Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Campground Membership
RV Park Reviews Campground Discussion Forum > RV Park and Campground Discussions > RV Park Discussions
grim509
My family and I have been camping for several years. We have an older pop-up camper and would like to go camping even more. We've been thinking of joining either Thousand Trails or Coast to Coast.

Could anyone shed some light and recommend which one to join? We live in Burlington County, New Jersey, sort Mid-South Jersey. I do know there are no Coast to Coast CG's in the immediate area, which makes me want to lean towards Thousand Trails.

We plan to go at least one full week a year on vacation, and I have 3 day weekends every-other weekend, and would like to go on those as well. Our weeklong vacations would probably be a little father from where we live, as far east as Ohio, as far north as NH or Vermont, and as far south as Virginia, possibly the Carolinas. For the 3-day weekends, I'd like to be able to stay within a 2 hour drive from us, Eastern PA, Jersey, Delaware, Maryland.

Either one of those memberships, or if you think a discount club like Good Sam or Passport America would be a better fit, that would be helpful info as well.

Any insight and suggestions would be great.

Thanks!
abbygolden
MY choice, if I had a pop-up, would be not to join a membership club, but rather to enjoy ANY CG of my choice within the range I choose.
Denali
Thousand Trails and Coast-to-Coast are very different memberships.

A TT membership will cost you thousands of dollars (much less on the resale market), plus annual dues. TT owns its parks and their use is largely limited to TT members. TT has about 80 parks nationwide.

A C2C membership is very inexpensive, but C2C owns no parks. To join C2C you first must purchase a membership in a park that participates in the C2C network, then you join C2C. You then pay annual dues to both your home park and to C2C. As a C2C member, you can stay in any of the participating parks for $15/night, if they have sites available from those that they allocate for C2C members. There are a few hundred C2C parks. The vast majority of those parks are available to the public.

Personally, I don't think any membership other than Passport America makes sense unless you plan to spend at least a month in the membership parks every year. For TT, you can later sell your membership, but you will probably take a loss on it. With C2C, you can walk away from your C2C membership any time, but you still have your home park membership to deal with and pay annual dues on.

Do you really want to commit to spending all your vacation days for the foreseeable future in a handful of parks nationwide?
pianotuna
Hi,

I agree with Denali. Unless you full time such memberships are a loosing proposition financially.

I'd go with Passport America first. It is very inexpensive and has no long term commitment. YMMV.

Passport America

(I have no connection to Passport America, nor am I a member)
RV Camper
For a pop-up, I really think that you would find it much more effective to spend time in state, county and federal parks when you travel. Those campground groups are aimed mostly at people who come in larger RVs and who wish to be entertained and are willing to pay for it.

Even if you are a fulltimer, as we are, it is still not a clear cut case of being cost effective. Before you spend any money, take a good look at where the parks are and how often would you actually use them.
grim509
Thanks for all the advice! I do belive that Thousand Trails and Coast to Coast are now out of the equation. Still in the air as far as Passport America, because they only have a few CGs within reasonable distance from us for weekend trips. Also, with most CGs offering discounts for weeklong stays, we may be better off not getting any memberships. I do plan on camping quite often this year and in the future, hopefully almost every other weekend this summer.

I do kind of want the nicer CGs on these weekends for the entertainment. Weeklong trips, we don't use the CG much but for sleep anyway, but weekends will be for getting the kids away from video games and outside lol. So a Passport membership may be worth it, though we are limited on the number of Passport CGs in this area. According to reviews on this site, only about 10 or so are within weekender distance.

I do like state parks, but unfortunately, they don't offer much for entertainment, and that's what we're looking for on the weekends. Do you think the $44 membership to PA would be worth it if we go for at least 6 weekends and maybe a week this summer?

Thanks again, I love this site and all the great info!
Denali
QUOTE(grim509 @ Jan 17 2010, 08:24 PM) *
Do you think the $44 membership to PA would be worth it if we go for at least 6 weekends and maybe a week this summer?
The PA annual membership fee pays for itself in approximately two-three nights, so it's almost always worth buying.

Since you want to use it for parks close to you, you should look at the details of each of those parks on the Passport America Web Site. You will find that each park has its own restrictions. You may well find that none of the parks near you offer the discount on weekends, for example.

You can buy the PA membership at the desk of any participating park, so there is no need to do anything in advance.
grim509
QUOTE(Denali @ Jan 18 2010, 09:55 AM) *

Since you want to use it for parks close to you, you should look at the details of each of those parks on the Passport America Web Site. You will find that each park has its own restrictions. You may well find that none of the parks near you offer the discount on weekends, for example.


Thanks Denali! I didn't even think of the weekend restrictions! None of the parks in our area offer it on the weekends. But it does look like a week-long trip will pay for itself when using the Passport discount. I think I may go ahead and get it, if only for the week-long trip.

Thanks again!
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.