Another evening sans campfire, due to the heat. We gathered around a cooler instead. After a bit of griping about the hot temperatures, someone brought up RV warranties, and suddenly “heat” wasn’t the hot topic anymore. Grab a camp chair and listen in…
Joey and his wife plan to purchase an RV this fall. They’re hoping to snag a good deal at one of the upcoming RV shows. They have already chosen the manufacturer and know they want a fifth-wheel RV. The problem? Joey thinks they should purchase an extended warranty and his wife doesn’t want the added expense.
What is an RV extended warranty anyway?
At the outset of the discussion, someone wanted to know just what Joey intended to purchase. “Is an RV extended warranty the same as an extended warranty for a car?”
Most campers around the cooler said, “Yes.” An RV extended warranty is essentially a company’s promise to make repairs (or pay for repairs) as detailed in the warranty’s contract. Minus a deductible, of course.
Tom argued, “It’s not really a warranty at all. An RV extended warranty is just a service contract. For it to be a warranty, the cost would need to be included in the RV’s purchase price.” Hmmm. That’s interesting because service contracts and warranties often fall under a different set of state regulations, depending on where you purchase the RV warranty. It really pays to read the fine print to make sure you’re actually getting what you think you’re buying.
Two types of contracts
Joey had done his research. He explained that there are basically two kinds of warranties: exclusionary and inclusionary. An exclusionary contract will cover every item except for those listed (or excluded) in the contract. Inclusionary contracts list all of the components that are covered. If a part is not listed, it will not be covered in the warranty.
Joey admitted, “I know the exclusionary contracts cost more, but they cover more parts, too. I think it’s worth it. Do you know how much an RV repair shop charges per hour? It’s astronomical! And RVs can have lots of problems.”
Tom added, “My extended warranty saved me lots of money—on my slide-out repair alone. But even better, it gives me peace of mind. I don’t worry about unexpected or untimely bills.”
Third-party or dealership warranty?
Many RV dealerships will offer their own warranty protection option. The cost of the warranty is often added to the cost of the RV itself. If this is the case, you’ll pay interest on the warranty as well as on the rig.
Dealerships aren’t your only choice for RV warranties, however. America’s RV Warranty (ARW), Wholesale Warranties, Eagle Vision, and Good Sam Extended Service Plans are a few of the more popular RV plans available.
“If you’re halfway knowledgeable about the inner workings of your RV, you can save yourself the cost of a warranty and repair bills, just by doing the work yourself!” Mike declared. “You can find most ‘fixes’ on internet videos, or post your question/problem on an RV blog.”
Kevin added, “Unless you have some mechanical expertise, I’d say you shouldn’t buy an RV, period!” A few RVers offered that perhaps a warranty could make up for the lack of expertise. “Either that or a big bank account,” Kevin joked.
Are warranties worth the money?
“Probably not,” Mark stated. “Companies have done the math. If they weren’t making more than they were paying out, they’d stop offering warranties.” Everyone around the cooler agreed.
“But how do you put a dollar amount on peace of mind?” Jan asked. How, indeed!
What do you think? Do you have a service plan or extended warranty on your current RV? Explain why or why not in the comments below.
More on RV warranties
- RV Warranty Questions: Should I buy an extended warranty for my RV?
- I flooded my RV with poop! Will my warranty cover me?
- Why your local RV dealer won’t honor your warranty
- Reader poll: Do you have an extended warranty on your RV?