So there you are, sitting at home with nothing but time on your hands. You’re retired and soon Winter will be over with Spring and Summer not far behind. You really aren’t looking forward to another Summer in the city. The bumper to bumper traffic and hustle and bustle of the city wears you down, and you’ve got itchy feet. Maybe it’s time to look for the best RV clubs for seniors who want to get out of dodge.
The trouble is, you don’t even know where to start or what to look for in an RV club. For that matter, should you even join a club? Yes! It seems like a very good idea as opposed to going it alone.
WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN AN RV CLUB?
There are several reasons why joining an RV club would be a great idea.
- You can save money on camping fees.
- There are hosts of RV supplies and products than RV clubs can purchase at a discount.
- Road service is available with most clubs.
- They can also help you with mail-forwarding.
- Often RV clubs get a discount on Group Insurance
- Service on your RV might also be discounted.
- Best of all, you get to make a lot of new friends.
At first, you might be tempted to join a variety of clubs just so you won’t miss out on anything. That’s not always the best idea, because when people use this strategy they end up not using most of the ones they joined. Research the potential clubs you might join before you actually pay for a membership.
Make sure you like the parks that are included with your membership. Also, make sure they are actually on your proposed travel route.
You are far better off to join a club that has a sound reputation and gives it a go and see how it works out. Most clubs can be joined in a few minutes online. The best strategy is to try it for a year and see how it turns out.
Don’t just join a club and let the membership auto-renew every year. Just buy it once and set up a reminder for the next year, and then decide if you want to join up again. If it wasn’t quite what you expected or didn’t use it all that much, then don’t renew.
Make sure you are aware of what you are getting yourself into before you make any purchase. For instance, how long is the membership period and what is the cancellation policy?
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WHICH ARE THE BEST RV CLUBS?
Passport America 50% Camping Club
This club is inexpensive to join and has a total of 1,850 parks to choose from. They also have an online map search tool that is very easy to use. The money you will save on your first days of camping with a discount will most likely cover the cost of your club membership fee.
There are a few things to be aware of. Many of the parks included in the membership are off the beaten track. There are also some limitations that come with certain parks. For instance, the 50% discount might only be available certain times of the year and possibly just on weekdays.
Some parks only allow the 50% discount to be used twice a year. However, if a park costs $50 a night as some do, and you camp from Monday to Thursday you will save $100. Should you camp there twice in a calendar year you will save $200. In two nights you will pay for your Passport America membership fee.
It’s a simple matter of just going to the Passport America website to see what the limitations of each site might be.
Escapees RV Club
Many people make this their first choice because it’s much more than a camping club. It’s also a social and community club plus you get discount access to SKP parks. You also have the opportunity to join like-minded people who want to hit the open road and get out of the city.
Maybe you’re new to RVing. If you want to try it out before buying Outdoorsy and be connected to one of 17 million RV units in North America that sit unused for 350 days a year.
As far as the camping side of it, the main draw is being able to enjoy inexpensive camping SKP parks and co-ops(Rates as low as $300 per month are sometimes available as well as a discount of up to 50% at 1000 participating clubs.
You can also purchase a separate membership into the “Days End” club for a low fee of $15 and get access to a long list of cross-country boondocking locations across the country as well. For the uninitiated, boondocking is the term used for parking your RV in an excellent wild camping location without water. Electricity, or sewage.
The biggest downside to the Escapees RV Club is that in order to find specific boondocking locations, you have to look through hundreds of pages in the Days End directory. All things being equal, this is an excellent club considering you are only paying $54.95 for Escapees and Days End membership combined
Kamprounds of America (KOA)
The beauty of KOA is that they are in Canada and the USA. So you could virtually camp your way across North America with KOA.
They have a total of 500 campsites and the membership cost is just $27 annually. They have a reputation for good amenities and tend to be very consistent as far as quality. Some usual features include cabins, pool, and pull-through sites.
Their campsites are a bit pricey at $35, but if you have tried some of their sites and like them, then it’s well worth buying the KOA membership. The membership will get you a 10% discount and you will also be able to collect reward points. These can be used toward discounts or free future stays.
Boondockers wanted(Be my guest camping)
This is sort of a unique way of camping, and it’s certainly the least expensive. It all depends on how much you treasure water, electricity, and sewage hookups.
Often in Boondocker camping, you won’t have those hookups. What the membership actually allows you to do is camp for free at a private residence.
It might be a small location like someones’ driveway, or you might be out in a field. This is more of a social way of camping as often RVers will spend some time getting to know their hosts. Should you are not keen on socializing and are more inclined to want privacy, this might not be for you. Should you do choose to give it a try, you will cover the cost of the $24.95 membership in just one night.
America the Beautiful(for seniors)
Should you are a United States resident and senior of at least 62 years old this is definitely a membership you should purchase.
The cost is around $80 and is an incredible deal. It’s a one-time lifetime fee and you get access to all National Parks plus 50% off the cost of camping at most Federal Land Campgrounds.
Federal Land Campgrounds include National Parks and National Forests. So if you are old enough, this is a great deal.
So you can see why many people will buy several memberships. I guess the reasoning is that no matter where you travel, you will most likely have access to one facility or another at a reduced rate. For a couple of hundred dollars, you would have all the bases covered. It all depends on how much camping you plan on doing.
As I mentioned earlier, most people find that they don’t make use of several memberships, so it’s best to try one or two and see what you think before committing to automatic annual renewal.
IS RVing TOO EXPENSIVE FOR YOU?
The price of an RV for the average person can be prohibitively high. Next, to buying a home, a fully tricked out RV would most likely be the most expensive purchase an RV owner would make second only to the purchase of a home.
This automatically disqualifies most people, especially seniors with limited incomes, from ever being able to purchase an RV. However, there is an alternative.
There is a company that realized there are about 17 million RVs sitting unused 350 days a year. In other words, many RV owners go on their one major RVing holiday a year for a couple of weeks and for the rest to the year their RV sits unused.
Outdoorsy came to the conclusion that they could make the outdoors more accessible to a wide range of people who couldn’t afford to buy an RV.
They don’t own a fleet of identical-looking, anonymous RVs that have been driven for millions of miles. What they do is connect RV owners with people who want to experience what RVing is like without having to own one.
At Outdoorsy, you are able to rent the smallest tent trailers up to a fully-equipped RV, whatever your preference happens to be. Of course, the more elaborate the trailer, the higher the rental cost.
Just the same, it’s a great way to see what the world of RVing is like in the event it has crossed your mind to actually buy your own. Why not rent one for a camping trip and see how you like it before making a large financial outlay?
Once you have either purchased or rented a camping vehicle you can check out the best RV clubs for seniors who want to get out of dodge.
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