Today’s AllCampgrounds is a quick note to make everyone aware of a phenomenon even I didn’t know about until I started writing for the blog: discount camping consortiums.
While not all campsites are associated with a discount organization, there are actually several membership groups throughout the U.S. and Canada that can offer welcome benefits to frequent campers at thousands of premium camp grounds for both tent camping and RV camping.
Good Sam Club: Billing itself as the world’s largest RV owners’ community, it offers a variety of great benefits to members, acting as a sort of “AAA for RVs.” In addition to discounts on RV service, it maintains a network of RV parks and tourist attractions around the United States. Non-members can visit the site to benefit from an extensive question-and-answer format database of information on all things related to owning, maintaining, and enjoying an RV. The Good Sam network includes hundreds of camp grounds across the 50 states, including several that have been featured on the blog.
Passport America Discount Camping: This organization caters more to the tent camping enthusiasts among us. Calling itself “The original 50% discount camping club”, it has affiliated camp grounds in the United States, Canada, and even Mexico. Searching the Passport America website offers easy entry to a database of discounted campsites, including RV and tent, and you can even download the complete directory of sites in .pdf format. Passport America is a little bit ahead of the technology curve, even offering a free iPhone app, available to members and non-members alike, that pegs your camping search to your current location and offers other enhanced features.
Camp Club USA: “50% off, 100% quality” is the creed of this camping group boasting affiliation with over 1,000 sites throughout the U.S. and Canada. Members also enjoy a collection of other fun benefits, including a value-packed newsletter, specialized trip routing software, and a monthly prize giveaway. The Camp Club directory covers all of North America and includes plenty of options for RV owners and tent campers alike.
A number of discounts are also available within the national park system. Deep discounts of 50% or more are available to seniors, those with permanent disabilities, and volunteers who have accumulated 500 service hours or more. There are also annual subscription passes available to the general public that confer discounts on entry fees and “expanded amenities” sites throughout the national park system. As of the time of this writing, none of the passes include discounts or priority service on backcountry camping permits, but they’re still a great value on a subscription basis, and free to other categories of visitors.