We arrived at our summer destination a little over two weeks ago. Those two weeks have been filled with a mixed bag of emotions, poor energy, and stress. In addition, we celebrated an anniversary.
Al and I met toward the tail end of 1980 … nearly 40 years ago. That’s a lot of time to spend with one person. We’ve certainly had our fair share of ups and downs but no regrets. During the month of June, we celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary.
Our special day was spent visiting the city of Duluth, Minnesota. We had some errands to run while we were in the ‘big city’. After our errands and lunch, we strolled a Lake Superior beach and talked … reminiscing and wondering where has the time gone. Northeast Minnesota – Minnesota’s Arrowhead, will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Al and I used to spend our summer vacations in northeast Minnesota camping and canoeing. At the time, we worked in the airline industry; he a Pilot and me a Flight Attendant. We could’ve flown anywhere in the world for either free or mere pennies, but we chose to escape civilization and immerse ourselves in Minnesota’s Northwoods. Ah, the memories!
In light of those memories, our anniversary gift to each other was a couple of Minnesota coffee mugs. We rarely set foot into a Starbucks, but when our daughter introduced us to the “been there series” of mugs, well let’s just say it was time for a Starbucks visit. These mugs make us smile every morning while enjoying our coffee.
By the way, Al spent seven years in the Navy, twenty-two years as a Commercial Airline Pilot, and twelve years as a Residential General Contractor and NEVER drank coffee. But after just two short years of living full-time in an RV with me, I was finally able to corrupt him, and for the past five years, he has been an official coffee drinker. I started drinking coffee when I was sixteen during a summer spent in Germany and it took me 35 years to bring Al to the dark side. And yes, he drinks coffee black just as I do!
Other news – RV repairs and Stress
So although we enjoyed our actual anniversary, those first two weeks in Wisconsin were very stressful and sleep-deprived. During our long drive to northern Wisconsin, we encountered some problematic issues with our RV.
Anytime the belly of the beast leaks, that’s an issue for immediate attention. Fortunately, it was not of the stinky nature, but a serious problem nonetheless.
Slicing open the belly of the RV, diagnosing the problem, AND then figuring out the fix was a stressful situation … a situation that caused many sleepless nights.
First, we wondered if this was a project we could tackle, and second if we couldn’t, would we be able to find a place to get it fixed? Oh, and we haven’t even addressed the money issue yet.
Spoiler alert – the RV is almost put back together. Al and I fixed her up and are in the testing phase to make sure there won’t be any future leaks. We’ll give her another week or so before we close up the RV belly with new material that is on order.
So while we’re almost done with this major RV project (relief), how about doing some more projects – fun projects? Insert serious eye-rolling/head shaking from husband Al. Ah, and to think he thought he’d have nothing to do all summer but fish 😁. After thirty-seven years of marriage, did he really think he could just idle away his summer? He should know better! Besides I can be rather persuasive … lots of fresh baked goods, steaming hot coffee, and logical reasoning are in his future, amongst other rewards. Stay tuned for RV Fixer Upper!
With all the repairs Al and I have done lately on the RV, we’ve asked ourselves many times if perhaps we should have purchased an extended RV warranty. It’s an important question every RV owner should ask themselves. Some RV repairs are easy, but many are difficult and expensive.
RVing is at an all time high and with higher RV demand, the manufacturers are cranking out production at a record high number.
With RVs being rushed down the assembly lines, the quality of the product has slipped and so has customer service.
Once that one year manufacturers warranty is up, RV owners are left to their own devices dealing with failing components.
It’s not a matter of if your RV will need repairs, it’s a matter of when. The first time we blew a tire on our 5th Wheel Trailer, it took out our waterlines and did some body damage. Oh, what fun that was!
Buying a RV Extended Warranty is Like Buying Insurance
An Extended Warranty is very similar to purchasing an Auto Insurance Policy. We never plan on getting into an accident. As a matter of fact, I think we’d all agree that we’d prefer not using that insurance. Yeah, no one wants to get into an accident, but when we do, thank goodness for that insurance.
RV components will fail, and when that happens do you have the knowledge, tools, and ability to fix your RV yourself or do you need to seek professional help?
Al and I are extremely handy and quite capable of working on our RV ourselves, but then again, we own a basic RV with few bells, horns, and whistles.
Even with that said, there are some things beyond our capabilities, and we know those more difficult fixes are expensive ones that will need to be addressed by a professional.
Having an extended RV warranty can offer peace of mind just like any other insurance policy … we hope to never need it, but when we do, we’re very glad we have it.
Reasons to buy a RV Extended Warranty
Complexity of the RV – The bigger and more expensive the RV, the more difficult and more expensive the repairs will be.
Big dollar repairs – RVs are full of many specialized components that can quickly add up to thousands of dollars in replacement costs not to mention the cost of labor.
Peace of Mind – having an RV repair emergency fund is crucial but knowing that account wouldn’t be depleted during a major repair offers peace of mind.
Resale Value – If you aren’t sure how long you intend to keep the RV, a transferable warranty may make your RV more marketable.
Should I buy an Extended Warranty for my RV?
Depends! We’ve spoken with many RVers via our travels and via this blog who have shared their horror stories with us about big dollar repair costs on their RV … RVs that are less than five years old. Imagine the cost of things like failing slide outs, cracked waste tanks, bent/broken frames, refrigerators and A/C units that won’t cool, and the list goes on.
Before we bought our new 5th wheel, we owned a truck camper that we also purchased new.
Shortly after the manufacturers warranty ran out, the camper fridge stopped working. The repair and replacement cost was over $1000. Yeah, over a grand for a little RV refrigerator in a simple truck camper.
Another costly situation happened to our 5th wheel when our waste tank cables broke during year two of ownership. Amazing what will break shortly after the manufacturers warranty expires.
So, should you buy an extended warranty? Again, depends! How big is your emergency fund? Do you have the wherewithal to service the RV yourself? We have several RV acquaintances that swear by their extended warranty and have said the warranty paid for itself. Knowing what I know now, we’ll definitely consider buying an extended warranty when we purchase our next RV. Isn’t 20/20 hindsight wonderful 🤔
Dealer sold warranties are money makers for the dealer
Many RV dealers will try to sell you an extended warranty when you buy your RV from them. Be sure you shop around before buying any warranty. Some dealer warranties are backed by the dealership itself and require you to get all the repairs done at that very shop … not very convenient when traveling across the country. Dealer-sold warranties are usually more expensive and less comprehensive than any warranty you can get externally. So, you’ll definitely want to shop around.
Some things to keep in mind when shopping for an extended RV warranty –
Understand transfer and cancellation policies
Know who’s backing the warranty
Are you able to use any repair facility
Verify any restrictions or limitations
Check the reputation of the warranty company
Understand deductibles, claim procedures, and term limits
Who do most RVers recommend?
A name that keeps popping up with positive reviews is Wholesale Warranties. We have several friends who’ve purchased an extended RV warranty from them and have been extremely pleased and more than one has said the extended warranty paid for itself.
What makes Wholesale Warranties a leader in the industry
Wholesale Warranties is dedicated to education and customer service. Their RV Warranty Specialists are fully trained on helping customers find the best policy for them, at the best price. With access to several different warranty companies, levels of coverage, and payment plans, they seek to educate the customer on the options available to them, and eventually help them narrow this down to the perfect policy to suit their needs.
Wholesale Warranties always provides customers with a full copy of the terms and conditions of their contract prior to accepting payment for a policy, and is dedicated to transparency. They want their customers to know exactly what they’re getting into, and this includes what they can expect to be excluded in their policy.
Wholesale Warranties does not simply disappear after the sale of a policy. They have a dedicated internal claims staff that is available to customers at any time during the life of the policy. Their claims specialists are happy to assist customers with any questions they have during the claims process, including facilitating communication between the warranty company and the repair facility, and addressing any questions about approval or denial of a claim. They stand behind the products they sell, and want customers to get the most out of their policies.
Wholesale Warranties is more than just RV Warranties!
They recently launched an RV Repair Facility directory called RV Repair Direct, where customers can find and rate mechanics in their area. This site also allows Wholesale Warranties customers to submit their information if they experience a non-emergency breakdown, and their internal claims staff will find a reputable repair facility or mobile repair technician that is able to complete that repair for them.
Final thoughts about an extended RV warranty
When shopping for an extended RV warranty, you’ll want to evaluate where your concerns lie. Are you mostly concerned about a catastrophic failure or concerned about the whole RV?
Knowing what type of RV repair bills you can and cannot afford will help you choose the best coverage for your personal needs.
If you are worried that RV repairs might blow your travel budget, or are just interested in getting a bit more information, you can click here and a warranty specialist from WholesaleWarranties.com will be happy to assist you. Mention that you are a Live Laugh RV reader and use code D-LLRV for the best price in extended warranties. Happy trails!
Our RV is getting older, and as such, she’s needing a little maintenance and updating. Hmm, couldn’t we all? 🤣 At least twice a year, Al and I head up to the roof of the RV to check things out. More frequent visits would probably be even better, but when we’re confronted with landscapes that are so stunningly beautiful and beg to be explored, who wants to work on RV projects?
But regular RV maintenance is necessary, and most projects aren’t very difficult; therefore, there’s really no excuse. With that said, it is something we consciously try to make a priority if we want to keep the RV in tip-top shape. Thus, the travel and exploring gets put on hold temporarily while we dive into maintenance projects.
So, up on the roof we go. After checking all the vents, caulking, and general condition of the roof, Al and I determine that the sewer vent caps should be replaced. One cap is severely cracked while the other looks compromised. We’re not sure if they were damaged by hail or a tree branch. Regardless, we’ll replace both caps.
For this post, I’ve partnered with a great RV parts company called Road & Home. Although we’ve received some free goodies from them, all opinions regarding their products are my own. We first discovered Road and Home products during a shopping trip to the local Lowe’s.
RV maintenance made easy
It was a Sunday afternoon, and since most RV dealerships in Arizona are closed on Sundays, we headed to Lowe’s for some general plumbing fittings. We’ve had a tiny fresh water leak in our storage bay that only leaks during the clean water flushing stage of dumping our black tank. It wasn’t an urgent repair, but a needed repair nonetheless. A new fitting should fix up the leak, so off to Lowe’s we go.
Lowe’s had everything we needed to fix the plumbing leak, but much to our surprise (a pleasant surprise), they even had the sewer vent caps that we needed for the roof of the RV. We didn’t even realize Lowe’s carried any RV parts, but there we were standing in front of a large display filled with a variety of RV products from Road and Home.
Fifteen minutes later, along with half a dozen products in our shopping cart, it was time to head back to the RV to get to work. With storms expected in the next few days, first and foremost was replacing the roof vent caps.
How to replace a RV sewer vent cap on a rubber roof
Step #1 – The first step is to gently remove the existing vent from the rubber roof. After removing any visible screws, snap off the top cap. With a blow dryer, heat the existing caulk and with a plastic putty knife, gently pry and separate the caulk from the rubber roof. You’ll want to be extremely careful not to rip the rubber roof which is why we don’t recommend using a metal putty knife. This process might be a little slow going, but be patient … we don’t want to compromise the integrity of the rubber roof by damaging it.
Step #2 – Once the old caulk is removed, use a soft clean cloth to wash the area, making sure the surface around the sewer vent pipe is clean. We just used plain water, no soap.
Once the area is dry, lay down a layer of plumber’s putty. We already had a roll of RV sealant/putty in our tool box.
Step #3– Now it’s time to screw down the bottom section of the vent and install the top cap. The top cap snaps on and there’s one screw on top to hold the cap down.
Step #4 – Now comes the cake decorating portion of the install … otherwise known as caulking. This is when I (aka cake decorator) step in to finish up the job. Using Dicor lap sealant with a caulking gun, I liberally apply a large amount of sealant around the base of the vent, and use the plastic putty knife to help spread out the sealant. This stuff is not normal caulk and may take a little practice to make it look somewhat close to factory install. The tube may say self-leveling, but that doesn’t mean self-smoothing!
Although replacing both RV roof sewer vent caps was a little time consuming and tedious, overall it was a relatively easy DIY project. Thank you, Road and Home, for making this RV maintenance project even easier with the convenience of being able to buy everything we needed at Lowe’s (available on Amazon too).