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Old 12-23-2013, 10:17 PM   #1
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Who's got the best extended warranty/service agreement? :)

I know this is a loaded question and I know there is a split on whether these are worth it or not. I also know this has been asked a bunch. Sorry for asking again but so much info is older that I find I thought it might be good to get a fresher perspective.

We recently bought a 2006 national tradewinds with a 400hp cummins isl diesel on a freightliner chassis.

I am not much concerned with the household systems. I am pretty handy and figure I can handle most things.
The chassis and diesel on the other hand are big and I don't have a place to work on them. We will be fulltiming and my biggest worry is some sort of drive train failure that could be very costly. The coach has 45,000 miles on it and runs fine so most gremlins should have been worked out but since this is my first big diesel I worry about this and am leaning towards some sort of insurance.

What are your recommendations for me? Which companies have you used and how well did they take care of problems?

Thanks
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
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Here is a comment from another forum regarding extended warrantys. I've never bought one and I am thousands of $$$$ ahead.

[ wckyle wrote:
With flat rates at over $140/hr and cost of replacing very expensive normal things, like an A/C, I have gotten EW on all my MH's. Besides a piece of mind I so far have broken even. I have written about the RV industry poor QA, I believe it is worth it especially if road side assistance is part of the deal. Haven't been disappointed yet.]

With all respect, the companies selling these RV extended warranties/service contracts are fully aware of all of that and much more. They are very well informed with regard to their financial exposure for repair costs, and the policies they sell are priced accordingly.

And as Gary points out, these companies spend LOTS of money on sales & marketing, all of which has nothing to do with repairing recreational vehicles but must still be recovered in the premiums paid by their customers. Some customers will be lucky enough to break even or win, but the majority – a significant majority – will not.

Exact figures are hard to come by since many of these companies are subsets of larger corporations and do not report financial results separately. Others are private companies and are not required to report results at all. I recall a discussion a couple of years ago on a financial radio show in which a person with some knowledge of the industry indicated that among the automobile extended warranty companies, many of them pay out as little as 10% of their total revenue for covered repairs. All the rest goes to cover operating costs and profit, with sales commissions and other sales & marketing costs eating up the lion’s share of the cost pie. I suspect the companies selling RV extended warranties are not much different. Not great odds if you’re the customer.

The insurance analogies which are frequently cited in these discussions are valid to a degree, but require some elaboration. Only a fool or someone very wealthy would drive a vehicle without liability insurance, fail to insure a home for total loss, or be without major medical coverage. The reason is obvious – if something really bad happens the result can be financially catastrophic.

At the other end of the spectrum, only a fool or someone very gullible would agree to pay $8.99 for a two-year warranty on a $39.99 coffeemaker sold at Best Buy, which already comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer. (Yes, it’s a real example.) Paying over 22% of the purchase price for an extended warranty is ill-advised because the product is relatively unlikely to fail, if it does fail the problem is most likely to occur early on (when it’s covered by the manufacturer), and any non-covered repair or replacement costs are well within the tolerable limits of most buyers.

Where RV extended warranties fall along that spectrum is an individual judgment. The companies selling the policies (and many who buy them) will cite the cost of replacing an entire transmission or an entire engine, but the reality is that such failures are very rare and if they do occur are typically covered at least in part by the manufacturer, even if the original warranty has long since expired. As such, the vast majority of the repairs actually paid for under these RV policies are relatively routine in nature and typically not financially devastating.

Stated another way, if you can afford the motorhome and can afford the extended warranty, you can probably forego the extended warranty and almost by definition afford any repairs that would have been covered under the agreement. Put it this way – the odds are definitely in your favor.

I understand the peace of mind argument, but personally I derive peace of mind from holding onto my money and only parting with it when/if something actually needs to be repaired rather than in advance. Others, including some members of this forum I respect very highly, see it differently and wouldn’t think of owning an RV without purchasing an extended warranty.

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Old 12-23-2013, 11:18 PM   #3
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I have Phoenix American RV Elite. It covered over $10k for a blow engine, dash AC compressor, speedo console and fuel pump and filter. It was $4500 for 4 years, but I later found out I could have dealt with the dealer.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:52 PM   #4
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When we bought our '06 Journey in 2011 it had 30K miles on it and another 18 months left on an extended warrantee purchased by the original owner which we had transfered into our name. The PO's maintanence records came with the purchase, and everything had been done when it needed to be. The coach ran like a Swiss watch and I never used the remainder of that warrantee. When came time to renew it I had to stop and think of the value vs cost. My wife argued against renewal due to the $3200 premium (for 4 year/48K miles) because she felt the money would be better spent on appliances for her new kitchen . I reasoned that peace of mind has a value as well and despite my wife's objections (she eventually did get the appliances), I went ahead and renewed the policy. 7 months and 2 trips later the turbo went out. The repair cost was around $4000 less my deductable. In just one repair, I got my money back and was a few hundred dollars ahead of the game. We still have 2 1/2 years left on that policy, which means I'll still have peace of mind for a while to come. Call it fate or just dumb luck, it ended up that the money was well spent.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelledan View Post
When we bought our '06 Journey in 2011 it had 30K miles on it and another 18 months left on an extended warrantee purchased by the original owner which we had transfered into our name. The PO's maintanence records came with the purchase, and everything had been done when it needed to be. The coach ran like a Swiss watch and I never used the remainder of that warrantee. When came time to renew it I had to stop and think of the value vs cost. My wife argued against renewal due to the $3200 premium (for 4 year/48K miles) because she felt the money would be better spent on appliances for her new kitchen . I reasoned that peace of mind has a value as well and despite my wife's objections (she eventually did get the appliances), I went ahead and renewed the policy. 7 months and 2 trips later the turbo went out. The repair cost was around $4000 less my deductable. In just one repair, I got my money back and was a few hundred dollars ahead of the game. We still have 2 1/2 years left on that policy, which means I'll still have peace of mind for a while to come. Call it fate or just dumb luck, it ended up that the money was well spent.
Dan
Was the repair handled well? If so, who was the provider?

Because this is my first I am leaning towards the peace of mind too.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00wabbit View Post
.....We recently bought a 2006 national tradewinds with a 400hp cummins isl diesel on a freightliner chassis.

I am not much concerned with the household systems. I am pretty handy and figure I can handle most things....... this is my first big diesel I worry about this and am leaning towards some sort of insurance.

What are your recommendations for me? Which companies have you used and how well did they take care of problems? Thanks
I bought a four year service contract 1-1/2 years ago when we bought our Newmar. So far it has paid two claims easily and has almost paid for itself. I bought my contract from Wholesale Warranties, who seem to be reputable brokers. It is underwritten by Bankers Insurance of Florida, and administered by Allegiance Administrators. Its the administrator that you'll deal with directly, and I've found Allegiance to be very easy to deal with.

My reasoning addressed the basic question of age. I bought a 2002 coach-- you've got an '06-- that was fully equipped with original appliances and devices. So, in your case, with a coachload of 8 year-old appliances, what are the chances that you'll go 4 years without any kind of failure at all?

In the past 18 months my contract has replaced a roof ac/heat unit ($2000) and the engine mounted ac compressor ($1800).

My advice is that if you buy a contract, don't go cheap. The "bargains" are the ones that that will leave you hanging. Buy a good "exclusionary" policy, and pay a bit extra for "consequential damage". This will give you optimal, broad coverage.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:37 AM   #7
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00wabbit,
Yes the repair was handled very well. Whenever possible, I have repairs handled by the manufacturer of whatever needs attention. Whenever the chassis has an issue I go to Freightliner. When the leveling system had a concern, I went to HWH. In the case of the turbo for my 5.9ISB engine, I went to a Cummins facility. I made the appointment and dropped it off. Late on the following day I received a call with the diagnosis and an estimated cost of the job. The part had to be ordered and it took 2 days for it to get to the dealer. Late the next day it was ready to go and the cost ended up being within a few dollars of the original estimate. I judge a dealer in part on how they keep their shop. The Cummins shop was spotless (Freightliner not so much). You could have eaten off their floor. Tool cabinets, diagnostic carts, and various equipments were all neatly arranged against the walls and the entire place had an orderly appearance that gleamed 100% professional. The staff was also professional, polite and informative. No issues there at all.
Dan
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:05 AM   #8
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My best insurance has been ME!
I never deny myself a claim.
I choose my own repair provider.

Years ago I bought a MH and an extended warranty. I recovered about half of the cost.
During that warranty period and over the next dozen or so years, I "paid myself" and put money in a private investment account. It is mostly in mutual funds. It is still gaining in value.
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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I felt the $3400 for 2 years for my coach (This was the absolute lowest quote) was excessive to say the least. Put that $3400 into an account. Guess what, it is still gaining in value. If the premiums were not so gall dang high I might have considered this coverage, but at $3400 for 2 years (again the absolute cheapest I could find. Many others were MUCH more than this), just too expensive for my blood.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:59 PM   #10
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Read the FINE PRINT, understand what you are purchasing. you put up several thousand dollars betting they will pay for all claims. yep, some people come out and they get paid. many other have claims denied for what ever reason they give you. I got screwed once with an extended warranty denying claim on a Carrier air conditioning unit. they denied claim because it was a mfg defect that the mfg didn't correct. Oh and I had no proof that I had the unit serviced annually. It was virtually a NEW unit. A unit just a 15 months old. If you do you preventive maintenance, maintain your MH like you should the likelihood of a major failure IS SLIM. There are 100's of post on IRV2 and I'd bet there are far fewer owners purchasing this polices than ones who buy. Was told the majority of purchases are to NEW MH owners at the time they purchase th MH. safe travels.... ed
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