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Full time RV living and Mfr. Warranty

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Full-time RV living is about as recreational as it gets! :)

Aside from that, though, I do remember looking at an Airstream trailer back when I was in the research stage and the salesman noted that the warranty was voided if the RV was used for full-time living. When I narrowed my search down to a Class C(B+) Phoenix Cruiser, I explicitly asked about the warranty in cases of full-timing. No problem. Bottom line, it pays to ask and, where possible, look at warranty docs prior to purchase.

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Says New Horizons "New Horizons RV is a Five Star Rated RV Manufacturer of Truly Custom High End RV Trailers and Fifth Wheels. We design your perfect floor plan.

 

What does the R stand for.

 

Of course, the R in RV stands for recreational. However, that does not preclude it from being a residence. You drive a Ford, does that mean it's not an automobile?

 

res·i·dence
[ˈrez(ə)dəns]
NOUN
  1. a person's home; the place where someone lives.
    synonyms: home · house · place of residence · address · quarters ·

 

Powered by Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press · Translation by Bing Translator

 

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What Webster says is not reverent. These are RV's not built to residential standards like Park models or single wide's. My Montana Big Sky is a "All season "Rv so says marketing which means you can use it in all seasons which is a joke.

 

Many Montana owners full time in them we long times and we have never heard of warranty being denied.

 

Many high $$ brands have better insulation better quality cabinets, appliances, creature comforts, better build quality better suited for full time living but that does not make them a residence.

People live in cardboard boxes and cars does that make them a residence.

 

Many choose to live in Rv's full time all brands all prices ranges.

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Back to the issue of warranty, someone mentioned that it isn't alway easy to "hide" the fact that you are a fulltimer from a dealer if you need work done. Personally, we found this to be very true. We needed major work done on our Keystone product and couldn't leave it at the dealer for them to work on for any length of time, since we were living in it and had the complication of a cat.

 

After 4 dealer attempts at a fix, We ended up having to take it to the factory, which was even more difficult. In the end, Keystone took our 5th wheel back and gave us a new one- thats how bad the problems were, and it was construction issues, not appliances (because in general, I agree with Kirk, most warranty issues are appliance etc related).

Edited by soos

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As was mentioned earlier, most people who own recreational vehicles use them only a few weeks per year, while those of us who full-time use ours 365 days/year. Some manufacturers make coaches that are designed for the weekender/vacationers and others (higher priced) for long-timers or full-timers. Consider Heartland, for example. They market three 5'ers (Landmark, Bighorn, Big Country) specifically advertised as suitable for full-time use, and the warranties support that. The rest of their lineup specifically says that full-time use voids the warranty.

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The sales brochure for the Grand Design Solitude refers to "a new era of extended stay living", "you may want to live in it for months" or even "live in it forever". Says they have a 3 year warranty.

Ron

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I believe I saw a recent ad for Arctic Fox that actually advertised it as suitable for full time. I know when we owned one the fine print never excluded full time.

 

Before we went full time we bought the complete package from RV Consumer Group (http://rv.org/) and what I felt most useful of all wasn't the ratings themselves but the description of how they arrived at the ratings. I then understood that what make a rig suitable for full time was a whole bunch of little things like drawer and drawer slide quality, type of back splashes to preserve the counter and walls, quality of the vinyl or rugs or furniture: stuff you wouldn't normally pay any attention to. The info is worth way more than the $135 or so. Check it out.

Edited by Earl

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Not too long ago there were threads on this and other forums with pages of discussion and lots of hand wringing over the new HUD definitions and rules for recreational vehicles. This issue had been fermenting for years. Perhaps some manufacturers decided that establishing a position that they were truly manufacturing recreational vehicles not residential housing units was worth the loss of the relatively small proportion of sales to fulltimers.

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Not too long ago there were threads on this and other forums with pages of discussion and lots of hand wringing over the new HUD definitions and rules for recreational vehicles. This issue had been fermenting for years. Perhaps some manufacturers decided that establishing a position that they were truly manufacturing recreational vehicles not residential housing units was worth the loss of the relatively small proportion of sales to fulltimers.

There is no connection between the warranty limitations and the laws or rules from HUD. That discussion was mostly pointed at the "park model" industry because the park models are really not intended for frequent moving about like an RV is. But the warranty limitations have been there for many years and existed long before any of this was even an issue for HUD or anyone else. That limitation is put there by some manufacturers because the RVs in question just are not designed for constant use. If you do some price comparisons, you will quickly find that most of the RVs which have no such limits on their warranties, are higher priced than those which do. Since the lion's share of the RV market is buyers who do not live in the RV more than a few weeks per year, that limitation has no impact upon the most common buyers who seek vacation RVs at all.

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Wow!

Thank you all for this input and welcoming wishes.

 

Seems this wasn't as simple a topic as I originally thought.

 

We were looking at DRV Mobile Suites initially after learning that most of the very best rated RV manufacturers have gone out of business. But finding what we wanted in floor plan and length was tough to find used or new in a budget that didn't give our CFP a heart attack.

 

Since we also have to purchase the tow vehicle we decided we would go with something still well rated by RVCG (score of 80 +) with a 5 year plan in mind and purchase a tow vehicle that could handle a sturdier RV like DRV later if we still feel this lifestyle agrees with us.

 

I think Jayco bought out Travel Supreme - also a highly rated RV gone under. I know that doesn't make the Pinnacle high end by default but in walking through several and scrutinizing construction from underneath it seems like it will hold up with respectful care. Fortunately, the dealer price on the year end Pinnacle just about takes care of the first 2 year depreciation off MSRP.

 

After visiting many dealerships in several states we feel like we found two that were reputable with knowledgeable sales people that didn't make us feel like we were prey.

 

One was the DRV dealer in Chanute, Kansas and we're sorry we aren't going to be doing business with him. That dealer, BTW, was once the manufacture plant for Nu Wa Hitchhiker (they stopped manufacturing in 2013). Well, maybe in few years we'll be paying him a visit.

 

Thank you, Kirk for your reassuring words about not being grilled on use when requiring warranty repair. As to having warranty work completed immediately because it is our home; if one is on vacation for two weeks or full timing it is still "home" and if we are far from our domicile address the work needs to be completed asap, right?

 

We will definitely be looking at extended warranties before we finalize the purchase just in case.

 

Hope to meet you all at some time on the road.

 

In the meantime, happy trails to all.

The Snows

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If the RV maker states that it is not for full timing and that it is for occasional use only

why would you think otherwise? There are some RVs that are rated for full timing and they tend

to be heavier then occasional use only units.

Forest River does encourage people to buy and obtain service locally but if you are away from home they

will find you a place for warranty service. There are a number of posts on the Forest River Forum regarding this issue.

Good luck

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Forgot to say, I think any rv you pick will be great as long as you keep up with the repairs and keep it maintained. I know a couple how has been full timing for 6 year in a cougar lite and are doing great. Buy what you like and have fun.

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Also, not everyone buys an extended warranty. Some of us take 10-15% of the purchase price (or the price of an extended warranty for the rig you buy) and put it into a repair fund. Then we add to it each month and when something needs to be taken care of, we do it. We don't have to wait for things to break - if we notice we are having a problem, we get it fixed or replaced without having to justify it to anyone. We've been on the road for over 10 yrs, never had an extended warranty, just our repair fund. So far we've never had to dip into anything else. We also have a maintenance fund that we put money into each month, including money for new tires about every 7 yrs and new batteries.

 

Barb

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an industry standard apparently for manufacturers who dont ttust their own build quality IMHO.

Ron

 

Not all are that way. DRV warranty is not voided if you are full timing.

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Howdy Chirakawa, WeBeFulltimers,

 

No, it's not.

From what I have seen the Pinnacle is a decent mid-range unit, but a very LONG way from "high end" !

Sorry for the long time to respond to your posts... I did not get a notification that the topic had been updated.

 

Thanks for setting be straight on the "endness" of the Jayco Pinnacle, I really thought (from reading its literature/website/brochure) that it was very high-end.

 

This leads me ask: how can one determine what is high-end, mid-profile or entry-level? Is there an objective criterion for this?

 

Thanks in advance,

--

Vall.

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Hi Kirk,

 

While I do agree that a quality used RV is a better choice than a new RV of poor quality, I am constantly amazed by the number of folks who advise against anyone buying a new RV right from the dealer. I have now owned both new and used RVs and both have been good experiences. If my memory is accurate, I had only 1 warranty issue with each of the 3 new RVs that I have owned. Since the first new one was more than 30 years ago, I'm not certain about the 1 issue part but can say that it was the biggest problem as it took several trips to get it right. My current RV was purchased new and of the 3 it is the lowest on the quality scale, but it was only back for warranty repairs one time and that was midway through the second year of the warranty period. Our used RV experiences were pretty similar, although 2 of those were from private owners so there was no dealer to return to. The thing to remember when buying used is that there is typically no warranty on anything so all repairs will cost. The point is that there is more risk in buying used than with new because of the lack of a warranty. Remember that when an RV is sold or traded after a very short period, there is always the possibility that you are looking at one which the original owner had so much problem that he got rid of it and took a major loss in doing so. You risk being the person who bought some previous owner's headache. The only RV owners that I have personally known who traded the RV away in less than 3 years(only 2) both did so because the RV was a disaster!

Great info. Besides the two new units we mentioned (Grand Designs Reflection 30BH and Northwood Fox Mountain 335BHS) we're also looking at used units being advertised at places like PPL and when the time to buy is closer, will also look at Craigslist, etc.

 

Is it possible/probable to get such a "lemon" used unit if we get a good, independent inspection on it? What other advice could you give us to try and avoid such a situation?

 

Thanks,

--

Vall.

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This leads me ask: how can one determine what is high-end, mid-profile or entry-level? Is there an objective criterion for this?

While price is a big hint, it can be difficult to do if you have no previous RV experience. Things like solid wood cabinets and higher quality upholstery and finishing materials are a big hint. Dual pane windows as standard rather than option or not available is another. Look at things like the wall coverings, the brand of mattress, plywood drawer construction, Corian counter tops rather than Formica, and things of that sort.

 

While a higher price isn't a guarantee that the RV being considered is of higher quality, a very low price is pretty nearly a guarantee that it isn't of high quality since it is expensive to build quality. Even the exterior construction of an RV costs more when of higher quality and the workmanship of the construction inside is usually pretty detectable. More time is spent in the "fit & finish" of the better/higher cost RVs than can be for those sold at a very low price. Lower cost RVs nearly always have flat front and rear ends because the construction that uses a molded cap for the two ends is more expensive, but is generally considered better and more durable.

 

There is no standardization in the industry of classes or names for classes of RV so what one builder calls an Arctic Package may be very different from what another calls it. The same is true for vacation, snowbird, or fulltime RVs. RIVA sets standards but the primary purpose of those standards is to make them just high enough to keep the federal highway department from imposing requirements on the RV industry as they have for automotive products. RIVA is there to protect their members, who build RVs and not to do anything for the RV buying public, although the do try to make us believe that they do. The RV Consumer Group created categories of RV more than 20 years ago in an attempt to make it possible to compare the models of one RV manufacturer against those of another, within the same quality range. Many of the terms that they created have now come into common use in the RV world and even by some manufacturers. It is interesting to note that some RV manufacturers welcome visits to their factories by members of the RVCG staff while other try and denigrate the group and their ratings. The most highly respected RV builders tend to be the same ones who welcome them! For this, as well as based upon my personal experience with them, I strongly recommend that new RV buyers consider spending the money to get a membership in the RV Consumer Group.

Is it possible/probable to get such a "lemon" used unit if we get a good, independent inspection on it? What other advice could you give us to try and avoid such a situation?

While it is possible that an RV inspection might fail to reveal a disastrous defect, it isn't probable. People who offer pre-sale inspections have a liability issue if the report that is given should prove to be incorrect. Look carefully at the contract which any such inspection service uses and see what sort of warranty they offer and see if they have some type of certification to do these inspections. If buying a motorized RV and using a mobile RV tech then you would be wise to also take the RV to an experienced mechanic and have him evaluate it as well. Avoid relying upon the statements that come from any employee of the dealership that you are buying from, unless those statements are put into writing and made a part of the sale contract. In addition, you can greatly mitigate the risk of buying used by purchasing a quality "extended warranty" which amounts to a health insurance policy on the RV. If considering an extended warranty, I suggest you may benefit from reading this article which was published in Escapees Magazine.

 

There is no way to completely eliminate risk when buying an RV, whether new or used, but that is true of any major purchase. But there are many ways to lower that degree of risk and educating yourself it the strongest of them.

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