Friday, March 31, 2017

RV Warrants and Service Contracts

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    Warranties. RV service contracts. Is it a scam or a lifesaver? Some of each? None of each?

    Extended warranties are offered these days on almost everything we buy including the RV and everything inside it from the built-in microwave to the flush toilet. Let’s start with the RV itself.

    When you’re wrapping up the purchase of the RV, decisions are many and pressure is intense. Before you pop the cork over an extended warranty or service contract, take a deep breath and a long look. 

    Most new rigs come with a boilerplate warranty and perhaps optional service contract after the expiration of the original warranty. With a used RV you may be able to negotiate a “new car” warranty on all or parts of the rig as part of the deal.

    In any case, it’s worth the time to get a copy of the warranty to read at your leisure. You may even want to have your attorney or mechanic go over it with you.

    * If you have to pay for it, it’s a service contract and not a warranty. Your RV and many of its components and furnishings came with warranties good for a specified time. Even if you’re buying a used RV it’s possible that some manufacturer warranties  on some components are still valid. Know what you already have before paying for more.

     * When you buy a service contract, know who issues the contract and who fulfills it. Read the entire contract, not just the brochure. If it’s a dealer contract and you  have to have the work done at this dealership, that's no help if you’re in California when the trouble starts and the dealer is back in Ohio. 

    * Be prepared to pay something for each repair. You probably aren’t covered for every possible claim.  Many service contracts come with a co-pay or deductible. You are probably also not covered for what is called consequential damage. That’s damage that occurs to one component due to a failure of another part. Say, for example, there's a plumbing leak that ruins the expensive flooring or a tire blows out and ruptures through a closet floor. Oh, how tricky that clause can be!

    * Be prepared for a waiting period. Under a service contract you may be required to visit only authorized shops and/or get authorization before work begins.

    * A transferable warranty is a plus when you sell your RV,  although you or the new buyer may have to pay a fee for the transfer. 

    Bottom line: be a comparison shopper, read the fine print. The relax and enjoy your RV to the max.
Think you want to live in your RV as a full-time way of life? Here's how to begin it, live it, end it when and if the time comes.

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