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Old 10-16-2010, 03:42 PM   #1
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Camping Clubs

Getting ready to retire and have been approached by KM Resorts to join. They are apparently affiliated with other camping clubs and profess to have great rates nation wide at over 1000 campgrounds. What is the consensus on these clubs? Are they worth the money, or can I do better on my own? Planning our first winter at Rockport TX, then up the east coast to Cape Breton, then back to Washington State, to start the whole thing over again. I need advise, Thanks Wayne
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
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If you will 'google' them you find that they have 8 parks in Washington. Appears TO BE A TIMESHARE SET-UP . They talk about 'Coast to Coast' so somehow they sell that as part of the package also. Looks like you need to do alot of homework on this. I use the 50% off at National Parks (over 62) and Passport America.
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:50 AM   #3
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In my opinion I would advise you to join NOTHING except Passport America until you figure out what ''type'' camping you are going to do.
One .... To start with there about a jillion state and national parks that offer camping. They are very interesting to go to and give a ''look around'' and camp at them while you are there. If you get a Golden Age Passport you get in cheap and camp cheap. Unfortunately a lot of them are ''dry camping''....
Two..... Ambling along with lots of time and no particular destination. This is when you got no destination and no time to be there or to be back home. There is a world of adventure on the state roads with beautiful little towns and wonderful people and tons and tons of ''Mom and Pop campgrounds''......
Three... Joining a ''CLUB'' like Thousand Trails or one of the many you will see advertised for you to join if you are into that type of camping. Personally, I would not take a ''free'' membership to one of those because it is not my ''kind of camping''....... They will tell you that they are ''affiliated'' with other places and have thousands of places to stay etc etc etc. What this means is that you are going from point ''A'' to point ''B'' so you can stay in their camp ground. DUUUUUUUUUUAH.... We go camping for the adventure and the discovery of new places, not the ''Bus route",,,,, Mind you that this is my opinion but I have been camping since 95 and I have traveled at least 150 thousand miles from Alaska to Mexico and I like to do it on my own and stopping where it is pretty, not necessarily where ''they'' happen to put a camp ground.

Mind you, this is just my opinion and I strongly advise you not to take my advise 'cause I am old and cranky and set in my ways and my ''method'' of camping may not be the way you want to camp....

Be safe on the road .....

God bless our troops and bring them home real soon ....
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:10 AM   #4
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I agree with Seajay - don't rush into something like that. We eventually bought a Thousand Trails membership after 12 years of camping, but initially you will want to travel around and see the sights, as well as developing your own style of camping. Buying into a resort chain is expensive and can be a major burden if it turns out your interests take you in a different direction.

In addition, you can almost always by a re-sale from another member who wants to bail out and get it at a substantial discount. And there are often other ways to join Coast to Coast or RPI that are much less expensive than some of these packaged deals. Shop around.

In the interim, use Passport America or similar discount programs that have low fees (typically $45) and no multi-year obligations.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:40 AM   #5
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Seajay may be old and cranky - but he gives good advice once in a blue moon...and the MOON IS BLUE! Shop around first, then if you still want to be tethered shop the resales carefully. Bargains are there; mostly because beginning rv'ers make minor mistakes.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:24 PM   #6
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I have been full timing for 4.25 years.
There are many lovely city and county campgrounds that are free or charge less than $20.00. Many free ones have water and a dump some have electric. Half the time you will be all alone in them.
As stated above get a Golden Age Passport or I think it is now a Senior Pass. One time fee of $ 10.00 and lifetime benefits. Free entry to national parks, museums and most interesting national places and 1/2 price camping in national campgrounds. The state of LA honors it for 1/2 price at the state CGs. Only state that does. I went to a county park NE of Twin Falls, ID that honored it. I just keep asking and get a surprise now and then.

Passport America is well worth the membership fee. You can save that in 4 nights.

If you eventually buy into a camping club buy a previously owned one for a deep discount. MAKE SURE YOU SEE IN PRINT WHERE YOU ARE ABLE TO BOW OUT GRACEFULLY. Some people were stuck paying forever and could not even sell it.
I personally would never get involved with something like Thousand Trails or the one you mentioned. I like to boondock and I am a vagabond who never knows what whim I will follow tomorrow. I keep my fresh water tank full and dump the sewage often and will stay over night just about anywhere I can get well off the road. My solar system takes care of my power needs except for A/C.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:59 PM   #7
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I really appreciate all of your comments. Seems like Passport America and the Golden Age Passport is the way to go. We are looking forward to rambling around the country, a few years back I took a year off and did the same thing, that's how we caught the camping/travel bug.. Again thanks all for your help. I know I will have more questions in the near future. Wayne
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #8
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All great advice. Out of the gate, Passport America, Good Sam and Golden Age are kind of no brainers but take your time after that. Depending on where you want to hang out, Escapees is also a possibility.

Good luck...

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Old 10-22-2010, 12:02 PM   #9
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I forgot one: Good Sam Emergency Road Service. Well worth the price.
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