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Old 05-23-2006, 11:09 PM   #1
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Question Extended Warranties

I will be picking up my new Airstream 22' Safari tomorrow, and need to decide if an extended warranty is worth the cost. What kind of repairs should I anticipate? And what will they probably cost?
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Old 05-25-2006, 10:25 PM   #2
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I just picked up my new (to ME!) 05 30' Classic and was offered an extended warranty for $1900.00 and I have 10 days to decide....I hope some folks respond to this post....I'm on the fence.

Mike
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:38 PM   #3
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Do you have any more info on the extended warranties - things like what is covered, for how many years, and who does the warranty work (Airstream, or other trailer repair outlets)? My own experience with Airstreams (I've had two; first was a 1995 21', and second is a 2005 16') and I had virutally no problems with either one, certainly nothing in the $2000 range. However, there are others on this board who have had problems, and they might have a different story to tell.

Another factor to consider is whether or not you are 'handy' when it comes to fixing things. If you are not, and want to take the trailer in for things that others might just fix themselves, an extended warranty might give you some extra peace of mind.

From my experience the extended warranties would not have been very useful, but that's just my 2 cents. I'll be interested to hear what other people say.
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Old 05-26-2006, 06:25 AM   #4
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Extended warranties are a good deal for the insurance companies or they wouldn't sell them. We've had our Airstream for just over two years and any issues have been covered by the warranty. There have been small things, much as you would have in a home, that we've been able to fix ourselves such as tightening up a leaking faucet or a leaky "P" trap under the sink. Like the previous poster mentioned, if you're at all handy, you can maintain the Airstream yourself. If you don't know a phillips screwdriver from a hex wrench, buy the insurance by all means. We don't purchase extended warranties on anything. Taking into consideration all of the posts, our recommendation would be, "If it makes you feel good, buy it". Happy trails
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:53 AM   #5
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Thumbs down Bad Deal!

I have had a 'little experience' with several of the companies that write the extended warranty coverage. IMHO, it is a racket that often leaves the customer with a rather large bill for work that they 'thought' was covered but was not due to the 'fine print' hat was n the contract.

Let me share one little vignette with you. I received a call about a furnace not working. I inspected the unit, and nothing was happening. There was 12VDC to the unit and the thermostat was working, so I removed the unit and brought it back to my shop for further testing. It needed a new control board and a sail switch. When I check a furnace, I go all the way thru it and inspect everything, even the burner and gas orifice, check gas valve pressure, all systems to verify that what I am fixing is the only problem.

After replacing the igniter board with a new Dinosaur board, a new sail switch and a new gasket for the burner cover, I returned the unit and re-installed it, fired it up and the owner was happy.

Now for the warranty part. I called the company and started a claim BEFORE I touched the unit. This is a must, or they will not pay a dime!!! After I replaced the unit, I again phoned the company with the charges. The fellow had a $250 deductible. The person on the other end of the phone was obviously reading from a computer screen telling me that they didn't know what a sail switch was, it was not covered and the new gaskets and labor for examination was not either. In other words, they covered only the new igniter board and a pre-determined labor charge (flat rate) that they would pay for the repair.

In the end, the customer got NOTHING from the company when his deductible was figured in. He was a nice old fellow and he was very visibly upset. I felt so bad for him that I reduced my fees to ease his pain a little.

The funny (actually sad) part of this story was when I asked to speak to a supervisor about the claim, the girl (maybe late 20's) said that she was a 'senior' claims analyst and there was no one else to speak with. I asked her how much RV repair experience she had, and she said that she had none. When asked her how many furnace overhauls she had done and how did she know what was needed and who determined what was to be paid, she said that it was all in the computer, but never answered my question. Needless to say, the conversation rapidly deteriorated from that point.

SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!! The only time I have seen an extended warranty work was when a customer needed a new roof air conditioner for their bus. It was a $1200 heat pump unit, and they wound up paying only $250 of the total $1700 charge, which was their deductible. They could have gotten extended coverage from Dometic for a lot less than what they paid for their policy.

Just my $.02 worth
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:18 AM   #6
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Well keep in mind that your extended warranty period will probably cover a period of time in which the original factory warranty is in effect. So subtract 2 from the time period which gives you the real extended warranty period you are paying for. Normally the big dollar items that can have problems are the appliances including the furnace and airconditioner. The biggest dollar item of that group is the refrigerator. In some cases some individual warranties on some components may be longer. For example your panel used to operate the sensors for battery, LP, and holding tank levels is warranted by the manufacturer for 5 years. Your air conditioner and possilbly the refrigerator, has an 1 year parts only warranty after the initial 2 year waranty from Airstream expires. Most people don't know this (This info was in my individual packet that had the operating instructions and other manufacturers information).

Finally know that Dometic will offer you an extended warranty on your air conditioner and refrigerator.

And one more thought. That extended warranty that your Airstream dealer is offering is not from Airstream. It's from a company that will probably profit from your $$ since your chance of expending that $1,900 in service will be extremely low. One of the most recurring topics that appear in Trailer Life or in the Good Sam Club magazines are the requests for help from folks who had extended warranties, and found out that the component that fails is not covered due to, repair procedures not being properly authorized (this is a big issue many times where the warranty company doesn't return calls from repair facilities or there is confusion within the repair facility as to what was authorized), or fine print that qualifies certain conditions in which a failure of a component is not covered.

Personally I once carried extended warranties on my stove, refrigerator, and air conditioner on an SOB. The extended warranties came for the manufacturer of these appliances. I did have a failure of a control board and thermostat which the warranty covered. The repair facility took care of the warranty paper work and I was not out of pocket.

In retrospect looking at the cost of all the warranties, I spent more on them than if I had paid for the service at the time of failure.

Yes there are stories where a warranty worked out great, but remember odds are once you get past the initial Airstream warranty period, you will probably not use that warranty.

Jack
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:54 AM   #7
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Thanks so much, all of you guys. You made my decision much easier. The salesman didn't try to push it on me and apparently there's law in California that says they have to offer it (I wonder who pushed that one through) and you have to sign off if you don't want it.

My new rig is only slightly used and everything is working perfectly. I got a sweet deal at Toscano RV in Los Banos and I'm extremely happy. I have until November 30 on the remainder of the Airsream warranty and I plan on using the trailer alot this summer and might evening take a cross country trip to Chicago and Cleveland so I should have a good chance of having something crap out before the warranty expires.

See you guys on the road
Mike
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:30 PM   #8
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Here is my .005c.
Extended warranties on a quality product is a waste of money. Your paying the premium for an Airstream so you "don't" have to get repairs done every 3-6months.

With that said, I'd like to make a hypocritical comment about extended warranties. About 7 years ago I bought a used Honda Accord and bought a $1850 extended warranty. With 11 miles left before the warranty expired the car took a major dump. $4200 later the car was repaired. Still though, I don't think I'd do it again if I know what I know now.
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynmike
Thanks so much, all of you guys. You made my decision much easier. The salesman didn't try to push it on me and apparently there's law in California that says they have to offer it (I wonder who pushed that one through) and you have to sign off if you don't want it.
My dealer, Bill Thomas Camper Sales, did not push it either. They did have an interesting edge to their offer though. Apparently the offer to take the extended warranty was open to me anytime during the period that the original factory warranty covers. According to the finance manager at the dealership, that the original price they quoted would be honored during that 2 year period, unless the waranty provider had a general cost increase. Needless to say I did not take the warranty.

Jack
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Old 06-03-2006, 08:21 AM   #10
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I had a similar situation to Jack's when I picked up my CCD in Dec. The finance guy was going over all of the papers and I was signing this and that and then he came to the extended warranty and he paused, looked at me and said 'well, I guess I'll be wasting my breath trying to get you to buy an extended warranty for your new Airstream, considering that it will have a LIFETIME warranty as long as YOU own it'. I just nodded my head in agreement.
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
I had a similar situation to Jack's when I picked up my CCD in Dec. The finance guy was going over all of the papers and I was signing this and that and then he came to the extended warranty and he paused, looked at me and said 'well, I guess I'll be wasting my breath trying to get you to buy an extended warranty for your new Airstream, considering that it will have a LIFETIME warranty as long as YOU own it'. I just nodded my head in agreement.
Lifetime warranty? According to the Airstream site (and my dealer) the Warranty from airstream is 2-years. I found this thread when searching for info on extended warranties and usually I don't not purchase these things. However, the finance manager was pressing me to buy one citing the cost of an A/C repair or replacement.
Are these units that fragile that they fail within 7 years (the time frame the warranty covers)? Further, as mentioned above the ext. Warranty really isn't a 7 year, it's a five year since the factory warranty is in effect during the first 2 years so that to me devaules the 7 year warranty being offered to us for $2,300.00.

On Monday when we go to pick up our new Airstream, I will likely pass on the ext. warranty.

http://www.airstream.com/product_lin....html#warranty
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:56 AM   #12
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Excellent! We are in that decision process as well, as of whether to go for the extra warranty.. I wasn't so sure it was worth it already... and this leads me to that conclusion as well. Self insurance is best on almost all products.

This reminds me when I was at Radio Shack one day and the sales person actually offered an extended warranty to an elderly woman on a cup warmer she was buying!

I've also be offered an extended warranty on a wooden desk at the Brick!

PS. The only thing I WOULD recommend an extended warranty on is a video camera (those with tapes and a whole wack of little moving parts that don't like dust). I've used the warranties twice before for two different cameras, and now about to use it again on another.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:20 AM   #13
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There are a couple other recent threads (search on: extended warranty). This "product" is pursued because of the high profits involved. Kinda like playing the lottery -- which is why they call it house-odds!
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classic67
Lifetime warranty? According to the Airstream site (and my dealer) the Warranty from airstream is 2-years. I found this thread when searching for info on extended warranties and usually I don't not purchase these things. However, the finance manager was pressing me to buy one citing the cost of an A/C repair or replacement.
Are these units that fragile that they fail within 7 years (the time frame the warranty covers)? Further, as mentioned above the ext. Warranty really isn't a 7 year, it's a five year since the factory warranty is in effect during the first 2 years so that to me devaules the 7 year warranty being offered to us for $2,300.00.

On Monday when we go to pick up our new Airstream, I will likely pass on the ext. warranty.

http://www.airstream.com/product_lin....html#warranty
Dennis,

What the finance guy was saying was that with me being my own RV Tech, the trailer will never need anything but parts should anything go T/U, and I have upgraded a lot of things already since purchase. Airstreams only have a 2 year factory warranty.
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