What To Look For In Your Extended RV Warranty

What's The Deal With RV Warranties?

RV Warranties – a hot topic in the world of RVing. Hit the community forums and you’ll find countless threads with mixed reviews. Moreover, many influential RVers will have their own opinions about coverage and providers alike. 

So how do you make a decision on whether or not to buy an extended warranty?

The first step is education. Not all warranty providers are created equal, and understanding what you want out of your coverage will narrow down your choices. If you’re brand new to RV warranties and protection products, start here to get a better picture of what this coverage does.

The Value of an RV Warranty

Cost Effective Planning – The most important feature of a warranty is that it will step in to pay the repair cost of mechanical and electrical failures in your rig. As motorhomes and towable RVs have become increasingly complex, the demand for skilled RV mechanics has risen, resulting in an average cost that can devastate any budget. Oftentimes these inevitable repairs are needed when you least expect it, and on average you’ll be spending about $300 per hour for parts and labor.

Personalized Coverage – RV warranty plans will differ significantly depending on the provider, but a reliable one will personalize coverage for your travel needs.

There isn’t a one size fits all RVer, and your warranty should be unique to your travel style. Whether your rig needs exclusionary coverage, listed component coverage, powertrain only coverage, or coach only coverage, you should be able to start with a base policy and add additional features that are important to your specific RV life.

So what do these various levels of coverage look like? Here’s a quick breakdown on the types of policies available:


Types of RV Warranty Policies

Exclusionary RV Warranty

This level of coverage will tell you exactly what is NOT covered by the policy. If your breakdown is not on the contract’s specific exclusions list, then it will be covered. Typical exclusions include maintenance items, physical damages, and aesthetic items like glass and upholstery. With so little room for interpretation, this exclusionary level of coverage is the most comprehensive option on the market.

Listed Component RV Warranty

Another comprehensive option, this policy read as the exact opposite of an Exclusionary contract. That is, a Listed Component RV warranty will provide a list of what IS covered by the policy. If the failure is not specifically listed as covered, it will be excluded.

Powertrain Only RV Warranty

Built for the motorhome owner who is looking to protect their budget from the most catastrophic possible breakdowns, a Powertrain Only policy will cover your engine, transmission and drive axle components. All other failures are excluded by this type of contract.

Coach Only RV Warranty

This type of warranty policy will offer coverage to the mechanical components housed in the “coach” of the unit. Your engine, powertrain, and drive axle will be specifically excluded. 

Add On Features

Add-Ons, whether you pay an additional fee or the warranty provider adds these into the contract pro-bono, are an extremely important enhancement to your policy.

Regardless of which level of coverage you choose, a quality policy will include “Wear and Tear” failures without an additional charge. Wear and Tear is difficult to define, but generally speaking, a policy that allows for wear and tear coverage will cover claims on components that have worn past manufacturer specifications, but have not fully stopped functioning. Consider a slide-out motor that is running slowly, but still running. With Wear and Tear, you won’t need to wait until you’re stuck with a stalled slide to have repairs covered.

If you’re looking for the ultimate peace of mind with your warranty, consider “Consequential Loss” coverage as an add-on. This can be a major differentiator between policies, with only the highest rated contracts offering Consequential Loss. This coverage is a standard contract exclusion defined as damage to a covered part caused by the action or inaction of a non-covered part. 

These slight differences between warranties can be the distinguishing factor between a good experience and a bad one with a policy. The inclusion of Wear and Tear and Consequential Loss coverage lessen the ambiguity within a warranty plan, and make for a top-of-the-line policy.

How to Find Reliable RV Warranty Coverage

Insurance Backed PoliciesEvery quality warranty policy will be backed by a stable insurance carrier, and it will often be one that you’re familiar with. The insurance backer of an extended RV warranty ensures your claims will be paid even if the warranty provider or administrator goes out of business. Buying a policy without an insurance backer is a huge financial risk, and is never recommended.

Community Opinions and ReviewsEducate yourself on the specific warranty provider using forums, reviews, and community message boards. RVers tend to be extremely helpful, and give their honest opinions about companies and products. Choose a policy with a reputation for great customer service and fair claims processing.

Sites like the Better Business Bureau, Google, Customer Lobby, iRV2.com and RVNetwork.com are all great resources for unsolicited information about real RVer warranty experiences.

Read Your CoverageAs a consumer, you deserve the opportunity to research your warranty on your own. To do this, you’ll want to read through an exact copy of the plan. If your salesperson is not willing to provide you with that contract, it could mean they’re misrepresenting what they’re selling you. 

A reputable warranty provider will walk you through all of your options, and guide you through the process of finding the policy that’s right for you and your budget. If you’re only able to dissect a brochure or limited view of the policy, you won’t get a full picture of what your warranty will and won’t cover in the event of a breakdown.

Extended RV Warranty Eligibility for RVers

Most extended RV warranties are purchased at the same time as the vehicle. If you’re making that purchase through a dealership, you’ll likely hear their warranty pitch during the buying process. Make sure you explore your options and get a quote elsewhere to compare.

If you don’t purchase a warranty alongside your rig at the dealership, or you purchased an RV via private party, you’re still in luck. Most online providers will be able to offer their coverage for motorhomes as far back as 20 model years old with less than 125,000 miles on the odometer. For towable RVs, coverage will typically stop around 15 model years old.

So, What’s the Deal with RV Warranties?

Not everyone will want an extended warranty, and will prefer to take the financial risk against the odds of a breakdown. On the other hand, there are many RVers that believe the peace of mind is worth the investment. Protecting your travel budget is much easier when you know you have a provider who will go up to bat for you when an unexpected breakdown happens. That’s exactly what a reliable warranty company will do. There’s a lot of education, case studies, and reviews out there – so do your research and use these tools to decide if this type of coverage is right for you!

Jeff Shelton - Wholesale Warranties


Jeff Shelton

Jeff is the owner of Wholesale Warranties, a leading provider of RV protection direct to consumer. Jeff grew up in his family marina business along the St. Croix River, and has kept his passion for travel and the outdoors ever since. Jeff is a former full-time RVer, and enjoys hitting the road as often as possible.

Jeff is dedicated to serving the RV community through Wholesale Warranties, and built his company on a foundation of education, quality RV warranty products, and reliable customer service.

2 Responses to “What To Look For In Your Extended RV Warranty

  • Todd Worrell
    2 years ago

    I thought there was going to be a list of best warranty providers in this article?

    • Georgianne Austin
      2 years ago

      Sorry you feel misled. This article is intended to discuss the loopholes that can happen in RV warranties, and what to look for in your policy in order to avoid those loopholes.

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