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jags1
post Oct 21 2011, 06:51 PM
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We just got our new rv and are trying to decide what clubs are beneficial. I joined Good Sam and now am wondering about Passport America. Can anyone tell me if it is worth joining.Thanx
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John Blue
post Oct 22 2011, 09:54 AM
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Yes, we use it and others. This subject has been on line here in the past. Do a search and you will find it. smile.gif



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John
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joez
post Oct 22 2011, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE(jags1 @ Oct 21 2011, 06:51 PM) *

We just got our new rv and are trying to decide what clubs are beneficial. I joined Good Sam and now am wondering about Passport America. Can anyone tell me if it is worth joining.Thanx

We use Passport America parks normally during the voyage from one destination to the other. We generally choose where we want to stop for the night and then are pleasantly surprised when we find out they are PA members. We recover our annual dues after just a couple of nights. For us the PA is much more useful than Good Sam, and you do not get a mountain of junk mail from PA like GS sends.
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hoefler
post Oct 22 2011, 09:32 PM
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QUOTE(joez @ Oct 22 2011, 05:26 PM) *

We use Passport America parks normally during the voyage from one destination to the other. We generally choose where we want to stop for the night and then are pleasantly surprised when we find out they are PA members. We recover our annual dues after just a couple of nights. For us the PA is much more useful than Good Sam, and you do not get a mountain of junk mail from PA like GS sends.



Us too!
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jan-n-john
post Oct 22 2011, 10:13 PM
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QUOTE(joez @ Oct 22 2011, 06:26 PM) *

For us the PA is much more useful than Good Sam, and you do not get a mountain of junk mail from PA like GS sends.

Good Sam is a "membership organization" mostly as a front for its multitude of financial and insurance businesses (the reason for the junk mail), along with Camping World, Woodall's, RV.net, and some other park discount deals. All one group of companies under common ownership. It used to be known as Affinity Group but AG recently changed its name to Good Sam LLC, and made GS LLC a subsidiary of Affinity Group Holdings, Inc. Corporate games. It is most assuredly not a non-profit, membership, mutual help organization as it might appear.

Affinity does a pretty good job of obscuring all this, but with some searching it is possible for anyone who is interested to put it all together. They are in business to make money (they make lots of money); helping out RVers is just an entry point to start the cash flowing. Not exactly Samaritans.

Anyway, if you join Good Sam, be prepared to be hit with endless junk mail touting stuff from all the other companies under the Affinity Group Holdings umbrella. Your choice. Caveat emptor.
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Florida Native
post Oct 23 2011, 09:25 AM
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We love Passport America and their new smart phone app. It is my wife's first choice when looking for a campground. Can't beat half price (except Wal-Mart). We figure we have stayed at them at least 125 times. Several myths about them that I would like to dispel. Myth one. The campgrounds are all old, beaten up worn out campgrounds. This has not been our experience at all. The mix of campgrounds is about the same as in Woodalls and Trailer life. Myth two. The restrictions are too hard and make it unusable. This too is false. Campgrounds are businesses and they want to make money (sorry Occupy Wall St.) An empty camp site is worthless. A campground has fixed costs like mortgage, taxes, TV, internet, labor, ETC and variable cost like electricity, water, sewage, and wear and tear. When renting a site that would otherwise be empty, fee charged has to cover the variable costs and then everything else goes to pay off the fixed costs. This is the reason for the restrictions. PPA restrictions to fill sites that would otherwise be empty. It makes no sense for an owner to rent a space at half price the weekend when the NASCAR race is going on, so they block it out. Just good business. Some RV'ers get mad at this. I look at it as if there were not the restrictions, then there would be no half price at all. It has to be win:win for the owner and the RV'ers. There is no free lunch and it has to be good for both. We have had camp ground owners say the variable cost are around $3 to $6 per night. This varies a lot between campground and other things like weather. Some times we run the AC the whole time and others we don't use hardly anything. We dump every 3rd or 4th day. We also have Camp Club America along with PPA. A strange fact is that PPA is actually too companies that share the name and campground.They have two offices and two websites. Get their free smart phone app or Android or IPhone.


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Lindsay Richards
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Formerly Lindsay Richards
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RLM
post Oct 23 2011, 07:36 PM
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Good Sams is in the same league as AARP. They both are predatory and offering something far less than what a paid membership is worth. I think that you might come to that conclusion as your mailbox fills with commercial junk mail from Good Sam.

jan-n-john provided about the best impassionate explanation of facts on Good Sams that I have ever read. Ive been doing this RV thing for two decades.

Based on my long term membership with the company, some PPA campgrounds are real dumps and some are first rate. But that can be true with your selection of any facility from one of the mainstream campground publications. And this website can provide some reasonable reviews to help you make an educated decision between dump and first rate.

Lindsey provided a bunch of info but the most important part of that post was the statement.. Can't beat half price.

May I respectfully suggest that you stop joining any clubs until you get some RVing experience under your belt. Then you will know a good deal when you see it.

Happy RVing.
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RV Camper
post Oct 24 2011, 08:13 AM
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Passport America is an excellent organization and they do exactly what the profess to do. They connect you to RV parks who are willing to allow you to stay in them for 1/2 of the usual rate, in order to fill sites that would not otherwise be rented out. For that reason the parks are always either farther from the main routes or older, or sometimes brand new and do not yet have a clientele.

No park would join any discount group unless they had sites that were not renting for the full rate. Simple logic should tell anyone that. We have found that those which are most convenient are usually older but are just fine for a night or two. There are other parks in the system that are there because they are not close to the highway but which are nice parks and so they do this in order to get people to drive farther to stay with them. There are also some member parks that are destination parks who sell most sites to longer term visitors and who use the PA membership to fill sites that would otherwise be empty.

Most PA parks limit the number of nights that you can stay at the discounted rate, while others only give the discount during their slow season. It is an excellent way to safe money while traveling if you are not picky about the parks where you spend the night. For those who require the most impressive parks with all amenities, they my not be satisfactory. Remember that with PA and their competitor, Happy Campers, you pay less than $50 for a one year membership and if you feel that you don't get the use from it to justify the cost, then you simply do not renew at the end of the year. In a five month trip we spent 19 nights in PA parks and we saved more than $250.


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Good travelin !..............Kirk
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URL: www.adventure.1tree.net
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nedmtnman
post Oct 24 2011, 08:33 AM
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Last year we spent $311.42 at PA parks. That means we saved $311.42. We have been PA members for several years. Being full timers it really helps.


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We are now off the road but this is what we fulltimed in.
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Florida Native
post Oct 24 2011, 04:21 PM
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QUOTE
No park would join any discount group unless they had sites that were not renting for the full rate. Simple logic should tell anyone that.



This is almost never true year around. The campground uses the restrictions option of blocking out certain dates or seasons. It is right there in their book or Smart phone app and can easily worked around. Many times we call in the restricteed time period and the owner goes ahead and honors it if they have a lot of sites open that day. I have found that many great location campgrounds belong to PPA. It seems to me that it depends on the level of business sense the owner has. An unrented site is just like lettuce. If you can't sell it today, the revenue is gone forever. Selling nightly rentals is like selling a perishable product. If a campground has 200 sites and 75 rented at regular price, he would feel a little better having and additional 8 at half price. Most of the money goes straight to the bottom line. Many PPA's also require cash only to save the credit card fees and to a small business cash is always a big plus. Remember, if it wasn't for the restrictions, then there would be no discount clubs. They are what gets us the discounts and we can't be mad at them.


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Lindsay Richards
http://www.linandnancy.com
Formerly Lindsay Richards
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Tallboy
post Oct 24 2011, 04:22 PM
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We are full-time RVers plus workamp. So going from job to job using Passport America has been worth having. About a year after having it they sent us chance for a lifetime membership and that has paid for itself too.
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FranznHilga
post Dec 10 2011, 06:28 PM
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Yes! We love Passport America and always find the participating parks what we are looking for. I usually look for Passport Parks when traveling and then go to this site for RV Park reviews just to see what travelers are saying about them. We are full timers so we also like Passport America's MYRVMail system that allows you to have a physical address in Florida and have your mail forwarded anywhere you are in the country biggrin.gif .


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Franz & Hilga
www.yourfulltimervliving.com
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JDRobar
post Dec 14 2011, 06:55 PM
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Jags1, this year was our first year RVing, pretty much full-time since Aug 20th. Without a doubt Passport America has paid for itself, three times over.

There are some places that will only take it for a few days and a lot of others not at all, but at half-price it is always a savings when they do.

If I had to make the choice again I would do without hesitating.
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Chuckl
post Dec 15 2011, 07:14 AM
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I too use PA but they do have some parks I wouldn't stay at also I don't like being put in the bad section of parks just because I am passport america especially when the good section sits there open all nite. I just don't go back to those parks
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Traveling man
post Dec 15 2011, 11:27 PM
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I've used Passport America for several years, and feel it's a great value. When I first joined I decided that it was worth the trial, and would only renew if I saved more than the fee. That's easy to do, and I finally renewed for 3 years, as my annual savings was good each year. As with anywhere some parks are wonderful, some are not. In general I've been happy with the quality of the parks, and never had a case where it was not honored at a participating park. In fact I've even had where a park manager offered to exceed their stated time limit at the discount rate if I wanted to extend my stay (I was moving on, but appreciated the offer). Why would someone offer the discount? One park owner told me that he really loves Passport America because most of the business he gets from it would be people staying elsewhere anyway. He said that his park is not as visible to travelers going down the freeway, so they tend to stay at the competition. When his phone rings it's more often than not a Passport America member.
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