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jpmorgan37
07-21-2007, 02:43 PM
I've been looking at the Escapees website and was wondering if we had any Forum members that belonged to Escapees. There are some things that are of interest which they offer and some that we have no interest in. I would be interested in hearing from any members to get your insight and feelings about the group.

Thanks,

John

seamo
07-21-2007, 05:28 PM
Hi John- yes, we read and response to both. Escapees have a very active forum. Bob reads all of the Escapees posting and I used to read it until our Rally-now I just read the Heartand Forum due to that I know some of the folks now like you and Sue. Plus I am more interested in the forum since the Rally because of our wonderful time in Elkhart.
Christina Seaman
07 Grand Canyon
pulled by Big Moma

kognito
07-21-2007, 05:56 PM
We are lifetime members! Good group of folks. They are a little bit more geared for full time rv'ers, not too many benefits for the weekend or casual camper.

They have a political action committee that gets involved in both local government issues as well as issues all the way up to Washington! (when RV'ers rights are being limited)

They have about 40-50 BOF groups (bird-of-feather) ranging anywhere from Habitat for Humanity volunteers, to MDT and HDT owners, to scrapbookers. BOF's have rallies each year, as well as the full club spring and fall Escapades. This fall's Escapade is being held in the same campground in Goshen that just hosted the Heartland rally! (second week of September)

They put together a nice magazine that comes out 6 times a year, and generally a good group of folks!

Tom of Ypsi
07-21-2007, 10:05 PM
John,

We are fairly new to the Escapees and what I have read and the members I have met has made me happy I have joined. The more I learn about the Escapees I do not think we made a mistake. We hope to take advantages of some of the Escapee parks this winter when we are planning to be in the southwestern states.

madigand
07-21-2007, 10:32 PM
We belong to Escapees. I agree with Tom that they cater more to the Fulltimer. We absolutely love their mail service and the forum also

jpmorgan37
07-22-2007, 09:10 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I am not interested in the mail forwarding service as I am happy with ours in South Dakota. Low taxes, lower insurance cost, both medical and vehicle, low registration fees, just to mention a few. But there are other things that I'm interested in like the campgrounds, the BOF's and maybe somewhere down the road, CARE, plus we would want to attend some of the Escapades. It sounds like fun.

John

happyrover
07-22-2007, 11:29 AM
JP, We have also been members of the Escapees for many years. The reasons being the same as mentioned by others. I do agree totally about the mail service, BOF's, campgrounds, CARE and especially their political actions for RVers. They have really great rallies also. It is worth the money you pay. Come on JP, dig up that can of loot and join the rest of us Escapees. None None None
Mel & Nina

jpmorgan37
07-22-2007, 11:36 AM
Hi Mel & Nina;

I don't use money any more since we retired. I just put it on the credit card. Being serious though, I've got the application ready to mail in the morning. I think that it will be a good investment.

John

D and J
11-22-2007, 08:14 AM
Hi John,
We've been members (lifetime now) for over 25 years. The main theme of the club is sharing and it really doesn't matter whether you're fulltime or not when it comes to RVing information. Of course the other many benefits which are well defined in the above threads are wonderful as well.

Glad to see you've become a member. You won't regret it

J

SmokeyBare
11-22-2007, 12:05 PM
John,

We have been members for some time now. I too have a South Dakota Mail address as well as insurance and licsence. I chose that state for many of the same reasons you have. I have no plans on changing that.

Escapee's are a good club... one I often consider a Co-Op type of club. They are family run... several generations are involved with the daily operations of this fine organization. Although their mail forwarding services are next to none... I'd rather be a SD Resident... which for me, left out Texas for a choice.

Reasons I like the Club:

* Low cost camping... they have started a plan now... pay for 3 get the 4 free... Meaning pay for 21 days and get the next 7 days free. Their usual cost for camping has been around $15.00 or less Daily, $100.00 or less Weekly plus electric daily. If Your dry camping, they often $5.00 daily or less. They do not take reservations so it will be first come first serve basis.

* Care is a wonderful new program they have started recently. It serves those who are doing "Care Giving" to a loved one and could use a little extra help doing this tiring task. Daily the loved one will spend time with the "CARE" workers. There are others who volunteer to help with small tasks for the couple... cleaning... laundry... meals are even offered to help those who need that service as well. This is a GIFT for us who do full time and have had a need to recover from perhaps surgery... a broken bone... or other life challenging problems. It keeps us in our Life Style for a while longer.

* Their Social programs at all the Rainbow parks... as well as Many of the SKP Co-Op Parks are wonderful. Keeps one active... within most parks they have a 4:00 PM Social hour where each new arrival is announced... ask to stand and introduce them selves... tell a little about them if they wish... and of course get the nearly required HUG Greeting. They announce an what ever activities of the day and up coming week.

*The General feeling of being a part of a Group of like people... Much of what this Fourm has provided as well. We may not always know what each other looks like... but we know each other by our many postings in the Forum. I feel the same good connected feelings with my Heartland Family as I do with the Escapee Family.

*Often at the Rainbow parks one can even Wash their RV. I have found this difficult to find parks where they openly allow this. If they don't allow it at each site... they will have a wash bay where you can scrub the road weary grime off our Rigs. This alone is at times worth the club's yearly dues in my opinion.

We have visited Quartzsite Arizona during January and spent time with the BOF Called "BOOMERS" We had a Blast with that group... Learned Lots as far as dry camping.. Solar Power Systems... Solar (Not that I'd do this) Cooking... They often have groups that do a desert 4 Wheeling adventures... They gather together to share each others hobby... and when there is wood brought in for a camp Fire... an evening Fire is enjoyed by everyone... I have camped out side "Q" with over 168 other RV's. The Camp Fire Circle is often 4 rows.... It's a HAPPENING....

Hope this has helped you.... Good Luck !

jpmorgan37
11-22-2007, 12:14 PM
Thanks for the input J and Marv. I joined SKP's in August and have used several of their parks since then. I will, like you, keep my Pennington County address for many reasons that are financially advantageous to us.

As a footnote, if anyone want's information on using South Dakota as a home base, PM me and I'll pass on what has worked for us.

John

SueJean
04-28-2010, 05:26 PM
Greetings & blessings from TX! :cool::cool:

We joined Escapee's last year as our first membership and have received far more than the cost of the membership in benefits.

We've stayed at their parks in Raccoon Valley, TN (near Knoxville) and in Hondo, TX for a month each and enjoyed our time at both.

We also went on an Escapee's Rally in Mexico with the Mexican Connection Ch.8 in February. We had a great time there and enjoyed our first trip to Mexico with our rig.

The real heart of being an "Escapee" was illustrated for us on our Mexico jaunt. One of our group members was involved in a serious accident in Mexico that involved multiple fatalities. The rally leaders and another couple stayed with this person until they were able to return to the States. Their selfless efforts to assist and support this person throughout the ordeal was a real credit to the Escapee's heart for taking care of others.

We will be working as volunteers this summer at the CARE facility in Livingston,TX. (This is the closest we ever want to get to having a "real job". :p) Our duties will include driving people at CARE to their doctor's visits, shopping, etc., food preparation assistance and serving and some cleaning duties per our paperwork. (We'll let you know how that goes after we've actually been there. :o)

We thought this would be an interesting way to spend the summer and save some money as we will get free FHU and food with only our utilities/expenses to pay. Being inclined to heat will be a benefit for us.;)


We highly recommend Escapee's to the people we meet out here on the road.

Blessings,

SueJean, Ariela & The Cowboy-DannyLee

Wharton
04-29-2010, 05:21 AM
We have been Escapees for 25 years, life time members. Everyone has mentioned all the great things about Escapees and we agree wholeheartedly. We have also gone on several of their HOPs(Head Out Programs) and have enjoyed ourselves immensely. These are organized RV tours that are "low budget". Several years ago we did the Rose Parade and I put together a spread sheet on the various tours offered. Escapees was by far the winner on price and what was offered. We didn't need to stay at an exclusive CG, we weren't interested in a Hollywood tour and the other fluff. We wanted the Rose Parade experience and that is what we got. Escapees even organized an opportunity to decorate a float for a day, that was neat!!!!!!!!!! Very unusually that no other tour offered.

Escapees overall has been the best decision we have made. Their rallies are great. I learned the beginnings of scanning, Photoshop etc. at the rallies. Only place I found where I could get educated an no charge and just enough to get me going. Attend a rally(one is coming up in Sept), we will be there and then going onto our MDT(BOF Group) rally in MI. You can also get your flu shots etc. at the rally. The local hospital(I think) sets up and offers basic services. The rallies are primarily for education and there is no sales pressure for anything, just the great experience. They even have "women" only sessions so the women can be comfortable asking questions(I have seen a couple come in and they have asked the male to leave).

During the year Escapees offers Rvers Boot Camp for new rvers and for wannabes, you don't even need to be an Escapees member to attend.

All Escapees share info with each other very willingly. I wanted to buy a new lens for my camera and contacted several of the photographers in the group, responses came flying back and several of these people are at the professional level.

You will love their magazine, one of the best in the industry.

Just a great group of folks, going to their campgrounds feels like coming home, hugs, happy hour etc.

TXBobcat
04-29-2010, 08:49 AM
We are also Escapees. Have been since 2006. Another thing that has helped me is that if a jury duty summons and your like we were, in South Carolina, all you have to do is call the office, tell them your an Escapee and they ask you to come in and volunteer for jury duty when you get back to Livingston. I have gone in when in Livingston, twice to volunteer but they were full and did not need anyone.

We are not lifetime members. It would be nice but is quite expensive, so we will subscribe each year. Over the years it will probably cost us more but we can afford the yearly fee not the lifetime fee.

BC

soon2B
05-05-2010, 08:24 PM
Hi all, new on this forum, also SKP, just joined this year as we plan on going FT next spring. I figured it was worth it for the magazine alone, lots of good info . Great folks on their forum very helpful. Let me know how the volunteering goes @ CARE, we would like to do this sometime.

Iver
05-05-2010, 11:02 PM
If you join and go to one of their parks get ready ... all kind of strangers will insist on ringing a bell and calling others out to hug you. The first time I thought I was in some kind of commune with the hug from 5'3" elderly women (I'm 6'2") the secret membership ritual. I paniced and my wife fell down laughing. You see, I rarely even hug relatives!
Turned into an nice inexpensive stay.

soon2B
05-06-2010, 07:53 AM
Wondering if any FT's prefer SD domicile or TX, we're not sure which way we'll go yet. I've heard about one in Emery I believe and one in Madison SD, if we go SD is one better than the other?

Wharton
05-06-2010, 12:09 PM
I don't know what the difference is but we use Escapees and love their mail service....................

SmokeyBare
05-06-2010, 01:30 PM
I selected South Dakota for a few reasons, some good some just personal choices. If you do a search on "Selecting your full time Domicile" that search should provide you plenty of reading material. It might also confuse you even more. Not a question that can be answered by anyone but your self. Many factors come to play when deciding. Insurance for Health as well as Vehicle & RV to name a few. Full time RV insurance might/should require Liability coverage if you no longer own a home. Home owners liability insurance coverage often can be applied or used to protect the RV's use when your traveling with your RV. The Mail Forwarding company we use is called My Home Address. Link> http://myhomeaddressinc.com/

Here are a few reasons for South Dakota. No Personal Property Tax or Wheel Tax. Low one time 3% excise tax on vehicles, ( Truck & RV ) this takes place of the State Sales Tax. No Vehicle Emission Testing. I used to think SD also had a lower insurance rate. I have since read that Texas is some what lower. I didn't find that to be the case when I did my research in 2004.

One of the down sides of South Dakota could be when you need to renew your driver license. You will need to go there to get this taken care of. Birth Dates matter in this case. Their rules allow the license to be renewed up too 180 days prior to your birthday but no more than 30 days after. If you are past 30 days of the renewal, you will need to take the driving test. Since Home land Security as now also stepped in, the State requires several proof of residency. Social Security card, Bank Statements showing your address being SD, or Utility statements showing the same. You will also need a RV Park receipt or a motel receipt.

Good Luck deciding where you will call HOME.

desertranger
10-13-2012, 06:26 PM
I'm new here as well and an SKP member. Right now in Tempe AZ but hope to make the RV class in Feb in Congress, AZ I like SKPs and considering a lot of other things I like the hug tradition.

wdk450
10-14-2012, 10:26 AM
I joined for a Escapees year in the winter a couple of years ago, but was pretty occupied with my wife's medical care at the time. The (Sacramento) area chapter has monthly lunch meetings all year and monthly local campouts March through November. I was sort of taken aback by their daily campout schedules which seemed to have some sort of group activity all day long. I may try them again, but I get out enough now with the area Heartland rallies, and my monthly Loners On Wheels group.

Sad to say, some of the people I have talked to at the LOW's campouts say they prefer that group due to the "third wheel" feeling of being one of the few singles in a mainly couples group, like Escapees. Even worse, I have heard from LOW's and even single Heartland members about the petty jealousies and hostility that singles are sometimes subject to, from a wife or husband who thinks the single is out to "steal" their mate.

EandJ
05-22-2013, 12:01 AM
We are debating joining the Escapees - mainly for the cheaper rates on camping. We are not full-timers nor will be for many years. And we have numerous children - so we don't really fit the standard profile of what it appears the Escapees is aiming for. But would membership be a good deal for us if we were to use it just for the discount at parks? Is it better than the Good Sam discounts? (We are already GS members) Or are there more Escapee parks than Good Sam.

Just trying to figure out if it would be redundant or a good deal.

Ray LeTourneau
05-22-2013, 07:29 AM
We are debating joining the Escapees - mainly for the cheaper rates on camping. We are not full-timers nor will be for many years. And we have numerous children - so we don't really fit the standard profile of what it appears the Escapees is aiming for. But would membership be a good deal for us if we were to use it just for the discount at parks? Is it better than the Good Sam discounts? (We are already GS members) Or are there more Escapee parks than Good Sam.

Just trying to figure out if it would be redundant or a good deal.
I'm not a member but you would have to decide if they have RV parks in areas you frequent. Most parks have certain terms that need to be met. It varies from park to park so do your homework before joining.

Invizatu
05-22-2013, 08:45 AM
E&J... If you do join, be sure to let them know you are a good sam member.... cost $35 instead of $70!

SGeohagan
05-22-2013, 09:25 AM
You might want to check out Passport America. They offer 50% discount in lots of RV parks. We've saved the cost of joining many times over.

jmgratz
05-23-2013, 08:55 AM
There are several other benefits to being an Escapee member. Such as their mail forwarding service, the ability to attend the Escapades (national Escapee rallies), the ability to go on their HOPS (heading out programs ) which are organized trips, being able to join their BOF (birds of a feather) groups which are special interest groups such as people interested in geocasting or fishing or medium duty trucks or many of the other BOFs, and we cannot forget their CARE center which is an area at their Rainbow Park (Escapee headquarters in Livingston, TX). The CARE center is a place you can stay in your RV which is similar to an Assisted Living home. They offer various levels of CARE while recovering from surgery, injuries or other reasons. Escapees is a premier organization for RVers, full-time or otherwise. BTW this years Escapade will be held in Gillette WY. We have attended three. They were both great. They even have a RVer Boot Camp for new RVers but even seasoned RVers attend. We attended one and learned much.

EandJ
05-30-2013, 11:56 AM
OK - in doing a lot more researching.

Jim - thanks for all the extra info on what they do. Problem is I most likely won't use all those extra services. At least for another 25 years or so. Except maybe the boot camp would be helpful. But with work and kids schedules, I can't even make local HOC rallies - so that would just be another group of rallies/groups/programs I miss. (like Samborees, the Goshen Rally, etc) I'm just looking for maximum discounts on camping for the 3 extremely valuable weeks of vacation I get a year.

I think looking at the campgrounds in the respective directories and their discounts - and where we are likely to go in the next few years - I think our best bet is Passport America. They seem to have fewer campgrounds, but greater discounts. And where they don't have a campground, we still have our Good Sam membership (plus its associated benefits - which do come in handy for us) as a backup.

Wharton
05-30-2013, 12:15 PM
If you are looking for inexpensive camping have you considered boondocking, National Forests, State, county and national parks?

wdk450
05-30-2013, 12:18 PM
E and J:
Regarding Passport America, be sure to read the individual campground's detailed listing on their website for P/A discount restrictions. They vary from campground to campground.

EandJ
05-30-2013, 12:59 PM
We have for years done the TX state park pass. (I think it expired last month - have to renew). Boondocking is kind of hard for us. 7 people in TT. 36 gal fresh tank, 37 gallon black tank. Could be done - but complicated. I'm just imaging how bad my boys would smell w/out showering for a few days. (too bad there is no throw-up smilie) Probably make the dog smell good.

We do use county parks when available. But some of the places we are planning to go in the next couple of years - don't fit for national parks etc. What I liked in Passport America - there were some campgrounds right in the larger cities. For example, we are planning to visit San Diego hopefully in about 2 years and they have Mission Bay RV Resort in their list which looks pretty close to the Zoo and Gas Lamp etc.

What I'm trying to find is a good all around mix - so when we go, we have inexpensive choices - state, national parks, Escapees or Passport America, and Good Sam. That way - we should always be able to find something. But I'm cheap and don't want to buy memberships in everything if I don't have to. :D

EandJ
05-30-2013, 01:02 PM
E and J:
Regarding Passport America, be sure to read the individual campground's detailed listing on their website for P/A discount restrictions. They vary from campground to campground.

Yeah - I noticed a lot of them are Sun - Thursday. Or something to that effect. Maybe plan travel days to leave and come home on weekend.

Wharton
05-31-2013, 03:09 AM
The other thing to remember is there are a lot of campgrounds that aren't in any books and don't advertise. They will generally be in the state directory but not any other. There are several smart phone apps that might help also.

wdk450
05-31-2013, 09:28 AM
The other thing to remember is there are a lot of campgrounds that aren't in any books and don't advertise. They will generally be in the state directory but not any other. There are several smart phone apps that might help also.

I found a file I downloaded into my Garmin GPS at the "POI Factory" website with 14,352 U.S. Campgrounds.