A camping discount club

The Best Camping Discount Clubs

The average cost of a campground site can range between $30-$90 a night. High-cost campgrounds have premium sites and plenty of features on the property, making your RV camping trip feel like you’re at an open-air luxury resort. If you want to enjoy an RV experience like this, but keep the bill closer to budget-friendly primitive campsites, here are the best camping discount clubs to keep your family and wallet happy.

  • Boondockers Welcome
  • Escapees RV Club
  • Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA)
  • Harvest Hosts
  • Passport America
  • Good Sam RV Club
  • Thousand Trails
  • Boondockers Welcome

Commercial parking lots will only let you stay one night. You’ll find that “lot-hopping” becomes exhausting and expensive. Boondockers Welcome allows you to remain in host family properties for multiple nights free of charge. Most offer features like electricity, water, wifi, and other features. Host families may have driveway RV parking, camping on private land with beautiful scenery that stretches for acres, or anything in between.

Membership Cost and Fees

Cost: Guest-only membership for one year is $50. Hosts receive a 50% discount and receive credit every time they accommodate a guest. Some hosts may ask for a nominal fee to help cover the costs of advanced features like wifi. Gratuities are appreciated but not required. Host families don’t get paid. 

Advantages to Joining

RVs in a camping club

Stay multiple nights at a safe boondocking location. Hook up to utilities to refresh yourself and your resources. Meet great people. The system follows the RV Communities’ spirit through mutual respect, friendliness, and helping each other out.

Things to Consider

You’ll need to make reservations at least 24 hours in advance with more than one host. Hosts may be booked up or have a personal engagement that conflicts. Read through the host’s profile thoroughly. You may find that their rules don’t mesh well with your camping lifestyle. Some hosts prefer not to allow pets, smoking, or specific camping equipment. These rules may have to do with the required community by-laws or other governing authorities.  

Enrolling Profile Options

To sign up for Boondockers Welcome, you can use your Facebook, Google, or Apple profiles. 

  1. Escapees RV Club

The Escapees RV Club is one of the oldest camping organizations and clubs in the United States. It started as a group of like-minded RVers that wanted to get together for weekends and special events. It’s now a national organization with regional chapters throughout the country. As an “SKPs” (when pronounced, it sounds like Escapees), you have access to a plethora of discounts.

Membership Costs and Fees

The annual membership is $49.95 (USD 59.95 in Canada and Mexico). The membership gives you full access to the RV club’s benefits. After you camp or use some of the discounts, you’ll be amazed how quickly that membership fee pays for itself.

Advantages to Joining

Benefits include discounts on campgrounds between 15-50%, repair services, RV education workshops, a job board that caters to RVers, and other RV-friendly companies. When you attend their special events, it could feel like it’s an RV club for seniors, but their Xscapers branch is specifically for working-age family members. 

Things to Consider

A camping club for full-time RVers

Some SKPs participate fully, while others join for the benefits. Escapees mail service for full-time RVers has excellent reviews. It’s not just an RV discount club; it’s a camping club first. Some like the idea of having a membership that has many services in one package, while others prefer to shop around finding what they need with the features and pricing that fits them best. 

Enrolling Profile Options

If you know someone already a part of the Escapees RV Club, there’s a referral benefit for your friend. As a fellow RVer, keep to the community spirit by helping them out.

  1. Family Motor Coach Association 

Since 1963, motorhome and towable members of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) have displayed their registered black oval membership emblem on their RV with pride. Over 500,000 national members enjoy the all-encompassing benefits while enjoying rallies and local chapter weekends. 

Membership Costs and Fees

When you join FMCA for the first time, there’s an additional $10 cost in the first year. The annual membership starts at $75, but you can purchase a 2 or 3-year membership, saving you money. Local chapter memberships have an average cost of $25, with renewal costs between $10-$25. 

Advantages to Joining

The benefits are numerous. You’ll receive discount benefits on name-brand tires, data networks, campgrounds, RV dealers, and other coach services. You can stay up to date with the monthly magazine, a local chapter newsletter and participate in the online forums. 

FMCA offers RV roadside assistance, the FMCAssist ambulatory service, discount insurance rates, anti-theft program, and savings at many commercial businesses you use every day.

Things to Consider

Emblems are unique to members. If you bought an RV from someone with an emblem, it can’t transfer to you. If your membership becomes dormant, you can reactivate your registration ID.

Participation in the local chapters is encouraged but not mandatory. People do join for the benefits. Make sure you thoroughly read through how the services work and the limitations. The Membership gives you access to the benefits. Certain features may have separate costs.

Enrolling Profile Options

Current members can receive referral points for enrolling friends and family in the Family Motor Coach Association.

  1. Harvest Hosts

Is there such thing as a fun boondocking site? With Harvest Hosts, you can enjoy wineries, breweries, fresh farm products, learn amazing things at museums, and even hit the links at some amazing country clubs nationwide. Since you called ahead, get comfortable because your reservation includes free overnight parking.

For an annual membership, Harvest Host gives you access to free boondocking sites at incredible locations. There are around 2,200 locations you can choose from in your self-contained RV that’ll make the journey just as exciting as your ultimate destination. 

Membership Costs and Fees

Harvest Host’s Classic Plan is $99 annually. The Golf Plan is $139 and adds golf courses, country clubs, spa facilities, and restaurants. Whichever plan you choose, each host appreciates minimum patronage of $20 or more.

Advantages to Joining

A campfire in the campground

Compared to campground fees, the overall savings is fantastic. You’ll receive a monthly newsletter introducing you to new hosts that have joined the program. The website and app give you a user-friendly experience to find boondocking hosts near me easily.

Leashed pets are allowed at most host locations when you follow campground dog rules. If you don’t drink alcohol, there are plenty of other products available at the wineries and breweries that cater to your lifestyle. Some hosts offer water and dump stations. Their profile will point out this feature.

Things to Consider

One of the significant benefits of the Harvest Hosts program for the hosts is the customer traffic. That’s why CEO Joel Holland and his team set the affordable minimum of $20. Designated RV parking sites could be at the edge of the grounds, so have your walking shoes ready.

All RVs must be self-contained that includes a bathroom. The host will not provide one for you. Be respectful of the property. Use jack pads, ask about their policy on generator usage, and other outdoor things that could draw attention.  

Enrolling Profile Options

Finding coupon codes for Harvest Hosts discounts are scattered throughout the internet. The website may have a 10-15% discount for new memberships internally. 

  1. Passport America

If you’re looking for a no-fuss, no-muss RV discount club that saves you 50% on campground fees nationwide, Passport America is the best camping club to join. With over 1,450 participating campgrounds, enjoy your favorite and new RV destinations year-round.

Membership Costs and Fees

Annual memberships start at $44 a year, but you can enroll in multi-year money-saving plans. If you want to go for the gold, you can purchase a lifetime membership for less than $400 that pays for itself after 20 nights of camping due to the massive discount you receive each night.

Advantages to Joining

A group of friends joined an RV club

Passport America RV club comes with a yearly printed directory, but you’ll have access to their website and app that’s continually updated when a new campground participates. They have an RV trip route planner that’ll help you find member campgrounds on your journey. Your membership also has discount opportunities at Love’s Truck Stops, Cracker Barrel, and many other relevant businesses.

Things to Consider

Each campground has its own rules on how the plan applies. They determine blackout days, camping length limits, and other details. Some campgrounds will accept drive-in or first-come-first-serve camping if they have openings. Calling ahead of time is always a preferred method. You can’t combine Passport America discounts with any other club memberships.

Enrolling Profile Options

Existing members can take advantage of the referral program to earn credit toward their next renewal. Search for Passport America coupon codes for additional savings on your initial enrollment.

  1. Good Sam RV Club

The Good Sam RV Club is so expansive, a person interested in the RV experience could use all of the discount club’s resources in the purchase process, their trip, and return home without ever considering anything else. Since 1966, Good Sam is worth the money because its famous 10% reaches throughout the many RV-related industries.

Membership Costs and Fees

To join, you have the option of choosing an annual or multi-year membership starting at $29 a year. Don’t forget to look for valid coupon codes.

Advantages to Joining

You’ll find that a significant portion of discounts goes beyond 10%. The true value of Good Sam is the internal and partner organizations within their network. Partners and services include:

  • Campground reviews, discounts, and finder
  • Retail discounts at Camping World, Gander RV & Outdoors, and Overton’s.com
  • Fuel savings at Pilot/Flying J 
  • A website and app trip planner
  • Dining, shopping, travel, and entertainment specials throughout the year
  • Roadside and TravelAssist (medical transportation) coverage
  • Mail forwarding services
  • Extended warranty service plan
  • RV, health, pet, and life insurance coverage
  • Good Sam credit car
  • RV financing
  • Tire and wheel protection
  • Buy or Sell your RV through the Good Sam Network of dealers

Things to Consider

A family joined the best camping club

If you’re looking for the best camping club to join based on the discount only, there are other choices. Many first-timers like Good Sam RV Club since it’s an all-inclusive RV discount club. This affordable option gives you access to exclusive deals that can be amazing. Good Sam is one of the most popular discount club, and veteran RVers will keep the membership as a backup when all others fail them. 

Enrolling Profile Options

Good Sam RV Club has promotion codes and a referral program. When you’re at one of the retail stores, you can renew your membership at the checkout counter. 

  1. Thousand Trails

Thousand Trails Camping Pass allows you to camp without paying campsite fees. With your annual membership, you can set up in the member’s-only campgrounds within your selected zone as much as you want. To make your trips more exciting, you can add zones or add the Trails Collection Pass to enjoy the Encore RV Resorts nationwide.

Membership Costs and Fees

Before any promotions or coupon codes, a one-zone membership starts at $615. You can add zones for $65 per zone. The Trail Collection Pass that only adds Encore RV Resorts outside your zone is $315. As an affiliate, the Encore Resorts have a $20 nightly fee.

Advantages to Joining

With the Thousand Trails Camping Pass, you can camp up to 14 days at one of their locations. You’ll have a 7-day cooling-off period before you can camp at the same or a different location you’re eligible to stay. Another option is to stay less than 4-days at one place and then head to another Thousand Trails campground without the cooling-off period.

Things to Consider

Many question if the Thousand Trails Camping Pass is worth it. The program works a lot like a timeshare, but you get to use your free overnight camping benefits throughout the year instead of one week as a traditional timeshare. People love it or can’t wait to sell it. 

The most prominent issue people come across is limited availability. For example, the Midwest Zone only has 8 campgrounds in the network spread between Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. There are affiliate campgrounds, but you can’t enjoy the full features your paying. The Northwest Zone has 18 campgrounds closer together on the west side of Oregon and Washington State.

Yet, with the 2020 RV trend, we’ve heard stories of those living the full-time RV lifestyle finding campsites because they had a Thousand Trails Camping Pass. If you’re considering signing up with Thousand Trails, do your research and make sure you understand how it works and if it fits your RV camping style.

Enrolling Profile Options

Before you click on the “Join Now” button, search for Thousand Trail discount memberships. Thousand Trails allows members to sell their memberships. You can either buy them through the company itself or from Campground Membership Outlet, a trusted source. 

The best way to buy an existing membership is to speak to a representative over the phone. There are so many ways to customize a membership; their specialists can determine your needs and wants and find the best membership plan in their catalog.

Use the Potato Chip Method With RV Discount Clubs

When you open a bag of potato chips, do you have the willpower only to take one? If so, you’re stronger than most Americans. Each RV discount club has its pros and cons. Most of them are very affordable, so we advise our RV Troopers to have more than one membership card in their wallet.

Many campgrounds participate in multiple discount programs to increase their earning potential. The RV discount clubs are an excellent way for them to advertise and increase traffic to their location. The money they lose from the discount is a minor issue compared to the higher volume of business the campground receives.

When you’re making your campground reservation, a smart strategy is to see which discount club offers the better savings. For example, a campground that offers a premium site with full hookups and a cement pad to park on could have a price of $80 per night. Your favorite club may offer a 20% discount on those days, but one of your secondaries offers a 25% discount.

Generally, the best time to go camping is non-holiday weeknights. Blackout dates usually occur at the campground’s busiest weekends during special events and holidays. You’ll find crowds during Easter weekend and Halloween because they act as the bookends of the camping season. 

To learn more RV tips and tricks like this, bookmark the RV Troop website and check in often. We’re constantly adding new content about navigating the RV World and money-saving RV hacks to better your experiences.

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RV Camping Membership – 50% Discount at Campgrounds (Video)

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