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AAA - Premium? Or Not so much?

Discussion in 'Winching and Recovery' started by jamesurq, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. jamesurq

    jamesurq Ask me about my unfinished projects....

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    So I learned on this latest trip to URE in the mountains of NC that AAA drivers can refuse to transport your vehicle if the tires or suspension are modified in any way. Not only that, they can tell you your vehicle is now considered a "Commercial" vehicle and demand that you pay the commercial rate surcharge. In this case, $250. Being of sound mind and body and cynical as fu%$ I told the guy to hold on, and called AAA in front of him, stared him in the eyes and told the operator that I was being scammed by the driver. He didn't like that....

    Some background:

    • 1985 FJ60, sprung over, on 35s....
    • I've had it towed locally a few times - they've never mentioned any surcharge
    • This was a Friday night and a 140 mile round trip tow
    • It was near URE - a major off roading destination
    • He's likely come across many lifted trucks and knows about this loophole
    I told him to leave and spent 20 mins on the phone with AAA escalating and asking why the hell they call it premium membership. They stated that they support the drivers decision. I also asked them if any of their levels of coverage will cover lifted/larger tires/etc. Yes. The "Premium RV" membership would cover you. Well, that's great, because I literally just changed from "Premium RV" to "Premium" in September based on one of YOUR AAA customer service reps (sold my RV). At no point has ANYONE mentioned this rule about tire size/suspension. After the third person, I was able to get someone to agree to find another provider and cover the cost "this one time only"....

    So consider this my notice to you. If you have anything other than stock tires/suspension, that AAA membership you have may leave you stranded.
     
  2. dividedwood

    dividedwood

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    Wow, that sucks. Good to know, as this is the first I've heard of this. Not like any of your modifications should make it harder to stick the truck on a flatbed...

    My AAA membership is one of those things I hang onto but hope to never need. On a positive note, they did save my ass when I bought my Series Land Rover. Was attempting to drive from the seller in Philly to my buddy's house in Connecticut. Made it 90 miles and threw a rod. Would have been totally screwed without AAA--they towed it all 195 miles (!) home. In hindsight, trying to drive a 45-year-old truck, sight unseen, nearly 300 miles may have been the best idea, but what is life for if not adventure?

    Back on topic, is this all about the driver's decision or is this a company-wide policy? Granted, I didn't read all the fine print when I got my premium membership, but I don't recall hearing or seeing anything about stock vehicles being a requirement.
     
  3. sparty

    sparty

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    AAA rules vary by regional club, and the fine print may or may not actually be evident before signing up (or even afterwards). I was a AAA-Northern New England member, and they refused to cover a tow on my E350 box van when I was moving because of a line about "standard available towing equipment" or some such, despite the fact that their contracted driver showed up in a sufficiently large (F550) flatbed to tow it; basically, they indicated that the vehicle was too large to be covered by the normal tow program (despite my having Premium RV coverage, and thus being definitively covered if it had been an RV configuration at the same GVWR on the same chassis).

    I ended up needing another tow a week later for a different issue, and carefully avoided using the words 'box van' when calling the tow, but this time I was in Montana rather than Minnesota, and the Montana AAA club (MountainWest) generally covers personal DRW vehicles and didn't flinch about covering it, despite having some trouble sourcing a provider who wanted to do a 60-mile tow of a 12k-rated E350.
     
  4. cruiserpilot

    cruiserpilot

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    I have the premium RV for mainly your original problem, the 140 mile tow. In BC its' good for 160 km, but
    in BC you can accept the tow, and they will charge you for the upgrade right then and there so you are then
    'covered' under the premium RV coverage. Sounds like real dick-weed tow driver. Why don't the AAA just
    show some respect and let you upgrade on the spot, then accept the tow?? Kind of self defeating.
    If I were you, I'd call the operators of the off road park. I don't know what URE is??

    I did have a latest bit of grief, they hooked my front OME greasable shackles instead of axle tube up front.
    I now have a bent front spring. Pulled the tow winch so tight that my Toyo MT's with #36 lbs of air
    were bulging out about 1", front and rear tires. I was not happy. No resolution to this.
     
  5. JohnVee

    JohnVee SILVER Star

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    URE = Uwharrie National Forest. Yeah, you'd think it'd be UNF.

    I started getting the Premium RV after they refused to tow my E350 cargo van because of the GVWR (Premium at the time).
     
  6. GLTHFJ60

    GLTHFJ60 Rum Runnin' SILVER Star

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    How they hook it is different from refusing to hook it at all. An additional charge of $250 is highway robbery.
     
    erymer likes this.
  7. half k cruiser

    half k cruiser

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    Not sure what a regular membership costs. I think I pay around $70 for my premium RV subscription. I've never once had an issue with any of the drivers. The actual AAA drivers have always been kick ass. Whoever I get, I let them know right away that I appreciate them coming out. $250 extra charge is ridiculous. He probably gets several tows a year from 4x4 rigs in that area and knows that he can usually get away with it. That was a good call on your part.
     
    GLTHFJ60 likes this.
  8. Kofoed

    Kofoed

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    I run premium. There is a place in the desert we hang out at. The local AAA driver has been out there for a variety of stupidity-related vehicular incidents. It is 8 miles dirt, with the last mile two track. They don't break a sweat. One driver even backed up at least 6 miles up a wash to get somebody. He got a fat tip. Depends. Hit them with the tip immediately. Sounds like the OP got a punk driver
     
  9. jamesurq

    jamesurq Ask me about my unfinished projects....

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    The first thing I did when he said there was going to be a surcharge, is pull out a couple 20's and ask him if we could make things work.... Nope, this dude just didn't wanna go.
     
  10. bigredmachine

    bigredmachine

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    what a bag of dicks, at least he didnt hit you up with that after it was hooked up and on the flat bed. what about getting towing through your auto insurance, might be cheaper and its easy to add to the policy.
     
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