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pianotuna
Hi,

I'm considering joining one of the 1/2 price camping clubs. How many of them are there?

So far I have heard of:

Happy Camper
Passport America
CCUSA

But know nothing about them really. Please reply with your favorite discount club. Thanks in advance.
Kirk
Those are the only three that I am aware of as well, and we are far from new. We are members of Passport America and have been for more than five years. We find that with a cost of only $44/year, it is very easy to save the cost of membership in a year. I think that you will find that Passport America and Happy Campers have many of the same members, but you might find more western members in Happy Campers and more eastern in Passport America, or so I have been told. To date, I have not verified that.

On the other one, it is an attempt by the parent company of Coast to Coast, Good Sam, Camping World, and such to get into the discount market to compete.
pdq
We just joined (as in last week) Good Sam. Was at an introductory price of $13.00 - so thought it was worth a trial. Got a $25.00 coupon towards a free night of camping - that alone will pay for the fee!
mpj
QUOTE(pdq @ Sep 14 2008, 11:06 PM) *

We just joined (as in last week) Good Sam. Was at an introductory price of $13.00 - so thought it was worth a trial. Got a $25.00 coupon towards a free night of camping - that alone will pay for the fee!


From a campground owner: just so you know - Good Sam Club Discount is 10% at all Good Sam Parks, and is good on daily rate only (not weekly, monthly or special rates). That is the card you purchased for $13.

The club Kirk referred to (that Good, Sam, Camping World, Coast to Coast and Woodall's (AKA Affinity Group) is doing a joint venture on) is called CAMP CLUB USA. That is the one you need to join for your 50% discount. Price for that is around $50, less if you are a member of Good Sam. If you are a Good Sam member and a CAMP CLUB USA member, please do not expect 50% discount at a Good Sam Park unless they are also member of CAMP CLUB USA. Not all Good Sam Parks are members and it is always best to ask at the time of making your reservation. A team from Woodall's rates and inspects CAMP CLUB USA campground members.

Aside from that I really do not know much about the club because we are not members. Hope this clears us any confusion. Or did it make matters worse???

Thanks for listening.
pianotuna
Thanks for the information.

Being a campground owner do you know of any other 50% discount clubs?
Parkview
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As another campground owner, those are the only 3 that I know of. We accept all three, but my personal preference as a campground owner is Passport America, and they are the only one whose memberships we sell at our campground. They are always curteous and instantly responsive when we call them to verify membership of campers who have misplaced their membership cards. They send us directories and and membership supplies in a very timely manner. Their office was closed only for a few days during Hurricane Katrina even though their headquarters were right in the bullseye in Long Beach, Mississippi.

Doug
DRS
I too was looking into some of the camping clubs, because I thought it would pay for itself through the discounts offered. I looked into passport-america and camp club usa. I checked to see if the rv parks in the areas I frequented were members. (Some were, most were not). I then noticed that the parks that were members all had some condition that applied to receive the discount. The parks restricted the number of days the discount applied (2 to 3 days). The discount did not apply to weekends or holidays. AND the discounts only applied to their off season. So, if I became a member, to get the discount, I would be very limited in my choice of parks, I could only use them Sunday through Thursday for a maximum of two to three days, and I could only use the ones in the High country during the winter (too cold) and the ones in the desert in the summer (too hot).

Since I work for a living, I rv mostly on the weekends and I like going to the high country in the summer and the desert in the winter. So it appeared there was no way to receive a discount even if I were a member.

I know I have probably over simplified my research, but the restrictions were enough to convince me that the clubs would not benefit me.
Lee and Fran
When I was a member of Passport America we did not get 50% for weekends, weekly, or monthly. Only weekdays. I hear they do it for weekends now. I also heard that none of the 50% clubs gives discounts for more than daily stays.
Lindsay Richards
Passport America is always our first option. My wife has it on the dash at all times and it has saved us hundreds of dollars. They have about 1500 campgrounds which is about twice as much as the others. Having said that, I believe we will join the others before our next long trip. Using it just a couple of times will pay it off. I have notice that some campgrounds will put you in the less desirable sites, but thatís no problems for us as we love to walk. We had one instance in Suwannee Florida where the campground employee was a little snippy about the half price thing, but it didnít bother me. Saving $22 was good for us. Many campgrounds will have varying restrictions such as 2 nights, no holidays and so forth, but they are well stated and itís just them being good business people. Why do half price if you were going to be full because of the tulip festival? Most of the campground owners I have discussed it with are look at it as a way to defray overhead as it is money coming in that they would not have received. I think some might tend to look at the half they didnít get rather than the half they did get though.
Parkview
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Hi all,

On previous posts, I have discussed some of these issues. We accept all of the above named memberships within our restrictions. We set the restrictions, not the camping club. If it were otherwise, I would not accept any of them. Why would I or any other Park accept a !/2 price reservation during seasons or other times when we are turning away people willing to pay full price? During our Summer season, we turned away apporximately 2500 people this past Summer, and we are already 93% booked for next Summer, so there is no way we are going to accept a reservation during that time frame for any of the 1/2 price clubs.

During our off-season, we accept them without restriction because our off-season monthly rate is actually less than the 1/2 price rate, but that is our decision, not he discount club's. The 1/2 price rate only applies to the non-discounted daily rate on all of the clubs, not the weekly, monthly, seasonal, Good Sam or other discount rates, and that fact is fully disclosed by all of the clubs in their literature and directories. No one discounts a discount. You must choose which discount rate will apply best for you.

As we move forward and we begin to fill up on weekends or holidays during our off-season, we too will probably further restrict our off-season acceptance of the 1/2 price discounts to weekdays, non-holidays, or limit the number of days of acceptance. We only participate in the 1/2 price clubs in order to put people into empty sites during our slow periods and to further expose our park in their directories to customers who would not otherwise find us.

I hope this helps explain the different restrictions found in the directories among different Parks. The clubs have no say-so into when the participating Parks accept the discounts or on any other restrictions placed by the Parks. Different Parks have different busy seasons and/or different fully booked weekends, holidays, or local festival events.

Agian, thanks for letting me put in my 2 cents worth.

Doug
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pianotuna
Hi Parkview,

It is always good to hear the owner's side of the equation. What you are saying makes a lot of sense. But then, you are a sensible kind of guy.

It's good to hear how well your park is doing.
Lindsay Richards
On another forum, there were some campers who complained bitterly about the restrictions of weekends, holidays, max number of nights and so forth for Passport American. I posted my opinion that it really seemed stupid to complain about it. It is all well stated in the book and website and seems strange to complain about not getting enough of a gift. From a business standpoint, the restrictions make perfect sense and without them, there wouldnít be discount clubs. The deal is that the camper is getting a cheaper rate on a site that would otherwise be empty and might very well like the campground and come back and send their friends to it. It is supposed to be incremental income or income that would not otherwise be had. Seems like a win win situation to me.
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