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. Since we travel full-time in our RV, I’ve researched these two companies and would love to share what I’ve learned with you.
Good Sam Roadside Assistance is designed with RVers in mind. 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, read on. I’ll break down the major points to help you make a decision on the best RV roadside assistance plan.
Good Sam Roadside Assistance for RV’s
With Good Sam, there are two levels for roadside assistance: the Standard or Platinum plan. While the platinum plan offers members more discounts on car rentals and hotels, the benefits listed below are for both 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 includes 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.
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 RV’ers?
For the coverage that Good Sam Roadside offers RVers, the cost is reasonable. At the time of writing this article, their website listed $79.95 as the yearly cost for their standard plan, and a $114.95 annual fee for the platinum plan.
AAA – Triple-A Roadside Assistance for RV’s
As I 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 Premium 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 Premium 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 (Premium RV) in locksmith expenses.
If your vehicle becomes stuck and needs to be pulled out, winching services will be provided for up to 1 hour (Plus RV plan) or 2 hours (Premium RV plan).
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. With my California zip code, I was quoted $91/year for the Plus level membership and $119/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 Platinum level membership, for an additional fee. So first, calculate the cost of your Plus or Platinum 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 of $83/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, I’ll name 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 pros and cons of RV roadside assistance. Even though we recommend Good Sam as our preferred choice, we hope you will find the plan that will give you the most peace of mind so you can enjoy your travels.