How to Get Rid of a Lemon Rv or a Lemon Motorhome

Ronald Lee Burdge

Written by

Lemon Law Attorney - Dayton, OH

Contributor Level 20

Posted over 5 years ago. 5 helpful votes



Get Your Records Together

Get all your repair documents and records together and put it all in chronological order, starting with the oldest repair document first. If you are missing any, then go to the motorhome repair facility and get them to give you another copy. To be sure you have everything, ask your Rv dealer to give you a Vehicle Warranty Repair History. It lists every thing ever done to your motorcoach or Rv. Then make sure your records match up with it. Where they don't, ask the dealer for that repair order so that your records are complete. Double check the entries made on the repair orders for accuracy, too. Rv dealers are notoriously bad at properly recording all your complaints about defects.


Figure Out What You Want Your Rv Manufacturer to Do

Decide what you want. Do you want a buyback or a replacement or just some money? Are you willing to settle for any of those approaches? If you want a replacement, most Rv manufacturers will want you to pay for any difference in sticker price but many Lemon Laws say you don't have to do that; they usually will want you to pay for mileage (they call it useage) too but many Lemon Laws say you don't have to do that either. If you want a buyback, they will try to deduct something for mileage again, so be prepared for it. Generally, you are entitled to get back all your loan payments, your down payment, the value of your trade in vehicle, any permanent improvements you made to the vehicle, and make the manufacturer pay off the loan. But, it's all negotiable. If all you want is some of your money back, that is something that's pretty easy to get. Remember, the harder you argue, the more likely you'll get closer to what you want.


Know Your State's Rv Lemon Law Rights (it's not a car)

Every state has a Lemon Law and every manufacturer will know whether an Rv is covered or not and what the definition of a lemon is in your state. You need to know that too, in order to level the playing field in your negotiations. A great outline of all 50 US Rv & Motorhome Lemon Laws (complete with your state definition of a lemon vehicle and the citation to find the law so you can read it for yourself) can be found on this web page: Make sure you fit the law before you waste time arguing about it. If your state law doesn't cover you, or don't have a lemon, then keep taking your vehicle back to the Rv dealer's repair shop until you clearly meet the definition. The better your case, the more likely you'll get the settlement you want. And if your state Lemon Law doesn't cover Rv's, don't worry too much because the federal Lemon Law does.


Write Your Demand Letter to Your Rv Manufacturer

Over 30 years of Lemon Law experience has taught us that writing a demand letter about your Lemon vehicle can help you get rid of your lemon Rv, lemon motorhome, lemon car, lemon motorcycle, or lemon truck. So here's a free Lemon Law Demand letter you can use to create a customized manufacturer defective product letter that you can print and mail: However, don't expect the motorhome manufacturer to immediately buy back or replace your Lemon Rv, but you can use this Lemon Law demand letter to put your case in a much stronger legal position and to start the negotiation process. This is just a sample letter so feel free to modify it. Be sure you give them a deadline to answer you or you may never get a response. The deadline pushes your letter through their system.


Plan Your Counteroffer While You Wait

It will take the Rv manufacturer probably 30 days or more to answer your Lemon Law Demand letter. During that time you should be planning what to do, depending on how they answer. Rv manufacturers hardly ever accept a consumer's first request for Lemon Law relief and they almost always do one of two things: (1) make a counteroffer, or (2) refuse your request completely. If you have a true lemon Rv or lemon motorhome, you can figure they will still try to negotiate with you. Decide just how much you are willing to give up in order to get it over and done with more quickly. Make the decision on what your "bottom line" is now, while you are waiting to hear from them, so you are ready to react quickly once you get their response. And once you decide on what your bottom line is, don't tell them what it is either. You can expect that the Rv manufacturer will want to go thru at least 2 or 3 rounds of negotiating with you, to gradually get your number lower.


What to Do If Your Rv Manufacturer Ignores You

The squeaky wheel still gets the grease. Writing complaint letters to everyone you can think of may help. Include the selling dealership, the finance company who financed your purchase, your local TV station or newspaper consumer reporter, your local Better Business Bureau, maybe even your state's Attorney General (they generally are the ones who enforce the state Lemon Law). Try to make it one page long and just explain what you bought, what went wrong, why the manufacturer and dealer aren't helping you, why you think their decision is wrong, and ask for help. Don't expect much help, but send a copy of your letters to the Rv dealer and the Rv manufacturer every time too. The more you complain, the more likely it is they will want to do something to make you "go away." Just make sure that every letter is accurate and that you sound reasonable every time.


Why Arbitration May Not Help Much

Some Rv manufacturers have a "free" mediation or arbitration process that they will tell you that you "must" use. In almost all cases, that's not really true. Be careful about any process like that if decide to try it. Remember, someone is paying for the process and mediators and arbitrators often count on their repeat business, so their loyalty may not be toward you at all. Also, the rules of the process may not entitle you to get back all of your money, even though your state's Lemon Law may say you are supposed to, so make sure you find out all the rules before you ever agree to use any process like that at all. Make sure that you don't give up your legal right to go to court later if you don't like the mediation or arbitration decision too, and make sure you have that in writing so no one tries to change it later on you.


When All Else Fails: Your Last Resort

Get a lawyer. Not just any lawyer though. State Rv Lemon Laws can be confusing (so can the federal Lemon Law too) and there are enough gray areas that Rv manufacturers can still argue about what your rights are even when you think you've got clear lemon Rv or lemon motorhome. You wouldn't use a dentist to fix your water heater, so don't use a Probate lawyer to handle an Rv Lemon Law case. The Rv manufacturers know who the Rv Lemon Law lawyers are and they know which ones will fight them hard and which ones never go to court too. Find one that will fight for you. Almost all state Rv Lemon Laws say that, if they apply, then the Rv manufacturer has to pay for you lawyer too, so you probably won't have to pay anything more than just the costs but ask in advance to be sure. For a National List of Rv Lemon Law Lawyers, look at this website page: or call your local Attorney Bar Association and ask for a referral to an Rv Lemon Law Lawyer.

Additional Resources

Free Online National List of Rv Lemon Law Lawyers

50 US State Rv Lemon Law Summaries

Consumer Protection Laws That Apply to Rv's & Motorhomes

Free Online Rv Dealer's Slang Dictionary

Protecting Your Investment - Rv's and Lemon Laws

Rv Dealer Financing Fraud Explained

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