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Old 01-22-2008, 10:39 PM   #21
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I'm pretty sure not much has changed in central nebraska since 1992.

This was in North Platte. Plenty of people and stuff going on around there. Heck that night there was a Garth Brooks concert, the Polish American festival was in full swing, and the state roller skating finals (or something like that). Had a hard time finding a hotel room.

And I learned a valuable piece of information, that nebraska has one of the highest levels of immigrant Poles in north america. Who knew?
And the immigrant Poles---were they all at the Polish American festival, or were some of them roller skating or stompin their feet to Garth Brooks? Which leads to another question, does Garth know Polish?
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:00 PM   #22
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I think he ate some polish sausages after the concert.

I've hated Garth Brooks ever since that fiasco...
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:03 AM   #23
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I've got AAA, primarily because we travel sometimes in our 1976 Airstream motorhome and it would be outrageous to get it towed (or even a tire changed). We've used the AAA several times for the cars, and appreciated that we had the "Plus" coverage when we had to get a car towed 65 miles home after a breakdown. I hate paying for stuff like that, but I finally conceded that it actually paid for itself the past few years.

Since I need RV and car coverage, AAA worked best for me, but if you don't have an RV, then some of the other options might be better. Likewise, only covering an RV I might look at some of the RV club programs.
I have been a AAA member for a decade and have used the service more than 5 times. I have found the service to be acceptable for response time and value. We have more than paid the annual dues with a single incident last year when I had to have my motorhome towed 250 miles. The tow bill would have cost me $1800 but with the AAA Plus service it cost me only the annual dues.

I have had keys retrieved from my son-in-laws car, tire changed in my DW's car, battery jumped in DW's car, son's car towed and the RV towed. As long as I am with the car or RV that needs help (passenger or driver) AAA will come to the rescue.

I got it initially for DW who used to drive in some not so nice places frequently and I used to travel a lot for my former employer so the piece of mind knowing somebody was only a phone call away to help her if needed was worth the price of the "insurance".
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:47 AM   #24
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My mom had AAA and when we came across country in 1961 towing a trailer it came in handy more than once.

I've had AAA for years and have had only good experiences. It typically takes about 1/2 hour for the tow truck to arrive. The last time it took about ten minutes. We've had occasion to call AAA three times in the last couple of years, so I think it works out OK for us.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:59 AM   #25
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I guess buying towing insurance is like buying extended warranties. Everyone has a story to tell where they made out like a bandit. I feel sorry for the insurance companies, as they must be losing their butts!
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:33 AM   #26
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Here's my bottom line, if you drive cars like our POS fleet (piece of ...) that are vintages 1976, 1984, 1996, & 1997, then AAA makes a tremendous amount of sense for the money. If you drive late model cars that are unlikely to break down, or you don't travel out of town much, then it might not be cost effective.

For us, and the "fleet", it makes a huge difference to know that we can get a tow back to the house (we live out in the country) for free, where DH can do the repairs needed.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:51 AM   #27
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Here's my bottom line, if you drive cars like our POS fleet (piece of ...) that are vintages 1976, 1984, 1996, & 1997, then AAA makes a tremendous amount of sense for the money. If you drive late model cars that are unlikely to break down, or you don't travel out of town much, then it might not be cost effective.

For us, and the "fleet", it makes a huge difference to know that we can get a tow back to the house (we live out in the country) for free, where DH can do the repairs needed.
Appreciate all of the comments. My car isn't exactly a "POS" , but is approaching 100,000 miles. I can see the peace of mind a little extra insurance might offer.

I'm a little surprized no one mentions having this through AARP. Their rates are half of what AAA offeres and looks to be basically the same.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:21 AM   #28
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Put me down on the plus side for AAA also. I don't consider it insurance just a safety net. The fact that it covers anything we drive or ride in is a big plus. We started with them when my son went off to school 200+ miles away, bought it for him and us at the same time. Figured with the plus service there was only a few miles that he wasn't within 100 miles of home or school to be towed. I also like driving my vintage cars, again just a safety net, not every garage can repair a 50+ year old car.

We have only had to use them a few times and my son has used them a few times, always with reasonable response time. One trip in Maine we broke down on a Sunday, the tow truck driver said nothing was open that could do repairs till Monday. I asked if he could tow us somewhere close to an open auto parts store, motel and restaurant. He knew just the spot. After an hour or so of trying to fix the problem myself we walked a block to a motel, then another block to eat. Next morning I started calling dealers till I found one willing to get us right in. Called the tow service back and he arrived shortly after we walked back to the car. He towed us to the next town to a dealer and the dealer pushed us right in. Turns out I had diagnosed the problem correctly and I could have probably fixed it in another 20 minutes but had decided I was on the wrong path. We were on our way in another hour. Total cost to us for two tows, supper, motel and repair, zero. If we would have had to stay over another day they would have given us a car to use or come home in. Could I have done all this on my own, sure, but I didn't need to. The tow truck driver initially offered to tow us to a closed dealer, then drop us at a motel as another option.

We also make heavy use of their travel books and maps when we take trips and their online mapping software is the best, not as easy as Google maps but better for long trips. We always pickup a new set of maps for the areas we travel in all the time just to have the latest in the car.

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Old 01-23-2008, 10:54 AM   #29
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Jeb, I forgot to mention the online Trip-Tik--I really like it, too. Very handy for those turn by turn directions when you are driving the land yacht and can't back up too easily!
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:52 PM   #30
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We have AAA. Have called it approximately 10 times over the years. They have always responded in a reasonable amount of time.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:35 PM   #31
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Google to the rescue. Try this, it really works well:

dial 800-GOOG-411 on your cell phone (add it to your contacts so you have when you need it). A voice prompt will ask for the name of the town and state you are in, or zip code. Yes, it will understand you. The voice recognition is fantastic.

Then say 'tow truck' (or any other search term, pizza, etc) and it will start listing off tow truck service in the area. Choose one and it dials the number for you.

hhttp://www.google.com/goog411/ttp://www.google.com/goog411/

Those Google people are geniuses.

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Good tip. I tried it for the heck of it and sure enough, it worked. Added to my cell.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:18 PM   #32
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Good tip. I tried it for the heck of it and sure enough, it worked. Added to my cell.
Yea, I tried it, too. Really funny sound effects - guy pretending he is a computer.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:40 PM   #33
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I paid for AAA Plus coverage for at least 5 years without ever using the service. Then one day had a flat tire and called - they said assistance would be dispatched immediately. I turned down several kind offers for assistance expecting the truck to arrive. Finally after an hour I called back - they still said assistance was on the way. I continued to wait and then took the assistance a kind gentleman and was on my way in 15 minutes - I cancelled my membership that day! Thankfully, it was during the day as I had my young daughter and her best friend in the car with me. I now have roadside assistance on my USAA policy.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:28 PM   #34
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I get free towing with my 21st century auto insurance. Once when I was in the middle of nowhere two tow trucks showed up in about a half hour. When I was in the middle of a big city it took 5 hours to get service.

The tow truck driver told me the way it works is that when I call dispatch, the dispatch service send out faxes or emails to all the tow truck companies in the area offering them the opportunity to take the call and specifying how much they would be compensated. Whichever towing company gets to the customer first gets the payment. That's why two different towing companies showed up for me.

This system seems non-optimal, because towing companies know that if they are beat by another towing company they won't get any compensation. Also there doesn't seem to be anyone who checks up to see if all the towing companies decided not to go out. It seems the only way dispatch learns of that situation is when the customer calls back several hours later saying nobody showed up.

I would guess that AAA works similarly.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:25 AM   #35
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Been years, but an uncle use to run a garage that was affiliated with AAA and he said he was required to respond if he got a call or he would loose his affiliation. Since it was not a 24 hour station he often had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to respond. Not sure what the rules are now.

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Old 01-25-2008, 07:59 PM   #36
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I'm a little surprized no one mentions having this through AARP. Their rates are half of what AAA offeres and looks to be basically the same.
I have the AARP and have used it 4 times. 3 times were fine, no problems, but once on a Sunday night at 11PM they said they could not get anyone until the morning. They also said AAA would do the same thing. I rate them as OK for the price.
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:21 PM   #37
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Just got this: AARP 24 hr. towing for $37 first year goes up to $42 thereafter. Seems to have same benefits as AAA EXCEPT no free maps, mapping or travel guide books; which I use and love, personally.
The other EXCEPT is that AARP lets you put on a second household member on the card for FREE, which is ideal if you live in the same State as your other household member (better if the same city or house, I assume).
I just paid AAA, so I know the yearly fee is $50. AARP is cheaper then.
For me, tho, the free mapping and other services are really worth the extra $8 once you get rolling; but thought I would pass this along, anyway.

AARP will: flat tire change; lockout service; gas delivery but you pay for the gas; jump start dead battery; tow for 5 miles.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:30 PM   #38
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tow for 5 miles.
Is that right? I am guessing you meant 50 miles. 5 miles isn't very far...

Mike D.
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:31 PM   #39
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We have AAA and have been pleased with the service. DH has a 72 Corvette and believes in driving it. It broke down at night in the middle of nowhere and he told them he had to have a flatbed tow truck. They sent the flatbed tow truck. Last week DS-in-law locked his keys in car and they responded very quickly. We had our passport pictures taken there, get traveler's checks and the Trip-tiks. I have used the AAA discount before at motels. I guess they are peace of mind for me also.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:07 AM   #40
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No, that was 5 miles (FIVE). I typed that information with it right in front of me and rechecked. 5 big ones.
Between the two evils, I am staying with AAA. A single, older woman with rudimentary knowledge of car fixing really needs something, and, even tho there are some complaints from others, what else it out there?
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