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It’s a good feeling to head out on a trip with your RV fully packed and ready for adventure. It feels even better with that sense of security you get from knowing that you are fully covered with a valid warranty.
At some point, the standard warranty protection will run out. You’ll become responsible for the cost of upkeep and repairs yourself. How long does this protection last? It depends on what kind of warranty you have, and what company it is that’s got your back.
When it comes to living up to the terms of warranties, some RV manufacturers have better track records than others. Who will do RV warranty work?
What Is an RV Warranty?
An RV warranty is basically a manufacturer’s agreement to repair or replace the product if it turns out to have problems that it shouldn’t. Normal wear and tear is expected with regular use, so warranties are not designed to pay for that or any damage from a collision or some other type of accident.
How long an RV warranty is varies among different manufacturers, but many of them are one to three years, depending on the type of warranty.
It’s a good idea to do as much research as possible to know exactly what a warranty covers and what it doesn’t. For details on the specifics of each RV manufacturer’s warranty, consult your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website.
Another option is to discuss it in detail with a representative at the dealership. Online forums are great sources of information, too.
Limited Warranty vs. Structural Warranty
Warranties are designed to assure the quality of workmanship and materials used in RV construction. There are different kinds of warranties with different limits on what they cover.
You’ll probably find that a comprehensive “bumper to warranty” warranty will expire sooner than one that has a narrower scope on what it covers.
A limited warranty will spell out specifically what parts it will and will not cover. A “structural warranty” typically relates to the actual structure of the RV (such things as the main steel frame and its supports, the roof, floors walls and decking).
Many RVers use their rig sparingly while others are full-timers. An important point to determine when interpreting the terms of a warranty is whether the frequency of use is a factor (how the company defines full-time and part-time use, etc.)
RV Warranty Time Periods by Manufacturer
Airstream: 3-year limited warranty; 3 years of 24/7 roadside assistance
Bigfoot RV: 3-year structural warranty; 1-year warranty for all standard items
Casita: 1 year
Crossroads RV: 3-year limited structural warranty
DRV Luxury Suites: 3-year limited warranty
Dutchmen: 3-year structural warranty; 1-year warranty for all standard items
Entegra: 5-year structural limited warranty; 2-year limited warranty
Escape Trailers: 2-year warranty
Fleetwood RV: 3-year/45,000-mile structural warranty; 1-year/15,000-mile limited warranty
Forest River: 1-year structural warranty
Grand Design RV: 1-year limited warranty; 3-year structural warranty
Gulf Stream: 3-year limited warranty on Ultra-Lite structural components; 1-year warranty on Super-Lite structural components
Heartland: 3-year limited structural warranty; 1-year limited warranty
Holiday Rambler: 3-year/45,000-mile limited structural warranty; 1-year/15,000-mile basic limited warranty
Jayco: 2-year limited warranty
Keystone: 3-year limited structural warranty; 1-year limited base warranty
Lance: 2-year limited structural warranty; 1-year limited warranty
Leisure Travel: 3-year/36,000-mile limited structural warranty; 2-year/24,000-mile limited warranty
Monaco: 3-year/45,000-mile limited structural warranty; 1-year/15,000-mile basic limited warranty
Newmar: 5-year limited structural warranty; 1-year limited warranty
Roadtrek: 6-year unlimited mile limited warranty
Thor: 1-year limited warranty
Tiffin: 10-year construction limited warranty, 5-year de-lamination limited warranty; 1-year limited warranty; 1-year coach roadside service
Winnebago: 10-year limited parts-and-labor fiberglass roof warranty; 3-year/36,000-mile limited structural warranty; 1-year/15,000-mile basic limited warranty
What is an RV Extended Warranty?
When a warranty does expire, you may end up taking on more expenses yourself. There’s an additional safety net available in the form of an extended warranty.
An extended warranty may cover the cost of unexpected mechanical and electrical issues. It might also cover the repair or replacement of an engine, appliances, or other major RV components.
There are two different types of extended warranties: exclusionary and inclusionary. Many RV owners lean toward an exclusionary extended warranty because it is considered to be a higher level of coverage.
An inclusionary extended RV warranty, by contrast, only covers the items specifically listed in the contract.
Who Offers RV Extended Warranties?
Extended warranties for your RV can be purchased through third-party providers, and some of them have better reputations than others. Here are two options that we recommend:
As a trusted favorite in the RV community and with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, Wholesale Warranties has a proven history for claims payout and excellent customer service.
Wholesale Warranties can match you up with a plan that makes sense to you in terms of coverage, deductible, and term preference. When we were shopping for a warranty they provided the best shopping experience and a great price for what we were looking for.
Good Sam Extended Service Plan
More than a typical warranty, Good Sam’s Extended Service Plan acts more like insurance against mechanical failures. It can help you rest easy knowing that it’s 100 percent backed by top-rated underwriter QBE Insurance.
Under the plan, labor and parts are included and you can have your repairs done at any service center in the United States or Canada.
When Should I Purchase an RV Warranty?
If you’re thinking about buying extra warranty protection, you may be wondering about the best time to do it. There are a few factors to consider, including the time or year and the mileage on your RV.
The timing is important because the age of a vehicle plays a big part in determining the price, and once the calendar changes from one year to the next. In other words, after every January 1 your RV is automatically a year older in the eyes of the industry, regardless of how long you’ve owned it.
The longer you wait, the bigger chance there is that the price will increase or you’ll miss out on coverage options that are no longer being offered.
Also, the more miles you have on your RV, the closer you are to the maximum that’s allowed before it’s ineligible for warranty coverage. For example, most comprehensive coverage options stop at 100,000 miles, and it may be impossible to get any kind of warranty past 125,000.
In other words, don’t wait too long before you at least explore your options.