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Old 05-03-2012, 11:56 AM   #1
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Which RV Camping Discount Club Is Best Value

There's a lot of them out there - Good Sams, Thousand Trails, Cost To Coast etc.

We're only traveling the south west.

What have you found to be the best bang for the buck?
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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This is good question. I have done done research and like coast to coast. But passport america is also very good but only during certain times of the yr can you use it. Myself I have good sams and passport very cheap and good discounts for the price. Would like to know if anyone has coast to coast and what you think about it. Looked at thousand trails was not impressed. They do not include encore at all in florida.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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Well, Good Sam, FMCA, and mfg brand clubs are totally different animals from TT, CTC, ROD, etc. The first are RV clubs which among their many member benefits negotiate a discount (normally 10%, sometimes 15%) for their members from individual campgrounds. The second group are pretty much camping time share organizations.

Then there are Passport America and Happy Camper, which are clubs focused specifically on negotiating 50% campground discounts. There are various stay limits, holiday exclusions, etc to these discounts depending on the individual campground.

Which provides the best bang for the buck depends greatly on your travel style and locations. For me, I would say my Golden Access Passport (disabled vet National Parks pass) gives me the most bang for the buck as my $ cost was zero (unless you count my 31yrs military Svc), and it provides free admission and 50% campground discount. Anyone 62 or over can buy the equivalent for I believe $10. The current name is America the Beautiful Pass, and the one time cost is good for life. The next best bang for the buck for me is Passport America. The $40 per year cost is normally covered by a couple nights use, and after that can really save a bundle.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:57 PM   #4
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We are long time 1000 Trails members and love it. We do most of our camping in the west, but do travel to the southeast frequently. Our particular membership provides 50 nights of camping for $0 and then $2/night for other nights. We find that this membership allows us to be on the road frequently, for example this summer we will hit the Oregon and Washington coasts and pay very little to stay in some wonderful areas. We also use their affiliated RPI system.

There are many resales available and depending on where you travel it is worth consideration. BTW, we also belong to Good Sam and Passport and they are good for those times when traveling and a membership park is not available.

Nick
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:06 PM   #5
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The last couple of years we did a lot of traveling out West...many different CGs. That's where Passport Am. really shines. If you're a destination camper, even at a poultry 10%, Good Sam(or any of the 10%'ers) may be your best bet. We found that driving just a little out of the way, GS's 10% discount got eaten up in fuel costs and not worth the effort. We also found that staying closer to our intended route, the chosen CG was just as inexpensive, if not cheaper, than the GS park.

That said, now that our intentions of using CGs more as destinations instead of stopovers, we're hanging on to our GS membership for the time being. Bob

Oh yeah, we got our Senior Passes(Yikes!)the first time we visited Everglades NP...since then we've visited 36 NPs...can't imagine how much that has saved us. That's $1.85 a Park! Super deal if one qualifies.

Note: We did buy two passes...just to kick in a little more Park support.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
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Passport is probably your best bet. If you stay two nights a year it will pay for itself. Our experience with 1000 Trails is the exact opposite of traveler of california...but we did not try it out west. In our part of the country, most of the good spaces are taken by annual renters. Those of us that move around are stuck with the less desirable spaces. We let our membership expire.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:12 PM   #7
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Passport America is by far the best bet, but no reason to have only one. Good Sam and Passport America are what we have used hundreds of times. The theory behind PA is to fill a site that would otherwise be empty at half price. Many of the costs like mortgage, taxes, advertising, ETC are fixed and the extra revenue goes straight to the bottom line except for the variable cost like water, electric, trash, ETC. Many a wise campground owner has realized this and participate in PA. They do block out the times they think they have a reasonable chance of being full at regular price. They would be stupid to give half price the weekend of a NASCAR race and I don't want to stay at a campground who's owner who is stupid. If it wasn't for the exceptions, then there would be no half price clubs. We just live with them and it has saved us thousands of dollars ($38 this weekend). Yeah PA
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:53 PM   #8
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If you want the best value go for a TT membership buy it from from someone who has had it for several or more years. TT has been around for twenty or more years as of recently they have merged with other camping organizations and depending upon where you go you can get big discounts from affiliate campgrounds. The more you use the membership campgrounds the more you save its really not a time share because you can go wherever and whenever you want as long as the campgrounds are in the network, there are many full timers that live within the system for only the yearly dues fee. However none of the TT campgrounds we have been to are of the class as campgrounds like Outdoor Resorts or similar upscale types that are much more expensive. As far as Passport America this is just my opinion not to insult anyone but I have seen very few PA campgrounds that I would want to spend two or more weeks in they are great for overnight stops or a few days but thats it maybe we just haven't been to the right PA places. They also have added a great deal more campgrounds over the last few years but there are many restrictions as stated in previous posts like 1 or 2 nights only or no weekends. The 10% off memberships amount to peanuts compared to the cost of membership.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:42 PM   #9
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campground deals

Thee is NO FREE Lunch. No one package offers everything. C-2-c has it good points, but so does RPI. 1000 trails has nmany packages, but buyer beware, some packages are lifetime. We have used Passport america but it has so many limitations. C=2-c and RPI are generally 10 or 12 bucks a night, but, are space available in peak seasons. 1000 traILS zone PASS IS A WAY OF TRYING THERE CAMPGROUNDS (sorry for caps). generally they are 7 days in and one has to be out of their system for 7 days before entering another park. There are several places on the net that sell "used" memberships. State and national parks can be good campsites, if available. In Fl due to the snowbirds availabilty is severaly limited. What style of camping do you do? Look at all the different programs and compafre what each offers. good luck ed
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:51 AM   #10
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We have C-2-C and Passport America. he thing you have to remember with C-2-C is you must use it to pay for itself. Our cost is abut $250 per year annual fee to C-2-C plus Home CG fee. It takes us about 14 days camping to get fees back each year. Then the cost to buy into C-2-C runs anywhere from a couple of Hundred dollars to about full price of about $2500. We have been in a CG that cost 65.00 per night and we paid $10.00. C-2-C has agreements with other owner CG so you get some really good places to stay. Just 3 great place Hart Ranch-Yogi Bear just north of New Orleans and Branson, MO. PA is our backup.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:34 AM   #11
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Another vote for Passport America. I also have Good Sam.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:21 PM   #12
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Just booked a PA for this weekend. See the quality C2C looks good for the long haul. Have both GS and PA.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by EDALLSAILS View Post
Thee is NO FREE Lunch. No one package offers everything. C-2-c has it good points, but so does RPI. 1000 trails has nmany packages, but buyer beware, some packages are lifetime. We have used Passport america but it has so many limitations. C=2-c and RPI are generally 10 or 12 bucks a night, but, are space available in peak seasons. 1000 traILS zone PASS IS A WAY OF TRYING THERE CAMPGROUNDS (sorry for caps). generally they are 7 days in and one has to be out of their system for 7 days before entering another park. There are several places on the net that sell "used" memberships. State and national parks can be good campsites, if available. In Fl due to the snowbirds availabilty is severaly limited. What style of camping do you do? Look at all the different programs and compafre what each offers. good luck ed
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:17 AM   #14
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Passport is probably your best bet. If you stay two nights a year it will pay for itself. Our experience with 1000 Trails is the exact opposite of traveler of california...but we did not try it out west. In our part of the country, most of the good spaces are taken by annual renters. Those of us that move around are stuck with the less desirable spaces. We let our membership expire.
I did get this PA and have found it not very good because the summer mo. are black out. I would not buy it again if traveling in the summer mo. They only give you discount for the 1st night also. Just saying.
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