Common RV Defects
While recreational vehicles and motorhomes are built for touring the countryside, RVs are prone to defects and often subject to recalls. Since an RV represents a significant investment for most individuals, one would hope that defects are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. But what happens when an RV is in for repairs—and off the road—for an extended period of time? While owners of recreational vehicles, motorhomes and travel trailers have protections under state and federal laws, it takes an experienced consumer protection attorney to enforce your rights.
Timothy Abeel & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to fighting for recreational vehicle consumers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Well-versed in the applicable federal motor vehicle warranty law and state Lemon Laws, our attorneys handle claims involving all types of RVs including:
- Travel Trailers
- Fifth Wheel Trailers
- Class C Motorhomes
- Class B Motorhomes
- Class A Motorhomes
Regardless of the type of recreational vehicle you own, we will work to protect your rights—and your investment.
Common Problems with Recreational Vehicles and Motorhomes
Some of the common RV problems include:
- Burst water lines – One of the most common RV problems, water tanks must be emptied on a regular basis to prevent problems with the water pump and water lines. RVs must also be properly prepared for storage to ensure that water lines have been bled and tanks have been emptied.
- Toilet malfunctions – Toilets in RVs and motorhomes are prone to overflowing or running continuously. The water valve must be opening and closing properly, and the rubber seals surrounding the valve must also be in good condition.
- Tire blowouts – While overloading an RV with cargo can lead to tire blowouts, worn, defective, or improperly inflated tires are also susceptible to blowouts, especially on bumpy or poorly maintained roads. Blowouts can be avoided by checking the tire pressure regularly, and always doing so before taking an RV on the road.
- Roof and window leaks – A RV is not constructed like a home nor is it as structurally sound. In particular, the roof of a recreational vehicle can easily be damaged by sunlight, poor weather and low hanging branches. Using a roof cover or applying rubber coating will protect the roof, and it should also be inspected regularly.
- Battery failure – The batteries on an RV can be drained by onboard equipment and technology. The charge must be routinely tested and fluid levels checked regularly. Battery cables should be disconnected when the RV is not in use to prevent electrical devices from drawing down the battery.
Recent RV Recalls
Through the years, there have been numerous recalls of recreational vehicles and motorhomes, including:
- In October 2018, Grand Design RV announced the recall of certain 2019 Reflection travel trailers due to an outside 110V outlet that was not properly wired to a ground-fault (GFI) protected circuit. An electrical shock can occur when an appliance or component is plugged into the defective outlet. Grand Design instructed dealers to install a new correctly wired ground fault receptacle.
- In October 2018, Forest River announced the recall of certain 2019 East to West travel trailers equipped with incorrect axle shackles which could allow the tires to contact the floor or wheel well while in motion. This which could damage the tires, causing a loss of vehicle control and increasing the risk of an accident. Dealers were instructed to make the needed repairs.
- In September 2018, Jayco recalled certain 2018 Alante vehicles due to a defect in the leveling system hydraulic hoses that results in leaks of hydraulic fluid. The fluid could spray onto the exhaust system, increasing the risk of a fire. Dealers were instructed to inspect and replace the hoses.
- In September 2018, REV Recreation Group recalled certain 2018 Pulse and 2018-2019 Holiday Prodigy motorhomes equipped with diesel fuel generators due to an incorrectly installed exhaust pipe that could melt the nearby gray-water waste tank, increasing the risk of a fire. Dealers were instructed to reroute the generator exhaust pipe and repair the waste tank as necessary.
What are my rights if my RV is defective?
It is important to note that the Lemon Laws in New Jersey and Pennsylvania treat RVs and motorhomes differently than other vehicles. In New Jersey, coverage is limited to the chassis and the propulsion system and does not apply to the living quarters. While RVs are excluded from the Pennsylvania Lemon Law, consumers may have some protection under the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Additionally, legal remedies may be available under Magnuson-Moss Warranty Ac—a federal law that designed to protect consumers if an RV manufacturer fails to honor its warranty. Before pursuing a claim, however, the manufacturer must be given a reasonable number of attempts to repair the defect. In any event, the best way to protect your rights—and your investment—is by working with the right RV Lemon Law attorneys.
Why Call Timothy Abeel & Associates?
Our legal team will conduct an investigation to learn about your RV’s repair history and work to determine if you have a valid warranty or lemon law claim. If the manufacturer cannot or will not repair the defect, we will explore all of your options. Depending on the nature of the defect, you may be entitled to significant compensation. In addition, the New Jersey Lemon Law and federal warranty law allow you to recover attorneys’ fees and costs, so you will not have any out of pocket legal costs if we take your case.
At Timothy Abeel & Associates, we believe that no one should be stuck with a defective recreational vehicle or motor home. Our legal team has a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes, whether through arbitration, mediation or litigation. Contact our office as soon as possible to set up a free consultation.