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Oilpig

2017 Tiffin Phaeton - Additional Warranty or No?

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New to the forum and looking for advice on additional 3rd party warranty.  My wife and I are getting ready to go FT for a year with our daughter (4.5 yo) and travel all over the US.  Yeah...to say we're excited is an understatement!  We're extremely fortunate to be able to do this at this age with our daughter and can't wait for her to learn through doing as we travel.

 

We're looking at a 2017 Tiffin Phaeton 40QKH with 9,900 miles on it which means ~1.5 yrs or 26K miles of warranty remaining from Tiffin. 

 

Given that we'll be FT for a solid year, likely 15K+ miles over that time, what do y'all think about additional warranty?

 

I've researched a bit here and elsewhere.  I've already received a coach only quote from Wholesale Warranty (thanks for the tips!) as well as Star RV quoted through the dealership finance department.  Obviously the dealer gets a bit using their preferred warranty company.  So if an additional warranty is going to cost $3-4K for 3-4 years of coverage, what do those of you with experience think?  I can pocket the cash (in savings) for a rainy day or spend a bit for peace of mind.

 

Any and all advice greatly appreciated!

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Warranties are a crap shoot.  You either benefit from them or you never need them.  If you go with one, READ ALL of the fine print.  

I opted not to get one on my new unit.  But I can fix 98% of it myself.

Edited by rynosback

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Keep the money for a rainy day! I bought a Ford ESP on my current truck and it was the first and LAST I'll ever buy.  Two different problems with emissions after regular Ford warranty expired for total of $2000 and of course "those parts aren't covered by your ESP". One thing for sure is that I'll never have an emissions problem with this truck again. I also did not buy one for our new fiver last October as I can also do most repairs myself if necessary.

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Personally, I feel an extended warranty is only a "potential" benefit if a medium to major repair would be enough of a financial hardship to stop you in your tracks. I view them as paying for repairs that will likely never happen. What's the old adage? "The house always wins".

Even with an extended warranty there is still the necessity of either having a "nestegg" reserved for normal preventative maintenance, replacements (tires, batteries, etc.) or upgrades that wouldn't be covered anyway. The other option is to contribute monthly as part of your budget to a "reserve/maintenance fund" or go halvers... put what you would have spent on an extended warranty in reserve and add to it monthly.

At the end of the year, if your rig didn't cooperate and break down on you, what you spent on a warranty is "gone" with nothing to show for it. In the same vein... funding your own maintenance/repair fund... you retain all that you've contributed to it and "you're" the one earning the interest/dividends. Over time, if it grows beyond your target "reserve" amount, use the excess for a pre-determined purpose. Buy that generator you've been wanting, remodel the bedroom, go solar, park your rig and fly over to see the grandkids... by way of! ;)

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We are firm believers in Extended warranties .We have the ESP on our 2008 F-350 . We picked it up yesterday from our local Ford dealer.It had a transmission issue total repair cost 989.00 plus a 5 day loaner car 2018 Escape. We  don't know the cost of the loaner .It was separate from the repair cost but we got no invoice just a set of keys. Cost out of pocket 100.00 deductible. This has been a good truck and we only used the ESP for 3 repairs over the years  costing out at 2197 less less 3 100.00 deductibles.

Two 5th wheels 06 and this 13 same brand.I can recall holding tank failures,  fridge cooling unit failures, Hot water tank failure.Axle /shackle /spring failure.We are long timers and heavy users. We are not handy in repair and getting up in age. The EW is advantages for us.

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First, let me say welcome to the Escapee forums! I hope that you will join in often and feel welcome here. 

Most folks seem to use the words "always" and "never" far too often in discussions of the extended warranty. You need to make this a business decision. I suggest that before you make up your mind, take time to read this article that I wrote for Escapees Magazine and which they have published two different times. Extended warranties are insurance and the decision to buy coverage or not should always be a business decision weighing the cost against the risk involved. 

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Welcome, and congrats on taking the plunge for a year of full time RVing!  Who knows you may decide on a second, third, ......

Extended warranties are simply insurance policies.  I like to compare it to having insurance on your car.  Would you just carry liability insurance on your car?  Same issues, if something happen you could just take the money out of savings and fix it.  You can have an accident with your car and sustain $8,000 to $15,000 in damages easily.  A frig, air conditioner, and something else could get go in your RV and you could spend almost that much.

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On 3/8/2018 at 7:22 AM, Yarome said:

Personally, I feel an extended warranty is only a "potential" benefit if a medium to major repair would be enough of a financial hardship to stop you in your tracks.

The single sentence quoted above is the way that I look at it.

The odds are in favor of the warranty company making money off of your policy. That is how they stay in business. So unless a major repair would create a significant hardship for you, I'd recommend keeping that money in your pocket. 

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RVs are very complicated machines, especially if they have a motor too. Unless you are a mechanic and/or have the ability, knowledge, tools and time to do your own repairs it is a good idea to get an ESP. Sure you could put the money in an account but do you have the ability to do the repairs yourself. You WILL experience some minor breakdowns. It’s a given. You may have a major breakdown and that alone will pay for the ESP. 

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5 hours ago, Twotoes said:

Sure you could put the money in an account but do you have the ability to do the repairs yourself.

Doing the repair yourself isn't a pre-requisite to maintaining your own repair fund.

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9 hours ago, Twotoes said:

You may have a major breakdown and that alone will pay for the ESP. 

I added the emphasis to the word "may".  That is the crux of the matter.

If a major breakdown would create a financial hardship for you, then an ESP might be a good idea. If you have the financial means to take care of it, you are better over the long haul keeping the $$$ for an ESP in your own pocket. 

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I really do appreciate all of the feedback.  I didn't expect a clear 100% yes or 100% no so y'all delivered on that :P

 

I ended up buying the unit on Friday afternoon and I'm stoked!  The unit was purchased from Bankston RV in Hunstville, AL and driven home to Houston over the weekend.  Nothing like 800+ miles my first time behind the wheel of a 41 footer :blink:  The third party inspector scheduled through Wholesale Warranties was pretty impressed, said it's basically a new unit with no obvious signs of wear on anything.  Overall that makes me feel pretty good, plus buying it from a dealership that's been there since 1970 and from a family-owned manufacturer that's been around as long.  Gotta be honest though, I'm still going back and forth on the insurance policy of the coach only coverage given we'll be FT for a year and I'm no mechanic.   Hmmm, decisions, decisions...

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Congratulations on the new home! I think you made a good choice. On the extended warranty, make that a business decision. Like most insurance policies, you only save money by purchasing one if you have serious problems. But it may help you to sleep better and not worry so that could make it worth the cost, even when all goes well. 

Edited by Kirk Wood

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The thing I f ind odd about Extended warranties is the comment that they make money on the warranty or you will not get your money back. I do not see those comments on other types of insurance policies  and all companies whatever the product are in business to make money.

 

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On March 7, 2018 at 8:32 PM, Oilpig said:

New to the forum and looking for advice on additional 3rd party warranty.  My wife and I are getting ready to go FT for a year with our daughter (4.5 yo) and travel all over the US.  Yeah...to say we're excited is an understatement!  We're extremely fortunate to be able to do this at this age with our daughter and can't wait for her to learn through doing as we travel.

 

We're looking at a 2017 Tiffin Phaeton 40QKH with 9,900 miles on it which means ~1.5 yrs or 26K miles of warranty remaining from Tiffin. 

 

Given that we'll be FT for a solid year, likely 15K+ miles over that time, what do y'all think about additional warranty?

 

I've researched a bit here and elsewhere.  I've already received a coach only quote from Wholesale Warranty (thanks for the tips!) as well as Star RV quoted through the dealership finance department.  Obviously the dealer gets a bit using their preferred warranty company.  So if an additional warranty is going to cost $3-4K for 3-4 years of coverage, what do those of you with experience think?  I can pocket the cash (in savings) for a rainy day or spend a bit for peace of mind.

 

Any and all advice greatly appreciated!

Oil, good morning,

Most of our rigs are old enough to vote so if things get out of hand we "recycle" into the next "experianced-rig" and rattle down the road some more. Obviously with the age of our rigs our coffee-can full of $$$$ is our insurance however we have a friend that has a L O W mile 2014 upper-mid-range ($670k) diesel pusher that just had the THIRD Cummins L engine installed and the second engine broke a connecting rod that ripped the starter off and caught the coach on fire.......and I thought I had bad luck.....

 

So what's my point........well obviously his new coach was "covered"......sorta but.....the saving grace is that his third party coverage has more than paid for itself when he has been dealing with his ......."lemon" as he calls it........

 

Any RV can be a money pit but once in a while a RV can become a black hole money sucker.

 

I would highly recommend that you buy the third party insurance mostly because Jerry will need a LOT of folks sending a LOT of $$$$$$ just to pay the bills on his .....Lemon...

 

Drive on...........( if you drive a Lemon.....get a lot of insurance)

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On 3/7/2018 at 9:32 PM, Oilpig said:

 

We're looking at a 2017 Tiffin Phaeton 40QKH with 9,900 miles on it which means ~1.5 yrs or 26K miles of warranty remaining from Tiffin. 

 

 

FWIW, Tiffins warranty is 12 months or 12K miles.

Below is copy from Tiffin's web site.

"YEAR COMPREHENSIVE WARRANTY

Your coach is warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for 12 months, or 12,000 miles of use."

See www.tiffinmotorhomes.com.

Also see www.tiffinrvnetwork for much info, good and bad, on Tiffin products.

I owned two Phaetons, a 2008 and a 2015 before having to give up fulltiming!

 

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3 hours ago, richfaa said:

The thing I f ind odd about Extended warranties is the comment that they make money on the warranty or you will not get your money back. I do not see those comments on other types of insurance policies  and all companies whatever the product are in business to make money.

I think that the reason you hear this more on extended warranties are that they are known to be big profit centers for dealers and others who sell them. When I worked i retail (long, long ago) we were pushed hard to sell extended warranties as they were almost pure profit. I am still amazed when I buy a $100 ink jet printer somewhere and they ask me if I'd like to spend $39 for a 4-year extended warranty. The answer for me is always no.

Most insurance is a choice. We've made the determination on having dental insurance, life insurance, auto collision and comprehensive insurance, and various extended warranties using exactly the same process: Risk and cost vs. benefit. We are essentially self-insured on all of those items. 

However, some insurances, like auto liability and health  insurance is mandatory, so the dialog is less about "should I get it" or "is it worth it" than about relative costs and benefits. 

If folks feel better with an Extended Warranty I say go for it. But be aware that more likely than not, it won't pay for itself. 

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What we did was put 10% of the purchase price of our MH in a fund and add to it every month.  Not only has that covered all repairs, but also replacements like tires, putting in  AGM batteries, routine maintenance, which can vary when you have the year where transmission is due or you need new hoses, o-rings, etc.  12 yrs and the fund is still in positive standing.  

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The only "insurance " that we have or have ever had that paid for it self was our RV extended warranties which of course are not extended warranties at all  like the Ford  ESP but " service contracts" that cover specific stated items listed in the Service contract. Yes it is a choice.

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Y'all haven't disappointed so thanks for the feedback.  You're all spot in that it's a risk-based decision, the chance a claimable repairs over the course of the warranty period versus the total cost of the warranty and the deductibles.  Will it pay out?  We never know for sure, much like our homeowners insurance, car insurance, or health insurance.

 

In the end, we decided to go with the Wholesale Warranties coverage as "insurance" to facilitate a smooth trip should we need it.  Given we're brand new to RVing, going straight into FT for a year-long trip around the country (with a 5 year old and two dogs), and the fact I have little mechanical experience at all, it felt like reasonable insurance for ~$85/month.  Will it pay out?  I don't know but I'm keeping detailed records of every cost of this trip and will report back on our experience.

 

I really do appreciate all of the feedback and look forward to much more continued interaction as we hopefully meet many of you out on the road.

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1 hour ago, Oilpig said:

I really do appreciate all of the feedback and look forward to much more continued interaction as we hopefully meet many of you out on the road.

Based on what you say, I think that you probably made the right decision. At the minimum, it will give you a much more relaxed experience with fewer sleepless nights! 

Let me invite you to join us in Sedalia, MO for the spring Escapade on May 27 through June 1. 

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On 3/14/2018 at 2:54 PM, Barbaraok said:

What we did was put 10% of the purchase price of our MH in a fund and add to it every month.  Not only has that covered all repairs, but also replacements like tires, putting in  AGM batteries, routine maintenance, which can vary when you have the year where transmission is due or you need new hoses, o-rings, etc.  12 yrs and the fund is still in positive standing.  

Do you add the same amount or percentage each month? After a major expenditure, do you try to add more to keep the fund at a minimum level?  We're still in our planning stages, but repairs and maintenance is a category we're having difficulty trying to budget.

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1 hour ago, MrsSquid said:

We're still in our planning stages, but repairs and maintenance is a category we're having difficulty trying to budget.

Much of what you are dealing with depends on what type of maintenance you are thinking of. I don't believe that Barb means that they pay for things like oil changes, tires, and other normal maintenance but the fund would be for things like an engine or transmission problem, or the loss of a major item. Even if you should choose to buy an extended warranty to cover emergency repairs, they do not pay for anything considered to be normal maintenance or wear & tear. Mechanical maintenance on the chassis & engine of a motorhome, the running gear of a trailer, and on tow or towed vehicles will depend on the mileage that you put on them. Even when that mileage is low most manufacturers recommend an oil change at least annually. Tires can wear out but most RV tires are replaced due to age after 5 to 10 years (I have gone by 7 years) and should be budgeted that way. On a trailer or motorhome there are things which should be done annually and all of those need to be budgeted in, whether self-done or taken to an RV tech. We used to build into our budget $1000 per year for those things and on years when it was less, we still set that amount aside to cover years that ran more. That proved to be pretty accurate for our gas coach but we have been back to part-time now for 7 years so the amount is sure to be higher now. 

For things like an engine or transmission, we did buy an extended warranty at first but as the RV aged that cost increased so when we reached the age to have access to our IRA/401k we stopped doing that. You can read our approach to that issue here if you wish.  I agree with Barb that to set aside a fund of 10% of the purchase price would be sufficient for most repairs, if you can afford to do so, which we could not have done. Such a fund would mean an additional $20,000 if you buy a $200k coach and even that will not last if you do not add to is and should have to replace an engine or transmission. Friends of ours had to get a Ford V-10 replaced in 2005 and it cost about $7k and others had a Cat diesel in their pusher in 2009 and that was more than $11k. The thing to keep in mind is that while such funding does work and will usually cost less over the life of the RV, to be completely safe you must have good self-discipline and add to that fund each year, even if none of the money is ever used. Extended warranties usually do not save money just as most insurance policies don't but if you should have a major repair of an expensive part they do prevent a financial disaster. 

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Mrs. Squid, Kirk is correct, the repair fund was for repairs, not general maintenance.  We segregated money for maintenance each month too, along with 1/12 of annual insurance costs, registration fees, etc.   Any reoccurring annual expense is figured on a monthly basis and set into a "Yearly" account, so when that particular item comes do, I just move the funds back into checking and pay the bill.    Maintenance costs are fairly easy to estimate, just look at the owners manual and see what they indicate for annual service.  After having ours serviced the first time, I picked $100/month for maintenance as my target point.  Most years we are under that, but when you do tranny, differential, oil, etc., at the same time (only happens once in a while) it can be a little more, but we have a cushion.   Repairs was harder, so I just picked $200/month and added that to 10% established repair fund.  Some years we didn't touch that - others years, whoa!  For tires, get the cost of one of your tires, if like us, you have 6 tires (2 front, 4 rear), then you need to set aside the cost of 1 tire per year and replace at 6-8 years.  We change out the front pair and then 2 years latter the rear 4, then repeat as they age.   For the batteries, same idea.  Get the cost of one battery and figure putting aside the cost of one each year so when they need to be replaced, the money is there.     This year we replaced our four house batteries with AGMs.  Expensive, but they do not need to be filled with water each month and as we have aged, we find that being able to away with crawling into a tight, dark area to be well worth the money.

Barb

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This is a good idea!  I will start a camper fund for any major repairs.  Make it a camper/truck fund even though the truck is fairly new and has 3 more years of drive-train warranty left.  Thanks for the idea ya'll, this forum rocks!

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