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Extended Warranties - Opinions?


BandBuds

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We recently purchased a 2 year old used 5th wheel and are considering an extended warranty. I've gotten quotes on the Good Sam's annual service contract, the Eagle Guardian from US Warranty sold by RV Solutions and the Viking Protection Plan sold by Wholesale Warranties. Looking at exclusionary policies with low deductible, but there is a rather large difference in price. The contracts make such interesting reading that I often find myself with a slight eye twitch about halfway through the contract specifics. What experiences have you had with these offerings?

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The answer to this should be a business decision, based upon your circumstances. It is important to realize that what extended warranties actually are is health insurance for the RV. Like any insurance plan, those which cost less also have ways to pay less on claims. It is never wise to buy insurance with the intention of saving money. Consider the amount most people pay out for things like collision coverage on cars and disaster coverage on houses, with only a very few people ever recovering enough to make that a money saving proposition. To buy insurance of any kind for the purpose of saving money is unwise.

 

But when the "extended warranty" type of insurance is a good idea is if the coverage is such that it might prevent a financial disaster in the event of a major loss, just as for your house or car. If you currently have the financial ability to pay for even the most major of items in the RV, then it is probably not a good decision to buy one but, if your budget is so stretched that the failure of two or three major appliances in the same year would mean the end of your RV travels, it would then be a sound idea to buy one now to protect you from that possibility.

 

Buying used is probably more likely to be a sound choice for these since it would them mitigate the risk of having purchased the headache that someone else traded away. The choice of which one to buy is best made by comparing the coverage's and also the way that each one pays for the repairs. For example, if one company issues a credit card number to the repair shop while the other may ask you to pay and then be reimbursed, that could be significant reason to go with the first. Very often the companies that reimburse will drag their feet to delay payment as long as possible. Another test to evaluate the two products is to visit RV repair shops and ask them if they accept payment from each one and if so, which one do they prefer to do business with? Such warranties are of limited value if the RV shops will not accept them. I also think that you may find this article from Escapees Magazine to be helpful to you as they have published it twice.

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They are service contracts that cover specified items identified in the contract. IMO they should not be called "extended warranties" We have always had one on our 5th wheel Rv's over the 10 years and used them several times. Just had a black tank replaced at a cost of 700.00 cost to me 50.00. For me it is paying an affordable premium for a high cost failure. Our current Contract (Cornerstone) is 648.75 per year. It is a 4 year contract.

 

If you have the financial ability to absorb high dollar repairs you don't need one or if you are like us who do not have that ability they are needed. Just my experience and opinion.

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I guess you could consider us 'savers' of any extra money we have. We've never had an extended warranty on anything - appliances or RVs. We traveled full-time for 16 years; 8 yr each in two different RVs and didn't have any big expenses. Perhaps we were lucky but regardless we would have had the money for repairs by 16 years of saving.

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I am with 2gypsies, we have been rving for 40+ years and never had a major expense. Keep each RV 5-10 years so maybe we get out before the expenses hit. Just don't believe in extended warranties on anything. We have read how the companies need everything approved before doing any work and try to get out of everything. Also, there is so much misunderstanding as to what is covered vs. what isn't covered.

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I actually buy very few such contracts, but I have purchased a few in high risk situations and will continue to do so. I have had a few cases where one actually saved me money, but in most cases the do not, as most insurance doesn't. When I buy one I do so knowing that it probably won't save money, just like my home owner's coverage has not saved us money over the years. Please do not misinterpret me as supporting the purchase of them but I do advocate a good risk evaluation in the decision.

 

If it matters, our current RV is not covered by one.

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From past experience, I would not be without an ESP/Extended Service Plan for a used motorhome. I would not buy one for a towable RV/trailer.

The ESP has more than paid for itself on our MH, but they are very complicated machines compared to a towable trailer.

Some tout "self-insuring", which is what I did for our 5ers, but for a MH the situation is quite different. For instance, one man on another RVing forum was "self-insured". His Cummins ISX engine dropped the valves in 2 cylinders, his personal outlay_$19,000, after Cummins paid $10,000 of the repair bill.

I don't know of the financial situation of others, but I could not afford that size repair bill.

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We have also been saved from major outlays with extended warranties. They've always more than paid for themselves. I don't have the current file in hand or I'd give the referral right now. One covered over $4K in electrical repairs when a friend plugged our Teton into his 220 outlet... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1: BANG. Nothing but the two outlets in the kitchen island worked. Even the washing machine computer board was blown.

 

Same policy picked up a $900 A/C replacement and more.

 

The current warranty plan is very easy to understand what exactly is covered. If you want the details, ask HERO Maker or pm me later. I'll have the file with me in a day or two.

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From past experience, I would not be without an ESP/Extended Service Plan for a used motorhome. I would not buy one for a towable RV/trailer.

The ESP has more than paid for itself on our MH, but they are very complicated machines compared to a towable trailer.

Some tout "self-insuring", which is what I did for our 5ers, but for a MH the situation is quite different. For instance, one man on another RVing forum was "self-insured". His Cummins ISX engine dropped the valves in 2 cylinders, his personal outlay_$19,000, after Cummins paid $10,000 of the repair bill.

I don't know of the financial situation of others, but I could not afford that size repair bill.

This is a very good point. Trailers and 5vers are relatively simple devices( compared to a motorhome). Add to that most of these policies do not cover one of the biggest issue, water damage!

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