RV Extended Warranty Protection – Yes Or No?

If you bring up the subject of getting RV extended warranty protection for your rig, be prepared. You are most likely going to get some very strong opinions, both for and against. Usually these opinions will come from those who already have made their own decision. And they often feel that what they decided is what everyone else should do as well.

rv extended warranty
Do you really need an RV extended warranty?

But RV life is more complicated than that. The more you know about RVs, the more you understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everybody.

There are just too many variables to make things that easy. So the two words most often uttered by me in matters like this is “It depends”.

Buying An Extended Warranty Depends On What?

A lot of factors come into play when considering the purchase of an RV extended warranty. If the rig is newer, do you still have a warranty from the manufacturer? Does it cover everything you want to have covered?

If you have an older rig, are there extended warranties still available for that year? Do you have plenty of resources that will allow you to easily handle any major repair that may come up anyway? Then maybe an extended warranty isn’t necessary for you.

What kind of RV do you own? Does it have an engine and drivetrain or not? And the list goes on and on.

Also, what do you want an extended warranty to cover on your RV? Do you want essentially everything covered? Or do you just want the most expensive items that could need to be repaired covered? What are your expectations?

What Are Your Expectations?

Actually, what is often referred to as an RV extended warranty is not really a warranty at all. This is because only the manufacturer can provide a true warranty on their product.

And most extended warranties are offered by a company that is not connected with the manufacturer at all. But the term “extended warranty” has become so accepted in RV culture, there is no other way to describe it now.

Another important thing to realize about RV extended warranties is that they are essentially a form of insurance. You are being insured against a financial loss by the company providing the contract.

And therefore, as an insurance product, you should not expect to make a profit on the warranty purchase. Insurance in its purest form is not an investment. It is a means to manage risk.

The higher the risk that you insure against, the higher the cost of the insurance. It is just that simple. You are accepting a small loss on the cost of the insurance, to prevent the huge loss you are insuring against.

And if you never have to use the extended warranty to cover a high dollar repair, all the better. It just means that you have been very fortunate. You also did not have to deal with the hassle of filing a claim.

Or getting the claim approved, or having the work done properly, etc. So not having the contract pay out more than what you spent for it does not mean that you lost.

It means that you bought peace of mind all through the life of the extended warranty. And you managed your risk well.

What Is And Isn’t Covered?

There are no extended warranties out there that cover everything on the RV. Most contracts will not cover things like your furniture, your possessions in the RV, scratches or chips in the RV paint, etc.

They also will not cover any maintenance work done on the RV like oil changes, chassis lubrication, coolant flushes, and so on. These are considered part of the normal maintenance and wear and tear that the RV owner is responsible for.

As for what is covered, that can be very different from one contract to another. Some extended warranties are very comprehensive and will cover almost everything that could fail on your RV.

This can include the engine and drivetrain, leveling jacks, air conditioners, refrigerators, and much more. Obviously, the more risk the warranty company has, the more you will pay for a comprehensive contract like that.

Other extended warranties are targeted only for the most expensive parts of the RV. Usually these contracts focus on the engine and drivetrain mainly because that is where big dollar repairs could happen.

For those who can afford to pay for most RV repairs on their own this could be a good choice. This is because it transfers the risk of only the really high dollar repairs to the warranty company while keeping the overall warranty costs low.

Also, extended warranties are designed to pay not only for the parts of the covered repair, but also the labor as well.

What About Filing A Claim?

If you have a claim, there will be a process to go through to get approval for the repair. But most warranty companies try to make this process as easy as they can.

Keep in mind though that some people try to scam the warranty company to pay for RV repairs that are not really covered by their contract. So if they seem to be overly careful in the approval process, just be patient. Most of the time, you will be rewarded with a covered repair soon enough.

Where Can You Get An Extended Warranty?

If you buy an RV from a dealer, you may be able to get an extended warranty on your rig through them. But it doesn’t hurt to shop online and see what is available to you as well.

And if you buy your RV from a private party you will have to use an online warranty company. I do not specifically recommend a particular company myself. I think it’s a good idea to research each company that you are considering.

A good place to start is online RV forums. Also look for online reviews on each company. Keep in mind that people who have a beef with the warranty company will be very vocal.

And they are many times more likely to air their views online than those who had a pleasant experience. Just factor that in to your research and consideration.

The last thing I can say about RV extended warranties is that I own a contract on our diesel pusher motorhome. So obviously, I feel that they can be very useful.

On the other hand, I don’t think that everyone should have an extended warranty on their rig. Consider, how much risk of possible repair costs you are willing to shoulder yourself first.

Then determine what your budget will allow for the extended warranty cost itself. Using those two parameters, you should be able to find an RV extended warranty that works for your particular situation. Or you may find that it is not even needed in your case.

Enjoy your research, and have safe and happy travels my friends!

A Certified RV Inspection – 3 Reasons Why It’s Smart

Buying an RV can be stressful. And if it is a used RV of any type, the stress level only increases. So many questions need to be answered for the buyer. Like has the RV been well cared for? Is there something hidden that could be a major repair? Are all of the important RV systems in good working order?The best way to answer all of these questions is to schedule a certified RV inspection.

An RV inspection is very similar to a home inspection. It gives you reliable information to help you in the purchase of a very expensive dwelling.

But it’s also important that the inspection be completed by a certified RV inspector as well. Why is this the case?

A Certified RV Inspection Is Needed – Why?

An RV is a complicated vehicle. And it doesn’t matter what kind of RV you may want to buy. It could be a travel trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome.

But all of them have systems that combine together to make the RV self-contained. That is, you can live in them for an extended period of time, often without the need to hook up to shore power or water. And they will even contain your waste while doing so.

All things considered, RVs are incredibly flexible and adaptable. But that flexibility calls for the RV buyer to know something about the condition of various parts of the RV. Like electrical components, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, LP gas, appliances and more.

A working knowledge of all of these RV systems are needed to get an accurate picture of the used RV’s condition.

RV inspection - some of the systems inspected
RV inspection – some of the systems that need to be inspected

Of course, there are those who have a good overall knowledge of these subjects. But most RV buyers do not fall into that category. That is why a certified RV inspector can be a big help for them when buying a used RV.

They can thoroughly examine all the RV systems accurately and in detail. This is because they have a working knowledge of many different kinds of RVs. And they can provide you with a detailed explanation of each system and its condition.

When they are done, you will have a very good idea of the kind of shape that particular RV is in.

An Unbiased RV Inspection Can Save On Repairs

So how can an RV inspection by a certified RV inspector actually save you money? Well, nobody wants to buy an RV that is a money pit. And the outward appearance alone will not tell you how much work is needed.

Unfortunately, it’s also often true that RV buyers start to look at certain rigs with rose-colored glasses. That is, they tend to overlook some of the RV’s problems just because of its eye appeal.

So having an RV inspector examine the RV before purchase is a smart move. This is because the inspector is an unbiased third-party that will truly look at the RV in an objective light.

Their one and only job is to give you a fair and accurate picture of the RV you are considering. And even if the report is not a positive one, that can save you lots of money in potential RV repairs. And wouldn’t you want to know that before the purchase instead of afterward?

So don’t consider the cost of the inspection as lost money. If everything is in good condition, you now have the peace of mind that you are making a good purchase. And if it is not in good condition the inspection will save you from making a poor buying decision.

Save Money On The RV Purchase

Most of the time, an RV inspection does not reveal major problems. But it can often point out smaller issues that the RV buyer needs to know.

And armed with that knowledge, the buyer can then negotiate a better deal. In fact, thousands can be saved on the purchase price with a thorough inspection.

RV inspections can save money
RV inspections can SAVE YOU LOTS OF MONEY!

So when you consider the benefits of getting your potential RV inspected, it’s worth the cost! One word of warning though! Don’t go cheap here and use any old inspector.

Make sure that the inspector is certified, preferably by the NRVIA (National RV Inspector Association). That way you know that the inspection will be handled the right way by a qualified professional!

Have safe and happy travels my friends!

Expensive RV Engine Repairs – Avoid Them

All of those fun times that comes with camping in an RV depends on keeping the engine that hauls your RV in good working order. And it doesn’t matter what kind of RV you own. Somewhere there has to be an engine that gets your RV where you want to go. But how do you avoid expensive RV engine repairs?

Well interestingly, you don’t have to know much about the mechanics of an engine at all. And yet you can have a pretty good idea about how mechanically sound your engine is. And this kind of knowledge is possible because today we can do something called engine fluid analysis. It can tell us a lot of what we need to know about our engine’s health.

How does engine fluid analysis help avoid expensive RV engine repairs?

Let me explain how this works. When you get a physical checkup from your doctor, usually he will take a blood sample. Then he runs a battery of tests on your blood. Those tests will give him a lot of reliable information about how the organs in your body are functioning. It can also tell him whether some kind of health problem is beginning to develop. That way you can avoid issues that could become serious if something isn’t done about it.

Well, engine fluid analysis does essentially the same thing. All that is required is to just take a sample of your engine oil and send it to a high quality analysis center. They will put that engine oil through a battery of tests. And those tests will provide a lot of information about what is going on inside your engine.

The canary in the coal mine

This is because long before engine parts totally fail, there is often some kind of chemical or metal residue that is produced and then found in the engine oil. This residue is kind of like the canary in the coal mine. It can alert you to possible major problems ahead if you don’t address the issue right away.
And when it comes to these modern big RV engines, you want to be sure to keep on top of what is going on inside of them. That way you can try to avert big problems before they become really expensive RV engine repairs.

Now a lot of NRVIA RV inspectors will offer an engine oil analysis as part of their RV inspection process. This is often the case when someone is considering the purchase of a motorized RV. And if they offer this service, you would be smart to let them do it. This is because that information is critical to having a complete picture of your RV’s mechanical health at the time of your purchase.

How you can do it yourself

But what about those of you who already have the RV you want? Well, the good news is that you can get your engine oil analyzed anytime you want. And you can even do it yourself!

Here is what you do – just order an engine oil analysis kit from a reputable analysis center. Here is a link to the one that I use.

And here is what you will receive from the fluid analysis company – you will get a long plastic tube that you use to insert into your engine oil when the engine is not running. You also get a hand pump to draw the oil into a small plastic bottle. Once the bottle is filled about 2/3 of the way, you just put the cap on it and fill out some pertinent information about your engine. Then you place the cap and the information form into a mailer and send it off to be analyzed. About a week or so later you will get a thorough report about what those engine oil tests revealed about that engine.

Avoiding RV expensive engine repairs – final thoughts

All of this is very simple to do. And the analysis company has some great videos that will guide you on how to perform all the steps of this process in very clear terms.

Now if you regularly perform this kind of engine oil analysis it can not only alert you to possible major rv engine repairs, but it can also save you money too. This is because the oil analysis will also tell you if the oil is still lubricating the engine well enough to be continue to be used at oil change time or whether you should change it. Some RV owners have extended the life of their engine oil significantly by doing this kind of exact and scientific analysis. It takes all the guesswork out of engine oil changes.

Please comment below and tell us how you avoid expensive engine repairs