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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Camping Memberships

I'm looking for thoughts and opinions on "camping membership" resort programs.

Camping World offers a 3 day/2 night RV Getaway, you have to listen to a presentation about a membership. The ad says they are affiliated with Coast to Coast Resorts. 

What is the good, bad and ugly about these memberships?

I already have a card with Good Sam, have been a member for several years, even before I had an RV, because we would go to campgrounds that had cabins or trailers for rent. I received a free one year KOA membership through FMCA. I received a free Family Motor Coach Association membership from the RV dealer. 

I also joined Escapees when I was planning on this RV lifestyle.
I am also a lifetime member of Workamping News. I plan on workamping, but still need a place to stay in between jobs. Most jobs run anywhere from 3 to 6 months. I hope to be working North in the summer and South in the winter.

I would appreciate any information about your experiences with the travel clubs. I'm thinking I may need some type of "home base".

Escapees also has some parks, that you can lease or purchase the lot and they rent the space out when you are not there.


  1. Ifin' it were me I would look real close at what Escapees has to offer for full-timers. What I read looked the most realistic for the price.

    I'm not too crazy about anything that looks like a time share. They look like money pits to me and I don't like the pressure sales tactics either.

    Just my two cents worth and I don't have much experience with travel clubs.

  2. Passport America has always paid for itself each year I've had it. Especially good for that travel time between assignment. :)

  3. We second Judy on Passport America, if you use it for two nights it generally covers the membership costs for the year. Watch for a coupon in trailer or RV magazines, we got last years membership for $39 instead of $49 by using a $10 off coupon.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  4. I would throw my hat in with the Escapee's Club because they seem to be well organized, wide spread & a good down to earth club. Most RV'ers we know belong to the Escapees. We did too years ago but our membership lapsed & we just never bothered to renew it. Guess we're just not club people. We have used Passport America a few times & it worked well for cheaper sites.

  5. From what I understand, the clubs that offer the free nights and give you a sales pitch - if you later decide you want to buy a membership from someone else at a reduced price, they will not allow it, because you got the free nights. Can anyone confirm that? I'm afraid to take the free nights, just in case. But I don't want a timeshare. They might sound good, but if you can't sell it, you're stuck with it.

    I joined Good Sam and plan to join Passport America. Not sure about Escapees yet. I need to sit down and figure it out, too. Let us know what you decide.

    I also want to join The Elks, but need someone to sponsor me. The different communities have different membership costs, so I want to join one that is less expensive annually if I can. Check that out, too.

  6. Thousand Trails is a good deal IF you use it. You can find many re-sales a lot cheaper than from TT.

    PS. I think I fixed Helen's link. Thanks for letting me know.

  7. I'm workkamping right now for a membership campground -- not doing sales, but helping with filing, paperwork, etc. Let me say up front that I don't like the pressure sales tactics at all. To try to answer the question about the free nights and if you can buy a resale membership later, this organization has a 2 year "blackout" period. You can't buy a membership through another route for 2 years after the tour. After that you can but your annual dues will be $200 more than whatever they are at that time. All I can say is read the fine print and make sure you get all your questions answered up front. Also, the transfer fees can be pretty steep on resale memberships. Just something to be aware of.

    I have met lots of folks here who are very happy with their membership and think it was/is well worth the price.

    On a different note, I strongly second the votes in favor of Passport America. Easily pays for itself within a couple of stays. I haven't found Good Sam's to be worth the price at all.

  8. We use Passport America a LOT, we also sometimes use the Escapees parks and discount parks as well as the 10% Good Sam discount.

    That said, we do have both C2C & RPI memberships...Stu already had the C2C and I bought the RPI before we got together. They were not cheap but since they are spent money, we do use them for cheap camping.

    Many folks like Thousand Trails...lots of different membership plans and sometimes you can find one for the cost of the transfer fee...but there is an annual fee of $500-$600 usually.

    For anyone new, I'd got with Escapees & PA.

  9. We have an Escapees park 1 mile down the road from us in Congress, Az. It is very nice...and seems like some good buys on lots right compared to what they were selling for a few years ago. Pretty much right in the beautiful Az desert...50 miles north of Phoenix and 50 miles south of Prescott which is a nice med size down at 5700 foot elevation. Congress is 3000 feet. You could certainly park at our house for a couple of nights while you check it out...

  10. Hi, Terri, thanks for becoming a follower of my blog. We're not full-timers, but we have a Camp Club USA membership (offered online and through Camping World). It's $39/year and is similar to Passport America in that it offers 1/2 price at affiliated parks--generally there are restrictions during the summer and sometimes on weekends. But it pays for itself after a couple of stays each year.


Hi, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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