When to Buy an RV Warranty? How to Beat Price Increases and Find Out if Your RV Is Eligible.

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RV warranties are about to see a price rise on January 1st, and we’ve been getting a lot of questions about whether it’s a good time to buy one now, before that happens. Model years will also change – is your RV eligible? When it comes to RV warranty protection, there’s a lot to consider. The whats, wheres, and whens, can be overwhelming. As always, getting educated is key to making the right decisions for your RV lifestyle. 

Now, if you’re just starting to ponder the idea of RV warranty protection, we have a detailed article that will give you a great foundation on how these warranties work. In it, we share our own experience, having owned RVs with – and without an RV warranty – along with the pros and cons of each. We also just published an in-depth report on the REAL cost of RV ownership, throughout our past 6 years of full timing. That expense report includes all of our RV repairs and maintenance – we think you’ll find it eye opening seeing just how and where RV repair expenses can add up.

This article will address one of the most common questions that RVers run into during their research.

WHEN should I buy an RV warranty?

There’s a lot to this question, so we sat down with Jeff Shelton, Owner and CEO of Wholesale Warranties – an industry expert – to get the details on all things related to RV warranty timing.

Here’s that interview now. Please leave a comment at the end if you have any questions.

Interview with Jeff Shelton, Wholesale Warranties

RVLOVE: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, Jeff. Let’s start with the kinds of RV warranty changes you start seeing during the winter months, and a common question many RVers have.

Why exactly do RV warranties change on January 1st of each new year? And how do they change?

Jeff Shelton: This is a great question, and something we’re always looking to educate people on during the winter months. Essentially, as of January 1st, each RV is considered a model year older by the RV industry—and more importantly, by RV extended service contract companies. This simply means your RV is considered one model year older in the eyes of the warranty providers that we work with. And this is important because the age of your RV age is one of the main qualities we use to quote and price out extended warranty policies. 

Generally speaking, the older a rig is, the more likely it is to suffer a mechanical breakdown. Therefore, the cost of protecting yourself against repair bills goes up! Simply put, if you don’t have a brand new unit, it will cost you more to purchase the same warranty coverage for that RV in the new year.

Age not only affects the price of a policy, but eligibility as well. So depending on the age of your unit, you may become ineligible for full coverage on your RV – or any coverage at all – as of January 1, 2021.

What are the factors that directly impact RV warranty price rises? 

Jeff: I think this is an important distinction to make: it isn’t necessarily that the cost of the policy itself is going up. But the cost of protecting your unit is, with the rising costs of parts and labor. And remember, we now consider the RV is one model year older, so the policy is going up, to match the higher expected risk of breakdown. 

What RVs will no longer be eligible for coverage after December 31st, 2020?

Jeff: For motorhomes, we can currently offer full coverage for 15 model years and newer. So to give you an example, that means currently a 2005 motorhome is eligible for a full comprehensive RV warranty. As of January 1st, 2021, a 2005 motorhome will only be eligible for powertrain coverage.

For powertrain coverage – which is a great option for older units – we can currently offer coverage up to 20 model years, or until the end of this year, a 2000 model motorhome. As of January 1, 2021, however, 2000 year model motorhomes will not be eligible for coverage of any kind.

For towable units, we can offer full coverage up to 15 model years. This means that as of January 1, 2021, towable units aged 2005 will become ineligible for any RV warranty protection at all. But until December 31st, 2020, they can still get full coverage.

So, what RVs WILL be eligible for coverage come January 1, 2021?

Jeff: It’s best to think in terms of our model year eligibility. Motorhomes aged 20 model years old and newer, and towable RVs aged 15 model years and newer, will have an option for coverage with Wholesale Warranties.

RVLOVE: Okay, great, that’s so helpful. Now we’ve talked about some changes that hit during winter, but another big timing question when it comes to RV coverage happens when you’ve first purchased! This is one of the most common questions we get:

Why should an RVer buy an extended warranty when their RV is brand new, and they already have an RV manufacturer warranty?

Jeff: Another very common question, and for good reason! Most people want to know if buying an RV warranty when they still have manufacturer coverage will mean they have overlapping protection, and the answer is yes, you will!

So it’s an individual decision on your comfort level with dual protection, and we can certainly help you out in a year – when your manufacturer policy is up – if you choose to wait. But there are some pretty good reasons to go ahead and get your extended warranty right away, and we want to make sure RVers know their options.

What are the benefits of buying an RV extended warranty when you buy a new RV? 

Jeff: We’ve already discussed a little bit about vehicle age being a driving factor in the cost of an RV warranty. So it won’t come as a surprise that brand new units are considered less likely to breakdown, and therefore less expensive to protect with an extended policy. But even more than that, the RV warranty companies know that brand new units have manufacturer policies that will be first in line for any breakdowns during the vehicle’s first year in-service. This mitigated risk allows them to offer you the same great coverage at a lower rate.

Additionally, when your rig is brand new, the extended RV warranty companies will allow you to lock in the best pricing and the longest terms available. Generally speaking, the best per-year value you’ll get is on the longest-term policy available.

Between model year and manufacturer coverage, you simply will never get a better price or longer term for your RV warranty than if you choose to buy while the RV is brand new.

How can RVers beat 2021 policy changes and get coverage now?

Jeff: We recommend you work with one of our RV Warranty Specialists to learn more about your options, get a free quote for coverage, and lock in your rate before the end of the year. 

I also want to mention that we know it can seem counterintuitive to get a warranty if you’ll be storing your rig for the winter, but it might just be the best decision you could make. Not only will you get the best rate, but you’ll also have your coverage locked in and ready to go when you pull the rig out of storage in the spring.

We see a ton of breakdowns that occur after a vehicle has been sitting for a few months. Issues can occur when de-winterizing your RV, or be uncovered in the spring. So if you haven’t locked in your RV warranty yet, these breakdowns wouldn’t be covered, and you’ll start your travel season with repair bills coming out of pocket.

What’s involved in getting coverage and how long does it take?

Jeff: The process is pretty simple. You can get a free quote by visiting our website or giving us a call at 800-939-2806. An RV Warranty Specialist will work with you to determine the level of coverage, term, deductible, and more to best match your desired level of risk and your RV lifestyle.

Once you’ve decided on the coverage you’re going to purchase, we may need to perform an RV inspection. The inspection process is easy, and serves as a great way to protect you from having claims denied due to pre-existing conditions.

RV inspections look like this. We’ll set you up with a certified RV inspector who will come to your location to perform a review of the mechanical condition of your RV. They will ensure everything is in working order and good to go, at which point we can activate your RV warranty policy, and you can hit the road with the peace of mind that you have great coverage—and that you got it at a great price.

Can people finance their RV warranty or do they have to pay in full upfront?

Jeff: Absolutely, we have a few different options for financing available! You can, of course, pay up front. But you can also lighten the load with a monthly payment plan.

RVLOVE: Great! Thank you so much, Jeff. I think this is good information for RVers to have as they make decisions about whether or not to purchase an RV warranty — and when is the best time for them.

JEFF: My pleasure. As always, we’re here to help! Education is our goal. Wishing all the RVers happy and safe travels this season!

RV Warranties Snapshot

RV Warranty Eligibility

Motorhomes

  • Full coverage is available up to 15 model years. That is, until the end of 2020, 2005 model and newer motorhomes are eligible for comprehensive RV warranty coverage. As of 1/1/21 a 2005 motorhome will only be eligible for powertrain coverage.
  • Powertrain coverage is available up to 20 model years. That is, until the end of 2020, 2000 model and newer motorhomes are eligible for powertrain coverage.
  • As of January 1, 2021, 2000 year model motorhomes will not be eligible for coverage of any kind.

Towable RVs

  • Full coverage is available up to 15 model years. From 1/1/21 towable RVs aged 2005 are no longer eligible for any RV warranty protection.
  • Until December 31st, 2020, towable RVs can still get full coverage.

Important dates

  • The cutoff date for 2005 model motorhomes for full coverage, 2000 motorhomes for powertrain coverage, and 2005 towable RVs is 31 December, 2020.
  • RV warranty policies increase on January 1st, 2021.

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Recommended Resources

Over the years, we’ve found many great resources that help save us money and/or enhance our RVs and RV life. Here are some of our faves that we use and recommend.

If you have any questions at all about these resources and providers, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’re here to help.

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