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  1. #1
    Long Hauler D2Reid's Avatar
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    Road Side Assistance, what are your expectations?

    I love volunteering at state parks. It's very rewarding, but there can be some situations that are not fun. Fellow came into the visitor center today wanting to know if I could recommend an RV repair facility. It's Sunday around 2. We have several numbers to try, can't make a particular recommendation so the park can't get blamed if anything doesn't work out. I gave those to him. When I got off shift I was headed out to my car and noticed he was still there, so I knocked on his door and got an update. None of the numbers I provided could help. I asked him he had roadside assistance, AAA he says. But they could not help him. I have Goodsam Platinum, I can be in someone else's vehicle and get some assistance, so I called them and got more phone numbers of resources. It's 30 miles into town. We are in a sparsely populated area. There is not going to be many weekend emergency roadside repair resources. I left him my number should he need a ride or something else. I can't fix his vehicle. They were set up ok for a boondock in the parking lot, there will be several resources open on Monday. But it looks like he will be stuck for 24 hours.

    That got me to thinking about new RV'ers expectation of their roadside assistance plan. That fellow was devastated and angry that AAA did not have a solution for him. Do you really know how it works and what services you can expect to get? I have been broke down in remote places numerous times, so have a plan and know what not to expect, sounds like I said that backwards from knowing what to expect. Most folks don't realize that it can actually take days before help will come. So I thought I would write up this little public service announcement with a couple of suggestions.

    First off don't be hesitant to call law enforcement if you are blocking traffic or in a remote area and feel unsafe. The couple of times I had to do that they were wonderful about it.

    Next, call your roadside assistance help number. You will be amazed at the process they have; first, validate your membership, get call back or other re-connect information, determine your location, identify the type of problem to best match the local services to the problem, then wait. Sometimes a long time. Getting a first hand understanding of the process goes a long way in keeping your cool when you are in distress. They have the same frustrations as you would have when attempting to call remote resources to contract services. They often have a better data base to work from, but sometimes they are looking folks up in the yellow pages and/or getting referrals from folks in the area that do answer their phone. It's better to learn what they can and can't provide before hand.

    Lastly take the time to talk to your traveling companions about the breakdown/repair process. Have a plan to comfortably sit on the side of the road for 2 to 12 hours awaiting assistance. Make a fun “what if” game out of it asking each member of your family to come up with a solution to a proposed breakdown, the kids love to make it difficult, late at night, far from town, no telephone, wild animals and often aliens. In this way everyone will have a better understanding of the difficulties and will be more resilient if/when an issue comes up.

    I just see anyone reading this hurrying to add 3 or 4 extra bottles of water to their vehicle, just in case....

    Safe Travels!
    Dallas
    2017 Momentum 376TH, 2019 Ford F450, Dual Rear Wheel, 4x4, diesel.
    2015 Harley-Davidson Street, XG750

  2. #2
    Site Team Soundsailor's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this @D2Reid, you don't really know until you have to make the call. We have roadside assistance through our insurance company, and they've come through pretty well so far when we've needed them. But none of those occasions were in remote areas.
    Stephen and Judy
    2022 Reflection 150 Series 260RD (Stella)
    2017 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD (Blue)
    Traded - 2018 Forest River Rockwood Minilite 2104S

  3. #3
    Seasoned Camper Dawgfever's Avatar
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    D2Reid - great thoughtful post! Have you seen any type of a review of the Roadside Assistance services? I have never subscribed to a service or needed one (probably lucky), hesitant because I wondered if they really as advertised.
    Thanks,
    Eddie, Cindy, n Maddie (our fearless Yorkie)
    2012 F-350 LWB 4x4 6.7 SRW C-cab with B&W Turnover + Companion pulling a 2017 307MKS Reflection

  4. #4
    Site Sponsor sande005's Avatar
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    So far have only had to call once. Name not mentioned to remain neutral. They were great! Process pretty much as you described. It took a couple of hours, and the only resource in our vicinity was from a semi truck repair place. The guy gave it a try, but no go on site. Said we had to carefully drive to his shop the next day (~20 miles) where they would take off the whole underbelly to find the issue. Obviously had never worked on a trailer before. But way out in the boonies, you get what there is. In our case, although nerve wracking, we drove the last 600 miles to home (carefully!) Service company called 3 times that day to make sure we were still OK, and then after we got home. So they got 5 stars, even if they couldn't get it fixed.
    Others report being on the side of the road 12 or 24 hours by the same company. But again, it depends on where you are, and what they can find in the area. So my expectation - that they respond to the first call quickly to gather information. That they update as to progress. They level with you as to what they can find for resources, what they can't. They give reasonable estimates as to what help they can find will be able to get to you - whether a couple of hours, or a couple of days.
    2017 Imagine 2670MK
    2012 F-150 SCrew, Eco, 4x4 6.5 box
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  5. #5
    Site Team Redapple63's Avatar
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    @D2Reid, great write up. We all need to have a a good plan in place if something happens. I keep tools and spare parts so most of the time we end up ok.

    In all my years I only had to make calls 3 times. First for a front tire blowout on my class a. We had AAA platinum at the time and they would not help. My class a had 22.5 inch tires and I had no spare. Luckily it was early Sat morning, so I called a mobile tire company that services big rigs. They had me going again in about 90 minutes. Cost= $650 bucks.

    Second time was my slide topper. It bound up and flipped over the slide and prevented it from retracting. Mobile mechanic. Cost $150 bucks.

    Third time I was a blown hydraulic hose. Mobile mechanic. Took the hose out and had a new one made up for me. $150 bucks including the hose.

    None of my trucks have ever left me stranded, but again, tools and many basic replacements carried with us for that potential.

    I have very little faith in Good Sam or AAA other than a tow if needed, but to maintain a AAA Platinum plan. Hope e never have to use it.

    Bill
    2019 GMC 3500 SRW Sierra Denali Duramax
    2020 Reflection 315RLTS

  6. #6
    Long Hauler D2Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgfever View Post
    Have you seen any type of a review of the Roadside Assistance services? I have never subscribed to a service or needed one (probably lucky), hesitant because I wondered if they really as advertised.
    Thanks,
    I have been participating in RV forums for nearly 16 years, I have read much about different companies, Road Side Assistance and Extended Warranty companies. They promise much, but only deliver some. Is what they deliver worth the cost? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I was terribly dissapointed the first few times I used them, but once I understood their capabilities I have been more satisfied with them.
    Dallas
    2017 Momentum 376TH, 2019 Ford F450, Dual Rear Wheel, 4x4, diesel.
    2015 Harley-Davidson Street, XG750

  7. #7
    Site Team WhittleBurner's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great write up Dallas. So far we have been failed by Good sams twice and Coach net 1 time. So my faith in any of the services is minimal. Good Sams was googling mobil mechanics on the last one, but the one we contacted was not on the list they gave us. It was one I googled while they messed around on line trying to find one.

    Bottom line for each is don't expect to much and be prepared to look up mobile mechanics or tow companies on your own. Of course this is where they get you, a tow not done through contacting the GS or CN is usually not covered unless it is arranged by their call center .
    Marcy & Gary
    2014 Grand Design - Reflection 303RLS
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    2015 GMC Denali 3500 - Retired
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  8. #8
    Rolling Along Tigger1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhittleBurner View Post

    Bottom line for each is don't expect to much and be prepared to look up mobile mechanics or tow companies on your own. Of course this is where they get you, a tow not done through contacting the GS or CN is usually not covered unless it is arranged by their call center .
    Thanks for sharing your experience. We have had GS for several years and fortunately haven’t needed to call. Will make a note now from your post.
    2010 Tundra SR5 DC 5.7L 4x4
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  9. #9
    Setting Up Camp
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    I called AAA last spring for a flat repair. Was told they would not help with an inside dual tire. I don't get it, once the lug nuts are off, there is not much difference between changing inside or outside.
    2017 Solitude ST360RL
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  10. #10
    Site Sponsor
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    After doing some research and reading several reviews on Roadside Assistance, we decided to use the Roadside Assistance offered by FMCA. We have never had to use it, but during our trip to Michigan we stayed at an RV park in Elkhart. One of RV'ers there had a problem and did call the FMCA Roadside Assistance which was able to provide a mobile repair service to rather quickly. Just a short note - On our trip to Michigan we lost the outside wing antenna. While in Elkhart we called Grand Design Customer Service, they provided a number for a mobile repair service and provided a new antenna as their cost
    Les and Sharon Bevil
    Austin, Tx

    Reflection 311BHS purchased March 2017
    Jayco 32BHDS sold March 2017
    2012 Chevrolet 2500HD 6.6 Diesel (until May 2018)
    2015 Chevrolet 3500HD 6.6 Diesel

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