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Jeff
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Joined: 18 Aug 2008
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Location: Someone get me out of Everett, WA
Jeff
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PostSat Dec 30, 2017 7:39 pm 
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With the random risk of trailhead vandalism and my aging car I have been thinking about getting some coverage. Either through AAA or my auto insurance policy. The cost savings for a tow is significant and it seems convenient to be able to call AAA and have them sent someone out.

I do see that AAA won't come to unpaved forest service roads. I am not sure if an unpaved lot just off the highway would qualify. Or if a long paved forest service road qualifies. Anyone have any first hand experience?
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Chico
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Chico
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PostSun Dec 31, 2017 12:23 am 
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Anyone in the insurance business is going to want to protect themselves. With the risk of needing a tow greater off the pavement, of course they will limit their exposure.

Four wheeling clubs usually have a group that goes together so if someone does break down there is assistance right there.

Tow companies have and will come to your assistance if you are off the pavement. Just don't expect an insurance company to pay for it!

So, if you go out there, be prepared to deal with it on your own. Maybe carry a tow strap or chain even though your vehicle is not equipped to tow anything. But it increases your chances of getting someone to assist in getting you close to pavement, where your insurance can take over.

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RandyHiker
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Joined: 27 Jul 2008
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Location: Greenlake
RandyHiker
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PostSun Dec 31, 2017 8:59 am 
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The older and crummier the vehicle, the less likely thieves will be interested.

Garbage strewn in the car's interior seems to be a deterrent--  a ww kayaker friend of mine has a blanket with garbage and dirty underwear glued to it used to cover his change of clothes, etc left in the car.

Hood locks can make it harder for methheads to steal your battery

One of these hidden in the vehicle can get you going again if the jerks leave your lights on and run thge battery down.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XY35D93/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_avrsAbHQMMDBV
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moonspots
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Joined: 03 Feb 2007
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Location: North Dakota
moonspots
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PostSun Dec 31, 2017 9:09 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
One of these hidden in the vehicle can get you going again if the jerks leave your lights on and run the battery down.

I use one of these when it'll be parked for a while.

https://www.harborfreight.com/battery-disconnect-switch-97853.html

Mostly in case something goes awry and the battery drains because of that. A hood lock seems like a good idea, but I'm not sure what that would be on a car with the inside hood opening lever. Those hood pins that racing vehicles often have should work, but they would likely be an attractant too, I'd guess.

And I see that I've wandered "off route" re: the OP's question... I don't know what the answer is as I've not looked into it. I suppose that I should.

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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moonspots
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moonspots
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PostSun Dec 31, 2017 9:29 am 
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Jeff wrote:
I do see that AAA won't come to unpaved forest service roads. I

Hmmm, I'll have to look further apparently, I've not seen that "fine print" yet. Here's what I've found so far on AAA's website:

"Towing service is provided to eligible vehicles that cannot be started or driven safely under the vehicle's own power. If roadside first-aid measures fail to get the vehicle going, AAA will tow the vehicle. Members may have their vehicle towed at AAA's expense from the point of breakdown to any residence or place of repair within the driving radius allotted by your type of membership."

This site rates several roadside assistance services:

http://www.toptenreviews.com/services/auto/best-roadside-assistance-services/

The good thing is, ya got me to thinking about it....

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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seattlenativemike
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seattlenativemike
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PostSun Dec 31, 2017 10:01 am 
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My fuel pump failed a few years back way out Baker Lake Road, fortunately just about where the pavement ends.

I really didn't want to do the $400 tow to Seattle, so:

-GF came up and we drove back to Seattle to get my mechanic friend and his diagnostic laptop
-He and I drove back, then diagnosis in hand we drove to Seattle to get the parts
-Towed it using my truck to a flat open area where he attempted to fix, but we didnt have the right wrench and he was due to report into his parole officer that night (!)
-Attempted to rent a Uhaul tow rig for the truck or rent a truck and tow rig.
-Drove him back to Seattle for his "appointment" and rode back with my gf and her Rav4.
-Joined AAA and later that night about 3am the flatbed arrived and towed my car back to Seattle
-Still made our morning departure on the Clipper to Victoria

It was a while before I could visit Baker Lake Road again.

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contour5
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contour5
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PostSun Dec 31, 2017 11:53 am 
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I've been paying an extra $16 per year for towing/emergency road service. Recently got a call informing me my service is being cancelled.

I'm outraged, of course, but they did tow me from the Cyclone Lake th, to Seattle and then drove me from Darrington to the NF Sauk th to jump start my old heap. Plus a tow off the Alaskan Way Viaduct during rush hour, and maybe another jump start or two.

So, yep, one helluva service. State Farm was there.

The real trick is contacting your provider to request service when you're twenty miles up a gravel road. Sometimes there's no better insurance than having a couple weeks worth of food stashed in the car... tools are good...extra gas is good...
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Schroder
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Schroder
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PostSun Dec 31, 2017 12:36 pm 
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I've had AAA Plus (100 miles towing) for about 30 years and have used it several times, even exceeding the mileage limits.  It's true they don't cover service on an unpaved Forest Service road but you only pay out of pocket for the cost to reach a paved road and then they cover the rest.  When you exceed the 100 mile towing coverage, they bill you for the cost of the remaining miles (or you can get Premier coverage). A tow truck will drive just about anywhere you can get to.  AAA will even come to you for a flat tire on a bicycle.
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Hiker Mama
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Hiker Mama
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PostThu Jan 04, 2018 11:02 pm 
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We have the generic towing insurance from State Farm on our policy. I had never read the fine print until after we were towed once - I think it says they will only tow you 10 miles or something crazy like that? But a few years ago, my aging Camry broke down on the way to Blue Lake (up by Mt. Baker). We were a loooong way up that gravel road. I had to use my DeLorme InReach to text my husband to have him coordinate our towing. Sure enough, we got a tow pretty quickly (maybe an hour or two?) and a ride down into Sedro Woolley. The tow truck driver said, sure, we can bill your insurance. The car was fixed that day, and I was able to drive it home.

The next day I got a call from the billing lady at the tow company. She said it usually takes awhile for the money to come through from insurance, and wanted her $400. I very politely but firmly said that the tow driver told me they would take care of the billing, and that she could send me the remainder once SF had paid their portion. She reluctantly said OK, hung up, and I never heard any more about it. Never got a bill from them or any notice from SF. I didn't want to press my luck, so I never looked any deeper into it. I sometimes wonder if they just wrote the whole thing off? Or could it be possible that SF paid the whole thing? I may never know, but I'm glad it all worked out, and I'm sure thankful for my InReach.

Sometimes I think I should look into getting AAA or something better than just our insurance plan since we do a lot of road trips and such.

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My hiking w/ kids site: www.thehikermama.com
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MtnGoat
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MtnGoat
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PostFri Jan 05, 2018 11:31 am 
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A buddy had his Tahoe blow a transmission connector and puke out all the fluid up way up on Bethel ridge a few years ago.

AAA and the towing company said a 'short' drive up a good road wouldn't count against him, but at a mile they'd start charging him and if it was a 'bad' road, they'd charge him once they left the pavement and at a higher rate too.

Since we were near the top of Bethel ridge, I think they added 10 miles of dirt to the bill and he paid that at the 'regular' dirt road rate, AAA covered the rest.

I pay for AAA coverage on State Farm, it was cheap and I figured what the heck for 5 bucks a month it's worth it to get what I can if something breaks.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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