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Old 07-05-2015, 08:38 AM   #1
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RV Camping Clubs worth it?

I guess it depends on somebody's situation. We are new to rvs.
Family of 4 . 2 children ages 2 and 7.
Nobody really likes camping - campfires , s'mores, bugs, fishing, hot sun.
We bought the rv mainly for travel and love the ocean and beaches .
I was wondering if anybody shared the pros and cons of their clubs and discount cards , good Sam, passport America were the two I was looking at.
Thank you.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:46 AM   #2
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Pasport America - won't leave home without it. If you stay at a very limited and specific group of campgrounds - it may not work. Only one or two stays a year will pay for itself.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:51 AM   #3
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Yup--the "travel club" cards like Good Sam and others, usually pay for themselves with one or two uses--a no brainer. The "time-share" clubs are a different animal--first, they are much more expensive to get it; second, the rules for use seem to change all the time; and third, your travel plans really have to conform with the system--eg, full timers with lots of flex on time and locations to stay......
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:30 AM   #4
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Only two years into Rv's, so we are also figuring it out,
First, This forum IS YOUR BEST RESOURCE. I have found so many helpful people and OUTSTANDING advise and information. Look over the various categories and go to them for any questions - someone(often many) will have had your problem/issue before and offer solid advise or direction. But I digress, To your question, we belong to Good Sam, Have saved some $ at a few camp ground members and a few $ on some in store CW purchases, the Fuel discounts are OK IF you can find a flying J that is on your route and at a time you need fuel. You WILL get a TON of solicitation mail from Good Sam/Camping world....a TON!!! The value really depends on your travels and your choices of camp grounds, true the cost is small and only a couple uses pays for the cost. JMHO
Have fun and travel safe.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:57 AM   #5
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Passport America gets better discounts so pays for itself fast. Good Sam is often part of other packages and gets ~10% at some places and Camping World. Not so easy to pay off but not hard if you need much stuff. OTOH it opens up connections to some trip planning tools and forums.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:09 AM   #6
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A lot depends where you are located and plan to go. Oregon coast has great state parks on the ocean and mountains which don't require a membership. East coast not so many state parks, Maryland and North Carolina have some nice ones on water and beach as the north shore of long island. Michigan has great state parks on lakes, etc. If you're more interested in a park with pool and activities, much like a resort, club might be better. Your trips and experiences with the family will be the experiences the kids remember. My daughter does and I just took her, son in law, and grandson on their first trip.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:58 AM   #7
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I forgot some things. AAA will get you discounts at campgrounds. Also if affiliated with the military, reserves active duty, some bases(ie virginia beach,va army base) has some nice facilities. My wife and daughter loved it there while I did reserve duty at NOB in Norfolk. They had a raked beach on the Chesapeake Bay that was uncrowded and provided chairs and everything. Lots to explore. Oh and may sure to turn off the electronics except for some down time maybe once a day.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:58 AM   #8
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We joined Coast to Coast at a camping world in Seattle Wash. - It was an expensive lesson learned - rip off - stick with passport. good sams etc,
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKITCHELL View Post
I guess it depends on somebody's situation. We are new to rvs.
Family of 4 . 2 children ages 2 and 7.
Nobody really likes camping - campfires , s'mores, bugs, fishing, hot sun.
We bought the rv mainly for travel and love the ocean and beaches .
I was wondering if anybody shared the pros and cons of their clubs and discount cards , good Sam, passport America were the two I was looking at.
Thank you.
Over the years I have whittled my RV club memberships down to only one club...Passport America..... and I have the $10 lifetime "America the Beautiful" pass: https://store.usgs.gov/pass/senior.html

For a lot of years I was "clubbed to death" paying out many $$ for memberships that did nothing for me.

Mel
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Old 07-05-2015, 03:57 PM   #10
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We joined a camping club in Michigan 15 years ago they are part of Coast to Coast they are now up to I think 7 parks in Michigan that we can stay at for up to 3 weeks free we do pay yearly maintenance fees that were froze when we joined. Last year we joined 1000 trails and can stay up to 3 weeks and pay yearly maintenance fees. We full time so for the summer camping does not cost us anything in Michigan. When we head for warmer weather in the fall we use both of them CC & 1000 Trails plus Passport America, FMCA, RPI and Good Sams. We are looking at dropping CC or RPI. We have found they are both at the same parks most of the time. We did pay quite a bit up front but being full timers we felt that it was worth it. I am sure others think we spent to much but we are happy and that's all that matters. If you want to join I think 1000 Trails would be your best option most of there campgrounds are on the coastal area. The other clubs are scattered about the US.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:36 PM   #11
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We have passport America and Good Sams, and both have paid for them selves.
PPA = 50% @ over 1900 sites, and GS=10% all over. We plan our trips, then find spots we want to stay at. Never had a site we didn't get a discount for. Including several beach campgrounds/Resorts.
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