Discovering Lemon Law for RVs and Trailers
6 mins read

Discovering Lemon Law for RVs and Trailers

If you’ve bought a new RV that seems to be a lemon, you may have recourse through state and federal lemon laws. These laws vary by state and also differ between motorized and non-motorized RVs.

Most state lemon laws cover only the motor vehicle portion of RVs and do not include living areas. They also require several unsuccessful repair attempts and days out of service before an RV qualifies as a lemon.

RVs and Trailers


Many states’ lemon laws and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protect buyers of RVs and trailers. However, not all manufacturers may comply with these protections. Generally, an RV is considered a lemon if the manufacturer has had two or more failed attempts to fix an issue, if the RV was out of service for a significant amount of time due to the issues, and if the problems began within 18 months or 18,000 miles.

If an RV or trailer is determined to be a lemon, the manufacturer is required to repurchase or replace it. The manufacturer can only avoid repurchasing or replacing an RV that is a lemon by providing a written statement explaining why the vehicle is not considered to be a lemon, including details such as the number of repair attempts and the total amount of time the RV was out of service due to the defects.

Purchasing a new RV is often one of the most significant investments consumers make in their lifetime. Unfortunately, a number of those vehicles end up being lemons. State and federal lemon laws are designed to protect buyers from losing their investment by requiring manufacturers to buy back or replace defective RVs. Even if your state’s lemon law excludes motor homes and travel trailers, you can still pursue a claim through the federal Magnuson-Moss warranty act or a private lawsuit against the manufacturer.

State Lemon Laws

State lemon laws vary by jurisdiction. The best way to determine which state’s laws apply to your RV is to go directly to the Consumer Protection Division of the state where you bought it. Most departments are a wealth of information and can answer your questions.

Some states exclude travel trailers and other non-motorized RVs from their lemon laws. Travel trailers and other campers rely on a tow vehicle to get down the road, so they do not qualify.

However, most states have lemon laws that apply to RVs and other types of recreational vehicles. In addition, many of these state laws contain provisions similar to those found in the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

If you have purchased a lemon, you should start by submitting a lemon law request form to the Attorney General’s office where you live. The form will ask for the date and mileage of your RV and a brief description of the problem you have experienced with it.

Once you submit the form, your case will be reviewed to determine if it meets the requirements to be heard by an arbitrator. Your Florida lemon law attorney will help you gather evidence for the arbitration panel if it does.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal lemon law statute that requires that sellers clearly state the terms of warranties for their consumer products. While states have laws regarding defective consumer products, the Magnuson-Moss Act is generally broader in its coverage and requirements than state laws.

The Act also makes it easier for consumers to sue for breach of warranty and encourages warrantors to institute informal dispute resolution mechanisms for resolving customer disputes. The Act allows full warranties to include a provision requiring consumers to attempt to resolve the dispute informally before suing. Still, the mechanism must follow specific guidelines set by the FTC.

Unlike implied warranties, express warranties are voluntarily offered to buyers during sales and may be made orally or in writing. Express warranties may be included in advertising or on product packaging and can be either limited or comprehensive in scope. Whether or not your express warranty meets the Magnuson-Moss Warranty standards, the Act requires that all written warranties for consumer products be readily available before sale.

The Magnuson-Moss Act, the FTC’s Rules adopted under the Act, and the FTC’s Warranty Advertising Guides provide more information about how to comply with the Act and its rules. However, these resources are not a substitute for consulting an attorney about your particular situation or for advice about the specific wording of your warranty.


A lemon law attorney can help a buyer file a claim to get their money back or a new RV if their purchase turns out to be a lemon. State lemon laws and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act offer protection to buyers of defective RVs that are difficult or impossible to fix after a reasonable number of repair attempts.

Regarding lemon laws, RVs and trailers are treated differently than cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs because they are primarily used as vacation homes or for other leisure activities. Some states’ lemon laws exclude recreational vehicles altogether. In contrast, others limit the scope of their coverage to the non-living areas of the vehicle or require that a certain number of unsuccessful repair attempts be made before an RV can be considered a lemon.

When buying a lemon RV or trailer, it’s important to remember that you’re making a large purchase that should not be based on emotions. You need to be your advocate and document all problems and issues with the RV, including documentation of any attempts by the manufacturer to fix them. 

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