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Old 04-03-2015, 06:57 AM   #1
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Silent Valley Club membership ?

SVC in Banning, CA had a booth at the Pomona FMCA rally and are offering three free nights if you agree to listen to the presentation. Can anyone offer some first hand insight on this organization?

The online reviews seem mixed between sounding like a sales brochure and advising people to absolutely stay away. While a lifetime membership sounds like a good thing, the reviews make this one sound like gum on your shoe. It means an obligation to pay the yearly maintenance fee for 59 years (currently $655 plus $50 property tax) with no protection from increases or special assessments as the club management sees fit. Some are saying that this obligation continues after your death. Is this even legal under consumer protection guidelines? People on Craigslist seem willing to pay someone to take the membership off their hands.

The membership gets you up to 120 nights per year at their 850 site campground, but after 30 consecutive nights you have to leave for 10 nights. Seems inconvenient for snowbirds, and how many have a 59 year plan? The kicker is that you have to find someone to take on your membership for a substantial transfer fee. You can't just terminate and wave goodbye when you stop camping.

Comments or clarification?
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:44 PM   #2
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Several people are giving away their SV memberships on Craig's List so there must be a problem there somewhere. Some will even pay this years dues and the transfer fee.

We drove up/down to Silent Valley a couple of years ago in the toad and I am not too sure I would want to drive my coach on that road.

Most of these membership parks have a rule that if you do the free nights and tour you cannot buy a used membership for up to two years.
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:04 PM   #3
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Like all membership campgrounds, if you don't use it and enjoy your stay it's not worth it. The huge benefit of Silent Valley Club is the reservation system, which limits reservation to 48 hrs. prior to your arrival date, and just gives you the indication that the park isn't full. You cannot reserve a specific site. If you have tried to make short notice reservations in SoCal it's next to impossible. The times that site selection will be limited is around the major spring and summer holidays.


We joined around 2001 when we both were working and needed short notice availability, SVC was a logical choice. We are now retired and still it's a good deal, if you use it. We are "Firebirds" and leave SoCal in the summer, SVC is great place to spend a couple of weeks, settling in, making sure we didn't forget something real important.


Like bdpreece mentioned, the road is winding, but we have plenty of room in our 38' coach and toad.


I don't keep close tabs on rule changes, however in the past snowbirds who wanted to stay in the park during the winter months could pay a fee, covering the "ten day out" situation.


Hope this helps.


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Old 04-03-2015, 07:13 PM   #4
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Our camping needs do not include going to the same place FOREVER and $100s in fees THAT NEVER END.
Run....Away
http://scamslammers.blogspot.com/201...nning.html?m=1
http://www.rvinteractive.com/rvguys/sell.html
http://gripevine.com/business/207107...alley-club-inc
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:27 PM   #5
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We have been to the Silent Valley club a couple of times, very nice campground. We would never buy a membership we used RPI and pay 10.00 per night for up to 14 days at a time. The road up is really not that bad.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:36 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. We found out about the two year exclusion clause after we got there. Not a concern though, because the memberships being given away on Craigslist are the lifetime ones, which I understand has been the club's business model for its past forty years. We do not have a 59 year plan, so our interest would be in the 5 or 10 year memberships they are now offering.

With respect to reservations:
Many of the sites look only big enough to accommodate a pop-up. Most have FHU, some don't. I thought the rule was that you had to park on the paved surface. Is this a potential problem if you show up with a non-specific reservation and a 38' MH?

When the park opened, they sold all 6000 memberships. This seems to have dwindled to 3000 active members, which means each member's fees and taxes have doubled. Our concern is that if the membership continues to diminish, the fees will continue to grow.

It is a nice location, but despite being high in the mountains, it is in a valley and has no view whatsoever. The drive up is a winding, two-lane, ten mile mountain road, but if you take it easy (25 to 30 MPH) and use the paved turn-outs to let traffic by and take a break then it is not a big challenge. Just don't keep looking at the cliffs at the edge of the road or the valley below. It was a much easier drive in the dark.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:53 PM   #7
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Silent Valley Club membership ?

I suggest that the 5 and 10 year plans, a huge break from the long-followed business model, is a ploy to boost sagging revenue. They are slumping!
Coming soon: "If you call right now we will double the offer".
As it sits, and before expected bumps in fees, $58/month (about 12 weekends in good parks) whether you show up or not is a bit stiff, and 48-hour lead-time for reservations (with limited # of sizeable sites), is not good for most folks.
$705 will pay for a month in many good RV resorts!
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rjsupersonic View Post
We have been to the Silent Valley club a couple of times, very nice campground. We would never buy a membership we used RPI and pay 10.00 per night for up to 14 days at a time. The road up is really not that bad.

How did you get the RPI membership? Did you have to buy into a timeshare somewhere else?
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:02 AM   #9
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Silent Valley Club membership ?

Tips to buying a Campground Membership
They are not timeshares
Lots of them for sale. Folks get more adventurous and don't want the fees.
http://www.ebay.com/gds/Tips-to-buyi...2158365/g.html
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:57 PM   #10
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At SVC you buy one of 6800 shares and pay an annual maintenance fee ($655). You are assessed property tax each year (currently 1/3000th instead of 1/6800th) and can only use the property part of the time. Is this different from a timeshare?
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwelveVolt View Post
At SVC you buy one of 6800 shares and pay an annual maintenance fee ($655). You are assessed property tax each year (currently 1/3000th instead of 1/6800th) and can only use the property part of the time. Is this different from a timeshare?
HMMMMMMM, my annual fee has never indicated a property tax assessment, is this something new?

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Old 04-04-2015, 08:28 PM   #12
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Silent Valley Club membership ?

Quote:
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HMMMMMMM, my annual fee has never indicated a property tax assessment, is this something new?

Fred

The figures I was quoted were $655 maintenance plus $50 property tax. Is your last bill different from this?
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Old 04-04-2015, 09:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwelveVolt View Post
The figures I was quoted were $655 maintenance plus $50 property tax. Is your last bill different from this?
My anniversary date is Nov, as of last Nov. no fee.

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Old 04-05-2015, 10:17 AM   #14
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You first join a Home base club then you can get RPI for about 110.00 per year. Home can be expensive like Colorado River Adventures but if you look you can find one like Antelope Valley RV Resort in Delta Utah, which I believe is one of the least expensive in the Nation once you have a home base membership RPI is an affiliate and very inexpensive, like I said around 110.00 per year. It's somewhat complicated but well worth it. We hardly use our home base in Washington but use RPI all over the United States.
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