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Old 10-09-2015, 03:22 AM   #1
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Memberships/Clubs?

Good evening everyone,

I was wondering if you would share with me your must have RV clubs such as God Sams, Xscapers, Xscapees, Thousand Trails, Harvest Host etc...

I am sure some are better than others and it depends on your needs, but maybe you can share why you need/want/have them. Thanks again for all the feedback and help.

David
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:21 AM   #2
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Good Sams only, it's up to you which would use. Camping World at one point was pushing Thousand Trails & we toured a couple & for the price of their membership it sure wasn't worth it. Passport America was ok, but you need to check when reserving & be sure to check if the days you are there qualify.
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:50 PM   #3
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Good Sam's here also.. basically for the camping discounts.. BUT.. I think I may look into their extended warranty ?
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Old 10-09-2015, 02:29 PM   #4
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Good Sam and Passport America. Passport can pay for it's self in several uses if you travel alot. Not always the greatest parks, but when on the road from one place to another we're just looking for a place to spend the night and generally only plug into the electric so $10 to $15 dollars is fine with us.
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:50 AM   #5
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We have a Coast to Coast and an ROD (Resorts of Distinction). We also have Passport America. We full time and use our memberships 90 percent or more of the time. We pay about $650/year TOTAL for maintenance fees. For us this has been a very economical way to travel. Although they can have what may feel like a high startup investment; for us it has definitely paid off.

It is helpful to think about what type of camping will make you the happiest. For us, we prefer to stay in campgrounds because we like to take advantage of the amenities. We want to have water and electrical hook ups. We have done a little boondocking; but that has not been a great fit for us. We enjoy the “community” of the campgrounds.

Here are some thoughts:

Pros:
- We are able to keep our monthly campground budget under $200/mth (except for Rally month). LOVE the money we save. We have done the detailed financial analysis.
- Generally there are staff that can be contacted if there are issues with noise or security
- We like planning ahead and having reservations. Some public campgrounds don’t accept reservations.
- It is very easy to make the reservations by phone or online.
- We enjoy having and using the amenties. (pool, fishing, paddle boats, golf, etc)
- Membership representative have been very helpful.
- I don’t want to sound like a snob… but here goes… Campground memberships have an upfront investment so other campers tend to be respectful. (and if they aren’t the management will deal with it) If you have a tent and a little money you can bring all your friends, all of your kids, your cars and ATVs, along with your loud music and kegs of beer and hang out around the campground for the day and into the night.

Cons:
- There are some limitations on the length of time you can stay in most campgrounds. We generally move every week or so—but have stayed up to 3 weeks. So if you want to hang out longer, you will either have to pay more or move on.
- Campground locations may not be exactly where you want them to be.
- They are campgrounds, so there can be a lot of activity—so it is not the peace and quiet of wilderness camping.
- You may have to plan ahead—some campgrounds fill up fast during busy seasons.
- There is some overlap of campgrounds—this is a con because if you pay for 2 different memberships, don’t expect 2 different campground lists. Some resorts accept several memberships.
- Campground sites are usually smaller than state/federal park sites.

Sorry for the length, but hope it is helpful. We have really learned to use the membership systems and we are happy with this option for us.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:40 AM   #6
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George and Lisa......a Thank you. That's a pretty detailed discription.
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Old 10-10-2015, 01:54 PM   #7
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George and Lisa......a Thank you. That's a pretty detailed discription.
Agreed. Very helpful, George and Lisa. Thanks.
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Old 10-10-2015, 02:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loving Life View Post
We have a Coast to Coast and an ROD (Resorts of Distinction). We also have Passport America. We full time and use our memberships 90 percent or more of the time. We pay about $650/year TOTAL for maintenance fees. For us this has been a very economical way to travel. Although they can have what may feel like a high startup investment; for us it has definitely paid off.

It is helpful to think about what type of camping will make you the happiest. For us, we prefer to stay in campgrounds because we like to take advantage of the amenities. We want to have water and electrical hook ups. We have done a little boondocking; but that has not been a great fit for us. We enjoy the “community” of the campgrounds.

Here are some thoughts:

Pros:
- We are able to keep our monthly campground budget under $200/mth (except for Rally month). LOVE the money we save. We have done the detailed financial analysis.
- Generally there are staff that can be contacted if there are issues with noise or security
- We like planning ahead and having reservations. Some public campgrounds don’t accept reservations.
- It is very easy to make the reservations by phone or online.
- We enjoy having and using the amenties. (pool, fishing, paddle boats, golf, etc)
- Membership representative have been very helpful.
- I don’t want to sound like a snob… but here goes… Campground memberships have an upfront investment so other campers tend to be respectful. (and if they aren’t the management will deal with it) If you have a tent and a little money you can bring all your friends, all of your kids, your cars and ATVs, along with your loud music and kegs of beer and hang out around the campground for the day and into the night.

Cons:
- There are some limitations on the length of time you can stay in most campgrounds. We generally move every week or so—but have stayed up to 3 weeks. So if you want to hang out longer, you will either have to pay more or move on.
- Campground locations may not be exactly where you want them to be.
- They are campgrounds, so there can be a lot of activity—so it is not the peace and quiet of wilderness camping.
- You may have to plan ahead—some campgrounds fill up fast during busy seasons.
- There is some overlap of campgrounds—this is a con because if you pay for 2 different memberships, don’t expect 2 different campground lists. Some resorts accept several memberships.
- Campground sites are usually smaller than state/federal park sites.

Sorry for the length, but hope it is helpful. We have really learned to use the membership systems and we are happy with this option for us.
George
How do your camping fees work out per month when you add the initial fee + yearly maintenance fee + what you pay when you are there. I may be interested
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:48 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone, George and Lisa thank you very much that gives some great insight.
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:55 PM   #10
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Agreed. Very helpful, George and Lisa. Thanks.
X3 - thanks, that was a nice breakout!
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:58 PM   #11
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George
How do your camping fees work out per month when you add the initial fee + yearly maintenance fee + what you pay when you are there. I may be interested
Our initial fee was about $10K. We guess the average campsite is about $40/night (some lower/some higher). With those numbers at 250 nights we used the membership enough to cover our initial cost. We had camped more than 250 nights before we started full timing.

Then we pay $650 for yearly fees. So again based on $40/night; after 16 nights a year, we have paid for the annual fees.

So because we have already "justified" our initial cost; after 16 days we're ahead.

Most of the time we pay $0 to stay; but periodically we have paid as much as $5/night for an added resort fee or to get 50 amp.

We budget $200/mth just so we have money budgeted for the nights we are not able to stay in a membership park or have to pay any added resort fees.

This isn't for everyone, but for us it works great. Just like with any campgrounds, some are great, some are not great.
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:55 AM   #12
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George and Lisa, which one cost initial 10k? The ROD or Coast to Coast or a combination? Can you tell me how that works a little more?
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:39 AM   #13
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Thanks george that is very good information I will be checking into it
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Loving Life View Post
We have a Coast to Coast and an ROD (Resorts of Distinction). We also have Passport America. We full time and use our memberships 90 percent or more of the time. We pay about $650/year TOTAL for maintenance fees. For us this has been a very economical way to travel. Although they can have what may feel like a high startup investment; for us it has definitely paid off.

It is helpful to think about what type of camping will make you the happiest. For us, we prefer to stay in campgrounds because we like to take advantage of the amenities. We want to have water and electrical hook ups. We have done a little boondocking; but that has not been a great fit for us. We enjoy the “community” of the campgrounds.

Here are some thoughts:

Pros:
- We are able to keep our monthly campground budget under $200/mth (except for Rally month). LOVE the money we save. We have done the detailed financial analysis.
- Generally there are staff that can be contacted if there are issues with noise or security
- We like planning ahead and having reservations. Some public campgrounds don’t accept reservations.
- It is very easy to make the reservations by phone or online.
- We enjoy having and using the amenties. (pool, fishing, paddle boats, golf, etc)
- Membership representative have been very helpful.
- I don’t want to sound like a snob… but here goes… Campground memberships have an upfront investment so other campers tend to be respectful. (and if they aren’t the management will deal with it) If you have a tent and a little money you can bring all your friends, all of your kids, your cars and ATVs, along with your loud music and kegs of beer and hang out around the campground for the day and into the night.

Cons:
- There are some limitations on the length of time you can stay in most campgrounds. We generally move every week or so—but have stayed up to 3 weeks. So if you want to hang out longer, you will either have to pay more or move on.
- Campground locations may not be exactly where you want them to be.
- They are campgrounds, so there can be a lot of activity—so it is not the peace and quiet of wilderness camping.
- You may have to plan ahead—some campgrounds fill up fast during busy seasons.
- There is some overlap of campgrounds—this is a con because if you pay for 2 different memberships, don’t expect 2 different campground lists. Some resorts accept several memberships.
- Campground sites are usually smaller than state/federal park sites.

Sorry for the length, but hope it is helpful. We have really learned to use the membership systems and we are happy with this option for us.

WOW! So much good information (helpful for me to know for when owners ask). Thanks guys!
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Old 10-13-2015, 02:48 AM   #15
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George and Lisa, which one cost initial 10k? The ROD or Coast to Coast or a combination? Can you tell me how that works a little more?
The $10K is a combination of the two. We also have done a couple of membership upgrades to get us to the point that we are able to stay for free whenever we are in the ROD or Coast to Coast system. (With a few exceptions)

Both Coast to Coast and ROD memberships function about the same. Since I talked a little about the cost earlier, I won’t go into that again. But if you want more specific detail, I am happy to break it down more. I will say, an important detail to know… there are 3 different types of Coast to Coast memberships: Classic, Deluxe and Premier. Each resort will be one of these 3 types of resorts.

Our home park is in Monument Colorado. We are able to stay in that park for 14 days at a time and then we must be out of the system for 7 days and then we can go back for 14 days. We could do that forever.
Our home park is a Premier park and so we were able to have a Premier membership. With the Premier we are able to stay for $0/night at any park in the Coast to Coast or ROD systems. Classic parks we can stay for 7 days, Deluxe parks we can stay for 14 days and Premier parks we can stay for 21 days.

We have a directory of campgrounds that we choose from.

We map the direction we want to go and we see what resorts are “in our path”. We often will adjust our path to match where there are parks. (We are willing to change our path because of it being free.)

The “Readers Digest”: 1. We look at the directory and find a resort. 2. We go online and make the reservation. 3. We show up at the resort.

If anyone wants to talk to us directly to ask questions, we are also very happy to do that.

We have really learned to work within the system to save as much money as possible and still be where we want to be.

I also know there are some used memberships that are available to be purchased. Again, knowing the type of home park is really important before purchasing the membership—this will determine the cost per night and also how long you can stay at a park.
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Old 10-13-2015, 03:43 AM   #16
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We also belong to Coast to Coast, use it a lot. Not every night while traveling, but usually every other night. One we stay in every time we are in the Tucson area is the Voyager Resort, a very nice resort, not a "campground".

Fred
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:59 PM   #17
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We also belong to Coast to Coast, use it a lot. Not every night while traveling, but usually every other night. One we stay in every time we are in the Tucson area is the Voyager Resort, a very nice resort, not a "campground".

Fred
We stay at many that are definitely more resort than campground. Some resorts that I thought were great other people wouldn't consider for one reason or another. We have stayed at some amazing places through both memberships. Glad to know about the one in Tucson.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:00 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the info George and Lisa, do you mind listing a few of your favorite resorts from the 2 programs? It seemed like one focused in the NW and NE mainly with a few sprinklings in the south. What would you advise when picking a home base? Thanks again!

David & Lisa
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:51 AM   #19
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David & Lisa: why not take a look at Coast to Coast's website, it would show all of the campgrounds, including the areas you're interested. They have a description of the resort. Our home park is only about 10 miles from us, it is a nice resort and we camp there in the summer a lot. Pricing is kind of a moving target, you can often find someone that is interested in selling their membership for much less than the list price. Check Craigslist, etc.

Fred
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:43 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the info George and Lisa, do you mind listing a few of your favorite resorts from the 2 programs? It seemed like one focused in the NW and NE mainly with a few sprinklings in the south. What would you advise when picking a home base? Thanks again!

David & Lisa
Definitely look at the membership websites, We have enjoyed parks all around the country. Picking a home park depends some on what you plan to do with your membership. Our home park was 30 minutes from our house (before we started full timing). We have stayed at that resort a ton--so we were glad to have a home park that we would use. If you are planning to full time, I would suggest choosing a home park that is a premier park, that will allow you to stay for free at most campgrounds.
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