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Old 01-22-2017, 10:49 PM   #1
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What do you know/like about Discount clubs?

Good Sam, Passport America, Escapees, KOA, 1,000 Trails, Resorts of Distinction, AOR, Coast to Coast...which one do you use? Which would you recommend based on experience??

Help!
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:51 PM   #2
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The only one worth my money, is PA.

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Old 01-23-2017, 10:51 AM   #3
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I have a bit of a review on clubs and their benefits here:
Various Memberships for the Weekender and Fulltimer | Learn To RV

For me:

- Thousand Trails is what we use the most. 110 nights last year and I ended up with a nightly rate of $18 when you account for yearly dues, cost of the membership, and a per night fee here or there ($5 for 50-amp service).

- Good Sam because of the camping discount and discount at Pilot/Flying J. I think I get 6-cents off of the cash price or something. I use them because they're convenient and I can start the truck pump at the pump with it.

- Passport America isn't overly helpful as I rarely overnight. We stay for 1-3 weeks typically and the times that I've wanted to use Passport America, it was better/cheaper to take the weekly rate.

- However, I tried out Harvest Hosts for a couple of unique overnights. Money-wise, it was no savings once I paid for the $40/year membership and a small purchase at each stop. As I said, we don't do many overnights so we only got to use it twice. BUT- we loved both locations. I'd likely do this again; not for the cost savings, but for the experience. BUT- we also suck at boondocking + power management.

- Fulltime Families - I get no cost savings benefits. While they have agreements with parks to waive their kid tax (per kid fee), with only 2 kids- it's often cheaper to pay the weekly rate and get that discount. But like Harvest Hosts, I like the organization and what they represent.

- I tried a KOA membership last year (2016) but found I just didn't stay enough times to pay for the membership itself in savings. We generally avoid KOAs as I find them to be expensive (often nice, but expensive).

- I also joined Escapees but rarely get benefit out of it. It did cut the price in half for a stay in Texas. What I really liked what the individual wheel weights weighing.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:58 AM   #4
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Wow! Great information! Thank you!
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:17 AM   #5
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If you "Travel",PPA & Escapees pays for itself quickly! If you "Camp",not so much! Also depends what part of the "USA" and time of year! Youroo!!
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:55 PM   #6
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We use Escapee's and Good Sam. Both paid for the cost of membership on first stay. Good Sam was supposed to provide discount gas at Pilot but I have not figured out how. The pump does not recognize the card in every place I stop. Several Pilot stations did give me cash back for the purchase when I went to the fuel counter.

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Old 01-23-2017, 02:16 PM   #7
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One thing we discovered very soon into traveling was for the most part we didn't stay near most of these "club" parks.

We now only have Good Sam's now.

We tend to like the independents and how their customer service is usually.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:39 PM   #8
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Thousand Trails fits well on the East Coast and West Coast. We used 60 days in the West in 2016 and will use 150 days on the East Coast this year.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:39 PM   #9
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Passport America well worth the money. Most campgrounds in program are good some eh? There 's a web site and app for phone. New campgrounds added regularly and some drop out. Each campground has own restrictions on use Check it out
Good Sams is 10% off rate. We only belong to this because it required to belong to a local Good Sam camping Chapter perhaps something you d be interested in. Investigate And you save 3 cents at pilot/flying j gas stations - flying j s have rv lanes- much easier in and outs with rv Put your credit card in then prompted to put in rewards card (that's your Good Sam card) should deduct 3 cents from posted price if not go see cashier
KOAs are 10% off. Nice campgrounds but pricy
If or when your 62 get a Senior National Park pass. 50% off camping at National Parks and some other Govt camp areas such as Army Corp Engineer
Life Time Pass costs $10 plus entitles entry into parks and most Monuments
Have fun!!!!
PS. See if your state has some type of program.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:41 PM   #10
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I think it really depends on the kind of RV'ing you like to do. We have had Good Sam, Thousand Trails, Passport and KOA.
Dropped Thousand Trails
Dropping Passport on renewal.
Keeping Good Sam and KOA

We like not so much to camp as to visit new places in our "home". We like all the ameneties...nice pad, 50 amp, pool, wifi, cable etc. ...even if it is just for one nite.

We found NO Thousand Trails parks that did this even though we did have a nice time at a couple in a pinch. We also found their condition of facilities and roads and pads to be below average and needing funds which were not being spent on upkeep. That said...if you do a lot of extended camping and don't need all the ameneties...it is an excellent value. Just not for us.
Passport America parks seem to us to either be below par OR good parks but without use DURING peak season. If your needs are basic and you travel a lot...this is a great value since you are always going to find some locations near you at 1/2 price.
Good Sam is great for the 10% discount at some of the very best parks and the 3cent discount at the FlyingJ/Pilot pumps alone pays for the price of membership. Also gets you other discounts. The other thing it gives you is access to their on line service which includes park listings and ratings AND a great trip planner software application.
KOA we just joined this year since we were staying in a park for a week and the 10% discount was mor than the membership costs. We like most KOA's since most are well run and have a good selection of the ameneties we like. The 10% discount and bonus points make their otherwise high prices a bit more reasonable.
That's my take anyway...good luck with your decisions!
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Old 01-23-2017, 04:25 PM   #11
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Passport America is great for short stays if you travel a lot. I spent a week at each of three different 'resorts' in Mesa, AZ in November and saved a bunch (50%). And traveling across the country it is great for overnight stays. Good Sam is good everywhere for a 10% discount.
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Old 01-24-2017, 11:17 PM   #12
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Thank you so much for the great info!

We are completely new to this...so new that this weekend will be my first time in an RV!! (My husband worked in the oilfield and had to stay in travel trailers for 7 years, so I'm trusting he knows! &#128514

We both work full-time so we won't have as much time as we would want to travel yet...we plan to spend (God willing) at least 10 long weekends this year getting to know Parks, lakes and hiking trails around us.

Just got the Passport America for $44/yr and used a coupon for 3 months extra for free...we will stay 2 nights this weekend and already saved us $34!!! So I think this is great deal!

To save gas, let me suggest you guys get the GAS GURU app...It tells you where to get gas that is cheaper in your area...30 cents cheaper in some places around me, which is equivalent to Approx $6 every time I pump, so I will be watching that for sure!
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:18 PM   #13
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A great Thread for us newbies. Can the Gas Guru app be tailored for Diesel?
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:28 PM   #14
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Yes, it can be tailored for Diesel!
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Old 01-25-2017, 01:15 PM   #15
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I have used Gas Buddy for a couple years and really like it. (it's similar to Gas Guru).


The app is built for average folks not pulling a trailer that can whip into a 7-11 parking lot so be careful.
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