If you’re looking to make every dollar count during your adventures, an RV membership can be helpful. However, if you’re not careful, you could make some mistakes that could cost you money.
Some clubs offer special pricing and enticing incentives to get you to take the bait. We want to help you avoid experiencing buyer’s remorse regarding the groups you join.
Today, we’re sharing the seven deadly sins of RV memberships so you can avoid them.
Let’s check them out!
What Are RV Memberships?
RV memberships are clubs and organizations for recreational and full-time RVers. By joining these groups, individuals unlock benefits and discounts available only to members.
The benefits typically revolve around services or supplies frequently used by those who enjoy the RV lifestyle. As with many subscriptions and clubs, some are more beneficial than others.
While joining some of these services may be simple, they’re not always worth it. It only takes one time of wasting a chunk of money on a useless club to learn your lesson.
What Are the Benefits of RV Memberships?
Benefits can vary considerably from one club or service to the next. Some discount programs offer 20% to 30% discounts on stays at particular campgrounds. In addition, some subscriptions provide a certain number of nights of seemingly free camping. If you’re looking to save money on campsites, you can find a group to do just that.
Additionally, some clubs provide discounts at popular RVing retailers. These types of groups are great, especially for buying gear and equipment. If you’re new to RV life, you’ll quickly learn there’s always something to buy.
The 7 Deadly Sins of RV Memberships
We’ve discovered some common mistakes that many people make regarding RV clubs. We want to help you stay on the straight and narrow during your adventures. So let’s look at the seven deadly sins of RV memberships you want to avoid committing.
Not Knowing Use Restrictions
If you’re considering becoming a member of a club or group, it’s important to read the fine print. The devil is always in the details when it comes to restrictions. You’re making a major mistake if you don’t take the time to comb through the specifics for any RV membership.
Many members quickly discover that the long list of restrictions makes their subscriptions essentially useless. They may not be able to take advantage of a club’s benefits over holiday weekends or specific times of the year. Depending on how or when you plan to use your membership, you might end up wasting money if they’re too restrictive.
For example, Passport America has a lot of unique rules for each site in its database.
Never Using Them
Another common sin that many RVers commit is not using their subscriptions. There are infinite possibilities why they might not use them. However, the bottom line is that they’re wasting money by not using them.
Some clubs and groups can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars, to become a member. You need deep pockets to be comfortable parting with this kind of money. Your hard-earned cash is better spent elsewhere on your current and future adventures.
Getting Locked into a Contract
Some of the most costly mistakes are buying into a group with lengthy contracts. You may benefit from a club in your current circumstance. However, sometimes things change and what’s good today may not be suitable for you a year from now. You never know what the future holds.
To save yourself from committing this sin, it’s worth asking how cancellations work when signing up for the program. It should be just as easy to cancel as it is to join. If it’s not, running in the opposite direction as fast as possible might be the better option.
Not Buying Used (When Available)
You can purchase some memberships secondhand from resellers or private parties. A Thousand Trails subscription is a great example of saving money by purchasing from a member looking to sell. However, far too many people choose to buy them new and get locked into a long-term and nearly impossible-to-break contract.
Buying a used Thousand Trails subscription can save you a chunk of change. Depending on the plan, it could mean hundreds or thousands of dollars in savings. You also get access to memberships that may no longer be available. It may still cost a pretty penny, but you can get a good deal on a great plan.
Buying too Many Memberships
Buying too many RV memberships is one mistake that’s easy to make, especially when you’re first getting started. It can be exciting to dream about your future adventures and imagine the possibilities. However, you can quickly enroll in more clubs than you could ever realistically use.
The best way to avoid joining too many clubs is to wait until you need them before purchasing a membership. This can help you avoid subscribing to multiple services that offer the same or similar benefits. If the goal is to save money, being a member of too many clubs will do the exact opposite.
Not Planning Ahead
Some RV groups have become incredibly popular. As a result, you’ll need to plan as far ahead as possible to take advantage of their benefits. Some require planning six months or more ahead of time for booking campsites.
It’s no secret that many nomads head south for the winter. As a result, campgrounds with connections to large RV membership programs tend to fill up fast. Good luck finding a spot to park your rig if you’re heading to Florida and decide to wait until the last minute to make reservations.
Not Researching Benefits
Before signing up for a club, it’s a good idea to research all the benefits. First, you want to understand how joining the group will suit your specific lifestyle. Many people join clubs because they hear other RVers say it’s a good deal. However, just because someone else benefits from a specific RV membership doesn’t mean you will too.
Secondly, take the time to thoroughly read and consider all the benefits of any program you plan to join. You must understand how or if it’ll help you during your travels. Our rule is to pass on any subscription where the benefit isn’t immediately obvious.
Are RV Memberships Worth It?
RV memberships can be tremendously helpful in saving you money. However, some can be incredibly expensive and deliver very little return on your investment.
If you take the time to research, you’ll likely find that many RV memberships are worth it. On the other hand, you’ll also find some aren’t even worth the paper their long list of restrictions is printed on.
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