For RV owners seeking peace of mind for their home away from home, an extended warranty makes a lot of sense, and the internet contains numerous articles detailing the benefits of warranty coverage. But for many who are unfamiliar with extended warranties, one question remains unanswered: “How much is this going to cost?”
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. The cost for coverage varies wildly, which is why companies ask for information before providing a quote. Prices can range from the $1,000s for a short-term travel-trailer plan up to $20,000 with some companies for top-of-the-line, high mileage motorhomes.
Several major factors affect the price of an RV Warranty:
- Type of RV – Class A, B, or C motorhome, fifth-wheel trailer, toy hauler, travel trailer, etc.
- Make/model – Generally, the more expensive the RV, the more expensive the coverage
- Year and mileage – Older units are more likely to have issues, so coverage costs more.
- Coverage level – Exclusionary plans are more expensive than listed-component ones.
- Coverage length – Longer plans have a lower annual rate.
- Full-time or commercial use – Units in constant use require an additional charge.
- Where you buy – RV owners generally pay more when purchasing extended warranties from dealers, especially when financing the cost.
Type of RV
Coverage is most expensive for motorhomes since they have both a coach with appliances and all the mechanical components of an automobile. Among these, Class A motorhomes are the most expensive to cover due to their size, while Class B and Class have similar pricing structures.
Towable RVs are less expensive, and the price different among towable types is often based the size and features of each type. Fifth-wheel trailers and toy haulers are typically more expensive to cover than regular travel trailers.
Make & Model
More expensive models usually have more features and higher quality components, making repairs more expensive, so top-of-the-line RV models generally cost more than basic models. Some RV manufacturers also design their vehicles with technicians in mind, making them quicker and easier to repair.
Year & Mileage
Older units are more likely to have issues, so coverage is more expensive. By some RV warranty administrator’s estimates, 80% of RVs will need repairs by their fifth year of operation. By the eight year, almost all RVs will have needed repairs.
More extensive coverage costs more. There are two main types of coverage: exclusionary and inclusionary, also known as listed component. Exclusionary policies offer more complete coverage and are more expensive than listed component plans. Add-on coverages for things like wheels/tires and consequential damage also increase the price.
The deductible you choose also affects the price—plans with a higher deductible will have a lower overall cost, but you will spend more with each trip to the repair facility.
Longer plans feature significantly lower annual rates for coverage. Since the longer the RV operates, the more likely it is to need major repairs, a longer plan makes a lot of financial sense to many RV owners.
Full-time or Commercial Use
RV extended warranty companies require an additional charge for RVs that are operated full-time or commercially. Since full-time operation exposes the RV to more strain, wear, and tear, the likelihood of major failures increases dramatically.
Where You Buy
There are two ways to purchase an extended warranty: from the dealer or from a warranty company. Because dealers potentially receive more money from the sale of the warranty than from the RV itself, their coverage is almost always more expensive than coverage purchased from a warranty company.
Often the coverage dealers offer is the same plan offered by RV warranty companies, but at a higher rate, especially if the RV buyer is financing the purchase. Dealers roll the warranty cost into the overall loan amount, meaning that the RV buyer is paying interest on their warranty. That interest can sometimes amount to thousands of dollars. RV extended warranty companies do not charge interest on payment plans.