Many families who want to budget fulltime traveling need to consider Camping Membership options. Here are a few options which have served many families well over the last few decades.
Campground Memberships - Are they worth it?
The general consensus is they are recommended by families who travel. The average camping cost is between $20 - $45/night and has increased over the last few years. Premium locations during peak season can be as high as $100/night. Campground Fees are a major expense for many new RVers and buying into a Camping Membership can save you hundreds of dollars per month as well as provide resort style amenities.
Camping costs can be reduced by using a mix of boondocking, volunteering and camping on public lands. But many families require some basic needs that the campgrounds offer. We have used these clubs over the last 10 years, so they have paid for themselves. The memberships are only useful If you make use of them. Do your homework and check to see if the campsites are in locations suited to your travel needs.
When you visit a Thousand Trails RV Resort & Campground, you'll notice the difference! After all, with over 40 years of experience in providing the best in outdoor destinations, recreation and family camping, we are still just as committed to making sure our properties are Clean, Safe, and Fun for our guests as when we opened our first campground.
Thousand Trails is the largest and most successful provider of RV resorts and campgrounds in North America with over 80 locations in 22 states and British Columbia, Canada. Thousand Trails has combined the beauty and relaxation of a scenic nature preserve with the resort-style amenities and security of an exclusive club. At each resort, we provide a secure, gated environment with park rangers who look out for our guests' safety - so you can focus on having fun. Today our parks are enjoyed by more than 100,000 member families and guests.
Formerly only open to lifetime members, Thousand Trails has introduced the Zone Camping Pass, which provides a low-investment way to enjoy the benefits of resort-style camping on an annual basis.
There are no sale presentations, no expensive up-front fees, and no long-term commitments.
The premier camping club that offers Boot Camp programs, mail and domicile service, CARE, rallies, RV Webinars and so much more.
This is a social and community club, with added benefits that get you access to SKP parks (at a discount) as well as the opportunity to join like-minded groups of people.
Passport America invented the 50% Discount Camping Club in 1992 and has continued to improve on that great concept. Over 1800 campgrounds across the US, Canada, and Mexico are currently participating in the Passport America Program, with new parks joining daily. Although their concept has often been imitated Passport America is still the best value, lowest price, and the World's Largest network of Quality Campgrounds of its kind.
With the Passport America RV Discount Camping Card, cardholder's also receive a FREE subscription to RV America magazine. This magazine provides a fresh look within the RV Industry and provides Passport America members with many great features such as Product Highlights, and Recipes from the Road. It also provides members with updates to the current edition of the Passport America International Camping Directory.
The goal at Passport America is to save you money while providing you with the most quality & largest network of campgrounds, and a family of friends.
Get your Passport America Discount RV Camping Card now and support FamiliesontheRoad.
Since 1972, Coast to Coast Resorts has been the industry leader in bringing RV enthusiasts access to some of the finest outdoor resorts in the country. In fact, Coast's primary focus is to make it possible for people who purchase memberships at resorts to maximize their destination and vacation choices. To fulfill this mission, Coast to Coast has created an internationally recognized network of hundreds of resorts, enhanced with hundreds of Good Neighbor Parks, forming a network of beautiful properties where nearly any vacation experience can be found.
Camping and Beyond - Where to Stay outside of your Campground Membership
The Bureau of Land Management manages recreation resources and visitor services on public lands to support strong local economies and public land conservation. The wide variety of diverse landscapes across BLM-managed public lands offer unique opportunities and memorable experiences for visitors.
In an increasingly urbanized West, these recreational opportunities and settings are vital to the quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors.
List of Elks Lodges with RV Facilities.
Military FAM Camps (family campgrounds) are very clean, pretty reasonably priced and usually within walking/biking distance from most Base facilities (gym, BX, chapel, bowling alley, etc.). Many have playgrounds nearby and programs through the Rec Center (although most of these have been converted to Boys and Girls Clubs and require an unreasonable fee!). Another plus is that you can use the Base libraries to check out books.
Check out this link for info on FAMCamps nationwide which has many reviews posted. Some campgrounds allow reservations, others are first-come, first-served. All are restricted to military and retired military personnel.
"We spent a fun 2 months at Patrick AFB (Cocoa Beach-- the beach is an easy 2-mile bike ride from the FAM Camp), a month at a Navy Submarine Base in Georgia (Kings Bay, near Cumberland Island-- a must-see), and we're headed north to explore the D.C. area from Camp Meade in Maryland then New York City from Earle Navy Base in New Jersey. There are military campgrounds near a lot of fun places to explore in the U.S."
"Speaking for our family, and I'd venture to guess many of those families represented on the FOTR list, none of us said it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. We did not wake up one morning & simply leave for our RV adventure.
For us, it took planning, sacrifice and a double dose of faith.
- We sold our house and almost everything that would not be needed or useful in the RV - so, no mortgage.
- We bought a used RV - we found the best one that we could afford. So no additional debt.
- While we continue to pay down any remaining debt, we find that our cost of living is much less as we *need* less in our new, more modest lifestyle.
RV Social Groups - Seeking like-minded travelers on the Road. Here are some of the more popular groups that FamiliesontheRoad recommends.
It is possible to "float" for a night or two at some shopping centers while traveling. It is a practice that places like Wal-Mart actually welcome though there may be local ordinances prohibiting it.
Read an article by Coulee News (Sept. 21, 2007)
There are some who might consider us poor by material/worldly standards. But those who "get it" know that this is a lifestyle like no other.
Best of luck in planning your own RV adventure."
~Annette Dyer (FOTR since 2006)
Pets in Campgrounds
Should we take them or not? Read pet tips, advice and funny stories by families who have their pets on the road.
"Older teens may miss having long term relationships, but I have talked to adults who grew up on the road and feel that the good far outweighed the bad. A lot seems to depend on the temperament of the child, how often the family moves, and whether they grew up traveling or were introduced to the lifestyle when they were older. The Internet offers opportunities for teens to keep in touch with friends while traveling. Many families discovered that email and cell phones were vital in combating loneliness for their teens."
~Shelley Zoellick (FOTR 1988-2003)