Good Sam vs AAA for RVers Compared: Which Should You Choose?

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Roadside assistance is one of those service provider options that you hope you never need for your recreational vehicle on the roadside, but when you do need it, it’s vital that the insurance works the way you expect it to. For most Americans, talking about roadside assistance is synonymous with AAA – the American Automobile Association (or CAA in Canada). AAA insurance has been around for about as long as cars have existed, so there’s little wonder it has become a trusted household name. 

When it comes to RVers, though, is AAA Insurance still the best roadside insurance provider option? Whether your RV is a motorhome or a trailer, your roadside assistance needs are a little different than the average driver. Among RVers, Good Sam roadside assistance is also a popular option.

As a full-time RVer, this decision was important to me. So I compared AAA and Good Sam roadside assistance services specifically for RVs, and here’s what I learned.

RV-Roadside-Assistance-Services

The Main Differences Between Good Sam vs AAA

The main differences between Good Sam vs AAA are:

  • Good Sam is a national organization, whereas AAA is a federation of regional clubs.
  • Good Sam has a specific focus on RVers, whereas AAA is generally more focused on cars.
  • Good Sam has benefits that are targeted to the needs and wishes of the RVers, whereas AAA offers a wide variety of other benefits to members.
  • Good Sam has a discount club and roadside assistance service that are separate subscriptions, whereas AAA memberships include everything in one subscription.

Let’s look at why these differences are significant and what they could mean to you practically:

National vs Local

Good Sam RV insurance is a national organization, which means that their policies and procedures are the same for all members regardless of where they’re from. AAA’s regional membership structure, while it can contribute to a more local feel, often causes confusion as members travel throughout the country.

There are significant enough differences that misunderstandings arise among members of this roadside assistance plan, representatives, and service provides regarding what services you are entitled to. These misunderstandings are especially unwelcome while stranded on the side of the road. 

Focus on RVers

The American Automobile Association is understandably focused on automobiles. They have added provisions that can cover other types of vehicles, including RVs, but RVers are not their primary target audience. Good Sam as an organization is specifically focused on the RVing community. They understand the unique needs and wishes of RVers and they focus their attention on serving this demographic well with their roadside assistance program.

Benefits

Both AAA and Good Sam RV insurance offer a number of other discounts and benefits to their members. The benefits offered by Good Sam are focused on the needs of RVers, including discounts on campground stays, purchases at Camping World or Gander Outdoors, fuel discounts, and free use of dump stations at select Camping World locations.

The discounts offered by AAA are better known and wider-reaching, including tourist attractions, movie theatres, restaurants, hotels, and rental cars. AAA members have access to travel agent services, while Good Sam offers members an online trip planning tool. It is a matter of personal preference which benefits on a roadside assistance package are you looking for. 

Good-Sam-Roadside-Assistance

Subscriptions available

Whether this is an advantage or a disadvantage depends on your perspective, but Good Sam membership and roadside assistance are two separate subscriptions. This means you can be a member of Good Sam and receive membership benefits without paying for roadside assistance coverage, for example. AAA membership includes roadside assistance services automatically. 

AAA vs Good Sam Side-by-Side

Both AAA and Good Sam offer three different subscription levels. Here is how they compare, side-by-side, at the lowest, middle, and highest levels. Note that the lowest level of AAA membership does not cover RVs at all, so it should not be considered an option for RVers.

Lowest Levels

  AAA Classic* Good Sam Standard
Types of RVs covered None Non-motorized only (travel trailers, fifth wheels, etc)
Towing Benefits 7 miles or unlimited to the nearest service provider
  • Unlimited distance to the nearest provider in US & Canada
  • $1,000 towing/roadside service in Mexico, Puerto Rico, & US Virgin Islands
Flat tire service Included Included
Fuel / Battery / Lockout
  • Fuel delivery included, pay for fuel
  • Battery service/jumpstart included
  • $60 toward locksmith parts and labor
All included
Other Services
  • Minor mechanical first aid
  • Extrication/winching (1 service vehicle)
  • Discounted rental car
  • RV Mobile Mechanic dispatch
  • $1,200 trip interruption service
Cost $56 / year + $20 one-time admission fee $64.95 / year **

Middle Levels

  AAA Plus* Good Sam Platinum
Types of RVs covered All All

 

Multiple RVs covered

Towing Benefits Up to 100 miles
  • Unlimited distance to the nearest provider in US & Canada
  • $1,500 towing/roadside service in Mexico, Puerto Rico, & US Virgin Islands
Flat tire service Included Included 
Fuel / Battery / Lockout
  • Fuel and delivery included
  • Battery service/jumpstart included
  • $100 toward locksmith parts and labor
All included
Other Services
  • Minor mechanical first aid
  • Extrication/winching (up to 2 service vehicles)
  • Discounted rental car
  • RV Mobile Mechanic dispatch
  • $1,500 trip interruption service
  • Operational and technical assistance from Certified RV technicians
  • Discounted rental car
Cost $90 / year + $20 one-time admission fee $79.95 / year **

Highest Levels

  AAA Premier* Good Sam Platinum Complete
Types of RVs covered All All

 

Multiple RVs covered

Towing Benefits Up to 100 miles
Once a year, up to 200 miles (for a vehicle, not an RV)
  • Unlimited distance to the nearest provider in US & Canada
  • $1,500 towing/roadside service in Mexico, Puerto Rico, & US Virgin Islands
Tire service Included Included
Fuel / Battery / Lockout
  • Fuel and delivery included
  • Battery service/jumpstart included
  • $150 toward locksmith parts and labour
All included
Other Services
  • Minor mechanical first aid
  • Extrication/winching (up to 2 service vehicles)
  • One day midsize rental included
  • RV Mobile Mechanic dispatch
  • $1,500 trip interruption service
  • Tire and wheel road hazard replacement/repair coverage
  • Operational and technical assistance from Certified RV technicians
  • Discounted rental car
  • Emergency medical evacuation service
Cost $116 / year + $20 one-time admission fee $119.95 / year **

* Note that regional differences exist between AAA clubs. These charts were completed with information from AAA Texas. Please confirm the important details with your local club.

** Good Sam prices reflect a first-time subscriber discount. Prices may increase for the second and subsequent years.

Deciding Between AAA and Good Sam

After comparing the advantages and disadvantages of both, we chose Good Sam for our RV roadside assistance. Because our RV is non-motorized, we have all the coverage we were looking for from the standard Good Sam plan, which is actually a savings over purchasing the upgraded AAA plan. When comparing levels of membership directly, Good Sam is more expensive than AAA but because so much more is included with Good Sam, we felt comfortable choosing the lowest level they offer. 

Even a quick internet search brought us to countless forums where people were dissatisfied with the service they received (or didn’t!) from AAA. We understand that all companies receive negative reviews from time to time, but we noticed some consistency in certain types of problems occurring repeatedly which made them harder to overlook.

The two most significant factors that influenced our decision were the nationwide system and unlimited towing mileage offered by Good Sam. The regional system used by AAA seemed to cause confusion on the part of customers, operators, and service providers alike as people traveled outside of their home region. Also, we often enjoy exploring wilderness areas, and while most places are less than 100 miles from a car mechanic, the same cannot be said for RV technicians. 

good sam vs aaa roadside assistance

Unexpected things happen on the road, and the more you drive, the more likely you are to experience them. On the occasions when we have been stuck on the side of the road, we realized quickly that choosing a great roadside assistance service is not just a matter of cost or convenience, but of our family’s safety.

Since subscribing to Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance, we have used it once when both our trailer and tow vehicle became undrivable and needed to be towed. Not only did they arrange to tow both, but they towed us farther than the closest mechanic in order to find someone who could service both vehicles in one location. This made all the difference as we could continue to stay in the trailer for several days while the tow vehicle was being repaired. Thanks Good Sam!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does AAA cover my RV?

AAA covers your RV if you have a Plus or a Premier membership. The Classic AAA membership does not cover RVs. In some regional clubs, you must also add RV coverage to your Plus or Premier membership. Added RV coverage is not reflected in the comparison charts above.

Is Good Sam Roadside Assistance worth it?

While this is a personal decision for each RV owner, many RVers have decided that Good Sam Roadside Assistance is worth it. The number of full-time RVers that are loyal customers would suggest that it is. In my personal experience, Good Sam’s excellent service was invaluable.

What does AAA Plus RV mean?

Some regional clubs do not include RVs automatically in their Plus and Premier memberships. They have an additional rider that must be added, which makes it AAA Plus RV or AAA Premier RV. Please check with your local club to be sure your RV is covered if you choose AAA for roadside assistance.

What is the best roadside assistance for RV?

After researching options, comparing coverage, hearing first-hand experiences from customers, and eventually using their services, my conclusion is that Good Sam offers the best roadside assistance for RVs. 

Christine Lindstrom

Christine Lindstrom is a freelance writer and full-time RVer. She loves traveling the country with her husband and three children and hopes her writing can help others discover the joys of the RV lifestyle.

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