Whether you live your life on the road and your travel coach is your home, or you’re a weekend warrior using your RV for short trips with the family, a roadside assistance plan is an absolute must, and it’s important to have the best RV roadside assistance plan possible. We’ve never been without one… and we wouldn’t be without it, despite the fact that as we step into our 19th year as full-time RVers, we’ve only very rarely used it (more on that experience later).
Roadside assistance plans are like a type of insurance, though they’re not insurance. So just what is a roadside assistance plan, who needs one, and what are the best RV roadside assistance plans available to us?
- 1) What is an RV Roadside Assistance Plan?
- 2) What Should I Look For in an RV Roadside Assistance Plan?
- 3) What Are the Best RV Roadside Assistance Plans?
- 4) Do You Need an RV Roadside Assistance Plan?
What is an RV Roadside Assistance Plan?
There’s RV insurance and then there’s an RV roadside assistance plan. The two are not the same, they don’t provide the same type of coverage, and they exist independently of one another, even if they’re offered by the same company.
Let’s take a look…
Perhaps your RV insurance policy’s collision coverage protects your RV if it’s damaged in an accident, and liability coverage addresses damages and injuries on the road and when your rig is parked. Medical bills and vehicle repairs may be covered here, and comprehensive insurance covers your rig in case of theft, vandalism, fire, weather-related incidents, collisions with animals, etc. (Sound expensive? Check out our post “What Does RV Insurance Cost?“)
That’s very different from what roadside assistance offers. The so-called “insurance” offered by roadside assistance is a sense of peace of mind should your RV be disabled due to a mechanical failure, or if your rig runs out of fuel, or has a flat tire or a dead battery.
A roadside assistance plan may send a tow truck out to tow your rig to the nearest repair facility (depending on your plan’s details) or to change a tire right where you’re stranded. It may send a truck out with enough fuel to get you to the nearest fueling station.
Roadside assistance plans exist to help you if you’re stranded by something that renders your rig incapable of moving to a location where you can obtain the assistance you need to get back on the road.
You may opt for roadside assistance coverage through the same company that provides your RV insurance (or through an independent company), but they’re different plans and provide different types of reassurance. While an RV insurance plan provides insurance coverage, a roadside assistance plan provides assistance – at the roadside.
What Should I Look For in an RV Roadside Assistance Plan?
There are a few factors you’ll want to look into prior to settling on a roadside assistance plan. Let’s review those briefly, and then we’ll take a look at some of the best RV roadside assistance plans available.
Does the Plan Cover Your RV?
You’ll first want to be sure that the type of RV you have is covered by the roadside assistance plans you’re considering. There are plans that will cover any type of RV, but there are also plans that will only cover non-motorized RVs. If you’ve got a travel trailer, that plan might work. If you’ve got a Class A diesel pusher as we do, you’d need to find another plan.
You’ll also want to make sure the plan includes coverage for any other vehicle type you’re carrying. We tow an SUV, for example. Perhaps you carry a motorcycle or other type of vehicle. Details are important here, so before signing on with any RV roadside assistance plan, make sure the plan applies to your particular situation and will cover the vehicles with which you regularly travel.
Allowable Towing Distance
This can be very important, and sometimes it’s hidden in the fine details of a plan. You’ll want to sort out the towing details in advance of committing to any roadside assistance plan. It’s great to do something like this via email so that you have responses in writing, though this isn’t always possible.
Some roadside assistance programs will take you to the nearest service station, regardless of whether they’re capable of working on the type of rig you have. You may wish to have the ability to choose where your rig will be towed to, and you may want to sort out other details such as whether they’ll provide a flatbed (if that applies to your rig) or whether they’re capable of towing a motorhome that weighs 19 tons, like ours.
Check out the fine details of the plan in advance, rather than being disappointed to learn that your needs aren’t covered at the time when you find yourself stranded. Not all plans are created equal.
If you’re interested in a plan that offers emergency fuel delivery, you’ll need to make sure that’s in the plan you’re considering. How about assistance in the case of a lockout, or a plan that provides for tire changes on the side of the road? How about a jump for a dead battery or even delivery of a new battery if you’re stranded on the side of the road?
Might you one day need the services of a professional who can use a winch to pull your rig out of a ditch? Is it conceivable that you could get stuck in sand or mud?
You need to be absolutely certain that the roadside assistance plan you choose will be able to provide what you need to pull your rig out of an unexpected situation – oh, say (just for example) in a desert campground with soft sand near your dear friends Jason & Nikki Wynn. JUST FOR EXAMPLE. Not that this happened to us or anything like that. Cough, cough. Ahem. Sorry, just clearing our throats.
The services provided by roadside assistance plans are all in the details, and you’ve gotta sort out those details in advance.
A good RV roadside assistance plan needs to be reasonably priced. This isn’t something you’ll use every day, after all. Or even every week. In fact, you may never use it in the course of a year, but peace of mind is valuable (priceless, even), and these plans are very important for helping ease concerns of getting stranded.
That said, the cost shouldn’t be excessive, nor does it need to be. Some plans do cost more than others, but in general, it’s because they offer more. So, when you’re evaluating roadside assistance plans, take cost into consideration while paying very close attention to the features offered by the plan.
What Are the Best RV Roadside Assistance Plans?
Let’s take a look at the best RV roadside assistance plans for your peace of mind. These are plans you’ll buy, hoping you’ll never need them. They’re also plans you’ll be mighty grateful to have if you DO find yourself in need of roadside assistance.
Coach-Net has been providing assistance to owners of towable RVs and motorhomes for more than three decades, and their reputation is excellent. Coach-Net is the roadside assistance plan we know best… because it’s the plan we use.
Coach-Net offers a couple of different plans – one for drivable RVs like ours at a cost of $249/year, and a plan for towable RVs at a cost of $179/year. The features of the plan are excellent and coverage includes your entire family of drivers (including your dependent children ages 24 and under). Coverage extends to your RV and all other personal vehicles owned, rented, borrowed, or leased. This means that even if you’re not driving your RV, you’ll be covered by Coach-Net in whatever vehicle you’re driving.
We can vouch for Coach-Net. For instance, they may or may not have gotten us out of a heck of a jam in the desert (and Nikki Wynn may or may not have hidden the evidence thereof in her dedication to the “leave no trace” good camper golden rule), but here’s the serious part:
We really do have a rig that weighs more than 19 tons, so it’s a tall order to handle an RV this size. The professionalism we’ve personally experienced in terms of both personnel and equipment sent to rescue us was very impressive. So, if you’ve got a large motorhome like we do, checking out Coach-Net is a good idea.
We can’t say we’ve had to use our Coach-Net plan very often in the past 19 years, but we can say that when we needed the plan it was put into action quickly, carried out professionally and effectively, and we were extremely grateful to have it. In our opinion, it’s well worth $249/year for the peace of mind and the service provided.
Now to the details of that service…
Coach-Net’s Premier Motorized Plan ($249/yr) offers 24/7 roadside assistance that includes towing your disabled vehicle to the nearest qualified repair facility with no out-of-pocket expense to you and no mileage or dollar amount limits. It also includes unlimited tire assistance such as changing a flat tire or delivery of a comparable tire for towing your vehicle to a repair facility (which may be necessary if they are unable to source an exact replacement for your existing tire, but need to get it moved until they can).
This plan also includes delivery of fuel and emergency fluids to your disabled vehicle, unlimited battery boosts, and lockout assistance that includes locksmith services or assistance in unlocking your vehicle or obtaining a replacement key.
Coach-Net provides a concierge-like service that will assist you in obtaining the first available appointment at the closest qualified repair facility, and they’ll provide winch out or extraction services up to 100 feet off a maintained road or in a commercial campground equipped for camping vehicles.
You’ll also receive up to $2,000 reimbursement for vehicle rental, food, and lodging made necessary by the disablement of your RV due to a collision that occurs more than 100 miles from your home.
Discounts on tires, RV products, hotels, motels, and camping are also offered as are a number of other features, and coverage can be obtained for trailers, tow dollies, boat trailers, and utility trailers.
Coach-Net offers a number of other services, all of which you can check out on their website.
While we’re most familiar with Coach-Net’s services, there are four other RV roadside assistance plans that are highly reputed for excellent service. Below we’ll provide a brief description of services and a link to each roadside service (in the heading) in case you’d like to check them out.
One of the most popular RV roadside assistance plans is AAA Plus RV. Many drivers already have AAA for their personal vehicles, and adding AAA Plus RV is a natural inclusion. Additionally, in order to buy AAA’s RV roadside assistance plan, you must already have a AAA membership.
AAA offers a couple of different RV-specific plans. The first is the AAA Plus RV plan, and the second is their Premier plan. In general, the Plus plan will run you somewhere around $140 annually, while the Premier plan will cost around $210/year. These prices include AAA coverage for your car or truck, but you’ll need to obtain additional coverage for each driver in your household.
Unfortunately, cost varies from state to state, and there may even be coverage differences from state to state. This makes the services somewhat cumbersome to navigate for a general post like this one, but typing in your zip code on their website will bring you to some information pertinent to your state, and making a phone call may be even more helpful.
AAA Plus RV does offer towing to a service station (your choice), though this may not be available to you if you camp in very remote locations – so this is something you’d want to check directly with AAA in your state.
RV coverage also includes fuel delivery, flat tire and battery services, locksmith, and winching services.
There’s not a lot more we can add here, because the details of the AAA Plus RV (and all AAA roadside plans) vary from state to state.
Progressive’s 24/7 roadside assistance is extra coverage that you have the option to add to your existing RV insurance coverage through them.
Towing services are limited to anywhere within a 15-mile radius, however, if there isn’t a repair shop within 15 miles, they’ll tow you to the nearest qualified repair shop. You can choose to have your vehicle towed to another shop (other than the closest one), but you’ll have to pay for the additional mileage.
Winching services are provided within 100 feet of a road or highway – they’ll pull your rig out with a motor-powered cable or chain.
They also provide the typical battery jump-start, fuel delivery (delivery and service are free – you pay for the fuel), locksmith services, flat tire change (as long as you can provide the spare), and up to one hour of on-scene labor if your car is disabled.
Progressive notes that there may be a limit to the number of roadside events a policy covers, and in some states (i.e. North Carolina and Virginia), roadside assistance coverage is subject to limits noted in your insurance policy.
We can’t offer you a precise cost of Progressive Roadside Assistance due to its integration with your motor vehicle insurance policy.
But, you’re probably starting to see the importance of reading the fine print… and then reading the finer print. It’s very important that you understand the coverage you’re buying before you need to use your roadside assistance plan.
If you’re already a member of (or become a member of) Escapees RV Club, you’ll be entitled to purchase an Escapees Roadside Assistance plan for your RV for $109/year. This gives you unlimited access to all of the features/services provided by the plan.
Escapees offers unlimited roadside assistance coverage that includes towing of your disabled RV “to the nearest repair facility suited to your needs”, a mobile mechanic (you’re responsible for the cost of any needed parts and labor), tire change service (even if you don’t have a spare in which case a similar tire will be mounted for towing to the nearest repair facility), fuel delivery, lockout services, battery jump-starts, winching, trip interruption, and a variety of other features.
Escapees Roadside Assistance even offers technical assistance (24/7) from RVIA/RVDA and ASE Certified Technicians who’ll have a conversation with you to try and troubleshoot the issue(s) you’re having. Should they be unable to troubleshoot the issue successfully in this communication, emergency roadside service will be sent your way.
We’ve noted that the roadside assistance program will cost you $109 annually. This is in addition to your Escapees RV Club membership which is $39.95 for residents of the United States and $49.95 for residents of Canada and Mexico.
Escapees RV Club offers a number of amazing features and is well worth your time to check out.
These plans vary widely, so we won’t post all of the details here, but if you click on the links provided for each plan above, you’ll find more information for each plan.
While we’re sure Good Sam offers very good roadside assistance in many situations, their website notes that they’ll get you the right tow truck for the size of your rig. That may be true, but we feel we should note (particularly for folks with larger diesel RVs) that we’ve heard stories about tow trucks arriving on scene that were too small to handle a large Class A or diesel pusher. This issue may have been remedied, but we’d suggest that if you have a large Class A motorhome and you’re interested in Good Sam’s roadside assistance program, you confirm your precise expectations with them ahead of time and ask if they’d be able to assist you appropriately.
NOTE: see Brenda’s comment below for a real-world account of how Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance plans failed someone in need (we’re so sorry to hear about your experience, Brenda!)
FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) Roadside Assistance Plan
FMCA is another terrific RV club with a multitude of great benefits, including the ability to opt into their roadside assistance plan. You’ll pay $159 annually for a driveable RV and $129 for a towable rig.
The general FMCA membership is $60 for the first year and $50 per year thereafter, so if you’re not already an FMCA member you’ll want to figure that into your annual cost as well (for new members, though, you can save on your first year using the following coupon).
FMCA’s roadside assistance covers your RV, your tow car or other vehicles, and your spouse and children age 25 and under. They offer towing to the nearest qualified service shop no matter the distance. You can opt for the services of an on-scene mobile mechanic.
In the case of a mechanical issue that leaves you stranded, FMCA’s plan will allow you up to $300 a day for five days as trip interruption compensation. And as with all of the other plans, you’ll be entitled to tire and battery services, fuel delivery, lockout services, and winching.
FMCA’s general membership is worth checking out, and if you’re interested in that, then the roadside assistance program might interest you as well.
Do You Need an RV Roadside Assistance Plan?
The answer to this question really has to be based on your own evaluation of your circumstances. But, for us, an RV roadside assistance plan is a must, and we wouldn’t be on the road without it. Again, we’ve rarely used ours, but the peace of mind it offers and the services we have at our fingertips should we need them makes our annual fee well worth paying for sure.
Remember that if you break down, depending on where you’re located, what type of tow truck has to be sent to rescue you, and how far it needs to tow your rig, you could very quickly find yourself paying more than an annual fee for any one of these excellent RV roadside assistance plans.
How much do you suppose this would have cost us? ????????
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