A lot of newbies ask me which RV club(s) they should join, so today I thought I’d talk about some of the clubs and our opinion on them. Keep in mind that what we enjoy and find useful may not be right for you.
There are general interest RV clubs such as Good Sam and Escapees, which welcome all RVers, as well as special interest clubs such as Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), which requires you to have a motorhome to qualify for membership.
While Terry and I have never been joiners, just for the sake of joining something, we have tried out many of the well known RV clubs out there. When we started fulltime RVing fifteen years ago, we joined the Good Sam Club, Escapees, Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), and then Bus Nuts when we bought our MCI bus and started to convert it.
We dropped Good Sam after the first year because all our membership got us was a ton of junk mail; it seemed like from the very start, every time we got mail there was a solicitation to buy something else, renew early, and spend money. While their emergency roadside service plan is very good, the Good Sam rallies we have been to have been mostly coffee klatches and the average age is even older than me, if that is possible.
We were members of FMCA for over ten years, but we found a lot of snobbery there, based upon how big and expensive your motorhome is. We also really dislike the way they treated us and other vendors at every rally we had a booth at. If I wanted to be treated that rudely, I’d still be married to my first wife. At one time FMCA offered a good mail forwarding service, but they have closed that down. They still do offer some good benefits to members that you might find worthwhile.
The bus crowd was a lot of fun and we enjoyed every bus rally we ever attended. If we still had a bus we would still belong to Bus Nuts and the other bus clubs we once belonged to.
And then there is the Escapees RV Club. We always tell people that we belong to several RV clubs, but we are Escapees. To us, the Escapees is more than just a club. It is an extended family and we have always felt the benefits far outweighed our annual membership dues. Like all families, we have our disagreements from time to time but we get through it. If I could belong to only one RV club, it would be Escapees, hands down. They have the best mail forwarding service around, campgrounds in several states, a very good magazine, and the club is always fighting for the rights of RVers.
Some RV clubs cater to people with special interests or needs, such as Families on the Road, SMART (which is for retired military and veterans), and Handicapped Travel Club, for people with physical challenges. Single RVers can find friends, fun and fellowship in groups like the Wandering Individuals Network (WIN) and Loners on Wheels. RVing Women offers support and friendship for women RVers.
One of the greatest benefits any RV club can offer its members is rallies. These can range from a small get together of less than a dozen rigs, to mega-rallies where literally thousands of RVs show up. Rallies give members an opportunity to socialize, to attend educational seminars, to shop vendors offering all kinds of interesting RV items for sale, and in the case of brand specific rallies, many times factory representatives and techs are on hand to deal with problems and repairs. Check out some of the clubs listed above and see which ones work for you.
It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time to start a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Ben Rehder’s Gun Shy, part of his excellent Blanco County mystery series featuring hardworking game warden John Marlin. But I have to warn you, don’t try this book unless you have time to read the entire series because I know you’ll get hooked on Ben’s great combination of humor and suspense. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Never lend anything you can’t afford to lose.