Summer is now here and you can already smell the scent of pine forests and campfires. Excited for another season of RVing, you are already thinking about finding your AWAY.
In a recent conversation anticipating the upcoming season, a fellow RVer mentioned she just bought a campground membership. She excitedly told you that her new membership is going to save her hundreds of dollars in campground fees. Curious, that evening you googled “campground memberships” and came up with lots of websites using terms like “home park,” “reciprocal”, and “zones.” It didn’t take long for you to find out that there are many different types of campground memberships and you asked yourself, “Should I buy one? If so which one?”
Considerations When Purchasing a Campground Membership
Location – Most camping clubs have campground directories and online maps. Take a look at the directory or map to see where the parks are located. Are they near you? Are they near places you want to visit? If not, you may end up you spending more money on gas to get to the places you want to visit than you will save on camping fees.
Usage Rules and Restrictions – Each membership or club has different usage rules. For instance, some allow so many weeks in a particular park a year or so many consecutive days in a campground before you must leave the system for a set amount of time. Rules also often vary by season and affiliations with other networks. Many of the campgrounds in the discount clubs also have restrictions when using the discounted rate as to how many people the discounted rates includes or when it can be used. To be sure you understand don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, take notes, and read the fine print. Making sure you understand the usage rules and restrictions now will save you a headache later on and for most RVers joining a club or two or even more is worth the effort!