Is General RV Getting as Bad as Camping World?

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View of a General RV dealership.

Many RVers have been praising General RV for the past few years. However, we’re seeing more and more comments regarding customer service going downhill. Some are even comparing the brand to Camping World.

If you’re an RV dealership, the last business you want to be compared to is Camping World. So, is General RV as bad as everyone is saying?

Today, we’re diving in and looking at these complaints and why people are starting to throw shade their way.

Let’s get started!

RV Owner Vents About General RV

A fellow RVer posted her frustrations online about General RV. She and her husband took their new fifth wheel on a 4th of July adventure.

Unfortunately, during their trip, they discovered their refrigerator wasn’t working. To make matters worse, it appeared as if it hadn’t worked from the beginning.

They did what any new owners would do and hauled it back to the dealership where they purchased it. However, a month and a half later, it was still not working. They’re starting to feel like no one cares or has their back.

A broken down fridge inside a RV purchased from General RV.

They’re Not the Only RV Owner Angry with General RV

Sadly, this particular owner isn’t the only one with frustrations. Their post generated hundreds of responses from fellow owners looking to offer advice and share similar experiences. One commenter stated they had to make a big scene in the service and sales area to get General RV to take them seriously. 

Another General RV customer shared that they felt they were getting the runaround. They’d call in and get forwarded to a voicemail box. Their voicemails and phone calls were never returned, and they were left waiting for a response.

This same individual claims the dealership has had their rig for almost seven months.

What Is General RV?

General RV is one of the largest RV dealerships in the country. They sell some of the largest brands in the RV industry, including Forest River, Winnebago, and Jayco. Because they deal in such a large volume, they can offer incentives and discounts that other mom-and-pop dealerships cannot.

Because they have a significant presence, many turn to them to purchase their camper. However, as many are discovering, bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes, saving a few bucks isn’t worth the hassle or stress it creates. However, it wasn’t always this way for General RV.

History of General RV

Ambrose “Abe” Baidas started the company in 1962 as General Trailer & Boat Manufacturing and Distribution in Detroit, Michigan. A few years later, in 1968, they began selling new RVs, parts, and accessories at their new Southfield, Michigan, location. Over the next two decades, they slowly expanded and created four additional sites focusing more on RVs.

In 1993, they replaced their Southfield store with a new location in Wixom, Michigan. During this transition, they also changed their name to General RV Center. They’ve since continued to grow and expand.

Today, they’re one of the largest RV dealerships in the country. They have 14 locations with more than 500 service bays across those sites.

There aren’t many RV dealerships that sell more RVs than them. However, just because they sell a lot of campers doesn’t mean they have the happiest customers.

Who Owns General RV?

General RV started and continues more than sixty years later to be a family-owned company. Today, Loren Baidas serves as President, and Robert Baidas as Chief Executive Officer.

However, other notable names for their leadership team include Chris Davis, VP of Finance, and Katie Short, Chief Financial Officer.

Is General RV Getting as Bad as Camping World?

As mentioned, plenty of people are throwing shade at General RV. But are they as bad as everyone says? Let’s dive in and take a look!

Customer Service Issues

Like the owners we mentioned earlier, one of the most significant issues plaguing customers has to do with service. Unfortunately, they’re often left disappointed. One commenter stated, “Nothing but bad experiences with General RV!” Another was pretty blunt and said, “General RV is the worst.”

Customers who don’t feel appreciated or valued won’t take it kindly. Unfortunately, the post shows that some owners aren’t happy campers. Their experience with General RV could have been better.

Does this mean that every General RV customer experiences the same? Absolutely not. Just like in many other industries, companies sometimes miss the mark. There are many reasons why some customers have bad experiences and others do not.

We’re not making excuses for General RV, but sometimes customers have high expectations. In some instances, they’re unrealistic expectations. However, being without your brand-new camper for a month and a half seems like a realistic reason to be upset.

Pricing and Sales Tactics

If you’ve purchased a vehicle or RV, you know pricing and sales tactics can be a tricky game. Some sales team members have been borderline dishonest with customers. We’ve seen posts of individuals sharing frustrations where dealers didn’t disclose fees until they were in financing.

In addition, we’ve also seen complaints about last-minute changes to the amount offered on trades.

This isn’t a complaint unique to General RV but the overall industry. We want to think that these mistakes aren’t necessarily on purpose but are instead communication problems. 

Pro Tip: Before purchasing an RV, make sure you know these 10 Important Facts! You won’t want to sign on the dotted line without considering these facts first.

A person holding the keys to their new RV in the parking lot of General RV.

Communication Problems

As several commenters shared on the post, the communication problems seem never-ending. We mentioned earlier that some individuals call day after day and leave messages. Unfortunately, these messages are often never returned, leaving owners frustrated.

One fellow member said, “We dealt with General RV! You have to show up and call every day and make a big production every day!” They claim that once General RV understood they wouldn’t stop, they addressed the problem. They encouraged this particular individual to do the same.

Quality Concerns

As the original post indicated, they believed the refrigerator wasn’t working when they took ownership of the rig.

Others chimed in and stated they experienced a similar issue and that the refrigerator was replaced. Unfortunately, this isn’t so much a General RV problem as it is a manufacturer problem.

However, RV dealerships like General RV are often the middleman between the manufacturer and customers. Dealerships have complained for the past couple of years that manufacturers rely too heavily on dealers to catch problems.

When a dealership, whether General RV or not, doesn’t catch the issue, customers suffer.

Keep in Mind: Who will do RV warranty work? Click the link to find out!

Post-Sale Support

While General RV can’t do anything about the quality of construction, they can do something about the post-sale support. General RV and many other dealerships enjoyed RVs practically selling themselves for a couple of years.

This resulted in them losing focus on post-sale support. After closing the deal, many new owners felt they were left high and dry.

Many have decided to take matters into their own hands. Instead of relying on the dealership, they go straight to the manufacturer. They work with them and skip the middleman whenever possible.

Post-sale support is a critical component to earn future sales. For many, these situations cause them to consider other dealerships for their next purchase.

Camper vans for sale at General RV.

Should You Shop at General RV?

General RV, like many other dealerships, is far from perfect. Very few owners talk positively about their experience with any dealership. You rarely hear from people who have a so-so experience.

They’re not the ones shouting from the mountaintop about their experience. We encourage you to proceed cautiously no matter where you shop for your RV.

Have you had a bad experience with General RV?

  1. Took my Tiffin Phaeton for service at Gen RV in Orange Park, FL in 2020. It was due for generator service, and the dash air wasn’t working. Tiffin told me Gen RV was an authorized Tiffin maintenance facility. Long story short, they had my coach for THREE months and nothing was done, except coming up with a long litany of excuses: service rep went on vacation, technician quit, paperwork was lost, and so on. One time they called to let me know coach was ready. I drove 80 miles to pick it up and when I get there, they tell me sorry, our bad, wrong coach, yours isn’t finished. That was the final straw. I took the coach to Freightliner in Gaffney, SC and got the work done in one day. Lesson learned.

  2. We traded in a Class C for a 6 month old used Class A in Mt. Clements Mi and the sales staff was to us very good. The service department fixed the couple of items i found before paying and during the walk through in a very fast time frame. Overall, we got a good used unit, they did exactly what they said they would do, paid us exactly what they quoted for our rig. Was not needing them for any other services so from us they get a thumbs up.

  3. We bought a used RV from Camping World earlier this year and it took constant calls to get our license plate weeks after the temporary plate expired. Not happy with their lack of urgency.

  4. We bought an RV there and had nothing but problems we only had it for two months and we told them the problem and they said it will cost us a ridicules amount of money, well personally I got sold a lemon, I will never come back to a rip off and I will never recommend to my worst enemy, and if someone asked me about them good luck.

  5. I don’t know who’s got and are holding onto these RV?? I got my 22RBE Imagin trailer from The General in Huntley Il. It’s been in three times. Once for propane tank recall.
    Once for water leak (that was my fault in winterizing) once for a preventative roof maintenance. Two times i waited. With in an hour my truck and trailer were ready and and waiting at the exit gate. Yolanda and her service TEAM took care of me. In a professional way. I have nothing but praise for their speed and expertise. I will return.

  6. We bought a new 2022 Travato GL back in June 2023 and had issues with General RV in Elizabethtown, PA. We had made an appointment to have the floor fixed and when it came time to bring it to the dealership they had no record of the appointment being made. On top of that our solar hasn’t worked since purchased and we’ve had our van there for 6 weeks now waiting for a part because it wasn’t fixed the first time we had them look at it. We told them it seemed to be a wiring issue but was ignored and they just replaced the box which it didn’t fix it. My husband has called several times and we keep getting the runaround!

  7. Camping world is 199 location strong across north america,,any corporations of that size have operation issues,,a big problem is getting good clean units from manufacturers with little to no problems,,every manufacturer is sending out problematic and junk units the need major warranty work before it even hits the lot or showroom and warranty never wants to pay for the issues that needs fixed or complete the work the manufacturers didn’t finish on the assembly line,,i challenge anybody to run a 199 location company with many issues from the manufacturers and say its easy ..

  8. General Rv didn’t do anything they said and switched the coach that I was to get with one that I said I didn’t want. Also it wasn’t ready on time and almost everything didn’t work in the coach. Had for one week and was in shop for four months took out for one more week and is back in shop again same things wrong still not able to use . Makes me sick.

  9. They can not be near as bad as Camping World. 6 months- $1400 (all should be warranty work) and all they did was replace a stove vent cover and propane fitting. Never again! So much for buying new and paying for extra warranties

  10. General is so dam bad liars bullshitters new 2024 and they recked my awning had id one week motor noise made 3 payment still in shop now was told the service guy hit braches from phil the liar then he said the high winds did it make anothe lie called many of times and no call back mike roth too i sent many of veterans there never again too many bullshitters had to pay for fues that went bad on our first trip lost 3 vacations with my fellow veteran’s lost money on it they need better help period and fire the bullshitters

  11. My experience with General RV has been terrible. Starting with the delivery, and continuing up to and through the warranty period the service mgrs and service techs have been unresponsive and with exception of a few individuals inept and willing to flat out LIE to your face. I wouldn’t purchase from them again but not sure where is any better????

  12. I have to laugh at with this article. When I bought a camper from General Rv, they couldn’t wait to get me out of the door. Yes, and what the salesman told me about the unit was completely wrong. I might have just purchased it at a pizza place.

  13. Last year we purchased a new Springdale 2022 in New York State in June. There was a problem with our title so our unit set at home until the problem was corrected. Long story short in October 17 2022 we took our trailer to Fl when we got there we had a warranty issue and we were told that since we didn’t buy. It there that there was no hurry to get to it

  14. Yes, we’ve called and left messages since May trying to get a safety issue with our awning done and no one answers their phones at General RV or returns a call including their management team. We called their main office at their corporate, we spoke to customer care and they called General RV in Ocala and an assistant service mgr called us back. They set up an appointment for Oct 2nd at 9:30am, we drove 3hrs round trip and waited in their service area over 3hrs. They stated they ordered the parts for the awning safety recall and will call us to repair awning once the part comes in. Today is Oct 15th and we have not heard back from General RV on whether or not they have received the part.

  15. I purchased at General and after our first outing we found the the 3 a/c units couldn’t cool the 5th wheel. Took it in to General and they asked me which one wasn’t working. I said I don’t know, all I know is the 3 of them won’t cool the trailer. They took it into service. They found that one a/c wasn’t working, but since they had to test all three I had to pay for their time checking those two ($220). So I guess before you take an RV in there, you’d better know the exact issue and test every a/c unit, if they troubleshoot you’ll pay, even under warranty and when the trailer is 1 month old. Purely a money grab, considering that they admitted that they don’t test anything before the time of purchase.

  16. Yes! They are the WORST! They never answer phone messages, texts or emails. So many issues on pickup day… They tried to make us pay a higher interest rate, changed the price of the RV, and even had the wrong VIN number on the contract! I literally could go on all day about how bad the experience was. We took our fifth wheel on a long trip. After returning we dropped off the rig to get several items replaced or repaired. Our fifth wheel sat at the dealership service center for 11 weeks! They told us countless times that it was in the bay and would be done in a couple of days. Lies because we changed the locks! Even now they still have not fixed everything. I urge everyone to avoid this company. They are the WORST!

  17. Found that as soon as you buy an RV from them the sales person does not return your phone calls like they did prior to you signing on the dotted line
    Customer service is none existance after you buy. My rv has been driven approx. 200 miles and now the oil service light has come on. Rv general apparently did not service the rv like i was told. Why didnt they change the oil in it before they sold it to me. My door does not shut right. Again i had to reset the bedroon slide. The air unit fans constantly run. I will look to another rv company to service my rv. Terrible.

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