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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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