There are quite a few RV discount clubs you can join. As full-timers, we find that nearly any club we join is going to save us a good bit of money. Typically they are priced with vacation travelers in mind and offer such folks a decent deal. When you stay in RV parks most of the year as we have, they can be a tremendous bargain.
Passport America was the first club we joined and continues to give us some of the biggest savings. They advertise themselves as the “50% off discount camping club.” As with many things, there is truth to that, but it is not the whole truth. When you are offered the Passport America discount at an RV park, you will get 50% off the day rate, however, there are typically a number of limitations, most commonly the number of nights stay that can be discounted or the season in which the discounts apply.
We have found most of the campgrounds offering Passport America will give you the 50% off for 2-3 nights, with the rest at the regular rate. Some parks will let you use it for up to a week and on rare occasion for your entire stay. While that may seem very limiting at first glance, consider that most discount clubs only give you 10% off and so even getting 3 nights discounted, which is about the average in our experience, is similar to 15 nights at a 10% discount. The more short stays you do, the more advantage you can get from the membership. What really seals the deal though is that Passport America is cheap to join. A year’s membership is currently $44. Three nights stay at a camp with a $30/day site fee is going to pay you back the membership cost. In 6 months of travel, we’ve easily saved more than 10 times the cost of our membership.
As with every discount club, only certain parks are part of the network and thus offer the discount. The website claims they have 1900 member parks, which is quite a few but in practice, they are scattered around the country with the largest concentrations on the two coasts. You won’t always be able to find a member park in every place you travel. For this reason, we belong to a pretty large number of discount clubs. When we look for parks to stay in, we always start with the Passport America list to see if any are available and if they have space.
Passport America additional benefits such as free trip planning, a quarterly magazine, discounted mail forwarding, and on-line tools for finding campgrounds and cheap fuel via their website. I can’t say we take much advantage of these but for this article, I took a look at each and found them easy enough to access and utilize. If you are a blogger or maintain a website, they have a referral program that can earn you rewards for referring new members. Of course, we are using them ourselves so if you decide to sign up through our links you will be helping further our travels as well as saving money in yours.
To check them out and sign up: Join Passport America