Earlier this year, we bought an RV resort membership based in Blaine, Wa. and so far we are very happy with it. We paid $4K for ours which includes most of the bells and whistles. Our home base resort park is nice - large, nicely treed, flat (easy walks), next to a State park on the beach, quiet, numerous amenities and near numerous attractions.
We can stay at the affiliates - Coast to Coast, RPI, Good Neighbors and Enjoy America. The only thing we'd like to upgrade to is shorter reservation booking time. Right now, we can only book 30 or 60 days in advance depending on which affiliate it is. We can also stay at Preferred Access condos around the world as part of our package.
We're currently on an 18 day camping trip. We stayed at one affiliate and it only cost us 35 cents a night! The Enjoy America one we are in at the moment on the Oregon Coast cost us $59 for 2 nights, but the place is like, WOW! Most of the affiliate campgrounds are $10 or $15.
DW is an accountant and great negotiator. DW did a lot of research on the internet and when we went to the presentation, she really squeezed them where it counts. Even when I thought she was done, she got free gas cards and some free camping for our friends thrown in. With the current state of the US economy, there should be more room for negotiating the best deals with RV resort owners. I should add that we "won" a $2,000 membership at our RV resort at an RV show. I think they give these away by the handful though anyway, so it's no big deal. For the $2K, you don't get much but we did get them to put it towards the new membership we bought. We probably could have gotten a good deal without the $2K prize.
As mentioned, you might also look for pre-owned memberships. I've seen some pretty sweet deals for sale that include things like NO annual dues.
We expect to do about 40 - 50 nights of camping this year. At this rate, we expect to pay off the cost of the membership in 3 years or less. After that, we will be saving a ton of money each year. The only caution I would have is if you expect to do a lot of travelling around the country and want to be able to book a site at an affiliate on short notice, you need to make sure you have that option included in your membership.
Gil & Deb & Dougal the Springer Spaniel