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Old 02-04-2011, 08:04 PM
Location: Maryville, Tennessee
41 posts, read 80,776 times
Reputation: 22


Hi all, my wife and I just got our first travel trailer, a Keystone Bullet. Our first few trips will be some Arkansas state parks, close by for trial runs. After that some weekend trips to MO, and TN.

So, my first questions or many more to come, Is a Good Sam membership, or KOA discounts really necessary?

Thanks all,
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:03 PM
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
4,278 posts, read 4,768,273 times
Reputation: 7398
We joined good sam when we bought our travel trailer and while you get some discounts you will also be bombarded with solicitations. Phone calls, mail all kinds of annoyances so in my opionion its not worth it. KOA campgrounds on the other hand are very nice for the most part. They have pools, stores and activities. If you join their club youll get discounts so if you think youll be staying in alot of thier parks it may be worth considering. We have stayed in KOAs all over Michigan and never found a bad one. Enjoy your new purchase!!
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:37 PM
Location: Wyoming
7,785 posts, read 12,648,726 times
Reputation: 10578
If I remember right, the discount you get with a KOA membership will be paid back after a couple weekends. Sometimes I buy one when I go to check in at a KOA, but we seldom use them more than once or twice a year if that. It depends upon if we're traveling and what's close.

Good Sam memberships are about the same kind of thing. You'll likely find more campgrounds that give Good Sam discounts, but the discounts are pretty small.

We prefer Forest Service and Nat'l Park campgrounds and don't have much use for private campgrounds. It all depends on what you want.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:48 AM
Location: N. Ga
2,854 posts, read 2,243,631 times
Reputation: 1333
IMHO it all depends on the way you will use your RV.

If your a weekend/casual camper, I don't see that they'll save you at all.

If your a pretty consistent camper I think it will help you. With that being said, if you go extended stay in a lot of places (like us) we don't end up getting the discount because a monthly rate is usually cheaper and the discount doesn't apply.

We are Good Sam members because we have their mail-forwarding service, but we rarely get a chance to use their discounts... (And watch their "insurance" ads... they are teaser rates. Going up dramatically the 2nd year since it is actually through GMAC insurance.)
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:25 PM
Location: Harrison, OH
910 posts, read 1,098,534 times
Reputation: 367
We have stayed at KOAs numerous times and they are usually pretty nice, especially if they are newer/renovated.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:00 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
14,147 posts, read 26,876,508 times
Reputation: 11369
I use Free Campgrounds for RVs

I hear that Passport America is a worthwhile investment Passport America Discount Camping Club - The Original 50% Discount Camping Club Since 1992

I am not a KOA fan, some are good, some are bad. Often too close to the highway for me..

Here is another good site for travel planning.
America's Byways®: National Scenic Byways Online
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:49 AM
Location: on the road again
1,375 posts, read 3,522,698 times
Reputation: 787
Any club/membership is only as good as you make it, most people never use them enough to get the true value from them....If you are just a weekender I would say dont waste your time or money. I also must comment on the KOA love on this post? Whats with that...Most of the KOA's I have been forced to stay at have been the most over priced, junky, noisy campgrounds around....
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:39 AM
Location: West Virginia
10,705 posts, read 23,130,923 times
Reputation: 6063
DECADES ago I was a GOOD SAM Member! Was Great! It was geared for Members to Help members! Get lost look in the booklet call a local to get you back on track! Need help with break down...Call a Member! I went out 2-3 times in 1 yr just to point people in right direction or Del gas to get them to the nearest station! Hense the Name Good Sams....short for Good Samaratins!!!
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:49 PM
Location: Boydton, VA
1,038 posts, read 1,561,836 times
Reputation: 1394
We RV fulltime...Good Sam is a good investment for us, pick and choose what you want to purchase....their ERS covers all of our vehicles...from the KW to the motorcycles. KOA (Keep On Adding) on the other hand is not for us...too expensive, they seem to have a cost for everything.

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Old 02-08-2011, 07:16 PM
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 8,930,309 times
Reputation: 1871
I recently stayed in a KOA "kampground" for the first time I can remember a few weeks ago. It was very close to Sacramento, CA, and was about the only campground anywhere within 20 miles or so of the city.

It was a decent campground with more amenities than I needed. All I really wanted was a place to camp for the night, so I could get up early the next morning well rested in order to attend a show in Sacramento.

Other than the restrooms, and morning coffee, I didn't use any of the extras that KOA offered. I could have made my own coffee in camp, and could have used my portable toilet, and would not even have needed the things I used, but they were included in the price, and made it easier for me.

The price for a site was not much cheaper than a motel room at one of the cheap motels along US 99 that I saw along the way. For only about $10 more, I could have had a motel room, and I would not have needed to take my trailer. Of course, I'm not one to stay in that type of motel normally, so I was content using my trailer, anyway.

As for membership in KOA, I don't think I would benefit from it, even though I camp quite a bit. First, it offers 10% off the price of a stay, as I recall. That discount is only good at member campgrounds. For my latest trip, I could have saved about $3.50. At a membership cost of $25, that means I would need to stay at least 7 nights to just about break even. Since I like primitive camping, for the most part, I don't tend to stay in this type of campground. When I do, it's mostly for convenience, and the only times I really remember doing so (until this trip), I have stayed somewhere other than KOA. To keep this story from getting any longer, I would say that I don't think I would stay at KOA often enough to even recover the cost of the membership.

Where you might benefit from joining would be if you wanted to stay in a place that offered a recreation room and swimming pool, and you stayed there at least 8 nights a year (depending on the type of space you prefer).
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