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Opinions on Extended Warranties.


tktoth

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We have a new fifth wheel, and are considering whether Extended Warranties are worth the cost all in all. If we have a problem which they cover, they are, but if we don't, then not.

 

So, those who have purchased one, are you glad you did? Or, were any issues you had not a covered item? We are considering a 7 year one for about $2200 (Wholesale Warranties).

 

Any thoughts are appreciated.

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You may find this article from Escapee's Magazine to be somewhat helpful. I have purchased an extended warranty on RVs at times and on other occasions I did not. The key is to look at the thing as what it really is, health insurance for your RV. Then consider the question as any business would to make your choice. Never buy an extended warranty expecting it to save you money, any more than you buy insurance expecting that to save you money. Only when you have a series of problems or one or two that are really major will any insurance policy save you money. Take a look at your home owner policy, which nearly everyone buys. Yet the only way that those save us money is in the case where disaster happens ant the house is destroyed. There may be occasional years that you have claims exceeding the total of your premiums, but over the course of owning a home almost everyone looses money. But we buy the policy anyhow because it it were totally destroyed, that would spell financial disaster. Consider an extended warranty in that same way. If you normally have a large enough bank balance to pay for any unexpected repairs, even the largest ones, they it is foolish to buy insurance to cover it. But if the loss of a series of appliances or some other problem would mean that you could not afford to travel any longer, then you probably should buy the extended warranty.

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The odds are that you won't recover the cost of the warranty. After all, that is how warranty companies stay in business. But as Kirk points out we buy insurance on all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons, so it is as much a peace-of-mind decision as it is a financial one.

 

I am a hands-on kind of person, and have found that I have been able to fix everything that has gone wrong with our three trailers over 15 years. In fact, I can't imagine having to haul a trailer to a repair shop, leave it there, and then hope that they do the repair correctly, especially since we are now full timing.

 

I completely agree with Kirk's final point. If you have a bank balance that allows you to deal with a significant repair without leaving you in a bad way, then I recommend saving your money and self-funding your "insurance".

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Unless the warranty becomes effective after the factory warranty expires, you really lose the first year, so it is a 6-yr warranty.

 

I bought one for my first 5er, a used Jayco. It paid for itself with a gray tank repair. I bought one for my second 5er, a new Heartland Cyclone. That thing was in the shop for warranty repairs so often I got rid of it as soon as I could. I was able to recoup a good bit of the warranty fee. My current 5er is a Lifestyle. I did not buy an extended warranty. It is currently in the shop for warranty repairs after 6+ months on the road. I do not regret my decision to forego the warranty, but then again, I haven't had to spend any money to fix anything, either.

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We put 10% of the purchase price of our rig in an account and add to it each month. When something need to be fix, we fix it, even if it isn't broken yet. We also put into this fund amounts for things like tires & batteries that we will need down the road.

 

Some people fund their repair account with what they would have paid to the warranty company and then add to it.

 

That is another way to do it.

 

Barb

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Being I am new to RV's, and my current experience with mfg. warranty is expensive, but on their dime.

 

My concern is being I have not owned rv's for an extended length of time, and my experience so far is more warranty issues than I expected, should I expect major issues, in general? Especially since labor rates are $100/hour and up.

 

But, the (yes 6 year extended warranty) is $2200, should I expect that much in repairs?

 

I assume not since they priced it as $2200. They do make a profit based on statistically claims are much less than that. But, where am I statistically? I am not impressed with my luck so far (I have one claim so far which cost the mfg. over $6000 so far). But, do they settle down after one year?

 

I can afford $2200 in repairs, but concerned if over the term it is $10000.

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On a fifth wheel you don't have the engine/transmission/drivetrain worries of a motorhome that an extended warranty might cover (you might consider one for your truck, but that is a different discussion). So the odds of $10,000 worth of repairs is very low.

 

The most likely issues will be one or more major appliances going out, and the odds of that happening are relatively low within the time period you are talking about. We've not lost a major appliance yet. That being said, if your refrigerator dies then you'll wish you had the warranty because RV fridges are expensive. RV A/C's and furnaces are in the $500 - $1000 range (not counting installation), and things like water heaters, stoves, microwaves, etc. are generally less than that.

 

I don't think that anyone can speak to where you are statistically, as you are on the bell curve along with the rest of us. But if the warranty costs $2200 you can be assured that "statistically" you are likely to spend less than that in repairs over the seven year term. Unless you find yourself on "that" end of the curve with the other unlucky folks. No way to tell ahead of time...

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If you normally have a large enough bank balance to pay for any unexpected repairs, even the largest ones, they it is foolish to buy insurance to cover it. But if the loss of a series of appliances or some other problem would mean that you could not afford to travel any longer, then you probably should buy the extended warranty.

I completely agree with Kirk's final point. If you have a bank balance that allows you to deal with a significant repair without leaving you in a bad way, then I recommend saving your money and self-funding your "insurance".

Some people fund their repair account with what they would have paid to the warranty company and then add to it.

 

X2 on all counts and great financial planning idea, Barb.

 

I look at extended warranties as 'betting' on the fact that my carefully chosen product WILL fail before expected. I've never purchased an extended warranty on anything I've owned and never regretted it. As other have said though.. If you can't afford to take a hefty hit every now and again... you'll likely end up paying more in the long run on warranties, but at least a major breakdown wouldn't devastate your lifestyle.

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In 40 years of rving we have never felt we needed an extended warranty. I don't recall anything major happening and all the little things we fixed ourselves. We have had 2 tent trailers, Prowler, Cameo, New Horizons, Heartland, and now a Winnie(first MH).

 

I agree with putting the money aside and adding to it for anything major.

 

With the internet and the knowledge that is freely offered regarding problems most things can be handled. Prior to the internet there may have been a greater need for an extended warranty, but now, if you are handy, whatever the problem is can be diagnosed/fixed without going to a dealer or repair shop(mostly).

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My concern is being I have not owned rv's for an extended length of time, and my experience so far is more warranty issues than I expected, should I expect major issues, in general? Especially since labor rates are $100/hour and up.

 

But, the (yes 6 year extended warranty) is $2200, should I expect that much in repairs?

 

I assume not since they priced it as $2200. They do make a profit based on statistically claims are much less than that. But, where am I statistically? I am not impressed with my luck so far (I have one claim so far which cost the mfg. over $6000 so far). But, do they settle down after one year?

 

I can afford $2200 in repairs, but concerned if over the term it is $10000.

The way these so called warranties work, the company selling it then buys an insurance policy to cover the actual losses, called reinsurance. With a fifth wheel I highly doubt that you will experience anywhere near $10,000 in repairs during the term of your extended warranty. As others have mentioned, the risk is greater with motorized RVs because of the power train since yours does not include the tow vehicle. About the only way that you would have that sort of costs would be for structural problems and most of the extended warranties exclude those.

 

One of the benefits of an extended warranty is peace of mind, but even then it is wise to do some comparison shopping before you buy one. They are not all the same nor do they cost the same, In general, extended warranties charge less if the have larger deductibles and poorer pay policies. If you want to know how good one is, ask the service department of a few RV shops. If you are looking at one for a motorized RV, then also ask at a shop or two that does repairs on the chassis. And find out how the company pays for repairs as well. The best of them supply the shop with a credit card number and authorization for it.

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I have an extended warranty and before I call them I was wondering if they would cover the cost of replacing the electric brakes with disc brakes because a service tech used a grease gun to put grease in the bearings and blew the seals and filled the brakes, shoes and drums with grease to the point that they were use less.

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I'm sure an extended warranty wouldn't cover a service techs screw up. We bought used over 5yrs. ago, and at that time got an extended warranty. It has more than paid for itself over the years. Just last week it paid, less the $100 ded., for a new heat pump. And it's fully transferrable to the new owner of our coach who will be taking possession of it soon. If I was buying used I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one.

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I have an extended warranty and before I call them I was wondering if they would cover the cost of replacing the electric brakes with disc brakes because a service tech used a grease gun to put grease in the bearings and blew the seals and filled the brakes, shoes and drums with grease to the point that they were use less.

I highly doubt that they would, but the shop that did the number on you should do so. Contact them first. If they are not going to be good for it, then try the warranty since even if they say no, it costs nothing to ask. The odds are better if you are willing to pretend that you don't know how it happened. I don't mislead but it could be that they will not ask about how it happened.

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This is NOT a warranty, it is an extended service contract_by law. Anyway, all covered work must have prior approval, only OEM parts are covered, ie: you replace your Dometic frig with a residential frig - the residential frig is not covered by the extended service contract. The ESC will replace the Dometic with another Dometic.

Having owned both 5th wheels and MH's, I will say that I would not purchase an extended service contract for a towable RV, I will always purchase one for a MH because they are so complicated, which increases the odds of having a problem.

Look up the contract details online for some of the companies selling ESC's, if the contract is plain language, lists what is NOT covered and what IS covered it is considered a better contract than one that does not tell you what is NOT covered. The reason I say that is, can you list everything that can fail on your RV? I sure can't, so I depend on the contract language to state what is NOT covered and what IS covered.

Will you recoup your expense of the contract, that's a gamble for each RV owner to decide. Kinda like buying insurance on your health, you hope you never need it but you're willing to risk the cost of the policy anyway.

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This is NOT a warranty, it is an extended service contract_by law. Anyway, all covered work must have prior approval, only OEM parts are covered, ie: you replace your Dometic frig with a residential frig - the residential frig is not covered by the extended service contract. The ESC will replace the Dometic with another Dometic.

 

 

Not true. When our Dometic fridge bit the dust, I contacted XtraRide who we have a contract with, and told them I wanted a residential fridge. They had no problem paying for it, less the ded. of course. So now we have a Whirlpool that works great. I would think most extended service contract's would cover a residential fridge since they're ususlly cheaper.

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Not true. When our Dometic fridge bit the dust, I contacted XtraRide who we have a contract with, and told them I wanted a residential fridge. They had no problem paying for it, less the ded. of course. So now we have a Whirlpool that works great. I would think most extended service contract's would cover a residential fridge since they're ususlly cheaper.

You are correct. I worded my post wrong. They will do as you said, but that non-OEM frig is not covered.

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Bob Vaughn, on 25 Nov 2015 - 09:58 AM, said:

I have an extended warranty and before I call them I was wondering if they would cover the cost of replacing the electric brakes with disc brakes because a service tech used a grease gun to put grease in the bearings and blew the seals and filled the brakes, shoes and drums with grease to the point that they were use less.

Not ever having an extended warranty I can not speak with authority, however IF they would pay to repair the brakes that the tech screwed up (a big if) then you should be able to get them to apply that much money to your choice of brakes. It wouldn't cover it all of course, the rest would be up to you. By the way, as a career auto repair tech I have dealt with third party payers, so I know something about how they work.

 

Rich

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We have had the Good Sam ESP on our coach since the original warranty ran out. Last year our fridge, alternator, hydraulic system and some relays all went bad (long story). The cost of those repairs was greater than $4k. I'll just say that we got back about 50% of all premiums paid to date at that time. As others have mentioned I keep this policy as insurance against the big things going wrong like an engine @ $25K, or the transmission etc. It's peace of mind for us.

 

If I owned a trailer I would not buy a policy for it but do as Barbara has done and create a separate bank account and add to it on a regular basis.

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