THUMP! One minute we were cruising down the interstate on a hot, sunny day, singing along with our kids’ favorite CD, and the next I was gripping the armrest watching my husband work to regain control of the Suburban that was towing our travel-trailer home behind it.
He managed to get us stopped and on the side of the road. The trailer was still partially in the right lane, but once it stopped it wouldn’t budge. We’d blown a tire on our tow vehicle, and the mangled mess that used to be our tire was firmly wedged in place.
While we had a full spare, we couldn’t put it on until we removed the old tire, and no matter what we tried, we couldn’t get it off. With an impatient state trooper directing traffic and asking for updates every few minutes, we called roadside assistance for help.
They arrived promptly and helped get us back on the road as quickly as possible. It was scary, but it could have been so much worse. We were so glad we had roadside assistance.
About two years later, there was no loud noise and dramatic moment to announce when one of our trailer tires flew off and disappeared into the California desert. We only pulled over to investigate after several cars passed us honking their horns and waving their arms to get our attention.
A quick look at the trailer confirmed that we had a big problem. Walking back to the front of the tow vehicle revealed the problem was bigger than we thought – our radiator fluid was a giant puddle on the ground. Both of our vehicles were disabled.
We called roadside assistance, and while it took quite some time, we were able to get both towed. That was the year we almost spent Thanksgiving in a mechanic’s parking lot.
In between these incidents, we switched roadside assistance companies. Why? We were very satisfied with the service we received in the first incident, and in the second it took us a long time to get help.
Response time is critical when you’re stuck on the side of the road. Most roadside assistance companies, however, have the same pool of service providers available to them.
Factors like the location of the incident and when it happens to play a larger role in how quickly help arrives. As crucial as response time is, our decision to switch was based on more important factors. These are factors that every RV needs to consider.
A moment of distraction can ruin the entire family trip you planned for months. So before embarking on a great outdoor adventure, subscribing to one of the best RV roadside assistance plans, is a good idea.
Keep in mind that the majority of insurance companies in the United States don’t offer roadside assistance abroad, so if you’re planning on traveling to Canada in your RV you should look for alternative solutions.
Even though most RV roadside assistance plans include the same or similar set of services, the towing mileage, medical expense coverage, or trip interruption reimbursement might make a huge difference between plans.
In this article, we are going to walk you through some of the best RV roadside assistance plans and recommend the options that cater to the needs of most RVers.
What is RV roadside assistance?
Anticipating when you’re going to run out of gas or how quickly you’re going to deplete the RV’s battery isn’t always easy. These types of accidents can leave you stuck miles away from the nearest campsite .
Things can get even worse if your RV broke down while you were boondocking far away from the main road. A roadside assistance plan enables policyholders to avoid being stuck for days in one place, and guarantee that they can get the help you need quickly.
In addition, these plans ensure that experienced technicians who know how to deal with a problem effectively service your vehicle. So, in case you have a flat tire, dead RV battery, or need towing services an RV roadside assistance plan will provide you with a way to handle these issues quickly.
All insurance companies provide RV roadside assistance at all hours of the day and allow you to request help either online or via phone.
Differences between RV insurance and RV roadside assistance
Assuming that your RV insurance policy includes roadside assistance before hitting the road would be a major mistake. Insurance companies usually offer RV roadside assistance as an add-on to an RV insurance policy, while only a handful of insurance includes this service in the standard policy coverage.
So, in most cases, your RV insurance policy will only cover major accidents, but you’ll be left on your own if you lock yourself out of your vehicle or you get caught without a spare tire in the middle of nowhere.
Some RV roadside assistance policies even include compensation for the expenses you might have while your vehicle is being repaired.
Depending on the policy you may receive anywhere between $ 500 and $ 1,500 for the cost of lodgings, meals, and other expenses you might have during the trip interruption. It’s worth pointing out that the trip interruption reimbursement option isn’t available in all types of RV roadside assistance plans.
Check out our guide to setting up an RV for further information on the equipment that can make your RVing experience more enjoyable.
The duration of a roadside assistance plan
How frequently you have to renew a roadside assistance plan depends on the policy you choose. The vast majority of insurance companies issue policies that are either valid for six months or an entire year.
You can also choose if you want to make monthly payments for the RV roadside assistance plan you picked or cover the complete annual sum at once.
The number of times you can use the RV roadside assistance service within a 12-month period is usually specified in the policy, and some insurers limit this number to just two.
That’s why it is advisable to check how many times you can use this service under the plan you chose and to which vehicles the policy applies.
For instance, some insurance companies offer RV roadside assistance plans with coverage that extends to travel trailers or campers, as well as options that cover only campers. Go through our guide to the best RV travel destinations if you’re currently planning a trip.
RV protection on the road
Whether you own or rent an RV, you have to make sure that the vehicle is protected against all types of accidents that can happen while you’re on the road. Regardless of the scenario that unravels you’ll want the vehicle to be serviced by experienced technicians rather than search for a solution on your own.
It is better to contact the insurer, even if you just need a locksmith to unlock your RV than to risk damaging the vehicle and make the repair costs larger than they need to be.
Getting an RV roadside assistance plan will also buy you peace of mind, as you won’t have to worry about leaving your family in the middle of nowhere to search for help. Check out our guide on how to maintain an RV to avoid having to use the roadside assistance service.
All roadside assistance providers specify the conditions under which this service is available. For instance, some insurers will only tow your vehicle for free for a limited amount of miles or to the nearest repair shop.
You will have to cover all additional expenses in case you don’t want to leave your RV at the nearest RV repair shop or if you want to exceed the towing mileage limit specified by the policy. Also, the service provider may refuse to assist you if the vehicle breaks down too far away from the main road.
That’s why it is important to study the policy’s coverage carefully before purchasing it, since you may find yourself in a situation in which you have to take care of your RV on your own despite having an RV roadside assistance plan.
Read our guide to the best RV gear to find out more about accessories you might need on the road.
The advantages of getting an RV roadside assistance plan
The service is available at all hours of the day
All roadside assistance providers offer help to policyholders around the clock, so you don’t have to wait until the morning to contact your insurer if your car broke down in the middle of the night. In addition, nearly all insurance companies make this service available every day of the year.
Access to specialist knowledge
The crews sent by an insurer have sufficient experience to detect the source of the problem and provide you with the best solutions. On the other hand, if the roadside assistance service was bundled with your car insurance policy the company might send a crew that doesn’t have sufficient experience to fix an RV.
Peace of mind
Even though most RVers are capable of dealing with a flat tire or a dry fuel tank on their own, an RV roadside assistance policy will buy you peace of mind, as you’ll have an easy solution at your disposal if you have to jump- start your RV or charge its battery.
The disadvantages of getting an RV roadside assistance plan
Increases the cost of the RV insurance policy
An RV roadside assistance policy can increase the monthly payments you have to make to the insurance company for more than a hundred dollars. Consequently, your RV insurance policy premium is going to be higher if you choose the RV roadside service for the coverage.
The most important factors to consider while choosing an RV roadside assistance plan
Almost all insurance companies that issue RV insurance policies also provide roadside assistance services. Hence, you’ll have plenty of options while searching for an RV roadside assistance plan, but you should keep in mind that the quality of the service depends on the provider.
Comparing the RV roadside assistance plans offered by different companies can help you determine which policy best fits your needs. We’ve shortlisted several factors that can assist you in choosing the RV roadside assistance plan.
Read our guide on how much it costs to live in an RV full-time if you’re considering making your motor home your permanent home.
Before choosing to purchase an RV roadside assistance plan from a particular company, you should find out more about the quality of service it provides and the experiences other policyholders had. That way you’ll ensure that you’re going to get the best possible service when you need it.
The coverage range
This is without question the first thing you should check, since the coverage an insurer offers depends on the plan. For instance, the winching service might not be included in the basic plan because the company only offers this service within the premium plan.
Even though roadside assistance plans reduce towing costs significantly, they don’t eliminate them entirely. Some insurance companies don’t limit the free towing mileage, while others offer this service for free in a 15-mile radius.
An RV roadside assistance plan can cost you between $ 80 and $ 250 per month depending on the provider and the coverage. You should choose the option that best fits your budget and offers the widest coverage, rather than overpaying for a plan that has only limited coverage.
Claims process difficulty level
Submitting a reimbursement claim isn’t a difficult process as you just have to fill out a form and submit it via the company’s website. However, you may have to wait for several weeks until the insurer approves your claim and covers the repair costs.
Why We Switched RV Roadside Assistance Programs
When we first started traveling with an RV, we knew we needed roadside assistance that would cover our RV. What we didn’t realize was that not all RV roadside assistance programs are equal. Far from it!
The day the tire blew on our tow vehicle, we learned that if we were not able to get the tire changed and the damage required a tow, that we were only covered for the damaged vehicle. Our trailer was fine, so it would be our responsibility to get it out of the right lane of Interstate-35.
That would mean finding a tow company on our own that could tow our trailer, waiting even longer, and paying for it ourselves. We were in the middle of nowhere, so it could have cost thousands of dollars to be towed to a suitable location, and we still could have ended up with our trailer and our tow vehicle many miles apart.
We were luckier that day than we realized, but we knew we needed to find a better option.
When we switched to a roadside company that doesn’t just extend roadside coverage to include RVs, but focuses on RVs and the needs for RVers, we had peace of mind that our trailer would never end up stranded on the side of the road.
The day that we had damage to both vehicles, the delay in receiving service was because they were calling multiple service providers to find someone who could work on both of our vehicles in the same location. In the end, we were not towed to the closest locations because they could only work on one or the other.
We spent a few nights in the mechanic’s parking lot, but we were able to stay together, in our home, and there was no additional cost for the tow.
That little bit of extra time on the side of the road saved us untold hours of inconvenience, not to mention the potential cost involved in reuniting our two vehicles once they were both repaired.
Traditional Roadside Plus RV vs RV Roadside Assistance
Many RVers have learned the hard way that there is a difference between adding an RV to a traditional roadside assistance plan and purchasing a plan that is designed with the needs of RVers in mind.
Roadside assistance plans are one of those things that you buy but hope you will never need to use. If you don’t use it, then it might seem like a waste of money to spend more on anything but the most basic services. Unfortunately, if you do need to use it, the costs of exceeding the limits of your basic plan add up very quickly.
You could easily have purchased several years of better coverage for that money. Unexpected things happen, even if you are a careful driver and you keep your vehicles well maintained. The more time you spend on the road, the greater the probability that, sooner or later, you will have a break-down story to share around the campfire.
How that story ends depends a lot on the decisions you make about roadside assistance.
Traditional Roadside Plus RV: AAA and Better World Club
AAA is basically synonymous with roadside assistance. They are a household name, and all types of RVs are covered by their Plus and Premium membership levels.
Better World Club (BWC) is not as well-known, but gaining in popularity as an environmentally-friendly option for roadside assistance. They are priced to be competitive with AAA, but adding an RV is an additional $45 per year.
Limitations of AAA for RVers
AAA memberships are difficult to compare because they are not a national organization, but rather a federation of local clubs. When you join AAA, you are joining the local club for where you live, which is just one of 32 clubs across North America.
Membership fees and what services are included can vary widely from one club to another, and sometimes when you travel from one region to another you may find that you don’t qualify for all the services that you thought you did.
AAA works well for people who generally stay within their home area, but those who travel extensively may find themselves disappointed.
While AAA extends coverage to RVs, in many clubs it does not extend the same coverage to RVs that you have for your car. This can also catch RVers off-guard. For example, in my local club (Texas), both Plus and Premier memberships include towing up to 100 miles.
This does not apply to RVs, however. Towing for an RV is only covered up to $500. Any cost above that is your responsibility. Depending on the size of your RV, that $500 might not get you very far.
It is also worth noting that the annual membership fee for most traditional roadside services, including both AAA and Better World Club, only includes the primary member. Adding an additional driver, such as a spouse or dependent child, adds an additional fee. At AAA this fee varies by local club, but it can sometimes cost nearly as much as doubling the membership fee.
AAA’s membership material is unclear regarding what happens to a towed RV if the tow vehicle breaks down and needs service. This may also vary from club to club. Based on the experience of other RVers, there is a great risk that you would be personally responsible for taking care of the trailer if the tow vehicle is damaged.
Limitations of Better World Club
Better World Club has many of the same limitations as AAA. It is a national organization, which gives it the advantage of offering consistent, predictable service all across the country. It also does not list the same limitations on towing for RVs as AAA does.
Like AAA, it is unclear how Better World Club would handle a trailer that would be left if a tow vehicle is damaged. Without a clear statement that the towed RV would also be taken care of, this is a risk to watch out for.
Cost-wise, Better World Club is priced similarly to AAA, and in fact will match AAA’s price if it is lower than theirs in your area. Yet there is also an additional fee of $45 for RV coverage and $51 per additional household member with a limit of 3. By the time these fees are added, the annual cost is comparable to that of an RV-specific plan with much better conditions.
Who Should Consider Traditional Roadside Plus RV?
Traditional roadside coverage with an RV added is not recommended for full-time RVers or those who travel extensively with their RVs. If you often leave your home region or frequently drive for long periods of time, an RV-specific roadside assistance plan is strongly recommended.
For those who park their RVs seasonally in one location, or who stay relatively local and only use the RV occasionally, a traditional roadside plan may be a reasonable option. If you are unlikely to need a tow while in a remote location, or you may have friends nearby who can tow your trailer if you’re stranded, then these might not be factors that concern you.
RV- Specific Roadside Assistance: Coach-Net and Good Sam
The main differences between them are related to cost and levels of coverage. Coach-Net offers the same comprehensive roadside program to all its customers, and the difference in cost levels depends on whether your RV is towable (travel trailers, fifth wheels, etc.) or drivable (Class A or Class C motorhomes, campervans, etc.).
Good Sam’s programs cover all RVs, and even multiple RVs owned by the same household. They have two different levels of coverage, allowing you to save a little money if you are interested in a less comprehensive package.
Coach-Net and Good Sam are the best options for RV roadside coverage. Your individual circumstances will help you determine which choice is right for you. Let’s compare them side-by-side to see how they’re alike and different.
Continue reading our complete Good Sam vs Coach-net Comparison.
|Coach-Net Towable||Coach-Net Drivable||Good Sam Platinum||Good Sam
|Types of RVs covered||All non-motorized RVs||All motorized RVs||All
(multiple RVs covered)
(multiple RVs covered)
|Other Vehicles Covered||All personal vehicles + rented, borrowed, or leased vehicles||All personal vehicles + rented, borrowed, or leased vehicles||All personal vehicles + rented, borrowed, or leased vehicles||All personal vehicles + rented, borrowed, or leased vehicles|
|Family Members Covered||Spouse and Dependent Children up to age 24||Spouse and Dependent Children up to age 24||Spouse and Dependent Children up to age 25||Spouse and Dependent Children up to age 25|
|Flat tire service||Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Fuel / Battery / Lockout||All included||All included||All included||All included|
|Cost||$179 / year||$249 / year||$79.95 / 1st year
$159.95 / year
|$119.95 / 1st year
$239.95 / year
The differences between Coach-Net and Good Sam are subtle, and either is an excellent choice for RV roadside assistance.
Because both companies offered the services we were looking for, the decision for us came down to price. The introductory offer from Good Sam was too good to pass up, and they took such great care of us that we didn’t see any reason to switch once that first year had passed.
Are several years on the road – and several roadside assistance calls – we are satisfied, loyal customers of Good Sam Roadside.
Other Roadside Assistance Plans Worth Considering
Allstate – The best RV roadside assistance plan for frequent RVers
You can choose between three different Allstate RV roadside assistance plans since you can pick a membership plan or add this plan to your RV insurance policy. The insurer also lets you purchase this plan as a one-time service when you need it.
The coverage includes all standard services such as towing, unlocking a vehicle, flat tire changes, or gas deliveries. Allstate’s roadside assistance should reach you within 30 minutes after you request this service.
It is also worth adding that the plan’s coverage extends to Canada, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
- Affordable plans Allstate roadside members
- The roadside assistance plan can be purchased as a one-time service
- The company issues trip interruption compensation
- Prompt response to all roadside assistance requests
- Limited towing range
- The company only delivers the fuel, while the policyholder covers its cost
Paragon Motor Club – The best RV roadside assistance for stolen vehicle trip interruptions
Besides protecting your RV against unforeseen events you can encounter on the road, the Paragon Motor Club includes car and motorcycle roadside assistance to all RV roadside assistance plans.
You can choose between Member Benefit, Classic Roadside, and Advantage packages and pick the coverage that best fits your needs. Opting for the Advantage plan will grant you access to the accident and stolen vehicle trip interruption reimbursement, customized trip routing, and travel discounts.
This plan also includes the Legal Defense Reimbursement that covers legal fees you may have to cover if you violate motor vehicle laws.
- The Advantage plan can be purchased at a discount
- The Classic package includes all standard roadside assistance services
- All packages include coverage in Canada
- You can opt-out of your policy whenever you want
- Towing services are available for the amount of $ 200
- All extra services are charged
Good Sam – The most affordable RV roadside assistance plans
The coverage range of all roadside assistance plans the Good Sam offer is impressive, as even the Standard plan includes all members of your family. Getting the Standard road assistance policy will enable you to protect all recreational and non-recreational vehicles you own.
On the other hand, the Platinum plan enables you to protect multiple RVs, different types of trailers, and the coverage includes the protection of vehicles you rent, lease or borrow. Good Sam’s roadside assistance plans are reasonably priced and you can often get them at a discounted price.
- Unlimited towing mileage
- All vehicles are handled by highly skilled technicians
- Roadside assistance policies are valid in entire North America
- Coverage includes a medical assistance
- Contacting the company may take a while
- The roadside assistance team may take more than an hour to reach you
Progressive – The widest RV roadside assistance plan coverage
As one of the largest RV and Trailer insurance providers in the United States, Progressive offers policies that cover all classes of motorhomes, different types of trailers, and campers.
However, most of these policies do not include roadside assistance, as the company offers this service as an add-on to its policies. The RV roadside assistance plan you can get at Progressive includes all standard services such as changing a flat tire or jump-starting a battery.
You should bear in mind that the towing service is only free within a 15-mile radius and you’ll have to pay for the extra mileage if you want to tow your RV further than 15 miles away from the place of the accident.
- Progressive offers roadside assistance services for all types of RVs
- Progressive’s roadside assistance is provided by the Agero company
- Plan’s price depends on the state
- One hour of on-site labor
- No trip interruption reimbursement
- Extra services are expensive
The American Automobile Association – The best RV insurance that includes the roadside assistance service
The Specialized RV insurance offered by the American Automobile Association includes the roadside assistance that is available to the policyholder 24 hours a day throughout the year. However, you shouldn’t expect too much from the AAA’s towing services.
The company’s standard roadside assistance plan includes free towing for just three miles and you must upgrade to the Plus plan to extend the towing radius to a hundred miles.
Probably the greatest advantage AAA has over other RV roadside assistance providers is the pricing because it is less expensive than most of its competitors.
- Offers roadside assistance plans separately or as a part of RV insurance
- Towing radius can be extended to hundred miles
- Requesting roadside assistance is easy
- Skilled and experienced technicians
- The coverage doesn’t include family members
- Requesting the roadside service online can be time-consuming
A Note about Discounts
One thing that makes AAA so popular with many people is all of the discounts they have negotiated for their members. AAA offers travel services, insurance and financial services, and discounts at many hotels, attractions, and restaurants.
It was our conclusion that none of these discounts would be significant enough to make up for the cost if our trailer was left stranded on the side of the interstate. We rarely stay in hotels because we travel with an RV, and most of the restaurants listed were not places we typically frequent.
We have our insurance and financial service needs provided for elsewhere. Those are not things we need from our roadside assistance company.
Good Sam also offers a club membership that is separate from its roadside assistance, and because it is targeted to meet the needs of RVers, it is an excellent option. Since the club membership is separate from the roadside assistance plan, you can choose Coach-Net for roadside and still join Good Sam Club for the discounts.
For $29 per year, our Good Sam membership saves us money on fuel, campgrounds, outdoor stores, and more. We use it often.
If you’re considering switching from AAA to get better RV roadside coverage, but don’t want to lose all the discounts, consider adding a Good Sam membership for more RV-specific savings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is AAA better than Good Sam?
Answer: For some people, maybe. But not for RVers. It’s called the American Automobile Association, right? Just because AAA says you’re covered with your RV does not mean you are well-covered for common RV-related emergencies. With AAA, RVs are an afterthought, not their central focus.
You might just find yourself stuck on the side of the road, or stuck with a big bill for services that weren’t covered. Good Sam’s RV roadside assistance plans are created with the needs of RVers in mind since that is their primary audience.
Question: How much does it cost to tow an RV?
Answer: The cost of towing an RV depends on what type of RV you have, how big it is, and the reasons you need a tow in the first place. Do you need a flatbed tow, or can it roll on the rear wheels? Where are you broken down, and how far away is the service station?
Many tow companies charge a flat fee to come out to you, regardless of how far you’re going, then they charge per mile on top of that. A typical base fee is $50-100, and per-mile fees can range from $10-25. This is why AAA’s $500 limit on towing an RV could leave you stuck with an unexpected bill.
Question: Can I use roadside assistance an unlimited number of times?
Answer: The service provider limits the number of times you can request roadside assistance in a year, so you should request this service only in emergencies.
Question: How often do I have to renew my RV roadside assistance plan?
Answer: The answer to this question depends on the service provider, but in most cases, you will have to renew your plan once per year or every six months.
Question: Is it possible to use the RV roadside assistance if I am far away from the main road?
Answer: Generally speaking, yes it is possible to call roadside assistance even if you’re not near the main road, but you should keep in mind that some plans include coverage until a certain distance from a road.
Question: How soon can I start using my RV roadside assistance plan?
Answer: Your RV roadside assistance plan will become available as soon as you purchase it, although in some cases it may take a day or two before you can start using the roadside assistance plan you purchased.
Our verdict: Which RV roadside assistance plan should you choose?
Being stuck with a broken-down RV miles away from the nearest town can turn a beautiful vacation into a nightmare.
Having an RV roadside assistance plan will eliminate all chances that you’ll have to go through different horror scenarios as you can simply contact the service provider and they will send a team of experienced professionals that will solve the problem for you.
We recommend choosing one of Good Sam ’s RV roadside assistance plans because they protect your recreational vehicle at a reasonable price. Getting the Paragon Motor Club might be a good idea if you’re planning to travel outside of the United States.
Which of the best RV roadside assistance plans are you going to choose? Let us know in the comments or continue reading about how much it costs to RV in Europe if you’re thinking about visiting the Old Continent.