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We all want to find the best way of saving some dollars when traveling. After all, the more money you save, the longer you can keep touring and camping in your RV full time.
Although there are many RV memberships available, Passport America and Good Sam seem to be the most popular clubs that everyone thinks you require on the road.
With both of them offering great discounts, which one is better?
Here is an exclusive review on Passport America vs. Good Sam based on our experience.
Passport America Overview
Passport America is one of the greatest and famous discount camping clubs. The club has more than 1600 member campgrounds across the US, plus a chosen number in Canada and Mexico.
Passport America provides a standard 50% discount to all members. You will hence save the cost of RV camping in a very short time because of the 50% discount.
They also have a reliable iPhone application that enables you to find an RV park at any time.
However, every park can inflict its own stay limitations about when they offer the discount and how many nights.
Some are significantly restrictive, but most are not.
You don’t expect to get a massive discount on either plan during peak tourist times. Hence, you will get a 50% discount for one night or more nights as the parks are different.
Good Sam club overview
Good Sam Club is one of the most well-known RV park membership groups. Its annual registration fee is $27 and offers members a 10% discount for each participating visit, supplies, and gasoline at their park-affiliated businesses and stores.
You can save further by selecting 2 year or 3 year plan. It will cost you $79 for 3 years and $50 for 2 years.
The club has partnered with Pilot truck stops to give 8 cents off diesel and 5 cents of gas at participating Pilot Flying J locations, a 15 % discount on propane at camping world, and free yearly inspection at camping world.
If you travel a lot, this will be worth what you pay to join the club.
They also sell a guide filled with great information that will assist you in your travels.
They also provide travel protection policies and road service that are moderately priced and offer outstanding assistance and service.
The good news is that you don’t have to have an active membership to purchase these services.
Good Sam also has number of other services that can be bought separately but don’t come under your membership. This services include things like roadside assistance, Travel assist, insurance, credit cards, RV loans, Tire protections, mail service, trip planning and many other things.
Passport America VS Good Sam Comparison
Lets compare each of these on different parameters. This will give you some idea and based on what you feel is important, you can decide for yourself.
For some, long term cost saving is important and others will look for quick discounts as they won’t be camping year long.
Yearly membership cost
In terms of annual membership cost, Good Sam is relatively cheaper, going at $29 per year. This is as compared to Passport America that costs $44 per year.
However, this does not mean that Good Sam is cheaper in the long run than Passport America, displayed by their significant difference in terms of discounts offered.
Passport America’s 2 year pricing is at $79 and $109 for 3 years, which is at 10% and 17% discount respectively. It also offers lifetime membership at $349 and with this you don’t have to pay annually for renewals. This offer gives you all the gold member benefits.
|Passport America||Good Sam|
|1 year Cost||$44||$29|
|2 years Cost||$79||$50|
|3 Years Cost||$109||$79|
|Life Time Cost||$349||NA|
When it comes to saving, passport America is the better financial bet. Passport America provides a 50% discount, with participant campgrounds nearing that of Good Sam.
If you carefully plan, you can save enough dollars even on short trips to stand for your annual membership fees and still be ahead of your camping expenses.
With passport America if you take long vacations, you can save hundreds of dollars per trip. On the other hand, Good Sam only provides a 10 percent discount which is nothing compared to Passport America’s 50% discount.
The 10% discount might seem like a great deal. However, the problem is that their amenities are overall expensive, that the discount they offer barely covers the taxes on their fees.
10% discount means that you require to use the discount at least ten times to begin saving a few dollars.
Number of participating campgrounds
Discovering a Good Sam Park anywhere you go is hassle free. As compared to Passport America, Good Sam offers more parks in good places to camp with a ten percent discount off.
Good Sam has parks at everyplace while Passport America only has about 1600 parks in the US.
Many RV parks do not accept Passport America during weekends, holidays, and peak season.
Before showing up at a Passport America park, ensure you carefully check the RV park profile in your Passport America application to ensure they are currently accepting the discount.
Most of the Good Sam campgrounds have a generally higher level of upkeep and cleanliness.
The membership club ranks every park by cleanliness, professionalism, and friendliness to familiarize you with more about the park before arriving. You are sure to find a Good Sam park wherever you travel.
On the other hand, not all Passport America campgrounds are of excellent quality.
Hence, you should double-check the RV park reviews because not all Passport America Park is going to be classy. After all, it costs less than $15 for a reason, guys. However, it can be a big win to secure a cozy Passport America campground to stay in.
Passport America is excellent in terms of iPhone applications. They have a very easy to use and user-friendly iPhone application that will help you to find an RV park from anywhere efficiently.
On the other hand, you might find it challenging to find an RV park via a Good Sam park. Some members have said that the Good Sam app crashed on them overtime they tried to use it.
In general, for RV camping, I would avoid Good Sam club parks. However, I would recommend purchasing their travel guide, travel protection policies, and road service as they will help you save some dollars.
Although not perfect, I would recommend Passport America, especially to full time campers. It helps travel to popular destinations off-season and a convenient way to save money during one-night RV camping.
What Other Options Apart From Both These Clubs
RV camping is hugely popular in the united states and that means the market is huge. For this same reason you will find many other RV club membership and discounts clubs competition against these 2 options.
If you don’t want to go with passport America or Sam club, check out below options. Many of these have different services that you can combine with the above two options.
The best option i would say is to go with a combo of multiple clubs, RV memberships based on your requirements.
Founded in the late 70s, this organization is focused on appealing the full-timer RVers as well as extended travelers.
Their membership goes for $39.99 per year. With benefits including; RV education, advocacy, BOF groups, annual rallies, a great magazine, and mail forwarding as a domicile.
The club also has a network of their RV Parks, various Co-Op Park and offers 15-50% discounts at more than 1000 other parks across the US. The discounts on the club’s afflicted parks are a nice perk; just ensure to check with each park as they set their specific prices.
This is another excellent membership club for travel discounts, including their insurance and roadside assistance.
They also offer an RV add-on package. The issue is that they are regionally based and what is offered varies.
So if you have an Atlanta policy with them and then get a break down in another state, they might or might not provide their services.
This membership club goes for $49 per year and $45 if you sign up for auto-renewal. It offers RV camping at farms, wineries, and museums.
However, you require to call in advance to get permission to park with a single night’s camping expectation. However, this is an excellent way of staying in some unique places, enjoy wine tasting and museum visits.
Boondockers Welcome is relatively similar to Harvest Hosts, but here you get to stay at people’s farms, homes, or land. This is a perfect chance to meet new people and make memories.
At only $50 per year, you get free overnight RV camping with hosts listed on the site, and you can stay for multiple nights.
Although it is a great way to save campsite fees, sometimes the hosts are booked, or a large RV cannot be accommodated; hence it is mostly dry camping which you might not be prepared for.
This is another membership club campground system with 81 membership parks and a hundred other parks available via their Trails Collection sister program.
The membership goes for $575 per year for a single zone, with each extra zone going for $49. Another option offered by Thousand Trails is the Trails Collection upgrade package that allows you access to an additional 110 parks for $210.
One of the best things about this RV camping club is that members can camp at the 81 parks for two to three weeks at no cost after the initial membership cost.
Trails collection are considered premium parks and will charge $20 per night. They also provide convenient online reservations 24/7.
KOA Value Kard Rewards
KOA provides a relatively standard set of amenities, and they do a great job at keeping their campgrounds in a presentable and clean condition. Their membership cost goes for $30 per year.
However, they are not for everyone as they provide fewer locations than most other membership clubs. However, if you are an RVer who enjoys knowing camping in a quality campground, KOA could be a perfect program to join.
You won’t get lots of discounts and benefits after signing in, but you will have a chance of earning rewards that you can use for free night stays.
With both passport America and Good Sam providing a way for you to save some money, it is recommendable for you to register for both club memberships, particularly if you are RVing full-time.
However, if you had to pick one membership club based on the amount of savings provided, it would definitely be Passport America. Now that you have gone through our camping club review, the rest is up to you to choose. Happy trails!