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Old 08-20-2010, 09:57 PM   #1

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Extended warranty or not?

I am a new Alpine owner having purchased a "new" 2008 Alpine coach from Guaranty in Junction City , OR in April of this year. Decided at the time to not buy an extended warranty but to risk it. Now I'm having 2nd thoughts about that decision. I'd appreciate some of your thoughts on the good, the bad, and the ugly of extended warranties. To buy or not to buy, that is the question. Any extended warranty companies to avoid? Any shining stars?
I'd appreciate any information you can provide. Thanks in advance for your help.
Dave Weber
2008 Alpine Coach 40 TS

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:13 PM   #2
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I just purchased a new 2007 Apex in Jan 2010 and I never buy extended warranties. The first thing that comes to mind is how long the company will be around. The second thing is how handy you are diagnosing problems and fixing them. This forum is great resource and also the ACA library.

You have the 5 year warranty from Cummins that also covers the DPF. First year includes towing. Allison is two years. Most of the other things, you can get one year parts, if you can do the labor. I just keep copy showing I am the first titled owner. Just had the Amana Ref. fixed yesterday parts and labor. Had a problem with Jensen radio and they sent me new one I put in. Wineguard warranteed some parts for me. There are ones also.

The one thing I would fix for sure is to the re-enforce the steering bracket (see thread) which wouldn't be covered under warranty anyway. I would change fuel, oil and hydraulic filters and oil. Check to see which Allison filter you have, some have to be changed once at 5,000 miles. I change the rear end oil too. Check make sure all the fittings got greased. Check air filter and make sure all the hoses are tight. I replaced the fan belt too. Go over from end to end checking all the hoses and wires an make sure everything is tight. I used hose protectors where something can rub.

I did have some problems with my HWH and Silverleaf programming, so I did use Joe Elwell and he came to my house and updated got everything working right. He is very familiar with Alpine Coaches. You can PM me if you need to contact him.

I had my other Alpine for 10 years before I got this one. Once you work through the bugs, you will be happy with it.

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:57 PM   #3
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We are firm believers in an Extended Warranty. We disagree with those that say to self insure. When you buy a highly technical coach with components that are bound to breakdown or quit working, you are looking at big bucks. I do alot of the repairs myself, but components & parts aren't cheap

Our 2007 orphan coach just turned 4 years old and our original extended warranty cost us less than our claims. However, we were very disappointed in Good Sams CSP - as we had to jump thru so many hoops with each claim to get them paid - but most of the time they paid. We had the HWH Control Box computer needing replacement and the Surge Guard unit go out last Oct. Those were approx $2400 bills.

We were concerned that CSP Warranty did not cover radiators. So when the Insurance came up for renewal, we elected to change to a 4 year plan with Go RV Warranty... which is with Allegiance CSI Care. We thought our coach was in excellent condition with 42k miles on it. However, within 1 month of taking out the new plan our Inverter has gone out. We are looking at another $2400 bill. This new Extended Warranty isn't jumping up & down to help us - and we still haven't gotten payment (job isn't finished!)- but we expect to ultimately receive payment.

We aren't familiar with Guaranty's Extended Service plan (they don't call it Warranty Insurance) but we think you need to get something to cover your backside!
The Swans
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:07 AM   #4
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I purchased an extended warranty when I bought mine used, from Good Sam. Moving into a diesel coach scared me a bit. I paid about $1050 per year. This is it's third year and I've made out better each year than funding it myself. I do lots of the work myself, but two oil leaks and a little manifold warp, and an inverter meltdown were bigger than my ability vs. time equation. I'm quite happy having bought it and just renewed year four.

I too, am not one to normally buy extended warranties and the two times in my life I did really paid off.
2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
Long Beach, CA
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:07 AM   #5
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Not knowing your specific situation, I will not advise against an "Extended Warranty" other than to say if you're going to get one, get it from a reputable source.

I bought a plan from Warranty Experts and when it came time to get their much touted refund they were gone. In fact, the parent company, Prizm Administrative Solutions, Inc.-RV Resources, is also gone.

You pay your money and take your chances.
Bob (Squidly Down Under) & Peg - 2013 Ford Focus pushing a 2011 Phoenix Cruiser 2552S
"In God we trust" to preserve our country and bring our Troops safely home.
Carry on, regardless..................
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:44 AM   #6
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Mixed emotions on extended warranties--I think is a matter of personal risk mgt and your ability/comfort with DIY to reduce labor costs. Suspect most warranty companies are in about the same shape as the RV industry. Just like campground memberships--you are betting they will be around tomorrow. And make sure you know exactly what is covered--the fine print, or lack of it, is a killer on these contracts.

IMO, new coaches are more problematic than older coaches, despite age and miles (eg, VANSCO, relays, alternators, PTO drives, steering brackets, radiators, electronics, etc). Believe the Alpine chassis is pretty hardy--except for u-joints, Cummins, Allison, and the suspension components should provide years of service. Daily checks and proper periodic maintenance should keep you on the road and out of the shop.

Assuming you do find a warranty company with a future, two things remain a challenge: 1) follow their claim procedures precisely as they will use any error [material or otherwise] on you part to deny payment; an 2) even if you do follow their rules, they will look to blame anyone they can to avoid liability [eg. as a fellow Alpiner recently found out-- "WRV didnt use the right specs so your radiator claim is denied"] Good luck.
Old Scout
2003 40' MDTS
New Braunfels, Texas
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:46 AM   #7
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I self insure. It is a chance I take that nothing major will go wrong. We have a 2004 Coachman Auroura 34.5. It has just over 8k miles, of which we put 2K of them on it in the last 19 months. We don't drive it much, but it is parked in a campground & used daily. We put $XXX amount of cash away each month just in case. We have only had 3 items fail, Hot water heater would not light, a water line came off the fresh water pump & the awning got damaged in a storm. Insurance (not extended warrenty) covered the awning. I reinstalled the water line & my wife replaced the thermostat on the hwh for $25. So far we are $$$ ahead with more than 1/2 way threw the warrenty period had we purchased it for 3 yrs @ $3600.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:11 AM   #8
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My choice is "not." You take a risk either way. My friend bought a warranty, and discovered that the company usually denied his few claims routinely. Most of the "action line" letters in the RV magazines involve extended warranties.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:20 PM   #9
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After hearing from our gasser friends, I might point out that I'd never buy a warranty on a gasser coach. I can fix nearly everything on those, or pay the amounts needed for things I didn't want to do. It's the costs associated with a diesel that bothered me and made it an easy choice insure against them. It would REALLY HURT if I had to pay $40K for a dusted engine. A thou a year is tolerable and eased my mind, not to mention paid off, as described above.
2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
Long Beach, CA
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:39 PM   #10
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FYI. Prizm is still in business, in October last year they were bought by Protective so the name has changed. Their warranties are still valid; just checked with my agent. Prizm have paid out twice what I paid in premiums so it was worth it in my case. I agree that if you are handy you can handle the coach problems but the engine/transmission/brakes are another issue. If you are out of warranty on these I would seriously consider a warranty maybe just on the drive train.
John and Mary Knight
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:53 PM   #11
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We bought a new diesel coach in 2003 and did not buy an extended warranty. We put $250/month into a reserve fund to pay all repairs and regular maintenance like oil changes, tires every 6-7 years, etc. That amount has worked for us. I recognize that is $3k a year (dealer offered us an extended warranty at $1,500/yr in 2006), but it pays for many, many things that an extended warranty would not cover.

Some people do get more back from their extended warranty than they pay in, but most do not (otherwise, the insurance company could not offer such coverage!). It's a crap shoot as to whether or not you will be one of the "lucky" ones who has more repairs than average. I figure I don't need the hassle, so I go along with the self-insure crowd.

I guess the bottom line is, would a major expense totally stall your RV? ...and can you afford to put some money aside each month to self-insure, or can you more easily afford to pay the monthly cost for the extended warranty? It really is a personal choice of how much risk you are willing to bear ...and how much confidence you have in your RV.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '17 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited toad
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:56 PM   #12
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This topic draws almost as much attention and debate as whether or not to carry a gun! IMHO there's no "right" answer because it's a very personal decision and "peace of mind" can't be objectively measured.

I NEVER buy extended wtys for anything... but did when we bought our new DP. I like the feeling of security it gives me but can certainly understand those who self insure.

My Ext Wty is from Easy Care and they have been great so far. I paid about a $5K premium on my new coach to purchase from my local dealer and also purchased the Ext Wty from them. I think this has paid off because on the 4 or 5 claims I've made it has really been turnkey for me and it seems I can get my coach in for repairs or service even when there's a fairly long lead time on appointments. Probably shouldn't be that way but it is in my neck of the woods.
Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 08-21-2010, 04:42 PM   #13
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Do you buy lottery tickets? Lots of them? Low chance of a big payoff. Anecdotally, you will hear a few people say the "made money" because the premiums were less than the claims paid. But, on average, the premiums paid far exceed the claims paid. How do we know? Because these policies are a huge profit center for dealers who sell them and the commissioned brokers who pitch them. In the long run, they have to be profitable for the companies that stand behind them (or they go belly up). All premiums received have to be enough to pay the commissions to the dealers/brokers and pay the claims and keep a staff employed.

So clearly, like the lottery ticket (which returns about 50% of the amount players spend on them), these things are NOT an investment. If a big, unexpected repair bill of $3000+ is going to be a life changing experience for you by all means spend the $1500-2000 per year for a policy. And then deal with the 'is it covered', 'will they pay' issues as they come. For me, and I suspect most others who are driving around in these very expensive MH's, I can afford to self insure. The big plus, besides not contributing to the profits of those selling the policies, is that (a) I know EVERYTHING is covered and (b) the insurer (me) is solvent and will pay.
Jaime & Dave (and our 3 cocker spaniels)
2005 Alpine Coach 36FDTS w/ 2009 Honda CR-V, Doran TPMS, Roadmaster Towbar, US Gear Braking
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:30 PM   #14
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Dave and Jaime:

Will you please cover me too??


2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
Long Beach, CA
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