I can not stress enough how important it is to read your owners manual that comes with your RV. It looks like a generic book, but it has information in there that you need to know. Things that may not be relayed to you during your initial walk through after purchasing a new pop up, travel trailer, fifth wheel or motor home can be found in this manual. If one is not included with your paperwork mark that down on the paperwork that goes back to the RV manufacturer from the dealership. The paperwork I am referring to is the one that proves your warranty start date with the manufacturer or your PDI Checklist. Request the dealership give you a we owe slip for an owners manual.
The first section you need to read is maintenance. Even if you have a 1 or 2 year warranty you are still responsible for maintenance. This is one of the main fights that develop between customer, RV dealership and manufacturer. Most owners manuals will go over what the manufacture considers the customer to maintain and how often it is recommended. It doesn’t go into this next piece of advice, but any maintenance you do should be recorded on a maintenance log and any products purchased to do the maintenance receipts should be kept. If you had an RV dealership do the work for you keep that work order as proof also even if it is the RV dealership you bought your RV from. This way if you do have a problem you can prove you followed the maintenance they consider to be your responsibility. If you can not show you have maintained your RV chances of them helping you with repairs will be slim to none. It is your responsibility to show proof not your RV dealership.
Some forms of maintenance and customer responsibility are listed here, but this is not in any way a complete list.
*Sealant on roof, windows, seams, around vents, lights, shower, tub, drains, etc are your responsibility. They should be checked on a regular basis to make sure there are no gaps, voids or cracks in the sealant. If there are then new sealant needs to be applied so water intrusion does not happen.
*Lugs are your responsibility to check. They should be checked before you make a trip and if you are on a long trip they should be checked during the trip also.
*Adjusting drawers, cabinets doors etc. RV Manufacturers only cover adjustments for the first 30-90 days of ownership. Each manufacture is different on this. This is something you need to verify with your dealership before you leave. The warranty administrator should be able to answer this question. ***Adjustments are not warranty***
If you are out on the road and have a problem it’s OK to call the RV dealership that you purchased your trailer from, but chances are they can’t help you if you are in another state. You should call the customer service line to the manufacturer. They know where their dealers are located through out the United States. They can help arrange getting you into another dealership for an appointment. They also are alerted of the problem you are having should you mutually decide it’s not something that needs to be looked at right then and it can wait until you can get back to your selling dealer.
Most manufacturers these days are using the same rule. If it is their component then they cover it, but if they use something from another supplier then it holds their warranty. This becomes a nightmare for customers at times. If you have a problem with your microwave and you have a Forest River travel trailer Forest River is not responsible for the warranty on that microwave. It goes straight back to the manufacturer of that appliance. This can also be a plus for a customer, because if they are out on the road or a distance from their selling dealer just about any RV dealership can work on that appliance. So when you get that package from your dealership after the purchase of your new RV send in all the warranty cards for each appliance or register them online. If your trailer has a 2 year warranty, but your microwave has 1 then after that first year you have no warranty on your microwave, but you will still have warranty on your trailer.
Tires are another pain for both customer and RV dealership. This is an important one to know. RV manufactures do not hold a tire warranty. Problems with tires have to go back through the tire manufacture and this is something that is unfortunately the customer’s responsibility. This is another piece of information you will find in the package of papers you are handed from your dealership after the purchase. This is something I would say 95% of the time will not be relayed to a new customer. Make sure you read the pamphlet on your tires. It gives specific instructions should a problem arise. If not followed the customer is out a lot of money. You will also see they note that they are not responsible for damage caused due to tire failure. I will tell you I have seen them take this case by case. I’ve seen them pay and I’ve seen them stand to a firm no.
All the papers you receive when you purchase a new RV is worth reading. It may seem tedious and time consuming, but can save you many headaches, tears and frustration in the long run. Customer’s have to take responsibility for their new RV. RV dealerships do not build them and are only allowed to make the repair the manufacture tells them. If you don’t like the answer the manufacturer is giving your dealership never be afraid to call the manufacture and voice your opinion.