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Old 08-31-2012, 03:47 PM   #1
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Emergency Road Service

This is one of those subjects that has been beat to death. Unfortunately I need to beat it a bit more. Most replies I've seen on this subject indicate most will rarely if ever use their emergency road service (ERS). With that said, most will also indicate use of a secondary ERS over their primary insurance.
My insurance company (one of the big 3) is providing me with RV ERS as part of my overall insurance at a fraction of the cost of AAA, Good Sam, etc.
Being relatively new to the RV arena, I had included AAA for our first long trip (4 weeks). Right now, I am having trouble justifying continued purchase of a second ERS over my primary insurer. Seems to be the belt and suspender issue.
Now the base question for you RV experts. Is there actually a reasonable justification for using one of the RV specific ERS programs?

Greg and Karen, the pups Bailey and Lily (St. Bernard mix and Beagle mix) and Lola (the attack cat)
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:45 PM   #2
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I dunno.... Why don't you do a policy vrs policy comparison and determine where there is overlap and/or gaps....then you can decide.

Jack & Maggie
04-Rexhall Roseair (37)
Cummins ISC / Spartan
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:49 PM   #3
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The answer is kind of simple, getting it is harder. Do you know what your insurance company coverage provides. Do they really understand what you are driving and that they can't just send Fred's wrecker service with a car towing rig? How far will they tow you? To safety, to the nearest garage, to the nearest place that can actually fix your rig? You need to know that before you decide what to do. AAA needs to be asked the same questions - they are not really RV experts.
Neil, Lin, and our furry companions, Ashby and Cody. 06 National Surf Side.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:01 PM   #4
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It's a very fair question. Even if you do a detailed side by side comparison though, you'll still come down to how much risk you're willing to take.

The cause of a breakdown might be obvious and the need for a tow clear. It might happen in a location where there are qualified support folks available and all will work out well.

On the other hand, maybe having a technical support person available on the phone could avoid a tow. Or, maybe your problems happen in a location where it's going to be a real problem getting qualified personnel and equipment to you in a reasonable amount of time.

The way I approached it was to view the cost of the CoachNet policy as sufficiently minor to just pay it rather than taking the chance.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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We originally had Good Sam ERS. It was OK. Then when we bought our first motor home it came with 1 free year Coachnet. I would never go back to Good Sam, and I wouldn't be without Coachnet, either. Coachnet covers my cars, too and they once flat bed towed my 35 foot Class A. More important to me, however, is that when my refrig stopped working (for example) we told them our route for the next few days and Coachnet called ahead to authorized Dometic dealers to see who could take us. We didn't have to waste our time trying to figure out who could service the refrig in an area we were totally unfamiliar with. They were very good to deal with and the only thing I miss about AAA is we liked their maps.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:06 PM   #6
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AAA has some advantages (they will tow you to the locations of your choice vs. the closest service provider) but has one big disadvantage in a 100-mile limit for RVs in most AAA districts (AAA Plus it may look like 200 miles or more at first, but read the fine print... it's 100 miles for RVs.) This might be OK in the east but could potentially leave you with an expensive bill if you break down in the wrong place out west.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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I have AAA, my friend Good Sam. I needed a tow last year, just 10 miles, the tow company destroyed the transmission which they paid $4,500 to fix with AAA watching. My friend broke down in his 5th wheel on the back grade. An 18 mile tow. The nearest capable big rig showed up and put his truck on the platform and the 5th wheel as a tow. On the first hairpin the truck number pierced the 5th wheel cap. $2500 to each or more. The tow truck drivers insurance will cover it but... He has a $1000 deductible which the want my friend to collect from the tow truck driver. I suggested he call his insurance company and turn it over to them. So the difference so far is deductible.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Our autos are insured with AAA, RV roadside assistance is with Coachnet. Our previous Class A was towed several times (long story), each bill was over $700 for less than 40 miles. Keep in mind AAA may not the insurer, just an agent.

Fred and Bonnie
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Abby, Ruffles & Scarlett, "The Cats"
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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I know AAA wasn't the insurer or the towee but they did represent the tow company and the tow company used the AAA logo. They have a representative facilitator for each tow company. It appeared to the difference is that AAA requires their tow companies to carry non deductible insurance or to pay the full amount of the damage directly. I never spoke with the insurance company for the tow truck, just the company rep and she was the one who wrote the check to the transmission repair shop. AAA did not pay anything and in general my dealings with AAA have been poor so we no longer use them for insurance. After initial dealings with AAA on this matter I just dealt with the tow company. The AAA facilitator sucked too. Sounded like her job was to entertain the tow company rep.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:48 PM   #10
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We had AAA for years and the first time we called them they did not know which companies could service an RV and which could not so they sent out a truck that was only capable of assisting small cars. We then had to search on our own with limited cell phone coverage for the nearest company that could attend to the needs of a 35 foot Class A motor home. The truck that was sent by AAA wanted to run our duals up on a 4X4 and change the outer tire while the rig was balanced on the unbolted inner hoping that the buffeting from the passing semis would not topple it. They did not have a large enough wrench to remove the simulators and were going to break those off. Of course they wanted me to sign a waiver releasing them of any liability for any damages to the simulators or if the coach flipped off the inner wheel and rolled down the embankment.

Good Sams was much less expensive than AAA and I have used them a number of times. They always have sent the right people to provide the needed service and in a timely fashion. When I had trouble finding supplies they even helped me locate them along my route and did not try to divert me off my route to stop at a Camping World. They stayed on the line when they connected me with the vendor until it was verified that what I needed was available and within my budget.

I would verify that my insurance company had their service network that well mapped out. AAA came no where close to Good Sams in providing the appropriate service people in an emergency and if AAA did call the right people it would probably have been by accident during the time I was with them.

You go with other than Coach Net or Good Sams and you could be rolling the dice on something that when you need it has to be provided by people who know what the needs of an RV'r are in an emergency and who to call to take care of them.
Neil V
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:00 PM   #11
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Back to the basic premise...Hope you and I never need to use our ERS. Even if they do everything right, the delay, the need to make repairs later, will tend to ruin a lovely day.
My liability insurance does list a phone number for ERS.
My extended warranty coverage has a phone number for ERS.
I still pay the approx $100/year for Good Sam ERS. Previously I had AAA and then CoachNet, I'm one of the few who had a really poor experience with CN trying to find service in my camping location on the 101 in Washington State. I just received my son's AAA magazine with a review of SoCal AAA coverage...indeed, it does restrict significantly what they will do for a motorhome. 100 mile tow, tire change only if you have a spare, they state that service can be significantly delayed in many instances.
I have Good Sam so that I can have a technician on the line if needed (also available from CN) If it will take too long for a service truck I guess I can call one of the two insurance companies...but as mentioned in other responses, do they know what to do for a motorhome? What will they send, a 3/4 ton tow truck?
Again, my expectations are very low, so it will be real hard to disappoint me, but for $100/year, it is by far less than a tank of gas.

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Old 09-01-2012, 12:19 PM   #12
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My RV insurer - National Interstate - sells Roadside Assist coverage too. And it comes from Coach-Net! It's the standard CoachNet policy, at the same price, with a private name.

If your insurer is offering coverage at a fraction of the cost, make sure you understand thoroughly what is covered, cause there ain't no free lunch. Ask questions like "Do they have a 24/7 dispatcher to find help for you?" Do they send heavy duty tow service that knows how to handle a big rig? Do you have to pay and then get reimbursed? Etc. Compare to other services. Maybe your insurer has a bargain, or maybe not. Only a careful comparison will tell you the answer.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:58 PM   #13
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Go with what you are comfortable with. Me, I'm comfortable with CoachNet.
Travel well, travel safe,
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:29 AM   #14
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After many years with AAA I just switched to Good Sam's yesterday. WHy? Well for one thing here in MA. AAA doesn't tow motorcycles. I joined Harley Davidsons H.O.G. group primarily for the towing service. Good Sam's does tow motorcycles so I dropped AAA & H.O.G. and the combined savings is greater by joining Good Sam's. I also liked the fact that Good Sam's will offer the same service when it comes to fixing a flat. I really don't want the hassle of dismounting that huge spare tire by myself! They will do that.
I haven't tried Coachnet. Many seasoned RV'rs seem to like it. Perhaps one day I'll give them a try.

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