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If you’re like me, you’re always worried about problems with your RV while you’re traveling to your next destination. Let’s face it, accidents happen as do breakdowns and these can become quite costly if you’re in a remote area where towing and maintenance facilities are limited.
I follow several YouTube channels of RVers that are likeminded in terms of travel and homesteading. One such channel is Loftis Party of Six – weROAM.
They are a young couple with four children that are building their own off-grid homestead as well as home schooling their four children while traveling around the country in their class A motorhome. A few months ago, while they were visiting the Little House on the Prairie Museum in Independence, Kansas, they had a major problem involving their onboard propane tank. They had their tank filled the previous day at a truck stop and it was overfilled which eventually caused it to rupture while they were in the museum.
When they were getting ready to leave, they smelled gas and they could hear it leaking. At that point, they called a local propane supplier and asked them what to do and they were told to immediately hang up and call the fire department. Since they were in a very rural area of Kansas, three different volunteer fire departments responded immediately. When the fire department arrived, they quickly doused the tank, undercarriage of the RV and the surrounding area with water and kept a continuous stream of water on the leak to prevent it from igniting. Eventually the fire department was able to safely evacuate the propane gas after about four hours and they were able to safely continue their journey to Colorado.
These folks were extremely lucky. They could have had a devastating outcome if the tank had ignited while they were parked for the night or driving down the road. Fortunately for them, the story had a happy ending and they were well taken care of by some volunteer firemen as well as the museum staff that supplied them water and soft drinks while they waited on the museum grounds to be given the all clear to leave. However, things could have ended differently and in this guide, we’ll look at some of the best roadside assistance programs that you should consider using while you’re traveling with or in your RV.
AAA Roadside Assistance
AAA (American Automobile Association) is probably the most recognizable as well as the most widely used roadside assistance program available to motorists and RVers today. According to AAA the following benefits apply when you are an RV Plus Member or a Premier RV member:
- Towing: Up to four tows up to 100 miles each for Plus RV members; One tow up to 200 miles of towing and any remaining qualified tows up to 100 miles each for Premier RV members.
- Flat Tire Service: Replace your vehicle’s or trailer’s tire with its mounted spare.
- Fuel Delivery: Free fuel delivered to get you to the nearest station.
- Double Extrication Service: If your vehicle or trailer becomes stuck in a ditch or snow, it will be extricated or winched if it can be safely reached from the hard surface road. If needed, a second truck and operator will be called in to help (up to one hour) at no additional charge.
- Vehicle Locksmith Service: Up to $100 with Plus RV and up to $150 with Premier RV.
- One-Day Free Car Rental: Premier RV members are also entitled to one complimentary one-day rental car with a qualifying, non-collision tow.
- Car Travel Interruption: If you’re traveling by car and are 100 miles or more from home and have a breakdown or accident, or if your vehicle is stolen while you’re heading to your next destination, AAA will reimburse you for unexpected emergency expenses up to $1,000 for Plus RV and up to $1,500 for Premier RV members. Reimbursable expenses include meals and lodging, car rental, and transportation home or to your destination within 72 hours of the disruption.
What vehicles or RVs are covered under these plans?
In addition to your personal vehicles, the following will be covered:
- RVs: Motorhomes, travel trailers or pickups with campers.
- Trailers: With your upgrade to Plus RV or Premier RV, you’ll enjoy generous towing miles for the trailer hauling your boat or other recreational cargo.
- Motorcycle coverage includes 100 miles of towing, free fuel delivery and more for an additional cost of $35.
- Specialty Vehicle coverage is also included with your Premier RV membership. This includes ATVs, dirt bikes, snowmobiles and dune buggies.
What trailer types are included with this coverage?
- Personal Watercraft
- ATV and motorcycle
- Livestock (unoccupied)
Are there other perks that AAA provides for members?
Absolutely. Some of these would include the following:
- Free quotes on RV and Specialty Vehicle Insurance
- Preferred loan rates for RV financing and refinancing
- Earn AAA Dollars® on select attraction tickets purchased at a local AAA office
- Save on pet travel products from Kurgo
- Save 10% on most parts and accessories at participating Napa Auto Parts stores
- Hotel, motel and campground discounts at participating businesses
What are the costs of membership to AAA?
For an automobile, the cost is $99 annually, RV Plus is $143 annually, (covers RVs up to 32’ feet in length) and RV Premium is $210 annually.
Good Sam Club
Good Sam Club also offers an excellent roadside assistance plan that is very comparable to AAA. They also have a three-tiered membership plan with the first being a Standard Membership, followed by the Platinum Plan and finally the Platinum Complete Plan.
What is covered under the Standard Membership?
According to the Good Sam website, you are protected while driving any of your household vehicles and while towing your owned travel trailer. However, the Standard Membership does not provide benefits for Motorized RVs or Fifth Wheels. If you wish to receive benefits for your Motorized RV or Fifth Wheel, you’ll need to purchase Platinum, or Platinum Complete memberships. Motorized RVs are classified as the following RV types: Class A, Class B, Class C, van/truck and SUV Conversions. You’re also covered while driving the following:
Your Owned Towable Recreational Vehicle (RV):
- Travel Trailers and Toy Haulers
- Pop-up Camping Trailers
Your Owned Non-Recreational Vehicles:
- Pick-ups, SUVs
- Boat Trailers
What is covered under the Platinum Plan?
With this plan you and your family are protected while driving all vehicles and multiple RVs and autos, even if they are rented, leased or borrowed. Your utility and sport utility trailers are also covered.
Your comprehensive Good Sam RV Platinum plan includes:
- Standard coverage benefits
- Coverage for Motorized RVs and Fifth Wheels
- Coverage for multiple RVs
- Coverage for utility and sport trailers
- Coverage for leased, rented and even borrowed vehicles and RVs
- Operational and Technical Assistance by Certified RV Technicians
What does the Platinum Complete plan cover?
Just like the Platinum Plan, with the Good Sam Platinum Complete you’ll receive coverage for you and your family while driving all vehicles and multiple RVs and autos, even if they are rented, leased or borrowed. Your utility and sport utility trailers are also covered.
Your comprehensive Good Sam Platinum Complete Roadside Assistance membership also includes all the perks you get in the other plans as well as these exclusive benefits:
Tire & Wheel Road Hazard
If a tire on your vehicle is damaged due to a puncture, bruise, or impact break, Tire & Wheel Road Hazard benefits will get you back on the road with a tire repair or replacement.
- Tire Replacement
- Wheel Replacement & Repair
- Tire replacement & repair benefits covered up to $750 per incident (2 incidents per year)
Emergency Travel & Medical Assistance Services
If you become ill or injured while traveling away from home, Emergency Travel & Medical Assistance Services will help with costs typically not covered by insurance.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation
- Transportation Home after a Medical Emergency
- RV/Vehicle Return after a Medical Emergency
- Repatriation Services
- Emergency Travel & Medical Assistance Services benefit up to $25,000 per qualifying medical event
Are there other perks with a Good Sam membership?
You bet, just like AAA they offer discounts from participating businesses such as campgrounds, motels and hotels. You’ll also receive a .05 cent per gallon fuel discount from Flying J service stations. With this membership, you’ll be eligible for free shipping on any order from Camping World over $49, and free dump outs at Camping World locations that provide that service.
What are the costs for Good Sam Memberships?
The standard plan costs $64.95 a year, the platinum is priced at $79.95 annually, and the Platinum Complete plan has an annual cost of $119.95. These are introductory prices, so it’s likely that your rates will rise after the first year of membership. They also occasionally run deals for new customers.
Are there other roadside assistance plans available?
Yes, but it’s unlikely that other plans would give you the amount services provided by Good Sam and AAA. Other plans to research would include the Paragon Motor Club, Better World Club (they even offer roadside assistance for bicyclists!) and Allstate is another good option when exploring the type of coverage you require for peace of mind.
I currently have Good Sam roadside assistance and AAA because while these plans offered by each company are basically the same, there are some distinct differences between the two of them. For example, Good Sam has unlimited towing which is a plus if you’re in a remote area. However, they will only tow you to the nearest service center, whereas AAA will tow your vehicle home if you’re stranded within their mileage coverage area away from your home.
Another thing that is offered by Good Sam is the emergency medical services and that’s another huge plus for me. In fact, these benefits can also be used in Mexico and Canada so that’s a bonus as well. In fact, it was the driving force behind my reasoning for signing up for plans from AAA and Good Sam.
In short, any way you look at it, having a good reliable RV roadside assistance plan is just the right thing to do. You may never need it (although statistics say you will), but when you do need assistance, you’ll be thankful you’ve got a plan.
As always my friends, stay safe, stay healthy, and safe travels to you all.