There are many RV clubs and associations in North America. There are nearly one hundred different RV clubs and membership associations. There are over twenty camping discount clubs. There are even clubs for particular RV models!
Generally though, there are two types of clubs: membership and discount.
For example, Thousand Trails http://www.thousandtrails.com/membership-info is a campground membership club. You purchase a membership and then pay annual dues for the right to stay at the associated campgrounds in the geographic region you have chosen. Fees can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
Then there are the discount clubs. They help RVers get deeper discounts on stays – up to 50% off at some campgrounds. Examples of discount clubs are: Passport America http://www.passportamerica.com/about and the Good Sam Club http://www.goodsamclub.com/whyjoin.aspx .
Before making a decision on the clubs or associations you wish to join, ask yourself some basic questions:
- What is your experience with clubs and associations in the past? If you’ve had membership(s), how much did it save you?
- How much will your membership recoup for you in saved fees?
- What are you looking for in a membership?
- Are you looking for the discount or the membership type?
- How much can you afford?
I’m in the process of studying the benefits of the “Escapees RV Club.” My husband John and I are aspiring snowbirds and we’re looking for the most economical and benefits-rich membership or club that we can find when we do our winter migration.
From their website, this is what I’ve learned about Escapee RV Club thus far:
- There is a RV boot camp that occurs in May 2014 that is promised to be packed with RVing tips, seminars and information about the nuts and bolts of RVing.
- There are other educational seminars given throughout the year in addition to the boot camp.
- They have an RV weight program that helps you determine if your rig is overweight.
- They have an interactive website with lots of resources for the RVer.
- They offer a bi-monthly magazine with information for all levels of RVing.
- They have an online discussion forum where they guarantee you’re sure to find someone that can answer your question.
- There is an online store with books.
- They provide workamper resources in their Workamper News publication.
- There are member campgrounds in many of our favorite U.S. states: Arizona, Florida, California, New Mexico, Washington and Nevada.
Next we will talk with RVers from various social networking sites to see what their experiences have been with Escapees and learn how much they have saved by being a member.
For more reading on clubs and associations, see Insight’s previous article “RV Camping Clubs Cater to Every Interest“ and check out RVT.com’s RV Clubs links page at https://www.rvt.com/rvlinks/rvclubs.php. Happy Camping!
Author Levonne Gaddy’s book “This Restless Life: A dream chased through California parks in an RV” chronicles her relocation adventures from the Southwest to Central Coast California during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. They encounter many twists and turns including a dead body found near their camp hosting camp site, problems finding work and multiple threats of floods. @Levonnegaddy
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