California Lemon Law News + Info

How does RV Lemon Law apply to recreational vehicles (RVs) and motorhomes?

Many people buy motor homes or recreational vehicles (RVs) for the benefit of cheaper travel, a lower cost of living, or out of a simple love for the lifestyle. However, motor homes and RVs, like other motor vehicles, can sometimes experience recurring problems that point to potential manufacturing defects. If you bought a motor home or RV that turned out to be faulty, you may wonder if you are protected by the California Lemon Law.

The good news is: the California Lemon Law extends certain protections to motor homes and recreational vehicles. However, keep in mind that you have to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for lemon law restitution.

RV Lemon Law: Table of Contents

What counts as a motor home?

The California Lemon Law defines a “motor home” as a “vehicular unit built on, or permanently attached to, a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis, chassis cab, or van, which becomes an integral part of the completed vehicle, designed for human habitation for recreational or emergency occupancy” (Cal. Civ. Code § 1793.22).

Recreational vehicles, or RVs, are included in this definition of a “motor home” under the California Lemon Law.

Are motor homes and recreational vehicles covered by the California Lemon Law?

Yes! The California Lemon Law covers motor homes and recreational vehicles, as it considers them a type of motor vehicle. However, it limits which parts of motor homes or recreational vehicles fall under lemon law protection.

“‘New motor vehicle’ includes the chassis, chassis cab, and that portion of a motor home devoted to its propulsion, but does not include any portion designed, used, or maintained primarily for human habitation.” –Cal. Civ. Code § 1793.22

In other words, the California Lemon Law covers the “motor” part of the motor home, but does not cover the part of the motor home that you would live in.

How do I know if my motor home or RV is defective?

If your motor home or RV has been experiencing a recurring problem that your dealership or local repair shop cannot seem to fix, your motor home may be defective.

The California Lemon Law considers a vehicle (remember, this includes motor homes and RVs) to be defective if it has a problem that is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, impacts the vehicle’s use, value or safety, and has not been repaired within a reasonable number of repair attempts. The number of repair attempts needed is determined on a case-by-case basis. If you suspect that your motor home or RV is a lemon, consult a lemon law attorney to discuss your specific situation.

What can I get for a defective motor home or RV?

If your motor home or recreational vehicle has been determined to be a lemon, the California Lemon Law allows you to recover cash compensation, a replacement vehicle, or a full refund for your vehicle, minus an offset based on the “good” miles you were able to drive on the vehicle. The full refund, minus the mileage-based offset, is also known as a “lemon law buyback.” Should you opt for the refund after a successful lemon lawsuit, the vehicle will be given a lemon title when it is repurchased by the manufacturer.

If a lemon law attorney represents you in your claim, you will not pay anything out of pocket. If you win your case, the auto manufacturer has to pay your attorneys’ fees and costs.

What can I do if I suspect that my motor home or RV is defective?

If you suspect that your motor home or RV is potentially defective, you will need to do the following:

  • Take your motor home or RV in for repairs: If you haven’t already, take your motor home or RV to the dealership or local repair shop to get it repaired. You will need to prove that you gave the dealership or repair shop enough chances to fix your vehicle. While at the shop, report any and all concerns that you had with your vehicle.
  • Keep detailed records: At the end of each repair visit, you should receive repair orders that document the reasons behind your visit and the repairs attempted on your vehicle. Additionally, you want to retrieve (or keep) proof of ownership or lease of the vehicle, as well as records of other expenses related to your vehicle’s defects.
  • Retain a lemon law firm: An experienced lemon law attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the lemon law, build your case, and get you much needed restitution for your faulty motor home or RV.

Have further questions about your RV? Consult a lemon law attorney.

If you have further questions about your defective motor home or RV, consult a lemon law attorney today. Consultations are free and can take as little as fifteen minutes. However, consultations may take longer than that, and you may be asked to submit documents related to your motor home or RV for another layer of review. During this consultation, you can tell us all about your motor home or RV’s recurring problems and discuss your legal options. Call us at 877-222-2222.


Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2017–Present vehicle models only.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states.

To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our guides on the California Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law for more information.

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