Friday

Rv Warranties and their Dirty Little Secret


When you buy a $30,000 new car and it turns out to be a lemon, you get your money back. Why doesn't it work that way with Rv's costing more than $100,000? Because most new rv warranties have a dirty little secret buried in the fine print. And it can cost you big time.

In fact, you would be better off with no written warranty from most Rv companies instead of the fancy but worthless written warranty you often get, buried in all that owner manual package of paperwork that you find in the rv after you drive it home.

Most of new factory rv warranties are now "repair only" warranties. That means the manufacturer only gives the buyer one promise - that they will fix what goes wrong if it is the factory's fault. That sounds okay at first, but what happens if they can't get it fixed right at all, in spite of weeks of trying on multiple repair trips back and forth to and from your dealer and maybe even other dealers? What then? Well, it gets worse.


What is "limited" is your legal rights.
Some of them, like many Thor rv warranties, now say that if they can't get it fixed then all you get is their promise to pay someone else to fix it. They even have a name for it; they call it their "back up" warranty.

Well if your Thor dealer can't fix the Thor rv, what makes you think that Bill and Bob's Rv Repair Shop in Podunk, Iowa, will be able to? 

Now, we aren't saying that Bill and Bob aren't good mechanics. Some independent rv repair shops are, frankly, even better than some rv dealer shops. But rv dealers have the advantage of direct lines to the factory help desk and can get attention and assistance that independent shops can only wish for. But if the factory can't get a problem fixed once and for all, and the factory dealer can't either, what makes you think that anyone else can?

So why do some rv manufacturers give you that "we'll pay someone else to fix it" promise? Simple. Because then if that other shop doesn't get it fixed, the factory can say "well we paid them to do it so now your fight is with them and not us." And you? Well, the big company sticks you in the wallet again.

The simple fact is that in most states if the factory did not give you any written warranty at all on that big, shiny new $100,000 + rv, your state law would probably give you an automatic 4 year warranty anyway. It's called an implied warranty of merchantability and fitness for use, and it would actually give you more legal rights and more protection than what the rv manufacturer wants you to have - and certainly more than many of them are now giving you. 
What the fine print taketh away?


So this is one instance where the fancy-looking factory warranty actually hurts you - you get less than you think even though it looks like you are getting more than you need.

Fancy rv warranties from rv companies that won't stand behind them, and the lawyers they hire to write nice sounding warranties that actually don't give you much at all - and all the while they are making tons of money from building bad rv's that they sell for big profit with little warranties. Warranties that have a dirty little secret hidden within. Warranties that don't give you rights but spend their time taking away the rights you already would have.

Before you buy your next rv, insist on getting and reading a copy of the factory warranty. And don't buy an rv that only gives you a "repair only" warranty promise. Yes, maybe that means you don't buy a Thor next time. Or a Winnebago. Or maybe some other brands too.

There are some rv manufacturers that actually care about quality control and their customers. And then there are the rest.


What do you really get for your money?
Tell the dealer you want an rv that the factory will stand behind and will put it in writing in their warranty. And if the factory won't do it, then how come the dealer won't either? 

Tell the dealer that you want them to write on the sales contract that if their brand new rv is in the repair shop for more than 30 days in the first year then the dealer will refund your money. If the dealer won't do that, then what does that tell you about the quality of what the rv dealer is trying to sell you? It ought to worry you enough to go somewhere else.

If enough people demand a fair rv warranty and fair treatment, the industry might finally change and give it to you. But if no one complains, well, that's how they dig into your wallet and how you can be wasting your money.

If you get a lemon rv, we're right here. Helping rv owners get their money back is what we do.

Burdge Law Office
Helping Rv owners get rid of lemon rv's since 1978.