Are you having a difficult time getting your RV manufacturer or RV dealership to repair your brand new motorhome or camper under warranty? It may be because you’re unaware of the proper RV manufacturer warranty process. Or maybe your handling your RV warranty claims incorrectly.
I’m sure you’ve heard or read the horror stories of owners of brand new RVs not getting their motorhomes, fifth wheels and campers fixed under their RV’s manufacturer warranty.
Seemingly, it’s become a huge problem; especially with this humongous influx of new RV sales. And, the hoops it seems an RV owner must jump through to get their new motorhome or camper fixed is enough to drive that RV right off the cliff.
Unless you know the exact protocol of getting your RV manufacturer warranty claims taken care of, you’ll want to turn that reckless thought into a reality. So, before putting those thoughts into actions, let’s ask the million dollar questions first.
How does the new RV owner start the warranty claim process? What are the steps from start to finish? And, what is considered a reasonable time to get your RV manufacturer warranty repair completed?
Having experienced this ourselves (3 different brand new RVs!), this informative guide should give you clear direction from how to report your claim all the way to getting your RV keys back in your hand.
So, let’s take a hard look at the proper procedure of getting your RV manufacturer warranty claims completed.
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RV Manufacturer Warranty: How to Get Your RV Repaired Quickly
Let’s start from the day you sign your papers of RV ownership. When you purchase a brand new motorhome or camper, it comes with a specified warranty time period. An RV manufacturer warranty period can range from one (1) year up to several years from the date of purchase depending on the RV manufacturer.
But do know that these are limited warranties. What that means is your RV manufacturer will cover defects in materials and service supplied by and attributed to the manufacturing and assembly of the RV.
We can’t stress enough the importance of reading the fine print before signing on the dotted line before accepting the final contract of RV ownership. Make certain you clearly understand what your RV manufacturer warranty entails and includes.
What’s more, you’ll find that though the RV manufacturer warranty time period may be short, do know that most of the RV components installed in your motorhome, fifth wheel or camper have their own warranties that may overlap and extend past the RV manufacturer warranty.
Keep in mind though, those RV component warranties are a treated separately once your RV manufacturer warranty expires. Should an RV component malfunction or break, you will then deal with the RV component manufacturer instead. But that’s a whole other topic we will discuss in a different article.
So, let’s start with answering our RV warranty FAQ’s!
RV Manufacturer Warranty Service FAQ’s
- How do I communicate with my RV manufacturer warranty service department?
- What happens after my RV manufacturer approves my RV warranty claims?
- What happens if my RV manufacturer claim is denied or disapproved?
- Where do I take my RV for warranty service and repairs?
- How long shall I expect my RV to be held for warranty service?
- What if my RV has to stay in the garage for a lengthy time?
- Who pays for my lodging and meals while my RV is being serviced under warranty?
- What do I do with my belongings and valuables during my warranty service?
- Will the RV repair facility plug in my RV so I don’t lose the contents in my refrigerator and freezer?
- Can I enter my RV anytime while it is in the RV facility or garage?
- Is there a place to work or hangout while the RV facility services my motorhome or camper?
- Is my motorhome engine covered under my RV warranty?
- Who pays for the parts and services under my RV warranty?
- Does my RV manufacturer warranty start over when I get my RV back?
So, let’s cut to the chase and get onto answering those questions.
How do I communicate with my RV manufacturer warranty service department?
There are two ways you can communicate with your RV manufacturer Warranty Claims Service department. Either you can call them by phone; asking for your Service Representative or through email.
Anytime you converse with our RV manufacturer, always have your RV’s VIN number readily available. Any and all communication between you and your RV manufacturer will be based on that VIN number.
I also recommend keeping a communication log. Each time you speak with them, log the date and time of your call, name of the person you talk with and what you discuss. Make certain you note their time zone when you spoke to them. You’ll need to be very precise in your notes. Trust me, these will prove essential should there be any discrepancies down the road.
When speaking with your RV Manufacturer Warranty Service Representative, remember, they didn’t build your RV. They are merely claim’s processors. While your frustration may lead into a heated emotional confrontation, remember that honey is what attracts bees. Keep your composure, be polite, professional and respectful. Trust me when I say, ‘yes, they DO have the ability to put a big red X next to your name’.
If you disagree with the warranty claims processor or Warranty Service Advisor, ask for his or her supervisor to plead your case further.
But, based on our personal experience, the absolute best way to communicate with your RV manufacturer warranty claims service department is through email. That way, everything is in writing. In other words, it in itself is your paper trail.
In each email, you’ll need to put in your subject line:
- Last name
- Vin #
- Year and Model of your RV
- Warranty Issue
Here’s an example:
RE: Brown – Vin# 123456 – ’19 View 24D – Fiberglass Crack Right Rear Quarter
You’ll also want to repeat that same information at the beginning of the body of each email. Then, underneath that pertinent information, give a brief yet concise description of what the issue is, how it’s malfunctioning or what needs repair or serviced.
I also highly recommend, giving them a reasonable timeline of when you expect to receive receipt of the email and acknowledgment of your RV manufacturer warranty claim. Typically, we ask for 48-72 hours depending on when we send the email; taking into consideration of weekends and holidays.
But before hitting the send button, you will need to attach clear unedited photos and videos. Your RV manufacturer will need these photos or videos for prove or show what the issue is.
If you have multiple warranty claims, we highly suggest emailing each issue separately instead of a list in one single email. This way, your RV manufacturer Warranty Claims Advisor can address and process your claim without confusion.
Another suggestion is send your email on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. If you send your email on a Friday, they won’t even look at it until Monday. And any emails sent over the weekend (Saturday or Sunday), won’t be looked at until Monday either.
In other words, anything sent over the weekend or holiday is just going to pile up in their inbox and you may end up waiting longer for response or even forgotten.
And finally, before hitting the send button, my suggestion is to CC or BCC your email address and/or another of your email addresses. This way, it proves that your email went through.
If you are having your RV warranty claims completed at the RV dealership where you purchased your motorhome or camper, allow your RV dealership to handle the warranty process.
That said, make it clear that you wish for all email correspondence between them and the RV manufacturer to be shared with you as well. This helps keep you abreast of the RV warranty process.
Each time you email your RV manufacturer about each warranty claim, keep it within the original email by ‘reply all’ to keep your correspondence all in one place. I always CC and/or BCC to another one of our email addresses just in case.
What happens when my RV warranty claims are approved?
Once your warranty claim has been processed and approved by the RV manufacturer, you will then be directed to go where your RV manufacturer wants your RV repaired.
Now, while I mentioned that you will, most likely, go through your RV dealership to complete your repairs, there may be a different circumstance where you may need (or want) your RV warranty repairs completed at the actual RV manufacturer’s service center versus your home dealership.
Exceptions or circumstances may be for reason of cost on behalf of the RV manufacturer, having qualified specialists working on particular RV components, or the timing of the repair.
For example, when we owned both our Heartland toy hauler and fifth wheel, we took our RVs to the Heartland Retail Service Center in Elkhart, Indiana. Reason being is we were full-time RVers with no real home dealership. But do know, we had to have permission to have our service completed there.
Now, regarding our Winnebago View warranty repairs, we arranged to take our motorhome to Winnebago’s Service Center in Forest City, Iowa.
Again, as full-time RVers like us, you may have a unique situation of how you handle our warranty service location.
What happens if my RV warranty claim is denied or disapproved?
Side note, if your RV warranty claim is denied, it may be because it doesn’t fall under the ramifications of fitting into the actual warranty. Wear and tear beyond the RV manufacturer’s dictation will not be covered.
For example, if you break something through malice, carelessness or beyond normal wear and tear, those claims may not be approved. That said, if you disagree with the claim disapproval, you can request further correspondence with the Warranty Service Supervisor (may have a different title) to plead your case.
Where do I take my RV in for warranty service and repairs?
Once you have your RV manufacturer approve your warranty claim, you’ll be directed to an approved RV repair facility to take your motorhome or camper. It may be your home RV dealership or you may have to take your RV to a specialized facility.
If you’re having your RV repaired at the RV manufacturer’s service center, you will be given an appointment with a date and time to have your RV there. It’s important that you keep your appointment and not be late for check-in.
Most times, you will need to have it at the service center at first light when they begin their work day. So, we highly. recommend arriving a day or two prior to your scheduled repair date and perhaps do a dry run to see where you need to be. Those places can be hectic at check in, so bring a big cup of coffee and a huge bag of patience.
After check-in, you’ll typically meet with the Shop Foreman and/or Service Writer to discuss any work that will be performed on your RV. Once finished, you will be directed to bring your RV to a certain area or they will take the keys and take it themselves.
You should lock your RV’s entry door. However, do not use the deadbolt lock. And, if you have a keypad locking system that uses an entry code, make certain the Shop Foreman has that code.
How long should I expect my RV to be in for warranty service?
It would be speculative for me to give exact times or even estimates on how long your RV will be in for warrant repairs or service. Each repair is configured by the RV manufacturer itself.
So, my suggestion is to ask them to give you an estimate of how long each repair or service will take. And remember, your RV will be one of many being serviced or repaired. It’s not uncommon for one RV technician to be working on multiple RVs. As well, each RV repair facility has RV techs who specialize in certain components such as HVAC, carpentry, electronics, solar and batteries, etc.
Always plan for your RV to be out of commission for longer than the RV manufacturer to state. That’s just my definition of the Law of RV Physics.
What if my RV has to stay in the garage for a lengthy time
The RV repair facility requires the RV owner to completely vacate their RV. There are a few exceptions when they may work around that.
The other option and most preferred by the RV repair facility is to vacate your motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer completely. You’ll need to secure all contents inside, stow your sewer and water hose(s) and pull in the slides.
Before doing this, I highly encourage you to read our RV Repair Facility: What MAY HAPPEN to Your RV + Prevention Tips.
If your repair is going to entail only one day in the garage, the dealership or RV Service Center usually has a waiting room for you to hang out. You are not to stay in your RV while they are working on it due to liability insurance.
Likewise, you’ll need to take your pets with you. You may want to bring a snack or lunch (for your pets too) and something to do while you wait.
Who pays for lodging and meals during my RV warranty service or repair period?
Unfortunately, your RV manufacturer warranty does not include paying for lodging during your RV warranty repair period. Therefore, if your RV repairs will take more than a day, you’ll need to make your own lodging arrangements and pay for them yourself.
Make your reservations well in advance to insure availability. If you are having your RV warranty work done during high tourist season, be cognizant of local events, sporting events, and location of your repair facility.
Ask your RV manufacturer service center or dealership if they have a courtesy agreement with a specific hotel that may offer lower rates. If you have your pets with you, you’ll need to make concessions for them as well.
Just the same as lodging, your meals are also your responsibility. As I mentioned earlier, you may want to pack a boxed lunch. If you leave for lunch, let the receptionist at the RV repair facility know you’re stepping out.
Otherwise, if you’re going to be living in a hotel or cabin for extended periods of time, I highly recommend getting one with a kitchenette to save some cash rather than eating out.
What do I do with my belongings and valuables during my warranty service?
No one is responsible for your personal property other than you. Therefore, it’s completely your doing of how you handle your valuables and belongings.
Depending on what is they are repairing or servicing, the RV repair facility may require you to remove personal contents so they can access those points (i.e. under bed, closet, kitchen cabinets, basement compartments, etc.).
If you’re working with your home dealership, it’s easy just to unload your belongings and take them home.
However, if you’re full-time like us, you may need to pack them up and find a place to stow them. If your RV repair requires access where a lot of your belongings are located, you may want to rent a U-Haul and store it wherever you are staying (lodging).
Since we are full-time RVers, we always bring all of our electronics and digital devices with us. As well, any prescriptions, jewelry, firearms, important papers or documents, etc. go with us as well. Or, we may lock them in a safe inside of the RV. We also make certain we have the keys to cabinets and compartments with us as well.
Again, the RV repair facility is not liable for lost or stolen personal property. If you value it, take it with you.
Will the RV Technician plug in my RV so I don’t lose contents in my refrigerator and freezer?
My suggestion is to ask before arriving and state that you have perishables in the refrigerator. But, that is not a guarantee that the RV technicians will remember.
Through experience, we highly recommend that not having much in your RV refrigerator and freezer just in case they don’t plug your RV into the electric pedestal.
Can I enter my RV anytime in the RV repair facility or garage?
Typically, you will not be able to enter your RV in the garage anytime due to liability concerns.
The RV repair facility technicians will be working to meet their deadlines. Therefore, they have no time for interruptions. Nor, will they allow you enter your RV or garage per OSHA requirements.
The only time you can to enter the garage is when the Service Manager meets with you or your RV tech has a question.
Is there a place to work or hangout during my RV’s service and repair?
Most RV service centers will have a waiting room or lounge that may have a television, a place to sit, tables and chairs, books to borrow or leave. Some may offer a refrigerator with soft drinks and free WiFi. They also may have a countertop with sink to prepare snacks or lunch.
RV service centers may have a restroom specifically for customers or you have to share it with the staff.
My point here is to not have expectations of the Taj Mahal or cleanliness. Well, unless you have a Prevost or other million dollar coach.
What happens when my RV warranty repairs are complete?
You will meet with the RV repair facility service manager to sign documents showing the appropriate repairs are complete. They may bring you to your RV to review the repairs making certain they meet your standards.
Now, for the tricky part. The RV repair facility may or may not allow you to stay overnight in your RV on the premises. Ask kindly if you can spend at least the night of the repairs to ensure everything is working properly.
If they do allow you to stay overnight on the property, be respectful and appreciative of that allowance. Stay with or inside your RV. Do not go walking around the grounds or looking at other RVs. Again, this is not the standard nor should you expect this allowance.
Does my RV manufacturer’s warranty cover my motorhome’s engine?
If you’re RV is a motorhome and you have a warranty issue that is engine related, you may have a separate warranty by your motorhome’s chassis manufacturer.
For example, our Winnebago View has two different warranties. The RV warranty covers all RV components from the cockpit back and all that’s literally ‘inside the box’ part. Our engine and chassis warranty is through Mercedes Benz which includes the engine, cockpit, and drive train (frame, axels, etc.).
That said, there may be exceptions based on different motorhome manufacturers. Each motorhome manufacturer warranty may differ. So, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with your particular RV manufacturer warranty program requirements.
I can’t stress this enough; read the fine print!
Who pays for the parts and services under my RV warranty?
Your RV warranty should cover all parts and service in accordance to the RV Manufacturer warranty policy. Again, read the fine print and any communication between you and your RV manufacturer. However, added any components and service to install them are your financial responsibility.
Does my RV manufacturer warranty start over when I get my RV back?
Generally, any repair or service may have an extended warranty coverage on that particular component only. Your RV manufacturer warranty will not start over.
Make certain you discuss all details prior to agreeing to any repair or service. Also, if there are any warranty term extensions for said repair or service, get it in writing!
Also, make certain you get the manual, and receipt showing purchase date of RV component replacements.
RV Warranty Process Wrap Up
I understand there’s a lot of information here to process. However, it’s everything spelled out to get your RV warranty claims complete in a timely manner.
Your big takeaway here is: COMMUNICATION IS EVERYTHING!!
These helpful tips should help get you and your RV back on the road quickly. By following these procedures, you are less likely to run into issues. The objective of this article is to get your RV repaired quickly and back on the road.
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