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Post Info TOPIC: Newbie needs info on travel clubs....


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Newbie needs info on travel clubs....


I have been doing some research on several travel clubs and notice that most will not let you stay over a 3 day period. Do any of you belong to more than one or how do you handle this if staying for like a week or so?  And recommendations of travel clubs would be appreciated.Thank you so much, P.K. in La. 



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What kind of travel clubs are you looking at?

Jim

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Not sure what you mean by travel clubs (Western Horizon, RPI, Coast to Coast etc)? It all depends on how you travel. We go different places staying a month or less with lots of 1-2 day stops. Passport America and Good Sam work for us giving us a % off of the daily rate. If we stay a month the Good sam and PA are usually of no benefit as their discount is only on the daily rate. In the odd case PA can be used on weekly and monthly rates but not often. Membership parks (if that's what you are referring to) severely limit where you can go. At this point they do not seem beneficial to us but maybe in the future. A number of membership parks do limit your stay to a few days or weeks.  Membership parks offer deeply discounted rates in exchange for the start up fee and small choice on parks available.



-- Edited by igotjam on Friday 23rd of August 2013 02:41:07 PM

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I've heard Passport America is a good one. Seems to good to be true for $44.00 yearly membership. Are there any others? We'd like to stay in place from a couple day to a few weeks..



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igotjam wrote:

Membership parks (if that's what you are referring to) severely limit where you can go. At this point they do not seem beneficial to us but maybe in the future. A number of membership parks do limit your stay to a few days or weeks.  Membership parks offer deeply discounted rates in exchange for the start up fee and small choice on parks available.



-- Edited by igotjam on Friday 23rd of August 2013 02:41:07 PM


 Membership parks do not severely limit where you can go.  You can go anywhere you want to - sometimes there will be a park there that you can use and save money on that portion of the trip, other times not.   We use membership parks for about 100-125 nights a year saving us several thousands of dollars each year in park site fees.   Often we stay for $0/night at these park - the highest being $10/night.  But we always spend several weeks on the west coast where there are a lot of membership park, so for us it really saves money.

Passport America, which is a 50% discount usually limits the number of nights to 2-3.  The idea is for travelers to stop for a night and fill a site that would otherwise be empty.   We try to find PPA parks when we are in point A to point B mode - usually pays for itself the first 2-3 nights on the road each year.

We also have an Escapees membership (in addition to Good Sam) and a lot of places will give Escapees a 15% discount (some even 50%) plus there are Escapees Parks and Co-Op parks where we stay for very little per night.

 

Barb

 



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It's All Going To Depend On Where And How You Want To Travel


Right now we have zero membership parks, tending to be off grid type travellers.   However, we have checked into where we intend to travel and how and what options are available for the areas and have decided for our first year out on the road FT, we will likely get just these two: Escapees ($30) = services offered and for the price plus checking into some of their parks and amenities and areas covered looks awesome value. Secondly would be Passport America = for $44 a year, just a couple nights stay would pay for itself for laundry, tank cleanings etc before going back out to the boonies. Have heard some of their parks are really run down and some are pretty good = depends what you are looking for I guess on perceived value of the beholder.

I would check under each membership the CG's offered in the areas you intend to travel and make your decision from there.

Another one we think if still available and we end out East in a few years again, where it's quite expensive for CG's is the ReadyCampGo.com 30 or 60 day option that calculates out to some nice resorts at $20 + $3 resort fee plus about $3 per night if using all the nights available for the $100 or $200 options. Therefore a reasonable resort in a high demand area for $26 a night seems a pretty decent deal. These are Encore and Thousand Trails I believe.   We will however do much more research into the parks on offer before committing to this pass.

As for the others like Thousand Trails Zone passes or otherwise such as RPI, C2C, based on comments we have read for a long time we'd be reluctant to commit the dollars to them until having done tons more research on what they offer in the areas we intend to travel, and most importantly ongoing charges for the membership once bought whether new or a resale. Also read of a lot of folks getting several memberships first year or two out on the road and then eliminating many down to just two.

Also don't forget other ones such as Harvest Hosts (free camping at places such as wineries, farms) - key here is to make sure they are not too far off your intended route or the savings are mute based on extra gasoline or too rural a location from attraction you are mainly headed for. Boondockers welcome appeals to some folks. Check out all the websites for the programmes, cross check some of the offerings if they beat to your drum, and decide what might work for the way you intend to travel.



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RE: Newbie needs info on travel clubs....


If you are looking for an inexpensive club, like Passport America, we have used Recreation USA and find its member CGs lave far less restrictions as to length of stay, blacked-out days, etc. Though as a trade off they have far fewer participating campgrounds than Passport. We haven't been a member for a few years, but at that time almost all were only $10/night (though some charged an extra $2-$3/night for 50 amp service). I think this may have changed somewhat as everything goes up, right? Just be sure to look at the availability of RV parks in the areas you want to stay before you join as a few states have no member campgrounds. When you join you get a second membership in their second discount club, "all campgrounds for less" which has a few more parks available, but only offers a 25% discount - though still better than Good Sam's measly 10% savings.

www.campingandcampgrounds.com/

Chip

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Good Sam's 10% savings is often available for other groups, including AARP, AAA and FMCA. If you are a member of those groups you probably do not need to be a member of Good Sam if all you want is 10% off the daily rate.

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I was planning to join Passport America and Escapee's, but from this post, it doesn't seem like many think joining FMCA is worth the benefits.

Does anyone belong to FMCA - Why or why not?

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We have been members of FMCA for a long time. Benefits that we care about are a magazine and a bare bones medical evacuation plan. We have also gone to and even worked some of the rallies.

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I encourage you to keep researching different "memberships" and "clubs". We have several "memberships" that work for us, but how you choose to travel and how you choose to stay in an area will need to be your deciding factors. We have that id we are staying in one of our "membership" campgrounds or one that is giving us a "membership" price, they will usually offer something similar in price or at a deeply discounted price if you want to stay a few days longer, if you ask.

The "memberships" that we have found work good for us cost wise is Thousand Trails, Resort Parks International and Passport America. We are also Good Sam and Escapees members, but rarely use their discount parks as the other 3 usually have a better price in the areas we have traveled so far.

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We have Thousand Trails (TT) and Passport American that we use about 80% of the time. For the other 20% we use Good Sam, FMCA and AAA. We like to park hop with TT staying 4 days and moving to the next one and staying 4 days and so forth. TT represents about 100 nights a year for us and to this point have been good to us.

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TT seems like a great deal if you full-time and can take advantage of their campgrounds in one of their five zones.  Two questions:  1.) Do those of you who have this membership buy more than one or two zones for the year?  2.) Also, any issues with getting reservations in any of their campgrounds?



-- Edited by Jake62 on Sunday 12th of July 2015 03:16:27 PM

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Tim & Cindy



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Usually you get 2 for the price of 1. Plus once a year you can change zones at no charge. Right now we have northwest and southwest, but if we head east we'll swap the west for the east so to speak.

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There is only 1 time we could not get into a TT park and that was in Seaside, OR. They have a dozen or so parks that are real popular, but we have only had a problem with Seaside. We normally only have 2 zones at a time. No problems at all when we were on the east coast.

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Ken any issues getting your Monaco into any of the TT parks? Not sure what your length is.

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Just 2 that I can remember, 1 on the east coast and 1 on the west coast. But was able to get into both of them. Some of the roads get a little narrow and this makes it a little harder to back into a tight camp site.

Diesels have a real tight turn radius which means you can back into almost any site, it's the front end swing you have to watch on narrow tree lined roads as you back in. Most pull through sites are not an issue.

My coach is 40 ft.



-- Edited by Trabuco on Sunday 12th of July 2015 07:25:09 PM

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Ken, which west coast park did you find pretty narrow? Palm Springs in the 50 am section? The big palm trees there can really make it hard to back in, plus everyone has their cars in the road - - always have to ask people to move cars so you can get in and out!

Barb


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Barb,

I haven't been to Palm Springs so that's not it. Looking through my notes I came across 2 parks in the Northwest. Seaview, Wa due to the fact their campsites are at a 90 degree angle to the road. Two campers across from us had to move their tow vehicles so we could get in. But that's typical for Seaview, I guess.

The second park was South Jetty in the A loop. Why I picked the A loop I have no idea. Much better access in the other loops.

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Go to a the blog "rvlove.com" Julie Bennett has

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My phone has a mind of its own! "Rvlove.com" great post TT and TT zone pass.

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We currently have a 2 zone TT pass - northeast and southeast, which we got as a 2 for 1 show special plus $200 off b/c we were staying at an Encore Park while there and we got the TT Encore discount for that stay. Plus we had them throw in a Ready Camp Go card - the silver one. Total cost to us was about $500 including tax. We got it knowing we would stay at at least 2 expensive northeast parks. We figured even if we only use the 30 included (I hate when people call them free - you paid the membership didn't you?) the cost p/night would be less than $17. That is an awesome rate to pay when other parks in the area are $65+! Not sure if it will fit in with our plans next year - will have to wait and see. We do know people who have Elite and other memberships with TT - most like them and suggested to us to get one "used" through a broker to save $$$ if you want one - they saved thousand of $$$.

We also have Passport America which has paid for itself many times. We have Good Sam, which we got on some special deal - probably won't renew. We are also Escapees but for more than the campgrounds - we like the magazine and just supporting a great organization.

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We hosted a video talk on this subject a few months back that goes over many of these clubs - their benefits and when they make sense. Might be helpful in your research:

www.technomadia.com/rvclubs



-- Edited by Technomadia on Wednesday 15th of July 2015 11:56:52 AM

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