The odds of your RV trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome experiencing a breakdown are considerable. One in five trailers experiences issues within 14 months, and almost all motorhomes will experience a significant breakdown within eight years. Plus, the older your tow vehicle, the more likely you are to end up on the side of the road.
Paying for repairs for breakdowns is bad enough. But add logistics costs, and your wallet will take a larger unexpected hit.
So if and when a breakdown happens to you, what steps do you take? And what preventative measures can you take before leaving to give you the peace of mind you need on your next excursion? Here we’ll look at what to do if you need emergency roadside assistance.
What is emergency roadside assistance?
Emergency roadside assistance plans prevent you from paying for the costs associated with a breakdown or if your vehicle or RV is otherwise disabled. Essentially, roadside assistance is your lifeline when you can’t continue driving for any reason. Common reasons to need roadside assistance include:
- You experience unresolvable battery issues
- You have a roadside breakdown
- You get a flat tire that needs to be replaced or repaired
- You run out of gas or fluids
- You require a tow truck
- Loss of keys or keys locked in your vehicle
Roadside assistance plans generally provide most of these services when you sign up for a membership. In doing so, you avoid the incredibly steep fees of paying for these services individually whenever and wherever they occur.
While some insurance policies cover some of these items, you are at risk when traveling in an automobile or RV rig without a roadside assistance plan. In the case of a breakdown, you might be out of luck, left to pay whatever the nearest provider charges you for services.
So, you’re experiencing a breakdown…
A roadside breakdown can be a scary scenario. If you experience a flat tire or your engine shows tell-tale signs that it’s not functioning correctly while driving, your first step is to find a safe way off the road.
- Maintain control of the vehicle.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes or making sudden movements.
- Attempt to find a location away from traffic with ample space.
- Stop movement as quickly as possible.
Once on the side of the road, call 911 if anyone is in danger. But, if not, assessment is your next step: what caused the breakdown? And is it something solvable on your end? With a roadside assistance plan, it’s less important you make any assessment. Simply call the number of your provider to begin locating the nearest and best service.
But if you don’t have a roadside assistance plan, what are your next steps? Your situation becomes more complex, and you’re left to navigate the issue on your own or try to reach a tow provider if one is available. The problem here is distance: the further you are from a towing service provider or a mechanic, the more you can expect to pay. Many towing providers charge between $4-$7 a mile, which quickly adds up.
When do I need emergency roadside assistance?
A lot of different factors can cause a roadside breakdown. But, more often than not, breakdowns are rooted in engine or tire problems. Now, that still leaves a wide berth of diagnostics to find the problem, but flat tires, no fuel, and non-functional engines mean you can’t continue with the trip until you solve the problem.
There are some small, practical items to keep on hand for quick fixes in the event of a breakdown:
- Keep one or two flat tire repair kits on hand, as well as a spare tire.
- Keep an air compressor with your rig to inflate tires.
- Carry extra fluids and a jerry can of gasoline.
But with a true breakdown, you will need emergency roadside assistance to help with your predicament.
But it’s not just breakdowns in the middle of a leg of driving when emergency roadside assistance is needed. Roadside assistance covers issues like dead batteries, lost or locked keys, and any other reason you can’t continue with your drive. In fact, battery issues are the leading cause of needing roadside assistance each year.
Again, there are some preventative tips and strategies, like:
- Keep jumper cables with your vehicle and RV
- Invest in a battery jump starter
- Keep a spare key hidden somewhere in your RV, tow vehicle, or automobile.
But when you’re out of options, your next step is to seek out roadside assistance help, be it a locksmith or a service professional who can jumpstart your vehicle. Your biggest hurdle will be finding an appropriate provider nearby and open. Because breakdowns don’t adhere to business hours. You could be affected at any time.
With a roadside assistance plan, like Good Sam Roadside Assistance, you are guaranteed 24/7 service, so you can get back on the road or to the nearest repair center. If you run into a situation where you need Good Sam’s help, simply call the toll-free 24-hour service helpline, and one of our team members will coordinate aid to your location.
Why Good Sam Roadside Assistance?
Good Sam Roadside Assistance plans provide 24/7 coverage for various travel setups, including travel trailers, motorhomes, sports trailers, autos, and more. In just one breakdown incident, the plan pays for itself, and you travel with peace of mind knowing you're protected if something goes wrong.
The Good Sam brand started decades ago when travelers placed a red bumper sticker on their vehicles to indicate their willingness to help those in need along the way, whether stranded, broken down, or lost. That neighborly goodwill has grown into the products and services Good Sam offers its members today. And Good Sam Roadside Assistance is a key offering, providing those stranded from a breakdown with the best service available to get you to safety and then back on the road.