Extended Warranties: How To Protect Your Investment

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January 21, 2010


Last week we looked at the cost-effectiveness of extended warranties.  This week we will discuss what the vehicle owner is responsible for during such a warranty.

If you elect to purchase an extended warranty on your RV, you need to protect that investment.  This requires regular maintenance at the frequency rate recommended by the manufacturer.  It also requires you to have the documents confirming the service was carried out.  So, keep all these receipts in a safe place so you can produce them if ever needed.  This maintenance file is also good to have when selling your RV down the road.

Additionally, you are expected to operate the vehicle within its specifications and take the necessary steps that may be required once a failure has occurred.  For example, if on a motorized RV the oil pressure alarm sounds, you must stop the vehicle and engine immediately.  Damage caused by the engine operating any duration after the failure may not be covered by the warranty.  Say you saw a service station a mile down the highway and you decided to try to nurse it the extra mile.  If the oil pressure is low, not just a sensor failure, the crank bearings and the cylinder walls and more may be damaged.

There are two ways the warranty shop can tell that the engine was run after the oil pressure ceased.  First, by inspecting the internal parts in the motor.  Secondly, the ECM (Engine Control Module) records all engine events and would probably show that the oil pressure was low and the engine temperature climbed.

Another scenario would be blowing a radiator hose.  If you continue for a short period the engine will overheat.  This overheating may well result in the cracking a cylinder head.  The cylinder head failure would be a result of the unit not being stopped and therefore, in all likelihood would not be covered by warranty.  Again, the ECM would show that the engine was operated to an extremely high temperature.

In addition to keeping a good maintenance file, record all or any failures.  A photograph can be worth a thousand words.  If possible take a photo of any item that fails or breaks providing the damage is visible, like a broken awning mount. Retaining these types of records can help ensure a successful warranty claim.


Just For The Record      –      Lug_Nut      –       Peter Mercer

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  1. Pingback: url

  2. Lug_Nut

    Carl Stark, Great. This certainly supports the purchase of extended warranties. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  3. Carl Stark

    We purchased a new $120,000 Class A, and purchased the Extended Warranty from a private insurer. The peace of mind was worth it to me. It is now 2-years old, and we used the extended warranty on the Sanicon system, the camera monitoring system, and the refrigerator. It saved me $1500 just on those. Of course, we could have laid out the $3500 for a bumper to bumper top of the line policy, and never used it. BUT, as a senior citizen, I enjoy knowing I have it, and it was easy to use. Good luck. Carl.

  4. Bob Benac, Thanks for sharing your experiences on this topic. Research into the comany is definately needed. Thank you for your input.

  5. Bob Benac

    Before you purchase an extended warranty, be sure you google the company name. We are on our fourth policy and I would use the Good Sam CSP or STAR. Make sure you avoid using American Guardian as I made two claims which should have been covered and were not.

  6. Kellie Pierce, Well I hope everything is great and is what your expectations were. Thanks for posting your reply.

  7. Kellie Pierce

    I was waiting on part but it’s scheduled to be done this afternoon.

  8. Kellie Pierce, Sounds good. Has the work been completed, or are you soon going in for it? Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  9. Kellie Pierce

    I bought my 2000 MH used and I insisted on an extended warranty at the time of purchase. Compared it to Good Sam’s plan. dealer’s wasbetter coverage and less cost so went with it for under $1000 (can’t remember exact and don’t have papers with me) This week my water heat cracked and te plan will pay for a new one, installed. My out of pocket cost – $100 for deductible and $35 for service call for new Atwood 6 gal propane heater.

  10. Rick, Great! Good Sam seems to have a very good rating. Thanks for your comment, this is the best way to get info on how various companies handle their claims, from someone that has experienced it.

  11. Rick

    I also have extended warranty with good sam, had a problem with one of my slide outs last year and had no problem with the payment.

  12. rich, It’s great to hear of a happy client. Sam’s is very good. Thanks for sharing that.

  13. Linda Gillespie, There are a lot of good offerings out there, and of course some not so good. I can not vouch for any really as I’m a no extended warranty purchaser. Perhaps someone else may know. Thank you for your participation on this topic.

  14. Joe, Yes, the peace of mind is worth it to many. Thanks for your input.

  15. rich

    we have sam’s extended warranty and had it for two months . we had to use it to replace a backup system on our 2002mh and had no problem.

  16. I’m getting ready to buy a MH and I want to buy the extended warranty. Just not sure how to chose one. Have you heard of General Fidelity or Assurant Solutions. Both of them cost over $3000 for 4 years of coverage. I checked Good Sam’s and it was $2000 for 1 year. This is for an 04 MH. I have tried reading the fine print but I am afraid I’m going to miss something. Thanks for any help. Linda

  17. Joe

    I tend to agree with GMAs response, howerver peace of mind on a $100K+ unit is worth the money even if nothing happens. I would never buy an extended warrenty on anything except a MH. I sleep good at night.

  18. Steve R, Sorry to hear of your issue. This is one of the risks when dealing with non-manufacturer warranty. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  19. GMAs, Great advice for many, however there are people that prefer the protection and peace of mind. Thank you for your great comments.

  20. Steve R.

    My experience with extended warranties on my travel trailer were any thing but good. The dealer here in Oregon refered me to an insurance group that took my $1800 dollars and then went bankrupt. Moved out of state and changed their name. I’ve been waiting for two years now for a refund without any satisfaction.

  21. GMAs

    Best advise I can give…. once it comes out of manufactures warn’ty… DONT BY THE EXTENDED POLICY… its a rip off… suggest you read the real fine print… Instead may I suggest that if you THINK you need insurance.. you go to see your insurance man… some will write damage insurance… but , don’t think your going to get a new engine if you keep it floor’ed… nada… you be on your own for anything mechanical… thus the smart person saves the money on the extended policy and when/if something goes out… pony up.. as it will be cheaper than fighting the dealer for repairs when out on the road…

    My experances indicate that we would never buy any EXTENDED POLICY for either the RV , car or house.. Sometimes you have to be responsable for you self .. no free ride kinda thing