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Old 12-04-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
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Good Sam Club

We just received a GSC invitation for $9.99 for the first year. I'm sure a lot of you are more familiar than we are about the pluses and minuses with this membership.

Is this club worth it? I believe I've read that there are a lot of restrictions on how many sites have the discount at a given park, etc. For 10 bucks and a free night, it would seem a good bet (our Argosy even came with a sticker on the window!).

Any insights are appreciated...

Nick
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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Back in the 80s I was traveling extensively in my Trade Wind. I'm sure I got more than $10 worth of benefit from a Good Sam membership. I seem to remember a large guidebook that was handy too.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:38 PM   #3
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Hi, I get more than $10.00 worth of RV magazines and that is the main reason I joined. They have a lot of other benifits too, but I don't need them yet. They also have a big camp ground book about the same as Woodalls.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I get more than $10.00 worth of RV magazines and that is the main reason I joined. They have a lot of other benifits too, but I don't need them yet. They also have a big camp ground book about the same as Woodalls.
I agree that the $10 membership is a good deal. In addition to some good publications, they get you a 10% discount at their affiliate campground. The annual catalog is equal to anything out there and they also have a software mapping package including every campground is the US and Canada. Give it a try for a year--you can't go wrong.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:26 AM   #5
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What do they bump it up to after the first year?
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:28 AM   #6
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The rate goes up to about 12 or 15 dollars and still worth it. I have never attended any of their local functions but there seem to be quite a few and their national events are more costly than WBCCI but many find they are still worth it. Their big events are attended by a lot more people than any of WBCCI's but their membership is over one million families.
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:20 AM   #7
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I have been a member for 12 years now and was offered a lifetime membership around 8 or 9 years ago i figured I would be camping for a few years so I did it I think it was around 300.00 at the time just in the campground discounts I think I have put a real dent into that fee they have a great member website campground search trip planing and the magizine is really great too. They also have a inner circle made up of volentees called standby sams made to assist other members in emergancys or whatever I have been called on a couple times I think it is a really good thing myself. Holler at me if I can help you in anyway.....SAM
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:36 AM   #8
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The mailer says regular price $29.95/year, but the special is $12/year. Sorry, went by memory last night. You can also get two or three years for $23 or $33.

Some of the bennies:
10% savings at 1700 campgrounds
Highways Magazine
Free trip routing
Rates on emergency road service, insurance, rv parts
One free night of camping
Etc...
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:49 AM   #9
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We had a Good Sam membership our first year of RV'ing (2002), when we were still highly naive about all things travel. The 10% discount at their campgrounds was minimal but better than nothing, but the absolute flood of GSC-related mailings was very annoying. We dropped it after the first year, finding over time much better ways to keep campground costs down. It took years for solicitations to slow to a dribble.

We can get the same 10% discount at many full-service campgrounds with our AAA membership. State and National Parks are frequently a much better option, price-wise, and more scenic. We like Passport America, a 50% discount at participating campgrounds, especially for overnight stops. We are also not terribly picky about what a campground looks like when we are just hooking up to electric and water and staying the night.

We generally spend $20 or less per night in this manner, frequently only $10-$15 a night with PA. Good Sam is not going to give you that. Keeping costs down where we can is part of our overall plan to "spend less-do more", traveling as much as we can for as long as we can.

Whatever you decide, have a wonderful time and travel safe!
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:59 AM   #10
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For me, it was most definitely worth it. I think we reupped for about $12 or so. One of our favorite campgrounds that we like to stay a week at each year is about $85 a night. So it saves us $8.50 a night, times six, that's $51 right there. But what I've seen is that a pretty high percentage of campgrounds offer the discount.

Their magazine isnt that bad either. I spent the money and subscribed to "Trailer Life", but to be honest am pretty disappointed with it. I think "Highways" (Good Sam's magazine) is just about as good as Trailer Life.

GSC also has a very reasonably priced insurnace package you can get. I've not purchased it yet, but will. I know a couple guys that have had to use it, and they said it worked great and with no hassles. They cover about everything, like your water heater blows up, or the engine in the motor home decides to quit, you can get it on everything. I've not comparison shopped it to, say, State Farm, or somebody like that. But I think it's pretty reasonable.

You will get a lot of mail, but it's easy enough to throw it in the trash can Sure beats the telemarketer types!

Whichever way you go, have fun!

see ya on the road,
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:03 AM   #11
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I'm concerned about getting a bunch of junk mail; a real turn-off for me. It's probably how they make their money. I don't see a way to opt out in the mailer but that may be possible online.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibgl6 View Post
I have been a member for 12 years now and was offered a lifetime membership around 8 or 9 years ago i figured I would be camping for a few years so I did it I think it was around 300.00 at the time just in the campground discounts I think I have put a real dent into that fee they have a great member website campground search trip planing and the magizine is really great too. They also have a inner circle made up of volentees called standby sams made to assist other members in emergancys or whatever I have been called on a couple times I think it is a really good thing myself. Holler at me if I can help you in anyway.....SAM
Sam,

Is there a lot of junk mail in your opinion?

Nick
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:17 AM   #13
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I may have misspoken regarding the junk mail. It's not that much that they send; and it's really not all junk. GSC is probably the biggest camping organization out there, and they offer tons of programs. About everything I've received from them has been offers for their programs. Insurance, rallies, stuff like that. No mailers from Chia Pet or something like that.

The biggest thing I wanted out of it was the membership card that gets me the 10% discount at lots of campgrounds. The Trailer Life Directory tells you if it's a Good Sam campground or not when you look a place up. That isn't the decider for me, but it's icing on the cake if I can save a little.

If you don't like getting mail, don't join. Or, do like the one comedy guy I saw on TV did....take junkmail from outfit, stuff it into the postage paid return envelope from another junkmail outfit, and mail each one's junk to the other
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:31 AM   #14
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They definitely generate a lot of junk mail. The first year is probably a good deal. The dues after the first year are 29.95. The value is up to how you camp. There are a lot of good sam parks out there, but there are also a lot of good parks that aren't affiliated with them. I won't go out of my way to stay at a good sam park. Make an estimate of how much you might spend camping in a good sam park and take 10 per cent of that. If that is more than the dues, then you make out. You don't have to be a member to buy their campground directories and atlases, which are both good. As far a magazine is concerned, I prefer trailer life, because I have no interest in motor homes. A lot of the good sam parks will give you the same discount for other organizations such as AAA and AARP. Good sam does have local chapters that do have activities. I would go for the one year and see what is does for you. One warning, the junk mail will not stop just because you don't renew.
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