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Old 08-21-2018, 05:59 PM   #1
Rivet Master
1999 28' Excella
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 803
Images: 2
Lifetime warranty?

OK, I actually know this is stupid. I have a friend who wants a 16' Bambi really bad. She has found a 2016 for $36,995 for sale with a lifetime warranty from a place in Florida but can be serviced in Hammond LA.

What is your take on this?

Thanks, BadKat
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Old 08-21-2018, 06:29 PM   #2
Rivet Master

2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 8,927
The total price of the Bambi may or may not be reasonable. I don't have a sense of the market, but you can bet a forum search will establish a price.

Being that eager to buy anything makes you a target, and prevents due diligence in finding any vehicle. Better to do the research up front and figuring out the actual price before walking in as a "barefoot pilgrim", i.e. easy mark for the dealer's sales staff.

I can tell you the "lifetime warranty" is most likely, on very close inspection, total BS that probably requires you to visit only certain dealers every year for an expensive "inspection" to maintain the so-called warranty.

And I'd further bet that the restrictions, conditions, and other fine print adds up to "not worth the money or trouble" for that warranty. It's a sales tool to assure more dealer profit up front...and opportunities to see you again regularly, often only as a nice target for making more profit...

Search around the forums for warranty programs, and see what you find. I'd put the money into a dedicated savings account and use it for maintenance instead...

Please tell your friend to slow down, take a deep breath, and trust no dealer any further than she can throw the trailer unaided. Be a little paranoid, do research, and don't ever fall prey to being blinded by emotion when you are buying an Airstream, or a car, or whatever. Makes you a lawful target to all manner of folk. Remember that salespersons are ONLY interested in making a sale, and only lie when their mouth is moving. Calm down and play hardball.

My wife has 2,000 years of ancestors that compel her to drive a hard bargain. I sit back and let her tie the sales force in KNOTS, and get the price and terms SHE wants. It's a awesome thing to watch, and she has NEVER lost those over 47 years of marriage, and multiple houses and vehicles purchased!

Her technique is to have done the research, has a set price in mind, and never, ever lets the salesperson know what that price is. It's sorta negotiated incrementally, and the manager usually is the final victim...basically a game of "fetch me a rock", followed by, "Nope, wrong rock", "fetch me a better rock". Continues until her terms are met or exceeded, then we're done. With her running the show, the dealer usually looses on the second round.

No trade-ins either--the "Quad Chart" is not the buyers friend. Look that one up:
If they pull that tool out, either tell them to put it away, as you will not play that game, or get up and walk out...
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch, Prodigy P2 controller.
2012 shortbed CrewMax 4x4 Toyota Tacoma TV with more antennae on it.
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Old 08-21-2018, 06:30 PM   #3
Rivet Master
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 905
My 1969 Airstream owners manual said that the unit is covered by a Lifetime warrantee . Great !

BUT its only to the original owner . Dang !

She may want to read the fine print and then investigate the warrantee company.

Nothing more annoying then fighting with the claims dept.
But a letter to Trailer Life Mag could help.
Glen & Jane 1969 all electric Airstream 25' TradeWind
2014 Toyota Tundra
1998 Chevy Tahoe

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Old 08-21-2018, 06:39 PM   #4
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Palm Springs , California
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 313
The small print is never good news.
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:31 AM   #5
Rivet Master
1999 28' Excella
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 803
Images: 2
Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:11 PM   #6
Rivet Master

2017 20' Flying Cloud
Williamson County , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 536
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Just a caution on the lifetime warranties. We have one and they are very highly rated and have surprisingly good coverage. Just be aware that most (as ours does) require that you have an annual service and inspection. If you miss that (even by one day) the warranty is void. The date you schedule the service then resets the annual date, so to be safe you will probably schedule it every 11 months. Expect about $175 for the service and inspection which is a good idea anyway. Read the details.
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