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Discount Camping RV Clubs in 2021

(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)

Camping's not cheap anymore, y'all.

With more RVs sold every year in record numbers, we have way more people hitting the road than ever before.

Who doesn't want to be free to go wherever their wheels will take them?

This means that campgrounds are getting more and more crowded and more and more expensive.

RVs at busy campground

 Enter discount camping RV club memberships.

You can save anywhere from ten percent to fifty percent on a campground stay when using a camping membership.

They all have different rules and they all have different benefits. So which one is right for you?

Is it good to become a member of several RV clubs?

Don't make the mistake of randomly joining all the most popular ones- you're bound to waste money on one or more.

(For example, Camp Addict Kelly got a Passport America membership from the get-go and then never once used it. She started boondocking right away.)

We're going to help you decide by making the benefits of each RV discount club as easy to understand as we can.

Whether any given RV club is worth it to you or not depends a lot on your camping style.

Let's look at the camping clubs that are out there, then we will cover their benefits in full detail.

Know that some of these are just for one night of parking. Others are for discounts at campgrounds.

Discount Camping Clubs

These are the memberships whose primary benefit is to camp at a discounted rate in a campground.

Each has its own perks and drawbacks.

Escapees RV Club

Escapees (SKP) RV club just celebrated its 40th year in business.

Vice President Melanie Carr says they are very proud of that milestone, and rightfully so!

Escapees RV club (Also now known for their new, but already wildly popular Xscapers membership) offers much more than campground discounts.

Escapees are well known as an RV lifestyle club. 

They offer mail service, campground membership and/or discounts, RVer advocacy, rallies, CARE, educational offerings including a boot camp program, and more.

Escapees logo

Escapees members can benefit from their three different types of RV 'parking'.

  • Rainbow Parks
  • Co-op parks
  • Discounts on 800+ commercial parks

They have 7 of their own 'Rainbow' parks, 11 'co-op' parks.

Your membership provides a 15-50% discount at 800+ other commercial parks.

Escapees Rainbow Parks

The Rainbow Parks offer up four types of parking: short-term, long-term, leases, and deeded lots.

There are 7 Rainbow Parks, located in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Texas.

These campgrounds are also open to non-Escapees members, but Escapees members receive a substantial discount.

Escapees Rainbow RV parks

Some of the Rainbow Parks available

Amenities are usually quite nice. They offer utilities such as laundromats, dog parks and more.

You can even take the RVer Bootcamp course if you stay at the Livingston, TX park (Escapee headquarters).

Escapees Co-op Parks

The co-op parks are owned and operated by the co-op members. (Separate and independent non-profit corporations.)

Memberships are only available for purchase by Escapees members. These are lots that can be leased and used only by the lessee.

Lessee's are required to maintain their Escapee's membership for the term of their lease.

Lessee's may choose to rent out their lot while they are away on trips, but they may ONLY rent to other Escapee's members.

The lease continues as long as the member wants. Then it is sold back to the co-op (or another Escapee) when no longer wanted or needed.

Some of the co-ops also offer overnight and weekly camping opportunities at low rates. Please call the park you are interested in for details on whether they offer this option or not.

Others have first-timer specials with a VERY low rate for staying.

Escapees SKP Co-Op RV parks

Some of the co-op parks available

There is a great sense of community in these parks as everyone is an owner. Prices are very affordable.

If you want to own without some of the hassles of ownership, and you want a home base but also want  to travel as well and not lose your spot, an SKP co-op lot may be good for you.

Escapees Commercial RV Park Discounts

Escapees have partnered with over 800 commercial RV parks to offer discounts ranging from 15 to 50% off.

Each campground has its own rules and limitations as to how many nights you can stay and how much of a discount you will get.

Still, with the many other benefits you get from an Escapees membership, it may be a no-brainer to join the SKPs and also benefit from the camping discounts.

Campgrounds can easily be found using their online map.

(When searching, a computer is preferred over mobile devices as there is limited functionality on mobile devices.)

Who Should Join the Escapees?

If you are looking for an active community, and if you are of working age, this is a MUST-HAVE membership, just to be an Xscaper and have the community.

Especially if you are a full-timer, the people you meet will possibly become like family.

Xscapers Moab convergence group photo

(Sorry, whoever took this pic. I know we used a few different cameras. Let me know if you know that it was you and you would like credit!)

If simply getting the best deal around for as cheap as possible for as many campgrounds as possible for a few nights at a time, this is not your top pick.

That pick would be Passport America.

(Bigger discounts more often and more campgrounds to choose from.)

However, if you plan to be in one spot for a long time, and they have parks in places that you want to be in, then this can be a great deal!

Especially if you want to have a great community in one of their Rainbow or Co-op parks. Camp Addict co-founder Marshall has only stayed at a Rainbow park in Washington for about a week.

Camp Addict co-founder Kelly still has not stayed in one.

Still, we are both Escapee's members and thoroughly enjoy the mail service benefits and the community of friends that we both have met through their Xscapers convergences.

Fees

Escapees memberships cost just $39.95 per year.

This gives you access to the Escapees and Xscapers communities, as well as access to all of their other services, resources, and programs.

Pros and Cons of the Escapees RV Club:

  • Multiple membership benefits plus discounts
  • SUPER affordable SKP parks and co-op parks
  • 15-50% off at over 800 participating commercial parks
  • Great sense of community at THEIR parks
  • Easy to use online map for searching for discounted parks
  • Not the primo membership for sharp discounts on the most campgrounds

Passport America

Passport America camping membership

Passport America has to be one of the best deals available as far as a high percentage discount goes (50%).

Like I stated above, I'll admit that when I (Kelly) first started full-time, I bought a Passport America membership that I NEVER used.

Little did I know I would stay in one place for my first 8 months. After that I started full-time boondocking.

You have to know how you camp to know if this RV discount club will work for you or not. For probably 90% of campground campers, it's a no-brainer.

The campgrounds aren't always the most desirable ones to stay in, (this goes for most camping memberships) but if you were looking for that, you shouldn't be looking for discounts.

The typical discount when you use your Passport America membership is around 50%, but be aware that not ALL of the participating campgrounds give a full 50% off.

The parking duration time is almost always limited. Some campgrounds only offer discounts seasonally or during certain days of the week.

Each campground varies with its rules regarding discounts. You have to read the rules of the particular campground you would like to stay at.

The Passport America app and website make it very easy to find out what a campground has to offer. They use icons to easily identify what amenities are available.

Screenshot example below.

Passport America location detail

However, there are no reviews on any of the campgrounds within the Passport America app or website.

Still, you could look up reviews on any particular campground elsewhere (such as on Campendium).

Passport America has over 1,800 participating campgrounds in their discount camping network.

Pros and Cons of Passport America:

  • Great discounts
  • Good number of campgrounds available
  • Pays for itself easily with one or two stays
  • Website and app very clear and easy to use
  • Some parks are less than desirable
  • Stays can be limited by number of days/season/day of week

Happy Camper

Happy Camper is a lesser-known discount RV camping club.

Why?

We are not sure except for that they don't offer as many campgrounds at a discount as Passport America does, their main competition.

They offer a 50% off stay at their participating campgrounds, but they only have about 1,200 campgrounds, while Passport America has over 1,800.

The Happy Camper membership fee is a touch lower than PA, but that won't make up for the difference if you can stay at MORE campgrounds for half off with Passport America.

We're just not sure that this is the best deal out there when the competition, Passport America, is available for you as well.

Also, the Happy Camper website feels and looks cheap, for lack of a better term. Their website isn't even secure. 

It doesn't help the RV discount club's case.

Here's an example of the campground description. It's all in one paragraph, all the same size font, etc, making it hard to read.

Too bad they don't use icons as Passport America does.

Happy Camper RV discount club

Bottom line is that there are better clubs out there that are easier to use and have more available campgrounds.

They also seem to be pitting themselves against 'some other' RV club by stating that they are NOT a camping club that sends/mails printed guides.

(We're pretty sure we know who they are talking about, and you might have an idea as well.)

So they think they are the end all be all 'answer' to being an RV camping club because you don't get a lot of mail?

This seems an odd way to pitch one's business.

Pros and Cons of Happy Camper:

  • Cheaper membership than Passport America
  • Up to 50% off at their affiliated campgrounds
  • Not the club with the most campgrounds for its type
  • Website lacking in ease of consumer use and professionalism
  • Just feels a little janky

Thousand Trails

Boy oh boy.

Here's where you can potentially sit back and get your popcorn out to enjoy the online disputes! This campground membership is either loved or hated by RVers and campers.

It works best for those who want to stay in campgrounds full-time and love the area(s) their campgrounds are in.

There are horror stories on the Internet (and in-person) about this RV club, and there are great stories on the Internet (and in-person) about this club as well.

It seems  a definite love/hate relationship going on, and hardly any in-between.

We have heard from people, and have read about, painfully harsh stories of people having the worst customer experience trying to GET and UNDERSTAND the membership.

Others say it went smoothly for them.

Thousand Trails logo

Our experience? Being boondockers, neither of us has stayed at a Thousand Trails campground. 

However, trying to get information about a membership proved pretty challenging.

I (Kelly) did a live chat with an agent, 'Lucy'.

She gave some answers but once she found out I was just getting information for 'blogging', she quickly advised me it would be best to talk to someone at the 'corporate office' and gave me a number. (833-350-7616)

I called it and it was disconnected.  So I looked up the number for Thousand Trails on the website and called it.

Talked to that agent for a bit and got a pretty good rundown.

Then once I told her I was just needing facts for a blog, she realized who I was- she was the agent I was previously doing the online chat with, and she again told me to call the corporate office.

I informed her that the other number was incorrect and she gave me a new number, 312-279-1400. She quickly ushered me off the phone.

I called corporate. They said they were NOT the people to talk to. 

Great.

So I reverted back to the online chat.

When I entered all my info and my 'message', to start the chat, I informed her that corporate told ME that they were not the ones to talk to.

However, It never showed up in the chat. Then I asked about the money-back guarantee.

She answered:

Thousand Trails chat screenshot

I don't really understand her explanation.

 Next, I asked if she got the message about the corporate office. She never answered.

After a bit, I asked for another phone number. Nothing.

I took the second (below) screenshot at 12:49 to show you that I basically got hung up on in the chat. She never replied to me again.  

It just disappeared and showed this:

Thousand Trails chat screenshot

So I never got my other questions answered. The agent clearly didn't want to speak with me. Maybe she gets a commission if she makes a sale?

And knew there was no sale from me? Therefore, this might be a tough one to really judge.

Benefits to Thousand Trails

Here's what I understood from my chats with Lucy:

  • Membership is $575/year.
  • This is for one camping 'zone'.
  • There are 5 zones to choose from.
Thousand Trails campground map

This gives you 14 days max to stay in-network at a campground in whatever zone you bought into. 

Then you must be out for 7 days somewhere else before you can stay in one of their campgrounds in that zone again.

Yes, you can buy more zones for an additional $49. You can stay in-network indefinitely if you move every 4 days or less. But that's probably pretty hard to keep up with.

Still, it's an option.

They also have a 'Trails Collection'. These are Encore Campgrounds which are also open to the general public (non-members).

If you are a TT member, you can stay in these campgrounds for 20% off.

If you buy the Trails Collection membership, you can stay in these campgrounds for free or for about $20/night.

Not sure if there is a limit on your stay duration or not.

Thousand Trails camping pass

Yes, it is complicated. It's a bit like a time-share. Still, if you are willing to do a lot of research and are willing to buy an after-market membership, it may be worth your while.

It seems if you search around a little on the Internet, there are other camping memberships available as well, such as VIP, Elite, etc.

Why they don't advertise this on their website is beyond us.

Once again, knowing if this RV membership club would benefit you depends on how you camp and where you want to stay.

We have a bunch of friends who use Thousand Trails and love it. It's very affordable camping.

Maybe you will have better luck with questions about membership if you sign up.

  • As mentioned by a reader in the comments below, you can use "Campground Membership Outlet " to save on buying a Thousand Trails membership. Even the outlet seller claims that the membership options are "complex". Though we have not tried it, this may be a great way to save money and overcome the confusion of buying Thousand Trails through their direct sales.

Pros and Cons of a Thousand Trails Membership

  • Very affordable
  • Multiple campgrounds to choose from
  • Add on zones for very cheap
  • They claim a money back guarantee
  • Can use a broker to potentially make membership selection easier
  • Lots of confusing information out there about memberships
  • You can sell your membership of you want to opt out
  • No campgrounds in the middle of the country
  • You have to move at least every 14 days to an out of network campground

Good Sam Club

Easily the most popular and well-known of the camping clubs, Good Sam Club offers a whole lot more than just campground discounts.

The discount on Good Sam approved campgrounds is nothing to write home about- just 10% off of the 2,100+ campgrounds in their network.

Good Sam Club logo

However, the Good Sam Club also offer discounts on RV related items.

They discount propane at Camping World, give you free dump at select Camping World stores, gasoline at Flying J stores, discounts on Camping World purchases, roadside assistance, and much more.

They boast over 1.8 million members and the membership fee is only $25.

So depending on your style of RVing and how often you take to the road, this camping membership can easily pay for itself quickly if you will be using the benefits that Good Sam offers.

Good Sam Club Products

Good Sam offers several other products besides the Good Sam Club membership described here. Visit our Good Sam Club Membership page to learn more about these other products and services.

Pros and Cons of Good Sam

  • Multiple benefits other than just campground discounts
  • Very affordable
  • 10% off 2,100+ campgrounds
  • 10% off is not very much savings

FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association)

FMCA logo wbg

General Benefits

FMCA finally opened its doors to towable RV owners, as opposed to only people with a motorhome.

This means lots of great benefits to those who join. We wouldn't call their camping discounts the 'best', nor would they be the sole reason to join.

But in addition to some camping discounts, they also offer MANY other helpful discounts.

Benefits include tire discounts, discounts on a temperature measuring device for pets, mobile internet, roadside assistance, mail forwarding services, and a ton more.

FMCA member benefits
FMCA member benefits

Let's get to what we came here for; FMCA's camping benefits.

Camping Discounts

Among many benefits, they do have some camping discounts to be had.

KOA

First, only NEW FMCA members (your first year) receive a KOA 'value card', which offers 10% of all KOA parks.

ALL KOA campgrounds are active in participating in this discount.

You only receive this perk for your first year. It does not apply again when you renew.

Passport America

Second, you can get more out of a Passport America membership.

There's a small amount knocked off of your fee. Plus you get a few extra months, depending on the number of years you purchase at once.

Michael Stegner from FMCA quoted these Passport America benefits (when purchasing through FMCA) to us.

This is as of May 2019:

  • 1 Year for $41 (includes a free 3 months)
  • 2 Years for $74 (includes a free 3 months)
  • 3 years for $104 (Includes a free 6 months)

The extra months are what makes this worth it. The purchase price difference is very minimal.

Other Participating Campgrounds

Additionally, they have 300+ commercial campgrounds that offer anywhere from 5-50% discount to FMCA members.

FMCA Members-Only Campground

FMCA has its member-only campground in Cincinnati.

Members also get two free nights per month at this location.

Reservations must be made in advance.

Fees

Membership fees are $85 for the first year, then $75 each year after that if you buy annually.

As often is the case, the more years you buy at once, the cheaper it becomes.

Auto membership renewal is available.

FMCA member benefits

Pros And Cons Of FMCA

  • Multiple camping discounts
  • Benefits other than JUST camping discounts
  • Well known and respected organization
  • Recently opened to all RV owners
  • Not the biggest discounts out there
  • Limited on the number of campgrounds that offer a FMCA discount

Boondockers Welcome

Boondockers Welcome is pretty much like it sounds. It's an RV club offering places to temporarily dry camp (usually) on people's private property.

Most of the time the parking area will be right beside their home.

Otherwise, it can be on land that they own but do not live on.

Rules

Members are only asked for a few rules to follow.

Most sound like common sense if you have read the rules about staying and how the camping membership works.

Limitations might be no hookups, the length of your rig, or having pets, depending on the host you are looking to park with.

Read their stipulations before you contact the host.

Boondockers Welcome logo

Host Benefits

  • Homeowners (hosts) who are RV friendly and are sometimes RVers themselves can, for free, offer up their spot for your use for a very limited time
  • They get half off a boondockers subscription
  • They also get a few months free added to their membership when they host someone
  • They get to meet new cool people and if they don't know much about it, they can learn a lot about the RVing lifestyle.

Member Benefits

  • Of course, you get a place to stay for free (after membership, which is cheaper than two nights stay in many campgrounds)
  • Meet cool new people
  • Avoid campground fees
  • Unlimited stays at locations throughout the United States (but there are limits to how long you can stay at a single location - usually just a day or so)
  • Discounts on RVing related memberships and products
  • Stays available in other countries

Fees

The fee for Boondockers Welcome is a very reasonable $50 per year. They have over 2,800 hosts in the United States.

Some people have traversed the country using just Boondockers Welcome! Hosts may or may not have utilities for you to use.

The use of utilities may incur you an additional fee, which is up to the homeowner. This is truly a grand deal.

Especially if you want to check out cities and you can go a day or two off the grid. For $50, it's another no-brainer.

Marshall and Kelly finally got BW in the summer of 2019. We have enjoyed 4 or 5 different stays without any issues. 

One initial concern was that we would have to be ultra social. This has NOT been the case. The homeowners have been very hands-off. Yet friendly.

Perfect!

Pros and Cons of Boondockers Welcome

  • Super cheap for the entire year
  • If you're people-oriented, you can make lots of new friends
  • Great way to see cities on the cheap
  • Number of days you can stay is limited. (Though some hosts may let you extend your stay if you are nice)

Use our discount code to enjoy 15% off your membership!  

Code: CAMPADDICT15


Harvest Hosts

Alamosa Colorado Harvest Host

Group Of RVing Friends At A Brewery Harvest Hosts Location

Harvest Hosts offer up unique places to park for the night- mostly dry camping stays at wineries, farms, and attractions.

In exchange, it is implied that you will explore the place you are visiting as well as purchase an item or two in appreciation for allowing you to stay.

The bonus is you get a fun and unique experience as well as a camping spot for the night.

Sometimes you may be invited to stay more than one night if you're cool peeps and they like you.

They have over 710 hosts, many being east of the Mississippi, and a few in Canada.

Harvest Host discount camping club locations

Harvest Hosts locations

Rules

There are some rules to be able to stay. For instance,  your RV must be self-contained. It MUST have a fully functioning bathroom.

You may not dump your grey tank on their property... these are logical rules that should even be able to go unwritten.

But... you know...(some) people.  You cannot have/use any type of outdoor kitchen at a host's place.

Read the rules. AND follow them!

Fees

The membership fee is $79 per year (discount code available).

You are automatically set up with the auto-renew program. Just email them at any time if you want to opt-out of auto-renew.

Harvest Hosts offers a 100% money-back guarantee. They want you to be satisfied with your experience so this is a no-risk purchase.

You get 15% off the cost of membership if you use our link below!

Optional Golf Course & Country Club Locations

Harvest Hosts acquired the RV Golf Club around the end of 2018.

RV Golf Club previously offered a service very similar to Harvest Hosts, but with stays at Golf Courses and Country Clubs.

Golf course sunset

The RV Golf Club was a natural fit to become part of the Harvest Hosts family due to their similarities.

Once you complete the regular Harvest Hosts signup process (after you enter your billing information), you will be offered the opportunity to add access to the golf course and country club locations for an additional $20 per year. 

Harvest Hosts currently has over 300 golf course and country club locations in its database. 

If you are at all interested in staying at these types of locations, the $20 annual upgrade is well worth the cost.

Pros and Cons of Harvest Hosts:

  • Unique camping experience
  • Save money on campgrounds
  • Camp in places you couldn't otherwise
  • If you have a winery, farm, or attraction, you can become a host
  • Over 710 hosts
  • Optional Golf Course and Country Club 'add-on'
  • You are obligated to purchase something from the host
  • Some restrictions on what type of rig you can participate with

Harvest Host Discount Code

When you join Harvest Hosts using the below button, you are offered a 15% discount off the membership.

Just make sure you make note of the discount code that will display at the top of the Harvest Host website.

Both the discount percentage and the overall cost are locked in for the life of your membership.

If you renew your Harvest Host membership each year, you will continue to take advantage of this discount.


Hipcamp

Hipcamp discount camping club

We would like to call Hipcamp the 'Airbnb' of RVing. Hipcamp is a fairly new one in the camping industry. 

Founded in just 2013, it has grown at an impressive rate to include over 285,000 properties to choose from.

It works just like Airbnb. You search for properties to park your RV instead of searching for houses and rooms to rent.

Hipcamp has a very simple interface for you, the user to easily find what you are looking for.

Kelly's rig moochdocking

This wasn't a Hipcamp spot, but it's typical of what one could look like if in a neighborhood

There is no fee to join Hipcamp, but you must register to book. 

Hipcamp gets its money from service fees, which is a variable percentage of the amount that you book.

The site is very good at being descriptive as far as amenities on the property and photos of each property, being the owner's responsibility to fill out.

Filters make it easy for you to find what you are needing in a camping spot. (Filter for hook-ups, pets allowed, activities, etc.)

Hipcamp discount camping club

Hipcamp is a DREAM for those who don't like campgrounds or those who just want a more unique camping experience.

Rules

The only rules are those that are set by the homeowner or property owner. Sure, if you are an idiot while you stay and have a few bad reviews, you could get banned.

That can happen with any type of site where you have an account and are reviewed by the host.

Pros and Cons of Hipcamp

  • Very easy to navigate website
  • Huge variety of places to camp
  • Almost 300K properties to choose from - the most of any club
  • Easily filter your results
  • No membership fees, just a percentage fee of purchase price
  • None that we can find

National Park Service Senior Pass

This is not exactly a campground membership, but it is such a great discount on camping, we had to include it.

If you are a senior citizen (62+ and must be US citizen or permanent resident), you can benefit greatly from the National Park Service Senior Pass.

100% of the proceeds go towards improving and enhancing visitor recreation areas.

National Parks Annual Senior Pass
National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass

The National Park Senior Pass is a 'senior' version of the America the Beautiful Pass (which is available for anyone to purchase - no age restrictions).

It has additional benefits including camping discounts at many Federal campgrounds.

Read more about the benefits of the National Park Senior Pass.

Two Versions Of National Park Senior Pass

There are two versions of the National Park Senior Pass that you can purchase - an annual pass ($20) and a lifetime pass ($80).

However, unless there is a compelling reason to only buy an annual pass (good for just 12 months), we don't see a reason to not just spring for the lifetime pass (good for, well, your lifetime).

The National Park Service Senior Pass grants holders access to all of the Federally operated recreation sites (there are over 2,000) in the USA for free.

(Up to 3 additional adults in the same vehicle also get in for free.)

This pass also grants, at times, a 50% discount off of amenity fees such as camping.

Not all camping fees are going to be discounted, such as extra fees for electricity.

Free Access Pass For The Disabled

The park's service also offers a FREE access pass for those who have been medically determined to have a permanent disability.

Free if obtained on-site, $10 if ordered online or through the mail.

Visit here for more information.

Still, this is one not to miss if you are a senior and you like to stay in Federal parks.

Pros and Cons of a National Park Senior Pass

  • Very affordable with two different 'versions' - an annual pass and a lifetime pass
  • 50% off camping at participating Federal parks
  • Get into National Parks (and other Federal recreational sites) for free
  • You have to be of age (62 and over) to get it

Processing Fee For Online Orders

There is an additional $10 document processing fee (you have to upload proof of residency and age) for orders submitted online.

So a total of $30 for the annual senior pass and $90 for the lifetime senior pass.

To avoid this additional fee, visit one of the Federal recreation sites that issues annual pass (view PDF list here).

ANNUAL Senior Pass ($20)

LIFETIME Senior Pass ($80)


Explorer RV Club (Canada Only)

If you are a Canadian, this is the club for you. It's the largest RVing discount club in Canada.

They offer up discounts similar to Escapees RV Club in the States. 

Some discounts and perks include:

  • Campground discounts in the USA and Canada
  • Insurance
  • RV Dealer discounts
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance (additional cost)

Campground discounts aren't much to write home about. The most you typically get off is 10-15%.

Some also have additional restrictions such as long weekends or a limited number of days you can stay.

Explorer RV Club campground benefits detail

Sample Campground Discount Detail (10% off for max 6 nights)

Prices for competing roadside assistance seem to show that the Canadian roadside assistance offers the most benefits.

It's also  the best price, even offering assistance in Mexico.

Explorer RV Club roadside service comparison

Explorer RV Club Roadside Compared To The Competition

Explorer RV Club offers discounts for purchasing membership 2 years at a time.

They also offer a discount for the Canadian Forces, but it's very minimal.

Explorer RV Club membership prices

Explorer RV Membership Options

All in all, there aren't many choices specifically tailored for Canadians. At least this membership does offer some Canada campground discounts.

If you are staying in enough campgrounds in Canada, it could pay off.

Explorer RV Club Pros and Cons:

  • Discounts on Canadian campgrounds
  • Offer various discounts on other RVing type services
  • Competitively priced with other US based discount clubs
  • Discounts are pretty minimal
  • Canadian Forces don't get much off their membership

Conclusion

Did you figure out which is the best RV campground membership for you? There could even be more than one.

We hope this helped to clear up some things about the crazy world of RV discount clubs. Luckily there are many options.

It's just about figuring out which one is best for you!

Being hardcore boondockers, Camp Addict co-founders Marshall and Kelly have not used most of these programs. Just get out there and start doing what you like to do.

You will figure out which memberships are right for you as you go.

Camp on, Addicts!

Kelly Headshot
Kelly Beasley

He-llllo. I'm the co-founder of Camp Addict, which my biz partner and I launched in 2017. I frigging love the RVing lifestyle but in December of 2020, I converted to part-time RV life. Heck, I lived in my travel trailer for over 5.5 years, STRICTLY boondocking for pretty much all of it. Boondocking is a GREAT way to live, but it's not easy. Anyway, I'm passionate about animals, can't stand campgrounds, I hardly ever cook, and I love a good dance party. Currently, I can be found plotting and scheming whether or not to start collecting farm animals (or plotting my next RV trip!) at my beautiful new 'ranch' named 'Hotel Kellyfornia', in Southern Arizona.


Marshall Headshot
Marshall Wendler

Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing from April 2014 - December 2020, Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle. Marshall spent the majority of his RVing life boondocking. He is the part of Camp Addict that knows 'all the things'. He's good at sharing his technical knowledge so you can benefit.

Other Articles You Should Read

  • Been a Good Sam life member for about 20 years. No yearly cost. Worth it to me. Have long since saved enough to pay for it many times over.
    Did Passport America twice. First time it more than paid for itself. Second time there weren’t any campgrounds in our travels that year.

    • Yeah, I don’t recall ever using my PA membership. Didn’t know how I would RV, and in the first year I spent 8 months on a friend’s property and after that almost exclusively, out of the box, was boondocking.

      The memberships either work for an individual or they don’t, mostly depending on how they go about RVing.

      Thank you for your input!

  • Thanks Kelly. Really look forward to your articles. Always interesting. And Marshall, love the reviews. Just the right level of detail and your recommendations / rankings are very helpful. Thank you both!

    • Hey Rick,

      Thank you so much! And it’s so kind of you to take the time out of your day to write that lovely comment. We really do appreciate it and we appreciate the input.

      Hope we can keep on helping you out!

  • Thanks for the article. Very helpful. In future revision consider adding which clubs allow booking online. I find this a PRO as very convenient. For example boondockers welcome online booking excellent, while Harvest host requires calling, waiting on hold, and talking with someone who may not even be familiar with the program.

    • Hi Ken,

      We couldn’t agree more! However, Harvest Hosts is looking to fix their booking system. Though it will likely take quite a long time to implement. (They just received 37 MILLION dollars to implement this.)

      Hard to believe it takes over even one million dollars to do such a thing! They must be doing other stuff with it as well. So yes, BW is easy to book. HH, not so much.

      Thanks for the tip! Might revise that info in the future.

  • We are Boondockers Welcome (BW) members for a long time, long enough to be grandfathered in at $30 per year. We use it both for our annual “snowbird” commute between Washington State and Arizona and for some sightseeing trips. On our Arizona commutes we always take the same route and stay with the same BW hosts, who have now become old friends. On a sightseeing trip to Bend, OR, our hosts in Redmond, OR, invited us to join them for cocktail hour! By us, this is the real “no brainer” deal, one stay is going to pay for the membership compared to a typical commercial campground. Although not required, every BW host we have stayed with has provided us 20 amp power via extension cord, and we always offer $5 for the courtesy. Many allow multi-day stays, as did our Bend host. The website for finding hosts and requesting stays is a model of how it should be done. Thumbs up for BW!

    • Hi Pat!

      Yes, Boondockers Welcome has been a really great idea and company! I have used them as well, and the stays were nothing but great!

      Amazing to hear you have found friends this way. I have never felt any pressure to ‘hang out’ with the hosts, which was an original (now defunct) fear factors of joining. We also recommend that people use BW as a way to ‘practice’ boondocking before actually going for it.

      Cheers to many more amazing stays with BW!

      • It needs to be mentioned that BW also has a “fully self-contained” rule that includes having a greywater tank in the definition. Alaskan Campers do not have greywater tanks, and I had to do a retrofit on ours. This will eliminate some RVs such as tent trailers and teardrop trailers, and perhaps others. Early on we used a 5 gallon bucket with a lid with a hole in it for the drain hose, and we always disposed of the graywater off-site. No BW host ever complained, but when we renewed, we decided we had better get compliant.

  • WOW!! THANKS SO MUCH for compiling this list. I will have to store this one away. I’m going through the list slowly and putting it in my “Future Full Time Travel” notebook. I have seen many videos on these memberships…but WOW really thorough list Kelly & Marshall. Hope life in AZ is going well. Your up the way from me. Gotta LOVE this weather lately. Roof top camping for us this weekend down south of Tucson. Thanks again~

    • Hi Jenny!

      Wow, thank you for taking your time out of your day to post this great comment! Glad you got some seeeeeeeeeerious juice out of it! : D

      Yep, doing ok here… getting a little hitch itch… but also am enjoying having the time to put into Camp Addict instead of moving so much and planning, etc. And yes, the weather has finally been quite nice! So surprised by the rain! I know that the Tucson area really needs it.

      So it’s a blessing. Enjoy this weekend!!!

  • Kudos to both of you Kelly & Marshall. Very informative. This helps me a lot, and you guys made it a lot easier for me to choose what works best for me & my husband. I appreciate very much the time & effort you spent in collecting all these information. Thank you from the bottom of my heart♥️

    • Hi Jocelyn,

      Thank you for the kind comment! We are so happy to hear you found value in our pages! Hoping it for sure helped you figure out what you did and did not need. : D

  • Thank you so much for all of the research you did in comparing the pros and cons of each membership. Very well written and well done.

    • Hi Judy,

      Thank you for the kudos! It definitely took some serious digging and research to get everything right. We do hope it helped you figure out what you do or don’t need!

  • I was helping my elderly Mom with her bills when I discovered she was a member of KQ Ranch / cramembers. We called to try to cancel and it was ridiculous. You can not cancel the membership by phone, email or online. You have to write a letter, sign it and mail it to a random PO box in Arizona. It is scammy as heck and they try to make it hard for you to get out of the membership, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone.

    • Ugh, that is so aggravating! Sorry to hear you have had a hard time with them. ‘Customer no-service’ is what it sounds like. We hope you finally got out of it. Companies should make their customer’s lives easier, not harder.

  • Thanks for the great article, very informative. This helps immensely in determining which of these may be best for us. You have saved me a lot of time! Much appreciated!

    • Hi Joe,

      That’s great to hear! So happy to help and thank you so much for the positive comment and for your appreciation. We love it. : )

  • We are future RVers, current Ebike owners and new to overnight Tent camping and bike run trips. I was doing a search for best RV/camping discount clubs and stumbled upon your site. FANTASTIC Information!!! Thank you so much. We are about 18 to 24 months from being able to become mobile and are doing the camping tent to RV during this time. I look forward to your newsletter. So glad I found you!!! Again, truly great job! -P

    • Hi Phaedra,

      Well, wow! Thank you so much for the kudos!!! And we are excited for you in that you are going to be mobile soon… RV camping is a totally different world! I don’t consider it camping. To me, that requires a tent. LOL!

      It’s going to be so fun though- again, we appreciate you taking the time out of your day to spread your kind words and love! : D

  • Hi Kelly and Marshall. Thanks for this post. I really enjoyed the read, it is awesome having so much info for each group all in one spot. I’m not a USA citizen and will be touring western states for 3 months using a camper van (with no toilet and black water tanks). I also have a tent. Was so keen to use Boondockers Welcome but the vehicle is not allowed. What group/s would you suggest for me to sign up to? Are they mostly for actual RVs only. I plan to stay out the cities as much as possible.

    • Hi Evlyn,

      When you say your vehicle is not allowed, is it only due to the no toilet issue? Did you contact them about it? You may already know this, but if it’s a homemade van, it may not quality. They only specify to contact them to be approved.

      Perhaps you did not qualify as you don’t have a toilet system?

      If so, then if you have the room, why not get a composting toilet, or create your own? I know friends who have used the bucket method for their toilet (#2) then use a ‘she-wee’ or the like for urine collection. Be prepared to store your urine, however. We produce about 1.5 liters of it per day. So if you are staying for a week, either know you can store it, or go to a public facility to dump into a toilet.

      As long as you have a method to be self-contained (Likely running water, cooking, and toilet facilities), you may qualify to be a legal member. However, some hosts MAY not allow you to stay if you don’t have a traditional composting toilet or built-in toilet.

      Odds are, most won’t mind, as long as you aren’t dumping anything on their property. (SOME may allow you to set up a bathroom tent, but not all will.)

      BW is great. If you want to stay outside of cities, and you have a van, consider boondocking or simply parking at truck stops/gas stations overnight and then heading out each day to explore.

      As far as groups go, you may want to look into the RTR (Rubber Tramp Rendezvous) group. There are a lot of vehicle dwellers in there who may have great tips for you. They likely have periodic casual meetups as well.

      • Thanks for all the info Kelly, you’re truly a wealth of knowledge in this department. I had already contacted BW and they also suggested getting a portable toilet. That, along with the grey water tank are required to join BW. I will look in to it and also the RTR group. Thanks again, it’s really appreciated. ????

  • I had never heard of Hipcamp before and really like what it offers. I have a Passport America lifetime membership and use America the Beautiful often. Hipcamp is just what the family and I are looking for now to avoid large crowds and still enjoy the outdoors. The filters are great because I need full hook-ups and want to stay within my camping budget.

    • Awesome, glad to have introduced you to it. : )

      Once you have used Hipcamp, we would love to hear about your experience here.

  • What would you recommend if you sleep in your suv? I’m just starting my journey by myself of looking for a class C big enough to tow my car on a trailer with. Do you have to actually set up a tent to be camping?

    • Well, with a vehicle, you can try to do it pretty much anywhere that feels safe. Some campgrounds won’t let you stay in a tent. Some won’t let you sleep in a car. You’d have to find out ahead of time from every campground you went to if that’s what you’re asking about.

      Of course, you can try to sleep overnight at places like Walmart or in other public large lots. But as for campgrounds? We pretty much never use them so we may not be the best source of information for you. Good luck!

  • We Have Never Had An Rv Before. Therefore are looking for as much information as possible. It would be great to spend the winter in a warmer climate!

    • Hi Peggy,

      We agree! Living on wheels gives one that opportunity if they aren’t tied down to a brick and mortar job.

      I think personally, I must strive to create my life in a way that always allows for me to travel. Heck yeah!

    • Hi Laura,

      That’s great to hear, hope this helped you out some. Remember, don’t jump into any before you know your personal camping style! Have fun out there. : )

  • Im deaf need help to find place to stay park our RV motorhome in California riverside please helping me my name karyn

    • Hi Karyn,

      The absolute best resource for finding good campgrounds and even free places to park is Campendium.com. They detail people’s experiences, price, cellular service, what amenities are offered, etc. Good luck in your search!

  • We had a membership one time, with Thousand Trails, we got it when staying at an Encore location, because of that we got that Encore site as part of our TT membership.. It became our favorite place to go, and it was free with the TT membership.. We had good experience at other TT locations, just a few were slightly undesirable. Thanks for the Blog..

  • Hey wonderful article, am a member of Boondockers, and I want to go to florida for next winter, what other club do you recommend?

    • HI Don,

      Thank you, we are glad to hear you found this useful. Thousand Trails and Harvest Hosts both have numerous places on their sites listed in central and south Florida. Worth a look depending on where you are planning to go.

      Safe travels!

  • A colossal thanks Kelly & Marshall. Most grateful for your generosity in sharing these resources with us. Happy 2020 and happy new decade!

    • Hi Malcolm,

      You’re most welcome! It’s comments like yours that make us so happy to have started Camp Addict!! Happy new decade to you as well, friend. We’re happy you found us. ????

    • Hi Kelley,

      Great to hear that this helped you out, and thank you for the kind comment! We love hearing the positive. : )

      Yes, some Hipcamp properties may offer hook-ups. As you probably already read, just filter your search to include only those properties and you shall find what you are looking for.

      Have fun with your travels and drive safe!

    • Hey Willie,

      Camp Addict isn’t an employment website, but there are some great resources online that may be able to help you. Workamper News is where I’d start.

      You can find out other potential websites in the Work on the Road section of the Camp Addict RV Resources page.

  • I see that Camping World have a lot of discount programs. I even thought maybe I should buy an RV from them because of it, but then I searched for Camping World reviews (https://camping-world.pissedconsumer.com/review.html) over the Internet and found a lot of unsatisfied feedback about this company. There are even a few video interviews where customers are sharing their negative experience with this company. A lot of their customers are complaining about warranty policy.

    • Hi Mary,

      Yep, there is definitely a lot of negative feedback out there about the company (Good Sam/Camping World). We are only sharing what they have to offer. People DO tend to vent online more about negative events than they offer praise. Still, we recommend that you read up on what you can find and make your decisions after doing your own due diligence.

      Personally, neither Marshall nor I use Good Sam, except for now I use their roadside assistance for reviewing purposes. (and it’s not off to a good start)

      Discount clubs only work for you if they suit your personal needs depending on how you camp.

      Good luck out there!

  • This was a great article camping 101. I had no idea how much I didn’t know. It started with the rv dealer offering a 1yr 1zone thousand trail membership. I have seen some campgrounds and they don’t look that appealing. And neighbors…I’m doing this to escape from people and restrictions. So now I have to learn about Boondocking and grey water tanks lol. Seriously where do you dump this stuff. And how do you know it’s safe to park at your boondock location or if it’s private land. Never been camping but it seems exciting I’m doing all my homework for 2020 spring start date.

    • Glad you liked the article, Dabula!

      You can learn more about boondocking by reading our boondocking guide.

      Dumping your holding tanks is a matter of finding a stand along dump station or a campground that allows you to use their dump station. Some dump stations are free, while some charge a nominal fee. Most will have a fresh water spigot you can use to fill up your fresh water tank.

      Some gas stations will have dump stations, as will rest areas in some states. You can use Campendium to locate dump stations, both free and paid. Just filter by ‘dump station’ in the area you want to look.

      You can also use Campendium to find boondocking spots, to make sure you are camped in an approved area. Just filter by ‘free’ to find free to camp locations.

      Good luck on the Spring 2020 launch date!

    • Dabula, I don’t have an RV yet, but am planning on becoming a fulltimer & have been doing a lot of research for close to 3 yrs on YouTube where I’ve found many videos of fulltimers who boondock all the time. There’s good places & not so good places, but it’s best to research as there are many who’ve been doing this for a long time. Check with Bob Wells of CheapRVLiving. There’s a lady who has tons of videos; name is Robin & her channel is CreativityRV. She’s also written a book with all kinds of tips. Carolyn’s RV Life can give you many tips also. You’ll find many others with videos that will help.

  • Thank you for your comprehensive review of the different options for full time rvers. We haven’t even bought one yet but we’re trying to get our ducks in a row to figure this out. Thanks!

  • Hi K & M,
    To date, I am a weekend warrior getting in the groove with my new TT with the plan of FTing when I retire in 2 years (secretly jumping up & down).
    I am so naïve I have to chuckle. I was reading a rv forum & they were talking about ways of saving money and “campground memberships”. I think to myself “what’s a cg membership”? So I google it & come to your site.
    What great info you have provided for those of us (me) who are clueless. It turns out I have 2 of the fore mentioned membership, but didn’t really understand the extend of said memberships. I knew one would give me discounts at their stores (GS) & the other (Escapees) I thought, “my, these people know stuff I have to glean as much as I can from them” & joined. It’s a good thing I have 2 more years to continue figuring things out! It’s a process but, boy it’s fun! Thanks for spelling it out for me. Really good straight forward info. I think I will go read your ring 101 now…
    See you in the boonies

    • Hi Susan,

      So awesome to hear, glad we could help you! “See you in the boonies”- you’ve done your homework! : ) You’ll do well as you have so much time to research. Glad we can help you along the way!

      Camp On, Susan!

  • Hi! all this info is very helpful, my husband and I are looking into RVing full time as we are still in our mid 20s and want to travel the country before settling down. I would love any more input you might have! do you have any recommendations on the type of rv? we have been doing all sorts of research but I would love to hear from someone who has actually been out there!
    thanks!

    • Hey Meg,

      Ah, yes, what type of RV should one full-time in. That is THE question, isn’t it? Pretty sure you aren’t gonna like this answer, but it depends…

      We have friends that full-time in every type of RV. From a tiny 8-foot teardrop to 42-foot fifth wheels, and everything in between. So there is certainly no one right answer. And we certainly cannot answer for you. It’s all about your particular needs and travel/living styles. Big help, right?

      Both Kelly and I have been perfectly happy with our 24-foot travel trailers, but now our needs and mode of travel are changing so we are thinking going smaller and moving into #VanLife. That seems to be the best for us as far as mobility and access (being able to park about anywhere) for our future needs. But that’s just us. And there are plenty of people who would never consider moving into something that small.

      So all we can do is show you what we’ve written on the topic here on Camp Addict and then it’s up to you to decide. But you should be visiting a ton of RV dealerships to get familiar with what’s out there. Our advice is go with as small as you possibly could see yourselves in. Other than that, it’s up to you to decided what type of RV works for you.

      Here are some pages on Camp Addict you may find helpful:

      The Perfect RV For Your Needs
      Different Types of RVs Explained
      Best RV Brands

      Best of luck with your future life on the road!

  • This information is very helpful as we are headed out for our first year, in our motorhome, traveling across the states and looking for less expensive camping deals.

    • Glad you found Camp Addict useful, Joan!

      Sounds like a grand adventure you are about to depart on. We hope that you love the lifestyle as much as we do!

      Have you considered giving boondocking a try? That’s how we camp the vast majority of the time. Not because it saves us a ton of money (it does), but because we prefer the open spaces and not being so close to your neighbor (like most campgrounds).

      Enjoy your first year on the road!

  • Excellent information given, a lot of good and helpful information given, specially for those of us that are new to RVing. Thank you

  • We are 12 months away from purchasing our RV trailer. We plan on becoming full-time Rving for at least a year. I have heard many thoughts and opinions about these memberships and Camp Addict has done a nice job with their descriptions and pros and cons. I still have at least a year to make up my mind. If you have any strong recommendations please send them my way. Happy Camping!!!!!

    • Hi Larry,

      Well, congratulations on your upcoming full-time status! Very exciting times for you. My strongest recommendation is to not get any memberships until you figure out your personal style of travel.

      Like I said in this article (I think?), I got a Passport America membership right off. Never used it even once. Which plan works best for you will really remain to be seen once you start full-timing. If you KNOW already how you will camp, then you can easily figure out which plan(s) is/are going to be the best for you.

      It’s not a super critical decision. Take your time, and have fun with it!

      Thanks for the kudos, and Camp On!

  • Thank you for your helpful research! Just starting our planning for full-time RV living within the next 2 years.

  • Out of ignorance, but searching for answers – are minivans or SUVs, setup as camping vehicles allowed in the RV camps previously mentioned? Thanks.

    • Hi Arica,

      Different RV parks vary with their rules. Some only allow Class a’s, for example. However, we would think that at least parks that allow tent campers would allow vehicles to be slept in as well.

      Still, we aren’t totally sure about this answer. Perhaps another reader reading this has a better more concise answer for you.

      Thank you for your question, sorry we can’t be of more help!

  • Thank you for the info. We are going to be full-time RVers for the next year or so, and this is awesome info, all consolidated into one location. We have been so overwhelmed, this is super-refreshing. Thank you again.

    • Thank you for the kudos, James!

      Just remember, don’t buy before you figure out what your RVing style will be. Well, one could argue that you can get a Passport America membership either way, as one stay usually pays for the membership, but still. I never used mine!

      Congratulations and good luck in your ventures!

  • This post is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!!! So much information out there and you managed to collate and disseminate it beautifully!! Happy Camping!

    • Glad you found this post helpful, Jill, and thanks for the kind comment!

      Happy Camping right back at ya!

  • Your information is really helpful. I do have one addition…when we bought our travel trailer, we were given a pass to a group/club called Colorado River Adventures. It is a membership. I thought you might like to add it to your reviews/information. It seemed a bit expensive to us as ‘newbies’.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Sandi-

      Thank you for the kudos! I looked at CRA’s website. Strange I see nothing about needing a membership. How much does their membership cost?

      • It was very expensive… over $1200. When we bought our trailer they said we would get Free stays. As it turned out you do get free stays but only at one location. They have several along the CO river and one in Julian. When we went to Julian for our first stay, we were required to sit through a sales presentation. It was a nice place but you had to decide then and there. We chose not to join as we had no experience anywhere at that time.

        • Sales presentation? Yikes. That’s expensive- Sounds like Thousand Trails is a much better deal, and no presentation to sit through!

          • Try the thousand trails camping pass. I’ve had one for a few yrs now . Now at 565 a yr. Get the benifits without the big bucks . Nor bail out. 30 day notice to not buy into the next yr pass

  • We’re new to RV’ing after retiring and purchasing a 25’ travel trailer. Thank you for putting so much info on the RV ‘club’ options into one place. It’s all a bit overwhelming.

    • Hi Sandi-

      You are most welcome! There is a ton of information out there, and our goal is to make it all easier for people to figure out. Glad to hear this helped!

  • I’m going to get into RVing soon, at the moment we, my wife and I, are trying to decide on the length of the 5th wheel that we are going to buy. Everyone in the chat rooms have different options. We are looking for under 39’ but the ones that we like are over 40’. Can you help with some good advice on this? Thanks Ron

    • Hi Ron,

      Under 39 feet is still a large RV. Heck, there are times when I think my 24 foot trailer is too big.

      And, yeah, you’ll get a lot of comments online about trailer size. I’m guessing that maybe even some of the commenters own a trailer (there are a LOT of armchair quarterbacks online).

      Yes, with a fifth wheel, you get the advantage of some of it being over the truck you are towing it with. But still, you have a big, heavy, tall trailer to be towing down the road. Maneuvering into a camp site. Figuring out if you will fit into that gas station. All big pains in the butt!

      Our advice is go with the smallest rig you can sanely live in. You don’t mention if you are full-timing, but I’ll assume you will be.

      You also don’t mention how you will be camping. Or how your travel style is. Or if you’ve owned an RV before (I’m guessing maybe you haven’t based on the comment).

      It’s impossible to know how you will end up using your rig, especially if it’s your first. Your travel style may (and probably should) evolve. You’ll want to take your RV places you hadn’t thought of before. You’ll find that maybe RV parks aren’t right for you and you want to try boondocking.

      My point is, get the smallest rig you can live in for a few reasons. It’ll be easier to tow. Easier to park in a camp site. Easier to park at a visitors center. Easier to get into a gas station. Easier to take down that forest service road with the million dollar views. Easier period.

      I personally would look for a fifth wheel a lot closer to 30 feet. You’ll thank me later. 😉

      Best of luck with your search, and enjoy the open road!

      • Thank you very much for your reply, yes it will be used for travel at first, later we are going to spend the remainder of our retired life in. I’m already retired, my wife is soon to. Are plans are to travel as long as our bodies an vehicles can take it. This is our first time doing this, so we are taking in as much information as possible before setting off as RVER’s, possibility next year, if everything goes as planed ?? I will be reading your news letters, which are very interesting, an preparing for for our great adventure. Thanks again Ron and a Debbie, from So. Calif.

        • Hi Ron & Deb,

          Exciting! It is very overwhelming, trying to figure out what RV to buy and how to get started in this lifestyle.

          The choice of RVs can get confusing as well, as there are soooo many manufacturers. Just today we published a guide to the best RV brands that may help you with this choice.

          Have fun with this journey!

    • Ron,

      I’m probably to late to give my input but here goes…

      First and foremost, Your first purchase of an RV is just that, YOUR 1st!

      If my recollection is correct, most, if not all fellow RVers I have spoke with over the last 3yrs were on their 2nd, 3rd and even 4th different RV during the camping adventures

      Now personally I have lived in 2 on 2 separate occasions over the last 20 yrs and now on my 3rd, gearing up for my retirement adventure.

      My first was a 24′ travel trailer with no slides, second owner, 4 years old at the time. live it week nights for 6 months… At the time is just a place to lay my head while I was a geographical bachelor so I was not towing it around and Camping. BUT learned a lot… it was Too small but the price was right as a great start up lesson learning RV…

      So my second purchase was 37′ fifth wheel, over all length at 45′. Lived comfortably in it for 2.5 yrs… it was expensive, heavier then heck 17000# and a pain to travel with. It was a Monster! So I ended up settling in one spot until I became a full time single parent

      My 3rd and current is a 29.9 inside 35′ over all travel trailer, 9000# dry weight, 3 slides, 2 A/Cs, washer dryer hookup Blah Blah Blah
      I LOVE IT!

      Good luck! G

      • Thanks for the input, Ron!

        You are spot-on with your take. Yes, indeed, most people don’t purchase the right rig the first time. We have many friends that full-time and are on their second, third, even fifth RV.

        My sister and brother in law purchased their first travel trailer a few years back, quickly decided to get a fifth wheel, and just put a deposit down on an even bigger fifth wheel.

        Kelly and I kind of rare in the buy an new RV all the time space. I’m in my 6th year of full-timing in my very first RV. Kelly is in her 5th year of full-timing in her very first RV. But we are both contemplating new figs. Going smaller rather than larger.

        The important part is to get out there and camp!

  • hi, kelly/marshall, thought i would jump in…. what an excellent blog/ article… great “JOB” with wisdom and insight. the back story on this comment… 1st time snowbird this past winter. planned a once in lifetime alaska trip with the couple we visited this winter… now have a 2002 5th wheel; will tow with the 2001 550; Maybe a need for a great road assistance program. They are now both road worthy… Now to member-up to a couple of clubs to finish out some of those needs… will probably do passport america for the deep discount for overnights… [our traveling co-couple are AAA members]. Then the choice between; Good Sams club { fuel/ propane and retail discount, camp directory} and FMCA [tire, battery, verizon discounts, plus windshield repair or replacement, mail forwarding, and plates} and to top these choice off, they both have a road side assistance program…. whew…..the choices need to be made in next couple of days…… to get up to speed for our July 15th leave date… I will be looking forward to any real-life experience in these choices…. Have a Blessed experience in the camping life!!!!!!! pat/ral

    • Hi Patricia and Raleigh,

      Decisions, decisions, right?

      Don’t forget the Escapees RV Club. We do cover this above, but the Escapees offer many benefits other than just discount camping. They also offer mail forwarding, roadside assistance, and more (some are optional coverages).

      We aren’t the biggest fans of Good Sam. So I’d narrow my choice between the FMCA and the Escapees.

      Both Kelly and I have been Escapees members for years and only recently became an FMCA (commercial) member. Back when we started RVing, the FMCA didn’t allow trailers (they were motorhomes only), so that wasn’t an option for us. Only recently have they expanded who they allow to join.

      So we are much more familiar with (and extremely happy with) being Escapees members. We both use them for mail forwarding and other membership benefits (though not roadside assistance as this is a fairly new offering).

      You probably can’t go wrong with either, so decide which best suits you. (Or you can always join both as the membership fee for either is very reasonable.)

      Best of luck with the July 15th leave date!

    • Hi Mary,

      Thank you for the kudos! Sorry to say we are not aware of any website or blog like Camp Addict for Canada. Anyone reading this know of anything and can help Mary?

  • Great information, we’re planning to full time next spring, exploring memberships. I’m thinking for now join some blogging sites such as ya’lls. Met some other campers who mentioned being part of a time share that also included camping, are you guys familiar with anything like that? Thanks in advance and keep up the good work. How do I join your site

    • Hi Selena,

      Congratulations on your upcoming full-time life! We hope Camp Addict has made it and will make it a little easier. A timeshare that includes camping? We have not heard anything like that though thousand trails is somewhat like a timeshare for camping.

      We also never stay in campgrounds so we aren’t very well versed in campground ‘happenings”.

      Our website has nothing to ‘join’, but we appreciate the sentiment! You could join our newsletter sign-up, though we still have not ever emailed anything. Too busy building the site! LOL!

      Everything about Camp Addict is free, nothing to join and nothing to have to sign up for. Just visit us when you have a question about a certain product we have a guide for, and check back here and there for updates to our blog.

      Thanks for the nice comment and good luck with your launch!

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thank you- we put a lot of work into the article! A 6-month road trip sounds really great! There are sooooo many places you can go to!

      However, without a bit more information on what you are needing or looking for, we don’t know what to recommend for you that’s not already in our discount camping RV clubs article.

      If you let us know what you’re needing or looking for maybe we can point you in the right direction. Otherwise, sometimes it’s just best to start, to just GO, and you’ll figure out how you camp and with that, you will figure out which club might work best for you.

      Let us know a little more about your trip!

    • Hi Monica!

      Thank you for the sweet feedback! It always feels good to hear the ‘good’. ????

      Let us know if you have any further questions. We are happy to help!

  • Great article! We enjoy a few of these clubs, with Escapees/Xscapers being our fav! So much so we purchased a perimeter deeded lot in North Ranch, AZ. They also offer boondocking sites along with daily/weekly. Great area if you like trails for Jeeps and UTV’s etc. We need to use more of our Harvest Host membership this year!

    • Hey Paul,

      You’re becoming one of our #1 top commenters! ???? We always appreciate a little massage as WELL as honest truths and corrections if mistakes have been found on any of our pages.

      Wow, how much are you going to stay at that park? The deeded lots are a good deal for sure.

      And yeah, did you see the update on the HH memberships? They acquired the golf club that we used to feature on this page. Now, you can simply add all the golf club parking places to your HH membership for an extra $20 if you so desire.

      Also a good deal.

      Anyway thanks for the update and the kudos! ????

      • Kelly,

        Well I can’t stop reading your articles…

        To answer the question. We plan on using North Ranch as a place for respite from the road in the winter months, it’s also close to the “Q”, for the show/boondocking etc. It’s also great when we need to fix things on the rig there is a wealth of information and helpful “seasoned” Escapees, and noise from tools is not a problem. Plus we have 2 100amp FHU pads far apart, one for us and one for our Xscaper friends when they need a break, or break something…

        Recently included the Golf Course parking option in HH, not that I can swing a club, but i can watch while enjoying a Bloody Mary!

        • LOL! I don’t golf either, but the views would be nice! Great on the winter month home base. Good to have other seasoned RVers around if you do have questions on stuff or need extra tools! Thanks again for the comments and kudos! ????

  • I am a disabled 100% total and permanent veteran. Purchasing a Rv/motor home tomorrow. I’m so confused about what to join help please.

    • Hi Peachrich, and congratulations! Sounds like you have an RV on your hands now.

      Choosing a camping membership much depends on your camping style. Will you be boondocking? Will you move often, or will you want to stay in the same campground for 6 months at a time? This page should help you decide which memberships will work best for your camping style needs.

      As far as having a disability goes, we don’t know of any benefits other than the free access pass mentioned on this page. This doesn’t get you any discounts on camping, but you can get into the parks that the government runs (the National Parks and more) for free.

      We hope this helps, and enjoy your new RV!

    • Thanks, Karen. You are correct, and thanks for pointing that out. As long as one has been medically determined to have a permanent disability (doesn’t have to be 100% disabled), they can get a free Access Pass. It’s free unless it’s ordered online through the USGS store or through the mail, then there’s a $10 charge.

      Getting your pass in-person on-site is free.

  • Thank you for the info. We are fulltimers now and have used a good Sam but 10% isn’t much. We will definitely check out some more clubs thanks

  • thank you for your overview. I am new to camp this time around. I was a weekend camper years ago when i was working and owned a little fold down, but now we are retired/disabled and live on limited resources so nightly site fees make traveling prohibitive. Thousand Trails is the direction I am heading but it seems like it may be difficult to find a spot where we want to camp because of the reservation system. I wonder if that is intentional on their part.

    • Hi Ron,

      Sounds like Thousand Trails will help make your stays more cost-effective. You can also stay for longer periods of time, as you probably know, for much less than a daily rate at almost any campground. Depending on what type of disability you have, you might also consider boondocking at times to lower your overall camping costs. As you may know, you can also get an LTVA permit to stay for 7 months from September 15th to April 15th in areas like La Posa just south of Quartzsite, Az.

      In popular spots, places like Thousand Trails may be harder to stay due to demand. This is no different than in other popular campgrounds and spots such as Florida State Parks. They can easily be pre-booked a solid year out. So we suggest planning well ahead, boondocking if you can, and staying for longer periods of time if you are staying outside of the Thousand Trails network.

      We haven’t had friends say they had a hard time getting into the places they wanted to with Thousand Trails. Again, book ahead, and you’ll likely get where you want to be!

      Cheers,
      Kelly

  • You didn’t mention the free discount passes for veterans offered for national parks and offered by some states for their parks. These can waive Entrance/Day Use fees and some offer free limited camping (free, for up to 10 or 15 days per 30 day period.) Most of the state issued veteran passes require residence in that state, but as most RVers camp locally, they can be worth the effort of applying. I recommend checking the rules in your neighboring states as well, just in case they don’t have a residence requirement.

    • Hi Tamara & Dave,

      Thanks for bringing up the discounts Veterans have access to. The intention of this page is to include discount camping options that the general public has access to. We didn’t include discounts that have special requirements. There are certainly a lot of those, including clubs that have special membership requirements that not everyone will be able to meet.

      Great information though. Thanks for including it!

  • So, I’m a disabled vet but still young. I’m 50 and already had my 5th orthopedic surgery/both hips replaced. I have a VA disability rating of 70%. SO, my wife who retired a couple years ago and I have decided to move into our 30′ 5th Wheel with our 14 yrs old and travel the country stopping where we want and staying as long as we want full time. We’ve joined escapees/Xscapers. As I’ve read the military fam camps doesn’t seem even as a disabled vet that I qualify unless I’m 100%. I’ve got my goodsams/goodsams road side assistant memberships. Are there any others or other things you might recommend to us before we launch out on this journey this June?

    Thank you
    Richard

    • Hey Richard,

      Yeah, from what I saw doing a quick search, you do have to be either active duty, retired, or 100% disabled in order to use the fam camps.

      Sounds like you’ve got a handle on things. I wouldn’t go crazy getting memberships until you have a better handle on what type of camping you guys like doing. One of the mistakes new full-timers make is getting ‘all the things’ when they need to take it slow and figure out their particular lifestyle before going too crazy.

      Full-time RVing is pretty awesome! We hope you and your family enjoy it as much as Kelly and I do! Best of luck and Camp On.

    • Hey MaryAnn,

      Fortunately the National Parks Senior Pass is very much alive and well! There are actually two options available – an annual pass for $20 or a lifetime pass for $80. Obviously the lifetime pass is a better option, unless you are only going to visit Federal recreation sites for a year or two.

      We just updated this page to reflect the two purchase options (including updating the previous link which had ‘moved’ on the government’s website).

  • I will check out n read all eventually. Right now though I trying to become a Two Campground, Two decent , hardly used Travel Trailer Snowbird. Southern New Hampshire in Summer. South to Florida or even California for five months, if affordable n fun , exciting place n area. Good clubs for that??

    • Hey Richard,

      I’m not sure an RV club is what you are looking for. Sounds like you just need to find an RV park in the areas you wish to snowbird that offers seasonal site rentals. They may take something like a Good Sam discount, but normally seasonal site rentals are already discounted (since you are paying for a large chunk of time at once).

      Best of luck finding the affordable and fun places you are looking for!

  • Wow very informative loved it we just bought an rv and are pretty new at the whole rv nationwide thing. Thanks for the info “HAPPY CAMPING”

    • Hey Asterio!

      Well congratulations on your recent purchase, we hope it all goes well! Welcome to the camping/RVing world, there’s a ton to learn, but that is half the fun. Get out there this summer, see all the things and Camp On! Woot Woot!!!!

  • Hi, Kelly,
    I just wanted to remind retired and active duty military of the wonderful famcamps available at just about every military base in the country. Go to https://militaryliving.com to get a guide. We were full time RVers for 4 years, and are planning to go back to it this summer. We used Passport America, AOR and Coast to Coast (I haven’t seen this one mentioned–is it still in business?) but have always found miltary campgrounds the best!

    Kate

    • Thank you Kate! Yes, FamCamps are very popular for those who are active or retired military! My mom used to use them a lot when she was full-timing and traveling. I have even stayed at one in Tampa with her when I went to the Tampa RV show DECADES ago. Yes, Coast to Coast is still active. I honestly don’t know about that service or site as I have never used it or heard of it. Thank you for your informative input, we love to share the information we learn as much as we love to learn it ourselves! Hope you get back on the road full-time as planned, and Camp On, Kate!

  • Hi Kelly, I have been an RVer for over 25 years, with 7 as a full-time boondocker back in the 90s, rarely if ever staying at ‘traditional” campgrounds outside of National & State/Local parks.

    Have been investigating Harvest Hosts- once I signed up for info have gotten a lot of email special offers, including a combo membership with Harvest Hosts + Golf Club membership which looks intriguing, even though we don’t golf (you don’t need to to join). Might give this a go for a year just to explore new options.

    Wanted to mention membership in the Elks Club as a very positive addition to your list. While primarily a charitable service organization, perhaps 90% of the Elks Lodges across the country offer RV accommodations, from dry camping to full hookups, at a donation cost of between $5 and $30 a night, and often with substantial discounts for longer term stays. In addition to the camping possibilities, it’s a great gathering of folks interested in helping their communities, with all Lodges having a bar/restaurant and meetings facility open to all members, so as soon as you check-in you’re part of the family. Have met lots of Elk members on the road, with many of them on a quest to stay at as many lovations as possible.

    Another benefit we’ve found about Elks camping is that many of the Lodges are located in cities & towns that otherwise ban boondocking, so it almost feels like cheating to be camped in the middle of an otherwise RV- hostile environment. The eglitarian approach the Elks take to RVers is fantastic- no matter how old you rig, you’re always welcome! There is an Elks RV website which gives a state by state list of campsite available to members, as well as a printed guide.

    There is a yearly membership cost which varies depending on your home Lodge, most of this ultimately goes to charitable services provided to local communities, kids and veterans.!While membership generally requires knowing (and being recommened by) a present Elk, they are always looking for new members so usually stopping in at a local Lodge and talking with an officer is enough to get an invitation to join. This is especially true of veterans, who are a big focus of Elks service.

    As a final (unrelated to camping clubs) note, I’ve been an advocate of urban boondocking since my earliest days on the road. On the weekends, places such as NYC (yes, even Manhattan), Detroit, Chicago and many others suspend their usual onerous parking regulations and it’s entirely feasible to boondock right there in the middle of major metropolitan areas! Now & then I’ll get a visit from the local gendarmes curious about a Class C RV parked in places they are rarely seen; all of these visits have always ended on a positive note, with a welcome to stay “as long as you like”, within the limits of the parking regulations, of course!

    Great article, thanks for spreading the RV lifestyle gospel!

    • Hi Bruce-

      Great information about the Elks Clubs! Lots to know about joining them- one does need a sponsor and then two additional sponsors, as well as an application pending approval from a team of Elks at an official meeting. Then there’s a fee, AND you have to ‘believe in God’.

      A few hoops to jump through but for those that match the Elks Club line with their camping style and beliefs, it can be a great resource, thanks for mentioning this! ‘Cheating’ can be fun, can’t it?? Ha Ha!

      Sounds like you are a long time successful boondocker/dry camper/stealth camper, which is great! I’m only in my (almost) 4th year of full-timing, but heck, I have embraced the crud out of the lifestyle! Can’t even believe it’s real sometimes. Thanks for the input, and Camp On, Bruce!!!

  • As a kid, a couple of my uncles and my mother were TT members and we would do a lot of family camping. Then when I turned 30 I bought my own membership since my kids were still little and wanted them to have an appreciation for nature and knowing that there are Rangers on-site for our safety. Fast forward 20 years, they have all grown up with their own families and live out of state. I would still go camp at least one weekend per month on my own to just enjoy the peace and solitude for many years.

    I stopped camping at TT parks about 7+ years ago as they opened up the parks to the public for day-use and camping. And unfortunately, there are a lot of people that don’t have respect for the rules and other campers.

    PROs: It is easy to make the online reservations and there are some beautiful parks and they have a lot of amenities. Most on-site staff are very friendly.

    CONs: The membership is a time-share and it is difficult to have them sell it for you.

    RECOMMENDATION: My suggestion is if you are considering TT purchase the annual pass so that you are not locked into membership that would be hard to sell later.

  • Great site, I am learning a few things.

    About Thousand Trails…. You know how you have to ‘work’ the system some times? I have found TT is that way. Your experience at talking to TT is exactly what we found it to be. Then we found https://www.campgroundmembershipoutlet.com/. This is one of the few, if not the only, membership brokers around. We were given a TT membership when we bought our 1st 5th wheel. We were not impressed at all. As we prepared to leave sticks and bricks and go full time (on a budget) I started looking again. It turns out that TT will change what you can buy from year to year and sometimes in mid season. You should also know that you can resell your membership. You can find them on eBay but buyer beware. If you go through the broker you can practically dictate what you want in a TT membership. We were able to get all zones countrywide with Canada, 21 days in, 7 days out (or move on to another TT), yearly dues frozen for life, and access to all of the campgrounds in their stable (Encore, Mid Atlantic, and so on). We could literally live our life in TT if we wanted by staying 3 weeks and going to the next one for 3 weeks. We paid $2,000.00 for the used membership we purchased and pay $550.00 yearly. We also have a National Parks Pass, Passport America, and dry camping. For us we prefer dry camping (boondocking), but it is nice to stay at full hookups every now and then or to be able to get sort of near big cities if needed.

    If you want to get a different perspective on TT call the people at campground membership and talk to them. You will learn a lot more about TT than actually talking to TT.
    Just note, I am NOT affiliated with TT and have no ties to them whatsoever. TT works for us and the way we travel. Think about it, if we spend 3 months at TT we have just paid $6.11/night.

    • We have researching the outlet. Do you have any pointers on how to find and negotiate a similar package?

      Getting ready for retirement travel and on a tight budget. Any information is greatly appreciated.

      • Hi Jerry:
        Actual info on TT is few and far between outside of their web site (they want you to buy the current plans available). We googled our asses off till we felt we knew what was available and what suited us. Here are 2 articles that explain past memberships and what to expect. https://www.getawaycouple.com/thousand-trails-membership-options/ and https://rvlove.com/2015/01/28/thousand-trails-zone-pass/
        I also looked around on craigslist and ebay to see just what was being offered. After a while we narrowed down what we wanted from TT. We wanted all zones everywhere, 21 days in, 7 days out, ongoing park to park. Then there are decisions to be made on whether you want to opt in for all of the different “companies” TT has acquired and how you want to use them. There is Encore, Mid Atlantic, etc., etc. There are 86 campgrounds in the whole system. Some are included and are free to stay at and some want $20/night to stay at. We went to campgroundmembershipoutlet.com and told them what we were looking for in a membership. They do the work of finding what you have requested and come back with the pricing. Sometimes it is worth it to get a basic membership of what you want and then upgrade once in the TT system. It can be bewildering.
        It seems like TT has changed membership offerings on a yearly basis. They have! So choose what will fit your needs, talk it over with campgroundmembershipoutlet and do the numbers to see if it fits your budget. Our 1sy year of full timing with T and other camping averaged $3.56/day for camping money spent. That includes TT dues and other campgrounds. Let me know if you have any more questions.
        Chuck

        • Chuck,

          Thank you for replying. We are looking the same type of membership as you have. I will contact the resale site hoping we can find a deal that will fit our budget. All the best to you.

  • Many military bases have RV parks that are available to active and retired military personnel and their prices are reasonable with amenitues comparable to private campgrounds. Unfortunately, the general public does not have access to these facilities.

    • So true, Jeff! We have a few retired military friends that full-time and get a bit envious when they tell us some of the locations they can camp on base that we don’t have access to. Definitely not something open to us civilians, so we didn’t include it on the list. I suspect those that have access to these locations generally know about it.

      Thanks for the comment and Camp On!

  • This is a ton of great information. For me I just needed clarification on one.
    I was not clear on the pricing structure for Hipcamp (I have never used Airbnb) so I went to HipCamps website and found this.

    “For tent camping, we recommend pricing similar to local public campgrounds in your area, generally $10 – $40/night.

    For structures such as cabins, glamping tents, etc.—the range is broader, from $40 – $250/night, depending on the amenities offered, location, etc.”

    So knowing that gave me a better idea of what the cost would be for a booking.

    Thanks putting all of this together!

    • Hello Brian, you are most welcome! Glad we could be of help and make your research much easier on this subject. This is what Camp Addict is all about. Now get out there and Camp On, Brian! : D

    • FMCA is a great organization, but the only discount camping that is offered as a member benefit is through KOA’s, so it’s very limited. Since this is a discount camping club page, we opted to not include FMCA. They definitely offer a range of discounts on products and services RVers can use, so FMCA is worth checking out (just don’t expect to get camping discounts on a wide range of RV parks with them). Thanks for the suggestion and Camp On!

    • Hi Tom,

      Awesome to hear we helped out! That’s exactly why we started this site. ? Go get your senior pass and get out there, and Camp On, Tom!

  • This article (and really entire website) has been a godsend for me. I was so confused on all of these, but was able to make some great decisions based on this information that will help my family when we go full-time next month! Thank you.

    • Oh Allen, we love hearing this! We really appreciate that you took the time to give us this positive feedback. It’s always easier for people to gripe and moan and troll than to write something nice, so we really appreciate YOU. We are so happy we could help… good luck with your full-time launch!! Exciting! Have a great day and Camp On, Allen!

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