One of the best things about RV living is that membership clubs and RV groups are welcome to accommodate RV campers and fellow like-minded individuals in enjoying the RV lifestyle. Some groups are just for networking and communication. Some offer discounts and exclusive privileges to many RV campgrounds and parks scattered all over the country. Still, the others are on a whole new level. One of those is the Escapees membership. In this article, I will show you if a membership for Escapees is really worth it compared to other RV groups of the same kind.
|Criteria||Escapees||Good Sam||Passport America||FMCA|
|Convenience||Mail forwarding, towing services, mobile app||Trip Planner program||Mobile app, more sites in North America||Mobile app, mail forwarding, instant insurance coverage through FMCAssist Program|
|Exclusive Perks and Offerings||yearly subscription to magazine, access to online communities, access to members-only events and functions, webinars and open discussions, virtual campfires, regular newsletters, Escapees CARE, RV advocacies||life member discounts on RV insurance through NGIC in select states||none||members-only campground, library for RV lifestyle resources, magazine subscriptions, exclusive membership plate, anti-theft decal, free windshield repairs,|
|Discounts and Bonuses||15% discount on Goodyear tires through their website, discount park collaborations with Passport America, additional 3 months additional subscription on Passport America, discounts on pet stores, maintenance firms, tire stores, and more||instant fuel discounts on gas, diesel, and propane, waste dumping discounts||50% discounts on 1,450 locations in US, Canada, and Mexico||discounts on travel insurance, RV insurance, tires, roadside assistance including medical fees and hospitalization, pet insurance, health insurance, access to KOA campgrounds for more discounts, reduced membership for Passport America, discounts on Costco, UPS, Office Depot, Car Rental|
Price: The First Criteria to Consider for RV Membership
This is the first and the most important criteria to consider in joining an RV membership club in general, not only for Escapees but also in other RV membership clubs and groups in general. A good RV membership should offer a lot of perks and privileges to its members, and it should have a reasonable price to boot.
I am not saying that all expensive club memberships are rip-offs and the best affordable ones. I am merely saying that you should weigh the perks and offerings they have versus the price for memberships each month. Some clubs have yearly memberships, which can cost you much more at first. Still, it will save you extra bucks in the long run as they are usually discounted to attract more people.
Escapees charge $49.95 per member a year, which is great because you have to pay them once a year. Then you can enjoy the perks and privileges they offer to the exclusive members of the club. Good Sam offers a $25 a year membership fee. Still, they also offer $55 for two years worth of membership plus a free $15 merchandise certificate.
Lastly, they offer $78 for three years worth of membership, including a $30 merchandise certificate for free, plus exclusive perks for those who availed of the three-year membership fee. Passport America offers memberships for only $44 a year, unlocking many different perks and benefits for their members.
They also have a lifetime membership package worth $299 as of this writing, which is very convenient as you will be charged once, and that is it. Finally, FMCA, a motorhome club back then but now accommodates all RV campers, charges $85 a year for its membership fees.
Looking at this criterion alone, you can say that Passport America is the cheapest option for those who want to sign up in an RV club and experience all the different freebies and discounts they give to the members. On the other hand, the FMCA has the most expensive membership fee out of four RV clubs.
However, the good thing about their fees is that they all require a one-time, yearly payment for their membership fees, which is great because you do not have to worry about paying for memberships each month. They all offer yearly subscriptions, which means you only pay once, and play again next year before your membership expires.
Based on the criteria alone, Passport America might offer the best price for those who want to be members of RV clubs. Still, fortunately, price is not the only criteria I am looking for in terms of determining if an Escapees membership is worth the money.
Convenience: Which Club Offers the Best Services for Comfort
Convenience can be seen in many different ways. One is the level of customer service they offer to their members if they need something from the club, such as assistance in finding the best roadside help or reservations and other services that their respective RV clubs offer to their members. This is a good measure of convenience because RV campers get the best from what they paid for in terms of having helpful staff.
Another form of convenience is the number of campgrounds and RV parks that honor an RV club membership and its members. There are RV parks with many partnered RV clubs and memberships, which means they can get discounts and perks from them. In contrast, some RV parks do not honor a few RV clubs and memberships because they do not have existing partnerships.
That can be hard because you signed to a club these days is to avail of the discounts and perks that members can avail, and if it does not apply to you, it can be an awful situation.
Also, convenience can be seen in some of the services they offer to their members, which are sometimes exclusive. That includes mail forwarding and other convenient services that will make their lives much easier while they are on the road.
In terms of convenience, Escapees offer a lot under their sleeve. For one, they have an exclusive mail forwarding service, which is very important in having a permanent address for your legal documents and other forms of mail. Escapees’ exclusive mail forwarding services allow you to use a private address in either South Dakota, Texas or Florida. You can use it as an address where the government can send you your tax forms, letters, and absentee ballots.
Escapees will gladly receive the letters on your behalf, and you can claim them in their offices for no additional cost. One noteworthy thing to mention is that these three states are the states where most RV campers have their addresses for voting purposes. You can read more about that in my article about RV voting here.
Aside from that, Escapees also offer towing services through their Escapees Smartweigh program, where members can receive towing assistance and lessons from the best in towing to ensure that their vehicles are towed properly and without any issues at all. In addition, they have a dedicated team to answer your calls for help in terms of roadside assistance, not only in the US but also in Canada.
On the other hand, Good Sam has the Trip Planner program, where they help RV campers organize their RV trips across the United States and Canada. They even provide a Garmin GPS device that you can use to notify Good Sam concerning your whereabouts on the trips they organized for you.
Good Sam members also receive road assistance, but they stepped it up a notch and made their members VIPs in dispatching for road assistance, which sets them apart from those who do not have any membership.
FMCA proves that the money you paid for them will be well-spent, as they included an insurance policy coverage program that allows you and your family to be covered the moment you signed up for a membership with them. Under the FMCAssist Program, you do not need to sign up on more forms and do anything else because you will be covered as soon as you become a member.
They also have a mobile app that you can download and access your membership details on your phone, which is very helpful as you can just show it to your campground staff. They will help you as soon as possible. Passport America also has a mobile app that members can access anytime. The fact that they have a lot of partnered campgrounds and RV parks all over North America — not only the US and Canada but also in Mexico and other countries — is a true convenience in itself.
Based on these criteria, Escapees and FMCA have the best offers for convenience. Still, I will give Escapees this time as they have a mail forwarding service that FMCA does not. For RV campers, an exclusive mail forwarding service is a top form of convenience that they can get from having an RV club membership.
On the other hand, Good Sam does not have a lot of things to offer apart from their Trip Planner program, which is okay, but then again, not everyone goes on trips these days. Escapees also has a lot of programs that are exclusive to its members, which is a great segue to the next criteria I used in this article.
Exclusive Perks and Offerings: The Ones That Set the Bars
This is one of the prime reasons why RV campers want to be members of RV clubs in the first place. RV clubs that offer exclusive perks and privileges to their members are important because they only offer this, and no other RV club can do that for them. This is a great way to seal the deal. If you have exclusive perks that other clubs do not have, it sets the bar high, especially if the perks are highly helpful and relevant.
Exclusive perks and privileges may come in freebies, such as welcome kits, membership kits, and other forms of free items for their members. It can also be programs that they only offer to their members, and none of the other clubs have their own membership programs. It can also be partnerships with campgrounds, RV parks, and other establishments that allow them to be treated as VIPs.
Escapees have many of these exclusive offers and perks to its members, making the $49.95 yearly subscription much worth it. Exclusive perks and offerings do not include the discounts because I will be discussing them on another topic. Still, again, Escapees gives you the best value for your money and membership.
For one, they receive a yearly subscription to Escapees Magazine, their own publication, which is packed with many tips and tricks for your RV life, inspiring stories to motivate you on the road, and so much more. This magazine is available in paper and digital editions, which is very convenient. Consider this your Bible in Escapees membership as it can teach you many things you can use in your RV lifestyle in the future.
Members also gain access to their online community on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and RVillage. They also have access to the RVNetwork.com forum for Escapees. They can learn a lot from other fellow campers who are also members in many aspects, from maintaining their RVs to voting in RVs. You can share your personal stories with the members and let others learn from your personal experiences.
They also send regular newsletters through email that provide RV campers the latest in their club memberships, advocacy efforts, or any new events that you can join to have fun with your fellow members. Speaking of events, Escapees members have unlimited access to specialized events organized by Escapees themselves for the members.
These events include Escapees Hangouts, where you can meet other members for friendships or networking purposes, Xscapers Convergences, which are events geared towards working-class members who cannot party during the day, and more. They organize these events to meet other members and have fun, showing that the RV lifestyle can be as normal as your regular life.
Aside from these fun programs, Escapees also offer virtual campfires and webinars, where members can learn many things about camping out from the RV camping experts. Escapees is also a proud RV advocate who works hard to fight for the rights and privileges of RV campers, such as voting privileges and overnight parking to public lands, among many others.
They also have Escapees CARE, which is an assisted living center that is meant for senior RVers. Located in Livingston, Texas, it offers a convenient and safe place for elderly members and disabled campers to be taken care of by experts and professionals.
On the other hand, Good Sam offers life member discounts on RV insurance through NGIC in select states, which is a good thing for those who want to have RV insurance for their vehicles. FMCA has a members-only campground located in Cincinnati, Ohio, where members can stay for free for two nights each month. They also have the FMCA University Library, which is perfect for knowing more about the RV lifestyle from experts and authors. It can be accessed by members anytime, anywhere.
FMCA members also enjoy an exclusive discounted mobile Internet plan through T-Mobile and a magazine in paper and digital editions, which can be considered the members’ ultimate RV camping guide. Members also receive an exclusive membership plate and an anti-theft decal in their New Member Kit, which they can use to show off their FMCA membership. They also offer free windshield repairs through their existing partnership with Custom Glass Solutions by Guardian Glass, mail forwarding services, and more.
Passport America focuses more on providing more discounts on campgrounds and RV parks across North America. It does not have any exclusive perks and privileges for its members aside from the discounts.
For this criteria, FMCA and Escapees are also neck and neck. Escapees get my approval again as they have the CARE center, which FMCA does not have. FMCA is also a great RV club that offers a lot of membership perks, which is not bad considering the steep price for yearly subscriptions.
Discounts and Bonuses: The Main Membership Perks
Now, this is the main reason why you want to be a member of Escapees in the first place. Once you are a member of an RV club in general, you are entitled to many discounts, bonuses, and freebies only for the members, which can put you above anyone else in terms of upgrading your RV lifestyle.
Many people think that RV club memberships are expensive. Still, they do not know that you can easily get your money back in 20 visits or more, depending on the yearly subscription price. Apart from that, you can save more money because you can access the best amenities, features, and provisions that can improve your RV life for a fraction of the original costs.
Escapees members can enjoy exclusive discounts from hundreds of commercial members, RV parks, and exclusive members. One of the most popular membership discounts includes a 15% discount on Goodyear tires through Goodyear.com. Getting a 15% discount for your tires is a huge deal already since we all know how expensive Goodyear tires can be. You can get more quality for your tires without cracking your bank open.
Escapees also allow discount park options with Passport America because you can save up to 50% on your campground rates in over 1,450 Passport America locations. They are also giving you an additional three months on your existing Passport America subscription (if you have one), making this one a great deal on its own already. Imagine the amount of money you can save by using both your Escapees and Passport America memberships in one. It feels illegal, but it is not.
Depending on the carrier and underwriting, you can also enjoy discounts on your RV insurance through FCIS. You can also receive up to a $20 Costco Shop Card if you join Costco as a full member and happen to be an Escapees member too. This is crazy because $20 worth of free food and groceries is already a big deal in itself.
Those are some of the great ones, but they also offer discounts on pet stores, tire stores, maintenance firms, and so much more. On the other hand, Good Sam offers instant fuel discounts, in the form of five cents per gallon discount for gas in the US, eight cents per gallon discount for diesel in the US, and one cent per liter discount for gas and diesel in Canada.
Aside from that, they also offer five-cent per gallon discounts on propane and a $2.50 discount for waste dump fees. Looking at it closely, five cents a gallon might not be a big thing, but it can still save you up to $20 to $30 on gas fees, which you can use to buy more food or stocks for your pantry.
As mentioned earlier, Passport America locations offer up to 50% off in discounts across their 1,450 locations in the US, Canada, and Mexico. They also offer Costco, UPS, Office Depot, and Car Rental discounts. Lastly, the FMCA offers discounts on travel insurance, RV insurance, tires, roadside assistance including medical fees and hospitalization, pet insurance, health insurance, access to KOA campgrounds for more discounts, and a reduced membership for Passport America.
FMCA and Escapees sealed the deal under this criteria, so I am giving it to both. While Good Sam’s fuel discounts are good, the discount offerings from both FMCA and Escapees. Members can experience more from their memberships without having to exert much effort.
Escapees are Very Much Worth It
With all those criteria in consideration, I can say that Escapees memberships are worth it. This is because they offer a lot of exclusive perks and privileges that only members can access. In addition, their collaboration with Passport America has made everything amazing. Indeed, you can already gain what you paid for the yearly subscription fee in 20 visits or more. Getting an Escapees membership can be one of the best choices you have ever made in life.