Nothing can ruin your adventure more quickly than a break down on the road. Having a good roadside assistance plan can save the day.
Good Sam Vs. AAA Which RV Roadside Assistance is best for you? Both provide roadside coverage, but there are differences between the two programs that may make one a better choice for you.
Good Sam roadside assistance vs AAA Which one should you buy? Short answer – buy both. If you have to choose between them – buy Good Sam. Good Sam is an RV company first, whereas AAA is an automobile company offering RV service as an added option. Good Sam offers better pricing, covers more vehicles and family members and has better basic coverage limits. AAA offers the best towing coverage and winching service but falters in the other categories.
Ultimately, I’m going to consider joining both programs before I head out on any extended trips in the future.
I am currently an AAA member but performing this review has made me think I may have to switch teams.
From a cost perspective, it would be money well spent to be members of both Good Sam and AAA. If you have the luxury of being able to do that, I would suggest going for it.
Then depending on the situation you find yourself in you can call one company or the other. If you don’t camp enough to make it worthwhile, or it is financially prohibitive, give Good Sam a try.
Roadside Assistance, Which is Better: Good Sam vs AAA
Here are the Comparison between two roadside assistance plans based on plan costs, the number of service calls allowed and other coverage details.
Cost (Based on time of comparison)
Good Sam offers three levels of service with prices of $65 Standard, $80 Platinum and $120 Platinum Complete. Rates quoted are promotional rates valid for your first year of membership. Regular rates are$130, $160 and $240 per year, which you will pay upon renewal.
AAA offers two levels of services – Plus and Premier. For Plus RV your cost would be $143 and for Premier RV it would be $210.
With AAA, you must first purchase automotive coverage and then add on your RV membership – pricing above includes both. (AAA Rates vary by state, pricing provided is based on Florida membership)
Good Sam offers excellent rates for new members. After your initial year, your rates will go up, but they are still on par with AAA. The rates at AAA are very stable. I have been a member for a long time and they don’t fluctuate a lot.
One thing I liked about Good Sam was that their rates are clearly available online. With AAA you can find the automotive club rates, but you have to call or login to get the rates to upgrade to AAA Plus RV or Premier RV.
WINNER – GOOD SAM
Covered vehicle types
Both programs cover your RV as well as your automobiles and trailers (sports and utility trailers, boat trailers).
Good Sam Standard ($65) only covers non-motorized RV’s so you will need the next level of coverage if your RV is motorized.
AAA Plus RV only covers RV’s up to 32’ foot, so you will need Premier RV if your rig is bigger than that.
AAA has an option to add on your motorcycle for $35. It is included with Good Sam.
Good Sam will cover leased, rented and borrowed vehicles and multiple RV’s. They also cover your spouse and dependent children. With AAA you will need to buy additional coverage for the other members of your household.
With Good Sam covering more types of vehicles and more people in your household, they offer the better value in this category.
WINNER – GOOD SAM
This is the big one if you break down. I’ve been there and needed that. I was grateful to have coverage when I needed to have my 36’ Class A towed to a shop (for a full engine replacement)
AAA offers four tows of 100 miles with the Plus RV coverage, (400 total miles) and one tow of 200 miles and three tows of 100 miles with their Premier RV coverage (500 total miles).
Good Sam offers unlimited distance towing to the nearest service center (US & Canada). They also offer towing & roadside services in Mexico, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, up to a cost of $1500.
The big difference here is that with AAA you have choice of where you will be towed. It doesn’t have to be the nearest service center.
If you are within range of your favored shop, you can tow it there or back to your house. That can be a big plus.
This gives AAA a big advantage in this category. The only caveat would be if you end up more than 100 miles from a service center (which probably isn’t too often) or break down more than four times a year – then Good Sam’s unlimited towing would be a better benefit.
A lot of people focus on the “unlimited” part of Good Sam’s coverage, but forget that the nearest service center may not always be where you want to go.
WINNER – AAA
As I mentioned above, we had to be towed many years back. We had engine issues during our RV travels in Mexico, and they compounded in a big way when we got back into Arizona.
As we pulled the large mountain on the Interstate 17 up into Flagstaff, a stretch of road known to be the end of many a semi truck, our engine gave its last chug and we were dead on the side of the road. If it hadn’t been for AAA we would have incurred a huge towing bill.
As it was we enjoyed several weeks up on blocks in Flagstaff while the shop there replaced our engine (luckily under warranty). We were fortunate enough to be able to stay in the RV at night and go out sight seeing during the day while they worked on it.
We were young and didn’t have the cash to do anything else. We toured to every free and almost free site in the area.
We saw Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and all the nearby National Monuments and Archaeological sites.We have really fond memories of that time.
Maybe it was all because we didn’t have to pay for that tow up the mountain!
Basic coverage categories
Both companies offer the basics – battery service, fuel delivery, flat tire service, lock smiths – with only minor differences in coverage.
For example, AAA has a $100-$150 limit on locksmith costs, while Good Sam has no limit. Both companies also offer the nice perk of home locksmith services, should you ever lock yourself out of the house.
One big thing I noticed was that Good Sam offers specialized RV mobile mechanics if they are available for your roadside assist, while AAA is a more generalized service.
It would be nice to have an RV mechanic come to help out instead of a car mechanic.
When you dig deeper into the details some other differences appear
WINNER –Good Sam
Depending on the type of issue you have, one company or the other could be the winner for you. Stuck in a ditch? AAA is your friend. In a collision with your RV while you are away from home? Good Sam will take care of you.
I gave the edge and the win in this category to Good Sam for providing the option of RV specialists and not limiting the number of roadside assists in a year.
Extra coverage categories
The extra coverage categories provided vary a lot. It will really depend what is important to you when choosing whom you should go with.
There were too many little perks with each company to be able to list them all, but I’ve listed some of the bigger ones below.
Both companies offer discounts on select hotels and rental cars. Good Sam offers AAMCO discounts and AAA offers discounts at Napa Auto Parts.
AAA also offers attraction discounts to things like amusement parks and movie theaters. I make a lot of use of my AAA discount at hotels, but I could easily switch to checking for Good Sam discounts instead.
AAA offers Trip Tiks and maps free of charge. Maps may seem archaic in the world of GPS, but they could come in really handy if your GSP freezes up.
I use my Google maps all the time, but nothing beats the security of a paper map when you’re driving 40 plus foot of RV.
Especially if you’re towing a vehicle behind you with a tow bar and you don’t have the luxury of backing up when you make a wrong turn. You become a really serious navigator really fast in that situation!
Good Sam offers a 65% discount on their Good Sam Guide series. Like with maps, it’s nice to have the paper guide in hand to search for campgrounds.
AAA offers free passport photos for the family. If you’re my brother and sister in law with four children, this would provide quite a good savings on the year you need to do passport renewals!
Good Sam offers discounts at Camping World and Gander Mountain. This includes free shipping on orders of $49 and over, up to 10% discount at retail locations, and 15% off propane at Camping World. They also offer free use of the dump stations at select Camping World Super centers.
AAA offers a free one day car rental if your vehicle has had to be towed. Good Sam will also cover this under their trip interruption if a collision was involved.
Good Sam offers a five cent fuel discount at select Pilot Flying J locations. We frequent these a lot, so that can be a nice savings.
- AAA offers assistance with vehicle return costs of up to $500 if illness or injury interrupts your trip.
- Good Sam offers discounts of 10% at 2400 Good Sam Parks and Campgrounds.
- AAA offers emergency check cashing of personal checks up to $100.
Good Sam offers an RV concierge service. They can help you if you break down to find a service shop, or just help you find a park to camp at or a restaurant nearby.
AAA offers limited legal fee reimbursement protection in the event that you should need to seek legal counsel for a traffic violation.
AAA also offers bicycle service if you have a breakdown while you’re on two wheels. It does count towards your annual number of assistance calls though.
WINNER – TIE
It really boils down to personal preferences in this category. I don’t find myself at Camping World all that often, so that discount doesn’t mean a lot to me personally.
Maybe you’re able to stop there on your way home and take advantage of the free use of the dump stations and that would make it a valuable plus for you. It’s all in what you prefer. This category was a pretty even match.
Good Sam Vs. AAA For RV’s: Which Has A Better Road Assistance Plan
So, in the head to head competition of AAA vs Good Sam who came out on top? I think that even as a long time member of AAA (and I do mean looong – close to 30 years), I will have to give the nod to Good Sam.
This may be because Good Sam is first and foremost a company dedicated to the RV community. AAA grew up serving the automobile world and evolved into serving RV’ers.
While I like some of the specific AAA coverage, like towing to your preferred location, Good Sam ultimately has more to offer.
Whatever you choose, I hope you have happy and safe RV adventures!
23 thoughts on “Good Sam Vs. AAA: Which RV Roadside Assistance Is Better and why?”
Thank you very much for taking the time to get all this info together. I was thinking of going back to AAA because the last time I needed a tow, for my car, GoodSam could not find one for me. I was on 395 in California. The CHP had a business card for a towing outfit who were there in 20 minutes. He took me to a shop and then talked to GoodSam and got the tow covered. Still it upset me and I had no idea how I was going to handle this till the CHP officer helped me out. But 50 years ago I called AAA to tow my car and they never showed up.
Do towing companies generally work with Good Sam? It seems like I see the AAA logo advertised by many towing companies, but haven’t noticed those associated with GS much.
Yes, Good Sam offers unlimited distance towing to the nearest service center.
Some of the towing companies I have spoken to, don’t take Good Sam and they really don’t like to take AAA tows because AAA pays low, tries to get out of paying, or they have to struggle to get paid. I had AAA, went to Good Sam and now going back to AAA. The one time I needed Good Sam RV, I never could get a live representative. I always get a live representative with AAA. This is my take.
I have used good Sam 4 times in the last 11 months and just received notice that my membership was cancelled due to exceeding their average cost. So much for unlimited. I will be heading to aaa.
We just had to use them for the first time in 25 years and after that we received our renewal fee back. We were literaly 6 miles from our house and had to wait over 8 hours for a tow home. Crazy! I was not happy about that, so when they sent me the survey I did express my displeasure, and I guess they did not like that. Good Sam dropped us like a hot potatoe. Oh well……
Thank you so much! I am researching this now. My biggest concern is getting a flat on the weekends or evenings after service shops are closed.
I would choose AAA if that’s your concern. Since you can pick the location of where you want your car towed (within 100 miles and up to 200 miles with primier plan)
Excellent article, thank you! I think I’ll take your advice and add Good Sam to my AAA policy.
I have had Good Sam Travel Assistance, Roadside Assistance and Extended Maintenance for upto 15 years. Good Sam is in general non-responsive. I would stay clear of all Good Sam services. Bob
Why do you keep Good Sam if you are so displeased with their services? Truly curious.
Paid for Good Sam for 15 years but say the are non responsive and to stay away? Please make sense as I too am curious.
I have used AAA for years and when we bought our travel trailer we decided to go with Good Sams, I am right now waiting on the phone with them to find out why I have been waiting over 2 1/2 hours for them to get my car towed. If you add all the wait time with them on the phone we are heading towards the 3 1/2 hour mark! Basically, after I waited little over an hour for tow I received another call from someone asking me for all the same info that I had previously given them, I asked why and she said the tow service that was supposed to be there broke down (guess they only have one truck) she was going to get another service out,after waiting another hour I called and asked what was up. Now 1/2 later I’m still on the phone with Goodsam while they are reviewing my problem. When I asked to speak to someone higher I was told that the supervisor would call me in a bit. I told them that was unacceptable and basically was told that What I wanted as the paying customer was unimportant. Also asked that if I receive a ticket for leaving my vehicle would they pay for it. I was told they would have to review it! This is the second time in two years we have used their “service”. We gave them this as a second chance, safe to say We will pay more to get the better service with someone else.
AAA RV service is a joke with disgusting customer service. We had transmission problems in Beaver, Utah ($7800 in repairs needed). My first call happened around noon and I was told that the tow company would contact me, he did to say he couldn’t help me. Six (6) hours later they found a company that could help the next day but would cost me $1200 after the AAA coverage. When the tow company called me they said AAA made a mistake it was $1400 ($1400+$500 AAA=$1900) to tow to Las Vegas. I found a commercial tow company for less. Once I got into Vegas I tried again to use AAA to tow back to Los Angeles. Rinse and repeat. After another long delay AAA called to say they found someone to provide service “Oh wait you have an RV” we only have ONE (1) company that would be able to accommodate that and their truck is broken “you need to hire a commercial tow company and try to summit for reimbursement”. Don’t waste money on AAA RV servive
Good article, but I think it’s probably not which one is best, but which is least worst. Last Sunday we were cruising down I-90 near Ritzville, WA when my brother’s trailer blows a bearing seal and we are dead in the water on the shoulder. He is a Good Sam member and calls the number. They check and tell him -after 20 minute hold – there is nothing open and he needs to wait til Monday. What?! We are supposed to wait on the shoulder of a three lane highway overnight until something opens Monday morning??? My brother reminds them they advertise 24/7 response and they send him to the service department where he is on hold for 30 minutes. I tell him that we have to call 911 before we are crushed like bugs by someone flying by at 80 mph (that’s the speed limit there) and I take over the Good Sam call for him while he calls 911. I wait another 20 minutes on hold (50 minutes total) and no one ever answers and I hang up. WSP shows up and follows us to the next exit while we limp along at 15 mph and Les Schwab fixes him up the next day in Ritzville.
So what is the lesson? If they don’t have any special contacts that can get me help better than me being able to search for a tow company on my phone myself, is it really worth it? In the interest of full disclosure, coming down Highway 26 in Portland Oregon near the zoo exit a couple of years ago, I lost my diesel truck’s fuel pump and the engine quit just like that. It was also a Sunday afternoon. I called Good Sam and they sent someone out in a reasonable amount of time and towed us to the dealer and all went well. One was in the middle of America’s 25th largest city and one was in the middle of the god-forsaken desert of eastern Washington, to be fair.
I’m due for a re-up on my Good Sam membership, but after my brother’s experience on Sunday I was looking into options. It seems that both AAA and GS can be good and bad depending on the overall circumstance of the situation. Still not sure what I will do, but I wanted to share that “24/7” might mean they will answer the phone, but may or may not mean they are able to send you help. Cheers.
AAA does NOT (no longer) offer roadside assistance programs for RV in the northeast!
I had Good Sam for a year. The first time I needed help I realized that this was not the way to go. I had an older RV and I already knew not everybody would carry the tire I needed. Good Sam would only tow me to the nearest “service center” which was across the street and did not have the tire. They also would not be able to get one for a week. The problem with their definition of “service center” is that they really don’t do much research into what they can service and what they can not service. With AAA you can go anywhere you want; that includes your actual destination if it’s within distance. As far as roadside tire service, I found they really find local people that can help. Good Sam does not have the kind of network of connections with towing-wrecking-roadside service people that AAA has. It is true, depending on the size of your rig, there is always a chance that there will be a shortage of two vehicles in your area that can handle it. But with AAA, you can get on your smart phone and search/call every wrecking/towing outfit within fifty miles and AAA will send whoever you chose. Good Sam will not do that. So if you can only get one plan, I recommend the AAA. It has saved my bacon numerous times driving an old motor home.
I have an 05 Chevy cut away express 3500 box van. For those that don’t know it’s a van cab with a 16′ box that’s 10’6″ high in the back. I’ve been with AAA for 9 years. When I first joined I explained to them what I drove and that I ride a motorcycle also. They told me because of the size of the truck I would need Premier RV coverage. Fast forward to last week. My brakes went out on the truck and was able to get it into a win open parking lot. I called AAA at 10:50 AM and was told it would be around 12:00 PM. Around 1:00 called AAA to find out where’s my tow. She said she would check on it. Ricks Service called me and asked what kind of vehicle it was and was told they ma have to have AAA to find someone else to tow the vehicle because it was too big for their wreckers. I laughed and told him they had just towed the truck a month earlier. Let’s cut to it. I waited there for SIX hours and called AAA just to find out that Ricks cancelled the tow and just entered it in the computer without calling me or AAA. Needless to say the truck sat there overnight unsecured and I had to hire my own tow. That night I got several phone calls from the same lady at AAA and now she tells me my box van is not covered because it’s not an RV. I told her they have towed it in the past and it’s smaller than an RV. She had the nerve to tell me to contact the person that sold me the Premier RV policy 9 years ago like I remember the name and that they still work there. This isn’t over what a joke for both of these companies. They go hand in hand. I’m in Elkhart,In. RV capitol of the work no less.
Good Sam abandoned my son and his two children when their travel trailer was snowed in a Georgia state park. G. S. Said
#1 Tows are Not covered for Weather related issues.
#2 No towing on private roads –
They claim state parks are private and refused to respond.
My son called AAA and they claim they’d tow him out of a “volcano” but only 3x per year.
I’m switching from Bad Sam to AAA
In 2019 I was traveling home to Boise from Phoenix, AZ when I lost the transmission in my 1976 Executive 26′ motorhome in Wikieup, AZ. Talk about the middle of nowhere. I had Good Sam. I called, spent about 45 minutes on the phone explaining where I was, etc. They called back about an hour later and said a tow was on it’s way from Kingman which is where I will be towed to. The operator said they did not have any listing for transmission shops in Kingman, so to use my time while waiting for the tow (1+ hour drive away) and figure out where I wanted towed to. While this was frustrating because I had no idea how to choose a shop just from google listings, and, being my own mechanic, having to trust an unknown shop to build my transmission when I would rather do it myself. But in the end, the tow showed up, was professional, had the right rig to tow my antique coach, and towed me to the shop I chose. The tow would have cost me about $1500, and was covered by Good Sam.
The down side of Good Sam for me was that they should have the name Good Spam. My mailbox was flooded by so much junk mail from Camping World, plus every service available to RV’s. But, that is not a deal stopper for me. In my one tow situation, which was an ugly one, Good Sam came through. But maybe on my next one, they would not. Who knows.
I will have to say thank you so much for this article. Very well written and very informative. You cover pretty much everything I needed to know.
I used AAA to unlock pickup in Atoka Okla 2 months ago. Called it in and was told help would be there in 1 hour. 3 & 1/2 hours later, help arrived. Really slow service for sure.
I, too, was a long-time AAA roadside assistance customer considering switching to Good Sam. Good Sam sounds good on the surface, but apparently their customer service is terrible. Read a few of the stories on each of these before you decide:
Consumer Affairs customer reviews: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/good-sam-roadside-assistance.html
Good Sam’s own Facebook page, where they get 1.3 out of 5 stars:
Yelp, 1.5 stars:
And this impartial comparison of AAA vs. Good Sam, which notes at the end that it’s your decision but “Good Sam’s various issues surrounding the company’s customer service response can be a deal breaker if you don’t like the idea of being stranded too long.”