Fleetwood’s RV Group will begin testing today (Aug. 27) a marketing alliance with the Sam’s Club subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in which Sam’s Club members will be able to buy RVs at a discounted price.

The program starts today in the Indianapolis and Kansas City metro areas. It allows retail customers “to buy a new Fleetwood RV at a pre-negotiated discount, which they will purchase at a nearby participating Fleetwood RV dealership,” according to John Ables, director of marketing for Fleetwood’s RV Group.

Earlier this summer, Fleetwood’s Manufactured Housing Group rolled-out a similar program with Sam’s Club.

The amount of the discounts was negotiated between Sam’s Club and Fleetwood but Fleetwood spokeswoman Amy Harrison said she was not free to reveal the amount.

In addition to the lower retail price for the RV, buyers also will get a Sam’s Club gift card to buy “items they may need for their next vacation,” according to Fleetwood.

“We are excited to have an RV program that will drive incremental traffic to our dealers’ lots while providing another significant member value to Sam’s Club members,” Ables said.

Neither Sam’s Club nor Wal-Mart, where the gift card can also be used, stock RV-specific aftermarket parts or accessories, Harrison said.

Under the Sam’s Club format, customers pay an annual membership fee that gives them the right to shop at Sam’s Club, where prices are significantly lower because items are purchased in bulk.

There are 490 Sam’s Club locations in the U.S. and Fleetwood has more than 1,100 dealers nationwide. In the indianapolis area, 12 Fleetwood dealers are participating in the program. In Kansas City, five Fleetwood dealers are participting.

Eventually, participating Fleetwood dealers might stage “mini road shows” outside of Sam’s Club stores, but no RV sales would take place there, Harrison added.