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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I need advice on the ordering process.

Talked to sales manager that sold me my RAM 1500 pick up truck two years ago. He treated me right back then.
Not sure of the process he described and need feed back.

The Dodge RAM Pro Master build sheet finally went from 2017 to 2018. I have good idea of options for the silver 159 2500 gas PM.

There is a $1,750 RAM factory rebate available now expiring end of October which is ok as I want to order soon. He tells me it will arrive some time January 2018. No Problem.

He also tells me that the larger of the factory incentives ( at time of delivery January 2018 OR October 2017 when ordered ) will be the incentive applied.

What I don't understand is that he said the price will be $500 over invoice and I believe that invoice will come with the van when delivered.
I asked for clarification but not heard from him yet.

I am not comfortable committing to a sale where the final price is determined after the product shows up.

Is this common when ordering ?
I rather agree to a price at time of order, why would a dealer need to wait for invoice at time of delivery?

Thanks
 

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Agreed. This is typical "salesspeak" to get you to commit. $500 over invoice is a meaningless number to begin with. You want to buy at dealer cost plus whatever you are willing to pay and be very careful about so called "fees" they add on to inflate the price. Dealer fees are always negotiable no matter they tell you. You should immediately be subtract any dealer fee from the sales price. I’m not talking about state mandated fees that are fixed but only dealer fees that they pull out of the air afterwards.

If you do order make sure you can get out free when the van comes in if you are not pleased with to total final price to you. They know what their cost is no mater what BS they tell you and the only difference should be incentives when it’s delivered, NOT when you sign the order.
 

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The factory incentives are applied after your $500 over invoice... So it's a win-win with respect to taking the larger incentive between now and in January.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Glad to see you will get the $1,750 Steve.

Still I am not happy with this $500 over invoice as $0 over will still net the dealer 3% of MSPR in factory holdover and that is a lot more than the $500. They won't talk hold about holdover of course.

I am going to get bottom line quotes from several in my area and let them compete. You would think that on an order they have little overhead as they are not keeping a truck on the lot hoping it sells soon so they can pay the bank back, sales people, etc.

Will also negotiate fees up front as only one they can legally charge is $80 documentation fees per California code, all others will be dismissed.
 

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When you place your order you will sign a purchase agreement (whether it's $500 over invoice or something better) and that should contain the current incentives, but since the incentives might be better in January, you really won't know what you'll pay then but it won't be greater than your purchase agreement...

As for the $500 over invoice, yeah you'll need to shop around if you don't like that. I managed to get a 'friends and family' discount (I forgot what they called it exactly) because of an agreement with my employer. It saved around $2,000 off of MSRP which seemed good enough to me, but I didn't compare that to dealer invoice. I also wanted to buy from my local dealer which has been good to me in the past, so even if I could have saved a couple hundred bucks elsewhere, I didn't try.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Excellent and useful advise from a member that just went through that process. THANK YOU Steve.
Wondering if Costco can offer some help??

Thanks
 

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It's been my experience that dealing with either the fleet manager or internet sales manager will yield the best price. Deal by email or fax to have a record of anything that was offered or promised, and leave any emotional component out of the conversation (Things like "I really like that red one" or "Those wheels look great") Make it clear you are buying an appliance and looking for the best price.

Don't be afraid of buying away from home. A $50 bus ticket or a $300 plane ticket can sometimes save you thousands. There is no dealer loyalty in the service department. They are a separate business unit and will be happy to take your money when you require service regardless of where you bought it. Salesman will still to this day use BS lines like "Well, that's a long way to go for service. You should buy it here so you don't have to go that far to get it worked on". The moment you take possession of the vehicle, any inside priority you thought you had from buying it there disappears. The service manager doesn't care about your loyalty to the salesman, he cares about your loyalty to him.

As far as price, I have purchased two vehicles that were several hundred dollars below invoice. The published invoice price is all part of the marketing these days.
 

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Agreed. I contacted a bunch of dealers, most offered around invoice on a factory order, but some were well under. Employee pricing is 1500-2000 below invoice, and it's possible to get close or sometimes even beat that. (This is before factory incentives - always negotiate and determine a price before factory incentives).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well am finding better dealers now. Some will only deal seriously if I come in for a "meeting".
That is sales talk describing a scenario like a time share presentation where they lock the doors once you are in.

Best of the dealer bunch as of today is a bit far from home but doable. A few years back I got best deal on a car way out there and took Amtrak, walked couple of miles to the dealer as they were in the boonies. The drive back home was wonderful though.

By the way, we decided on Sandstone pearl for color. Wife likes that better than Metallic Silver. A 159 2500 gas PM.
We are getting factory glass on the sliding passenger door and need same glass behind driver side, not offered !

Anyone know if the CRL brand I will need to add behind the driver side match in looks to the factory one on the passenger sliding door ? I know construction wise it's different ( ring frame vs glued ) but do they look the same from the outside ? No vents on either window both are solid glass.
 

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They do look the same from the outside. For about the price of a CRL you can add the factory left sliding door with the OEM window. Food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
They do look the same from the outside. For about the price of a CRL you can add the factory left sliding door with the OEM window. Food for thought.
Thanks but the solid CRL is under $300 and the MSRP on the factory drivers side slider with glass is $695.
If I wanted a door behind the driver I would bite the bullet and pay that but we can't use a door there. Thanks for the suggestion and glad to hear the solid CRL looks the same as factory solid glass.

By the way, now the passenger slider window comes with a grate !! I will need to find out if once removed leaves holes or worse.
 

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Well am finding better dealers now. Some will only deal seriously if I come in for a "meeting".
That is sales talk describing a scenario like a time share presentation where they lock the doors once you are in.

Best of the dealer bunch as of today is a bit far from home but doable. A few years back I got best deal on a car way out there and took Amtrak, walked couple of miles to the dealer as they were in the boonies. The drive back home was wonderful though.

By the way, we decided on Sandstone pearl for color. Wife likes that better than Metallic Silver. A 159 2500 gas PM.
We are getting factory glass on the sliding passenger door and need same glass behind driver side, not offered !

Anyone know if the CRL brand I will need to add behind the driver side match in looks to the factory one on the passenger sliding door ? I know construction wise it's different ( ring frame vs glued ) but do they look the same from the outside ? No vents on either window both are solid glass.
I'm just starting this process myself. Looks like we're neighbors! Mind if I ask where you're ordering the van from?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi Tacosauce, neighbors? Where do you live ? I am in Anaheim.

The rumors that I dropped dead are false. Yes I dropped off late last year, sold my travel trailer and RAM pick up while preparing for a long overseas trip to Asia in December and just got back a week ago.

I ordered a Sandstone 159, gas from Tuttle-Click in Irvine. Dealt with fleet manager Kent Harr (highly recommended).

The van was supposed to be delivered to his dealership by end of January for us to pick up early February upon returning from a very long trip.
Well, it's built and sitting on the Pacific side of Mexico waiting for a ride to Irvine via San Diego sometime later this month.

If it's not too late, I would be happy to share my ordering experience as well as my thoughts on how we will be converting our van.
By the way, we ordered a vanity license plate for the van. California "A DUCATO". Surprised it was available.

Sorry for the overdue reply.

Santiago
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Excellent choice! I have the same color and length, and am quite happy with it so far. Look forward to seeing how you convert it...
Dttocs, enjoyed your build process and squirreled away lots of useful information for my use. Your detailed and careful process is wonderful. Thanks !

I also save builds by many others here and now that I am back from our winter trip will continue to save more.

Not sure when the van will show up at Tuttle-Click Dodge but first thing we will do is break it in properly and drive it a lot to make sure it's a good copy before cutting and drilling holes in it. While waiting we need to order one fixed CRL window to go behind driver matching the factory window on the slider and rear doors. Yes, none will open.

If anyone knows a good shop in Southern California that installs CRL windows, I am all ears. I can do it but the van project is not only one I am working on at this time. Am willing to farm that out and only that. Let me know.

I will be searching for the cassette toilet this week hoping to locate one to get accurate measurements. Might order if lead times are long. We will start build from back of van and slowly progress forward. Like you we enjoy the work and in no hurry. We will take any partial build out touring as much can be learned using the parts already built.

I plan on capturing build steps as I go and share here. Unless the van comes in real real soon build will commence after we return from our April through May trip.

Santiago
 

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I will be searching for the cassette toilet this week hoping to locate one to get accurate measurements. Might order if lead times are long.
Do you mean a built-in cassette toilet? Last time I checked, there were two Thetford built-in models available in NAmerica. Not easy to find, and both around $1K.

That was our initial plan, too, based on our positive experiences renting Thetford-equipped RVs in Europe. In the end, we opted for the much cheaper Thetford Curve cassette porta-potti based on the recommendations of many forum members here. Here's our rationale:

Installation is super easy with the separate Curve hold-down bracket. The Curve's cassette holding capacity is the same as the built-ins (5.5gal), and seat-height is the same as a real toilet. Granted, the plastic is a bit flimsier, but we figured we could go through 3-4 Curves for the price of one built-in. It will also be easy to replace with a composting toilet, should we decide to give that a try later. Curves are readily available from Amazon, etc.

We'll mount it in a wet-bath, so any spills (doubtful) will go down the shower drain. We also anticipate smells will be no different from a build-in cassette. Smells mainly come out during flushing, otherwise cassettes are well-sealed. The main (only?) advantage of a built-in cassette is outside cassette access. Our Curve will only be 3 feet from outside. I'm the one with toilet-dump duty, and I can live with that. Just like a built-in cassette, I won't turn it on its side to use the carry handle until it's outside.
 

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I’ve had a curve for about a years now and as porta potty’s go I love it. Two things to be aware of however. While traveling from sea level to high elevations the holding tank builds up pressure (its very well sealed) and if you don’t slowly open the flush lever you with get a "golden shower" so to speak (don’t ask how I know this but take my word on it)! The other problem is the battery flush unit. I woke up one night to the sound of it self filling on and off. I caught it just before it washed the vans floor for me. Thetford has sent me a new flush unit under warranty (without a warranty the flush unit costs more than the whole unit itself). It’s possible to turn the flush cont roll off by turning it to the left when not using it. A lot of people have complained about the flush unit just not working also.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Do you mean a built-in cassette toilet? Last time I checked, there were two Thetford built-in models available in NAmerica. Not easy to find, and both around $1K.

That was our initial plan, too, based on our positive experiences renting Thetford-equipped RVs in Europe. In the end, we opted for the much cheaper Thetford Curve cassette porta-potti based on the recommendations of many forum members here.
Yes one of the three C-220 series. Waiting for price/delivery now from local dealer. Due to it being an OEM item, I was told they need to be ordered from a Michigan warehouse. Will know more when I get a second opinion from second dealer as many of these dealers, understandably, are not familiar with OEM products. Will chime in with info after call back.

I have the Curve as my backup unit and know it costs a lot less but my thinking is that in the long run, old age will thank me for not having to deal with hauling a heavy bottom cassette out of a small "room". At 69 I can easily lift and pull full tank out of a small bath room now but what about later ?
 
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