This is where Tim Chesteine, the Service Manager, at Tradewinds, and his team of dedicated technicians, deserve special recognition. These individuals had already impressed us during the initial prep and walk-through of the trailer, paying special attention to our requests and making sure everything was perfect. Robbie, in particular, spent most f the day going over all the workings of the trailer and making last-minute adjustments for us. We were reeling over the fire event, but Tim's professionalism and calm demeanor were more comforting than he knew. Although we didn't know what the outcome of the situation would be, we were confident as we moved our belongings from the RV to the truck that we would not be forgotten. You have a team of professionals representing Open Range at Tradewinds RV to be proud of, everyone from Sales & Finance, Parts, Service, to the Owner. We learned from Tim a few days later that Open Range accepted responsibility for the defect that caused the fire and we would be provided with a new replacement RV. Thank you, Open Range, for standing behind your product, and for making this experience less distressing than we suspect it would have been with another RV manufacturer. Exceptional customer service is hard to come by these days but we found it with Open Range and Tradewinds. We are more convinced than ever that our decision to buy an Open Range travel trailer was the right one. We drove to Ocala a few days ago and picked up our new Light and couldn't be happier. Now we are dragging the neighbors in to see it. Sincerely, Vera M. Thomas Jerry & Vera Thomas Open Range Travel Trailer
Letter Addressed to Open Range: Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you of an exceptional dealer selling your top of the line unit. You found the 393 unit at Tradewinds RV in Ocala, Fl for us. We drove 12 hrs straight to get there and did a one day turnaround with a new unit in tow home to VA. We got on site that evening to find all was ready for us overnight in their lot. Landy and Robbie from service were there early next morning to get our walk thru completed. We found a few items that needed touching up etc. during the walk thru. They fixed them on the spot no questions asked. Frank in sales helped us out with the paperwork and Susan of warranty was great going over in detail all the issues. Even though we are in VA they want us to contact them with any problems. Having dealt with camping world high pressure out the door approach previously, Tradewinds RV proved to be the definition of customer service and quality! Eric Gentry 393 Open Range
I just purchased our Journeyer 340FLR from Tradewinds RV in Ocala, Fl. Being in the automotive field my entire career, I can't tell you what a pleasure it was to deal with everyone in sales, F&I and the service department. Frank in sales, Scott in finance and especially Landy and Andrew in service. Our orientation with Susan and the walkaround with Landy was awesome. With a product like Open Range Journeyer, and a dealer like Tradewinds you can look forward to many successful years. Scott Bowser Open Range 340 FLR 5th Wheel
I'm writing this letter following the repair of my 2011 Pinnacle 5th wheel on Nov. 26 and Dec. 03, 2012. On my arrival to Florida from Dayton, Ohio, my kitchen slide wouldn't open. Of the 4 Jayco Dealers within 100 miles of Orlando, Tradewinds RV was the only dealer willing to help us. Thank God!!! On an extremely busy Monday following Thanksgiving your Service Manager Tim Chesteine + staff found the problem, ordered parts and got the slide usable. I returned the following Monday and the repairs were complete. I was extremely impressed with the professional and can-do attitude of your staff, particularly the outstanding performance of Tim!! I + My Family thank you very much!!!! - Dan Shackleton Dan Shackleton & Family 2011 Pinnacle Fifth Wheel
Thank you for your efforts in getting us this beautiful RV. We appreciate the excellent service during our entire experience, and hope to be able to send other folks your way. Vera & Jerry Thomas Open Range Travel Trailer.
We love our new Jayco!! We love it even more becuse of he excellent service, outstanding treatment, you and everyone at Tradewinds RV gave to us! You did a great job!
Thank you! Marlene & Bob Grucis, Bushkill, PA
Thank you to your entire wonderful staff. Everyone was so great to us and made our purchase such a wonderful experience. You sure have gained a lifetime customer with our family. We will send all our friends and family to you.