View Full Version : New to RV travel and wondering about memberships

07-23-2012, 10:58 AM
My family and I are new to the world of RV travel, and we have a lot to learn. We have three small children (ages 6, 4 and 4) and we plan on using our Trail Runner for week long (or a little longer) when the school calendar permits, as well as weekend trips to a local campground whenever we are able. I was wondering which, if any, membership would be good for our family and our relatively limited usage of our travel trailer. We look forward to all the wisdom we can get from seasoned travelers! Thanks :)

07-23-2012, 11:57 AM
Hi CuriousGeorges,

Welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum and Family. We have a great bunch of people here with lots of information and all willing to share their knowledge if needed.

There are lots of different types of campground memberships out there. You will get lots of different opinions on this subject. I think "most" memberships are designed for the "older" RV'er. Although I know there are some for the younger crowd with children also. There is nothing we like better than to see and hear kids laughing and playing and having a good time in the outdoors where they can get some sunshine and fresh air.

You should get some more replies from our other members soon.

Enjoy the forum and think about joining the Heartland Owners Club also.

Jim M

07-23-2012, 02:17 PM
I am interested in this information also. Thanks for asking! Is there a thread around here for forum members with small children? Mine are 2.5 and 4.5.

07-23-2012, 02:41 PM
This is link to Heartland Owners Club video (//heartlandowners.org/showthread.php/31757-Video-Introduction-to-the-Heartland-Owners-Club) made by our club president, Jim Belitti.

I don't know of a special place for folks with children on the forum... we all rally together, eat together and camp together. I am sure some of the other family members have children and will be happy to have you aboard the forum.

Jim M

07-23-2012, 02:46 PM
Just as Jim said. I have Goodsam. Gives you a discount at many places. Ernie

07-23-2012, 05:42 PM
I suggest Good Sam's and their Road Service. They are offering a special on Membership now with Life Memberships. I also like Passport America. You can get discounts on camping nights and in some cases Half off. If you join Good Sam you also get discounts at Camping World and with Pilot/Flying J fuel stops. Welcome to the greatest club in the world, RVING

07-23-2012, 05:54 PM
Thank you so much for the replies. I'm not sure who is more excited to get out and get adventuring, my husband and I...or the kids! I look forward to learning more about all that RVing has to offer and all the awesome places we would, otherwise, be unable to explore. Did I mention that we are excited!

07-23-2012, 07:23 PM
I would stay away from buying into a park membership program that can cost several thousand dollars.
There are so many deals out there with Good Sam Club, Passport America, Escapees, etc.
I was just at Summer Breeze RV Park in Iron Mountain, Michigan, and got 15% off the rate, because I'm an Escapees member.
It was only 10% off for a Good Sam Club member.
I belong to the 3 that I mentioned above, along with the Senior Pass for the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands.
I'm a Life Member of Good Sam and Passport America.
If you plan to do this for many years, it may pay you to get a Life Membership.
Most of these memberships run in the neighborhood of $50 to $75 per year, but some of that is returned to you by way of discounts at the parks etc.
Buy a copy of the Trailer Life Directory by Good Sam Club (if your a member, you get a discount) and this lists most of the campgrounds and RV Parks in the US and Canada.
CAUTION, should be the prevailing word here, do your homework, and don't jump into something you may regret later.
Don't be pressured into something by fast talking salesman.
Don't ever be afraid to ask questions.
There are no stupid questions, just stupid answers sometimes.
Take your time and enjoy the view.
Your kids will have memories that will last them a lifetime.
When my 2 grandsons were 8 and 4, the 3 of us would go camping at a state park on the beach. We would swim and hike the trails. They talk about that today, how much fun they had back then. They are now 16 and 12. Hard to believe, the oldest one has a drivers license now. Time flies.
I would say if you had to pick only one (1) my vote would go to Good Sam Club.
Also, you can't ask for a better members forum then this Heartland Owners Forum.
These Guys and Gals are the Greatest.
Some Heartland Brand Mangers (maybe all) are also on this site, so you have the company listening to what is being said about their products.
Welcome aboard, it's a great ride.


07-23-2012, 07:34 PM
we just go into RVing and bought a Cyclone. We are avid motorcyclists and have a 15 month old son. The RV was originally mostly for track days but we have used it for some nice short vacations.

I considered getting the passport america, but they have a lot of restrictions on it.

I purchased the Good Sam membership and bought up to the lifetime membership (additional $199). We are a younger couple and plan on RV for a long time, I hope.

I also purchased the road side assistance b/c it is like AAA but better for RVs, tow vehicle, motorcycles, etc. AAA may not tow your RV and your insurance on the RV may not tow your tow vehicle.

I don't know of any clubs that cater to the younger crowed, but this forum has been extremely helpful and all the people I have met, extremely nice. We went to the Rally at Lake George and althought it was only for one night, we had a great time!

07-23-2012, 07:49 PM
We have a Jellystone Park (Yogi themed RV park) just outside of Houston (abt 1.5hrs from my house), and they have all over the eastern half of the US and a few to the west (http://www.campjellystone.com/locations.html). We'll be there LAbor Day weekend with my 10yr old son and a friend. For those with kids, I'd suggest checking to see if there are any near you. Nicely run, nice sites, decent little store on site, ours has a couple of water slides and a couple of pools, and they do alot of activities for the kids (movie night, karaoke night, parades where they can decorate the bikes and ride in the parade, etc.). Ours has a snack bar by the pool that has decent pizza, etc. Overall, a nice place for those with kids/grandkids (we do see quite a few grandparent there with their grandkids as well).

07-23-2012, 09:06 PM
Camping World has a initial 1 year Good Sam Roadside Assistance on sale for $ 56.47 for next few days.

07-24-2012, 10:40 AM
My only experience with a campground type of membership is second hand. A friend has one and is happy with it, but I would not be. Seems you are limited in length of stay on a site and you don't get to pick the site you want. More of a show up and they'll tell you where to park. At least with state parks, here in Michigan, you can go online and see which sites are open and reserve the one you like. We used to do that with a pop-up and a TT, before getting the Bighorn and a seasonal site at a private CG.

But, in regards to the Good Sam Emergency Road Assistance, get it. I've also signed up for their Emergency Medical Assistance, which is good even if we're traveling without the rig.