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A warranty for a recreational vehicle is a contract between the owner and the provider that promises to pay for repairs for a pre-determined length of time or mileage.

RV Warranty Options

For recreational vehicles, you have two different warranty options:

  • Manufacturer's warranty: The original warranty that is included with the purchase of a new RV.
  • Extended warranty: An additional protection plan that kicks in once the original manufacturer's warranty has expired.
    • Usually offered through third-party companies backed by insurance companies, not the manufacturer.

RV Manufacturer Warranties

For most new recreational vehicles, a manufacturer's warranty provides coverage at no additional cost to the buyer.

To determine the extent of the warranty, read through the warranty contract to see if the manufacturer offers an exclusionary contract or a listed component contract:

  • Exclusionary contract:
    • Usually referred to as bumper-to-bumper.
    • Lists only components of the vehicle not covered by the warranty.
  • Listed component contract:
    • Lists all components that are covered by the warranty.

Please note that for RVs, the manufacturer of each individual product usually covers other appliances and accessories inside the vehicle separately.

Tiffin Motorhomes is an example of what a typical manufacturer's warranty for a leading RV seller could cover.

Example Manufacturer Warranties

  • Construction warranty - 10 years:
    • Provides protection against structural defects of the vehicle, such as the welding of the frame.
  • Delamination warranty - 5 years:
    • Covers repairs needed to the exterior fiberglass walls and roof.
    • Common warning sign is bubbling just below the surface.
      • Can damage the structural integrity of the vehicle.
  • Exclusionary warranty - 12 months or 12,000 miles:
    • Covers all components except those listed on the warranty contract.
    • Similar to a bumper-to-bumper car warranty.
    • Will cover most repairs related to:
      • All major engine systems.
      • Transmission.
      • Brakes.
      • Fuel-delivery components.
      • Defects to the body and frame of the vehicle.
  • Roadside service 12 months:
    • Provides 24/7 roadside assistance services.

What most manufacturer warranties will not include:

  • Coverage for components or accessories not produced by the RV manufacturer, such as refrigerators or other appliances.
  • Normal deterioration caused by wear and tear or exposure to the elements.
  • Service items, such as lubricants or sealants.
  • Defects caused by accidents or modification.
  • Failure of any portion of the vehicle caused by misuse or untimely repairs.

Extended RV Warranties

Since most RV manufacturers don't provide extended warranty coverage, third-party warranties backed by insurance companies are the most common option for owners seeking additional coverage. An extended warranty for an RV is a service contract that requires separate purchase and payment.

While most manufacturers' warranties only offer coverage for up to 2 years, an extended warranty can often cover your RV for much longer. This can help to offset repair costs and maintenance after the original warranty has expired.

All coverage pricing options will vary according to the third-party warranty. Factors affecting the cost of the warranty include:

  • Type of RV.
  • Length of the contract
  • Type of coverage.

Extended Warranty Requirements

As with manufacturer's warranties, owners are responsible to adhere to routine maintenance schedules and other guidelines as outlined in the terms and conditions to prevent an extended warranty from becoming void.

Keep in mind that most extended warranties will require:

  • A deductible for most repairs.
  • Authorization prior to proceeding with repairs.
  • Supporting documents that show proof of maintenance.
  • Claim submission within 90 days for repairs covered by the warranty contract.

If you are unsure of exactly what parts or coverage your warranty contract offers, it's always a good idea to contact the warranty before proceeding with repairs to avoid unexpected out-of-pocket costs.

Example Extended Warranties

A typical extended warranty service contract from a leading third-party warranty company will provide coverages similar to the samples below.

Classic Coverage

  • Covers most repairs related to:
    • Major engine systems.
    • Transmission.
    • Front and rear axles.
    • Steering components.
    • Air conditioning/heating.
    • Braking assembly.
    • Electrical assembly.
    • Fuel delivery components.
  • Covers trip interruption.
    • Includes reimbursement related to:
      • Lodging.
      • Meals.
      • Rental cars.
  • Optional coverage for:
    • Tire protection.
    • Extended seals and gaskets.

If you want coverage to the coach of the vehicle, additional protection is offered as a separate warranty.

Coach Coverage

Covers most repairs inside the coach related to:

  • Water heater/boiler.
  • Waste system.
  • Fresh water system.
  • Roof/basement air conditioning.
  • Range/oven assembly.
  • Coach heating units.
  • Refrigerator.
  • Generator.
  • Electrical components.
  • Appliances.
  • Slide-out room units.
  • PowerStep systems.
  • Entertainment packages.
  • Seals and gaskets.

Other Vehicle Warranties

Warranty options for other vehicles—such as boats or trailers—can vary slightly from what you'll find with most recreational vehicle companies. Visit our guides to boat warranties and trailer warranties for details on these types of vehicle coverages.

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