Sorry, just have to vent, and it is NOT about roadside service.
The DH and I have been AAA members since the early 1980s. Just recently they have changed the TourBooks to become much less useful, by organizing all the attractions and hotels together. I also saw a recent post on this forum that they have eliminated the CampBooks. So, they are leaving campers by the side of the road, so to speak. I will be sending an email with my negative feedback. This email will suggest an option to get TourBooks with attractions only; I doubt it will make a difference, but is worth a try.
I use the Tour Books to investigate things to see, and then will pick a route (e.g., what way to go from St Louis to Albuquerque). With the change, so much for just reading all the attractions. (I use other sources as well, such as local websites when I select a general area, dogfriendly, and offbeat tourist attractions.) I will continue to use the AAA maps - regional for overview planning and state for detail planning. That way I know I have all the current maps prior to any trip. Also, the maps have consistent symbols (if not scale).
I used the CampBooks mainly as a sanity check for comparison against other sources such as TrailerLife, rvparkreviews, and all the great sites out there for finding campgrounds. I typically overplan any trip, and do significant research into the destination campground, then map out 'potential' spots along the route.
I understand that I may differ from many folks, as I have a degree in (physical) geography, and spent 20 years starting in the mid 70s in research and development into using computers for map making (i.e., before GIS was a term). So I really enjoy the planning phase of any trip, followed by the exploration of the actual area. I also make sure that I have current maps for any trip, and use the GPS for fun (how wrong it can be!) and to find POIs.
2008 Keystone Laredo 265RL
2008 Silverado 2500HD CC, LB, 2x4, DuraMax 6.6/Allison
ICOM 706 MK II G
They have new camping guides. They are the Woodall's book--very complete and very similiiar to the Trailer Lifw books. They are in different books by area. The last time I was at AAA they only had the books for the western states but all of the books were to be available by the end of April. they are free if youy are a AAA member.
Yea, I found out last week that I need to hang on to my old AAA campbooks. As you noted, the AAA here in upstate NY dropped their Campbooks & replaced them with Woodalls - not the full book, but sections of the country in individual books. Since I just bought a Woodalls, I don't need the replacements.
While Woodalls is OK, I find it busy, filled with all the ads & inserts, and much preferred the old style AAA books. They also listed many state campgrounds in the old books that are not listed in Woodalls.
I wrote AAA to let them know I would rather have the older books. If you feel the same way, let them know. If enough members prefer the old version they may go back to them.
Depending on the state you live in AAA may literally leave you by the side of the road. I had AAA for over 30 years and had RV coverage. Saw a couple of posts of rigs getting left by the side of the road and called the road service number and asked what they would do if my truck broke down. The answer was they would leave the rig by the side of the road as it was too big for them. I asked for a supervisor who confirmed that was the case. That caused me to move on to someone who would really solve my problems.
Dick and Joyce
2010 Montana 3665RE
Dodge 2500HD Maxi Cab Laramie Edition
Diego, Norm, & Bitsy
I've been a loyal AAA member for over 30 years, have recommended their services to others, but lately I am becoming a grumpy member.
They've been changing their maps, at least for California. First they eliminated county maps and went to regional. Now they are changing the regions. They seem to be eliminating coverage of big chunks of rural California.
I don't want electronic maps. Fortunately I've kept many of my older AAA maps and they are still usable, but how much can you mend them? I need complete and current maps. Grrrr.
I have been a AAA member for a lot of years. They are starting to annoy me. I like maps (Gee - my job title was Navigator for a while), but the Recent AAA maps for our area (the ones I like to have copies of in each vehicle) have been reduced from a set of 5 to just 3. This might not be bad, but they are now too large to open and read in a car.
Hello - Do You Know What AAA is an abbreviation of???
I am also depressed by the lack of Tour Guides and Camp Books.
I think its "NastyGram" time again.
GPS and computers are nice, but twice during serious excursions, that stuff has broken down on us and we had to go back to the paper - ultimately reliable - information systems.
Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dog going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.
I was a happy AAA camper since my 16th birthday. Yes, they used to insure my horse. Anyway, I dropped them last year for CoachNet, still not happy so I was thinking of going back to AAA because I like the maps and tripbooks. Now I really have no reason to get AAA. They are quickly making themselves irrelevent.
Streets and Trips and the i-phone with maps and turn by turn directions through Verizon replace most paper maps. The tour book already skips many attractions, restaurants, and hotels that do not advertise with AAA. I usually Google my requests when planning travel. I can even pull up the menus to make sure I will like the fair. I relied on AAA for my DMV needs, so I would not have to wait at the overcrowded DMV office, but now I can handle almost all of my DMV needs on-line. I use AAA travel only once for a trip to Hawaii, found I could have done much better myself, and now plan all my travel on-line or with an independant travel advisor. Really, I can call American Express Travel, or even Costco travel and get quicker service than AAA.
My auto insurance offers roadside assistance with my policy, and I have this nifty window sticker with a phone number I can call for auto roadside assistance. Hope I never have to try it, but it is there.
That just leaves the motorhome. Summer travel season is coming up, and I will probably decide on some type of RV roadside assistance, because I am chicken to go without on a long trip. Just before we start out I will either re-up with CoachNet or give GoodSam a try, depending on who has the best deal at the time. Again, it is my great hope that I will not have to try their service, just keep it in my wallet.
Happy Trails, and go ahead and rant anytime you want.
We have kept AAA and dropped their RV coverage in favor of Coach-Net. I recently left the headlights on in my toad. AAA was quick to respond and got me going again. This was in downtown Ocala, Fl. so it may have made a difference.
2004 Holiday Rambler Endeavor pushed by a 2010 Honda Fit
For all my maps these days I use my iPad 2 with an app call MapPocket. Put markers for you route and it will download maps for the whole route, Can also download city maps. There is one called MapDroid for Android and Goggle's map app for Android will also let you download maps for offline use. Don't know much about the ones for Android outside of what I have seen online. In any case you can look at maps without having an internat connection and you don't have to deal with paper/ There are several other apps for both Apple and Android for finding camping sites or government sites etc. Most have been mentioned in other posts on this forum. Some are useable on a cellphone although screen size plays a big part of it.