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RV tire blowouts

Navigating RV Tire Blowouts: Reimbursement or Sign & Drive?

Published on January 27th, 2023
This post was updated on February 10th, 2024

RV tires carry precious cargo that includes you and your traveling guests, along with the investment in your recreational vehicle.

Unfortunately, fixing an RV tire can be difficult and expensive if a blowout or other damage occurs during a trip. The solution is to purchase an RV Tire Roadside Assistance Package to help you quickly get back on the road.

However, there are different RV tire protection plans, and this guide will explain the difference between reimbursement programs vs. sign and drive. I also discuss why RV tire coverage is so important and the plan’s services.

With a comprehensive RV tire blowout repair program, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ll get any RV flat repaired in a timely and affordable manner!

Why You Need an RV Tire Program

RV tire blowouts

An RV tire program is buying an insurance policy for camper tires. Here are the reasons you should include a tire program with any RV roadside assistance package:

Cost

RV tires are not always readily available at every tire shop, and buying a quality replacement can run between $200 to $750 each.

You never know how far from civilization you may be when a blowout occurs. Unfortunately, calling a local repair shop to locate the correct replacement tire, bring it to your location, and install it will be costly.

If your RV needs more repairs from blowout damage, getting it towed to a service center will be an additional expense. Most RVers don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around to cover these charges, which can ruin your trip and strain your future finances.

An RV tire program will send a qualified technician with all the correct equipment to fix your flat as part of your membership fees.

Safety

A red warning triangle with a broken-down RV

Changing an RV tire yourself can be dangerous without the proper equipment, skills, and location away from traffic to perform the task.

Motorhomes are extremely heavy to jack up, and travel trailers may move or sway on the jack as other vehicles pass by. Both these scenarios will put the person changing the flat tire in danger.

Many RVs don’t even carry a spare tire because of space limitations. In addition, many oversized Class A motorhome tires can weigh over 100 pounds, and it can be difficult for a person to move them from the storage bay and lift them onto the bolts.

Driving your motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel to a repair shop with a flat tire will also cause more damage to the wheel and could result in an accident because you’ll have less control over the camper.

RV tire protection programs work with companies with experience in RV tire replacement and repair. The staff has the properly-rated equipment and skills to repair tires on all recreational vehicles safely.

Space for Supplies

A man performing basic RV maintenance

If you own a travel trailer, campervan, small Class C motorhome, or lightweight fifth wheel, you can change a flat tire yourself. However, being prepared means you’ll need the room and weight capacity in the camper to store one or two spare tires, a rugged jack, and accompanying tools.

RV storage space is already limited, and carrying around all this equipment means you’ll have less room or weight capacity to bring all the camping equipment you want.

When you use an RV tire program, you can free up RV storage space and let the repair company bring the tire and tools to fix your camper.

Convenience

When you’re a member of an RV tire sign and drive program, you only need to make one phone call to get the assistance you need. When you alert the company to your problem and location, the staff will send the nearest affiliated repairperson to fix your tire or tow you to the nearest service center.

Once your RV is back in action, you only need to sign your name to close the transaction, with no extra money coming out of your pocket. The final payment for the work will be between the RV tire program and the repair shop.

When you are a member of an RV tire program that reimburses for repair expenses, you’ll need to do more work to arrange for a technician to come to your location or set up a tow. However, most of these RV tire programs allow you to select the shop of your choice to do the repair or towing, giving you more control over the work.

Once the work is complete, you’ll pay the bill and submit the paperwork to your membership program for reimbursement.

Reimbursement Programs vs. Sign & Drive Pros and Cons

A reimbursement programs for an RV

Sign & Drive Pros

Going with a sign-and-drive RV tire program is easier for most people. You can get your RV flat fixed at no additional cost to you and keep your camping budget intact.

Making one phone call and not having to deal with paperwork or haggling over repair costs is worth the membership price.

Sign & Drive Cons

The downside to sign-and-drive programs is that there are areas of the US where you may be waiting a long time for the company to locate someone nearby to help you.

Another concern is that you have to use the company the program sends out if you want the tire repair covered under your plan.

Some programs restrict how many tire replacements they will cover each year, which could leave you stuck footing the bill for the overage if more tires blow out.

Reimbursement Pros

If you want the ability to select a replacement tire, tow company, or repair shop to fix your recreational vehicle, then choosing a reimbursement program is the best choice.

The reimbursement RV tire programs cost less than sign and drive, but not by much.

Reimbursement Cons

Best RV tires

All the work of finding a reputable tire shop with the size RV tire or tires you need and getting them to come to your location and replace it or tow you to theirs falls on your shoulders.

Only some tire shops have RV tires in stock, and only some repair shops have tow equipment or roadside tire exchange equipment safely rated for RVs. Finding a shop that does have what you need can be time-consuming.

Lastly, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for the tire and all the services; then, you or the service repair shop will submit your claim and receipts to the RV tire program company.

After that, you hope the company approves the repair and cuts you a check for the bill’s total cost. Unfortunately, you may still be waiting weeks for reimbursement if they approve the repair.

What RV Tire Programs Include

The purpose of buying an RV tire program is to cover the cost of tire replacement or repair while you travel. While you may go years without the need to put your membership to good use, you could also have multiple blowouts in one camping season.

Before I get into what an RV tire program typically includes, let me point out that many standard RV roadside assistance programs do not include coverage for a tire replacement or the repair bill. Instead, those programs help if you run out of gas, your battery is dead, or for mechanical issues with motorhomes, trailers, and tow vehicles.

However, some roadside assistance programs have premium packages, including tire repair and replacement, which are worth the upgrade in price.

RV Tire Protection Program Coverage

An RV tire protection

Each company’s coverage for RV tires may vary, but most will include some or all of these services:

  • Flat tire repair
  • RV tire replacement
  • Wheel or rim replacement
  • Towing and winching services
  • Labor charges
  • Accommodation for lengthy repairs (hotel/motel)

Common Issues That Cause Damage to RV Tires

Many RV tire and roadside assistance programs state that they will cover only specific damage that causes a tire to blow out or go flat.

Program language refers to “road hazard” dangers as a covered feature of the plan. Road hazards are items such as:

  • Rocks in the roadway
  • Nails, glass, screws, or other sharp objects can impale a tire
  • Branches or other natural debris
  • Damage to the pavement, such as grooves or potholes
  • Objects such as tools, equipment, or furniture that fell off other vehicles

The primary reason RV tires blow out is from improper maintenance or wear and tear, such as:

  • Too low or high tire air pressure
  • Letting the tread get worn down
  • Deterioration from exposure to the elements or age
  • Damage to the sidewalls from scraping against curbs or obstacles

Please note that most RV tire repair programs do not cover damage from normal wear and tear or improper maintenance. Instead, the coverage is for hitting objects or potholes in the road that cause damage to the tires.

Top RV Tire Protection Programs

RV tire protection programs

Good Sam Tire & Wheel Protection Plan

Type of Program: It can work as a sign-and-drive or reimbursement

Price: $180-$190 annually (most customers get 50% or more discount with specials)

Good Sam National Tire Program includes up to $75 to repair a fixable RV flat tire or wheel, total replacement of unrepairable tires or wheels (at current market cost) if the damage is from a road hazard, and towing if you are a member of their RV Roadside Assistance Program.

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The coverage is available across the US, and payment is flexible. For example, your repair service can submit the claim at no cost to you, or you can pay to fix the tire and apply for reimbursement.

This program does require customers to jump through more hoops to get approval for the repair and to file claims, but most find the program, repair service, and payouts reliable.

Program Extras:

  • Up to $75 for wheel mounting and balancing
  • Coverage for connected tow vehicle

Good Sam 101: What is Tire and Wheel Protection (Video)

Coach-Net

Type of Program: Sign & Drive

Price: $180-$280 annually

Coach-Net handles your call for help by connecting with repair shops across the US for the Coach-Net Hazard Protect program and setting up assistance.

The coverage includes having a new tire brought to your location and installed or towing to a qualified repair shop for the work to be done. Damage to wheels is also part of the policy coverage.

The policy states tire damage must be from any road hazards listed in the policy, but customers say that the company covers the repair as long as the tire isn’t obviously worn.

Once the repair is complete, you sign the bill and continue on your journey. Coach-Net deals directly with the repair shop to complete the transaction, so you don’t have to pay, submit receipts, or file a claim form.

There are three package levels: Basic, Preferred, and Ultimate. The Basic and Preferred only cover two tire replacements per year, but the Ultimate is unlimited. In addition, the Preferred and Ultimate packages include unlimited flat tire repair or spare installation.

Program Extras:

  • Includes the cost of tire mounting, balancing, valve stems, and sales tax

RV Road Side Assistance – Call to Coach-Net, Flat Tire Fix! (Video)

Wholesale Warranties RV Tire and Wheel Protection

Type of Program: Reimbursement

Price: Annual prices vary by state

Wholesale Warranties offers an affordable RV Tire and Wheel Protection program that covers the cost of repair or replacement of tires and rims. You can take your RV to any tire repair provider or have them come to you to perform the service.

You pay the bill in total after the tire is fixed. The repair shop handles reporting the claim to the Wholesale Warranties policy administrator for approval, and they will reimburse all covered service costs.

The company has no limits to the number of claims you can submit under this policy.

Extra program perks:

  • Roadside assistance benefits
  • Mounting aid
  • Emergency travel expense reimbursement

Why Wholesale Warranties (Video)

In Summary

If you own an RV, consider the benefits of becoming a member of an RV tire protection program. You never know when a blowout can occur, and changing a tire on a large motorhome, fifth wheel, or travel trailer is difficult and dangerous.

When you join an RV tire program, you obtain timely flat tire repairs or replacements with just a signature or receive reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses.

When you travel thousands of miles enjoying the RV life, having tire coverage will keep your travel plans on track!

QUOTE:
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide

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