The Real Truth – Our Motorhome Specialists Buying Experience

We purchased our 2015 Entegra Aspire at Motorhome Specialists (MHSRV), a large motorhome dealer in Alvarado, Texas located about 45 minutes south of Fort Worth.

Many of you may have seen us featured on the “Going RV” TV show on the Great American Country Channel. In our featured episode we are filmed purchasing our RV from National Indoor RV. That actually was not where we purchased our RV but at the time NIRVC was willing to participate in the filming of the episode (Motorhome Specialists declined) so that is where the TV show ended up playing out. The truth is we purchased our RV from Motorhome Specialists in February of 2015 and this is our story.

Disclaimer before we get started: This article is our opinion based on our personal experience. We were not paid or endorsed by Motorhome Specialists, or any other dealership, to make this video or post this review. Now on to the review!

We started our search for the perfect RV in mid 2014. At the time, based in Connecticut the internet was our primary resource for looking for the perfect RV. There are no dealerships within an hour + driving distance from our home town in Fairfield County, CT so the internet was where we did most of our research. Google and YouTube searches led us to find Motorhome Specialists, a dealership that had a significant internet presence. What we liked most about them was their detailed walk-through videos on a variety of coaches and brands. They seemed to have a larger selection and larger marketing department than just about any other dealership, posting high quality HD videos of the coaches they had for sale. The online resources available on their website had us hooked on learning more about the RV lifestyle and soon it was time to book some plane tickets to go see for ourselves if this place was everything they said it was online.

Traveling to MHSRV

We probably wouldn’t have traveled all the way to Texas if we had an existing relationship with another RV dealership but as first time buyers with little experience it seemed a good decision to go somewhere where the selection was huge so that we could see as many possible choices as possible (at least that was the initial idea). We also noticed that the prices listed online at MHSRV.COM where significantly cheaper than the advertised prices we found from other national and regional dealerships.  Better online presence and cheaper prices? We figured it was worth a 200 plane ticket to learn more before making a purchase that would likely be north of $100,000.

I (Erik) decided to go down solo at first, narrowing down the choices before asking Kala to make a final decision. I flew into Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW) and rented a car at the airport for 20 bucks a day and found a hotel onsite (yes onsite at MHSRV) that was reasonable and off I went!

First Impressions – This Place is Huge

MHSRV claims to be the largest motor home seller in the world and that just might be true as this place is HUGE (seriously though we have no way of verifying that claim). The lot is massive, (we’d estimate it at 150 acres +) with a sales office, large prep and warranty service area, automatic RV wash, campground and even a hotel on site (not sure if they own the hotel, but it’s basically located right on the property).

They have a ton of RV bands to choose from. The full lists (according to their website in April 2018) is as follows:

  • Adrenaline
  • American Coach
  • Coachman
  • Cruiser RV
  • Dynamax Corp
  • Entergra Coach
  • Fleetwood
  • Forest River
  • Georgetown
  • Gulf Stream
  • Heartland RV
  • Holiday Rambler
  • Itasca
  • Jayco
  • Monaco
  • Newmar
  • Nexus RV
  • Prevost
  • Regency
  • Road Warrior
  • Sportscoach
  • Tiffin
  • Winnebago

Consignment Services – MHSRV offers consignment services as well. We aren’t sure about the percentage they charge for their consignment services but each time we visit we see a number of coaches onsite offered as consignment. If you are looking on their website at a used coach and the stock number has a “C” in it, that is a consignment coach. If you are looking to get out of your current coach and do not want a trade in hit, consignment may be a good choice if you do not have the time to spend on a private sale. 

Our Buying Experience

We felt the sales approach of MHSRV was very hands off and low pressure. We were left to ourselves to explore and check out whatever type of RV we were interested in and didn’t hear much from a sales person until we were ready to speak to someone. Depending on what type of buyer you are this could be a pro or a con. We personally like the low pressure approach and find it suits our buying style more than being asked if we have any questions constantly.

That said, after our first visit, we have to admit we were a bit overwhelmed. We probably had more questions after our first visit than when we started. With so many choices, everything quickly became a blur and it became apparent this wasn’t going to be like buying a car where you just needed to worry about features and color! This is when we stopped and decided to ask for help from the sales team, specifically our sales person, Cowboy (who has since moved to National Indoor RV as the service manager of their Phoenix, AZ location) definitely helped us nail down our decision. Yes he is actually called “Cowboy” but his real name is Robert Langley (don’t let him know we told you that)! While we love Cowboy and continue to work with him, we have met a number of sales reps at MHSRV and feel many of them are some of the best in the industry.

Upsold?

Soooo technically we were upsold into a diesel pusher when we originally went to purchase a gas coach. Now upselling is typically looked upon as a bad thing, where a salesperson tries to get you to spend more money for something you don’t need right? We’ll we couldn’t be happier that our sales person was willing to ask the right questions as make sure we got into the right coach for the right price. As folks that were going to full-time in our coach and spend 40+ hours a week in our coach working, we hadn’t really thought through how important things like build quality, insulation, hot water heaters, storage, towing capacity, inverters, warranties and countless other things would be. Cowboy spent the time to ask us what we would be doing with the coach and then very politely pointed out some of the challenges he thought we would face with a coach that was built more for a weekend enthusiast.

Best Price?

Lets face it, price is a huge decision when making any purchase, especially a purchase this big! Motorhome Specialists has a pretty simple business model, they want to win on price whenever possible and do as much volume as possible through their dealership. This means they are willing to make deals, advertise at already low prices and do whatever it takes to make a sale (including sell some brands that we don’t believe are very good quality). That said, the prices offered by MHSRV actually are some of the best out there and we’ve had many folks tell us they offer price matching in many cases although we haven’t been available to verify that yet.

Financing

If you want to do a lot of volume, then you need to be able to get people into coaches, even if they cannot pay cash. As a result MHSRV spends a lot of time and resources on making sure their financing options are extensive and flexible. We don’t know for sure, but they appear to have an exclusive relationship with Bank of America to provide RV funding at highly competitive rates. We cannot confirm that it is exclusive but we haven’t been able to confirm that Bank of America works with any other RV dealerships. We believe they also offer financing with other banks that are more suitable for other products and customers with varying credit situations.

The Best Thing About Our Buying Experience

Hands down the best thing about our buying experience was our sales person. He provided us with one key piece of information that we had never thought about. He asked us to try and find the Entegra coach we were looking to buy for sales used. The same floor plan had been available for quite some time (5 years+) and his advise to look for a used one was very interesting. That night I went to go look for a used one expecting to see high resale prices but to my surprise there were ZERO available. The next day I called my salesperson and reported none were available. His response was: That is because nobody sells them, they are great coaches and if they go up for sale they sell quick! To this day, I have found the resale market for our Entegra Coach to be one of the best in the entire industry. That was the best piece of information I ever received from a salesperson to this day. Check your resale price as it will be a huge part of how your investment depreciates.

Overall Thoughts 

I think our video above does a better job at stating our overall opinion of Motorhome Specialists but to sum it up, we would absolutely consider purchasing from them again in the future. They were able to offer us the product we wanted at a competitive price that still until this day we feel was a great deal. They delivered our coach in pristine condition (seriously the polish and wax on the coach was immaculate) and Steve Ewing our technician who did our PDI has remained a close friend to this day.  If you have any questions about our buying experience or would like to know more please reach out to us or comment below. If this article helps you purchase from MHSRV make sure you let them know Livinlite.net sent you!


Erik

Comments

  1. Hi Eric, we also bought our coach from MHSRV and Cowboy (who has become a good friend) was our sales person. Our experience was exactly as you described. We especially enjoyed the freedom to check out all our options without pressure and, when needed, Cowboy spent a great deal of time answering all our questions. We recommend Mortorhome Specialist to anyone looking to buy an RV. We are full time RVers. We purchased a new 2016 Monaco Diplomat. If and when we choose to “downsize” our coach, we would happily return to MHSRV. Thanks for a great post.

  2. Ellen White Says: April 10, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Hi! I’m curious what were the advantages of buying a diesel over gas? (They are more expensive to service and gas is higher priced but the engines last a very long time.) what type of insulation do you get in the Entegra? I’m getting ready to head into this full timing it in about 6-8 mos and just bought a coachmen that was insulated with R38 in the roof and floors and I thought that was pretty good.

    • He Ellen, what a huge topic! Im not versed on the exact insulation used by Entegra but we’ve been very happy with our coach, especially in cold climates. We’ve spent time with friends (RVLOVE) and they had a 2014 Tiffen Allegro Bus gas and the insulation didn’t compare. There were multiple reasons for this but i think the primary was that our storage compartment (we call it our basement) was an enclosed space that was fully heated by our Aqua-Hot system. This meant that below our living space was heat and therefor our floors were usually much warmer. This combined with double pane glass and well insulated walls meant that our heat tended to run about half as often as our friends in a gas coach and our heat was much more even (a lot less cold spots, or hot spots for that matter depending on climate). Now that said, we also have an Aqua-hot system, so our heat not only radiates from the warm basement but also we have registers all around the coach to provide heat (I don’t think i’ve ever seen this type of system in a gas coach but i’m sure it exists). That said, its a big price jump to diesel as you said so you need to weigh the pros/cons for yourself.

      As for maintenance, yes diesel costs more to service as everything is bigger and takes more fluid. As an example our engine holds about 7-8 gallons of anti-freeze and probably about the same in motor oil (a little less but its over 6 gallons). That translates to higher costs and there are also a lot of filters including fuel filters, hydraulic filters, air/water separators if you have air brakes, air filters (our air filter cost 150 bucks compared to probably 30 for a gas coach). Now all of that said, we get 20,000 miles to an oil change so even though it costs more, we can go further. We also get a much higher carry capacity which comes in handy if you are full time. I also find that diesel seems to be less affected by weight when it comes to gas mileage, we average about 8 mpg in our rig. Lastly we have a 100 gallon fuel tank and many of the new diesels are 150, that means fewer stops. For a cost estimate if you went HUGE like us at 45″ i would say a safe estimate for annual maintenance cost is 1000-1500 per year all in. You can definitely get that number down if you have a trusted mechanic but its good for budgeting. Gas will vary greatly on the mileage you put on the coach and how often you need to do oil changes. Hopefully that answered some of your questions and of course let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. Hi Guys, we’ve been subscribers for a while. I just watched the MHSRV video. Just curious, what drone are you using for aerial footage? Thanks for the great info you always provide!
    -Louis

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