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Goodbye Good Sam Club!


Kirk W
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When we first started camping CW was the place to go, it was a great, whatever you needed they would have. Slowly it evolved into a dealership with the CW end being secondary. In the past CW would have parking for your rig when you would go in shopping, no longer, the lots are so full of rigs they are selling that the "parts" customer can't find a parking spot.

I don't think we have been to one in 20+ years. Their service is horrible, no parking, no one knows what they are doing and somehow they stay in business. Everything Lemonis touches he needs to destroy. I guess that is his mantra.

 

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Long ago I'd buy stuff at Camping World for my boat, but I didn't have an RV then so I didn't have a reason for a GS membership.  Boats with cabins are just floating RVs, and CW has more stuff than the marine stores do.  Then they started penalizing people for not having a membership, so I stopped buying there.  Now I'm a member simply because it was free with a recent RV purchase, so I've looked around the stores, and have been shocked at the insane prices.  A Rhino sewer hose kit, ON SALE, plus the member discount, $46.  Amazon's price was $32 with next day delivery.  They had a few clearance items that caught my eye, and even on clearance the Amazon price was better.  Crazy.  They are good only for emergency purchases.

 

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Good evening, Kirk.

I, too, like so many others, have become totally disenchanted with Camping World and it's despoiler, Lemonis.  The greed syndrome is apparent beyond words.

Whereas a couple of decades ago Camping World would have been my go to for parts and accessories, today they are not even on my last resort list (pun intended...).  Over the years they have discontinued any sense of service or price competitiveness.

Regards,

Michael

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I certainly agree that Good Sam has fallen a long way from its Art Rouse origins. I'd drop my membership, but it seems whenever my card gets close to expiring a new one shows up in the mail with no prompting from me or cost to me. As long as they keep sending them, I'll keep taking the GS park discounts and PFJ fuel discounts. At a guess, it's been at least 5 years since I set foot in one of their stores.

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CW is sometimes the best choice for something, and sometimes another place is a better choice. When we first started our research, we spent several hours at a CW store. We presented ourselves to a salesman, told him we were thinking about full-timing when we retired, and wanted to see what sort of rigs were available and at what price, and what might be suitable for us. The salesman took us to a few examples of various classes, then told us to spend an hour or so looking and then come back and talk to him. We did just that. When we talked to him after our tour he asked us what we saw that we liked and what we didn't like. He listened carefully and asked some intelligent questions. He didn't push us to buy anything. Yes, he pointed out a coach that he thought might be a good one for us to start with, but he also said that he had someone else coming in to buy that coach. That may or may not have been the truth, but we never heard back from him again. We also didn't buy anything there.

I've read lots of reports of poor service at CW locations, so we usually try to find someplace else (like the factory) for our work.

The Good Sam Club membership does sometimes get a discount at some commercial parks.

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i have not been to a cw in decades.the distance i had to drive was a fail,  prices were overboard. selection was bad. and had to pay extra shipping to have it sent to me. sure saved me time, fuel and money, but six to ten weeks to get anything. online ( other places) less cost. and get it that week, sometimes within 24 hrs.

during all this time most everything i have heard about cw, is how bad they are. nothing good about that corp.

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I don't know about now, but six years ago Camping World let their employees buy major components like refrigerators, tow bars, etc. at their cost.  I had a tow bar fail a week out of warranty and the parts guy offered to purchase the replacement using his discount and then sell it to me for the same amount.  It came to exactly half of the retail price.

For a brief moment I considered applying for a job there while I rebuilt an old RV, just for the discount.  Then I came to my senses.

Edited by Lou Schneider
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I have bought three fivers from Camping World over the years with no problem. My current fiver's was in stock at Camping World and they gave me a great deal. Service has been problematic. They have you bring in and they don't look at it for a week or so and it may take two months to get it back. As for items in their stores or online with an Elite membership shipping is free and they can have good prices some times.

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The way that I read the story I posted, it isabout the demise of the Good Sam Club begun by Art Rouse many years ago and has little or nothing to do with what the organization has to sell or with Camping World stores. Art Rouse had many of the same qualities asJoe & Kay Peterson and was recognized for those qualities many times. As one who has observed the changes since the 60's, it seems to me that with every change in management there has been an increasing distance from the business side and the club members. The present management abandoned their national rallies for the last time back in 2016 and nothing has been said of them since then. If you check out the local chapters, they are an aging group and the numbers are decreasing, with fewer and fewer state rallies. The club is becoming nothing more than a marketing tool. 

The most interesting part of this to me is that Escapees were experiencing some of the same issues of aging until Travis Carr left the Army and joined the business. He was given the task of finding a way to change that trend and so created the X-scaper movement which is quickly becoming the largest growth area of the club. 

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Like Passport America, my Good Sams card is a very cheap investment each year.  Both of these memberships usually pay for themselves the first month or so out on the road, then the rest of the year they save us a few bucks here and there.  I'm more of the type that considers how an organization effects me or how it directly effects my pocket book.  On the other hand, I am allowing my Escapees and FMCA memberships to expire when they are due.  I can see no value coming back to me for these two in any of their discounts or programs.

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48 minutes ago, FL-JOE said:

Like Passport America, my Good Sams card is a very cheap investment each year.  Both of these memberships usually pay for themselves the first month or so out on the road, then the rest of the year they save us a few bucks here and there.  I'm more of the type that considers how an organization effects me or how it directly effects my pocket book.  On the other hand, I am allowing my Escapees and FMCA memberships to expire when they are due.  I can see no value coming back to me for these two in any of their discounts or programs.

Agreed . We're much the same^ . We even let Good Sam go as most often there's a choice of that or Passport America . PA always has the better 'deal' and not many times have we been to an GS only park . 

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5 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

 I am allowing my Escapees and FMCA memberships to expire when they are due.  I can see no value coming back to me for these two in any of their discounts or programs.

So you see no value in this forum provided by Escapees? Or in the fact that Escapees have gone to court on our behalf to be sure member retain their right to vote? Or any of their other advocacy programs?

Linda Sand

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