It’s a simple fact of life for RVers: owning a rig means repair costs — on the road or not.

Statistically, in fact, three out of every 10 RVs will breakdown by their second year on the road. This increases to eight out of 10 by the fifth year, and nearly every RV by the eighth year on the road.

Enter RV protection products.

We’re talking stuff like RV warranties, roadside assistance, and tire and wheel protection.

Each one is an investment designed to protect you when the unexpected happens.

And with many of you on the road this summer hoping for good times, I thought it would be worth it to remind you about the importance of prepping for what could be bad times.

 

The RV Repair Price Tag

As technology continues to advance, and motorhomes become increasingly complex, repair work will also become more complicated. You’ll see that reflected in the price tag. In fact, current statistics show that labor alone will cost at least $100 per hour, on top of the estimated $200 for parts. That works out to an average of $300 per hour every time you have to bring your rig to the shop. This adds up quick, even for simple but common fixes to items like your slide-outs, air conditioning units, and more (though there are steps you can take on your own as reported by RVLifestyle contributors here and here.)

This doesn’t touch on some of the more catastrophic failures, like a $30,000 engine repair, or at least $7,000 for a transmission replacement.

It makes sense when you think about how units are built. There is so much room for human error during the manufacturing stage because they’re being put together by hand. That means mistakes will happen. No two hands can craft an RV with 100 percent accuracy every time. Those errors are accounted for within the one-year manufacturer’s warranty, but what happens beyond that? How can you be certain that your rig will continue to function properly after the first year?

The statistics and likelihood of breakdowns will change based on the make, model, year and current mileage of your specific rig. It’s impossible to know with 100 percent certainty when and how often your rig will breakdown.

The best you can do is take steps toward preventative maintenance (see my video below for a few tips) and/or get an RV extended service contract (or RV warranty). (Story continued below.)

 

Protecting Your Travel Budget

An extended service contract, or RV warranty, provides protection beyond the life of your manufacturer’s warranty, covering your entire repair bill for an additional one to 7 years. All you have to do is pay your deductible.

Some RV warranty providers, like Wholesale Warranties (which has appeared on a previous episode of the RVLifestyle podcast you can hear here), allow personalized policies. With many options available, ranging from comprehensive coverage of just about every mechanical component to pared back policies that focus on your engine and powertrain alone, you’re able to make a decision that feels right for you, your RV life, and your desired level of risk.

Simply put, RV extended warranties are designed to cover the cost of repair or replacement to the mechanical working components of your RV. These items range from your engine, transmission, and drive axle, to your appliances, heating and cooling components, and electrical systems. The most extensive coverage can also cover things such as your leveling jacks, slide-outs, luxury electronics, and solar panels.

It’s important to note that no RV extended warranty will cover things like maintenance items, aesthetic damages, or collisions. Make sure to take the time to understand the policy you’re purchasing and learn more about what’s not covered.

 

Making the Right Decision for Your RV Lifestyle

RV warranties won’t be the right decision for every traveler, but it’s important to make sure you’re educated so you can make an informed decision. Whether you choose an RV warranty, or pay for the repairs yourself, these costs are something that need to be budgeted for. 

If you want to know more about the costs involved, I suggest getting a quote.

Some providers offer them free, with no obligation.

Since they are constantly analyzing the claims that come through they can forecast the liability of a rig with accuracy. By getting a quote based on your specific rig, you can better estimate how much you’ll save on repairs during the lifetime of your policy.

Simply put, the right extended RV warranty coverage can help you avoid high repair costs altogether. After all, the best way to save on RV repair bills is to let your RV warranty pick up the tab.

(And should you find yourself in an unfamiliar location, you might want to check out this tip from Jennifer on finding mobile RV repair services!)