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Can you buy extended warranty at any time?


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I have read some great content on this form.  In particular this article that was mentioned: http://adventure.1tree.net/index.php/rv-living/finances/rv-extended-warranties



Should you buy an extended warranty? The answer should be the same for any insurance question. The way businesses determine whether or not to insure assets is to ask, “If we do not insure and the worst happens can our finances survive the cost?” If that answer is yes, they do not buy insurance. This is the way to evaluate an extended warranty. Statistically, you will probably not recover the cost of coverage.


Considering that I am not going to get an extended warranty for our soon to be purchased used travel travel.  However, there is the off chance that we buy a lemon and things go wrong left and right.  In that case, is it possible to buy a extended warranty later?  We are buying it used from the dealer and they are offering a  platinum plane via Travel Care.



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Welcome to the Escapee forums! Also thankyou for your kind comments on my article. By Travel Care, are you thinking of USA Travel Care extended warranty program? I am not familiar with their policies, but I would suggest that before you buy you should compare what they offer and the price to Wholesale Warranties, a commercial member of the Escapees and a company that has a pretty good reputation in the RV club, as well as on 2 other RV forums that I am a frequent visitor to. Like any insurance polity you do need to study the policies carefully to be sure that coverages are the same or nearly so as well as the prices. A policy of this kind very seldom actually saves money but it does protect against a major loss as long as you choose one carefully. 

Since you are shopping used, you may want to have it professionally inspected either by a certified RV inspector or by a mobile RV tech. Doing so would greatly lower the risk of buying used and may even play a part in your decision of whether or not to buy such a policy. 

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You can buy an extended warranty after the original purchase, but many company's will only go up to 5 or so years out. After that you may not be able to purchase one. Extended warranties are great for vehicles with a motor or transmission, which are expensive repairs, but may not be as good financially for a travel trailer. Additionally many of the components have 2 year or longer warranties of their own from their manufacturer beyond the RV manufacturers warranty, which is normally only 1 year. 

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Kirk said it exactly.

As to your question about purchasing a ESC after-the-fact when things break, NO it cannot be done ethically or legally. Keep in mind an ESC will not cover normal wear and tear. Read the fine print before signing anything!

We purchased a Good Sam extended service contract when we bought this MH because it had been stored in a barn for 8 years. The ESC purchase turned out to be a wise decision for us.

 I do know a Good Sam ESC has a 15 yr. old limit for MH's, I don't know about towables.

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7 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

Keep in mind an ESC will not cover normal wear and tear.

Very true. An "Extended Warranty" is really insurance and they are usually backed by one of the insurance underwriters. I like to compare extended warranties to health insurance as both pay mostly for what happens when someone is sick, & just like a health insurance policy, there are deductible's like the copay in most health plans. Also like a health policy, the higher price paid for the coverage, the more that they will pay for and the less difficult it is to get them to pay. Some years ago I wrote a couple of articles about RV extended warranties for the Escapee magazine and in my research I discovered that the lowest priced policies also have the most unhappy customers and those with the highest prices also seem to have by far the most happy customers. I would suggest that you only consider the mid to high priced plans as they come closest to having all satisfied customers. When we went full-time we bought a new class A and we did buy the dealer offered service plan for the first 7 years and then did a 5 year renewal. I kept accurate records and if you look to the total amount paid as premiums to the costs recovered by paid for repairs, I recovered 83% of the total with less in the first 7and slightly more than 90%of the second 5 years, even though it cost significantly more. The reason for that was that my refrigerator failed at year11 and the installed cost of the replacement was more than $2000. Not one time did I ever have any difficulty getting them to pay and my copay was only $25 per repair the first 7 and $50 per repair on the second 5. In that time they paid for 3 repairs that were on the chassis by a Ford shop. I would recommend them but stopped a few years ago when the extended warranty sales was discontinued by the underwriter for some reason. 

While my RV extended warranty did not recover the entire cost, it did give me many nights on the road with no concern for expenses if a major failure should happen. We knew some folks with the same plan that we had who had a head gasket failure that then destroyed the engine costing just under 3 times what they had paid to the same company and that company covered the entire repair, less their $50 deductible. 

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As mentioned, start with paying for a thorough inspection, top to bottom.  The big issues are possible structural damage, construction/design flaws and worst of all and very common, water damage.  If the bones of the RV are solid, I would skip the cost of an extended service plan.  BTW, "platinum" coverage sounds very expensive.  

After many years of RV use and ownership, I have had my share of repairs:  cracked vent, leaky water pump, broken jacks, and recently the charger/converter.  I have been able to do almost every repair myself.  If I had to pay instead, the costs would have been pretty reasonable and minimal.  By minimal I mean a few hundred dollars for each repair.  If that is a concern to you, you probably can't afford an RV.  My next RV trip will cost me over $1000 just in fuel, one way.    

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm not sure that the extended warranty is all it's cracked up to be IMHO. 
I bought my T-trailer used from a guy that paid to have the National Auto Car Corporation (NAC)extended warranty transferred to my name for the remainder of the 2 year term.

About 6 months after purchasing, I noticed that there was a crack in the bathtub, so off to the original selling dealer I went.  Apparently, not all repairs have the correct number of repair hours associated with them by the warranty provider.  The NAC would pay for the tub and 2.5 hours of labor for the replacement.  The repair facility (dealer) told me it would be 2 hours to get the tub out of the rig.

Long story short, it cost me an additional $700.00 over the $50.00 deductible to get the trailer back. Even a call to the warranty company myself yielded the same information of what they would pay for. That convinced me that there must be some better companies to consider IF I considered a warranty at all. 

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10 hours ago, franco-bolli said:

That convinced me that there must be some better companies to consider IF I considered a warranty at all. 

Since the person you bought the RV from paid the cost of it, anything that they paid at all was a saving to you but you only share what you paid and not what the bill would have been had you not had that coverage. I did some searching and I'm guessing that you a contract by National Auto Care and it would appear that they only sell through the dealers. Have you read the entire contract and provided documents? While I don't usually buy an "Extended Warranty" as they are called, I have done so on a few occasions but only after having had a copy of the documents for several days to study them. I do that same thing for any loan documents or for an insurance policy. 

Interestingly, I could find no reviews of the NAW RV plans but did find a few for their automotive plans. National Auto Care Warranty: 2022 Reviews And Our Take

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16 hours ago, Kirk W said:

 Have you read the entire contract and provided documents?

Yup, read it. 

The booklet states that they use a "Nationaly Published  estimating guide" for repair times. I'd sure like to find that guide.

I found the Bill from the dealer, unfortunatly there is nothing in the invoice for what it MIGHT have cost me If I didn't have the warranty.
Here are their charges for the service including investigating a slide out issue at the same time:

Labor to Install shower pan                 $405.00
Slide service (lube)                                 $72.50
shop supplies                                          $50.00
Freight                                                     $80.00
Crate charge                                           $40.00
deductible                                               $50.00
total                                                       $697.50

What I expected from the extended warranty was more coverage than what I got.  
Does this mean they are disreputable?  NO
IS there sufficient detail in the warranty that specifically covers RV Trailer service? NO
Could I recommend NAC to another purchaser? Doubtful.
       I see the reviewer in the article that Kirk attached would agree, at least for cars.
Am I likely to use this same repair shop/dealer again? Doubtful.

Yes, I understand that therepair shop/ dealer can't do work for free if the warranty coverage doesn't pay for the entire work to be done.

If I didn't have the warranty, I would have purchased the shower pan from the manufacturer and installed it myself.
Fortunatly, the manufacturer is 3 hours away.

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8 hours ago, franco-bolli said:

The booklet states that they use a "Nationaly Published  estimating guide" for repair times. I'd sure like to find that guide.

Those "flat rate" books are available but they are not free. There used to be copies of the automotive flat rate manuals in some of the larger libraries but I have not looked for one in quite some time. While there are many automotive shops that do not use any of the flat rate books, I believe that the majority of larger shops do. When it comes to the RV industry, I don't know how common the use of them is but I do know that they are commonly used by the insurance industry and your extended warranty is really an insurance policy. Two companies I know of that produce these flat rate manuals are Spader Business Management RV Flat Rate Manual and the RVDA Service Management Guide. I was able to locate a copy of the 2017 Spader RV Industry Flat Rate Guide online but it was the only version that I was able to find. The publishers of such books go to great lengths to keep them out of the hands of people like us.

As to how dealerships work, both of the RV repair shops that I use regularly have it posted in their offices that they do not use a flat rate book. That is also true of the independent automobile ship that I do business with.

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Having the book does not necessarily mean that's what the place will charge. The auto body shop where I worked used the book as a guideline as to what insurance companies would likely reimburse so they could better advise customers in their decisions as to how to proceed with repairs.


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