Think you have Roadside Assistance for your RV? You might be wrong just like I was!
I learned the hard way when we got a flat on our RV in the middle of a hurricane evacuation that the only thing my roadside assistance covers is towing, not RV mobile tire repair.
There are several companies that offer roadside assistance programs for RVs, but not all of them are equal and qualified to service Big Rig Class A RVs like ours. And of those that do few offer Mobile Tire Repair.
I investigated each benefit and ranked them in order of importance based on our needs as RV owners. After identifying which roadside assistant benefits were most important for big rigs, I compared those plans that offered the coverage needed. You can jump to the comparison and cost table by clicking here or read on for the details.
13 Most Important RV Roadside Assistance Benefits for Big Rigs
- 24/7 Service
- Towing to the nearest Qualified Repair Center
- Mobile Tire Repair
- RV Technical Assistance
- Mobile Mechanic
- Fuel and Emergency Fluid Delivery
- Locksmith Services
- Jump Start/Battery Boost
- Winching and Extraction
- Tow and Additional Vehicle Coverage
- No charge for additional drivers
- Trip Interruption
- Discount Programs
Roadside Assistance Comparison Chart
|ESCAPEES ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||FMCA ROADSIDE RESCUE||GOOD SAM PLATINUM||COACH-NET||AARP (ALLSTATE)||AAA PREMIER RV|
|Annual Membership Cost||$139 ($99 + Membership fee of $40)||$159 ($74 + Membership fee of $85)||$189 ($159.95 plus Membership fee of $29)||$249||$124 ($108 + $16 member fee)||$189|
|24 hour/7 day per Week Service||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Towing To The Nearest Qualified Repair Center||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Up to 100 miles||Up to 100 miles|
|Mobile RV Tire Repair||Yes||Yes||No – must buy Tire Protection Plan add $189/yr||No – must buy Tire Protection Plan add $180/yr||No||No|
|RV Tech Assistance||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|RV Mobile Mechanics||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Locksmith Service||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||$150 per incident|
|Jump Start/Battery Boost||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Winching and Extraction||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes
|RV & Additional Vehicles||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Charges for Additional Driver||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Service Call Limits per Year||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||6 per year||4 per member/year|
|Trip Interruption||Up to $1,200||Up to $1,500||Up to $1,500||Up to $2,000||Up to $1,500||Up to $1,500|
|Global Emergency Services||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Trip Planning Services||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
What are the hours of service available for your RV roadside assistance plan?
If they are not available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week then this is probably not the plan you should choose to cover your RV.
What happens if you break down on a holiday or weekend and a repair facility is not open? I learned of at least one program offered by the Escapees RV Club that will tow your motorhome to an RV park near a qualified repair center. When the repair center reopens, they will tow your coach to the repair center at no additional cost!
All RV roadside assistance programs offer towing but there are a few major differences that are important to Class A RV owners. If they don’t offer Mobile Tire Repair, how will they tow your RV?
Can the service vehicle tow your RV?
Not having a roadside assistance policy that is specific to Class A RVs could mean that the tow vehicle that is sent to you is not capable of towing your RV safely. This could result in additional damages and costly repairs.
Where will they tow your RV to?
This is very important because if your policy doesn’t specifically state a Qualified Repair Facility, you may find that where your RV is towed to is not capable of fixing it. You risk incurring additional expenses and even more damage to get your RV towed to another location.
How far will they tow your RV?
Some policies limit the distance that they will tow your RV. This means if there is no qualified repair facility within those limits, you may find yourself paying additional out of pocket costs to get your RV to a location where it can be properly repaired.
Do they offer just RV Tire Changes, or do they provide RV Mobile Tire Repair?
All RV roadside assistance policies cover changing your tire if you have a flat, but only if you have a spare. The majority of Class A RVs do not carry a spare tire. Without the Mobile Tire Repair benefit your options are limited.
If a spare tire is not available, then the benefit says they will tow you to the nearest tire repair facility. This is exactly what happened to us during a hurricane evacuation!
Even though our tire was repairable, our Progressive insurance policy did not cover mobile tire repair. I did not know that our Good Sam membership needed to be upgraded to the Platinum plans to cover our Class A, so we were not covered for Mobile Tire Repair there either.
We had to call a mobile tire repair service and pay for the repair ourselves. Make sure you specifically ask whether the coverage you are purchasing includes mobile tire repair!
Tip: You need to have the Good Sam Platinum or Platinum Plus to cover your Class A RV. The Standard Plan only covers towable RVs.
What if you need a new tire, can you get a discount?
If your RV tire cannot be repaired and you have to be towed to a tire service center to replace your tire, a few companies can offer you discounts on RV tires. Coach-Net, Escapees, and FMCA have negotiated discounts that can save you up to 15% on new tires.
If you want to take advantage of RV tire discounts, you must purchase a roadside assistance plan PLUS the additional add-on tire replacement program.
Tip: If possible, shop around for new RV tires. Some people have found better discounts without paying for the extra tire coverage the RV Membership Clubs offer. Search RV Facebook Groups and RV forums for the best places to purchase your Class A RV tires.
RV Technical Assistance
Normally, whenever we have a technical issue with our RV that we need help with we call the manufacturers service department, but what about after hours?
Luxury Class A RVs have very unique systems and not just any automotive mechanic will be able to help you troubleshoot and solve your problem. You want a roadside assistance program that offers 24/7 technical assistance from RVIA/RVDA Certified technicians.
This particular benefit can be very useful if you need help with problems with leveling jacks or retracting a slide and you are unable to reach your regular service department.
RV Mobile Mechanics
If you can’t resolve your issues on the phone with the technicians, you want to make sure they have mobile mechanics that are also certified and specialize in RVs.
The way to guarantee that is to ask if their mechanics are also certified by the National RV Dealers Association (RVDA).
Courtesy of the National RV Dealers Association: “The RVDA-RVIA RV Service Technician Certification Program is designed to assist the RV industry and the public in identifying those professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge and ability to satisfy established standards in RV diagnostic and repair procedures.”
Fuel and Emergency Fluid Delivery
All roadside assistance programs offer free delivery of fuel or fluids, but you must pay for the fuel and any related labor charges. The AARP- Allstate program says that they will give you 2 free gallons… I think this was designed as a benefit for cars because two gallons of fuel is barely enough to start my Class A RV!
Locksmith services are offered by all companies; however, the cost of the replacement key is not covered. Given how many people have locked themselves out of their RV (us included), this seems to be a worthwhile benefit!
Tip: Save yourself the aggravation and expense of locksmith fees by making a copy of your RV keys. Hide them in a secure location on the outside of your coach. We now use a magnetic key box for ours.
Jump Start/Battery Boost
This is an especially helpful coverage to have if it extends to your tow vehicles. Our battery went dead on our toad when it was hooked up to our coach while we were in a park. The park was too small to move the RV to a position where we could jump-start the car.
Tip: Purchase a good pair of jumper cables and a portable battery jump starter and store them in a secure location in your RV. A jump starter produces about 15 times the power of a battery charger and should provide the amps needed to get your vehicle started.
Winching and Extraction
Given the size and weight of Big Rig Class A RVs, getting stuck- even in a park is a possibility. A heavy rainstorm may make driving yourself out an impossibility and it takes special tow trucks and equipment to extract these big rigs. This is definitely a service that you want to be included in your RV Roadside Assistance policy.
Does your RV Roadside Assistance Program Cover Your Other Vehicles?
An added benefit that the four most popular companies that specialize in RV coverage (FMCA, Escapees, Good Sam, and Coach-Net) include is that they cover all of your vehicles. If you are carrying additional roadside assistance policies for your cars (like with AAA Automotive), you may be able to save money by changing to a broader plan with one of these companies that covers your RV and cars and canceling the car only policy.
Is your roadside assistance plan a family plan or does it charge per driver?
Some plans add additional fees for each driver in the household. Make sure you factor in any fees for additional drivers when you are making a purchase decision.
If the unfortunate does occur and your RV is disabled due to a collision while you are on a trip, this benefit provides reimbursement for the additional travel expenses you incur. Things like auto rental, airfare, hotel, and meals for the week after the accident are normally covered.
All six of the companies I reviewed offer discounts from everything to car rentals, hotels, entertainment, and campgrounds.
Benefits can vary somewhat by the company but can include concierge services, global emergency services, trip planning, and repatriation. We didn’t find these benefits particularly useful for this analysis, so we did not investigate them.
Other considerations when choosing an RV Roadside Assistance Plan
Limits on the number of claims– ask if there is a limit on the number of claims or service calls you can submit in a year. The four companies that specialize in RV coverage provide unlimited claims per year (Coach-Net, Good Sam FMCA, and Escapees). Of course, if you have multiple calls for the exact same issue in a short period of time there may be a problem with coverage.
Costs that are not covered- Remember that the annual membership fees do not cover labor, replacement parts or tires (unless you purchased the additional tire coverage).
Age of your RV and condition- if you do not maintain your RV on a regular basis, they may not renew your coverage.
Tip: Always contact the company directly for service- Make sure you call the service number and don’t make any arrangements yourself because they may not be covered!
What did we pick as the Best RV Roadside Assistance Program?
After all the investigation, comparison and analysis we decided that the Escapees Roadside Assistance program was right for us. While there isn’t much of a difference in price between the FMCA and the Escapees program, as full-timers we were already members of the Escapees program so we chose their Roadside Assistance program.
Consider the size and condition of your RV and your frequency of travel to chose a Roadside Assistance program that works best for you.
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Related Questions- People Also Ask
Will My Insurance Go Up if I Use My Roadside Assistance?
Using Roadside Assistance does not cause your insurance costs to increase. The roadside assistance company may deny coverage or limit how much they will cover if you have many claims for the same issue.
How Much Does It Cost to Tow an RV?
Depending on the time of day (holidays and weekends may incur additional fees), it costs about $300 per hour to tow a Class A RV. Your insurance policy may reimburse you for some of the costs.