What You Should Know About RV Clubs

Posted by | All About RV’ing, RV Culture

Should you join an RV club? In one word, ‘Yes!’ Definitely do. RV clubs not only save you money on camping fees, supplies and products, but many clubs offer other discounts as well-like road service, mail forwarding and even insurance or service on your RV.

Take your time looking at different clubs to see which ones are right for you, but look at the largest clubs in North America, the Explorer RV Club, the Good SAM club for Canada and Escapees.

Look for the club’s purpose or goal. Some clubs, like the Good Sam Club, have a stated purpose of making RVing safer for its members. Other clubs may be family oriented and focus entirely on the family camping experience while other clubs require their members to be single, or to be female, or to own a specific kind of RV, such as an Airstream, to join. In other words, find a club that matches your interests and goals. Some clubs have rallies monthly, others may hold one annual rally. Do you have pets? Some clubs welcome your dogs; others forbid them from attending events and functions even if they stay in the RV.

Questions to ask when choosing a club:

  • What are the annual dues or fees?
    Is there a fee for joining?
  • Do they have a chapter or offices in your province?
  • Is the insurance or the benefits they offer applicable to your province?
  • What are the advantages to membership in the club? Most clubs include discounts on camping fees, insurance, road service and free subscription to a magazine, but compare to be sure. Ask for a sample of the magazine or buy a copy. Some magazines are nothing more than pages of advertisements; others are truly helpful offering camping and RV tips and insights. Look for clubs that offer free trip planning and forums or websites where members can ask questions of other members.
  • Do you allow pets at your rallies or functions? (If this is important to you)
  • Do you allow alcohol or smoking at your rallies or functions? (If this is important to you)
  • How many levels of membership are there and what are the benefits of each level? Some clubs have basic service with a few benefits, but you must pay more, sometimes considerably more, to get the full range of benefits.
  • What are the terms of service? If you become ill or injured and can’t travel anymore are you bound to the terms to remain a member?
  • Is your membership annual, monthly or do you have the option to join for two years, five years or for a lifetime?
  • What happens if the club fails or goes under? The larger, more established clubs have a history behind them, but smaller clubs based on a shared interest or area may not. Their benefits may be lower and their costs higher as they gain members, but weigh the value of being part of a club that shares your interest in something like Geo-caching, or fly-fishing, or single RVing.

Popular Clubs:

Because all clubs are different, with different goals and benefits, it’s impossible to list them all here, but here is a sampling of the most popular clubs in Canada as well as some that span both Canada and the USA.

The Explorer RV Club.

The Explorer RV Club is the largest national Canadian RV club serving All RVers.

Phone: 1-800-999-0819

Website: http://www.explorer-rvclub.com/

The club offers primarily discounts and financial benefits, but chapters within the club, such as the RV Cancer Club, have specific goals, such as raising money for cancer research. The main club offers:

  • Discounts on camping fees
  • Discounts on home, auto, travel and RV insurance
  • Discounts on hotel fees and on-the-road travel
  • Discounts on emergency road service
  • Free subscription to RV Gazette Magazine
  • Travel insurance
  • Free spouse membership
  • A sense of national pride
  • Discounts on car rental
  • Free access to financial advice

The Explorer RV club has chapters in:

  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • Central Ontario
  • Southeastern Ontario
  • Southwestern Ontario
  • Newfoundland/Labrador

Canadian Family Camping Federation (CFCF)

Federally incorporated camping group made up of members from all walks of life, in all parts of Canada, who are interested in family camping and the future development of camping as a healthy and fun filled way of life. Rather than just one club, the CFCF is an umbrella organization that lists 7 to 8 other smaller clubs who were formed for the same purpose of CFCF, namely to “stimulate interest in the field of Conservation and the pastime of camping and hiking, among the people of Canada.”

Phone: 1-905-854-2313

Website: http://www.canadianfamilycampers.com/

Purpose: The basic purpose of this organization is to simulate interest in the field of Conservation and the pastime of camping and hiking, among the people of Canada.

The basic concept of fulfilling this purpose is though the formation of Camping Clubs, affiliated with CFCF, and located in the many towns, cities, and communities across Canada.

CFCF has on occasion exercised strong views on matters pertaining to the conservation of our natural resources, the need of additional camping facilities, and the betterment of family camping in Canada. As the need arises, CFCF will continue to exercise this strong voice on all matters pertaining to the improvement of the family campers needs and desires in all parts of Canada.

The Good Sam Club.

“Good Sam” stands for “Good Samaritan,” a metaphor for “neighbors helping strangers” which is how the club got its start, by RVers helping other RVers. The provincial chapter of what is a North American club has as its primary goal making RVing safer and more enjoyable, and to save members money through Club-endorsed benefits and services.

Phone: 1-519-745-2353

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA)

FMCA has more than 460 chapters, organized by geographic location, make of motorhome or special interest. Chapter membership enhances the motorhoming lifestyle through fun, fellowship, information exchange and unforgettable memories. FMCA has approximately 500 RV chapters – that hold motor home rallies throughout the year. They can be casual campground get-togethers of motorcoach owners or fully planned events with games, catered meals, entertainment and visits to local attractions.

Phone: 1-800-543-3622
Website: http://www.fmca.com

Holiday Rambler Club

One of the largest RV clubs in the industry, for Holiday Rambler owners in Canada and the USA.

Phone: 1-705-721-0234 or
In the USA:
Toll-Free (877) 702-5415

Phone (574) 295-9800

Fax (574) 295-9802

Website: http://www.hrrvc.org/

Wally Byam Caravan Club International

The Airstream Owners RV Association. You must own a motorhome or trailer manufactured by Airstream International to join.

Phone: 1-519-686-9808 or USA 1+ 937-596-5211

Website: http://www.wbcci.org/

Camp Club USA

Camp Club USA simply offers 50% off of camping fees at select campgrounds in the United States and in British Columbia. Benefits include a newsletter and Campground Directory and 50% off camping rates around the USA and parts of Canada. They also offer free, online trip planning. If you camp at a Camp Club member campground at least four to six times a year you can easily recoup your $49.95 annual membership fee. They are associated with Camping World and Good Sam, the largest camping clubs in the USA.

Website: http://www.campclubusa.com

These are just a few of the dozens of clubs available. There are organizations for fly-fishing women, singles, families, couples, gays and lesbians, hunters, disabled RVers and about any kind of RV club you can imagine. Take time to search the Internet for clubs that match your interest. Most of them have fees, some are free, but all have people who love to RV.

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