America's RV Warranty Review
Editor's Choice for RV Extended Warranty in 2020
A relatively recent entry into the RV extended warranty game, America’s RV Warranty is making waves in the industry with affordable coverage and hands-on service. While the company is up-and-coming, the staff actually has decades of collective experience when it comes to extended warranties, also known as extended service plans or protection plans.
Based in Marietta, GA, ARW offers flexible coverage options to RV owners nationwide. In this industry, it can be difficult to find features that truly differentiate one company from another, but America’s RV Warranty offers perks that can’t be found elsewhere. With the longest coverage terms available, a special partnership with their administrator, and plans that cover the full retail cost of new parts, anyone shopping for an extended warranty should take a closer look at what this company offers.
For many customers the goal of a warranty is peace of mind for their travels. These customers cruise America and live the RV life, and they want to ensure that they don’t go bankrupt because of a big surprise on the road. That’s why things like an insurance policies or manufacturer’s warranty (aka a factory warranty) are so important. The final piece of the puzzle is the extended warranty, which covers breakdowns. Anyone who has owned an RV for long enough knows that breakdown are inevitable.
As we reviewed the extended warranty companies on our list, we evaluated how well they deliver this peace of mind. We looked at their products, their service, and their track record. While it was a tough decision, we ultimately decided to crown America’s RV Warranty as the 2020 Editor’s Choice best overall warranty provider.
The company offers both named-component plans and exclusionary policies. Eligible vehicles include both new RVs and used RVs. The company covers both motorhomes and towables such as 5th wheel trailers, toy haulers, and travel trailers. Trailers must be less than 15 years old to be eligible for coverage. Motorhomes must be under 20 years old and have less than 100,000 miles on the odometer.
RVers have plenty of choice when it comes to the level of coverage. Customers can choose from between four different plans for motorhomes and two for towables. The plan choices range from the Basic to the Plus, Total, and Complete plans.
The Basic plan covers the drivetrain: the engine, transmission, and drive axle. The Plus plan adds even more automotive coverage, while the Total plan covers both automotive and coach-related items. The Complete plan is an exclusionary policy, which offers the most comprehensive coverage to both the coach and the automotive items (See “Covered Items” below for a more detailed list).
Their extended warranties covered mechanical breakdowns, not damage or accidents (these are typically covered by RV insurance). This is a very important note, because one of the key sources of customer dissatisfaction with RV warranties is a lack of understanding of the warranty. Similarly, coverage does not extend to cosmetic issues or nonmechanical items such as carpet, drapes, paint, or cabinets.
Comparing ARW's Coverage
The coverage edges out some of the competitors in a few respects. First, when a repair requires mechanics to order parts, ARW pays the retail price for new parts. Other companies only pay a reduced rate or the price that used part would cost, leaving RV owners on the line for the difference.
The service contracts offer other advantages, such as a $200 mobile mechanic service fee reimbursement—this is in addition to covering the repair costs. This amount is $100 more than some competitors, while some contracts don’t even offer this feature. If your recreational vehicle is broken down roadside or in a campground, you’ll spend less to get back on the open road.
Additional perks include coverage for seals and gaskets as wear and tear. These two issues often cause costly repairs to be considered “non-covered” by other warranty companies. When you’re comparing extended RV warranties to get the best coverage, be sure to get a straight answer about exclusions and limits under the coverage.
When You Need Repairs
Using the coverage is fairly straightforward. Coverage is valid and at any licensed repair facility in the United States or Canada. Members simply need to tell the mechanics that they have a warranty for their RV, and the facility will usually communicate directly with the company to receive payment based on the terms of the service contract.
Most warranty companies require their customers to notify the company before receiving any repairs. While communicating first is always the most straightforward method of using coverage, America’s RV Warranty allows their members some flexibility for emergency after-hours repairs. In such a case, customers can submit claims shortly after receiving RV repairs.
The following list is taken from the Total motorhome coverage option—different plans feature different levels of coverage. The Total plan covers mechanical components on the following items:
- Fresh/Waste Water System
- Roof or Basement AC
- LP Gas System
- Heating System
- Generator/Power Plant (includes inverter)
- Range/Convection Oven/Burner
- Water Heater
- Hi-Tech Components (including things from sensors and backup cameras to keyless entry and fireplace burners)
- Deluxe Appliances (Icemaker, trash compactor, washer/dryer, etc)
- Entertainment Components
- Interior and Exterior Components
- Leveling System
- Power Step
- Seals and Gaskets
- Wear and Tear
Besides the regular plans, customers can also add a number of optional coverages to their plan.
Tire and Wheel Coverage covers the repair or replacement of wheels and tires when they are damaged on the road. For towable units, the coverage extends to the tow vehicle.
Power Surge coverage reimburses the RV owner in the event that a power surge destroys electrical items connected to the electrical system.
Commercial Use is needed if the RV is operated as part of a business, especially if the RV is registered in the name of a business.
Consequential Loss (also known as consequential damage) coverage is somewhat complicated. Most extended warranty plans do not cover items that fail as a result of the failure of a non-covered part. Adding consequential damage coverage remedies the situation by ensuring that the covered part is covered, even if its mechanical failure is caused by the breakdown of a non-covered part.
Navigation Package coverage protects the repair and/or replacement of items like the compass, onboard communication systems, and GPS components like the satellite antenna and driver information display.
Roadside Assistance is not included with any plan, but can be purchased when signing up for a competitive price. ARW’s roadside assistance coverage features all the main services RVers look for:
- Gas & LP Fuel Delivery
- Tire Service
- Jumpstart/Battery Boost
- Mobile Mechanic
- Trip Interruption Meal & Lodging Reimbursement
As our secret shoppers called and asked numerous questions (and received several quotes), it became clear that service is something that this company takes seriously. They provide their customers with dedicated account managers, and we found these representatives to be helpful, knowledgeable, and forthcoming with information.
They had no problem telling us what wasn’t covered and answering tough, complex questions about their products. Where other companies used aggressive sales tactics, the representatives from we encountered did not give us the hard sale. Every salesperson we quizzed gave great service and consistently responded to our needs.
Of course, with any warranty company, the plan administrator matters as well. The administrator is the organization with whom the repair facility (or occasionally the customer) communicates during the repair process. Most warranty providers act as a broker for the administrator, but America’s RV Warranty takes it a step further: they are partners with their administrator.
This means that the two organizations have a closer relationship than is typical with third parties, which streamlines the communication process and makes it easier to resolve issues when they arise. The result, as some customers have attested, is a quick and easy claims process.
Warranty Product Details
RV owners do not need an inspection in order to sign up or receive coverage. Many in the RV industry claim that warranty companies that ask for inspection can use that inspection later to deny claims for coverage.
Instead, the warranty policy institutes a 30-day waiting period. During this period, customers can read through the coverage to understand it fully before it becomes effective. If customers change their mind, they can cancel to receive a 100% money-back refund.
When they need repairs, members can use any qualified facility in the United States or Canada. That means wherever you travel for your RV lifestyle, you can use your coverage, even if you need major repairs.
While the companies we review allow repairs anywhere, some warranty policies force their customers to visit the dealership where they purchased coverage if they are within a certain distance (for example, within 100 miles of the RV dealer). This creates a situation where RV owners potentially have to visit a subpar facility in their hometown in order to receive coverage.
The length of their extended warranties is a huge advantage. Plan lengths of up to eight years are available, locking in coverage and price for longer than any vehicle service contract in the RV industry. Coverage is also fully transferable—the extended warranty can be transferred to a new unit or to the new owner if you sell your rig. The coverage can also be cancelled at any time for a prorated refund.
When RVers sign up, they receive benefits for more than just their RV. Members get free enrollment in emergency services, discounts on retail shopping, dining, and even telemedical services.
As mentioned above, RV owners can also add roadside assistance coverage to their plan to protect themselves in case they have an emergency or are stuck on the side of the road.
The extended warranties come at a fair price, often costing less than competitors such as Good Sam, Wholesale Warranties, and Eagle Vision RV. They don’t offer many sales or use heavy tactics to purchase coverage, so you don’t need to wait for a holiday weekend or special discount to sign up.
To compare the costs of signing up with a different warranty company, our secret shoppers received quotes for six different RVs. Of the six quotes that our secret shopper received from America’s RV Warranty, the majority of them were the best price for a warranty for that particular RV. The details of each warranty differ, though, so making a checklist to compare quotes is a good idea.
For all RV types (including fifth wheels), customers can choose between deductibles of $100, $200, and $500. Please note that the deductible you choose affects the premium: plans with a higher deductible have a lower premium, and vice versa.
The extended service plans can be financed or paid upfront—which is always cheaper than financing. ARW offers flexible financing options and does not charge customers interest. Their plans deliver a full money-back guarantee for the first 30 days. If customers choose to cancel after that period has ended, they will receive a prorated refund.
Coverage is not available in California.
Is This Extended Warranty Worth It?
If you’re looking for an extended warranty, it’s important to decide which features of the warranty matter most to you. How important is cost to you? Convenience? Coverage? Trustworthiness? Once you know what matters to you, you’ll be able to decide if this company can bring you peace of mind with their extended service plan.
ARW might not have the rock-bottom lowest prices, but their prices are very competitive when measured against other top companies in the industry. Their rates are certainly cheaper than any quote you’ll receive from the dealership.
America’s RV Warranty as a company is large enough to meet customer demands and offer competitive rates, but not so large that customers become numbers. Customer service staff are informed and diligent about communication, which always helps resolve issues. Since warranty products are complex by nature, prompt follow-through from staff members can make the warranty experience hassle-free and reassuring.
When it comes to coverage, RVers have the options they need to find the level of coverage they need. Often, the best value is with the more comprehensive plans, such as the Complete or Total coverage. While an exclusionary policy is more expensive, it can save you lots of money on parts and labor costs at the repair facility.
While they haven’t been around as long as others in the RV business community, there is plenty of information online to suggest that they are a reputable company. Reviews on Facebook, Google, and their Better Business Bureau® (BBB) business profile give clues as to the company’s reliability and trustworthiness.
One downside of the company is that it can sometimes take a bit longer than other companies to receive a quote. The company does not have an instant quote generator, but instead send emailed quotes and follow up with phone calls. Sometimes during the busy season, shoppers might have to wait a little longer to receive the quote. However, it’s worth waiting to make the best comparison between warranty companies.