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Old 04-21-2019, 03:33 PM   #1
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Clubs to join

We are newbies and have joined KOA, good sams and am wondering which other clubs are good ones to join. Any idea about Harvest Hosts?? Any recommendations are welcomed!
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:45 PM   #2
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KOA and Good Sam for us. Seems to cover most of the commercial campgrounds.

But I would also suggest joining the Airstream Club (http://wbcci.org). There are many benefits and one of them is host parking. Some members of the club allow you to stay on their property when traveling. Many have electric service and water.

All the best!
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:33 PM   #3
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Good Sam is the only thing we consistently use. Did you buy allstays app yet?

It all depends on what camping you will do. We had a KOA but found that they are usually more expensive than other places to stay. KOA does have nice facilities overall though.

My wife started looking into harvest host and I have also heard about 1000 trails, but again, it all depends on what kind of camping you want to do
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:50 AM   #4
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Clubs...

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Originally Posted by garcia5g View Post
We are newbies and have joined KOA, good sams and am wondering which other clubs are good ones to join. Any idea about Harvest Hosts?? Any recommendations are welcomed!
What kind of camping do you actually like or want to do? If you prefer RV parks and full hookups most of the time I think some clubs would be helpful, what I would do is research where you will be camping and what kind of clubs are in that general area. For example, there is Thousand Trails, but they have lots of places in parts of the country and not in others.... so I would consider that kind of information to be useful.

If you like state parks, national parks, etc. then yearly passes for those (or senior pass if you are of age) are very useful.

If you like boondocking, then smart phone apps are a good way to go! You can also find information online. Places like Campendium, Boondockers.net, etc. You can also check out BLM and Forest Service Dispersed Camping if boondocking is what you like.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:06 PM   #5
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I joined Reserve America when I first bought my Airstream, but I've only used my membership at two campgrounds in the 7½ years since then. Both campgrounds were close to Interstate highways, and very convenient as waypoints en route to my destinations, but both parks were substandard in quality, and with several long-term residents who defined the term "trailer trash." I'm sure there are good, clean Reserve America campgrounds, but most of those are also Good Sam campgrounds (any given campground can be affiliated with both if they so choose). Not only that, but while they advertise 50% savings, many Reserve America campgrounds have their own special set of exclusions, such as "first night only" (which is fine if you only stay one night) or "weekdays only", or "winter months only" or whatever, so you won't save anywhere near a full 50% in the long run.

I belong to Good Sam, and used to use it all the time because the WBCCI (now WBAC) Units that I belonged to held rallies at Good Sam parks on a regular basis. But how that I have dropped out of WBAC, I hardly ever stay at a Good Sam campground anymore. They tend to pack in the campers as tight as possible to maximize the number of campsites at the expense of essential amenities such as trees.

I also belong to KoA, and use that membership more often these days than my Good Sam membership, because sometimes you can't beat the location— the one in Hot Springs, AR is a good example because it's only a mile from the Magic Springs Water and Theme Park. KoA campgrounds tend to have more trees than the parking-lot-style Good Sam campgrounds I've stayed at— I like being able to camp in the shade in the summertime! One downside, KoA doesn't offer lifetime memberships, though the other clubs I belong to do offer them.

What I use most often is my Interagency Access Pass because it gets me half-price camping at National Parks, most Corps of Engineers campgrounds, and since I'm a resident of Louisiana, also at LA and AR state parks (Arkansas has a reciprocal agreement so that residents of either state can use the pass in both states, since each state accepts the pass for their own residents). If you're old enough but not handicapped, you can buy the Senior Pass. If you're handicapped (you have a state-issued handicapped ID) then the Access Pass is better regardless of your age because it's free.

FMCA doesn't offer campground discounts that I'm aware of, but their tire discount is well worth the price of membership, partly because it applies to any vehicle or trailer you own for as long as you're a member. Having just replaced all seven tires on my Airstream Interstate last year with Michelins, I saved a bundle on the tires, way more than the cost of my lifetime membership.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:34 PM   #6
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We use Passport America. We started out with annual memberships, then went to a five-year membership and quickly upgraded that to a lifetime membership. We've already saved more than what the lifetime membership cost. Not every PA campground offers the same deals, so you have to pay attention. Sometimes all you get is a few nights at 50%, while others give you almost unlimited nights at 50%. One catch is that it is 50% of the daily rate, and sometimes they will have long-term rates that are better.


WBAC isn't a camping discount club, but you will get to meet other Airstreamers. As was mentioned above the Interagency Access Pass is a great deal. We generally look first for a COE campground, then a State park, then a PA park, and then whatever we can find. We tend to not use KOA much simply because they are pretty expensive for our budget and we aren't interested in the swimming pool, exercise room, etc.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:47 PM   #7
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As folks say, it depends. To start get a few and then expand if others work for you.

The issue with KOA is that generally, their business model is to locate close to the highway, which can be noisy. Price can be mitigated at some KOAs by using their water/electric sites. It does not work at all. A hill, a big 5er, or some distance will help dampen the noise. We have a set we use, and one which will never get used again. Unfortunately it is one of the nicest family parks we have seen.

Passport America can save you some money. Understand that many are long in the tooth. Others are fantastic deals. The restrictions can be problematic if you do not plan ahead. We used the catalog to route our travel on the East coast and managed around those restrictions. As you might expect, if the park is not full, cash in hand may remove published restrictions. A full park expects to make money and may not have room for you.

Good Sam is a minimal discount, but we do use it when our route destination leads us to a GS park. Camping World discount is not much, but they have what you need and that gets you back on the road.

We do not use Allstays. It looks good, but we use RV Parky. It's free and we like that. We also like printed catalogs. It's a book thing. Ends up being a big box and you may prefer that phone thingy. A good plan with a list of parks for each stop is the best resource and we recommend the prior work most highly. Just be flexible enough to adjust as your trip progresses. Having fun is more important than having to be someplace. It's safer too.

A longer stay at weekly or monthly discount is also a money saver, but only if you want to be there and have the time. Also, some places, a stay of more than one day is too much. Try it all. You will figure it out.

WBCCI/WBAC is good or bad, depending on you. Advise you visit and see how you like it. Lots of great people, but it is a group organization. We have liked what we like and turned away from what we don't. Our unit is great. Not all are, but many and the WBAC are changing for the better.

Good luck with your adventure. Pat
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