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RV Resort Memberships


kentcamp

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You might want to fix your first URL...it's missing an "r."

 

They both appear to be a reseller of campground membership systems, so *might* be a good deal if you're looking to get into one of the systems they handle. I've never heard of either one of them, but we haven't been in the market for a campground membership system.

 

I know that the Thousand Trails system (which both appear to handle) has many different programs, so know which program you're getting into before purchase and what all the limitations are.

 

As far as Thousand Trails is concerned, look at their Zone Camping Pass:

 

http://www.thousandtrails.com/membership-info

 

You purchase a Zone (or more) for one year and have the option of renewing. This will give you a chance to try out the system before actually committing to a long-term contract.

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I would also suggest that you not be in any rush to buy into one of these RV park groups until you are sure that you will like using it. While those who do use them a great deal can save large amounts of money by doing so, the reason that those groups work is that the majority of owners contribute enough money above their use level to show the profits. Not everyone who owns such a membership gets even close to the use that they expected and proof of that is the large number of used memberships for sale and the profits that those groups make. Before you buy into one, make sure that they have parks in places that you will wish to spend time and where you expect to travel. Most such parks are not located in the high traffic tourist areas or close in to the larger attractions. We found that we preferred to be RV volunteers when sitting still and to move often when traveling and so for us none of the membership groups, other than Passport America held any attraction.

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Here's my big if: If there is a park you really like in a place where you will visit often it can be wonderful. We liked Emerald Cove in the Colorado River Adventures system so much we spent most of each winter there. The cost of membership was worth it for us. Previously we had a Coast to Coast membership in a park close to home and that was wonderful, too, until they closed our home park and we let that membership lapse. We did very little travel to other parks in either system, preferring Passport America for traveling since their parks were in more convenient locations. If we had not been focused on returning to Minnesota each summer I think we would have enjoyed the Thousand Trails parks along the coast in the Pacific Northwest. And if we had continued full-timing I think we would have joined the Elks for their affordable camping. It really does help to learn your style of travel before investing.

 

Linda Sand

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Sorry, no help here but a possible alternative? We are currently going through Chad Hoel at Campground Membership Outlet. So far the experience has been positive albeit confusing considering the number of different plans, etc.

On a completely different note- just read your blog. Great humor!!

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Before going full time in 2010, I thought about a membership plan, but as it turned out their just wasn't any where we would be doing the majority of our traveling. When on the road we use Passport. Otherwise we usually stay for awhile when we find a place we like. Monthly rates are always much cheaper.

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Really think it out as to how you travel and where.

 

Ourselves, our first choice is always public parks - national parks, state parks, national forests, Corp of Engineers, county and city parks. We also used the Escapees-owned parks and the co-ops. We used the very cheap ($50/yr or so) Passport America for filling in with RV parks for only one or two-night stays. We also loved boondocking on public lands (forest service and BLM). So for us, a 'resort' membership would not pay off. We just don't enjoy RV parks.

 

Something like Thousand Trails has parks in limited areas, i.e., there a only a few in the central part of the country. Bottom line, make sure you would really use a membership park or it's a big expense.

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Just a word about RV park memberships. - Check out their contract closely. We had a "lifetime" membership and thought that as long as we paid the yearly dues & park maintenance fees we were OK for life. Turns out what it really meant was that we were OBLIGATED to pay for life. They even said if we quit paying they would come after our kids for the yearly costs. We got a lawyer to send a nasty letter but they kept sending us monthly bills and past due notices even though we were paid in full at the time we sent them the letter stating we wished to quit using their park. Long story short, they sent a letter from their attorney for collection and we contacted the State Attorney General office. That ended their harassing letters. Never again will we get a park membership.

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Just a word about RV park memberships. - Check out their contract closely. We had a "lifetime" membership and thought that as long as we paid the yearly dues & park maintenance fees we were OK for life. Turns out what it really meant was that we were OBLIGATED to pay for life. They even said if we quit paying they would come after our kids for the yearly costs. We got a lawyer to send a nasty letter but they kept sending us monthly bills and past due notices even though we were paid in full at the time we sent them the letter stating we wished to quit using their park. Long story short, they sent a letter from their attorney for collection and we contacted the State Attorney General office. That ended their harassing letters. Never again will we get a park membership.

Many states have put a stop to the type of harassment you received. Those business once thought they could collect forever, including some that said they were inheritable so your kids and grandkids would continue to owe after you died. Not so much now.

 

The last membership we bought was for five years and will end this January. They tried to get us to buy seven years but Dave seemed to know he would be done before that. A couple years ago Dave received a phone call wanting to know if he was in the park so they could tell us about a new deal. When he said he was not there but I was they didn't try to follow up.

 

Linda Sand

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