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Old 08-08-2019, 01:46 PM   #1
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Camping Clubs, are they worth it

I joined Passport America (PPA) in 1998 and have used it hundreds of times; they now allow their members to advertise highly inflated prices then tell you, you can get it for half that. It is also not good on Friday or Saturday nights or holiday weekends, and some parks have added Thursday night to that also. It is still the best deal but not as good as it was when campgrounds had more reasonable prices.

I joined Camp coast to coast (CCC) in 1999 when I saw a magazine ad for a homepark in Arizona; I paid $798 for a lifetime membership with no yearly dues. Sounds like a great deal doesn’t it; well after six years this park dropped out of the CCC system, so my lifetime membership was worthless.

I was talked into joining ADVENTURES OUTDOOR RESORTS (AOR) by paying an additional $1197 because the salesman gave me the impression that anytime I wanted, I could sell the membership back to them for $1496. SCAM, to get the money I would need to bring them a buyer.

This whole camping club thing is full of crooks and scammers so be prepared to be lied to, disappointed, and cheated.

I have used, and still use PPA hundreds of times; I used CCC over 800 times and frequently was over charged, especially on the West Coast before I lost my membership when my “HomePark” dropped out of the system. I then used AOR several hundred times, and over 200 private parks. I try to boondock for free as much as I can and in the winter I do monthly stays at much reduced cost. One last thing, Fed and State parks are not a bargain anymore now that they are "Privatized".

I have saved money over the advertised prices but it still averages about what it would cost to become stationary in a rented apartment. Remember you are paying for campsites AND fuel, tires, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and many other unexpected costs. I have a right to complain however I still love the open road, the ability to go north in the summer and south in the winter and all the beautiful sites in this great nation [mod edit]
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:44 PM   #2
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Since 2001, I have used PPA and I am still using it in 2019 !
For $44/year, you cannot beat it and within one or two nights on savings, your membership is paid !
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:02 PM   #3
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Remember you are paying for campsites AND fuel, tires, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and many other unexpected costs.

AND I forgot to add "Depreciation on your Rig"
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo19Irv View Post
Remember you are paying for campsites AND fuel, tires, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and many other unexpected costs.

AND I forgot to add "Depreciation on your Rig"
And what the hell all these have to do with the subject 'campsites club" ?
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:56 PM   #5
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I think everyone has to determine the value of these programs on their own, a lot depends on where and how you travel. As always one must be alert for potential scams, and question how long these programs will last before investing in a "lifetime" membership.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:03 PM   #6
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Are camping clubs worth it? I guess the short answer is "It Depends"!
Depends on how often you use your RV.
Depends on if you only want to camp on "black out" weekends.
Depends on if there are any campgrounds in areas you intend on visiting.
Depends on a lot of things, for us, it the cost accounting doesn't lend itself to our purchasing a membership. Only one we would be interested in 1000 trails, and frankly the three 1k trails campgrounds we've stayed in are excellent reasons NOT to stay at 1k trails campgrounds! Could have just been the three we stayed in, but after seeing the poor conditions of those three we've since elected to give 1k trails a wide berth! YMMV
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:24 PM   #7
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Everyone has an opinion..... and they feel they are right.

We are preparing for our first big trip with our motorhome that we purchased just two years ago while planning for retirement. October 4, 2019 is the day. We to are headed south to winter in Florida. Then to Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico before returning to western New York in late April, 2020.

Because of this we looked at Thousand Trails and decided on the camping pass and the Trails Collection. I think we are also joining Passport America before we go.

We've already secured our first tt reservation and I'm sure it will more than pay for itself.

Do what you think is right for yourself and live life happy. It's too short to argue with anyone.
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:37 PM   #8
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Life Member of Passport America, worth every penny.
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo19Irv View Post
Passport America (PPA) in 1998 and have used it hundreds of times; they now allow their members to advertise highly inflated prices then tell you, you can get it for half that. It is also not good on Friday or Saturday nights or holiday weekends, and some parks have added Thursday night to that also.

If the parks are, indeed, inflating prices only for Passport America members then all you need to do is to report it on Passport and they'll look into it. They'll take the park out of the system. However, have you just called for a reservation not saying you're a Passport member? Get the price that they are charging for the general public. Is it different from the starting price of a member? Don't forget to add in the additional fees and get the exact same type of site when you do both comparisons. Even with their stated limitations when we wanted to stay longer we were able to do so for the discounted price. Of course, if the park is in a prime area it's not possible.

One last thing, Fed and State parks are not a bargain anymore now that they are "Privatized".

We didn't find that to be the case for the majority of stays even if they were run by concessioners.We still got 1/2 price using our Senior Pass on a basic site. All campgrounds are not run by concessioners. If the national public campgrounds would get more funding they wouldn't have to turn them over.
Public parks can't keep the same cheap campsites as in past years. Prices for everything increases yearly.
RVing is still a bargain compared to the same number of nights in a motel, eating in restaurants, etc.
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:16 AM   #10
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Covered pretty well here. Which is still active.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f90/thous...tc-386190.html
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:21 PM   #11
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All I will say

CCC started in 1972 and for many years it only cost one dollar ($1) to spend a night in one of their parks. In 1993 CCC became part of the Affinity Group (Camping World, Good Sam, Trailer Life, Motorhome, & Highways magazines, and Woodalls.) In 1997 the cost went up to $4 per night, then $6 in 1999, and then $8 in 2004, now its $10.

1999 there were over 400 parks at $6.00
In 2000, 351CC, 594GNP $11 (229 in 04)
2001, 348 $6 parks, 637 $11 parks
2002, 340 $6 parks
2003, 327 parks for $6 per/nite
In 2004, 310 parks for $8 per/nite, 229GNP $13
Sept 2019 149 parks for $10 (plus) 51 GNP

In 1990 they had over 300,000 members.
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:57 PM   #12
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This whole camping club thing is full of crooks and scammers so be prepared to be lied to, disappointed, and cheated.
Well I agree with you concerning your list is a bunch of bunk but I whole heartily and totally disagree with, "This whole camping club thing is full of crooks and scammers". There are diamonds in rough out there.

Careful planning and searching on how to economically camp and travel before you go FT is essential for anyone getting ready to embark on this new lifestyle and money is a concern.

I hope you find better options in the future.
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:50 AM   #13
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Everyone has an opinion..... and they feel they are right.

We are preparing for our first big trip with our motorhome that we purchased just two years ago while planning for retirement. October 4, 2019 is the day. We to are headed south to winter in Florida. Then to Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico before returning to western New York in late April, 2020.

Because of this we looked at Thousand Trails and decided on the camping pass and the Trails Collection. I think we are also joining Passport America before we go.

We've already secured our first tt reservation and I'm sure it will more than pay for itself.

Do what you think is right for yourself and live life happy. It's too short to argue with anyone.
Okay...... an update.

I just noticed a typo on my part. We are leaving November 7th but have secured reservations at a number of Thousand Trails and Encore parks just 60 days prior to our arrival dates. I was concerned about availability at 60 days but we have gotten every reservation that we've wanted..... INCLUDING 14 nights at Sunshine Key RV Resort in the Keys.

I've kept track of our expenses to this point and even though we only have reservations through December 29th we have already saved money.

Out total cost for joining Thousand Trails camping pass plus the Trails Collection was a little over $700. So far..... if we were staying in the same parks.... paying out of pocket..... we would be charged over $1,700 more. That is a substantial savings.

After we complete our trip, I'll be happy to report back on our total savings but I think it will be easily over $4,000 when we are done.

I hardly think it could be described as a scam.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:50 AM   #14
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There are bad people in the camping industry.

Hi Joree, It is the bad experiences we remember the most so you should not “whole heartily and totally disagree” I will site an example. I have been a member of Camp Coast 2 Coast for many years and have stayed in many of their campgrounds, most are OK, and some are exceptional with wonderful amenities, however C2C advertises camping for $10 per night and then allows their member campgrounds to add restrictions and extra charges without limits. Anyone can look at the C2C web-site and its member campgrounds and you will see what I am talking about, one campground expects you to pay $27 for a $10 spot, others add less and many have other restrictions. I will say again, some are exceptional; I have stayed for $10 in some with heated pools, hot tubs, cable TV, wifi, exercise rooms, and good voltage. I just think that C2C should not list a campground in their $10 spots and then allow them to charge much more. I am sure you know that the cost of almost everything has doubled in the last ten years yet social security and outrageously the amount the country gives ‘Service Connect Disabled Veterans’ has gone up very little in the same ten years making it difficult for older Americans on a fixed income to pay; I encourage everyone to contact their representatives and demand that they give ‘Service Connect Disabled Veterans’ a large increase in their compensation.
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