Driving invites its fair share of challenges, and mechanical trouble with your vehicle is one of them. Roadside breakdowns happen to all types and ages of vehicles. While the newer the vehicle, the better your chances of avoiding them, there’s still no guarantee. And the same is valid with RV models. No one is safe from the dreaded cavernous pothole. Everyone is at risk to some extent.
You can take practical precautions–preventative maintenance, pre-trip inspection, carrying emergency tools and equipment–but you still might end up stuck on the side of the road. And that’s why a roadside assistance plan is necessary, to give you the peace of mind that comes with roadside coverage for a breakdown emergency.
Roadside assistance is the lifeline for stranded drivers ensuring they don’t pay out of pocket for recovery expenses such as towing, mechanical work, tire repair or replacement, and lockout services.
The goal of roadside assistance providers is simple: to get you and your vehicle back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.
So how do you decide which roadside assistance provider will provide the best coverage for your vehicle?
What are the basics of roadside assistance, anyway?
Most roadside assistance providers offer similar services to their customers. The basics of roadside assistance include:
- Technical support, usually through a helpline you can call during an emergency
- Coordinated towing services through local providers
- Roadside service for flat tires, dead batteries, and lockout services
Between these three services, you can generally get back up and running or get towed to a service center that can assist with more significant repairs if needed. The difference between different roadside assistance providers comes down to how well they provide these three needs: support, towing, and roadside service.
Roadside assistance often offers initial support in two ways: providing a general helpline members call with their emergency and sending a specialist to your physical location to assess the problem. That first step–contacting your provider–distinguishes the best roadside assistance providers.
When working with a roadside assistance provider, what kind of access and help will they provide with their helpline?
First off, 24/7 live access should be a requirement for your roadside assistance provider. Breakdowns occur outside of business hours, and it’s essential you reach someone from your roadside assistance plan to help coordinate help, regardless of the time or location.
And what is the quality of help you receive on the other end of the line? You should be able to expect the best in customer service from your roadside assistance provider, including expert knowledge of how to coordinate assistance and helpfulness during a stressful time.
Good Sam Roadside Assistance stands out in these respects, and these are two of the reasons cited why Good Sam Roadside Assistance ranks as the No. 1 roadside assistance provider by Top Consumer Reviews. Good Sam provides 24/7 access and 45-60 minute roadside arrival time averages. When you call for roadside service, a service representative will be able to give you an accurate estimated time of arrival.
Almost all roadside assistance providers offer towing services in some capacity. But given the expense and variability of towing services, you need to know what your roadside assistance coverage involves. Otherwise, you might be expecting a service you won’t receive when a problem occurs.
Offering towing service is one thing, but how far will your roadside assistance plan cover the bill? Some plans boast a 100-mile towing distance, while others offer as few as five. This is important because you won’t know where your nearest service provider is. In the city, five miles might suffice. On a road trip, your nearest RV service provider could be hundreds of miles away. And any distance after the provider’s mileage coverage, you pay out of pocket.
Good Sam Roadside Assistance offers unlimited towing, meaning you get towed to the nearest service location at no cost, regardless of the mileage. Five miles or 500 miles.
Now, which service shop will your towing service take you to? For many roadside assistance plans, your RV gets towed to the nearest approved service shop available, no matter their quality or capacity. Inquire from providers about how their system works to know what to expect.
The standard coverage plan for Good Sam Roadside Assistance will tow you to the nearest service station. But they offer six unique plans, including the RV Plantinum+ plan that will tow you to any destination you require within 100 miles–to a shop you prefer or to your home for DIY repairs.
Roadside assistance providers rely on their roadside network. These service centers and towing companies provide roadside service to members throughout their coverage area. For example, a towing shop might be provider-affiliated, meaning they will respect members’ contracts and negotiated prices according to their agreement with the roadside assistance provider.
As you evaluate roadside assistance providers, weigh their towing and service coverage based on the extent of their roadside network. For example, when a provider assures 100-miles of towing service to the nearest approved service station, you need to know the extent of their roadside network.
The sooner you get a service technician or towing service to your location, the safer you are. A better roadside assistance provider will factor the extent and quality of the roadside network regarding proximity and customer service. Proximity: How close is the nearest provider? Customer service: How quickly will they respond to your call?
Good Sam Roadside Assistance has access to over 30,000 towing and service specialists around the nation to provide members with the best in roadside service, no matter where you are.
Just how providers define roadside assistance can vary, and you need to know exactly what to expect when it comes to your safety and coverage in a breakdown. Good Sam Roadside Assistance is transparent with each of its six RV and auto plans, so you can determine which option is best for you depending on your travel rig, budget, and needs.