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> Passport America, Restrictions
Chuckl
post Jun 19 2009, 01:01 PM
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I have had and from reading a lot of the reviews a problem with PPA parks not so much because they tend to be shall we say "rustic" but because they all seem to have different restrictions granted you can browse the book and find them but i would be more willing to take a smaller discount and know that it will be the same any were i go with out showing up and being told only on Wednesday nite the 4th of the month and then only for 3 days at a time . I am about to not renew it because of the problems with this.
Am I the only one getting a belly full of this ??
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westernrvparkowner
post Jun 19 2009, 04:46 PM
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QUOTE(Chuckl @ Jun 19 2009, 01:01 PM) *

I have had and from reading a lot of the reviews a problem with PPA parks not so much because they tend to be shall we say "rustic" but because they all seem to have different restrictions granted you can browse the book and find them but i would be more willing to take a smaller discount and know that it will be the same any were i go with out showing up and being told only on Wednesday nite the 4th of the month and then only for 3 days at a time . I am about to not renew it because of the problems with this.
Am I the only one getting a belly full of this ??
To me, as an RV owner, not a park owner, the best benefit to Passport America is when I am traveling and need to overnight. It tends to pay for itself, but I do find many of the parks to not be the best in the area. I never look for a PPA park near any destination I am traveling to and plan to stay at for more than one night because I figure if they need to cut the price in half to get someone to stay it is either overpriced to begin with, the price is made up in added fees, the restrictions are so great it will negate the benefit or the park is truly a dump. I can stay just about anywhere to sleep for a night, but I take no chances with a place I plan to stay at for long than that.
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RLM
post Jun 19 2009, 06:12 PM
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QUOTE(Chuckl @ Jun 19 2009, 11:01 AM) *

Am I the only one getting a belly full of this ??


On a recent 2000 mile trip I had a choice of about a dozen PPA C/Gs along the route. I used four. None of those four were a 10-10-10, but thanks to the reviews on this website I was able to pick four that were quite acceptable. I didn’t bother checking, but if there were any restrictions for my discount, they weren’t enforced. When a campground is trying to hang on in today’s economy, I suspect the published restrictions go out the window.

I will agree with Western, the best use of the PPA system is for an overnighter. And I emphasis with Chuckl on the jumping thru hoops aspect. But I’ll play the hoops game for a 50% discount that will absolutely cover the cost of a PPA membership in 2-3 uses. Cost wise, it’s far superior to ALL of the 10% discount memberships.

I’m not disagreeing with your opinion of the PPA system Chuckl, but consumers jump thru some pretty asinine marketing hoops to get a discount. Everyone who has had their card punched for buying 10 pizzas in order to get a free one, raise your hand. Mine is raised.


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Denali
post Jun 19 2009, 06:34 PM
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Like most folks, I use PPA for overnight stops when they are convenient. Since it only takes two or three stays to amortize the annual fee, it's a no-brainer for us.

Sure, each park has it's own restrictions, but since I am reading the PPA directory to find a park, those restrictions are sitting right in front of me when I choose one. It's not exactly burdensome.


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Jerry S
post Jun 19 2009, 10:05 PM
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While I pretty much agree with most of the comments made by the previous posters in regard to PPA, my situation is a little different. The one park I stay at consistently (twice a year for 14 years) and the most days per year (15-20) is a PPA RV resort. It has all the whistles and bells (lodge, pool, cable, WIFI($), big, FHU, pull-thru sites, etc.) and the only restriction is 5 days at the PPA rate per month (the PPA rate must be used in a single stay). So, as long as I continue to stay here 10 days a year, my PPA dues are easily covered.

Unlike many of you, I seldom stop at a park that is only good for only sleeping. I rarely get to a park later than 4PM which allows for a unharried stetup and ample time for dinner, laundry, a dip in the pool, and/or whatever. So, when I am really "on the road", I tend to look for parks that will fill my wants. If it happens to be PPA and there are no restriction problems, it is a bonus. If is wasn't for the aforementioned RV resort, I probably wouldn't bother with PPA for the reasons others have mentioned.

For those who are curious, the RV resort in question is Paragon Casino RV Resort in Marksville, LA.
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nedmtnman
post Jun 20 2009, 09:17 AM
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We have had PPA for about 5 years and I have no problem with it. I always call ahead and when making a reservation ask if PPA is OK. That way I know up front what the deal is. We have stayed in some PPA campgrounds that were 8's or 9's and some that were not that good. Last year we save about $345 staying PPA and so far this year $135. We are fulltimers.


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We are now off the road but this is what we fulltimed in.
2003 Ford F-350
2003 Keystone Everest 343L
Bill and Bob guard cats.
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campNout
post Jun 20 2009, 10:33 PM
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I posted a comment about being a PPA Park and it was deleted.Why are posts removed, there was nothing out of the way in the post.??????????????????????????????????????????
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Florida Native
post Jun 21 2009, 06:35 PM
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The whole theory behind the PPA concept is to fill vacant sites that would otherwise be empty to help cover the fixed cost of a park. An owner who did not exclude nights lightly to be full anyway, would not be a good business person and would probably not have a good park anyway. If it were not for the restrictions, there would not be very many parks accepting PPA discounts. The restrictions are what make the concept work and we must understand them and not abuse the privilege. The Parks accepting them will range from the very expensive to the very cheap. My wife estimates we have used PPA about 100 times and it will run the whole range of quality. We have had a problem once, where an employee said something about “cheapskates”. (I enjoyed the fact that I was in a nice coach and she was working by the hour.) The owners are generally glad to have us as we help pay the overhead and a couple of rigs paying the $16 is a lots better than having nobody pay the $32. We stayed one night in a $80 waterfront park for $40 and it was a great place as many of the PPA parks are. I have also stayed in a $12 park for $6 and it served my needs well. We rarely know where we will be staying until 2 PM or so and then my wife (The straw boss of the outfit.) starts looking for a place in her 4 main books (Woodalls, Trailer Life, PPA, and Camp America) and the state park guide picked up along the way. We then call them and get the info as well as a “feeling” about the place. We also try to read the reviews generally around the area we think we might be stopping the next day if we have WiFi. PPA generally gets our attention first.


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Bud in Florida
post Jun 21 2009, 08:15 PM
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I use PPA in two ways. First, my favorite park in Fla is PPA for half the year and we go there alot and more than pay for the membership at that one park. I am currently in the midst of 7,000 mile 8 week trip and have used PPA a couple of times for overnight stops and once in Branson, Mo for a four night stay. The park in Branson was very nice and we saved a bunch of $$. The other parks have been in the 6 and 7 category-- OK for overnight, but not great. But then I do not stay in Wal-Mart lots over night and don't want to spend a ton for a short stay and PPA helps out. I am sure I have saved over a $100 using PPA. Worth it to me.
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moqui51
post Jun 25 2009, 08:27 PM
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I would say I agree with all the comments. smile.gif We have had some frustrating times with PPA and then again there are some parks that are wonderful and we will stay in them whenever we can. What is most annoying to us is all the stipulations you have to read and re-read. I would rather see all of the parks say you can stay at least two days, and extend if the management agrees. That way if they are slow they can get more income, and we would not bypass them because they have a 1 night limit. When we are traveling there are many times we need to have a down day to just rest, so we will bypass a park with a 1 day limit.

We have been on the road two months this trip and we have been in 2 campground that were so unacceptable that we felt they should not be in the PPA system. Another one acted like they did not want PPA people in the campground. They said on their front door they would only give PPA members water and electric. The book does not state this. They have been in the PPA for a long time, so they are just not telling PPA that they do not allow sewer. And, it doesn't seem to make sense to deny PPA sewer sites when the park is almost empty. We would just use the dump, so I don't see what the big deal is. Now if they are full, it is understandable. But, little things like this can be annoying. My husband said no thanks as there was another campground within an hours drive and we were there very early in the day.

I agree that if you stay in certain campgrounds for at least a week or two and you love the campground the membership is worth it. But, I can also see how frustrating it can be for those who are traveling a certain route and run into all kinds of conditions and restrictions, and lousy campgrounds.

I think that if PPA lets a campground in the system, someone should have been to the park to at least confirm what the write up says. We just stopped in one park that was so bad that it should not really be in this system. It was a very old and run down trailor park that just wants to squeeze in...and I really mean that...a few rvs if it can. The write up makes it sound like it is an RV park and it is not.

One more thing that we have found in some of the smaller, not so great parks is that their PPA stated price is just an inflated price to show half off to PPA, when in fact the price is the same to anyone who stops in. We stopped in two parks that were like this. In my opinion, that is not being fair to tell PPA that they offer half off their rates, when they do not.


I try to read all the reviews about the parks, and also add my own. It does help to get a feel for the campgrounds.


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ken and carol sunshine
post Jul 17 2009, 08:06 AM
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I agree that some of the parks are very nice and some are really bad. We've also run into a situation where the owner said they didn't offer the discount because it was low season and the rate was already reduced! PPA should definitely check into their parks.
Does anyone know how to contact PPA and give them "our" opinions on individual parks? This might be the only way to update the listings.
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Florida Native
post Jul 17 2009, 08:20 AM
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They have 2 websites and you can contact them thru there. PPA is really 2 different organizatons and has two owners each with a website. Without the restrictions, no RV owner would sign up. It is part of the deal and we must understand that. We almost never stay in an RV park that is totally full. Filling empty sites for half price is a good business decision. We love them and realize that we have to take the good with the bad. We usually look up a potential PPA site on Woodall's and Trailer Life to see what the scores are before calling them. The PPA campgrounds will usually be listed there and many are Good Sam. PPA is just something in the mix of getting a good deal.


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Neal
post Jul 17 2009, 08:49 AM
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I agree that Passport is just one of several ways to get a good deal on camping.

It is sometimes annoying though with the inconsistency of the parks, and some of the attitudes of the campground workers. I think some of them seem to try to make the Passport people unwelcome because they are getting the discount. They would rather get full price, but still want some business.

And, as mentioned many parks offer everyone the same discount, so to me that is not really fair to be advertising half price to Passport members, when they are offering that price to everyone. I think if you agree to half price to Passport, that should be half price of whatever you are offering to the general public. That way you are not overstating your fees. This happens a lot with the passport parks. I know of 3 that did this, and we did not stay in all Passport parks while traveling.

And, we are not full timers so we do use many parks as just a one night stop as we are traveling to our destination. It can get annoying when you run into several Passport Parks in a row that are not very nice. But, then you find a great one and stay for a week, and yes it helps to get the discount.

I always check the reviews on this site as I find they are usually pretty good about describing the conditions of the park. Every so often I see a few negative reviews and some great ones and I wonder if the park is posting the great reviews....especially if I have been to the park and know that it is not a great one. I know of one in the town we are in now that is exactly as the negative reviews state..yet there is a review that says they can't understand the bad reviews.

What is the website to contact Passport with reviews? And why are there two sites and two different owners? I did not know that. Please posts the links if that is ok.

Will go check the Passport website as it has been a while since I checked it.
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Florida Native
post Jul 17 2009, 09:03 PM
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http://www.passportamerica.com/

http://www.passport-america.com/

We have stayed in PPA campgrounds about 75 times and had one experience where the ranger (a snot nosed 19 year old girl) made a comment about us “discount” people. I figured I got there in a hundred thousand plus coach and she was working for minimum wage and laughed at it. I think the range of campgrounds with PPA is about the same as the set of whole campgrounds in general -- some of all kinds and qualities. With the restrictions to protect them, it is the smart business owner who decides to participate in the program. When I fill a site that would otherwise be empty, it is a win win situation for the campground and for me and only a poor business owner or a disgruntled employee doesn’t understand that. Running a business is a complicated deal and lots of employees think of the half they are not getting rather than the half they are getting. The restrictions are set up to keep the PPA times only when they are not going to be full anyway.

The two owner thing came up several years ago in a forum (maybe this one) by an employee of one of the owners. As I remember, one handles the East and one handles the West and they pool the campgrounds into one book. They seem to be growing in total number of campgrounds. I like the website without the dash myself.


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Lindsay Richards
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Formerly Lindsay Richards
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rgatijnet
post Jul 21 2009, 01:03 PM
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I use the PA whenever we get a chance. Like ANY park that we stay at, I check the review on this site prior to any stay. We very seldom spend more than one night in a location as we travel so most PA parks are fine for an overnight stay. That said, I am not opposed to turning my rig around and going somewhere else. To be fair, I have turned around at a few KOA's also. We all have certain expectations and since it is our enjoyment and money, I see nothing wrong with being judgmental of any RV park. If a PA park does not meet your standards, than by all means don't stay there. If you do stay, give it an honest review on this site. PA is a great way to save money but that does not guaranty that all PA parks are 10's. Many of us have stayed at a Walmart and I sometimes wonder what a review of their parking lots would be. Let's see, no electric, no water, no sewer, no WIFI, no cable, no dog walk, parking spaces too close to each other, traffic noise, and so on. Most Walmart parking lots would probably have a 1-2 rating. The price is right, and the convenience is also worth something. Some PA parks fall in the same category as Walmart. priced right and convenient, but not perfect.
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