Author Topic: Campground memberships  (Read 790 times)

Offline chessie4905

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Campground memberships
« on: September 18, 2019, 05:52:20 AM »
Anybody here use one; Good Sam, PassportAmerica, KOA, etc. Opinion by users? Thanks
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Offline dtcerrato

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2019, 08:07:29 AM »
We have Good Sam probably more to get Camping World discounts than anything else. 10% at select RV parks. Passport America I'm not familiar with but we swear by our Senior Pass also called *America The Beautiful* National Parks & Federal Recreation Lands Pass. It saves us a bundle - 1/2 price on Federal camping including national forests & BLM lands...
Dan & Sandy
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Offline TomC

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2019, 08:49:26 AM »
Problem with campground memberships is they also have restrictions on age of motorhome. Course, these are not of my interest. Good Luck, TomC
Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.

Offline ol713

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2019, 09:58:20 AM »

   Hi;
      Beware of ongoing "maintenance fees", and can you resell  when
      no longer use it .
                                           Merle.

Offline Gary Hatt - Publisher BCM

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2019, 10:53:12 AM »
I use Passport America whenever I can.  For $40/year you get 50% off camping in several RV parks around the US.  Your membership can pay for itself in the first stay. Be sure to read the fine print for each campground as some of their busy days i.e. weekends and holidays may be exempt.  But if you can travel during the week, this is a great deal. I have not run into any restrictions with my 50 year old bus, but I generally stay a day or two to get caught up on laundry etc. so sometimes they will overlook this.  If you are planning on staying long term, which PA frequently has a limit of 14 days or so, then there may be better options out there.

I have considered others, but with my flexibility and mostly short term stays, PA works good for me.
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Offline bobofthenorth

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2019, 10:54:37 AM »
I make a distinction between discount clubs like Good Sam or Passport and membership campgrounds.  We had memberships in both Thousand Trails and a Canada-only one whose name escapes me right now.  They worked when we were traveling full time but like everything, there are some compromises.  The Canadian membership had really good parks, relatively new, good amenities and maintenance was top drawer.  They only had a couple of parks in BC and one on Vancouver Island but what they had was good quality and they had serious restrictions on annual length of stay in each park.  Thousand Trails parks were predictably run down.  I think we maybe stayed twice in a park where the hot tub actually worked.  They were conveniently located for us because most of their parks were in the SW.  If you were coming from the NE it wouldn't have been so convenient. 

Make sure you know all the costs - there's likely an annual maintenance fee.  Make sure you know the restrictions - length of stay, how soon you can re-book at the same park, how many reservations you can have outstanding at any one time.  And make sure you know how you are going to get out from under the annual fee when you are done. 

The discount clubs are a little easier to assess - if you're going to get enough back in discounts to cover the cost of membership then its an easy decision and you can likely cancel at any time by simply not renewing.
R.J.(Bob) Evans
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Offline chessie4905

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2019, 02:03:33 PM »
FMCA announced a 72 hour deal on Passport America for a lifetime pass at $379 plus two 1 year memberships to give to friends. Plus an annual campground book and some other items. They have 1800 member campgrounds. Campgrounds are 50% off, at least,for the first night and more days if it isn't  a holiday or very busy area. I went for it, since we are going to Ak. in 2021. A few campground stays and it'll  be paid. Course you must be an FMCA member, Otherwise, it is $399, without the other added items.
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Offline Ed Hackenbruch

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2019, 04:23:29 PM »
Even though the book may say that a particular park may have only a one or two day stay, ask at the counter when you arrive.  We stopped at one that said we could stay for a month at the 1/2 price if we wanted.....it was the end of the off season and they weren't very busy.  We have stayed for a week at other places that the book said it was only good for a night or two.   
Used to own a 1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.

Offline Gary Hatt - Publisher BCM

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2019, 05:29:39 PM »
Passport America has an app for that.  Download it and you will be able to see the rules and requirements for each campground before you show up at their desk.  You can also join in Quartzsite during the show.  They usually have a booth in the low rent district across from the big tent at Tyson Wells.  They are great people to deal with.

Gary
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Offline chessie4905

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2019, 08:07:13 PM »
I've  seen comments from members to that effect. Did a lot of opinion searches before spending the money.
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Offline Gary Hatt - Publisher BCM

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2019, 08:16:41 PM »
Coast to Coast (and others) has an annual fee after signing up and although you can easily pay for the membership cost over the first few years, you are liable to pay the annual maintenance fee (or whatever they call it) until you die or can sell it or pass it on to your kids.  That being said, there are a lot of used memberships for sale online, but read the fine print before spending any money. They may have a lot of limitations over buying a new membership and the older memberships may not have all of the bells and whistles or allow you to stay at some of the newer parks.  They may sell them for $1 like timeshares on eBay but even when you get too old or for some reason no longer can travel, you still have to pay yearly whether you use them or not.  At least, that is what I understand.  Correct me if I am wrong.
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Offline Jim Blackwood

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2019, 08:26:23 AM »
What're they gonna do if you just stop paying them, come and take your bus?

Jim
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Offline Gary Hatt - Publisher BCM

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2019, 08:54:45 AM »
What're they gonna do if you just stop paying them, come and take your bus?

Jim

It is called a "Bad Credit Rating".  Not good.  :-X
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Offline David Anderson

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2019, 02:59:04 PM »
It is called a "Bad Credit Rating".  Not good.  :-X
I've got a story about that line that may make you smile.

When my dad was still alive and about 85 years old, a guy insisted he be be screened for some type of speech translator that would clarify his slurred speech because of advanced Parkinson's disease.  I didn't want to see this thing but the salesman persisted and badgered me to do a demonstration.   Dad tried it and I saw no improvement.  No thanks.  A week later Dad got a bill for $200 for the demo.  They started calling me for collection.  I argued and said forget it, I'm not giving you anything.  They threatened me with, "we will ruin your father's credit rating".  I laughed and said, "he is 85.  He doesn't need any more credit".  And I hung up.  Boy that felt good.  Never heard from them again ;D

Off topic but good karma. 

Offline Jim Blackwood

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2019, 04:31:55 PM »
I like it.
Being retired, if I haven't learned to live within my means by now I don't think good credit is going to save me. I'd have no issue with telling them to kiss off. I'd also seriously question the legal valididity of any document purporting to establish an open ended debt like that. Could be actionable. Could be a whole class of plaintiffs. Bet they'd like that one.

Jim
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Offline Ed Hackenbruch

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2019, 05:28:56 PM »
Got rid of the credit cards 20 years ago, haven't financed anything since. Also put a freeze on my credit reports a few years ago. Recently took the freeze off just to see what my credit score is......it is a 4.  Yup a 4. probably didn't need to freeze it again but i did.  :)   
Used to own a 1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.

Offline Lin

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2019, 06:24:57 PM »
Over the years, I have had at least two Coast to Coast memberships.  They can be bought "used" for a couple of hundred dollars.  Some of them, as mentioned, expect you to pay their dues forever unless you transfer it to someone else that will pay the dues, but there are others,(at least there used to be) that have some sort of exit clause that allows you just to quit.  I think that generally those are in far away places that you will probably never visit.  They actually count on never seeing you and just receiving the dues. The benefit of those is that you can use that national system, which is what we had wanted to do, without ever seeing the "home park".  I do not know what is available these days though.

Ed, The alternate strategy is to pay for everything by credit card and pay the balance every month.  Some of the rewards programs will give you back $20 per $1000 spent.  It may not seem like much, but it does add up.
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Offline bobofthenorth

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2019, 06:54:54 PM »
Being retired, if I haven't learned to live within my means by now I don't think good credit is going to save me. I'd have no issue with telling them to kiss off. I'd also seriously question the legal valididity of any document purporting to establish an open ended debt like that. Could be actionable. Could be a whole class of plaintiffs. Bet they'd like that one.

^^^^^ What he said  ^^^^^

Google it.  There's plenty of lawsuits which suggest those contracts are not enforceable.  In our case I sent them a registered letter when we were done.  They didn't like it and they yelled a lot but they didn't get another 5 cents out of us either.  I have no idea whether they did anything to my credit rating because it simply doesn't matter.
R.J.(Bob) Evans
Used to be 1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
Currently busless (and not looking)
My website

Contrary to popular belief, wise men do not learn from their own mistakes
They learn from the mistakes of others.

Offline windtrader

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Re: Campground memberships
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2019, 09:52:10 PM »
There is a major difference between the camping related discount/membership programs. Some are basically a month-to-month subscription, cancelled by notifying the service's customer service organization.

The other type behaves like a timeshare. That is, you are legally a partial owner and the recurring payments you make are not considered a service fee but rather a/"your" portion of the total costs required to keep the property maintained and running. Like timeshares, keep your eyes wide open and your hand on your wallet.
Don F
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Bought 2017