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Old 02-16-2018, 01:20 AM   #1
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Passport America and other clubs

We have lots of new RVers on the forum. Inquiring minds want to know, is PA a good thing? Also, Good Sam Club, Escapees and others.

My experience with PA was not good in 2015 and 2016, then saved enough to pay for the cost in 2017. Much of our travel is in the summer, when many of the PA parks are not honoring the discount. PA never helps at county, state, national parks, and we pay 0 at WalMt, Crakr Brrl, etc.

The park chosen for our Thor/Sunshine rally in April will allow the 50% rate, so PA members reserving will definitely save $$. What a deal!

Good Sam (just the club, not roadside or insurance) has been a good savings deal for us. 5c fuel discount at Pilot/Flying J, and discounts and special offers at Cmping Wrld.
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Old 02-16-2018, 01:56 AM   #2
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Actually, in Florida, most of the PA blackout dates are in the winter when the snowbirds fill up the parks.
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Old 02-16-2018, 02:32 AM   #3
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We've been longtime KOA members. The KOA discount is only 10% but if you stay at enough of them you can cover the annual cost ($30) with the discounts. Recently they've added a rewards program on top of the discount (earn points that you can redeem for camping--so far, for us, we earn enough points to pay for a night or two camping every three years or so).

They also recently have added coupon programs: https://koa.com/value-kard-rewards/coupons/

I know no one asked about KOA but the subject is "and other clubs"
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tfryman View Post
Actually, in Florida, most of the PA blackout dates are in the winter when the snowbirds fill up the parks.


You are correct, and for us as Florida residents, we aren't looking for summer campgrounds in Florida.

Good point about KOA, Jamie. We join them if we know we'll be staying at them enough to cover the cost. That happens about every other year for us, it seems.

We also have a Coast to Coast membership, from way back. We have stayed at a lot of nice resorts for $10-15 a night, but you have to have a home RV resort membership to join. Co to Co resorts usually blackout holidays for members. Depending on how you travel, Co to Co can be great or a waste of money.
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mr Sunshine View Post
We have lots of new RVers on the forum. Inquiring minds want to know, is PA a good thing? Also, Good Sam Club, Escapees and others.

My experience with PA was not good in 2015 and 2016, then saved enough to pay for the cost in 2017. Much of our travel is in the summer, when many of the PA parks are not honoring the discount. PA never helps at county, state, national parks, and we pay 0 at WalMt, Crakr Brrl, etc.

The park chosen for our Thor/Sunshine rally in April will allow the 50% rate, so PA members reserving will definitely save $$. What a deal!

Good Sam (just the club, not roadside or insurance) has been a good savings deal for us. 5c fuel discount at Pilot/Flying J, and discounts and special offers at Cmping Wrld.
We live in fl but store the rv at a p/a park that alone saves us the membership price then when we travel back and forth to mn. and can us it to camp more savings too
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:54 PM   #6
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We have always maintained our Good Sams Pilot/Flying J, no matter if we were full time or part time it was always a good deal.

Passport America has paid for itself every year within the first couple months, so that is another one we have maintained for years.

We are hit and miss with KOA. Overall many of their parks are overpriced so we try to avoid them. We recently joined again because of going from part time to full time.

We are Escapees members. Haven't been members long enough to pursue any discounts yet but for full timing there is a ton of information on their forums. We will see this year if it is really worth the membership fees.

Two different times we have considered Thousand Trail's. The first time was several years ago and again just recently. We booked 3 days in their park up in Clermont FL just to get an idea what some of their facilities would be like. Even if the Clermont TT campground is not one of their best facilities it still turned us off on ever joining.

We also joined FMCA late last year. They brag about some different discounts but all in all we may have wasted our money with them. Unless we start running across some camping discounts as a result of this membership this summer we won't renew. They are more of a old motorhome social group that is going broke. They recently changed their rules and are now allowing all RVs to join up (that is big of them).

Anyway, that is our take on some different RV memberships we have experience with. Your experience or opinion may vary.
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:01 PM   #7
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We also are PA and Good Sam members. We get back as much as we put out at least. Looking at Escapees as a good friend has recommended it to us. I'm going to check into it.
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:48 PM   #8
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We also had no luck with PA, seems everywhere we tried it they were blacked out those days for one thing or another, did not renew.
Good Sams & KOA are the only ones we have now & don't use KOA often, but usually a couple times a year.
Thousand Trails was very expensive for the quality of their parks we visited. Coast to Coast my dad had & had to spend XX amount of nights at your designated "home" park which was nothing to brag about to be forced to spend time there.
It all depends on each individuals wants/needs, we for one never have/never will overnight in a parking lot, but my BIL travels every summer from east Texas to Cheyenne Wyoming & never stays in any campground going to or coming from, just Wal-Mart's not because he doesn't have the money, he's just too cheap.
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:02 PM   #9
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We have been PA members in the past. We found that their membership fees didn't cover the cost since most of the parks only let you use the discount during the week and not on weekends or during holidays or busy times. This was back before full timing, however. It might be worth it now, if we weren't workamping.

We are GoodSam Life members. This generally gives us more than park discounts as we get 3-5 cents off/gallon at Pilot/Flying J gas centers, plus the Camping World discount (for the few times we need something there.)

We are also FMCA members. They have some discount programs but not for camping. They do have a free camping location outside Cincinnati that all members can use for up to 5 nights per month and since our daughter lives there we take advantage of that frequently. I would think FMCA is best known for their tire program, which can save a few hundred dollars when it comes time to replace your RV tires, plus they now allow you to buy auto and truck tires with the discount. They also just inked a deal with Verizon and Sprint to offer cellular service via a MiFi device for $50/month (the device is free.) FMCA also has a program for getting you and your family plus your rig to a location if there is a medical emergency and need a driver, etc. as part of the basic membership. They also have an agreement with a discount for mail forwarding if you need that.

We are KOA members simply because they have campgrounds near where we want to go. They are sometimes pricy but we know our dogs are always welcome and we can have a place to rest and recharge when needed.

GoodSam and FMCA both offer roadside assistance programs. FMCA's is new and GoodSam has been around for awhile and there are tons of threads on roadside assistance and comparisons. We don't need either as ours is included in our full timer insurance package.

We looked at Escapees and other programs (Coast to Coast, etc.) but the campgrounds listed aren't near where we want to spend our time so we passed on them. Escapees is also more of a social club than a discount program and we don't want to be required to participate in some of the events. They also don't have much for the East Coast crowd.

I think you will find that experiences may vary based on the needs of the campers plus location. As full timers, we have a different set of requirements than weekend campers. We also boondock a lot as part of our sports enthusiasts mindset. Our bucket list includes trying to see a ball game at every NFL and MLB stadium across the country... many don't offer RV parking, so camping and commuting is the next best thing. Many northern campgrounds close after October, so being able to find a place to stay is paramount.
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmihalk
...snip...
Our bucket list includes trying to see a ball game at every NFL and MLB stadium across the country
...snip...
MLB: We're up to 23 of 30: This summer we'll pick up 4 more.
NFL: Just 2 LOL

Have you read this article:
The Best Place To Camp Near Every Major League Baseball Stadium

(We've stayed at 3 and will be going to 1 more this summer.
Have a few recommendations not mentioned on that list:
Boston: Normandy Farms (really nice)
Kansas City: Blue Springs Campground
St. Louis: Sundermeier RV park--nearby St. Charles is really nice too
Baltimore: An easy drive from Cherry Hill Park (mentioned for Washington) )

Granted we didn't camp at every one. In addition you have to pick up the BBHOF as well (the KOA near there is nice).

Ok back to the Passport America and other clubs topic LOL
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
MLB: We're up to 23 of 30: This summer we'll pick up 4 more.
NFL: Just 2 LOL

Have you read this article:
The Best Place To Camp Near Every Major League Baseball Stadium

(We've stayed at 3 and will be going to 1 more this summer.
Have a few recommendations not mentioned on that list:
Boston: Normandy Farms (really nice)
Kansas City: Blue Springs Campground
St. Louis: Sundermeier RV park--nearby St. Charles is really nice too
Baltimore: An easy drive from Cherry Hill Park (mentioned for Washington) )

Granted we didn't camp at every one. In addition you have to pick up the BBHOF as well (the KOA near there is nice).

Ok back to the Passport America and other clubs topic LOL
Funny you should mention the HOF's as we have been to both. This summer we are workamping near the BBHOF in NY, so another chance to go see it again!
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:20 AM   #12
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Have PA, will be joining Escapee's in a year or so..After the negative comments by the head honcho of Crappy World about the supporters of our President..... cancelled everything associated with them.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:48 PM   #13
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"We are also FMCA members. They have some discount programs but not for camping. They do have a free camping location outside Cincinnati that all members can use for up to 5 nights per month and since our daughter lives there we take advantage of that frequently. I would think FMCA is best known for their tire program, which can save a few hundred dollars when it comes time to replace your RV tires, plus they now allow you to buy auto and truck tires with the discount. They also just inked a deal with Verizon and Sprint to offer cellular service via a MiFi device for $50/month (the device is free.) FMCA also has a program for getting you and your family plus your rig to a location if there is a medical emergency and need a driver, etc. as part of the basic membership. They also have an agreement with a discount for mail forwarding if you need that."

Just a word of caution about joining FMCA. Generally speaking, what was posted above is true. However, you have to read the fine print as with everything else, and FMCA is good about not showing you all the fine print.

The Verizon data/MiFi plan really isn't that good of a deal. It requires you to have 2 years of advance membership in FMCA to even start it with Verizon. So say for example you just joined for a year with FMCA, you would have to buy 2 more years of membership (over $150) to get the Verizon plan that in our case would have saved us about $18.00 a month.

If a true tire discount is the only real benefit then I will probably let my membership expire, wait 4 years until I am about ready for tires and renew for 1 year.

If you are into social stuff like joining local chapters, meetings, rallies, stuff like that then they can provide all that sort of stuff it looks like.
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Joe-FL View Post
Just a word of caution about joining FMCA. Generally speaking, what was posted above is true. However, you have to read the fine print as with everything else, and FMCA is good about not showing you all the fine print.

The Verizon data/MiFi plan really isn't that good of a deal. It requires you to have 2 years of advance membership in FMCA to even start it with Verizon. So say for example you just joined for a year with FMCA, you would have to buy 2 more years of membership (over $150) to get the Verizon plan that in our case would have saved us about $18.00 a month.

If a true tire discount is the only real benefit then I will probably let my membership expire, wait 4 years until I am about ready for tires and renew for 1 year.

If you are into social stuff like joining local chapters, meetings, rallies, stuff like that then they can provide all that sort of stuff it looks like.
I would agree about the Verizon plan not being such a great deal. If you have been following the AT&T Mobley threads, they had a plan that only cost $20/month. Mobley may not be the best device out there, but it is sufficient for most users.

We are long time AT&T customers and I will keep them for as long as I can considering their customer service is the best of the big 4 cell carriers and they are less expensive than Verizon. I also get a very nice 24% discount from my previous employer (where Verizon and Sprint only offered 15% and T-Mobile offered none.)

No surprise about the fine print. The same can be said about most of these organizations, hence the experience comments.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:01 AM   #15
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We joined PA and it paid for itself the first week. We have used it on several occasions and will definitely renew. We found a lot of parks donít advertise accepting PA but if asked they will offer the discount. We also have Koa which was running a special (1 night free when you join). It paid for itself and then some the day we purchased it. FMCA for a particular resort on HHI has also paid for itself. They also offer unlimited hotspot thru Verizon for decent price. Good Sam came with the coach. The roadside towing worked out great for car issues we were having and we have used the discount at different parks. Overall we joined each when the ability to use it to save money arose and we are not disappointed.
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