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Good Sam Emergency Road Service Came to Our Rescue When We Had a Breakdown on the Road

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by Steven Fletcher
My wife, Fran, and I have had RV Emergency Road Service from the Good Sam Club right from the start of our full time RVing life. For many years we never needed it. Oh, we had a couple of flat tires but changing tires on a travel trailer or fifth wheel is easy enough and I can do it faster than it would take for a service truck to get to us.

But, as any experienced RVer will tell you, it's not a question of if you will break down on the road only when. If you travel enough you will eventually break down and be stranded. And eventually it was out turn. It happened while we were touring Texas.

We were traveling almost due north on Texas State Highway 277 ... two lane, but good road... between Eagle Pass and Del Rio.

When we were about ten or twelve miles north of Quemado, Texas, a SUV passed us and the folks inside were motioning back toward our fifth wheel. I looked in the mirrors and realized we were losing a wheel!

Slowing down and pulling off onto a narrow shoulder caused the wheel to come completely off and the back wheel to run up over it. This rocked the house considerably, ‘redistributing’ a bunch of stuff inside. As the loose wheel came out from under the rear wheel it flipped up a little and caused some minor cosmetic damage to the lower edge of the trailer.

Every stud on the hub had been sheared off. All in all, we were lucky because greater problems could have been caused had the wheel gone into the highway.

Interesting Good Sam ERS Facts

Good Same Emergency Roadside Service tracks when, where and how often their members break down so that we always have plenty of resources on hand to service members. We thought some of these stats might be useful to you as you design your ad campaigns.

Top 6 States for Breakdowns:

California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Washington and Oregon.

Time of Day Breakdowns occur:

12:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m: 2%
6:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: 39%
12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: 59%

Types of Dispatches:

Percent of "on the road" dispatches last year: 45%
Percent of "tows" last year: 55%

"Reason for Dispatches" for RVs last year:

Tows: 53%
Tire Problems: 32%
Jump-starts: 14%
Misc. (Lock-outs, Out of Gas, etc.): 1%

"Reason for Dispatches" for automobiles last year:

Tire Problems: 17%
Jump-starts: 20%
Lock-outs: 9%
Misc. (Fluids, Lock-outs, Out of Gas, etc.): 1%

Time of year calls are received:

Jan - Mar: 60% Autos, 40% RVs
Apr - June: 50% Autos, 50% RVs
July - Sept: 40% Autos, 60% RVs
Oct - Dec: 50% Autos, 50% RVs

We called RV Emergency Road Service from the Good Sam Club and they contacted the nearest service agent. ERS couldn't have found us a better mechanic than Marvin, from Hacienda Salvage and Metal Company in Uvalde, about 65 miles from where we were.

After talking over the other possibilities, Marvin and I decided that it would be best if he could find new studs and repair the hub. We gave him all the numbers from the old hub and he said he would go to the local RV shop and see what he could find.

About a half hour later Marvin called from the RV shop and said they had a new hub with studs and bearings. He described it to me and I agreed it was a match for the old one so Marvin said he would bring it.

When Marvin arrived it took him about a half hour to replace the hub and put the spare on. Parts and repairs are not covered by ERS. Marvin charged us his cost for the new hub and $35 for time it took him to replace the hub. Who could ask for a better deal than that? Of course ERS paid for the rest of Marvin's time. No one wants to breakdown but, really, the whole experience was pretty painless.

We were back on the road in three and a half hours from the time we stopped. Marvin was great. We learned how friendly and helpful Texans can be.

I can only imagine what it would have cost us if we did not have the Good Sam ERS but I'd bet it would have been four or five hundred dollars. Maybe more.

Just as important a consideration is who would I have called? I know I would never have thought to call someone in a town 65 miles away. ERS knew who to call and then kept in contact with us off and on during our wait.

An emergency road service may not seem worth the annual fee during the many years when you don’t use it, but, for us, it’s worth every cent of the annual cost when you have a problem!

Fran and I highly recommend RV Emergency Road Service from the Good Sam Club , for your motor home, travel trailer or fifth wheel.

If you want to check out some of the other emergency road services here are a few things to consider.

Make sure the price of your ERS plan includes 'no-cost assistance with unlimited towing'. 'No cost' means that you do not pay the towing fee up front; you simply sign the invoice and drive away.

Make sure the ERS you contract can provide expert RV towing service. Some emergency road service plans cannot accommodate the special handling of an RV.

Your plan should provide coverage for:

  • emergency gas/fuel (usually about five gallons free - with diesel they will also help re-prime your vehicle)
  • lockout service
  • tire changes
  • jump-starts
  • These services should be available no matter where you travel in the U.S. or Canada.

Many plans also include the tow or towed vehicles and other family cars.

While most services will only tow to the nearest qualified repair facility, there should be no maximum distance an RV will be towed. There should be no restrictions on the number of service calls that you're entitled to.

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