One of the main concerns when it comes to living your life on the road is savings. RV travel costs can add up without you knowing it. When you sign up for membership and discount programs, you can save money from campgrounds fees, fuels, and so much more! However, you should also be aware of the different factors before purchasing any membership program.
In this article, I will talk about the top seven RV memberships that you can avail yourself during your life on the road. I will also talk about the benefits that you can get when signing up with RV memberships and some tips on buying them. Lastly, I will also talk about whether it is really worth it to purchase membership or discount programs.
Overnight RV Parking for Your Resting Needs
Overnight RV is great for people who are looking to rest during the night after a long drive. It will show you free places to pull over and spend some time off driving. Here, you wouldn’t find campgrounds or RV parks. You will find Walmarts, parking lots, rest stops, and roadside stops. Overnight RV is constantly updated because developers want to be accurate.
You will find specific markings on the map that show little balloon markers. Green is for parking allowed, yellow is parking might not be allowed, and red is parking is not permitted. Once you click on the balloon, you will get the information you will need about the particular spot. You will find information such as lighting, levelness of the spot, traffic noise, and safety.
It is a smartphone app that uses your GPS to locate free parking that is near your location. Overnight RV lists 15,545 RV parking and no parking locations throughout the United States and Canada. All you need to do is enter your current location, city, state, province, and zip code. When you have a subscription, you don’t need to worry about campground fees.
Now, if you have purchased a subscription before March 3, 2021, there is no auto-renew. Overnight RV will let you know when to renew a week before the expiration date. You will be reminded of your renewal through email.
If you purchased your subscription on or after March 3, 2021, it would automatically renew unless you cancel it within 24 hours before the end of the current period. Now, you can cancel your subscription at any time with iTunes account settings.
The cost of the Overnight RV subscription is $24.95 a year.
Freebies That Overnight RV Parking Offers
Overnight RV offers different freebies to those who recommend this app. For instance, if you recommend it to a friend, you will get a free month as long as the person you refer provides your email address when signing up. You can also submit new listings on the website; take note that adding new listings is not available on the app. With this, you will get an added two weeks in your subscription.
Lastly, you can update any existing location. All you need to do is search for the location in question, click on the colored pointer, and the database listing will open for that particular location. After that, scroll down to the ‘Update Location’ button, and click it. An update form will open, fill out the form and submit.
The Overnight RV team will validate it, and when approved, an additional week will be added to your subscription time.
Harvest Hosts is highly underrated and is excellent for someone who enjoys a good beer or glass of wine. They offer unique locations throughout the US where hosts allow you to stay in their business property. All they need is an exchange for a simple purchase of company merchandise for the overnight stay. You can find farms, vineyards, breweries, distilleries, museums, golf clubs, and country clubs. This subscription is great for those who are looking for once in a lifetime experience in the United States and Canada.
You can experience waking up in vineyards and beautiful farms. They allow all RV classes from Class A, B, and C to motor coaches, fifth-wheel campers, and towed vehicles. However, tents and/or sleeping in a car are not allowed. They have two plans available, which are $79/per year and $119 per year.
They have been in business since 2015, and it’s great for social distancing since it is not crowded like other RV parks or campsites. You can experience more than 400 vineyards and wineries, more than 100 breweries and distilleries, more than 200 farms, more than 200 museums, other attractions, and more than 300 golf courses and country clubs. All of these are available on the Pro Plan.
Now, there are no RV hookups, so you can expect that there are no water, electricity, sewer, or restrooms. However, other hosts provide electricity and water, but it is not guaranteed.
KOA Value Kard Rewards
KOA Value Kard Rewards offers a standard set of amenities and always has clean campgrounds. Though, it may not be for everyone since it offers fewer locations than other membership programs. However, it is always great if you know what exactly you know what you’re getting into.
With the KOA Value Kard Rewards, there are not a lot of discounts and benefits, but you can earn rewards that you can use for free night stays. They are partnered with Dish Satellite and Geico. You can get a 10% off daily registration rate, and the points can add up quickly, especially if you stay in campgrounds for a long time.
It is inexpensive to join and only costs $30 per year.
Exclusive Benefits for KOA Members
With exclusive members, you will get a daily registration rate discount and will love the comfortable lodging and fun amenities. You will receive 10% off the daily registration rate all year long on campgrounds that are affiliated with KOA. Also, if you have KOA, it will be an easier time to reserve your stay.
When it comes to your reward points, you can earn rewards that accumulate and redeem them for dollars off the registration fees. You can even get a free night of camping at any participating KOA campgrounds.
You will also have access to KOA Rewards Week, and to view the updates as well as dates for this, you can check their website. The KOA Rewards is a way that KOA says thank you for continuing using their services.
You can also get special discounts from Goodyear tires, KOA Health+ by Careington International Corporation, Allstate RV Roadhelp, RV Loan Center, and Dish TV. For every camper who enrolls, a dollar is donated to KOA Care Camps.
VIP Status and Advantages
Image Source: koa.com
Now, each year members start at the base level. When they reach 6,500 points, they move up to the Bonus level. Once you’re in the Bonus level, you can earn 10% points faster. Then, when you have 20,000 points, you will automatically be promoted to the VIP status level.
With the VIP level, you will get free KOA Rewards annual renewal and will renew your account for the next year for free. You get to earn points quicker, 25% faster and will waive any cancellation fees. The standard $10 cancellation fee is waived if you call to cancel more than 48 hours in advance or seven days prior to KOA Cabin Stay.
However, the cancelation wouldn’t apply to Deluxe Cabin stays, special accommodations, and holidays or special events. Another discount that you can avail of is bringing a friend discount, where your friends can receive 10% off the daily registration fee. However, they should stay at the location for up to four nights.
Earning Points on Your KOA
One of the best ways to earn points is by paying for daily registration. Base Campers usually earn between 600 to 1,300 points, and Bonus Level campers earn 660 to 1430 points per site registration. VIP Campers, on the other hand, you can earn from 750 to 1,625 points. As mentioned above, you will earn 25% quicker than the other levels.
You can also earn points by long-term stays. If you stay more than 27 consecutive days, you will earn 75 points per day. Reserving your stay online will give you an additional 250 reward points and will be added to your account within 48 hours after checkout.
Special events are also a great way to earn points. With the Care Camps Big Weekend and KOA Rewards Weekend events, you can earn 1000 points as a KOA Rewards camper. As a VIP Camper, you can earn 2000 points.
Special Discounts at KOA
Image Source: koa.com
You can get amazing discounts at KOA with Goodyear Tires. It is essential for a safe and stress-free camping trip so that you will get a 15% discount all year long on tires. Imagine the money that you can save in upgrading your gears.
Another great discount that you can avail of is the KOA Health+. With the pandemic on the rise, this is the best time to access telemedicine and savings on dental and vision needs. KOA is partnered with Careington International Corporation, which provides you the care you need while you are on the road.
KOA is also partnered with Essex Credit, where it will be easier for you to get a loan and make your dreams come true. They offer great rates for refinancing your existing RV and are the national leader in recreational vehicles. They offer highly competitive rates with fast, flexible customer service.
Essex Credit will help you purchase both new and used recreational vehicles. It has low-interest rates with an instant, hassle-free loan approval process. You also will get zero application fees and up to $400 to apply toward your next KOA camping trip.
Lastly, KOA is partnered with Dish Satellite so you can enjoy a movie or your favorite tv shows from the comfort of your KOA campsite. You will get $50 off a portable satellite antenna and receiver. Count on high-definition quality, affordable antennas, and fast, easy campsite setup.
Thousand Trails is also known as TT. You can explore more than 100+ campgrounds nationwide and have been available since 1969. Thousand Trails is one of the largest networks of RV resorts and campgrounds in the United States. It combines beauty and a relaxing atmosphere as well as a scenic nature preserve with resort-style amenities.
You can experience fun events and activities for the whole family. It is available in five zones which are Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast. Northwest consists of British Columbia, Canada, Washington, and Oregon. Southwest consists of California, Nevada, and Arizona.
The Midwest consists of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan. At the same time, the Northeast consists of Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Lastly, the Southeast consists of Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Thousand Trails is available for subscript at $585 a year. You can camp all year long in the zones mentioned above. You will have more options to camp in more than one area with an additional cost of $54 per zone. It is well-worth when you like to travel often. With the subscription, you will also have an option to purchase an upgrade called The Trails Collection.
The Trails Collection has access to 110 parks for $210, and 18 parks within the Trails Collection are considered free. There’s a charge of $20 per night where you will have access to premium parks and top-rated destinations. It is cost-effective when you plan to use the subscription for a large number of days per year.
You don’t need to worry about nightly camping fees and will have access to unlimited day-use at parks in the zone. However, you have to note that you can only camp in Thousand Trails park for 14 days at a time. You must leave the system for seven days until you can use the camping pass again.
Happy Camper Half Price Camping Club
Happy Camper Half Price Camping Club is a simple membership that you can take advantage of, which is a discount club for RVers and Campers. You can get a discount of 50% at hundreds of campgrounds within their network. It offers a significant discount, and with new parks joining frequently, it can be very cost-effective.
Aside from campground parks, they also have a large list of helpful Ebooks and free trip planners. Now, the downside to this app is it doesn’t have an excellent reservation system, and the website is outdated. Also, the travel planner is not easy to use, and there’s no mobile app for the Happy Camper Half Price Camping Club.
It is also not easy to make reservations. Now, you can earn while you travel by adding locations that are not listed on the website. For each added location, they will pay you $25 for each park you refer to. You can send them on the website but don’t forget to put your name in the ‘referred by’ box.
You can obtain three plans: one-year membership for $39.00, two-year membership for $71.00, and three for two-season sales for $79.98.
Passport America is one of the RV memberships that pays for itself with just two to three stays. They offer a 50% discount with nearly 1800 partnered campgrounds. Campgrounds can be found throughout the United States and selected parts of Mexico as well as Canada. Passport America has been in the business since 1992.
They currently have more than 100,000 members and have a free online subscription to RV America magazine as well as a free campground catalog. Passport America also has a mobile app where you can search for nearby RV parks.
Now, the downside to this membership is each campground has different days that accept the discount. For instance, many campgrounds only accept discounts from Sunday to Thursday, while others don’t accept weekends or holidays. Also, the website and app don’t have an option for booking online. You would need to call the campground to make a reservation.
The membership costs $44 per year, but you will save more money by purchasing two-year, three-year, five-year, or lifetime memberships.
Referral Program of Passport America
Passport America also has a referral program which is pretty easy to do. You will have access to brochures that you can pass to others. You can pass along the brochures to fellow campers, and you will receive $10 for everyone who joins and uses your ID number. Every referral is an entry to win different prizes all year long.
To be qualified for the program, you must be a valid Passport America member and have good standing to participate. The payment will come to you as credit vouchers and will be applicable on your next membership renewal. To receive fee reduction, send in the vouchers at the time of your next renewal.
After your fourth referral, you will begin to receive $10 checks instead of credit. Lifetime members will automatically receive a $10 check for each referral that joins Passport America. There’s no extra charge for the brochures and materials. All you need to do is give them a call if you need more brochures.
When new members are referred, you will receive $50 commission checks which will be mailed to you no later than six months. You must have an active Passport America Membership to qualify for this reward.
Lifetime Membership in Passport America
Image Source: passportamerica.com
If you have the Lifetime Membership, you will have 50% savings on campsites. You only need to pay a special one-time rate instead of renewing every year. This means that you don’t need to worry about renewals anymore. You can get exclusive gold benefits with a personalized Passport America 50% Lifetime Gold Member Card. Also, you will have access to the international camping directory.
You can get discounts on Passport America Rallies and Caravans with a one-year gift membership to give friends and family from you worth $88.
Good Sam Club
Good Sam Club is the most well-known membership program. It offers discounts at 2000 plus participating campgrounds and discounts for significant camping retailers such as Camping World, Gander Outdoors, and Overton’s. It is excellent at sending great offers and deals throughout the year.
You will get one free yearly RV inspection at Camping World with a 15% discount on propane. It also has a helpful trip planning app, and you can have access to free RV dump station usage at capable Camping world centers. Aside from that, you can get perks in different services such as dining, shopping, travel, and so much more.
Good Sam Club is not just discounts on campgrounds but in different networks. The downside to this membership is that it offers an abundance of promotional material that can flood your inbox and mail pretty quickly. However, this would be good or bad, depending on your personal preferences.
The Good Sam Club offers three membership plans which are $29.00 for a year, $50.00 for two years (includes a $25.00 certificate), and $75.00 for three years (consists of a $50.00 certificate).
Fuel Discounts Throughout the Year
With Good Sam Club, you can also get discounts on your fuel at Pilot Flying J. In the United States, you can save eight cents per gallon on diesel and five cents per gallon on gas. Canada, on the other hand, you can save one cent per liter, diesel or gas. You can get discounts ($2.50) on dump station fees as well.
Aside from gas and dumping fees, you will also have discounts on propane where you can save five cents per gallon. You will also get a discount on regular retail price with a 40-gallon limit.
Benefits of RV Memberships
Knowing the main difference between membership, discount, or rewards program is important. Memberships are typically members-only, while rewards programs are also known as discount cards. A great example of rewards or discount programs is the KOA campgrounds.
With membership programs, you can get clean, private campgrounds with special discounts on campsites. You can access special rewards with affiliate companies and potential member get-togethers. As most people say, membership programs usually pay for themselves.
Now, before getting a membership, you have to be aware of different factors, which I will talk about in the following section.
Different Things You Need to Consider With RV Memberships
Make sure that you will use the membership you have chosen. Whatever membership of the discount card you have, they’re only great if you use them. You need to figure out your average camping fees and think of saving money when you register for memberships. When it comes to discount cards, it does require lease use for it to be worthwhile.
Understanding the small prints is always crucial. Every membership and discount programs have their own small prints, so you need to read them thoroughly. Most of the time, the fine prints include the regular fees that are attached to the membership. Also, other memberships have annual or monthly payments that you need to be aware of.
You also need to make sure to understand the cancellation terms and be comfortable with them. Discount or rewards cards usually have more straightforward and fewer terms and conditions.
Lastly, it would be best if you familiarize yourself with the locations of the parks. Memberships have directories or maps that you can check online. See if the location that the membership covers is near you because you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money at camping sites you are not interested in.
Tips Before Buying RV Memberships
The very first thing that you need to do is research the membership details. Of course, it always makes sense to do research first. There’s no point in buying a membership if you don’t like the parks that come with them or if they are not in your route. Also, you should never enter into a long, non-refundable contract. As I’ve mentioned before, understand what you are getting into and read the small prints carefully and properly.
Now, only buy a membership when you need it, and don’t buy it before hitting the road. There are plenty of membership programs that you can purchase online, so you can buy them whenever or wherever you are.
Lastly, cancel it when you don’t use it because you are just wasting money. This is when you don’t use your membership regularly. Don’t make a mistake when buying a membership and auto-renewing it every year without using it. You can always buy another membership later on if you require it. When you haven’t it within the year, you have to cut it loose.
Are RV Memberships Really Worth It
Now, the real question is if memberships are really worth it. To me, yes, it is definitely worth it! Campgrounds fees are the major expense item when it comes to RVers, so it is best to reduce them by signing up with different memberships. Most campgrounds cost around $10 to $15 per night.
So, getting a membership program will offer a lot of savings during your life on the road if you think about it. The money you’ll save can go to more important things.
Full-time RV memberships are one of the ways that you can lessen the cost expense during your life on the road. Choosing from the different membership programs that I’ve provided above, you can enjoy different locations without worrying about breaking the bank. Remember, even small amounts can add up to a significant amount in the long run. Be money smart, RVers!