Motor Homes and RV's Breaking down on the Interstate
Roadside Assistance Programs are King!
Before you embark on a trip, using your old or new motorhome, a rented Motorhome, or other type of R.V., be sure you also join and seek out the best of all the available motor club programs, which provide for R.V. coverage and potentially Motorcycle coverage, as well.
The top two, that I am constantly in touch with are, AARP, Good Sam, and AAA, all which are excellent in the programs they offer.. But in most cases their programs as a "Stand-Alone," is insufficient, if you are going on a long trip. Here are some quick tips to help you.
1. If you are going on a long trip in your R.V. Be sure you take a whole lot of patience with you
2. Join at least two of the motor club agencies, and if you plan appropriately by getting two or more memberships in the names of your spouse and children (who are licensed to drive any vehicle,),
3. Be sure you write the Year, Make, Model and length of the motor home as well as whether it is a "diesel pusher" or standard type motor home with the engine in the front of the coach.
4. Check that all auxiliary air fittings are in place; as required by law, in most states, including one such fitting in the front of the motor coach.
5. Prior to embarking on any trip
This Last Summer, Vacations That Were Left Behind
This is a Shame! I have been in the Automotive Recovery, Transportation Industry for over 30 years. Every Year, I see Vacations which were supposed to be the "earmarked" vacation of the century, the Honeymoon to surpass all Honeymoons, The Kick off of Retirement, and the list goes on. But for many folks, I have dealt with, it shortly became the "night-mare" vacation; riddled with breakdowns, unbudgeted repairs and other set backs that could have been avoided; had the motorhome owner or R.V.er been given the information they needed to get past the expensive costs of having their motor coaches and other toys, towed to the nearest garage or back home.
Not only was the towing expensive, but the time wasted just waiting or help to arrive, may have been increased due to lack of communication to providers, whom are contracted to supply them with the needed assistance, to safely relocate their vehicles, or lack of available towing resources owned by local contractors, whom are summoned by their motor-club, or road-side assistance plan.
Multiple Road Side Assistance Programs
As I stated earlier, there are a few of the motor clubs, which offer Roadside Assistance programs. AARP, which I am not too familiar with; but know that they offer short distance programs for towing and usually these types of clubs, only offer towing to the nearest place of repair.
A.A.A's program is probably among the most extensive of all of the other motor clubs, which offer R.V. Coverage. They allow up to four tows per member.. So if you have four people in your group who are members, even if they are sponsored with one member present at the scene, you can coordinate your benefits to get coverage up to 400 miles if done properly, and with some planning.
Good Sam, also offers up to 100 miles of towing. I am unsure if that is per member; or if it only pertains to the primary membership in it's entirety. Anyways, for the purposes of this conversation, we will use the one time, per break down.
With most motor clubs, they mass contract their services to whom so ever will allow them to use their services, without any screening or proven training, which the providers operator has to partake in. There is no real quality control and the grievance system in place, in most of the motor clubs to discuss damages, or problems which were caused by the providers operator.
However, with A.A.A. you are well protected, in that grievances are pro-actively pursued, should any problems with the personality of the operator, or damages and concerns arise in which you wish to address, and potentially get resolved in an agreeable manner (for the most part, anyway!).
The Key to Getting the Most From Your Club
There are a few things you need to be prepared with, should break down (heaven forbid!_)
Since most costs for towing and vehicle services, for R.V.' s will cost in excess of $300.00; and can be as much as up to $800.00, depending on where you are broken down. You also have to prepare to sit for as little as 4 hours and up to 12 hours; just to get the first sign of assistance, due to equipment availability and location of the contract service depot. Additionally, you need to be prepared for time it takes to prepare the vehicle to be towed.
Ensuring that the front of the R.V has an air chuck valve, to allow the truck to hook up to the air brakes, should you have a Diesel Pusher type R.V. And no such equipment unless for some reason you have air ride and air brakes. All others are not of concern to time or the preparation of the equipment; as it pertains to towing. Be prepared to have the drive line disconnected and left for a mechanic to re-install; as most towing companies will not re-install these, as a matter of Insurance limitations and liability.
Back to the Motor Clubs:
By doing some simple planning, you can establish 100 or 75 mile, milestones in your trip. Keep track of your trip marked in progress, according to mapped milestones.
By signing up to, let's say Good Sam and A.A.A. you can get your R.V. to somewhere near home, or a place where you are going to feel comfortable; in order to get your vehicle repaired and the family to a safe haven. (I use Good Sam and A.A. A. as a matter of experience; as they do give superior services, to their members.)
Should you break down, you can use your milestone markers, to establish a way point, which is approximately 1/2 way home, or to a "safe haven," and use those markers to figure out how to best allocate your membership benefits.
I recommend if you need to use both memberships, that you use "Good Sam" first, to get you to a garage, service station or a shopping mall, where you are going to be safe, to the best of your ability to gauge; where you can call and wait out the arrival of the A.A.A. service facility operator.
I recommend that the piece of paper that was outlined earlier with all of the vehicle information, be at hand, to relay the information to the dispatcher, at the motor club provider dispatcher or intake personnel, in both instances. ONce all of the information is given to the dispatcher at the motor club, you need to have them have the contract station to call you, to verify your location..When they call back, you need to ensure that the service facility understands what type of vehicle you are driving, as to allow them to dispatch the appropriate vehicles and equipment, to your location.
Once the first motor club provider drops the vehicle, for you to wait out the second motor club provider, to come out; ask the first provider for all hardware and clamps for the driveshaft, and all accessories to the vehicle they removed.. have them to leave the shaft out, should they offer to have them re-install them.
Call the second motor club arrives, these above steps will speed up the preparation time, and get you back on the road in less time, than the original towing trip.
I hope this has been informative to you, and will allow you to keep as much of your budget, in your pocket, to be allocated towards the repairs and possibly to allow you to salvage as much as your trip as possible.
Good Luck, and Happy Traveling. BE safe.
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