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
- AAA offers extrication and winching services with up to two vehicles and two drivers. If you end up off the road due to an accident or bad weather you would most likely need to be pulled out to be towed for service. This coverage could be a big win, if your RV ends up sliding into the ditch…
- Good Sam offers trip interruption service. Reimbursement for the cost of meals, lodging and car rental if your vehicle is disabled due to a collision with another vehicle more than 100 miles from your home. That’s a pretty nice perk to have if you need it.
- AAA offers a similar service but calls it car travel interruption protection.If you’re traveling by car and are 100 miles or more away from home and have a breakdown or accident while en route, or if your vehicle is stolen while en route, they will reimburse you for emergency expenses (meals, lodging, rentals). Limits vary dependent on your membership package. This seems to only apply to your car and not your RV, so less helpful from an RV’ing perspective.
- AAA allows four roadside service calls per membership year. Good Sam does not have a limit on their roadside calls. That’s a huge plus for Good Sam.
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!
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