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Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 2 weeks ago #1

  • gbownva
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was wondering what the full timers believe is or appears to be the best camping package on the market
Travel Resort of America
1000 Trails
Coast to Coast
Good Sam's

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Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 2 weeks ago #2

  • Paul Bridges
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We use Thousand Trails. Bought a one-year membership, two zones for $500 and used it pretty extensively, so bought a private party lifetime elite nation-wide membership for about $2000. We have yet to use that but will this fall in Florida.

By far the best value for us when traveling has been Passport America.
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Paul & Tracy Bridges
2015 Redwood 38RL
2016 Ford F-350 KR CC LB DRW 6.7L PSD
1924 Ford Model T
1958 Rainbow TT by Edwards ( 1958rainbow.blogspot.com )

Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 2 weeks ago #3

We only have Good Sams. Have had Passport America but for us every time we wanted to use it that date was blacked out, weekends, holidays, second Tues of the week, any day that ended in Y, after the year was up we didn't renew.
Our best plan has been to stay at least a week, usually pay for 6 & get 7 nights, or monthly which usually averages around $20 nightly. When traveling If you constantly only spend 1-2 nights everywhere it can get very costly & tiring, which why we travel the way we do. An old fulltimerr told us in the beginning to travel 2x2x2, travel 200 miles stop by 2pm & stay 2 days, only staying 2 days was too much moving too often so we made it 2x2x7.
When first retired Camping World always had a Thousand Trails kiosk in their foyer, so we visited with them & got a couple nights stay at a couple different parks & were NOT impressed with either of them, either too much junk at the sites or just total lack of park maintenance, so that ended that.
My Dad had Coast to Coast & if I remember he had to return to his "home" park every so often, which for wouldn't work as until this past year we had never returned to the same park twice, we might be in the same area just not the same park.
You just have find what works for you & how you want to go about it. We have friends that their goal was to visit every state & national park in the country in their 38' Mobil Suite, their problem was the same as ours/yours too big for most of those parks, so after 10 years they downsized to a 30' travel trailer & are going back some they'd missed.
If I were you, before you jump into any long term expensive package to travel & see what might work best for you, what works for us you may not like at all.
Good luck, happy trails!

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Travelin' Texans
Full timers since 2008
2013 FB Black & Tan
2013 GMC Denali 3500 DRW
Last Edit: by Danny and Linda.

Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 1 week ago #4

Nice reply, I like the 2x2x2 plan!

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Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 1 week ago #5

  • 0nTheRoad
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We use two different C/G providers; Passport America and Thousand Trails.

PA is good for overnight stays while going from point A to B but there are limitations...avoid weekend travel and busy seasons. PA parks run the gambit, some very nice parks but more just ok. We typically stop around 3-4 in the afternoon and pull out the next morning, many times we didn't even unhook when we had the RW, just connect electric and water.

TT can be a great option, especially purchasing a full membership from an individual or reseller. You can get an Elite membership for around $2-3K, you'll still need to pay an annual maintenance fee of around $500 but if you travel in the areas where TT are you can save some bucks. They have tons of parks on the west coast, several along the east coast and several in Texas, otherwise they are far and few between. The Elite membership allows for 3 week stays most o of the time, two weeks in high season and you can book 90-120 days in advance.
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Chuck & Ruth Treadway
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Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 1 week ago #6

We have been full timing for 4 years. We have a Coast to Coast and an ROD (Resorts of Distinction). We also have Passport America. We use our memberships 90 percent or more of the time. We pay about $650/year TOTAL for maintenance fees. For us this has been a very economical way to travel. Although they can have what may feel like a high startup investment; for us it has definitely paid off. We have had our memberships for about 12 years. We are trying a Thousand Trails membership this year--we have used it enough that it has definitely paid for itself.

Here are some thoughts:
Pros:
- Generally, we are able to keep our monthly campground expense under $200/mth. LOVE the money we save. We have done the detailed financial analysis.
- We like planning ahead and having reservations. Some public campgrounds don’t accept reservations.
- We enjoy having and using the amenities. (Pool, fishing, paddle boats, golf, etc.)
- I don’t want to sound like a snob… but here goes… Campground memberships have an upfront investment so other campers tend to be respectful. (and if they aren’t the management will deal with it) If you have a tent and a little money you can bring all your friends, all of your kids, your cars and ATVs, along with your loud music and kegs of beer and hang out around the campground for the day and into the night.

Cons:
- There are some limitations on the length of time you can stay in most campgrounds. We generally move every week or so—but have stayed up to 3 weeks. So if you want to hang out longer, you will either have to pay more or move on.
- Campground locations may not be exactly where you want them to be.
- They are campgrounds, so there can be a lot of activity—so it is not the peace and quiet of wilderness camping.
- You may have to plan ahead—some campgrounds fill up fast during busy seasons.
- Campground sites are usually smaller than state/federal park sites. We have found the membership campgrounds to often be better than some of the other private campgrounds. When I am talking about membership campgrounds I am only talking about the Coast to Coast, ROD and Thousand Trails.

Most of the time we pay $0 to stay; but periodically we have paid as much as $5/night for an added resort fee or to get 50 amp.

This isn't for everyone, but for us it works great. Just like with any campgrounds, some are great, some are not great.
No questions there is some work using the memberships—we can’t just drive up to a campground, we need reservations. There are some limits to the length of time we can stay in some of the campgrounds. Generally at 14 to 21 days, we are ready to move on… so we are ok with the limits. We are more willing to work within a system for $0.

** Before replying to this post, I reviewed our 2017 spending. We have spent just under $500 so far in 2017 on campground fees.
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George & Lisa

Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 1 week ago #7

OK..You peaked my interest...

The $500 is the campground fee for a year...

When factoring in ALL of the campground fees combined, how are your doing? Do you boondock some of the time? Just trying to understand your "annual" campground budget with everything combined.

We are fulltiming but we have not hit the road just yet as we still have a little more W_ _ _ left to go. But we have plans for a lot of boondocking (and some dry docking). Not because we have to. But because we want to. It sounds like fun. There will be times though when we need to "recharge" in a campground. After a while of doing this, I'm sure we'll be more interested in what you are doing. But for now, that will really knock down the expenses of a campground. Your $500 though is very appealing as well.

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Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 1 week ago #8

The $500 does not include our annual $650 maintenance fee (which is basically an HOA) The $500 is an approx. of what we have paid this year in nightly fees. I have not yet done our July expenses. So... with our $500 plus the annual dues of $650; From January through June 30 we spent an average of $6.30/night for camping.

We do little to no boondocking. I struggle finding good places for boondocking. I know they are out there, I just haven't figured out how to find them easily.
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George & Lisa

Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 1 week ago #9

If we start campground camping, it sounds like you have a pretty good deal going. Our ultimate plans would include summer in the North and Winter in the South (with a stop in Quartzite, AZ for a month or 2).

In the North, we have located multiplel campgrounds with seasonal rates (9 months for $2000 = $7.40 a night). In South Texas, there are plenty of places for $275-350 a month (basically $11.25 a night). If we averaged this out with only 2 months in Quartzite, that would be $3,050 a year or $8.35 Nt. So it sounds like you have a really good deal going.

Now, is that $1,150 for ALL of your memberships combined or just one?

Our current location is $200 a month ($6.45 Nt).

Thanks for your wisdom.

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Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 1 week ago #10

Greg,
Sounds like you have found some great rates. The $1150 is actually for everything we have spent on campsites. All the memberships, the times that we have paid a night or 2 at full price. I have the membership camping down to an art. Working the systems together has been good for us.

We always consider boondocking, I get stressed if I don't know I have a reserved spot for the night.

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George & Lisa

Camp Ground Packages ? 2 months 1 week ago #11

Thanks for the information!

It sounds like you have found the right niche.

We're looking forward to finally getting on the road shortly.

Have a great weekend.

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