When taking your RV out on a road trip, having a roadside assistance plan is a smart idea. Good Sam Roadside Assistance and AAA are two well-known companies that offer roadside services for RV travelers. Knowing the differences in policies will help you make a more informed decision.
Good Sam Roadside Assistance is designed with RVers in mind. Some of its benefits include: unlimited towing mileage, no restrictions on emergency roadside calls, and all family members included at no extra charge.
AAA membership offers roadside services for RVs too, but only as an add-on to their Plus and Premier membership levels. AAA members may enjoy more discounts with 3rd party vendors, but they have more restrictions on their actual roadside services.
If you want to learn more specifics about each company's programs, continue reading. We'll break down the major points to help you make a decision on the best RV roadside assistance plan.
This post has been updated to reflect current costs and information from Good Sam and AAA.
Good Sam Roadside Assistance for RVs
With Good Sam, there are three levels for roadside assistance: the Standard, Platinum, or Platinum Complete plan. While the platinum plan offers members more discounts on car rentals and hotels, the benefits listed below are for all levels of membership.
Benefits Of Good Sam
1. Unlimited towing, no mileage restrictions
RV travelers often find themselves in remote or rural places. If there's a breakdown, the closest repair station could be hundreds of miles away. This benefit from Good Sam gives a lot of peace of mind to an RVer.
2. All family members included in your plan
You can add all of your family members to your roadside assistance plan. No matter who is driving the RV at the time services are needed, they are covered, without extra charge.
3. No limit to the number of times you can use their service
This is a big difference between the AAA and Good Sam roadside assistance plans. With the Good Sam plan, you won't be sitting there, wondering if you should use one of your limited number of calls on the current situation. All roadside services are covered, even if it exceeds four calls in a year.
4. Other services provided at no extra charge
In addition to towing, other services Good Sam Roadside provides include free fuel and fluid delivery, battery jump starts, tire changes, and locksmith services. If needed, a qualified technician will come to your location and assist with any of these services, at no extra charge (applies to the Platinum and Platinum Complete packages).
Speaking of batteries, you may find this article interesting: How Long Will An RV Battery Last (Inc. When Dry Camping)?
5. Trip interruption services provided
Good Sam's Standard plan offers trip interruption benefits that usually only belong to premier-level memberships. Their trip-interruption services cover up to $1,200 in food, lodging, or other expenses incurred if an accident happens more than 100 miles from home.
How much does the Good Sam plan cost for RVers?
For the coverage that Good Sam Roadside offers RVers, the cost is reasonable. At the time of writing this article, their website listed $64.95 as the yearly cost for their Standard plan, a $79.95 annual fee for the Platinum plan, and a $119.95 yearly cost for the Platinum Complete plan.
AAA - Triple-A Roadside Assistance for RVs
As we mentioned earlier, AAA is first and foremost an automobile club. They have established a great reputation with their membership program which includes roadside assistance. When you want to cover an RV, however, it gets a little more complicated.
RV coverage is an add-on option
Depending on which state you live in, RV coverage is only available as an add-on to AAA's Plus or Premier level memberships. You cannot get roadside service for an RV with the Classic level membership.
Benefits of AAA
Members are covered in any vehicle
One benefit AAA members enjoy is being able to call for roadside assistance even if they aren't in their own vehicle. This is a great benefit if you are traveling with friends, or are not using your own vehicle on a regular basis.
However, most people who want roadside coverage for an RV trip are going to be driving their own vehicle. Therefore, this benefit doesn't feel as significant in most situations for an RV traveler.
Membership discounts at many locations
Over 100,000 locations offer discounts to AAA members. These discounts include rental cars, theme parks, hotels, movie tickets, concert venues, and some RV parks. Some of these discounts may come in handy as an RV traveler, but others (hotel, rental car) may not be used as often.
Additional member services are available at your local AAA office with membership. These include passport photo service, free travel planning, and DMV services.
Full range of services provided
Like Good Sam Roadside Assistance, AAA offers towing, battery jump starts, tire changes, fuel and fluid delivery, locksmith service, and trip interruption expenses.
Limitations of AAA
Upon reading the details of AAA's Plus RV and Premium RV plans, the main drawback is that most of the services have limits. Anything over their stated limit is going to cost the customer extra.
Let's take towing for example. Under the AAA Plus RV plan, up to 100 miles are covered free. With the AAA Premier RV plan, up to 200 miles are covered for free. Miles past that will be paid out of pocket.
AAA roadside service includes up to $100 (Plus RV) or $150 (Premier RV) in locksmith expenses.
If your vehicle becomes stuck and needs to be pulled out, winching services will be provided for up to 2 drivers and 2 service vehicles (included for both Plus and Premier plans).
Number of emergency calls allowed
All AAA membership plans allow for a total of 4 emergency roadside calls per year. Any additional calls within a calendar year will incur additional charges.
How much does it cost?
Varies by state
This is another area where AAA gets complicated. The rates for roadside assistance seem to vary by state. Even on the website, you must enter your zip code before you can see pricing options.
For example, with a Southern California zip code, you get quoted $86/year for the Plus level membership and $114/year for the Premier level. With a DFW, Texas zip code, you get quoted $91/year for the Plus level membership and $117/year for the Premier level. Then, with a Tamba Bay area, Florida zip code, you get quoted $104/year for the Plus level membership and $131/year for the Premier level.
RV coverage is an add-on to premium level membership
As mentioned earlier, RV coverage is an enhanced feature that can only be added to a Plus level or Premier level membership, for an additional fee. So first calculate the cost of your Plus or Premier membership, then add on the fee for having an RV.
Associates cost extra to add to the plan
Adding "associates" (family members) to your membership requires an extra fee per person.
Our final analysis
As an RV traveler, it seems that Good Sam Roadside Assistance is the better choice. Their assistance program offers all of the same roadside services AAA does, but with fewer restrictions and fewer hidden costs than AAA.
Good Sam's Roadside Assistance offers more peace of mind to RVers. No matter where you are, you can rest assured that someone will come to you. If towing services are needed, you also don't need to worry about how far away the closest mechanic is located.
Best of all, whenever you need roadside services, you can call. There's no need to wonder if the current situation is going to "waste" one of your four annual calls.
Other roadside assistance plans
Although this article focused on the two major players in RV roadside assistance, there are a few other options out there. If you want to further research the subject, we'll list them here:
Coach-Net is another company that was started to serve RVers. You can visit their website to obtain a quote for their roadside assistance plans.
Allstate is another well-known insurance company that offers memberships for RVs. If you already own insurance through Allstate, this may be an option you want to check into
Motor Club of America
Motor Club of America (MCA) claims to be the largest roadside assistance service company in the US and Canada. Through their website, you can contact an agent who can give you a quote on their membership plans for RV coverage.
We hope that this information was helpful in navigating the advantages and disadvantages of RV roadside assistance with Good Sam and AAA. Even though we recommend Good Sam as the preferred choice, we hope you will find the plan that will give you the most peace of mind so you can enjoy your travels!
Before you go, be sure to check out these other posts that may be of interest to you:
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Wednesday 5th of April 2023
There is one critical difference you have not mentioned, which in our case is a deal breaker for Good Sam. Although it is true that towing calls are unlimited for Good Sam, note that it says "to the nearest repair facility". And if you ask them, they will say the nearest repair facility of their choosing. Who wants that?
So for example (and i live DFW area), let's say i take off on a trip, and have an incident near Hillsboro (about 70 miles south). They might tow you to someplace in Itasca or Milford, or some other small town in the vicinity. No closer to home. For us, that is not helpful. I don't want to drop my trailer in the middle of nowhere.
I don't like the 4-tow limit from AAA either, but they will haul you anywhere you want. If you want Good Sam to tow back to your home, you will get charged $9/mile.
We were in the process of evaluating the Good Sam roadside assistance package to decide if we wanted to move from AAA. I did like a lot of the stuff Good Sam included, but as I said, for us, this item was a deal breaker.
J ay proud
Sunday 5th of March 2023
AAa 50 yr member will try good Sam aaa about as unreliable as my 06 Ford diesel cutting rv services more every yr my Bigfoot camper is a real winner though waiting 4 hrs in town to CONTACT AAA COST MORE TMORE THAN ITS WORTH ADDIMG TO MANY RESTRICTIONS TO RV TOWING
Tuesday 26th of January 2021
Do you know if either plan is restricted to the towed vehicle? In other words does it have to be an RV or can it be a utility trailer?
Sunday 17th of May 2020
I drove my Subaru from my home in Covina ca.to a Subaru dealership in La Puente ca. To have the rear axle serviced. The dealership repaired the axle and I drove it home. The next morning I found the center axle nut laying on the driveway, the axle shaft had broken off making the car inoperable so I couldn’t drive it to the dealership for warranty work. I called Good Sam towing that I had at the time. They came to my home but told me they would only tow the car to the nearest repair shop even though I showed the driver the invoice from the dealership. I got on the phone with Good Sam and explained the situation but they did not care and did not tow the car to the dealership. I had to rectify the problem with the dealership on my own. I switched to AAA and have no regrets.
Saturday 23rd of May 2020
Hi, Carlos. Thanks for sharing your experience with Good Sam and AAA.
Wednesday 11th of March 2020
Good Sam's is very very misleading. It is not unlimited miles for rv pickup. It is to the closet safe place. Our Fifth wheel they actually told us it was only free to the Wal-Mart parking lot because it was the closet safe spot. It cost us an additional $125 to pull it 20miles. And it took hours for them to pick it up
Wednesday 8th of April 2020
Thanks for sharing your experience with our readers, Adam.