Which RV roadside assistance program is best?

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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. Info is at GoodSam.com

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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56 Comments
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Paul Goldberg
4 months ago

We have had Coach-Net since it came with our first RV in 2001. We have had 3 tows in that time period. The only problem we had with the most recent tow was they sent out a truck that had a 6′ boom when we require a 9′. This resulted in our spending a night dry camping in a pullout on the Natchez Trace Parkway. We were miles from anyplace. The next morning the big towtruck appeared just after breakfast and pulled us to a diesel repair facility. The bill for the tow was $5,000. Covered by Coach-net. With that one tow I recovered the entire cost of the coverage for 18 years! This started on a Saturday and we were dropped in the repair facility on Sunday where we continued to dry camp until the repair was complete on Tuesday.

Sally
8 months ago

When we bought our membership to FMCA and FMCA Road Assistance we believed that FMCA was an honorable organization. We have had a very negative experience and will no longer buy a membership to FMCA. We broke down south of Topeka Kansas on a turnpike. My husband reported it was the serpentine belt. Many phone calls and texts later regarding model of motorhome, vin # of home, engine type and workhorse chassis, a repair man appeared 4 hours later. The repairman spent 1.75 hours trying to put the wrong serpentine belt on. My husband measured the belt and it was thirteen inches short. He was given the wrong belt. The repairman decided he needed to get a different belt. We had to pay for his mileage to and from (he came from Missouri 1.5 hours away), weekend labor prices for trying to put on the wrong part, etc. We left the side of the turnpike 6.5 hours later with a bill of $904.00. Talked with FMCA, Safe Ride Road Assistance (FMCA contractor) and Kirk’s Mobile Repair Service. Why did I have to pay for labor time when the wrong part was sent? The repair man stated, had he known it was a motorhome he would have passed on the call. I am very disappointed FMCA Admin stated to me that they thought it was handled properly after I complained that a repair service which knew nothing about motorhomes was sent to repair the home. I am very disappointed FMCA refused to endorse any compensation. If you have any questions, contact me at mdylake70@gmail.com.

Debby Clark
10 months ago

We have SafeRide from Escapees RV Club, which is $99/year. Haven’t had to call them yet, but they also cover personal vehicles too. We once had an experience with the Good Sam roadside assistance where we were stuck and called them and they never came out.

Matthew J. Ritter
4 months ago
Reply to  Debby Clark

Good Sam failed me too

Nita Taylor
10 months ago

We use Allstate, they have been wonderful! We ran out of fuel on I-10 in west Texas, about 30 miles east of the NM line. Allstate didn’t have a registered tow company in that area, so they allowed me to to call the campground and see if they had any recommendations. They gave me the name and number, I called Allstate with the info. Allstate called the tow company to set it up. The tow company was on another call and would come to us as soon as they were finished. Because the company was not in the system, Allstate said we would have to pay, then send the bill to them and they would reimburse us. We got our fuel about an hour later, and there was a check from Allstate when we returned home from that trip.

M H Bell
10 months ago

I’ve had Good Sam ERS off and on Since 1986. Had for the past 16 years. Never had a problem until one time in 2012 When I had a blow out on my ATV / Utikity trailer while hauling a bunch of stuff from Yuma Arizona On hwy 95 between Needlesm Ca and Searchlight, Nv. It was dark and when I reached them they pointed out that they did not provide service for Utility trailers. (READ the FINE PRINT) of any policy that you get. Good sam has changed that policy and now cover small trailers including boat and Motorcycle trailers. I now have their platinum ERS.
Mel

HENRY HOLLEY
10 months ago

I called Goodsams three times. Twice they NEVER showed. The third time I was at the RV park and had plenty of time to wait and they finally showed up hours later from a town four towns away. They have to be in their NETWORK.

Ronl
10 months ago

One thing I learned this past summer is that all these plans use the same service people in remote areas where we do most of our traveling and if you think about it, that makes sense. We were in rural (and I mean “rural “) Virginia and tried to start our 2018 MB Sprinter based RV but nothing. The battery was completely dead. I tried the usual jumpstart procedure but no luck and tried a charger. Nothing. Battery was obviously bad. Called the company the RV manufacturer provides and they came out, confirmed the battery was bad and had me call Mercedes warranty department which then dispatched their service person. Guess who? Yep, same guy. He laughed and said he’s it in about a 50 mile radius no matter which roadside service you have so not sure it really makes a difference except how they pay you back.

Dan
10 months ago

We have FMCA and had to use them when a slide out would not retract. It was 7AM on a Saturday morning when I called the assistance number. They answered promptly and after I described the problem the said they would find a mobile mechanic and get back to me. After about a half hour they called and said no one opens until 9AM and call back then. I called back, went through the whole process again and the agent put me on hold to “review the notes”. I was on hold for about 10 to 15 minutes and was disconnected. I called back, got another agent, went through the same process and he said he would call back. Since my service was so spotty the call went to voicemail. He stated he tried to find someone and couldn’t so, sorry. He did say if I found someone on my own they would reimburse for the call. Not exactly what I wanted to hear! I did a google search, found someone 30 minutes away and he fixed my problem. I pay for this service so I don’t have to find someone “on my own”. Going to rethink FMCA when renewal comes up.

Steven H
1 year ago

I’ve had AAA Premier RV coverage for several years and all my vehicles are insured thru AAA.
We are getting ready for a long road trip in our 42ft Class A Motorhome and I called AAA to verify my coverage after reading several negative online comments about towing and tire changes with membership service companies. I had to specifically ask if my motorhome would be fully covered by the 200 mile towing benefit on the AAA Premier RV membership. I was told by the AAA rep that anything over 40ft long or 10ft high would NOT BE COVERED. I asked where that is stated in their online marketing info. She stated that “YOU HAVE TO CALL AND ASK”. Additionally, I found that they will not change tires on anything with “duelly” tires. So, a word to the wise…..ASK SPECIFICALLY AND GET IT IN WRITING or you may be very upset when you do try to use your membership when you’re in a jam on the highway with your Big Rig.

Steve
1 year ago

Years ago my parents had the good sam coverage. My mother had a problem with their motorhome. She called the toll free good sam number. They never were able to figure out where she was even though she gave them the highway and nearest town. You still have to tell them where you are on the phone. They really should have an app that sends them your latitude and longitude.

steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

My mistake. Apparently, they have that functionality now.

Kevin Kelly
3 years ago

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

Tumbleweed
3 years ago

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.

Paul
3 years ago

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.

Jim Barry
3 years ago

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!

Brian M Ralston
3 years ago

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.

Techie Phil
3 years ago

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?

Troy
3 years ago
Reply to  Techie Phil

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.

Mike Ackerman
3 years ago

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.

Martha Mary Holmes
3 years ago

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.

Don Scott
3 years ago

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.

Ronald Cardwell
3 years ago
Reply to  Don Scott

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

Jon
3 years ago

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.