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rickeieio

Fraternal Organizations

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We're considering joining a fraternal organization, partially to enable us to utilize camping facilities as we travel.  There are many from which to choose, and in some parts of the country some seem more prevalent.

I welcome input as to what organizations are more widely located, and what they offer.  Near me, the Moose seem to be our only option.  I know there are many others.

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We just joined Elks. IMO they are more popular than any of the others. If you go to Elks.org there are close to 2000 Elk Lodges and 900 say they will allow camping, the number is probably higher.

Rvillage has an Elks Group that has around 550 Lodges on their map, with additional information, one-stop shopping.

If you decided to go with Elks just email the lodge you want to join, they will find people to sponser you. We joined and never even knew who our sponsers were. We had to go to the Lodge twice. Once to view a video and once to be initiated. The rest was done by email. The  Lodge we joined took 2 cycles of meetings and we were initiated at the third meeting. I believe most Lodges have meetings every 2 weeks. If I had know how much time I would have joined via the Elks at Escapade who have an expidiated joining.

Elks is very popular with the Escapee Organization.

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I agree with SW.  A few years back, on our trip out to WY, we went the Elks route (my f-i-l is a member).  We had the opportunity to stay in a couple of extremely convenient places.  They didn't have the amenities that most places have, but that wasn't what we were looking for.  In fact, the campsites in Laramie didn't even have a pump out.  Extremely economical.  They're worth a good Look-see.

 

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I (and six others) joined the Elks Lodge in Gillette, WY a few months ago. The FMCA were doing a rally at Camplex and, the Elks Lodge was literally across the street from Camplex. Had the sign up and initiation been better advertised at the rally, I expect many more people would have signed up. My RV is, right now, secured at an Elks Lodge outside of Seattle, WA while I'm on an eight day Alaskan cruise! So far ALL of the Elks members I've met have been very friendly folks. I wish I'd joined years ago. You won't go wrong joining an Elks Lodge.

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7 hours ago, SWharton said:

We just joined Elks. IMO they are more popular than any of the others. If you go to Elks.org there are close to 2000 Elk Lodges and 900 say they will allow camping, the number is probably higher.

Rvillage has an Elks Group that has around 550 Lodges on their map, with additional information, one-stop shopping.

 

Observations:  (I am a member of the Elks - great organization!):

The 900 lodges that will allow "camping". -  Some may only have one or two spaces  to park.   Others may have full hookups - and genuine "campgrounds". A lot of that depends on urban/rural, and proximity to "touristy" locations, etc.

Many/some of the lodges with RV parking, would be "Mission Impossible" for an HDT and trailer - due to the size of the spaces, access, etc.

I have "overnighted" at lodge parking lots - where the lodge is open during the week, but not on weekends (go figure!).  Others (incl the one I belong to) are very active and open every day of the week - with great meal (and bar) menus!  Unfortunately, It can only accommodate one or two RVs (although the guide says 4), no elect. - and an HDT & trailer just wouldn't work out.  No parking on Wednesday night = bingo - (although the guide doesn't indicate that either).

Usually a call -in advance- to the lodge will yield what's available, etc.  However, often the person answering the phone is the bartender, who may be clueless as to *what* can be accommodated - other than saying  yea or nay to having space available.

I have *not* "visited" the RVillage for info, but do carry copies of the four "Elkdom Travel Guides" (divided into  4 sections of the USA) - which can usually be purchased at Lodges - or mail-ordered.

For HDT folks - it would be nice to add the Elks Lodges which can accommodate HDTs with trailers - to the *Heavy Hauler RV Campground Map* (if that hasn't been done already).

Note;  There has been a fairly recent "Elks" thread in the General RV Info forum, which may (or may not) be helpful.

.

 

 

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Thanks to all who've responded.  I was leaning towards Elks, and your collective wisdom, and experiences, is nudging me even further.  I just wish there was a lodge near me.

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Why does the Lodge need to be near you? Contact a Lodge where you plan to winter and do it then. Or go to a Rally that will have the expediated initiation. 

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rickeieio, each Elks Lodge sets their own membership fee. Most of the differences are what amenities the lodge has. We use them quite frequently here in the West. And like other posters said, the parking varies greatly. We use Boulder City, NV. (Vegas) lodge twice a year, and there usually is an HDT there. But it can be difficult at some Elks RV Parks. Moose Lodges and Eagles also offer parking at certain locations.

Edited by bobsallyh

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I was an Elk for 5 years. I was working my way through the chairs and was a leading night before I had to quit due to family stuff. I was going to be the Exhaulted ruler the next year. Elks is a great organization! I belonged to Elks Lodge 1468 in Las Vegas. This is a great organization. The North Las Vegas Elks do have a campground that is free for members. It is just off of North Las Vegas Blvd. Members can stay for a month, drive off site for 10 minutes and park again for another month for free. You just have to move and be gone from your spot for a short time.

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