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RV Memberships: Which Should You Join?

Disclosure: Some of the links contained below are affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase, we would receive a small commission (at no cost to you). 

The RV industry is full of memberships that help you save money on various RV costs. Their greatest benefit is discounted RV park and campground fees. There are a couple other memberships that are not on this list, however, here are some of the most popular ones (you can click directly on the name of the club to be taken to their website):

Passport America

Vineyard with sun setting
Views from one of our favorite Passport America parks in California Wine Country.

This is the membership we use most often. In fact, we saved over $700 in just our first 6 months of RVing! You can read our review of the membership, the great RV parks we stayed at, and how much we saved at each stay by reading this post: Passport America Review: Not Perfect, But Definitely Worth It!

Good Sam

A Good Sam membership typically only gets you a 10% discount on various RV sites, but also has other benefits like roadside assistance, insurance, an extended service plan, and discounted gas at Flying J and Pilot.

Thousand Trails

Thousand Trails is one of America’s premier provider of membership campgrounds and RV parks with resort style amenities. Thousand Trails offers A LOT of different membership types. The basic idea, though, is that once you purchase a membership (which can range from $575 up to $5,000+), you can stay at their parks for no nightly fee. 

We’ve considered purchasing a Thousand Trails membership, but just have yet to pull the trigger. One thing that we have been told, however, is that you should look to purchase your membership from a private party instead of directly from TT. You can search for these memberships on craigslist or simply by searching for them on Google. Use your best judgement, but this may save you some money and grant you access to membership levels that they are no longer selling.

RV motorhome parked among trees in campground
Our Thousand Trails Campground in Sunriver/Bend, Oregon

Boondockers Welcome

A membership to Boondockers Welcome requires a fee, but members can dry camp with their RV for free as a guest on a fellow RVer’s property! It’s basically just RVers helping RVers. So you can find people all over the country, in rural or metropolitan areas, who are happy to have you park on their driveway or land. What a fun way to meet people! It can be especially challenging to find spots to park in major cities, so this could be a great resource for that.

Harvest Hosts

Harvest Hosts is a fun and unique option for short-term RV stays. With a membership, the Harvest Host website connects you to people who have large amounts of land (farms, museums, vineyards, ranches, etc.) who are willing to “host” you in your RV. Some even have hook ups!

One thing to keep in mind is that Harvest Hosts strongly encourages you to support their hosts, meaning you should purchase the host’s services, such as a bottle of wine or other products. So, in some cases, you may end up spending even more than you would at an RV park, but you’ll likely have a fun and memorable experience and maybe even beautiful views all to yourself.

*Harvest Host is offering our readers 15% off. Sign up by clicking here!

RV parked next to vineyard
Nothing beats being parked right on a vineyard!

Escapees

This RV Club is a total support network for ALL RVers. Escapee members will find help with every aspect of RV’ing; from how to receive your mail, generating income on the road, finding reputable RV services, and locating places to park. Another awesome service that Escapees provides support with establishing domicile. We will share more about domicile and receiving mail in Day 6 of this course.

Jellystone Parks

Jellystone RV parks and campgrounds are not only typically very well kept, have great amenities, and in great locations, but they also have what’s called“Club Yogi Rewards”. For each dollar you spend on sites, you get 5 club points. You can then collect the points and redeem towards FREE nights!

KOA

KOAs are always in the top destinations, and like Jellystone, have well kept parks and great amenities. Become a member for $30 and get a Value Kard Rewards, which gives you 10% off sites, rewards points, coupons, and more! You can read about our experience and reviews of two different KOA campgrounds here.

KOA sign with couple pointing to campground

So, which memberships should you purchase?

Of course, that’s up to you and which memberships you feel you would get the best use of. Thousand Trails is a great membership if you are able to afford the high cost upfront and feel that their campgrounds are in locations that are along your route. You could save a lot of money jumping from one TT campground to the next. We don’t like feeling limited to where we stay, however.

We highly recommend becoming members of Passport America and Harvest Hosts as they pay for themselves with your first campground or RV park stay. You can typically find a stay that accepts Passport America near you everywhere you go in the country and you just can’t beat the discount! Harvest Hosts are a little harder to come by but the experience of staying on a vineyard, farm, museum, distillery, etc is so unique and with the low cost of the membership (especially with our special discount code: HHDISC04 + a free month by mentioning our name), it’s a “no-brainer”.

The other memberships really depend on whether you like the parks, services, and benefits that they offer. We joined Escapees RV Club immediately for their mail forwarding and domicile services but have yet to use their discounts for campgrounds and RV parks. We’ve never joined KOA or Jellystone memberships because we rarely stay at those parks, mainly because of their higher costs (but man are they nice!). So, we’d suggest waiting to join any other memberships until you have a better understanding of whether or not you’ll need them.

Planning for RV life can be overwhelming and choosing which memberships is just another decision that isn’t an easy one. We hope we’ve helped you narrow down your options and clarify some of the membership benefits.

 

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