RV Clubs. A Quick Guide to the Nation’s Best RV Clubs
There are a variety of RV clubs & memberships to choose from. You can join nearly all of them for a fairly reasonable annual fee. But these clubs are not all created equal.
Meeting like-minded people and discovering new destinations is just the tip of the iceberg of joining an RV Club. So, which memberships go beyond and provide the most tangible benefits? What kind of discounts do they offer? How many eligible campgrounds and RV parks participate with each of these clubs?
Most people know that camping in an RV means finding new friends, new experiences, and great adventures where you look for them. What some people don’t realize is that camping in an RV also offers numerous opportunities to make new connections and build lasting friendships.
RV’ers have created an amazing community that includes plenty of smaller, niche groups that serve every type of traveler. Of course, in order to take advantage of this awesome community and the smaller, interest-led groups out there, you have to know where to begin.
Our suggestion? Join an RV club (or maybe two).
There are countless RV groups out there, and by finding the best RV clubs for you, you’re likely to find the connections you seek. Not only that, but many of these motorhome groups also include access to exclusive discounts, events, and more, making them even more valuable.
The answers to these questions, as well as thinking about how you like to travel, will help you to determine which membership clubs are the best fit for you and your RV’ing lifestyle.
Here are some of the top clubs out there.
This membership costs $44 per year, at last report. The main advantage is that it will get you up to 50% off on many of the 1,600 campgrounds it lists. There are restrictions to some of the discounts and many campgrounds do not offer discounts on weekends and holidays. The camps and restrictions section of their website is downloadable, enabling members to plan a trip to avoid restricted nights at the campgrounds. By becoming a member of Passport America before joining Escapees (see below), you can save an additional $10, so that the actual cost of membership is decreased even further.
This club offers fabulous benefits. Escapees has partnered with several other RV organizations to offer shared discounts. Before you sign up, see if your current memberships offer you an Escapees discount (as in Passport America). If you’re already part of Escapees, see if they can save you money on other memberships. Escapees members benefit from over 800 commercial RV parks that offer a 15 to 50 percent discount. Benefits also include an online mapping tool, complete with reviews, directions and contact information and 18 Escapees parks with a choice of short and long-term stays. They offer a great community as well with planned events and online forums. Partner discounts, roadside assistance and mail forwarding service are just a few more reasons many fulltime RV’ers choose this club.
Current membership rate: $39.95 per year for US Residents and $49.95 for Canada and Mexico residents. They also offer special discounts for Active Duty Military and Veterans.
Good Sam RV Club is probably the largest RV Community, and provides many services for its more than one million members. The club provides trip-planning that includes estimated fuel cost, route planning, RV services, and rest stops on the route. It also provides a 10% discount on more than 2,400 camping sites in the US and Canada for overnight stays. Additional benefits include savings at outdoor retailers, fuel savings, trip planning, propane discounts and more.
Membership includes RV assistance such as emergency towing services for all of your vehicles including cars. This can help reduce your car maintenance costs as well. It also provides full coverage RV insurance for the RV and your assets when you are travelling. Plus, the club provides an extended service plan option that enables members to continue with their vacation if the RV breaks down.
Current membership rate: $79 for a three-year membership, $50 for a two-year membership, and $29 for a one-year membership.
The Family Motor Coach Association is an international organization of families who own and enjoy the use of recreational vehicles. They offer discounts on tires, campgrounds, roadside assistance, plus a membership magazine and more. Since 1963, FMCA has issued more than 500,000 memberships to families who look to the association as their source of information about all facets of RV ownership and travel.
Current membership rate: $75.
Membership in Coast to Coast offers the chance to take advantage of affordable vacation opportunities at high-quality RV resorts across America. To become a Coast to Coast member you must join one of the affiliated resorts which becomes your home resort. You get to enjoy discounted camping rates within the network and additional benefits and savings.
As you can see, there are many RV clubs in the US, and most of them offer discounts to many campgrounds. The best clubs are those that offer greater discounts and additional benefits at a lower membership fee. Those that offer free camping facilities are likely preferred over those that only offer discounts, that sometimes come with restrictions. Another consideration for those planning frugal travel is the location of campgrounds where the discounts are offered and their proximity to the route you are planning.
Review all the clubs before you decide which to join, or perhaps join a couple of them, as these membership fees are not very steep and could save you considerably when you travel in your RV.
Remember to consult your El Monte RV Sales location for help with deciding where you want to go and to get answers to many of your RV questions.