Which RV roadside assistance program is best?

Which RV roadside assistance program is best?

 

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR, RV TRAVEL

RV Travel reader Jane Cripps posted this comment on a recent article asking for help choosing a roadside assistance program. It got me thinking: With so many programs available, which is the best? Here’s her comment, edited for brevity:

“Can anyone suggest a good RV Roadside Assistance program? Do you know of any program that offers options such as sending out someone with compressed air so you can fill a tire that has a slow leak allowing you to drive a short distance (less than 30 miles) to a shop to have it fixed? Seems everyone wants to put on a spare or sell you a tire. I’m also fearful of programs that offer to tow you a limited distance, only to find that the small town mechanic cannot resolve the problem. Also, how do these services work if you are in an area that has no cell service?”

I started checking around, and I realized choosing a roadside assistance program is no longer a simple decision. For example, years ago a basic policy from AAA was all you needed. But then RVs got bigger and heavier, and AAA began charging for levels of service. Today, for example, with basic AAA service, the tow limit is five miles. Yes, five miles (the same stingy limit is common with many other plans). Now, how good is that when you’re in the middle of nowhere and the nearest RV repair shop is 200 miles away? If you want a tow all the way, you’ll pay an extra $5 a mile, or $1,000.

For RVers, a better but more expensive option is AAA Plus and AAA Plus RV, which provide a tow of up to 100 miles. For even better service, with AAA Premier and AAA Premier RV the tow range is 200 miles, with an additional towed vehicle included at no extra charge. AAA rates vary depending upon where you live. Learn more here.

Perhaps the most popular RV emergency road service program is through Good Sam, which offers unlimited distance towing. We found two plans, RV Standard ($69.95 for new members) and RV Platinum for $104.95 (new members only).

Roadside assistance programs offer other services besides towing — locksmith services, flat tire changing, fuel discounts, even winching services. So comparing plans is often apples and oranges: A little patience when shopping for what’s best for you is necessary.

There are many other programs. Here are three:
Coach-Net
FMCA
Allstate

Some RV manufacturers offer roadside assistance with the purchase of a new RV. Forest River offers a policy with Coach-Net.

Many auto insurance companies include emergency road service or offer it as an option. Check with your own insurer to see if you’re covered (make sure the policy covers RVs). Some credit cards also provide coverage (read this story to learn more). Finally, if your car or truck is still under warranty, coverage may be provided.

Please leave a comment about the service you use and like (or one you don’t use and don’t like). We’ll use your feedback to help us do a better job with a more comprehensive article on this subject.

##RVT802; ##RV123-7/20/17

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42 thoughts on “Which RV roadside assistance program is best?

  1. Kevin Kelly

    FMCA offers for $109/year, the best policy. I have had Good Sam and Coach-Net, now FMCA. Yes you need to be FMCA member for $60/year. It’s called FMCA roadside assist. If you’re a FMCA member it is included at no extra cost FMCA assist which is great should you become ill on the road. For more info check out FMCA.com

  2. Tumbleweed

    I switched between Good Sam and Camping World for many years, depending on what deal I could get on pricing. Service was satisfactory. But then I discovered that the Hartford insurance I had on my RV through AARP also came with free roadside assistance. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles of the stand-alone roadside assistance programs, but it had everything I had ever needed previously, including unlimited towing. I have nothing but good to say about this program, which saved me $90-$120 per year over the separate programs, and which I used more often than I liked because my RV is old. Unfortunately, due entirely to a screw-up on my part, Hartford dropped me, but I can re-apply after a year or so.

    After much research, I then got Amica Insurance, which ended up being cheaper than the AARP/Hartford insurance and also has a good roadside assistance program. My RV has been in storage since then so I won’t know till later how good it will actually be. If it turns out to be a dud, I’ll return to AARP/Hartford.

  3. Paul

    Had a Coach-Net plan that came free with a Forest River Class A. Blew a tire on the coach and tried to call Coach-net but no answer. Called about a dozen times over the next hour and still no answer. So I called AAA and even though I wasn’t a member they immediately sent someone out to change the tire. I had to pay for it but it was worth it. I cancelled my coach-net plan and signed up for a AAA RV Plus plan. Used it a few times since and they have been awesome.

  4. Jim Barry

    Had AAA, but dropped them after we had a flat in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite NP. Finally after AAA determined if it was northern or southern California, (REALLY! they sent a truck from Lee Vining but would only do it if I paid them $175. I was over a barrel, so I agreed. Driver did ok…dropped the spare and changed the tire. Stopped in Kettleman City for food and discovered the spare was flat. Called a local tire shop and they came to the rescue…NO CHARGE!!! Presented the bill for $175 to our local AAA office and they wouldn’t pay. Dropped AAA and switched to Coach-Net and have had one service call for a dead battery in our storage yard. Driver was prompt, courteous and no charge!

  5. Brian M Ralston

    I’ve had AAA for my cars for over 20 years. They have been great for that so when I bought my class A I added the RV coverage. The first time I needed them was at the Pocono Raceway when I had a flat on my inside right rear tire (which turned out to be a loose, recently installed extention valve). AAA tried for hours and could not find anyone to come help me. They then told me to find someone myself and submit the receipt for reimbursement. I immediately went online and enrolled in Coachnet. I then called them up and explained the situation. I said I would pay but could they get someone out to help me. They called me back in 20 minutes with someone on the way. I submitted the bill to AAA and then once my membership expired I never used them again. I haven’t had to use Coachnet since then either but I am staying with them for as long as I have an RV or until they give me reason not to stay with them.

  6. Techie Phil

    We had USAA auto insurance and added the coverage for the travel trailer, which included Roadside assistance. So far, haven’t had to test it. Anyone have experience with USAA?

    1. Troy

      I know USAA is excellent for houses and cars! My parents used them for a travel trailer awning that got ripped up in a freak wind storm, and they were good for that.

  7. Mike Ackerman

    RESCUE PLUS. Costs $80 per year and covers ANY non commercial vehicle you are either driving or riding as a passenger. Does not have to be your personal vehicle.
    We have had it for years for our motorcycles and they recently added RV coverage.
    Free towing up to 100 miles and can be used up to 10 times per year.
    Best service plan we have ever found.

  8. Martha Mary Holmes

    My roadside assistance is through Nationwide Insurance. I pay a small extra premium on my auto insurance. ($40 annually) I have used it a dozen times, easily. I used it twice in one day. Yes, my RV had two flat tires in one day, in two different states, when we were headed to Florida. I am very pleased with the service I’ve received.

  9. Don Scott

    Had RV RoadHelp (Allstate) for many years and had never used them. I had a brand new 42 Ft Jayco Pinnacle fifth wheel and when leaving Yuma, Az. I got 23 miles north when the right rear tire blew and I couldn’t get it off of the road. When getting out to check I found the left rear tire had a bulge in the sidewall the size of a football. I called Allstate and was connected to an Idiot operator that didn’t even know what a 5th wheel was. After 5 hours of 100 degree heat we finally got a wrecker out from Kennedy’s Wrecker Service of Yuma to put the spare on. It was so close to the ground you couldn’t get to the spare without jacking it up. He changed the spare but refused to even loosen the other wheel lugs unless I called for another service call first and he left us sitting by the side of the road. The wheels were torqued to 140 psi. We managed to limp to a pull off about a mile away and get the other wheel off and had to take the two wheels back into Yuma to get them replaced. Jayco bought 5 new tires. I had to tow the 5th wheel back to Yuma to get the other tires replaced. I cancelled Allstate as soon as I got home to Montana and signed up for Good Sam.

    1. Ronald Cardwell

      I am with you we have good Sam and they are good to deal with

  10. Jon

    Coach Net: Unlimited towing (59 miles & never saw a bill); they will get a mobile repair person for most any problem (bent leveling jack – no bill for the travel; pay for the labor on-site); unlock a door or in our case, drill out a broken lock – again no service call charge, pay for labor on site. Bottom line: They get a repair person to you or take you to the nearest QUALIFIED person at no cost. You pay for the actual repair parts and labor.

  11. Mike McCray

    I’ve had Good Sam Roadside Service for the 4 years I’ve been full-timing. I’ve used their service 3 times. Twice for a tow to a repair facility and once for a dead battery in my toad. Their service has been excellent all 3 times. I would not hesitate to renew.

  12. Jillie

    We were taken aback by Progressive Insurance policy for RV’s. It is the best one I have seen so far. Liberty Mutual and State Farm will not send out a tow truck to help you. You pray someone comes to your aid or you pay for the tow truck driver out of pocket. Progressive offers $750 if something happens to get you home or to put you up in a hotel until the rig is fixed. Will send a tow truck out to help with a flat. We got stuck twice with a flat. Once in ND and the other in Maine. Yeah, not fun. They also offer accident insurance if someone breaks some body part on your site. The list is endless. Plus you pay 6 months and off 6 months. So we have car and RV insurance. Can’t be beat. Home owners is still with State Farm. Good luck. Heading north next week. No problems, no worries.

  13. Jim Wise

    I have used Good Sam for about 15 years on 3 different motor homes. I have a high deductible ($500), but the service has been very good, covering 2 cracked manifolds, a rebuild on a transmission, and a repair to a seriously messed up refrigerator. I also have their Roadside service and they have changed several tires without ever a charge,

  14. Richard J. Keller

    I have AAA plus. Blew an inside tire on my motorhome. I called AAA. They said they don’t cover inside dually. Bye bye AAA.

  15. Bill

    We’ve had Good Sam since we got a Class A in 2005. Service has been good, only real problem they had was figuring out where we were on I-15 in the middle of the Mojave. (What’s the nearest cross street, please. (There isn’t one.)) Since then with the app on my phone they know exactly where I am and have gotten good service each time, considering that no one can get there instantly.

  16. Joanne Overton

    Very happy with All State for over 15 years. Of course, intro price of $69.00 is up to $115 but includes a KOA membership. It also Includes a KOA.. Also all our cars are covered as well as our RV. We’ve gotten our monies worth.

  17. Ed Fogle

    Purchasing auto or RV roadside assistance policies from your vehicle insurer can be very hazardous to your financial health. There is such a thing as th C.L.U.E.system which is a database of claim history shared by insurance companies, both vehicle and home. Some insurance companies that have roadside assistance policies count service calls such as locked out or flat tire assistance as at fault insurance claims. They will use that to raise your rates and report it to the C.L.U.E. service which makes it difficult or impossible to shop insurance for some number of years.

  18. Goldie Hanson

    We have used AAA Premium and now have Coachnet. Limited use on either plans but AAA left us stranded in a rural (very rural) GA truck stop with young puppies outside in mid summer when the lock on our RV entry door broke when we were walking the dogs. It took nearly four hours to have them send us an actual locksmith – who demanded payment in cash from us. AAA’s first responder was a good ole boy with a pry bar – after a two hour wait. Better luck with the one call we have made to to Coachnet. They responded promptly when we made an urgent call needing generator repair on another 100+ degree summer day – this time with four dogs on board. They found an excellent generator repair service that we were able to drive the coach to – and a nearby campground with a 50 amp hook up if we needed it. We did. They made several return phone calls to be sure we were safe and had been able to get things resolved. We were impressed at the level of service and just renewed our policy.

  19. Roy Ellithorpe

    I paid (not so good) Sam for several years. A few years ago I had a flat on the trailer that I haul my car in behind the motorhome. I had a spare. Changing that tire was NOT covered, it’s a utility trailer not an RV.
    A couple of years later I got a screw in a rear tire at Sam’s Town RV park in Vegas. Good Sam would pay for the tire guy to come to my rig, BUT the tire guy would charge me $85 minimum to fix the flat. Not hard to find a tire guy to come across the street for $85.
    Upon reflection, I have decided that for $120/yr. for 15 or 20 years it is cheaper and MUCH LESS STRESSFUL to save the premiums and pay as I go, which is how it has worked out anyway.

  20. Scott Olander

    We “R V” with horses, and use USRider motor plan they will tow trucks and trailer. They come high recommended by horsemen that have the added responsibilities of caring for the horses when broke down .

  21. Virgil Williams

    I have good Sams and I have needed to use the roadside asst. twice for tire blow outs. It took 4 to 5 hours of setting on the shoulder of an interstate highway to finally get help. I do not think the problem is finding someone to come out to change tires, but I think it takes them a while to find someone that will do it cheap. I am always happy to get on the road again. (to find a tire shop)

  22. Bill Walker

    Thanks Chuck for the Roadside Service article. I’m looking into a new carrier. In the past I’ve used Good Sam. Only used 3 times in 6 years with good outcomes. My beef comes with Camping World and a terrible repair experience so I have cancelled all my affiliations with Good Sam/Camping World. Am reviewing Coach-Net and AAA.

  23. John

    We have had Good Sam for 10 years and been covered for a couple issues in that time. Last time was a tow of our old 40 Country Coach DP. The owner of the shop in Nephi UT who also fixed the coach for us told us that he always had issues with getting paid from Good Sam. I also learned at the time (from making a call) that Good Sam uses (or did then use) Allstate to process their calls and claims.

  24. Kenneth Merry

    I checked with my State Farm agent and they have started a policy rider that covers all I need with my class A and all for $3.00 per month a great savings over the Good Sam policy I’ve had for years.

    1. Ed Fogle

      Read my post. Getting roadside assistance from your insurer can cause a great deal of financial pain.

  25. Jonathan Miller

    Chuck, it would have been nice if you answered the question as to which one is best. We got some interesting information but no answer to the question.

    I have AAA Premier plus RV and I had to call them in Alaska. They sent out someone to change my tire which was very helpful. What I also did after that was to get a 60 ton jack and powerful electric driver so I can change my own tire next time. Many places out west do not have cell phone coverage and no company is much help under those conditions.

    1. Hazel Lorane

      I think Jonathan has the right idea! When RVing in OR there are many places without cell coverage and you are either self-sufficient or rely on helpful people. We have AAA Premier plus and have never had a problem with service. They towed my Vette 100 miles then State Farm roadside service picked up the balance. We have had the extended RV coverage since 2011, used it 2 times for the RV (lost transmission once and I don’t remember the other problem but we were towing a car trailer and it was taken care of too with no additional cost). The drivers have always been professional and take extra care when hauling the Vette. Also use their trip planning, maps, consultants, discounts, etc. No complaints with AAA. .

  26. David Ozanne

    I have the Hartford insurance and it has an RV addon. I have used them and it is mostly good. Last year I lost a wheel on my tow dolly and they arranged to get it to a shop, however they would not cover the tow of the vehicle. Cost me over 400.00 to pay for that. Same truck that took the tow dolly took the car. Rip off by the tow company not the insurance. I do not pay extra for the RV road side assistance.

  27. Jim Weinheimer

    I have had Good Sam Roadside service for 15 years and have been reasonably happy with them (but only needed them 2 times) until a recent incident that took place in Castaic Ca. on an early Sunday afternoon. My Class A Diesel motorhome suddenly lost power on the NB 5, motor stayed running, but very little power. We were able to get to a service road just off the freeway, and there we sat. After calling Good Sam roadside assistance, I was told they would call me back when they found someone to help. After almost 4 hours and a few more inquiries as to when I might expect help showing up, I was informed they found someone. Almost 5 hours after the first call, help arrived. They also told me they had to get authorization and approval to help me. The person they sent tried to help but was unable to fix the problem ($470.00).

    I called Good Sam for a tow, but was told that none was available that day. We were able to get the coach to a Pilot station that we found less than a mile up the service road and stayed for the night. After calling Good Sam again and almost 24 hours later they finally sent us a tow truck. The driver was very helpful, but said he was only authorized to tow us to a local shop that in his opinion was very small and would be difficult to get my coach into because of its size. I ask him how far a Cummins dealer was and he replied 30 miles further. I ended up paying for the tow to the Cummins shop.

    I was informed by the tow truck driver that Good Sam had gone with the contractor that was lowest bidder to handle their roadside service and it shows.
    I am changing roadside service companies when my coverage with Good Sam expires.

  28. Tommy Molnar

    We used to have AAA (for almost 30 years!). When my F-350 crew cab broke down in our YARD, I called them for a two block tow to our mechanic. They said they couldn’t tow a one ton pickup. They COULD tow a 3/4 ton though. I said there’s no weight difference in the pickups – only the spring strength. Nope, can’t do it. So I called a nearby towing outfit who came out and towed our truck to the mechanic – no problem. We cancelled AAA the next day.

  29. Judy Glazier

    I have been using Good Sam Roadside Assistance for 10 years. On three occasions when assistance was needed, they were unable to find a service [once a tow from an interstate and once for a mere tire change] on two occasions. In the first a passing New Mexico trooper found a tow from nine miles away. In the second I was fortunate to find assistance myself with internet and phone search – luckily had a signal in Montana – just 12 miles away.

  30. BuzzElectric

    I have Good Sam’s. I have had good luck with them. That said, none of the services are any better than the tow service company that comes out to you. Most services contract with the same tow companies. Some times it is hard to get service in any area. I have heard horror stories about all of the carriers as well as great stories. It’s like picking out your preferred brand of oil. We all have biases. If you don’t like the oil you change it. If you don’t like the tow service you drop it. If you don’t like Marcus Lemonis, you don’t pick Good Sam. If you do like him, welcome to Good Sam Towing.

  31. Terry Attridgeshemack

    We have coach-net. We called them a few times with the old coach. Was happy with the service they provided. we have a class A. I assume that most roadside assistance contract with local companies and levels of service will differ from area to area. I think if you have a RV some type of roadside assistance is a must.

  32. Dr4Film ----- Richard

    I have been a Coach-Net Premium member since May 2010. I have had multiple ERS claims setup by them from as far north as the Yukon plus in many of the lower 48 states. I have had three major tows where they have to bring TWO tow vehicles of appropriate size to tow my 40 foot coach & my 30 foot trailer. None of the tows cost me a penny and one was over 200 miles in Northern BC. It has cost me nothing for any of the ERS calls. I never leave home without my Coach-net ERS behind me.

  33. Pat Mauldin

    Used Allstate and they towed my truck to the diseal shop and wouldn’t pay for the 5th wheel.

  34. Clint Christiansen

    I am currently trying to decide which company is best for emergency roadside service. I use State Farm for auto insurance and to add ERS to my vehicles is only and additional $9.00 per six months. I was assured that this covered the towing of my 30 foot RV to the nearest repair shop regardless of miles. This also covers the first hour of labor if the RV becomes disabled somewhere. This will come in handy for flat tire or engine trouble.
    I don’t see a better option for the price. Does anybody else use State Farm for ERS on their RV?

    1. Chuck Sances

      I just took out State Farm yesterday. I have been using Good Sam for many years. Good Sam tried to tell me they did not cover lockout service on a house door on my class A RV. Had to insist and after being on hold they finally came through.

      1. Jillie

        No. I called a number of insurers and found Progressive charges 67 a month for 6 months and then nothing for 6 months. This covers you for one year. We have auto insurance with them as well. 311 a month and this includes one brand new car. Liberty jacked our rates and I said bye bye bye. I really like Progressive. The people are really nice to talk to too. Good luck. Now to find that RV policy book.

    2. JIm Stein

      State Farm has been my preferred insurer since 1978, auto, home, boat, RV. While under tow, my 5th wheel is covered by the truck policy including (cheap!) ERS. The 5th wheel also has a separate casualty policy to cover when it is parked, again quite inexpensive.

      1. Finley Willis

        When my Class B van blew a tire five miles from Knoxville, TN, on I-75, Good Sam finally found a tire service that put on the spare, totally immobilizing the vehicle. After about three hours of back-and-forth calls, the dispatcher said they would not send any additional assistance. After about six hours, I was rescued by an off-duty Tennessee Highway Patrol sergeant who determined the problem and called a roll-back truck. Two weeks later, after a $2,000 repair, paid for by the tire service and not by Good Sam, I was able to retrieve my RV. Subsequent requests for a refund of my prepaid 3-year plan were stonewalled by Good Sam and Allstate, their contract provider, so I’m still waiting for the “satisfaction guaranteed.”

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