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LittlePossum

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Posts: 18
 #16 
Here are some snippets of that previous discussion (sorry I didn't cite and all that, hence I just put Anonymous). This is a few years old, of course, and the world may have changed. Read the Good Sam response carefully as it is good news in that a graded, hard-packed public dirt road is NOT off-road, hence rental vehicles could venture there without violating the contract too badly (whether it is irresponsible is another issue) and Good Sam should honor their policy by assisting you.

Anonymous:

In a call with the INYO County Road Dept, their staffer proudly declared that "yes indeed, the entire Saline Valley Road is a Maintained County Road".

Anonymous:

THIS JUST IN: they have reviewed the pictures of Saline Waucoba Rd that I sent them, held high level meetings and determined that Saline is NOT off- road and, therefore, they WILL cover us in Saline. Membership costs $99 per year. Don't leave home without it.

Anonymous:

Good Sam's response to my inquiry:

Thank you for your e-mail. Good Sam RV ERS does not cover you in
off-road areas, as outlined on page 9 or the current Good Sam RV
Emergency Road Service Member Benefit Brochure, which may be accessed
at: http://www.goodsamclub.com/ers/non_member_brochure.pdf.  An off-road
area is defined as an area OFF of any of the following: hard-packed or
graded dirt public road, paved street, driveway, parking lot, highway,
freeway, expressway or adjacent shoulder. 

My reply:

My question was whether you cover county graded roads. Based on the language you quoted, county graded roads are indeed covered.

Please let me know,

Good Sam's reply:

Yes, they are covered.

________________

LittlePossum

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 #17 
All I know is that Good Sam, after they investigated, reported to someone on this forum that the Saline Valley Road is hard surface and county maintained, hence they will tow you. (County maintained makes all the difference for rental and towing--but it's gotta be open!) Compare to: the road to the springs---that's the difference. Cell phone reception on the SV Road? I wish.  ATT and Verizon? In my dreams.  I always rent a sat phone from BlueCosmo (Iridium) in Seattle with great online service and online sigatures ($79/week, including 2-day ship to you--a deal). I get ATT only from a single spot or two perhaps a mile from the Springs, that's all and even that is iffy. No peace of mind for me without Iridium for a week, LT tires, second spare, etc. etc.
James Sel

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Posts: 335
 #18 
....And a cell phone...
SilverBob

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 #19 
I hate to rain on your parade, but a dirt road is NOT considered a "hard surface" road by insurance companies or rental agencies.  Asphalt or concrete is a hard surface.  If dirt was considered hard surface, then what would constitute a non-hard surface?  Mud?  Water?  Sand?  Notice that all the above may be present on Saline Valley Road at any given time.  I have Good Sam Club towing too, but I sure wouldn't count on their providing a free tow from anywhere on the SV Road.  Best to just be prepared with a vehicle and tires that are made for that type of road.
James Sel

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Posts: 335
 #20 
Sat phone or help from Lee? Really why not just place a call on the cell phone?
LittlePossum

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Posts: 18
 #21 
Back to the general topic of towing. Someone on this board reported that towing from the Good Sam Club covers the county road through the Saline Valley. S/he specifically asked the Club and waited for a response while they "investigated." The answer was "Yes" because the SV Road is a county maintained, hard surface road. All bets are off when the "Road Closed" sign is set up by Inyo County, one reason they set it up. What a deal. (The SV Road is not on Mars after all, in runs through or defines a National Park.)

Worth the membership because they will tow you free, 5 or 500 miles says the website, no mileage or dollar limits, to the appropriate repair facility. (The road to the springs, of course, is a different story given it is not county maintained, hard surface.) You just need reliable communication to call the Good Sam Club (sat phone or help from Lee).

Even SUV car rentals, as I read them, are OK on the Saline Valley Road (not the road to the springs), because the policies say the vehicles must remain on hard surface, maintained (or similar, the common expression) roads (they do not say asphalt or concrete). Inyo County's SV road is hard surface and maintained---it just takes forever sometimes---like so many gravel roads. The problem? I don't use rentals any more because of tires---P rated and no second spare. And I don't have Good Sam...
trigger

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Posts: 180
 #22 
I woulda purchased a socket for $40 that almost fit over the locking lug from one of the folks at Panamint and borrow a hammer to smack it on to it. I would then remove lug nut. Old trick and it works......just ask any wheel thief....Scratch that. On second thought I would probably just make sure I have the specified locking lug socket in my vehicle with a spare one as well.
Hi Desert Warrior

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Posts: 207
 #23 
Well guys here's my cry baby story about Millers.  I bought a Tahoe 4X4 and took it to the Argus Mountains off roading.  On the old stage road I obtained a flat tire.  By the time I found a flat spot, the tire was shredded on the rim.  I took off the spare and started to remove the flat tire only to discover that it had a security lock lug nut on it.  Being very angry, I drove on the flat tire to Panamint Springs, eleven miles away.  I called AAA to have it towed to a garage to have the lug nut removed.  The AAA dispatch wanted to sent a tow truck from Badwater, about a hundred miles away.  I told her Millers in Lone Pine is 48 miles away and I prefer them.  To make a long story short, I talked to the tow service, they admitted that they come out of Parumph and would tow me to their place.  I wasn't going to have my Tahoe towed out of state when a AAA service was in Lone Pine.  AAA dispatcher would not authorize Millers Tow.  So, I called them and told them my problem.  They said they had the tool to remove the lug nut.  It would cost me $300.00 to have it removed as they had to bring it out in a special vehicle.  They came out to Panamint Springs and removed the lug nut.  I saw the other three tires had security locks so I had the driver remove then also.  The special truck was a stock Ford pick up truck.  Not even a 4X4.  The driver was bragging that earlier he went to the race track and changed a flat tire on a RV and charged the guy $1500.00.  An off road trip is one thing but a black top road with a special vehicle for $300.00 is another.  When I got home I filed a complaint not against Millers but against the AAA dispatcher for refusing to call the closes AAA tow service.  Thank God the conversation was recorded as my complaint was verified by the recording.  AAA reimbursed me the $300.00.  About six months later Millers was no longer a AAA service.  I have no idea as to why, maybe too many complaints to AAA about them.  Who knows.  I don't know where the closes AAA in Owens Valley is, maybe they now come from Bishop.  So maybe Silver Bob is right about the overhead.  But I felt I was taken by the charge, when I could have been towed free with AAA.  When I called Millers, they wouldn't tow me with AAA as they had to be dispatched by AAA which the dispatcher would not do.  I understand that, it was pay or stay stranded.  So I paid and bit my lip.
mdskier

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Posts: 5
 #24 
The one time I used Millers Towing (10 years ago) they took AAA for highway tows. Don't know if they still take AAA.

Actually on this, my 3rd trip, I got stuck in snow in a turn half way down South Pass. A POS
rental car with crap Kuhmo tires. A tire spun and unmounted from the rim. A truck came by several hours later (luckly) and pulled me out with a chain. I gave up at foot of South Pass, turned around and headed out.  As I was coming out back down Lee Flat a 2nd tire failed with a hole in the sidewall. Would not hold air.  At this point I was aware Millers could charge $2000 or more so I decided to continue driving on a flat tire on the remaining 6 mile downhill stretch.

I drove dead slow at 5 mph or less, taking about 2 hours to get to paved Hwy 190.  Millers (who likely knew I came out of DV, LOL) towed me to Lone Pine as a no charge to me AAA tow. I paid them to remount/balance the first tire then off to Reno.  When I paid a Reno tire dealer to replace the second tire they said they had never seen a tire shredded so bad. Only about 1 inch of shredded rubber remained on the rim. Rest of the tire was gone !   Because I drove so slow the steel rim was in unbent and was reused.   Did I report this, hell no.
pugsly

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Posts: 44
 #25 
I've found that some of the really good tow companies don't mess around with AAA, etc - they don't pay enough to make it worthwhile.  I've heard griping about Miller's costs (fair enough, it ain't cheap), but never heard anybody gripe about the service.

There have been a few times in my life when I've had to pay the "idiot tax" to pay a pro to get me out of a bad situation, but I think I always recognized who was to blame for me being there and have been actually known to tip the driver in addition to paying the charge.
SilverBob

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 #26 
I guess you don't want to refute any of my arguments, huh?

OK, we'll agree to disagree.
Sam D.

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Posts: 724
 #27 
Lovers gonna love and haters gonna hate. Let's agree to disagree.
oregonjohn

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Posts: 111
 #28 
Bob, you are spot on. I don't think I could afford the tires that go on the vehicles that he has to rescue the folks. 
In todays world of the internet there are hardly anymore secret spots to go to. Some people just don't have any common sense when it comes to the very real dangers of going out into the desert with a rig that was meant to be driven around in the mall parking lot. "I saw it on the 'net, I must be able to drive to it in my Prius". So, it should cost you some lesson bucks for them to come out and drag your rig home.
There have been some that are not as lucky and end up in the morgue.
I know even capable rigs break down, so go with a buddy, or get a sat phone to call one. The bottom line is always to be prepared when you go off adventuring. If your not, then thank Miller Towing when you hand them your credit card.

OJ
trigger

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Posts: 180
 #29 
Hahahahaha!!! Good post Silverbob. I can understand people having sticker shock when it comes to those kinda prices. Folks just dont understand though the overhead in an operation like that. My old man used them on a vehicle problem on the highway. He said they were nice and fair. I hope I never have to find that out for myself. Maybe with all these morons driving their Kias into the springs there will be so much money to be made someone else will step up as well. Hmmmmm, Triggers Emergency Extraction and Towing??? Sorta like it.
SilverBob

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 #30 

I see a lot of Miller's Towing bashing going on lately, on this and other forums. Most people think they charge too much for the service they provide. That may be true, but it does make me wonder, If Miller's is so outrageously overpriced, why hasn't anyone else stepped up to offer the same service for less? Could it be that the equipment is too expensive to buy? Could it be that it takes too long to train operators to do these types of difficult extractions? Could it be that liability insurance rates are through the roof? Could it be reasons that I haven't even thought of yet? Hey, wait a minute. Maybe that's why Miller's charges so much!

 

I know a couple people who have used Miller's services on the highway, and aside from their not taking AAA or other roadside assistance insurance, found them to be fast, competent and reasonably priced. It seems like it's just the off-road towing jobs that get expensive. Those are usually the jobs that require heavier equipment, and often, more than one operator. -NEWS FLASH- The bigger trucks cost more, and two guys cost more than one.  Miller's has saved more than a few people from losing their vehicles on several difficult dirt roads in Inyo County.

 

Call me “insensitive” if you want to, but I believe that stupidity should be painful. If you drive a Camry up Lippincott, you should pay for it. If you get your motorhome stuck in the snow on the North Pass, you should pay for it. If you insist on driving vehicles that were never intended to be driven on these roads, you should pay for it. If you get drunk and roll your truck off the road, you should pay for it. These are all problems that can be avoided simply by using your brain. If you refuse to do that, don't cry about what it costs you to get home.

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