We have had a total of 6 RVs in our 15 years of camping. We bought them new, and all of them had quality problems from the get-go. Two of these coaches were so flawed we had to have them bought back under state lemon laws. The 37’ Thor gas coach had a wall slide that would not stay in and moved around when driving. The problem, according to a secret technical bulletin that we uncovered said “no known fix to this problem”. The second coach was a 40’ foot Fleetwood Discovery diesel pusher that had paint coming off in our first year of ownership. We had to sue Fleetwood as they dragged their feet in trying to repaint it or even admit that there was a problem. So finally, they gave us a new 2019 to replace our new 2018. It came into our selling dealer in Sacramento for our inspection and it had so many problems on a cursory inspection that we and our lawyer agreed. “Enough, give us all our money back including taxes!” which they did.
None of these lawsuit settlements would have happened had we not bought both coaches in CA although we registered the Fleetwood in Florida. Fleetwood claimed that because we registered the coach in FL that the CA lemon laws did not apply. Unfortunately, for them, the Bill of Sale specifically showed CA as the state of purchase, and they were bound to comply with the CA statutes.
We succeeded in our suits because CA has some of the stronger lemon laws in the nation while Florida does not.
It is very easy to get a flawed new RV as the quality control standards are all but non-existent in the industry, even from the so-called high-end manufacturers. I was lamenting the quality of my Fleetwood to a 42’ Newmar motor home owner. I said that someday, I would step up to his quality type coach and just pay the premium for a better brand. He had only had it a year and had to take it back to the factory four times for a leaky roof that was still leaking. So much for the premium brand notion in the RV world.
Many RV prospective buyers will travel up to 300 miles to get their perfect RV. We will travel to any state that has strong lemon laws and then register it in our home state of FL. Sometimes, like in CA, we had to arrange for an out of state delivery in Boom town NV to put the FL plates on, but it was well worth it.
So here is a list if the states with the best lemon laws for RVs. If you are buying a new one, pick out your model and brand,perhaps at an RV show, and then find a dealer that can sell you the same one from a state with a strong lemon law.
Here is a list of the best lemon law states for RV’s :
Texas (very strong) Alaska Hawaii Idaho New Mexico
Washington State Wisconsin (short and sweet!) Wyoming California
Stay away from: Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee,and Vermont Florida
The list of these states both good and bad are not necessarily true for lemon cars. Car owners might find significant differences, so we are only talking about RV lemon laws
In our RV lawsuits, we used lemon lawyers who specialized in RV problems and who are contingency based. They only take money after the suit is either won or settled. In our case, our lawyer tacked on his contingency fee to the settlement so that we paid nothing for his services. But you will have to do some not insignificant paperwork to justify your suit. Remember to keep documents and log all telephone calls to the dealer and the manufacturer. Two of our strongest pieces of evidence were all the non returned telephone calls that we made and the unanswered emails. Check out this resource for lemon law particulars by state. https://www.godownsize.com/rvs-and-lemon-laws-per-state/
You will also need to cross check lemon lawyers in the best lemon law states. Here is a good search site for lemon lawyers near you. https://www.lawyers.com/lemon-law/bonita-springs/florida/law-firms/
Depending on the state, you may need to meet one of more of the following criteria in order to seek application of the state’s particular lemon law requirements.
You might also be wise to buy at least a 2-year-old RV with a transferable warranty. Expect to spend 2 years ironing out all the problems in a new RV. The seller of a 2-year-old coach may have already fixed a lot of the issues.
Our latest coach is a 28’ Thor Axis. It is our first used one. “Another Thor?” How could you go back to the same manufacturer that you sued? It was a 2017 we bought in 2020 with 17,000 miles on it. Before we bought it, I called Thor, gave them the VIN number and asked how many warranty claims had been made on that coach. They said only one and that was to replace the radio. That said a lot about the mechanical soundness of this particular coach. Every system has worked flawlessly since the day we bought it and it now has 30K miles on it. We have had some other non-mechanical problems with it like bad seats which we knew about when we bought it.
See our YouTube video for more on this.