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Martin P
I've been an RV owner for about 4 years, so I'm still fairly new. I have some family trips coming up this summer and upon trying to secure an RV park, I was asked to attend a presentation on an RV resort Membership. Wanted to get some feeback on RV resort memberships. Has anyone participated in any? Are there some better then others? Pros and Cons? What to look for or look out for?

In the past I have only RV'd about 4-5 times a year, however if I made an investment, this might encourage me to go more.

Any information or thoughts on the subject, would be greatly appreciated.
Dakjoy
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We have been RVing for about the same amount of time as you. The only membership we've joined is Thousand Trails and we love it. We happen to have one of their campgrounds within 45 minutes of our home so it's very convenient.

Initial buy-in was $13,000, however, my brother-in-law, a member for a long time, was offered a deal and with it came six new memberships at $2,000. We figured what the heck. And we're happy we did it. However, I'd be leery of ones I don't know. As they become more popular, the fine print could be dangerous.

We do have an annual membership of about $400 but for us, it's worth it. The campgrounds are fabulous, most of lakes for swimming with beaches, great activities (we like to go for Thanksgiving every year - it's like eating with the Pilgrims and we always meet nice people.)

Good luck!

Dakjoy
John Blue
I would read all the reviews on this site before you buy into Thousand Trails system. That may change your mind. We have two here in FL. We have been in each and find them to be an old fish camp from the past. One is upgrading some sites but this will take years to work the hold park into a nice place to go. The other one will never change. Each one is also in a flood plain.
Jerry S
I don't know how much this will help you, but there are several old threads (Travel Resorts of America on page 3 (last post 11/11/08) and Thousand Trail Membership on page 4 (last post 08/26/08). Both are under Campground Discussions. I did not go back any farther.
campingandtravels.blogspot.com
We're members of K/M Resorts - they're more located in Washington state and one in Oregon (where we live). We joined after many years of RVing after we decided to hit the road and try full-timing/part-timing. However, it wasn't the K/M properties that interested us, but rather the RPI properties since they are more numerous and you can stay for $10/night.

We have mixed feelings on the purchase - it is nice that the big purchase amount is done, and we just pay $10/night when we stay at the parks (although some change $2 or $3/night for electric), but when we calculate the membership price & dues, it's not as inexpensive per night as we had thought. Some of the parks are nice, but many are outdated & although clean, need renovation.

As far as using the parks, honestly, if you're not using your rig a lot now, having a membership might not make any change - we always RV'ed before our membership - monthly or every 6 weeks for at least a weekend, so you may just feel guilt for not using the membership.

Finally, if you’re on the road a lot – FTing or PTing, then I think a membership system pays, but if you’re just using it a few times a year, it may not….. Definitely check out resale memberships – online you can find a lot – saves you a lot of money.

Good luck with your decision & happy travels!
Suzanne
www.campingandtravels.com

CheetahGirl
We are full time RVers and bought a Sunrise Resorts campground membership last year. Like the previous poster, it was the ability to get the affiliate memberships (RPI. AOR & ROD) that interested us. So far, we think it has been a good deal for us, because we are constantly on the road. But I don't think it would be cost effective if you are not using your RV at least 6 months a year and could find membership parks to stay in for 12 or more weeks during that time. It would take way too long to recoup the original buy-in price.
Denali
We have been full-timers since 2002. After less than a year on the road, we bought a membership in a "home park" in Tennessee simply to get access to RPI and Coast-to-Coast. The park membership cost us $259 with annual dues frozen at $39. We can drop it at any time. Add in the annual membership fees for RPI and C2C, and we are paying about $200/year to get access to hundreds of membership parks for $10/night, plus many more public parks for $15/night.

We bought our home park membership from Campground Membership Outlet. I really recommend calling these folks if you are considering a Thousand Trails or any other membership purchase. They have great fact sheets available and a big inventory of resale memberships at a fraction of the Thousand Trails initial price.

This kind of membership only makes sense for full-timers, I believe. Most of the membership parks are "destinations", not on the way to someplace else.

The one membership that makes sense for almost everybody is Passport America. That membership pays for itself in about two nights of use. We last renewed for three years for $109. Last week, we spent a week in a $40/night park for $20/night with Passport America.
pianotuna
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the good advice on campground "memberships". I am a Good Sam member myself--but only because as a self employed Canadian who travels in USA I want to have medical coverage.

Good Sam is covering me for a ten day trip (first two days free) in June for just under $33.00 Canadian.

Blue Cross wanted nearly 5 times that amount.

Does Passport America do medical insurance?
Denali
QUOTE(pianotuna @ Apr 12 2009, 12:19 PM) *

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the good advice on campground "memberships". I am a Good Sam member myself--but only because as a self employed Canadian who travels in USA I want to have medical coverage.

Good Sam is covering me for a ten day trip (first two days free) in June for just under $33.00 Canadian.

Blue Cross wanted nearly 5 times that amount.

Does Passport America do medical insurance?
No, Passport America doesn't do insurance.

I didn't know that Good Sam did. I thought the only benefit to Good Sam was the 10% discount at most campgrounds.
RVingTraveler
I would encourage to check out PassportAmerica.com. This program is open to everyone and cost less than $50 per year to join. There are parks all over the US and Canada. Each park sets up their own rules, i.e. number of days for discount, different days of the week, certain months of the year the park may not allow the discount.

We have been full-timing for almost 5 years. We are members of Coast to Coast and AOR through a membership park. WHEN we can find one of these parks along our travels, it is great to stay for $8 to $10 per night. However we probably stay in Passport America parks more often.

One of the good things about Passport America is you pay an annual fee to join - period. If you don't use their program, you have the choice to drop if without losing a lot of money.

We are currently at Campland on the Bay in San Diego, CA; paying half price (around $25 per night). The RV next door probably paid full price for the same benefits.
gilda
deleted

Texasrvers
I do not work for Good Sam, so I am not an authority; but I am a member so I looked in my membership handbook and found that they offer the following in the area of medical insurance:

Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+)--apparently this provides medical assistance while you are traveling including assistance getting home or getting relatives to you.

Life, Health and Accident Insurance

Health Insurance for Canadian Members or US Members traveling in Canada

I am assuming these are at a charge above the regular membership, and I don't know anything about them. I'm sure their website would have more information. We do carry (and have used) their Emergency Road Service and have been very pleased with it.

Hope this helps.
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