6 Things To Know If Your Recreational Vehicle is a Lemon

Getting an RV or a motorhome is a major decision and requires thorough financial planning. As you end up paying a major sum for both new and used RV, there’s no way you should settle for something that is below par, such as a lemon!

The thing is, detecting lemon vehicles is often difficult and consumers end up driving them home by paying a huge amount and then spending some more in its repairs and maintenance.

Sounds like a mire situation that no one would like to deliberately sign up for. Isn’t it?

But, what if you do end up having a lemon RV despite your best efforts? How would you deal with it? What are the immediate steps or plan that you need to know about?

Here are some crucial pointers that will come to your rescue when the RV you buy is a lemon.

1. Know The State Lemon Law Rules

All the 50 states in the USA have their own set of Lemon Laws, and these rules differ from state to state. Therefore, the first thing that should cross your mind when you know your RV is a lemon, is, which state do you reside in and what does the law say? These include specifics such as, first, whether you purchased your RV in California or not, how many attempts does a manufacturer get to repair and so on and so forth. The California state lemon law for instance, offers more coverage for the consumers as compared to some other states. It protects both the buyers and the lessees from defects arising during the warranty period the manufacturer is unable to repair within a reasonable number of repair opportunities. This makes you, the California consumer, entitled to a refund of your money and in some situations a complete replacement of your lemon vehicle.

2. The California Lemon Law Requires the Manufacturer to Pay Your Lemon Law Attorney’s Fees and Costs

According to California Lemon Law, the manufacturer must pay your (the consumer’s) attorney fees and costs. Even if a consumer loses, he is not required to pay the manufacturer’s attorney’s fees. This is what makes the lemon law in California quite affordable for consumers. All you need to do is find the best lawyer near you, who will take care of everything from the ground up!

3. Find Out If It Is a New Motor Vehicle Or Consumer Good

In California, there are two different lemon law categories for Motorhomes and RVs. These are – New Motor Vehicles and Consumer Goods. Under the California lemon law, the livable portion of the RV is a consumer good; while the chassis (the engine and drivetrain) is a new motor vehicle. Although conceptually similar, the law is applied differently to the new motor vehicle vs. the consumer good.

4. Keep The Records Handy

When your RV turns out to be a lemon, it is a good practice to keep ALL your repair records handy. Gather all purchase and repair documents that you have related to the lemon. It is good practice to organize in chronological order.

Next, obtain the vehicle warranty repair history from the repair facility and thoroughly check the entries made for the repair orders. Note down any inaccurate details that you find in them and compare the repair history with the repair orders. The repair facilities in California are governed by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair, BAR for short. The BAR has established rules and guidelines the repair facilities must follow when writing a repair order. The repair facility must accurately report your complaints and concerns. If not the repair facility is subject to discipline, possibly loss of its license. Also, if you find any copies missing, contact the dealer and get them.

Additionally, get all the sales and finances paperwork, the warranty documents, any correspondence (even digital) with the manufacturer and dealer. You may also want to keep a detailed outline of all that you went through ever since you brought the defective RV home.

5. What Are You Entitled To, If the RV is a Lemon?

When you have a lemon, the manufacturer must promptly repurchase (buyback) or replace your lemon. For instance, you can ask for a buyback or a replacement of the motorhome. For a buyback, you will be entitled to all the payments that you made down the road such as the loan payments, the down payment, loan payoff, registration, out-of-pocket expenses related to the defect and so on and so forth.

Doing all this on your own can be extremely tricking and very time consuming. This is why many consumers constantly make queries such as the best lemon law lawyers near me. The best attorney will be able to help you weigh your options and help you make an informed decision that works in your favor!

6. How to Hire a Lemon Law Lawyer?

Hiring a lemon law attorney makes more sense than handling everything on your own. As you already know by now, the consumer does not pay the attorney fees. Therefore, choosing an experienced lawyer who is well versed with the state RV lemon laws will help you get the desired results. Find someone who is an expert in fighting the manufacturer so they can leverage their experience into maximizing your monetary recovery.


These are the essential pointers to know if your Motorhome or RV turns out to be a lemon. However, before anything else, you need to keep a watch out for lemons because some of the signs are not immediately apparent. This will save your time, money and save you from undergoing undue stress. Have a point that we should add to the list? Do share your thoughts or experiences with us.


Share this post
Table of Contents