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Old 12-23-2002, 10:55 AM   #1
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2001 27' Safari
Springfield , Virginia
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Extended Warranties

The two-year bumper-to-bumper factory warranty on my 2001 Safari will expire in March, and I am exploring some extended warranty options. I note that Good Sam Club/Camping World offers a "CSP" annual plan covering major components, but it's very expensive. Other "Internet" vendors offer good coverage (on paper) at good prices but one never knows if they will be in business tomorrow. On the Internet, WarrantyGold offers a decent plan, but when you talk to them on the phone they tend to be "hard sell" and almost too ready to bargain...that worries me. "WebDirectWarranty.com" has very reasonable prices covering just about all trailer systems for 5 additional years beyond the Airstream warrangy, but they have only been in business for a year. Jack--maybe you have a way of checking on their legitimacy--they list their business office as 8126 Gravois in St. Louis. The St. Louis BBB shows they have one satisfied complaint. Anybody have any good experience with this other service contract suppliers? Anybody have other recommendations?

Lew Brodsky
Springfield, VA
2001 Safari 27B
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Old 12-23-2002, 01:12 PM   #2
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Warrenties

If you can afford to "self insure", I think that is the best way. The only warrenty that ever paid off for me was on the Dometic in my first SOB trailer. Even then, I just about broke even between what I paid for the warrenty and what it cost to fix the refrigerator.

Warrenty policies usually have two levels of profit built in and I know the dealer's profit is substantial. I consider my financial risk in not insuring to be to be the cost of the policy less two substantial levels of profit. I'll pocket the warrenty cost and take my hits if they come.

If I ever do buy a policy, it will be from the manufacturer (Dometic for fridge, etc.), not from a warrenty company. I have absolutely no trust in 3rd party warrenty companies. Read all the weeping letters in Trailer Life and Highways!
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Old 12-24-2002, 09:42 AM   #3
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Lew, I'm familiar with the area although not the business itself. This is an area of small store front businesses. Not the type of area where a major company would locate. I would tend to believe these guys are small players.

I concur with John, that these extended warranties are probably not in your best interest. They are very specific and in many cases, so much so that if there is a loop hole you won't get your expected coverage. As John noted read the Trailer Life reader assistance column each month. It always seems to have a letter from someone not happy that the warranty company disallowed their claim.

My Safari is my third travel trailer and other than the appliances, there isn't much these warranties cover. Based on my experience, once you get past the early mortality of electronics which are initially under warranty, things will continue to run for years. My only major repair I have experienced in 30 years of towing was when my refrigerator in my Hi-Lo failed after 14 years of service.

When you add up the costs over the years you are better to save your money or put the equivalent aside into a repair account. Based on the life of most of these things, your account will cover the cost of any needed repairs.

My warranty ends in May and the only issue I have at this point is a drip at a shower door frame which seems to defy the sealing that the dealer did, and my subsequent attempts.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 12-25-2002, 09:23 AM   #4
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Good advice

Thanks for the good advice, John and Jack. I will self-insure by setting up a repair bank account. Jack--my Safari 27 also had a shower stall leak with water puddling on the raised "triangle" piece of flooring just out the door. Parkview RV has recaulked the entire stall on my last visit, but it's too early to tell if this has cured the problem (the trailer is winterized). Have to wait til spring to see the result.

Jack, one more question. On bumpy roads in Canada last summer, the sliding glass doors of the medicine cabinet in my rig bounced out. I found them on the sink counter and floor...amazingly not broken. Have you had this problem? I am thinking about putting stainless steel eye hooks on both sides of the cabinet and stretching a bungee cord across the front when traveling to prevent this.

Happy holidays.

Lew Brodsky
Springfield, VA
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Old 12-26-2002, 07:13 AM   #5
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My leak is right where the roll up shower door is stored just to the right of the triangle area you talk about. The water that collects in the box follows a seam to the right of the box. I'm getting closer since it only drips a little and only after the second person showers. There is a lot of flexing going on in that area and it seems to be more of an issue of getting the sealer to hold on than to get the right spot. I think I need to do a better job of prep to the area before I apply the sealant.

I've had those same glass doors fall out once before and like you was surprised that they didn't break. Patty places one of those suction hooks, you know the ones you can place on a smooth surface?, on the glass on the inner door. These keeps the doors from sliding while traveling and seems to keep this from happening.

We have also had the below sink cabinet doors also fall out. The trick there is to get a small wood dowel rod and place it in the track. Apparently there is a lot of flexing going on. Maybe something like being in a commercial airliner when you get into some rough air. If you ever watch the ceiling and overhead storage compartments, the whole thing flexes quite a bit.

Jack
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Old 12-26-2002, 08:48 AM   #6
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Thanks, Jack. Good advice and sounds like an easier fix on the medicine cabinet glass doors. I'll give it a try. If our shower leaks remain with us, we'll just have to keep using terry cloth bath mats on the bathroom floor to soak up the drips.

Lew Brodsky
Springfield, VA
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Old 12-26-2002, 12:38 PM   #7
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Question

Lew,
I've read of your trips to "ParkView RV and, mind you..I think they seem to be great people..This is my question:
Knowing where you live..is there any reasons, that you can share with us..as to why you haven't gone to the A/S dealer closer to you in Fredericksburg, Va.??
I've not been to that dealership yet but, often go by it on my way to Va. Beach, when traveling down I-95.
thanks...
ciao
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Old 12-26-2002, 01:50 PM   #8
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Vern:

When shopping for my trailer I made several factfinding and negotiating visits to the two Airstream dealerships closest to me: Safford (46 miles south) and Parkview (115 miles northeast). I believe I bought from the dealer who gave me the best value, had the better equipped service department, seemed most knowledgable about what they were selling and servicing, and treated me more like a friend than a customer. Parkview was also more enthusiastic and willing to install solar panels, battery meter, and charge controllers to my exacting specifications as a part of the purchase deal. They were also better able to arrange for factory customization of my trailer (lighting upgrades, electric jack, vent fans) on the assembly line in Jackson Center as opposed to aftermarket dealer add ons. This is not to say that Safford gets disqualifyingly low marks, but in my opinion and experience, Parkview was and is top notch. I've encountered many other Airstreamers who also sing Parkview's praises. I have not gone to Safford for service for one other reason...they let me know on two occasions before my purchase decision that they are inclined to first take care of service customers who bought their vehicles at Safford; all others wait in line, often for days or weeks. This may have been their way of adding sales pressure, but I've never felt like testing out their stated policy.

Lew Brodsky
Springfield, VA
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