View Full Version : Campground memberships

06-07-2014, 09:45 AM
Any opinions good or bad about campground memberships? Especcially for fulltimers?

06-07-2014, 10:31 AM
I have just started doing this (fulltiming, mainly in California) and bought my Thousand Trails Platinum lifetime membership transfer through an RV campground membership independent broker in Florida, last summer. I have stayed in 8 of the 14 California Thousand Trails preserves since then. Some in Southern California (Wilderness Lakes and Pio Pico) are pretty nice, in the country, but very near all the city amenities. Both of these have two sets of pool/spa facilities. Palm Springs is nice, but crowded, Soledad Canyon is there (near the L.A. basin) but the facilites need a lot of work. Santa Barbara is actully about 30 miles from Santa Barbara on the Eastern Side of some steep hills, no phone or internet. San Benito gives you access to the Monterey Bay peninnsula, but the park is a little remote (15 miles south of Hollister). It also has a pool/spa. Minden is 20 miles North of Sacramento, and was convienent for me in shutting down my Sacramento house. Best sites there are "out back" in the D section that doesn't have sewer hookups (but does have a dump station in that "D" area. Right now I am on a 21 day stay at Russian River along US101 at the northern end of the Sonoma wine country (Francis Ford Coppola's winery is in the neighborhood). No sewer hookups here, either. Being single, and with the Bighorn's big tanks this isn't too much a problem, they have honeywagon service wherever sewer hookups aren't present, and I don't see it too big a deal to unhook the water, electricity and satellite temporarily to pull the Bighorn up to the dump station, if I choose to do so.

My yearly membership fees are right at $600. I can go 21 days in a park, park-to-park, 7 days away and back to the same park. I have reservations this summer (I have the rest of my year planned out) at TT's on the Southern Oregon Coast, TT Snowflower (Emigrant Gap along I-80 in the Sierras), and TT Lake of the Springs between Marysville and Grass Valley in the northern sierra foothills. I used the TT membership to get me a 50% discount at a plush Encore park in Mesa, Arizona in March for a couple of weeks of baseball spring training games.

I hope this helps. PM me for any more detailed info you might want.

06-07-2014, 09:40 PM
The only membership we have beside Good Sam is Passport America---if you are traveling and with some planning you can get 50% discount at Passport Am parks. We did look at other memberships and did not think they were worth the $$.
We are full timers, but do a lot of volunteering and workamping, probably about 7-8 months/yr.
currently in Deadwood, SD

06-08-2014, 08:30 PM
Thank you for your input. It seems a lot of the choice is personal depending on where we want to stay and how long.

06-12-2014, 09:54 PM
We have belonged to almost all of them at one time or another, Thousand Trails, Coast to Coast, Western Horizons, Passport America, Good Sam, Escapees, Camp Club USA (out of business), AOR, RPI, ROD, and some others I can't think of right now. All in all the most for the money is Good Sam, Escapees, and Passport America. For nightly discounts Passport America (50 percent discount) is the best followed by Escapees (10-50 percent off) then Good Sam (10 percent off). Now Coast to Coast is free at then member parks and $10-15 per night at Good Neighbor parks. AOR, RPI and ROD are all 10+ per night depending on the park. Western Horizons used to have quite a few parks but are down to almost nothing now. The best for 7-21 day stays right now (in my opinion) is Thousand Trails. With the regional membership (about $550 per year) you stay free for 14 days and then have to out of the system for 7 and then back in for up to 14 days. If you only stay 2 days (say for a Friday and Saturday night- for you weekenders) the 14 day rule does not apply. 3 + days the 14 day rule applies. Some TT parks do charge $3.00 per night for 50 amp. With being a TT member you also get a discount at the Encore parks. Guess the bottom line is you have to look around to see what kind of traveling you want to do, how much are you willing to pay and then pick one. We even use the KOA value card sometimes for their 10 percent off. Some merchants are now giving you merchant discounts with the KOA value card now. For the longterm stays we use Thousand Trails. An overnight stay is usually a Good Sam, Escapee or Passport America park. Heck some parks will even give you an AARP discount if you are an AARP member. Just ask AAA also gets you a discount. Hope this helps ... sorry it was so long.