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Old 07-17-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 82
Campground pricing

I am looking at going full time or at least half time. What do most of you do to conserve on the cost of campgrounds?

2012 Gerogetown 337XL
Tow Dolly

DW of 24 Years.
Hope to meet you on the trail.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:00 PM   #2
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Location: South Central Florida
Posts: 117
I think there is another informative thread on this...Surprisingly, many do the same as us.
We just went full time this week and plan to move around a lot - but will take advantage of off season rates and for month long stays, you get a discount.
We were extended stay from last Sept until FT. We bought a new RV in Sept and were given an Elite Good Sam membership (basically, we get 10% off on GS campgrounds and Camping World Stores), we bought a 15 month Passport America for $39.95 that gives 50% discount in their selected campgrounds (always read - we've discovered you get what you pay for! But for an overnight stay, we can tolerate about anything-except staying in a Walmart Parking lot - we're addicted to full hook ups!
The main place we began to stay in for extended periods was a KOA campground - near our daughter and reason now why we're in this RV finally (DH dreamed about it for years). We joined - I don't think we paid a fee - I don't recall! They are a bit expensive, but you get what you pay for! They are consistently clean and well-run. Once when making a reservation, they asked if I wanted to use any of my 45,000 points? I had no idea we also earned points in addition to the standard 10% discount! So we get a free night every once in a while!
My step dad and another long term traveler believed in RCI and 1.000 Trails and Coast to Coast. But they paid very high fees and in the end gave their memberships away to get out from under their maintenance fees.
Hope this helps and happy trails!

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Old 07-18-2014, 01:57 AM   #3
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Location: Tampa, FL
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We have been full time for over two years. Passport America is well worth having, although many campgrounds have blackout dates and stay restrictions. We enjoy staying at National Forests and Bureau of Land Management areas which are often free or low cost. Last winter I installed two solar panels on the roof to keep the batteries charged when we are camped without hookups. They have made a big difference.

The best way I have found to save money is to stay at a campground for a month. Between the often much lower monthly rate and not buying gas to move the Georgetown frequently, it is possible to see the country full time and stay within a budget. Fuel costs can quickly exceed campground costs if you move around frequently.

One of the biggest mistakes full timers make when they start is trying to see everything all at once. Travel slowly and take the time to see places.
2010 Georgetown 373
2013 Jeep Wrangler
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:15 AM   #4
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We absolutely love WorKamping! We never stay more than three months at any given campground and we only choose State Parks, Corps of Engineers parks and, in December, our first Fish and Wildlife Preserve in Texas. We have met so many great people that we keep in touch with and Park Rangers are the greatest. We generally work as campground hosts and have never been asked to work more than 24 hours a week for a free, 50 amp, full hookup site though we generally volunteer more time than that because we want to. Currently we are at a C.O.E. park in Alabama and our schedule is three days on and six days off. That kind of schedule allows us to travel the local area and really see what our nation has to offer. An example of our adventures are what we are doing right now: we are on our six days off so we packed up the Georgetown and left Demopolis, AL and headed for Nashville, TN. While here we visited, via our Wrangler toad, downtown Nashville and heard some outstanding country artists trying to break into the business (and the beer was cold and good), then the next day we went to Lynchburg, TN for the Jack Daniels distillery and yesterday we drove up to Kentucky to spend the day at Mammoth Caverns. We can afford to do all this on our fixed income because we pay no mortgage, no state taxes, no utilities, no campground fees and because we are volunteers we feel appreciated! It is the life for us. Something for you to maybe think about.
2011 Georgetown 378TS in FireMist
2013 Jeep Wrangler Toad
Kirby the Old Dog, passed but still in our hearts
Max E. Dog, the new pup
Eureka the Old Cat, still hangin' on
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:30 AM   #5
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Location: Beaver, PA
Posts: 911
Not sure how all the various 'membership' deals work, but we bought into a resorts of distinction campground. 10 years for $5500 (4 years ago) and go lifetime for $3k more.
There is an annual maintenance fee of $300. That gives us 100% free camping at any/all ROD member resorts. We are limited to 14 days at a time, then must leave for 7 days. There are blackout dates around holidays except at your home resort.

For $179/yr we also have access to AOR/ACN campgrounds for $1/night.

There are Coast to Coast and Travel Resorts as well (the last 2 CGs we stayed at (via AOR and ROD respectively) had big signs regarding affiliation with those organizations. No idea how they work, but I assume they're similar.

So our 10 year deal cost, total, is 5500+3000+1790=10,290 - or 1029 a year. Cheaper than a seasonal site around here in a crappy CG. And all the CGs we've stayed at are better than public ones.
Even with our very part time camping it's working out to $75ish a night - expensive for some areas but cheap for others, like our home resort area a summer friday is $99+.
But if you camped 365 then it's $3 a day...cheaper if you go beyond 10 years. We can 'convert' to lifetime for the $3k if we choose to do so and go FT for 10 years that's $479/year...I pay that now in elec/gas on my house alone each MONTH.
Chris, Wills (16) Evie (13) & Toby our collie (6)
2011 Grey Wolf 28BH
2013 Chevy K1500 Crew w/ Reese StraitLine Dual Cam

Nights camped 2011: 11 2012: 18 2013: 12 2014: 12 2015: 13 2016: 56 2017: 8+
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:48 AM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 544
We try to plan our trips so we can stay at a "destination" at least a month at a cost of around $750 (on average) and take day trips to visit whatever drew us to the area. DAILY costs (average $55/day) are almost on par with staying in a motel, so we avoid them whenever we can. Then we return to Florida in the fall and get a seasonal rate that can be as low as $625/month, with full hookup including WiFi and cable.... Happy trails
Dan, Carolyn & The Bandit (1999-2015 RIP...)
MCPO (Retired)
United States Navy ('65 - '87)
2014 Cedar Creek 38FL
2013 RAM 3500 6.7L diesel DRW Crew Cab
"When you get to the fork in the road, take it....."
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:43 PM   #7
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Location: Sunriver, Oregon
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We joined 1000 Trails back in 1999. Annual dues are around. $400. Frozen for the rest of our life. We can stay up to 21 days at any single resort. Then we have to be out for 7 days. 3 weeks in one place is plenty for us. We just move to another 1000 Trails Resort. Last winter we were gone for 3 1/2 months and only paid for 2 weeks at a non 1000 Trails resort. You can get transfer memberships pretty cheap I think.

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