If you’re excited about camping season, consider getting an RV membership–or more than one–to increase your savings when booking campgrounds. There are quite a few memberships out there, and the way you camp will determine which RV membership is best for you.
The good news is, no matter which plans you choose, you’ll probably save money. Read on for our top RV membership picks!
What Is An RV Membership?
An RV membership is an association you pay for so that you can receive the benefits they offer. The perks are often things like discounts on camping, RV supplies, and special members-only deals.
Some of the RV memberships provide educational classes and other programs specifically for RVers.
Benefits of Joining RV Membership Clubs
A tremendous benefit of joining a membership club is community. When you sign up for certain clubs, you can join different groups or subgroups of people. Many of these groups will meet up online and in person. It will make your journey less lonely once you find people with whom you have things in common. You’ll also have a ready-made group to ask when something goes haywire in your rig.
Most RVers sign up for savings on campsites and similar experiences. You can also find money-saving deals on gas prices, dump services, trip planning tools, and free shipping from select retailers, among other discounts.
Best RV Memberships for Saving Money on Camping
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to having one or more memberships. Now, let’s see what each membership offers.
1. Passport America
Passport America offers 50 percent off campground fees around the United States, Mexico, and Canada using its discount camping card. Additional benefits of this RV membership are a subscription to its digital magazine, other programs, and price cuts especially curated for Passport America.
Discounts only work for participating campgrounds. Each campground is a little different so check with the place you’re going for exact details on discounts, availability, and length of stay.
The membership costs $44 for one year, or for the most savings, you can get a three-year card for $109.
2. Thousand Trails
There are many options for membership plans within Thousand Trails.
The entry-level is a Camping Pass for $615, but there are discounts available if you look for them. You can camp at Thousand Trails’ campgrounds with no nightly fees, according to their website. You choose the zone you want to camp in, and that becomes your home area.
As a member, you also receive discounts at Encore Resorts and receive the TrailBlazer magazine published by Thousand Trails. You can stay at their resorts for 14 consecutive days before having to leave. Then, after seven days, you can stay at another Thousand Trails resort.
3. Boondockers Welcome
Boondockers Welcome is an RV membership that allows you to camp on private property with hosts located worldwide. A guest privileges subscription costing $50 gives you unlimited stays with hosts as long as they’re available.
Each host will set their booking preference, whether it’s six days in advance or two hours’ notice. The longest you can stay at one location is five nights in a 90-day window with the same host.
Each host has house rules on their profile page, so you know what they expect concerning children, pets, smoking, etc. There are no tents, minivans, cars, or trucks allowed.
You should be prepared to boondock without hookups to water, sewer, or electricity; however, three out of four Boondockers Welcome hosts offer electric hookups. The hosts might ask for a donation to use electricity, and you must pay for it. You can find all this information spelled out on the host’s profile page.
If you also agree to be a host, you get a discount on your membership too.
4. Harvest Hosts
If wine, beer, and farms are your jam, then you should explore a Harvest Host membership. With Harvest Host, you can stay at over 1,500 locations around the US and Canada. Hosts own farms, wineries, breweries, museums, and more.
Your RV must be self-contained with tanks, a toilet, inside cooking facilities, and whatever else you need. Hookups are very rare, but the locations are fantastic and offer unique experiences.
You’ll make reservations ahead of time at each location. Each stay is 24 hours, but the host might invite you to stay longer–just don’t overstay your welcome.
Basic memberships are $79 for a year. You can also purchase a membership plan that includes golf courses for $119 per year.
Harvest Hosts asks that you support the establishment by purchasing food, beverages, or other items from the host. If you golf, you could play a round or hit some balls at the driving range.
5. Escapees RV Club
If there’s one word to describe Escapees RV Club, it’s community. Escapees has been around for decades, bringing people together, educating them, and providing services RVers need.
The benefits of this RV membership start with discounts at specified Rainbow Parks, member-operated parks, and some commercial campgrounds. Additionally, Escapees offers a mail forwarding service with a dedicated street address.
That’s just the beginning. There’s also a job exchange, roadside assistance, discount partnerships with companies like Goodyear, online classes, group gatherings, and more. Escapees also features an advocacy program that supports RVers’ legal rights.
There are several online and in-person educational opportunities. Members can join groups based on their interests and location.
The membership is only $49.95 per year and gives you access to Escapees and Xscapers (the organization’s working nomad branch). The fee also includes a monthly magazine.
6. Good Sam
Good Sam is almost a household name when it comes to camping and RV memberships. Benefits start with a 10 percent discount at Good Sam parks and campgrounds.
You can also save 10 percent on supplies at Camping World and Gander RV locations, offering access to dump services and propane fill-ups. Not to mention, discounts on gas at Pilot Flying J can add up with 5 cents off gas and 8 cents off diesel.
The membership rate is $29 per year, but you can save even more if you’re eligible for the 3-year Elite plan for $79. This mega-savings plan is only available to those who have purchased an RV at Camping World or Gander RV.
It comes with additional benefits, including 5 percent off installation fees at Camping World and Gander RV and access to a Good Sam Elite Tech Help Line.
Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is a one-stop-shop for beginners and veterans alike as they take wide open roads and live their dreams. This membership isn’t just for large Class A motorhomes–it’s for anyone who loves RVs. Through this plan, members can access discounts, educational resources, a monthly magazine, RV rallies, and more.
FMCA also has deals on tires, roadside rescue, and RV insurance for an extra fee. Plus, you can get advice from their online forums and Facebook page.
There are more than 400 interest-based chapters for finding community. The memberships start at $85 per year and go up to $225 for three years.
Which RV Membership Will You Choose?
After reading all of the benefits of being in an RV membership club, why choose just one? The prices are reasonable, and the perks of each club offer something for every RVer. To sum up, here are a few key takeaways:
Just getting started? Do your own research on some of the clubs that offer education and meet-ups. This is especially helpful for making friends if you’re feeling lonely on the road.
Don’t be afraid of boondocking. Consider joining some of the unique camping experiences of Boondockers Welcome and Harvest Hosts. If you’re looking to save a little money on your camping expenses, then you can’t go wrong with any of the programs.
With one night or a weekend away, you could potentially pay for your membership fees with the savings you receive. And if you’re still unsure, reach out to some of your RV friends and ask what they love about their memberships.
We’d like to hear from YOU! Leave us a comment below and tell us what RV membership you have and why you love it.
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Saturday 18th of June 2022
The FMCA fees shown are outdated info. They briefly raised their fees to $85 several years ago but then brought them back down to $60 first year new members ($10 covers the plaques, etc.) and $50 a year renewal thereafter. It's a great membership to have that includes among other things, a monthly magazine and travel assist. ??