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Old 06-23-2015, 07:15 AM   #1
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Location: Luray, VA (central Shenandoah Valley of VA)
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Angry Good Sam Roadside Non-Assistance

We have had Good Sam membership and roadside assistance for 13 years, and never had to use it, until this past weekend. We found out just how pitiful their roadside "assistance" really is when we had two tire blowouts on I-64 in Virginia while returning from a week of camping last Saturday. We sat on the side of the Interstate for over 3 hours after the first blowout, while the provider was trying to get payment from Good Sam. The provider finally called us on cellphone and said three separate credit card numbers provided by Good Sam were no good, and we would have to pay $114 on our personal card for them to come out and change the tire. We did that, and they put the spare on. 20 miles further, the tire right in front of the 1st blowout disintegrated, so we were stuck again with no spare. We waited for and hour and a half, and Good Sam called and said they had searched in a radius of 80 miles, but could not find us any tires, primarily because no one had any 16 inch tires. We finally limped along the shoulder to the next exit, and found a parking lot where we stayed with no air or electricity in 95 degree heat. Stayed there all the way through Sunday and into Monday morning with not a single word from Good Sam. Finally used our GPS to find that there were 3 tire shops within 2 miles of us, and the first one we called had our size tires in stock. With the aid of a kind local resident, we had 2 tires installed and on our way home. We arrived home Monday afternoon with still not a single word from Good Sam.

Bottom line - Good Sam so-called roadside assistance was absolutely useless to us, and they left us stranded for 2 days with no help. And we found tires within 2 miles that they said could not be found within 80 miles. On top of all that, we now have to fight them to try to get the $114 back that they were supposed to pay.

Therefore we want to warn our fellow campers out there that Good Sam Roadside Assistance wasn't worth the scrap value of the membership card to us. Nuff said.

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Old 06-23-2015, 07:25 AM   #2
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Thanks for the story. I was looking at GS RA for our upcoming trip but was wondering how reliable it really was, especially compared to CAA (AAA in Canada), considering that it is priced similar.

Any Canadians have any recommendations for roadside assistance (with RV coverage) for when traveling in the U.S.? I'm thinking I just do what the OP ended up doing and using GPS to find tire shops if needed.

I also bought one of those ramps that should make changing a TT tire pretty easy.


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Old 06-23-2015, 07:34 AM   #3
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No experience with GS's coverage, but my experience with AAA or any of the other roadside insurance plans is marginal at best, at least when compared to using your own efforts to resolve a problem. With GPS and cell phones you can find most of what you need yourself and save yourself a lot of time. Family has had a lot of experience in IN with AAA with winter related slide off's and cold AM starting issues. Guess what, when it snows and its cold, there are a ton of other members out there with the same problem. You'll wait for hours or even be told they won't be able to get someone out until at least ????.

I will continue to rely on myself for getting from point A to point B and just try to be as prepared as I can be. That includes staying out ahead of tire issues, checking wheel bearings, and being reasonably self reliant for most stuff.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:06 AM   #4
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If you belong to RV NET Marcus has a thread that you use to let him know about it.

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Good Sam Roadside Assistance
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:34 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear of your experience with GS tinlizzie23

Originally Posted by dmward View Post
Any Canadians have any recommendations for roadside assistance (with RV coverage) for when traveling in the U.S.? I'm thinking I just do what the OP ended up doing and using GPS to find tire shops if needed.
I also bought one of those ramps that should make changing a TT tire pretty easy.
I just recently purchased a membership with Coach-Net. Price was very comparable and when it comes to blow outs, there was no limit on calls I believe.

Basically it came down to the nuts and bolts of what I wanted. I have roadside assistance on my Toyota Tacoma, but it only covers the truck. I also have roadside assistance via my StateFarm insurance, again, only for the truck. So basically I am covered for my truck.

When I looked at GS. I quickly found out that I didn't really want to participate in a GS Club Group where they get together for all sorts of things. Not that I'm anti social, but It's not what I'm into. I dropped a car club I belonged to for essentially the same thing. Just got tired of the same ol, same ol after a while. Mind you this GS Club membership thing is an extra cost as well.

Then I looked at GS for the discounts. Being Canadian, not much value there unless I want to order from Camping World. Not many around here, one on the west coast I think. So again, a benefit I won't gain much from. Including Flying J's.

That leaves the aspect of RoadSide assistance only. Well, it was a simple choice. If I buy GS, I get all sorts of fringe benefits I can't use unless I vacation in the US all the time. I don't, lots to see here in our own beautiful country, but I do take the odd excursion south.

Coach-Net is an RV roadside assistance Program. That's all they do. Period.
That's what I want, that's what I paid for. They also have a terrific APP for my Android Phone where I can dispatch a call for help from it and they can use my GPS to locate me.

I spent hours researching, flipping back and fourth between GS and Coach-Net. In the end I just asked myself.

"What do you want" Roadside assistance, or Roadside assistance with benefits I can't utilize anyway. I chose to go with the company that is 100% focused on Roadside Assistance.

That said, you can and will find negative feedback on both. It just comes down to what you want I guess.

Good luck.

My Wife, Daughter and I are getting ready for a 3 week vacation where we'll be heading out to NewBrunswick, NovaScotia, Grand Manan Island, and then head home via the US side from Maine back through Vermont and NY states. If I need Coach-Net, I'll let you know how they actually work out. Hope I don't need them.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:22 AM   #6
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I'm really sorry to hear this happened. I'll be dropping AAA and joining GS RS next month so this is good to know.

I had a really negative experience with AAA earlier this year. Bear in mind that we've been with AAA since 2002. The short story is that they did not disclose that I was not covered for something. When we got a tow and arrived home, I was on the hook for $500 of something I could have avoided. I got reimbursed for some of it, but then they berated in a letter saying I should have know better about my coverage.

So I did a lot of research and comparison between AAA, Coachnet, and GS. Keep in mind that each has 3-4 levels of plans, from basic to "premium" services.

One thing that's really important to me is the ability to get towed where I want.

Coachnet does offer unlimited towing. However, they will only tow you to the nearest authorized service center. If you are 75 miles from home and the nearest service center is 5 miles, that's where they take you. That's not acceptable to me. If I'm close to home, that's where I want to be towed. Coachnet will however tow any trailer you are towing.

AAA RV allows you 100 miles anywhere you want, and will take you even farther but you're on the hook for anything over 100 miles. AAA will only tow a travel trailer. They will not pay to tow a utility trailer. AAA is made up of various state clubs and a national club. They do not play nice together and badmouthed each other to me when I was making calls trying to get my issue straightened out. Not acceptable. More over, each club has different rules and plans. And the national club claims they are not responsible to know you coverage when you call the 800 number. Also not acceptable that I was berated for not knowing my coverage. I pay them to tell me when I call.

GS allows the same towing as AAA except it's 200 miles! GS will tow any trailer as part of the plan.

Bottom line is that in my research all 3 have about the same number of online complaints. My decision to move from AAA to GS is based on the coverage that GS offers, the tongue lashing I got from AAA, and the infighting of AAA's clubs.

Who knows, I may change again next year...
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:16 AM   #7
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I have Coach Net and have had to use them only once to change a tire. After about a 45 minute wait, the tire was changed and we were on our way again. So far, so good.

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Old 06-23-2015, 11:13 AM   #8
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Sorry you had a bad experience. I have had exactly the opposite experience having had GS road service for 12+ years and used it many times.
They all contract with the local providers so the difference is the service they provide you on the phone. Mine has always been excellent. Sure sorry you had a bad weekend!
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:47 PM   #9
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I've had GS since the '80's. Used them a bunch of times, NEVER had a problem. Many times they went out of their way to help me. The problem the OP had may have been related to the operator he was in contact with - some people have bad days and they take it out on everyone. That said I'm happy, and sticking with 'em!
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Old 06-23-2015, 03:00 PM   #10
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The issue perhaps being with the provider is a good point. The biggest complaints I've seen against roadside assistance is wait times. But that's not the motor club's fault. If the provider is having a busy day, you have no choice but to wait.

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