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How Many RV Clubs Poll


freestoneangler
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RV Club Membership  

94 members have voted

  1. 1. Which RV Clubs Do You Belong Too?

    • Escapees
    • Passport America
    • Harvest Hosts
    • Good Sam
    • Happy Camper
    • RVUSA
      0
    • Thousand Trails
    • Sunrise Resorts
      0
    • Western Horizon Resorts


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Our RV travels will be part time (mostly western US) with seasonal stay/travel around the southwest during winter. We're trying to decide which RV Club best fits our profile? I found a listing of all the various clubs; a good portion of which are pretty specialized such as a manufacture owners group and for which I'm not interested in at this time. Of the more general ones, which have you found most useful and would recommend to those starting out? Is there significant benefit in joining more than one or are many benefits overlapping? If more than one makes sense, which ones?

 

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What is your objective? If you are interested in primarily campground discounts at commercial RV Parks and Campgrounds, then Passport America and Happy Camper have the most participating parks with the Escapees 50% program having fewer. Many of the parks participating in these deep discount programs participate in both Happy Camper and Passport America so depending on where you will travel membership in both is not usually necessary. Be aware that the 50% discount may not be available in prime season or on Holiday weekends. Harvest Host and Boondockers Welcome have relatively few participants, but if those are where you will be they could be worth it.

 

If you are looking for a park system, then Thousand Trails, Western Horizons or some of the others (particularly with the add-ons like Coast to Coast and Resorts of Distinction) may be of interest. Escapees also has their system of club owned and Coop parks. In recent years many of these systems have opened to non-members (although at a higher nightly cost).

 

If you are 62 or over, the America the Beautiful Senior Pass is one of the best deals around. If you will be spending enough time in one state, a state annual pass (if available to non-residents) may be worth it.

 

If you are looking for things like scheduled events/Rallies and publications/news letters then Escapees, Good Sam and Owners Groups may fit your needs/desires.

Edited by trailertraveler
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I did subsequently find this article/blog that covered the question pretty well. The author joined several at the start and narrowed that down based on the experience. Escapees was a keeper. It would appear that and either Passport America or Good Sam?

 

http://www.frugal-rv-travel.com/RV-Membership-Clubs.html

 

Harvest Hosts is an interesting concept... especially the winery sites.

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There are some similarities between the various clubs, but each is unique in it's own way. We are members of several.

 

We are the most active in SMART (www.smartrving.org), a military veteran's group with local, regional, and national gatherings. When we were traveling fulltime, we would often find a local chapter rally in the area where we were and go join them.

 

We have been members of FMCA since we bought our motorhome, primarily for the free medical evacuation plan that is included with membership. FMCA does have some good regional and national rallies. We have never attended a local FMCA rally. Their magazine is my least favorite. Some parks offer 10% discount for FMCA members.

 

We have been members of Escapees since shortly after we bought our motorhome. We have used the mail service since 2005, and have stayed in many of the member parks around the country at great rates. The Escapees magazine is pretty decent. Some parks offer 15% discount on the daily rate for Escapees members.

 

We were members of Good Sam early on because they have great rallies, and for the 10% discount at many campgrounds. We quit when they could not control the junk mail. We rejoined a few years ago partly because of their connection now with Camping World and the President's Club which gives a discount for Camping World purchases (although we don't shop there much). You Good Sam card also doubles as a loyalty card at Flying J for fuel discounts. Good Sam has a good magazine, and perhaps the best rallies in the business.

 

We are members of WIT (Winnebago International Travelers). Our CoachNet road service is through WIT (Winnebago Premium Roadside Assistance). We have attended the annual national rally a few times and since no longer full-timing we are active with a local chapter that has 8 or so outings a year.

 

We are also members of Passport America, although I do not consider them to be a "rv club." They are simply a discount camping group, and probably the best of those around.

 

Which ones you join / like (or not) is pretty much a personal choice.

Edited by AFChap
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I did subsequently find this article/blog that covered the question pretty well. The author joined several at the start and narrowed that down based on the experience. Escapees was a keeper. It would appear that and either Passport America or Good Sam?

 

Harvest Hosts is an interesting concept... especially the winery sites.

The reality is that Escapees is much more than a club, but it is also a support system with many features to offer and it is actually a "for profit" business. It is probably the most customer oriented company that I have every experienced, but it is a family owned and run business. It did start as just a club but it takes far too much investment for any group to reach the kind of support system that Escapees can provide with only membership dues to fund you. Kay Peterson, the surviving founder is without question the most caring individual that I have ever come into contact with. Escapees do have discount parks but not as many and they also have "stoppin spots" which are members who have property that other members can stay for a night or so on. We used to stay with them quite a lot but haven't used them recently. There are also 19 Escapee parks that members can stay in for very low cost at different parts of the country.

 

Good Sam is also a business and is not a family one. It is part of the Camping World marketing group and was originally a spin-off of the RV magazine that become Motorhome & Trailer Life magazines. We used to belong but dropped it for lack of benefit for the cost. If you own a motorhome, the one group that is a club would be FMCA.

 

As mentioned, Passport America is a discount marketing group, but they provide 50% discount parking and only cost $44/year so are very easy to save more than the cost. It is important to realize that many parks will limit the number of nights that it can be used, some only honor it in the off season and there are other restrictions. It seems to be the most popular but is competitor to Happy Campers and most of the parks that belong to one are members of the other.

 

Harvest Host is one we don't belong to but we have friends who do and love it. Most of those stops are at wineries where you are allowed to dry camp and of course visit the winery. Some of them also have tasting for the overnight guests. Not being big on that, it really doesn't appeal to us but if you are a dry camper who drinks wine..................

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We were (I stopped dues payment last year)Western Horizon members for 9 years but I'm not sure they

still exist. We've had no communications from them in years, the annual membership fee was sent by

one RV park. WH website no longer exists. WH has no parks east of the Mississippi, the ones that do

exist are pretty much west of the Rockies. Google WH and you'll see comments about a class action

lawsuit.

I would suggest you not purchase an expensive membership until your sure where you'll travel and if

there are quality parks near were you go. Passport America is great for overnights as you travel, PA

parks usually limit the number of days and days of the week it can be used. PA is a good deal. Kirk

gave a good description of the Escapees, and PA. Greg

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I have been with Good Sam for about 5 years. For the $25 Fee. i usually save atleast $50. every year. I pretty much just go to one RV park. Love it there. Have not found any other place that is atleast equal to it. Staff is friendly, Price isn't bad, i can bring my own booze to the pool, (not in a glass). Have a real fire an not restricted to Dura logs.

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We use the various clubs as part of our overall camping cost strategy, we're not big time boondockers. Here's our take on the various "Clubs"

http://banbrv.blogspot.com/2016/06/camping-for-25-night.html

BnB

Great blog/article Brian, thanks!

 

Looks like Escapees for sure with either PA or Good Sam will make a great starter package. Anyone know which is better for travel predominantly in the western US -- or are they about the same? I am reading some other threads/forums where folks are saying they very frequently get the GS discount using their Escapee card. GS's 3 year membership saves $12 over annual plus they're offering $25 coupon at Camping World with that purchase. That works out to be the $44 cost for PA's one year membership. Appreciate the feedback all, thank you.

Edited by freestoneangler
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...Anyone know which is better for travel predominantly in the western US -- or are they about the same?..

Passport America offers 50% discounts. It only takes a few stays to recoop the cost. I have never encountered the 10% mentioned by Scouserl41 at any of the PPA parks we have stayed at in the past 10 years and there is no mention of it on their website. According to their website they have approximately 1900 participating parks. As previously mentioned there are often conditions as to the number of days and time of year when the 50% discount is available. Many PPA parks are also Good Sam parks, so that 10% discount is available when the 50% is not.

 

The Good Sam website says they have approximately 2200 participating parks where a 10% discount is available. As mentioned the membership also provides discounts at Camping World and on Fuel at Pilot/Flying J. Many parks give a 10% discount to members of various clubs/organizations. AAA auto club is one that is commonly accepted.

 

Be aware that many parks do not give any discounts on weekly or monthly rates as those rates are generally discounted as compared to nightly rates to begin with.

 

Both have a number of parks in the Western states. Look at the maps of both for the availability of participating parks in the specific areas that you plan to be to see if there is a park(s) in that area.

Edited by trailertraveler
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Is the FMCA defunct?

 

To me this looks like a 'strange' list of clubs by any definition.

 

For any poll to be of any meaning there needs to be a 'purpose' and clear question. Not just a random like of organisations.

 

regards

 

Hi Bruce, I was clear in my OP what the purpose is. The poll was simply to see which clubs are most favored by the forum members. I also asked for feedback as to why folks prefer those they voted for. Sorry you find the thread meaningless.

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We also have a KOA membership (not listed) and it is as much a "club" as Good Sam or Passport America. We manage to use it just enough that I have not had to pay for a renewal for 2 years now, they just automatically extend it.

 

I do think if you going to go with only one, then location becomes more important. To us the flexibility of saying we want to go to location X and then being able to find a campground discount overshadows the minimal cost of belong to more than one organization.

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Sorry Freestoneangler. I was only confirming what others have also stated. Your question and list is flawed. I have a background in statistics/data collection/surveys. To get any meaningful answers/data you need to be much more precise with your list and question.

 

regards

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We joined Escapees before we even hit the road to support the organization that supports fulltimers, Passport America the first time we stopped at a participating park, and Colorado River Adventures once we learned how much we enjoyed Emerald Cove, their park across the river from Parker, AZ. Joining CRA also got us access to RPI and C2C parks. We also used our AARP card to get discounts at some parks and got a national parks pass to reduce the cost of visiting them. I put all those cards in one holder. When we visited a new park, I'd put all of them on the counter and ask which would get us the best deal. They did not always pick the one I would have guessed.

 

Linda Sand

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I put all those cards in one holder. When we visited a new park, I'd put all of them on the counter and ask which would get us the best deal.

 

Completely OT but I really like the idea of putting all the cards in one (separate) container. It would lighten my billfold a lot! Thanks!

 

Sometimes the smallest of ideas really smack us in the face.

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You can go to passport america website and without being a member you can check out the campgrounds in any of the states. We only use Passport America now because we found out that many of the parks that are Good Sam parks are also Passport America parks. I would much prefer to get the 50% discount vs the 10% and yes, we have used both to extend a stay and the starting rate was the same no matter which club, so we did get a lot more off with the Passport America.

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