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RV Roadside Assistance Showdown: Good Sam Versus AAA

RV Roadside Assistance Showdown: Good Sam Versus AAA

An unfortunate reality of RV life is the occasional breakdown. Hopefully, your breakdowns are few and far between, but it’s always best to prepare for the worst.

Whether it’s an engine failure, brake issues, or a blown tire, having roadside assistance can be a lifesaver.

Today, we’ll compare two roadside assistance programs so you can choose wisely, helping you get on your way faster and hopefully with more money in your wallet. 

Good Sam Versus AAA At-a-Glance

Two of the best-known roadside assistance programs among RVers are the Good Sam and AAA programs. Before making your choice, understand what both offer. The goal of both of these programs is to provide support to customers in the event of a roadside failure or emergency.

AAA typically requires you to add your vehicle first and then add on your RV. Good Sam is much more transparent with the upfront costs by displaying them on their website.

However, AAA requires you to call to get a quote from one of the company’s representatives.

Girl with broken down vehicle on phone for roadside assistance.
There are many pros and cons to both AAA and Good Sam.

Comparison

While both programs provide similar services, they have some differences that might be important for your situation. Let’s take a look at a few differences and similarities between Good Sam and AAA roadside assistance. 

Cost

While the cost can vary based on your location, a few averages can help you understand what fees you’ll be looking at for each program.

Both companies work on a tiered subscription model. Good Sam’s prices vary from $64.95 to $119.95. However, AAA policies with RV coverage range from $90 to $116 a year. AAA also has a one-time $20 fee to join. 

Vehicle Coverage

Both programs provide coverage for your RV as well as your automobile. The first tier of Good Sam is only for non-motorized RVs, so those with motorized RVs will need to select a plan that includes coverage for their unit. 

If your vehicle is malfunctioning, you’ll need another form of transportation. Thankfully, both companies can help you with temporary transportation. AAA will provide a discounted rental or a free one-day car rental, depending on the tier.

Good Sam provides a discounted car rental with its program. 

RV being towed by roadside assistance.
Need roadside assistance? AAA and Good Sam can help!

Towing Options

Good Sam provides unlimited towing distance to the nearest provider in the U.S. and Canada. This means you won’t have to worry about overage charges if you’re in a remote area. Keep in mind that Good Sam doesn’t give you a choice as to where they tow you to. It’s just the nearest available option.

Those traveling in Mexico, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands will receive $1,000-$1,500 in towing and roadside service depending on their Good Sam plan. 

AAA towing includes up to 100 miles of towing miles. Their higher tier subscription allows a tow of up to 200 miles once a year for an automobile. RVs aren’t included in this once-a-year 200-mile allowance.

Pro Tip: Your RV breaking down isn’t the only thing that could go wrong on an adventure! Check out these other 5 Ways to Ruin Your Road Trip.

Basic Coverage

Both companies offer the basic coverage that customers expect. You’ll find battery service, fuel delivery, tire service, and locksmith services.

However, the wait time for service can be cumbersome with both companies, especially if you experience an issue in a remote location.  

Extended Coverage

While both companies offer the basics, there are a few key areas where they differ regarding extended coverage. AAA offers minor mechanical assistance, first aid, and extrication or winching. Their towing covers four tows up to 100 miles for their basic package.

Upgrading to their Premier RV package gives customers one tow of up to 200 miles and three tows of up to 100 miles. They can deliver your RV anywhere within the covered radius, or you can pay the difference to tow it outside that radius.

On the other hand, Good Sam provides RV mobile mechanic dispatch, unlimited towing, and unlimited miles for towing, depending on your plan. However, the unlimited miles benefit is a bit deceptive in that they tow your RV to the nearest service center.

You’ll have little to no say in where the tow truck takes your RV for service. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if your preferred service center isn’t the closest one.

Woman on phone calling for help
Memberships to AAA and Good Sam have additional benefits apart from roadside assistance.

Extra Perks

Good Sam’s perks include saving $10 on the posted hourly service rate at Camping World, 15% off propane at select locations, and a free annual inspection at Camping World. You can save $0.05 for gas and $0.08 on diesel per gallon at select Pilot or Flying J locations by joining Good Sam. You can stay at more than 2,000 Good Sam RV parks and campgrounds in the U.S. and Canada and save 10% on the regular nightly rate.

By joining AAA, you can save at least $0.05 a gallon at Shell stations, 10% at NAPA, and get exclusive discounts with Lenscrafters. You’ll also find typical touristy discounts for places like Hard Rock Cafe and car rentals with Hertz, Thrifty, and Dollar. You can also take advantage of 10% off Dell computers or 30% off Samsung products.

It really is a battle over a customer’s personal preference when it comes to the extra perks. The perks are just icing on the cake when it comes to these two services.

Good Sam Versus AAA: The Winner

While both companies have many happy customers, the programs are different enough that we feel there is a clear winner here for RVers. Let’s see who comes out ahead.

Best for All Vehicle Needs: 

For the best comprehensive coverage for both your automobile and RV, Good Sam understands the market. They know you’re sometimes farther than 100 miles away from a service provider and don’t ramp up the price if that’s the case.

Good Sam knows that when you’re far from home or your RV is your home, you need quick access to shelter in the event of a collision. Their travel interruption service helps cover your meals and shelter if an event happens more than 100 miles from your home. 

Pro Tip: Considering buying a Good Sam membership? Read more on Is Good Sam Club RV Membership Worth It?

Best for Discounts:

Both companies provide discounts for their customers. If we focus on which company provides more useful discounts specifically for RVers, Good Sam is the winner.

The camping discounts and discounts and major retailers such as Camping World and Gander RV can be huge perks. In the long run, even if you luck out and don’t need their roadside assistance, the extra discounts still make your membership worth the membership fees.

What roadside assistance program do you use? Drop a comment below!

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Ken Boyer

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

Good Sam never showed up. I changed back to AAA.

Terry Don Ftzhugh

Sunday 26th of December 2021

My 2015 Ram 2500 died on me pulling a 35 ft. Keystone Avalanche fifth wheel between Little Rock, Arkansas and Conway, Arkansas on I 40. I had Roadside assistance for 14 years. I called and they said they would tow the truck but I would have to furnish my own transportation for the fifth wheel. I waited 2 1/2 hours on the tow truck. they said the couldn't find a wrecker driver. Good Sam said they had to use this company. I finally made my own arrangements and had the truck repaired at my own expense.

Ed Hibbs

Sunday 26th of December 2021

Having had both of these services I can respond based on our experiences. We had the Good Sam Roadside Assistance for a few years and had three calls, two were very minor (a flat tire on newly installed tires from Camping World where CW failed to properly install the air valves, a lock out due to the front door deadbolt breaking in the locked position) and one for roadside assistance on a catastrophic tire failure where we were charged over $330 for a tow dolly tire, no balancing, and the service they sent badly scratched up the chrome rim. No followup phone calls. Five days later I had the other tow dolly tire replaced with the exact same tire and it came to $110 including balancing. So, who really paid for the roadside assistance? BTW, the service they sent came from 3.7 miles away.

I switched over to California AAA Premier Roadside Assistance and have needed their services once with our diesel pusher motorhome (towed in the middle of Canada somewhere) and once with our pickup truck in California and both times the service was excellent. They followed up to keep us informed and to check on us.

We no longer consider Good Sam for roadside assistance as, for us, CSAAA is far superior.

I should mention that FMCA, as an option, also offers roadside assistance for RVers for a better price than Good Sam.

Bruce

Sunday 26th of December 2021

I am very disappointed with AAA RV coverage. Have tried to use it 3 times and twice they completely failed. 1 - Had a rear tire blowout and they could not get a tow to me until after the shop they would tow me to closed. It was going to be over 4 hours until a tow truck could get to me. This was 10 miles outside Bakersfield so not a remote area. Ended up calling a mobile tire service that was able to install two new tires and have me on my way within 2 hours. 2 - Had a valve stem leak and fortunately was at a campground close to Carson. All I needed was someone to jack up the rear tire and remove the outer tire to allow me to tighten the valve stem extension. They said they could only replace a flat tire with a full size spare so I changed my story to having a flat and needed the spare installed. Then they told me that since it was the inside rear they could not do it (policy, safety?). So I changed the request to replacing the outside rear with my spare. After all of this it turns out they could not find a truck that was big enough to service my rig (37' class c with 19.5 tires). Ended up taking the rig to a tire shop in Carson where they removed the tires and tighted the valve stem extension. 20 minutes and $15 later I'm back on the road.

3. - Had a fuel pump fail on I-8 near Jacumba, CA. Sitting on the freeway with lots of traffic , semis and motorhomes whizzing by at 65 mph 5 feet from me was frightening. Took them 4 hours to get a tow truck to me. This was with a rig that could be towed with a normal truck - no need to special heavy equipment.

I asked a repair shop why AAA is so slow and inadequate and was told that AAA has a very low rate they pay the operators so if there is other full rate work they will take that first and AAA goes to the back of the line.

Very disappointed and would like to find a better solution.

Robert Seeberg

Sunday 26th of December 2021

I have had Good Sam Roadside Assistance for over twenty-five years. Their response time for me has always been about an hour. The only time I was charged for extra mileage was when our Jeep Grand Cherokee was in an accident. I paid $50 dollars to have it towed to my home, which was over 100 miles from where the accident occurred. My insurance company refunded that. We have friends that had AAA. They experienced a problem with their tow vehicle. We were in LaGrange, GA . They had a fifth wheel trailer. AAA shows up and operator has a flat bed truck and says he can’t tow the trailer, because he has no hitch. We fortunately were about a mile from The campground. I went there and the owner got one of the guests with a fifth wheel RV and come pull our friends RV to the Campground. So much for AAA’s RV extra charge.

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