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Emergency Roadside Service Coverage


pbustamante41

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It's time for me to renew my emergency roadside service. I've used Coach*Net for years but they have really increased the price. I am a member of FMCA and see that they have a service offering as well. It's called SafeRide RV Club. I can't find out much about them online. Does anyone here any information?

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I know nothing of CoachNet nor FMCA's offering, but we have been satisfied members of AAA for over 50 years. Our "Plus RV" plan allows us 4 100-mile tows per year and costs us $212/yr (with one associate member). It paid off a year ago when we had to have our coach "towed" (carried on a flatbed truck) 97 miles to get the transmission repaired.

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I had Coach Net for years and they were OK. Then 2 years ago, I became interested in SafeRide Motor Club because it was being promoted by Escapees; I'm a long time member. I watched a promotional video and then called. It all sounded good and because it was now part of the Escapees benefits program I joined; Big Mistake!

The first time I needed help was when an airbag rupture while I was parked, fortunately, in a small town in SE WA State. I could not move the coach. Of course, the first call I made was for roadside service. It would take me an hour to describe the total inefficiency and lack of any help; it was one of those nightmare never ends and only gets worse stories. They were always pleasant on the phone and repeatedly told me "Not to worry. We'll take of everything and get you back on the road."; NOT! There were no follow up calls, I always had to call them and go through a long menu to finally get someone who could lookup my case. Then I'd have to explain everything all over again and each time I'd get a different story as to what they would do and when. 

Meanwhile, winter had arrived early and it snowed. My holding tanks were just about full, I was dry camping. I had to hire a septic tank pumping company to come out to my remote location and pump my tanks. That was really fun because they had never done it before; need I say more? 

SafeRide NEVER found anyone to help me! All I got was a runaround for many days. It was getting cold and I was supposed to be long gone for the winter in AZ so I took matters into my own hands. Since this is prime wheat growing country, each small town has a large truck and implement dealer. Friends of mine in the area had a friendly connection with a company 12 miles away. After explaining my dire situation to the shop foreman, on his own time on a Sunday, he drove to my location to evaluate the situation. Since airbags are common in the farm trucks and large equipment, he said they could help. His inspection revealed that all the bags were in terrible shape and needed replacement. Next thing was to locate a replacement. That wasn't easy because Monaco had used different bags randomly so finding the correct one was a challenge. We decided to buy only one to be sure it was correct and then buy 7 more after the first was installed.

The repair had to be made at my location and in the snow! The mechanic was incredible and had to really improvise to get it done. They had never worked on a motorhome before. 

Ordered more bags and drove to their shop to replace the remaining.

SafeRide promised they would pay for the service call, not parts or labor, for the on site repair. After I was finally at the shop and the others were being replaced, I did as instructed by SafeRIde (SR). Previously, they told me at that time they would give a credit card number to the shop foreman so he could charge them for the call; about $120. That's exactly what I did. Of course, as before, I had to go through all the menu again; frustrating! When I finally got a live person and explained why I was calling, she told me they never did such a thing and I would have to submit a claim in writing! That was the final straw! Told them forget it, cancel my claim cancel my membership and I never want to hear their name again!

So, off I go to AZ but the story doesn't end there. In northern AZ I had a trailer tire fail. (26 years fulltiming and had only needed roadside service once!)

I call SR again expecting the worst but somewhat hopeful because it was only a blown tire. It was not to be. Another nightmare! SR totally blew it again! I was in a very dangerous situation. High speed heavy traffic 2 lane road with virtually no shoulder in the middle of the high desert. Every passing vehicle rocked the 40' coach. I was afraid of staying inside so waited in the heat outside at a safe distance. To make it worse, it was late in the day and I knew if I was stuck there after dark, someone was sure to hit me plus I'd be waiting outside all the time.

After many calls to SR and no one showing up, I finally got them to give me the phone number of the business supposedly coming to help. When I contacted them, they told me they were waiting for SR to call back and pay for the call with a credit card because apparently they had no ties to them. I said I'll give you my credit card number now, please, just get out here. They said OK but unfortunately the service truck got tired of waiting for SR to call so he when out on another call. After an hour or so, they called and said he was on the way. He did arrive, fixed the tire and I was finally back on the road. Made an RV park just at dark. BTW, trailer tires were new only a few months earlier.

I called Escapees and related my entire stories to the manager. She sounded interested and took notes. Told me she'd contact SafeRide. Many weeks went by and no one contacted me from Escapees or SafeRide. Then one day I did get a call from SafeRide headquarters in TX. The lady was nice, listened to my story and apologized. Offered to pay the $120 if I'd submit a paper claim. Told her I had spent way too much time with them and never wanted to hear their name again.

I've followed the discussions here for years and always paid attention to roadside service postings. When looking for someone new, I did check with CoachNet but their rates had really gone up. I called Good Sam (not the greatest stories here about their service in the past) but since I now have their RV insurance and I liked the representatives answers to my many questions, decided to join. 

I've traveled about 8000 miles this summer without any problems so can't comment on their service.

"That's my story and I'm sticking to it!" ;-)

 

Gary K

06 40' Windsor

 

 

 

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I can relate to Gary's story above only my "issue" was with Coach Net. We were traveling through one of the small towns in Texas right after a rain. Following my GPS when a large sign appeared saying "BRIDGE OUT AHEAD". We were on a narrow two lane road and I saw what appeared to be a series of mfg homes with a large parking lot in front, so I pull in. Our coach is 45' and with the toad we are 65' long so I figured I would use their parking lot to execute a U turn and find another way to continue. I entered the parking lot and was pulling back out onto the roadway when the shoulder of the road collapsed from the rain. This dropped the back end of the coach onto the ground and the hitch dug into the wet dirt and rocks. So, here I am sideways across a two lane highway stuck in the driveway of this business. (turns out it was City Hall) I am blocking the street both ways. While I assess the situation my wife calls Coach Net. They want to know if we are in a 'safe' location. Wife says no, we are sideways completely blocking the road. Woman says we don't have a large tow right now and maybe we could move the coach to a safer location.  ??? Anyway, I set out emergency cones and begin my search for a way to 'unstick' the coach. After gathering some large rocks, bricks and boards I ask my wife if she's heard from Coach Net. She says no one has called, so I call them back. The lady says they 'cleared' my ticket since they had no truck available! I said I was still stuck and still blocking the entire roadway. This is when she simply asked, "Why don't you move your coach?" 🤔Instead of saying what I was thinking, I told her I did not require a large tow truck as I didn't need to be towed. All I needed was one of the smaller trucks that you've seen on the freeways changing tires on big rigs. I need their air jacks to raise the rear drive axle so I can put rocks and bricks under the tires and simply drive the coach out. She says she will call me back. I unhook the toad and begin the tedious job of digging out the coach's hitch. Meanwhile a young lady stops by and asks if I need help. Turns out she's the mayor's wife and he lives nearby. Off she goes to get hubby. Hubby arrives on a four wheeler and I explain my predicament. He says he 'knows a guy' so makes a phone call. Shortly thereafter, the mayor's 'guy' arrives with a backhoe! Says he "might be able" to use the backhoe to lift the coach. After staring at him for what seemed an eternity, I decided to call Coach Net to see what they have done. I tell them who I am, give them my member number again and the lady says, "Oh! You still need help?"  Since I paid a lot of money for my phone, I decided not to throw it at that point. After a moment of composure, I said yes, I still need help. She says "Well, we don't have anyone on call right now." Says she'll call me when and if they find someone 🥶 I hung up on her. I finally used the air system in the coach to raise the back end of the coach as high as it would go, got the rocks, boards and bricks behind the tires and backed the coach out of the muck, thanked the mayor and his buddy, tipped them with a case of beer, since they refused any monetary reward and got underway again. Coach Net never did call me back. As far as they know, I'm still blocking traffic on that highway. I did not renew with Coach Net and will never recommend them to anyone. I figure my VISA has a very large monetary limit so if something goes amiss in the future, I'll find help myself. It's quicker, easier and more efficient....Dennis

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I have Good Sam, I called once because the filter got clogged, bad fuel, and they came and help me.

Another time many year ago I had two tires blow up in my car trailer, one in West Virginia and another one in Orlando, both times they came and help me out in a reasonable time.

I didn't have any issues lately.

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I am hesitant to reply to this thread as now I will get an email notification when someone posts but here goes.

We have had AAA for over 25 years, even before we had an RV.  Over the years we have had our personal vehicle: towed, flat tires repaired, broken key in ignition etc.  So just for these types of problems AAA has paid for itself. 

We then upgraded to AAA Plus when we got a Class C,  We had a transmission problem and had to have it towed.  We then moved up to our Class A and have had to have that towed two times.  Once when the transmission control module crapped out and a second time due to radiator damage.  The first two tows went off pretty well, the third one no so much.  It was memorial day weekend and AAA had a hard time finding a tow company with a large enough truck willing to tow me.  I had to spend the night in a Cracker Barrel.  AAA did update me on a regular basis and to be honest I could understand the situation.  The tow itself was good, the driver quickly hooked up and secured the rig, removed the driveshaft, hooked up the air to release the brakes, hooked up lights and we were on our way. 

Yes AAA may not take care of all the issues that could happen with an RV but what they do cover is good enough for me. 

Cost is ~$179 per year for all our daily drivers and the RV.  I think this is a good value. 

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7 minutes ago, jacwjames said:

I am hesitant to reply to this thread as now I will get an email notification when someone posts but here goes.

We have had AAA for over 25 years, even before we had an RV.  Over the years we have had our personal vehicle: towed, flat tires repaired, broken key in ignition etc.  So just for these types of problems AAA has paid for itself. 

We then upgraded to AAA Plus when we got a Class C,  We had a transmission problem and had to have it towed.  We then moved up to our Class A and have had to have that towed two times.  Once when the transmission control module crapped out and a second time due to radiator damage.  The first two tows went off pretty well, the third one no so much.  It was memorial day weekend and AAA had a hard time finding a tow company with a large enough truck willing to tow me.  I had to spend the night in a Cracker Barrel.  AAA did update me on a regular basis and to be honest I could understand the situation.  The tow itself was good, the driver quickly hooked up and secured the rig, removed the driveshaft, hooked up the air to release the brakes, hooked up lights and we were on our way. 

Yes AAA may not take care of all the issues that could happen with an RV but what they do cover is good enough for me. 

Cost is ~$179 per year for all our daily drivers and the RV.  I think this is a good value. 

Thank you all. I've concluded that there is no perfect solution and that the issues and limitations lie in the human interaction (follow through) and coverage options. I am somewhat dissatisfied in the number of instances where the companies failed to stay in touch until the issue is resolved. One item that is important to me is the delivery and replacement of a damaged tire while on the road. Thanks again for all of your comments. Safe travels. 

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There is a data base All service providers use to dispatch a tow.  Sometimes it is not the closest provider, but the least expensive tow which can be hundreds of miles away depending on your location.  If you choose to have a technician dispatched instead of a tow, if the technician cannot get you back on the road again, you will have to pay for a tow to be dispatched.  Then there is a limit as to how many miles you can be towed before a mileage charge is added to the cost.  Make sure you are towed to a "authorized service facility".  Chuck B

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Yes, you are right, my tow limit is 100 miles.  In all 3 cases I was just under the limit.  They let me choose the the service facility. 

I also understand that it will cost me out the wazoo if I am in the middle of now where have have to be towed.

FWIW, a friend of my wifes just bought a new Thor Outlaw and came down for a visit in June.  She had was using the built in GPS and got directed onto a small rural road and had to back into a tight spot to turn around.  Ended up doing a little damage to the rear drivers side but also something pulled her rear taillights out.  This also caused her rear and side cameras to quit working.  She was able to make it the last 10 miles to our house but didn't want to drive all the way back to Michigan from TN with no camera or rear lights. With the new coach they got a subscription to Coachnet so they attempted to get a service technician to come out and fix the problem.  Her husband in Michigan and her in TN were left hanging.  NOPE, NADA, NO WAY the best Coachnet could do was make an appointment 2 months out to a near by repair facility. 

I ended up fixing the tail light problem myself, the hardest part was finding the fuse panels, ended up having to call Thor Technical support which ultimately pointed me in the right direction, being a new coach the person could not find in any of his documents where the fuse panels were located so he went back to the shop floor and asked a foremen who gave him 2 possible locations.  Ended up being under 2 of the front dash panels that were held in place (very firmly) with Velcro.  None of the fuses were labeled so had to pull each one to find the 2 blown fuses.    I also rerouted and firmly attached the wiring harnesses which were all hanging pretty low below the chassis frame, road debris could have also taken them out pretty easily.

Long story short, I doubt I'd subscribe to Coachnet based on this experience. 

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2 hours ago, pbustamante41 said:

Thank you all. I've concluded that there is no perfect solution and that the issues and limitations lie in the human interaction (follow through) and coverage options. I am somewhat dissatisfied in the number of instances where the companies failed to stay in touch until the issue is resolved. One item that is important to me is the delivery and replacement of a damaged tire while on the road. Thanks again for all of your comments. Safe travels. 

Pat

Thank you for the courteous post. So nice to see a conclusion or summation by an originator of a post.

Paul A

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22 hours ago, pbustamante41 said:

Thank you all. I've concluded that there is no perfect solution and that the issues and limitations lie in the human interaction (follow through) and coverage options. I am somewhat dissatisfied in the number of instances where the companies failed to stay in touch until the issue is resolved. One item that is important to me is the delivery and replacement of a damaged tire while on the road. Thanks again for all of your comments. Safe travels. 

I always keep one of my old tires strapped to the front of my trailer. 

Any roadside tire service company can swap a tire, but it may be difficult to find a matching tire on the road, and it's almost guaranteed you'll pay way more for it.  Having the spare lets you get to safety, and find a replacement at your leisure.

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A point about having a spare trailer tire.

When my tire failed, I did have a spare tire inside the trailer but it was not mounted. Roadside service guy had nothing on his truck to dismount and remount a tire. According to him and a few other people I've spoken with, appears that is the norm. So, now I carry a mounted spare cargo trailer tire. 

 

Gary K

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I'm with the others that tout AAA.  We have had their RV Plus for years.  Several years back we had to have our 38' Class A DP towed less than 10 miles from the edge of Oklahoma City, OK to a Freightliner dealer.  Our master onboard computer system had failed.  It took hours to have he drive train (?) disconnected so the rig could be towed.  The bill was over $800 then (about 2015).  Am thankful we didn't have to pay any of it.

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My storage bays aren't wide enough to accept a tire so I made a carrier for a full size mounted tire, it swings down to load/unload but the tire is heavy.  I originally used a dual hitch receiver but then mounted two receivers to the chassis frame and use a cross member that swings out, this is too much weight though so will probably go back to the dual hitch mount. 

I did this when we went to AK, didn't want to be stranded in the middle of no where.   Next time I change tires I'll use one I pull off and change out the spare to keep decent rubber on it. 

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For nine of the thirteen years we were fulltimers we had Coach-Net. They provided minor assistance a couple of times and paid over $1,000 in road service and towing fees for the one time we were broken down on the side of the road and needed to be towed.

We were pleased with them.

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2 hours ago, rudisill99 said:

For nine of the thirteen years we were fulltimers we had Coach-Net. They provided minor assistance a couple of times and paid over $1,000 in road service and towing fees for the one time we were broken down on the side of the road and needed to be towed.

We were pleased with them.

Dave, if you paid roughly $2,250 for the 'protection' and they paid $1,000 in road service calls for you, do you still feel it was worth the protection? Peace of mind maybe? Not being snarky, just trying to wrap my head around how others perceive this 'deal'.. thanks....Dennis

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4 hours ago, Dennis H said:

Dave, if you paid roughly $2,250 for the 'protection' and they paid $1,000 in road service calls for you, do you still feel it was worth the protection? Peace of mind maybe? Not being snarky, just trying to wrap my head around how others perceive this 'deal'.. thanks....Dennis

No offense taken.

I view[ed] emergency road service plans simply as a way of spreading out the cost of road service emergencies over relatively small annual payments. Sure, I would rather have paid less in premiums than I avoided in service bills.  Qué será, será

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Choosing an Emergency Roadside Service is mostly a personal choice not really based on recommendations by others because there have been horror stories posted about each and everyone of them from owners all over the country.

Before owning an RV while living in New York I always had AAA for my car. Then I moved to CA and signed up with AAA in California which is a different company strange as it might be. Then later I purchased a motorcycle and changed my AAA coverage to AAA-RV. Then I purchased my 1992 Class A Airstream and remained with AAA.

When I purchased my 2002 Monaco in 2003 I remained with AAA as I really wasn't taking that many trips with it and never used the coverage for the coach. I was using the coach as my home. Then it came time to leave CA in 2010 and head for Alaska. After doing a lot of research I signed up with Coach-Net through FMCA for their Platinum (which is Premier now) program for three years. I have remained with Coach-Net ever since then as they have always taken care of ALL of my problems no matter where I have been located and it doesn't matter which vehicle I am driving, towing or riding in, I am covered.

I have had the coach and 30 foot trailer towed three different times with one of them being a major tow that would have cost me well over $6000 if I had not been covered. The first was only 10 miles in Oregon, the second was over 200 miles in Norther British Columbia and the third was 80 miles in Virginia. Each tow was done professionally and safely. I have had many ERS calls for trailer tire problems. One in Calgary AB, one in Whitehorse YK and one on I-71 in KY. Also battery problems on cars. I have not had to use them since the last tow off of I-81 four years ago in 2016 when I was still towing my cargo trailer.

Each time I renew I always sign up for three years at a time as they give me a small discount for multiple years. My last renewal was back in 2019 and the cost was $489 or $163 per year. I don't think that it so awfully expensive considering the peace of mind I have that I will be taken care of no matter where I am from Key West Florida to Fairbanks Alaska or San Diego CA to Newfoundland CA.

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16 hours ago, Dennis H said:

Dave, if you paid roughly $2,250 for the 'protection' and they paid $1,000 in road service calls for you, do you still feel it was worth the protection? Peace of mind maybe? Not being snarky, just trying to wrap my head around how others perceive this 'deal'.. thanks....Dennis

I am not promoting any particular roadside service but I believe the average cost of Coachnet is about $120 a year so 120 x 9 = $1080. I would say he broke even on the cost of the insurance compared to their payout.

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As an FYI, I renewed with Coach-Net and they did offer a renewal discount. I've utilized their tech support numerous times and was very pleased. They seem to have experienced and knowledgeable folks that are trained in phone support. The one time I needed a tow I was impressed with the fact the company tracked down a low boy set up and repair facility to get me back on the road. There is obviously no perfect service but I feel better about spending my money after reading the comments on this post. Thank you. 

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3 hours ago, Bob Nodine said:

I am not promoting any particular roadside service but I believe the average cost of Coachnet is about $120 a year so 120 x 9 = $1080. I would say he broke even on the cost of the insurance compared to their payout.

I just checked my Quicken records, and I paid $963.50 for coverage from 2005 to 2016.  I guess I did recover more in claims than I paid in premiums after all.

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