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Old 02-27-2016, 05:59 PM   #1
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New to RVing- KOA or Good Sams Memberships worth it?

We just bought our first travel trailer and wondered if a membership to KOA or Good Sam's was worth it. I googled for an answer to this and ran across an old thread here and decided to join this site. However, the thread I saw was a few years old and I know things can change pretty fast in the world. The old thread said that Good Sams will send you a lot of crap if you sign up and KOA was iffy. I'm disabled and recently discovered that I can get into National Parks free (woopee!) but other than that, I wondered if, since we would want to go camping as often as possible, what would be the best route for us. Sadly, there;s only 1 KOA in NJ but several in nearby states. Any advise wold be helpful.
Also, is there a place on this site for used items (storage helpers, old dishes, etc) that people sell there old stuff? I'm particularly looking for plug-in solar panels, which can be expensive new.
Thanx for listening and am looking forward to learning from this valuable resource.
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:02 PM   #2
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Been GS member for several years now. Get small discounts at most places so it pays for itself pretty quickly.
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:04 PM   #3
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Charter Lifetime Good Sam, FMCA, and Escapees members. Stay totally away from KOA (Keep On Adding) locations.
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:11 PM   #4
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Because of age and disability you can get into all national parks, national forests, Corps of Engineers parks free and 1/2 price on camp fees.

You could also look into Passport American for 1/2 off on a selection of RV parks.

It just depends on what kind of campgrounds you're looking to stay. KOAs and most Good Sam parks would be a more expensive alternative.
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:58 PM   #5
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Hi dawest58,
Any membership is valuable if one uses it. I am a lifetime member of:
GS
FMCA
Newmar Kountry Klub
Passport America

I also belong to KOA.

No matter if you pay by the year or are a lifetime member, the cost of the membership will usually pay for itself over a year. Decide how you will camp and purchase accordingly. Whatever you do, it is only a short commitment. Over time you will get a good feel for what works for you.

Depending on your disability, the full service CGs like KOA may be of value. Pull through sites and concrete pads can come in handy.
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Charter Lifetime Good Sam, FMCA, and Escapees members. Stay totally away from KOA (Keep On Adding) locations.
Yep, I also have the Golden Access pass.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:43 PM   #7
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Good Same seems to get discounts at a large variety of campsite location types. Most. KOA's I have stayed at are a bit remote if you don't have a toad. I bling to both, but find myself using GS much more often. KOA once a year for me and appreciate the discount. Both of these are quite reasonable so you can try both and see how they work for you. I haven't found many Passport places that I had a desire to visit. Check them all out online and see which campground appeal to you.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:20 PM   #8
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A lot may depend on how much you camp. GS is worthwhile as a lot of parks will discount your site fees. I belong to GS, FMCA, and KOA. Last summer I spent 8 weeks on the road and save enough to pay for my memberships.

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Old 02-28-2016, 02:19 AM   #9
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Good Sam and KOA pay for themselves when we do cross country trips.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:40 AM   #10
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Good Sam and KOA pay for themselves when we do cross country trips.
X2. Not mentioned yet, GS gives discounts on store purchases and propane purchases (on certain days of the week). They also send you free $10 coupons after many purchases. I have even gotten a $10 coupon after making an $8 purchase. Go figure?

KOA campgrounds are sort of controlled mediocrity. You know it will be serviceable, but not great. I do use them, and I am a member. Being a member, in addition to getting you points toward discounts, makes making reservations much faster and easier.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Because of age and disability you can get into all national parks, national forests, Corps of Engineers parks free and 1/2 price on camp fees.

You could also look into Passport American for 1/2 off on a selection of RV parks.

It just depends on what kind of campgrounds you're looking to stay. KOAs and most Good Sam parks would be a more expensive alternative.

Yup X2 ^^^^
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:16 AM   #12
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You don't have to decide now on the KOA. If you decide to camp at a KOA, you can buy a membership at that time.

There are nice KOAs, and we loved them while camping with kids. They always had a good playground and pool, plus most of them had more space than parking lot-style campgrounds. Now the kids are all gone, but we still don't like being hemmed in with neighbors so close that I can't open my awning! We stay at a KOA a few times a year, and the membership more than pays for itself.
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:26 AM   #13
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I use KOA often when traveling out West, but here on the east coast I find National and State Parks a much better option.
P.S. a lot of the National Parks don't have electric, so learn how to use/manage your battery to 'boondock' with your new RV.

As mentioned above, if you decide to use KOA a lot, wait and get your KOA membership from the 1st KOA park you visit.

I still get GS mail and I've never been a GS member (must be from an RV show I attended many years ago)

If you'll be traveling I-95, there are inexpensive but nice RV parks in NC ($25/$30) that don't require membership. This site is my favorite to find camping spots: http://www.rvparkreviews.com/
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:31 AM   #14
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To the OP:
We joined KOA and Good Sam many years ago. You MUST read reviews for ANY campground!!!!
We have never been disappointed and never had "add ons" with any we have stayed at, and the discounts have more than paid off.
I advise to NEVER stop at a campground blindly. It's a total crap shoot. When folks have complained to me about a CG, they have never reviewed it.
The Allstays ap, rvparkreviews.com, and Google Earth serve us flawlessly.
KOA has waived our annual club fees for the last 2 years, and we have had countless free nights.
Safe and happy travels to you. And may the Journey be your Destination!


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