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Full Version: Need Lession On Campground Memberships/plans,+/-s,options Ect?
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With the abundance of campground membership plans & options available, Some one/some where should of written a primer on how to choose the best campground plan for an individual's needs. And explained the pit falls/traps that await the unwary!! Can anyone point me to an unbiased resource that gets me smart on this aspect of RVing. Thks Happy Trails!!
You seem to be approaching the question from the perspective that a campground membership is desirable or necessary. Although some RVers feel that memberships are an important aspect of their RV experience, just as many or more don't have any interest in buying into a membership program.

My wife and I have been full-timing for over two years and see no reason why we would want anything other than the inexpensive Good Sam and Passport America memberships. We like to go where we want to and don't want our travels to be constrained by the presence or absence of CG's that are part of our club. Furthermore, we carefully select the CG's we stay at mostly based on reviews posted on this website; there are plenty of membership parks reviewed here that we wouldn't even consider staying at.
The reason those membership programs and parks exist is because they return more money to plan's ownership and management than they cost. You really need to use the parks in the system almost to their maximum allowable nights for the plan to be beneficial to you. If you use them extensively and exclusively, you will save money. If you are like most people and eventually drift away from them in exchange for the freedom to choose parks and areas where the membership plan does not have sites available, you will quickly move from saving money to spending money. I don't think it is an exaggeration in saying that many of the membership parks are tending downward, not getting better. The membership parks are exactly the same as time share condominiums in many regards. That brand new condo will eventually be a 30 year old dated building and you will still be paying the same rates (or more likely, higher) annual fees and daily rental amounts. And be aware those membership contracts do not guarantee any park will remain in the system, no matter how much you like it. Personally, unless you are a full-timer looking to take fulll advantage of the membership in the near future, they are a bad idea.
I did a writeup on Coast-to-Coast and RPI, two of the big membership programs, a few years ago for one of the Yahoo forums. You might look at that for an extensive description of those programs: RPI and C2C

The one membership that almost all RVers can benefit from is Passport America. You amortize the annual member fee in about two nights of use. The parks vary from abysmal to four star, but there's this great web site called that can help you select the good parks. <g>
Welcome to the forum aRVowl!
When we purchased our current RV, with the intent to full time for a bit, I was nervous about places to park for downtimes.
We had only been weekend campers (for decades) up to this point.
While traveling and camping without the job and house to rush back too, was going to be a fabulous adventure, I knew there would be times we just wanted to chill out and enjoy an area for a season.
So...I logically thought a "MemberShip" would be a potential answer. I was fearful of finding ourselves parked at WalMarts, due to overcrowding at nice places.


Do what we did. Take a couple "trial camping" trips to a couple of the Membership parks you are researching. (We did RPI, Thousand Trails, and Coast to Coast.)
I am SO thankful we did our research. Really dodged a bullet!
All the marketing brochures and sweet sales talks, could not possibly cover the sad state of affairs for those Memberships.

(Now I am not talking about Good Sam, Triple A, or Passport America. There is a Big difference.)

You do not need to plop down $3000, $5000, $10,000 to guarantee a place to play or rest for the winter, summer, or whatever!

And, there is NO RUSH. Ask for references, talk to others who are ACTUALLY camping. (Not just the sales team.)

Sorry for the mini rant. You cannot tell I get worked up over this, can you. laugh.gif

I'd flee from any memberships other than Passport America.

I find this web site useful free and under $12

Think of the expensive memberships as you would a "time share". The ongoing fees may eat up any savings unless you stay with them almost exclusively.
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