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Old 08-02-2017, 11:24 AM   #1
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RV clubs in Canada

We are full time RV'rs in Canada.
Is it beneficial to join an RV club, Good Sam etc.?
If so what is a good club to join for Canadian & US travel?
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:02 PM   #2
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There are a couple of small Canadian groups on Facebook you might be interested in knowing about. They are "RV Canadians" and Full-Time RVers - Canada". Pretty much all of the other "Canadian" clubs and organizations are US based, possibly with a Canadian chapter.

As for clubs like Good Sam, it really depends upon where and when you will be traveling and the style of travel you enjoy. Here are my thoughts on some of the bigger organizations

KOA:
We joined KOA's club prior to our first RV trip as KOA was a name we associated with RV parks. Their 10% discount sounded like good value but we soon learned that KOA campgrounds were not a good fit for us and a 10% discount is available at many parks with a variety of other cards or qualifications such as seniors age, CAA and many more. We are no longer members.

Good Sam:
The RV Club appears to be the largest and its 10% campground discount is the most widely accepted. This discount is not as valuable as it might seem however as most campgrounds that honor the Good Sam discount also provide the same 10% discount for other groups such as CAA/AAA, AARP, military, seniors, and others.

A Good Sam membership also entitles members to a 10% discount at Camping World stores. If you are making a large purchase at one of their locations the membership could be of value. For us, we don't renew our Good Sam annually and only do so if a Camping World purchase makes it economically viable. You can renew or purchase a new membership any time at any Camping World location to get the discount.

Be aware that joining Good Sam automatically comes with a cornucopia of junk email. You can sign up for an online account and adjust your preferences for less junk email but that won't totally stop it.

FMCA:
This is a group I ponder each time my membership comes up for renewal. They offer a 10% at participating RV parks but their discount is not widely honored and the same "other discounts" are generally available at those locations. They also offer a very good tire discount program that will easily pay for your membership for several years. You can also utilize the tire discount by not renewing and simply rejoin whenever your need tires.

For us, FMCA's Pinch Hit Driver Program offers my wife, who does not drive our coach, peace of mind. This program will assist FMCA members to get their coach home if they encounter an emergency that prohibits them from driving.

Escapees:
This is an RV club we did not join until we had been on the road full-time for almost two years and it quickly became our favourite.

Affiliated RV parks offer Escapee members discounts of 15 to 50%. Unfortunately, the number of parks is less than Good Sam but still significant. A 15% discount is the base offering but a limited number offer a 50% discount, generally with few restrictions than other 50% discount programs. In addition, Escapees also have parks with a closer association and these offer a variety of discount for even greater value such as some that are only $50/week on your first visit to that location.

The Escapees Club has a number of other valuable features such as their Smart Weight program, rallies and group tours and events that are typically better priced than most dedicated RV tour companies.

Passport America:
Passport America is known for offering a 50% discount at participating RV parks. What is less well known is that there are two "Passport America" RV clubs, supposedly started by two brothers who later separated with each continuing to operate a Passport America group. Fortunately, anywhere that honors the discount for either of these Passport America groups also honors the other. It's just confusing.

The 50% discount, on face value, is great but it's often not as it might first appear. Many parks that accept PA place an onerous number of restrictions on when and for how long they provide the discount. Some limit the number of days, some limit which days of the week, some limit which months it is honored and still others honor the discount for without reservations and on a cash only basis. To make it even more confusing, each location sets their own conditions and many are so restrictive as to make them virtually useless.

PA discounts are honored at a limited number of locations and it is imperative that you check their website each time to see if any restrictions apply to your intended destination.

Newmar Kountry Klub (manufacturer-sponsored):
Many RV manufacturers sponsor some type of user club, such as Newmar Corp's NKK (Newmar Kountry Klub). Clubs such as this may offer RV park discounts but their coverage and discount structure are typically very limited. Some RV dealerships also offer a discount (typically 10%) on parks.

For us, the best NKK value is attendance at one of their sponsored rallies. Other manufacturer-sponsored RV clubs often sponsor similar events. We try to attend one or two of these events each year and have developed a number of good friendships along the way. With all rally participants having a common interest there are a number of inherent benefits. At some larger gathering, our coach manufacturer will even have factory techs on site who will perform repairs, some at no charge.

US clubs, not Canadian
Another point to note about all the clubs we looked at is they are very much slanted towards their US membership. Few of their "special programs" are geared toward Canadian needs.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:16 PM   #3
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To add to Rons post. We have CSA which is, in our opinion, good value for your money if you are spending your winters in the US.

The CSA - Voice of Travelling Canadians - Canadian Snowbird Association
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:02 AM   #4
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Thank you.
A lot of great information.
We will definatly look into the groups you have listed.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
To add to Rons post. We have CSA which is, in our opinion, good value for your money if you are spending your winters in the US.

The CSA - Voice of Travelling Canadians - Canadian Snowbird Association
Good addition denis45.

We aren't members of the Canadian Snowbird Association not because of any shortcoming on their part but simply because we've never looked closely at their offerings. We have a number of friends who belong to the CSA and if we ever coordinate our location with one of their shows, we'll check them out and possibly try out a membership to see how it goes.

A friend uses them for currency exchange and health care insurance. As my wife retired from the banking industry so still have access to decent exchange rates and when I did check their insurance, it was higher than what we were currently paying.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:04 AM   #6
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Smile New to RV clubs

The Happy Camper Club...anyone have any info about it?

The Happy Camper Club - A Discount Club For RVers & Campers Of All Types

Harvest Hosts

https://harvesthosts


Ron_H ~ Thank you for your reviews & experience with RV clubs.
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