RV sales rose dramatically in 2020, as a result of consumers seeking safe alternatives to flying and hotels for family travel during Covid. Many first-time RV buyers are surprised that RV warranties are almost always much shorter than the typical 3 year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty for cars.
Most RV warranties are only for one year from the date of purchase, which does not leave much time to get warranty work done. If your RV is approaching the end of the first year of ownership and you have any issues that need to be addressed under the warranty, contact your authorized dealer now. Do not wait. If your dealership cannot get you in for service before the end of the warranty, contact the manufacturer directly, preferably by email or chat, so that you have documentation that you reached out before the warranty ended.
RV owners can purchase service contracts, or what are commonly known as extended warranties, for repairs after the warranty expiration. While some repairs may be covered under a service contract once the warranty expires, the service contract does not provide the same rights against the manufacturer under an important warranty law, the implied warranty of merchantability. A manufacturer can be sued for a breach of the implied warranty of merchantability for warranty repairs for defects that show the RV was not sold in good condition, but repairs for the same defects under a service contract may not create a right to sue for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability, depending on the exact wording of the contract and who is the actual provider of the service contract. Owners should not assume that a service contract was issued by the manufacturer just because it was purchased from the manufacturer’s dealership .
The manufacturer may tell an RV owner that it is ok to wait until the end of the camping season to take an RV in for service, even if the warranty may be expired or nearing expiration. While it is easy for the manufacturer to make that promise, they may not honor that commitment when you return weeks or months later. Even if the manufacturer does honor that promise and pays for the repairs, the manufacturer will claim that repairs performed after the warranty expired were not done under the warranty but were under a “goodwill” program, which is another tactic that can limit your right to sue for breach of implied warranty of merchantability.
If you took your RV in for repairs under the manufacturer’s warranty and the problems were not repaired or were not properly repaired, you may have legal rights. Attorney Christina Gill Roseman at Roseman Law Firm has obtained substantial recoveries for owners of both motorhomes and travel trailers.