AmeriGO RV Club Suspending Operations

The AmeriGO RV Club notified its 50,000 consumer members as well as dealers, campgrounds, and other partners that, effective today (July 17) it is suspending business operations while still working to obtain financing for the fledgling national consumer club.

AmeriGO-RV-Club-LogoIn making the announcement, AmeriGO Chairman Joe McAdams said the interest from the RV industry and consumer market for the AmeriGO concept has been “very gratifying and extremely strong,” but the club’s management needed to suspend operations while it explored financing options.

“We still believe very strongly that the concept is much needed in our industry. We are continuing to search for additional funding or a suitable partner within the coming months,” McAdams stated, adding that AmeriGO officials will update members on further status changes as warranted.

AmeriGO was founded in 2013 by McAdams and fellow RV industry veterans Joe Daquino and Mike Schneider, all of whom are former executives of Ventura, California-based Affinity Group Inc.

The independent RV consumer club has been positioned as an affordable membership organization that cultivates a vibrant online community dedicated to RV enthusiasts throughout North America who enjoy benefits, services, and discounts via partnerships with companies across the industry, including resorts and campgrounds, RV dealers, and insurance, financing, and warranty providers.

“Our goal in creating AmeriGO is to build a trusted resource for products, services, and information that adds value and security for the RV enthusiast by providing access to and savings at our premier network of RV vendors, dealers, and campgrounds,” AmeriGO officials stated in September 2013 in announcing the formation of the club.

Joe McAdams, Chairman of AmeriGO RV Club
Joe McAdams, Chairman of AmeriGO RV Club

While it not that unusual for membership camping organizations to experience financial difficulties resulting in reduced services and camping options for its members, it is highly unusual to suspend operations during the first two years of operation.

One also wonders whether suspending operations and ceasing to operate as a viable company are, in this case, one and the same.

Unanswered questions remain. Are the membership camping organization’s financial difficulties due to a failed business model? Did the promoters fail to provide value to the network of RV business partners? Did the promoters over-compensate themselves? Will full disclosure to the membership be forthcoming?

Worth Pondering…

You don’t pay the price for success. You pay the price for failure.

—Zig Ziglar

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Escapees Partners With Boondockers Welcome

RVers looking for an overnight place to park other than a Walmart, truck stop, or casino, now have another option, thanks to a new partnership between the Escapees club and Boondockers Welcome.

Boondockers-Welcome-logo-216x145Boondockers Welcome is providing Escapees members with a special discount to join their program and a resource to help RVers connect with other RVers who have a location for people to dry-camp for the night.

It might be in their driveway or a field on their farm. The view may be of amber waves of grain or of the McDonald’s parking lot, but it will be a free place to park where RVers don’t have to worry about idling truck engines, security, or that dreaded knock on the window at 2 a.m., according to an Escapees news release.

Boondockers Welcome offers an online community to make new friends and save money while RVers see the world from a local’s perspective.

RVers will have access to fellow members, be able to correspond with them securely, and accept their invitation to spend a night (or two) parked on their property.

Ideally, RVers will return the favor, extending a similar invitation to other travelers. But even if RVers don’t have a place to offer in return, they’ll be able to take advantage of the hospitality of others, saving hundreds of dollars in campground fees.

Escapees LogoA host membership costs $19.95 per year or $44.95 for three years.

A guest-only membership is $24.95 per year or $59.95 for three years.

Use coupon code 5OFF4SKP to save $5 off any Boondockers Welcome membership.

Use coupon code GIVE52CARE and Boondockers Welcome will donate $5 to the Escapees CARE Center.

Details

Escapees RV Club

Address: 100 Rainbow Drive, Livingston, TX 77351

Phone: (936) 327-8873 or (888) 757-2582 (toll free)

Website: www.escapees.com

Boondockers Welcome

Website: www.boondockerswelcome.com

Worth Pondering…

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

—John Burroughs

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RV Fun Club: Just Show Up & Go

The RV Fun Club is a new and exciting concept developed by Gigi Stetler and her Executive Team of vacation professionals.

RV-Fun-Club-logo-151x145The RV Fun Club is designed to provide members with access to many of the top RVs in their fleet. Simply make a call or submit an order through a mobile device and your RV will be waiting for you.

Through enrollment in the RV Fun Club you’ll enjoy the benefits of exclusive RV rental rights and opportunities. You will be able to streamline your vacations and maximize your time.

No more concerns about getting things ready, as you are able to customize your vacation ahead of time and just “show up and go”.

Best of all, you will have exclusive access to a large portfolio of many of the top RVs, without the acquisition and maintenance costs.

The types of RVs in the rental fleet include Class A gas and diesel motorhomes, Class C motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, and toy haulers.

Stetler has retained TransMedia Group to launch her newest venture, an RV membership club, according to a news release.

TransMedia will develop and implement a comprehensive public relations campaign, generating publicity for Stetler and the RV Fun Club.

Stetler is the owner of RV Sales of Broward, Florida, and is the author of “Unstoppable,” her memoir in which she relates some harrowing experiences she’s encountered as a woman trying to make her way in the business world.

“Gigi is a diminutive modern version of the Unsinkable Molly Brown, who refuses to have businesses ruffians sink her enterprise or push her around, including star of CNBC reality show, The Profit,” said Tom Madden, CEO of TransMedia Group.

RV-Fun-Club-logo-151x145“The two firebrands are locked in a business/legal battle, and The Profit might have just bitten off more than he can chew when confronting Gigi in court.”

Working from its Boca Raton office, TransMedia Group will be responsible for managing the RV Fun Club’s media relations. The company will implement a promotional strategy for increasing club membership and helping members make memories without breaking the bank.

Stetler is continuing work on her second book, which delves deeper into her life as a dynamic and unstoppable entrepreneur, the news release also noted.

Two levels of membership in the RV Fun Club are available: Open Road and Platinum  Package.

Open Road Membership

The Open Road membership includes standard motorhome use in 3 day increments providing up to 4 preferred reservations at one time on the reservation board.

Members are entitled to 500 free miles per 3 days and pay a per mile fee for extra miles.

You are entitled to 4 reservations consecutive one time per year giving you a 12 day holiday.

This package is available at a cost of $6,000 as a one-time fee and $149 per month.

Platinum Package

The Platinum Package is a membership for those that prefer something special.

This level of membership includes access to Class A luxury motor coaches for premier vacations using any RV in the fleet.

The RVs are available for use in 3 day increments providing up to 4 preferred reservations on the reservation board at one time. Members are also entitled to use all 4 at one time giving you a 12 day holiday one time per year.

As a Platinum  member you are entitled to 500 free miles per 3 days and pay a per mile fee for extra miles.

This package is available at a cost of $16,000 as a one-time enrollment fee and $199 per month.

Details

RV Fun Club

RV-Fun-Club-logo-151x145The RV Fun Club owns the RVs and take care for all the things owners dislike dealing with including maintenance, insurance, storage, and cleaning.

The RV Fun Club strives to provide a carefree alternative to RV ownership at a fraction of the cost of owning an RV while maintaining the highest quality of service.

Address: 1991 South State Road 7, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317

Phone: (954) 256-8202

Website: www.rvfunclub.com

Worth Pondering…

I hear the highway calling. It’s time for a road trip.

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$4.3 Million Class Action Fraud Verdict In Membership Camping Case

In previous articles on Vogel Talks RVing, I’ve discussed membership camping—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Securities-settlements-gavel-money-article-25In an earlier article I reviewed the current information, misinformation, and confusion about membership camping in order to assist the consumer in making a more informed decision.

Today’s post details an ugly aspect of membership camping as it pertains to one—and I emphasize, only one— membership campground system—Halo Resorts Inc.

Halo Resorts consists of two campgrounds located in southern California between San Bernardino and Palm Springs—Oak Glen Retreat (38955 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa) and Fisherman’s Retreat (32300 San Timoteo Canyon Road, Redding).

After a two week trial, a San Bernardino Superior Court jury reached a unanimous fraud verdict for intentional misrepresentation, concealment, and negligent misrepresentation and awarded $3.585 million in damages and $750,000 in punitive damages to 2,500 members who purchased campground memberships and/or paid membership fees to Halo Resorts Inc. from December 16, 2007 to February 20, 2013, according to a written announcement from one of the law firms in the case.

fraudPrevention“A jury found Halo Resorts falsely represented to its members that it was entitled to charge these fees and concealed the fact that they were not entitled to charge the fees,” said attorney Kitty Szeto with the R. Rex Parris law firm who tried the case with attorney Kevin Shenkman of Shenkman and Hughes law firm.

“For several years, Halo Resorts has sold a ‘lifetime membership’ to thousands of consumers over those years. Essentially, the membership entitled consumers to utilize the facilities and amenities at Halo Resorts’ two membership campgrounds, and obligated members to pay annual dues to Halo Resorts,” said Szeto.

“Halo Resorts charged its members fees that were never disclosed in their contracts and in violation of the California Membership Camping Act. Members were charged termination fees, transfer fees, and were tricked into going to the campgrounds to take a new photo ID but then were forced into 10 -by-10 rooms and were presented with different options: (1) to leave their memberships alone but then their annual dues would increase and they would be assessed a $60 monthly surcharge for the next five years; (2) purchase an upgrade (gold, silver, or bronze for $3,994 and up) which essentially gave them nothing more than what they already paid for; and (3) terminate their membership by paying $2,350. Unconscionably, consumers were forced to make a decision that day within the hour,” said Szeto.

A judge will be deciding three remaining claims (violation of the California Membership Camping Act, Unfair Competition, and Unjust Enrichment).

Case Name: Wilkinson v. Halo Resorts, Inc. – Case No. CIV DS 1114158.

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a consumer frauds lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.

Disclaimer: I am a member of Thousand Trails, Western Horizon Resorts, and Passport America camping club but do not represent them or sell memberships.

Worth Pondering…

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

—Peter Drucker

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RV Travel: The Road To Savings

The recently released Campfire Canvass survey of RV owners conducted by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) indicated that more than 20 million Americans will travel in RVs throughout the summer months, heading to our country’s 16,000-plus campgrounds, and enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

Considering the RV lifestyle? Try renting before laying down the cash. Camping in a rental unit at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Considering the RV lifestyle? Try renting before laying down the cash. Camping in a rental unit at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to the new survey, 66 percent of RV owners intend to use their RVs more this summer than they did last year, and 28 percent will use theirs the same amount. Just 4 percent said they’ll use their RVs less.

RV ownership is at an all-time high because it provides families with a comfortable and cost-effective means to get away and spend quality time together.

RVs roll travel, accommodations, and meals into one and for less than you might think.

In fact, an RV vacation can cost a family of four up to 59 percent less than other forms of travel. Extra storage space means saving on equipment rentals, too, as you can bring along the bikes, skis, kayaks, golf clubs, ATVs, and all the other toys. And when you travel with everything, including the kitchen sink, you save on food expenses. Food becomes a bargain because you not dependent on eating out at pricey restaurants every night or relying on unhealthy fast food.

Not only do RV parks and campgrounds offer much cheaper rates than hotels and motels but you won’t have to worry about lost reservations, delayed or canceled flights, and room downgrades.

But I don’t need to tell you that! I’m preaching to the converted. Right? If you’re reading Vogel Talks RVing you already own an RV or are a RV wanna-be!

Cut campground costs by joining a camping discount club such as Passport America. Camped at Riverbend RV Park, a Passport America park in Luling, Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Cut campground costs by joining a camping discount club such as Passport America. Camped at Riverbend RV Park, a Passport America park in Luling, Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Saving money on unnecessary spending frees up bucks for other things. While an RV is one of the biggest investments we can make, the ways we can save when camping with our RVs, are almost limitless.

Following are some tips that will help you save money while still enjoying all the fun, freedom, and flexibility that RVing has to offer:

When planning your trip, check out the Chamber of Commerce websites for areas you plan to visit. Call or email to request an information packet by mail. Not only will these info packets have plenty of brochures and information on various local attractions, they often include discount coupons. If you’re on the road just stop in.

If you belong to the AAA, ask about discounts on restaurants, museums, theme parks, fairs, and special events.

Cut campground costs. Camp closer to home. Remember, you’re always on vacation at the campsite, even if it’s only an hour drive from home.

Cut campground costs. When camping with your RV, commercial campgrounds can take a big bite out of your wallet. You can often find better deals at public campgrounds operated by small towns or counties.

Cut campground costs. Join a membership campground system.

Cut campground costs. Join a camping discount club such as Passport America or Happy Camper.

Cut campground costs. Consider staying for free or nearly free on nearby federal BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land.

Camping and canoeing at Laura S. Walker State Park in Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Camping and canoeing at Laura S. Walker State Park in Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cut campground costs. Many Casinos allow free overnight RV parking. A few Casinos require that you be a customer in order to park. There are some Casinos that allow no overnight parking, or require that you park at their adjoining RV campground at their customary nightly rates. You will also find a few Casinos that offer free RV dump stations, and even a few that a full-service RV park.

Cut campground costs. Stay longer in one place. Many RV parks are vacation destinations in their own right, offering something for everyone—swimming pools, playgrounds, game rooms, boating, fishing, nature trails, planned activities and more.

Having a written budget is essential to getting your finances under control. If you do not have a written budget it is hard to know if you are living within your means and saving enough money for your long term goals like purchasing a recreational vehicle.

Worth Pondering…

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.

—Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, 1849

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The Expansion-Bust Cycle of Membership Camping

Membership camping systems come and go tending to follow an expansion-bust cycle.

Camping at Hershey Preserve, a Thousand Trails membership campground in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Camping at Hershey Preserve, a Thousand Trails membership campground in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A privately held company, Western Horizon Resorts (WHR) was founded by Jim Loken and family in 1984 and was designed to provide RVers with “an exceptional outdoor vacation experience”.

At its peak in 2010, WHR operated 18 camping resorts located in nine states— Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington—with 3,000+ RV sites and numerous rental trailers and cabins.

Following numerous sales and bank foreclosures their family of resorts has shrunk to six; eight so-called affiliated resorts (formerly owned by WHR) are also available to members at a discounted rate.

Enter Camperworld Vacation Club, a family of seven membership camping RV parks in the state of Utah.

Thousands of members of Camperworld are upset because their offices have been shut down, the website is down, the campgrounds are closed, and they have to pay more in dues.

A recorded phone message has this to say to members, “Thank you for calling Camperworld we are closed until further notice.”

Camperworld is $4.5 million in debt and members have received a notice asking for an addition $880.00 due by April 20 (2014). It is also posted on the website under “Camperworld Special Notice: Updated Information”.

Camping at Chesapeake (Virginia) Preserve, a Thousand Trails membership campground. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Camping at Chesapeake (Virginia) Preserve, a Thousand Trails membership campground. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Following is the posted information:

Q. How much is the assessment?

A. $880 is due no later than the 20th of April, 2014.

Q. What about the $500 idea?

A. KSL-TV got it a little off. Here are the facts. Today, the Board of Directors agreed to $500 assessment rather than $880 if you meet the following conditions…
Your membership now has, and you are willing to give up one or more of the following:
Fixed dues for life, or a dues reduction for life, or free dues for life, or no dues option at 72 years of age, or no dues till 2017 or you have Assessment proof status.
In agreeing to surrender this status, no other features, just the dues discount or Assessment block you will then pay $500 by the 20th of April, 2014 and moving forward begin to pay $499 each year for dues starting January 1st, 2015.
If you are unwilling to surrender the one above listed features, the assessment amount for you will stay at $880. Taking advantage of the $500 option, if you qualify, helps everyone!

Q. What if I send in the money but Camperworld closes or files Bankruptcy?

A. All assessment money will be in escrow pending an accounting on April 21st, 2014. If funds are insufficient to run Camperworld in a size to service its members for the full year, every dollar must be returned at once.

Q. What will prevent this from happening next year?

A. 1st, What got us here, “dues deals” are now blocked from happening ever again. 2nd, The new programs provide a dues plus situation. That means that the new programs like the Explorer program, pay for themselves and extra to buffer the missing dues of others. The new programs don’t bet on a sales price to fix 1 year, rather they gain more dues every year to cover the member plus a little to cover the gap.
2nd, Many members with the “dues discounts” will take the high road because of their love for Camperworld and help everyone by surrendering the discount which is responsible for the entire assessment to begin with.

Q. Where did all the money go?

A. This year, with the majority of members were on a dues discount of one form or another, Camperworld collected just over $700,000 total. This money went to pay the hard money loans and operating costs that made it possible to make it until March 2014. Another hard money loan is still outstanding and due in addition to the $4.5 million due Zions which is not a hard money loan but is under review with Zions because of our financial state. It took just over 2.5 million to run the 7 parks last year after your new board made cuts, bringing it to the leanest in years. Randy Townsend covered 1 payroll out of his pocket 2 or 3 months ago. It was paid back.
Of this you can be sure,

Camping at Lynchburg (Virginia) Preserve, a Thousand Trails membership campground. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Camping at Lynchburg (Virginia) Preserve, a Thousand Trails membership campground. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

We are never to repeat the past and in fact are all about the business of making it impossible to do so. Our actions should speak loud and clear that the new board of directors are not interested in a gimmick loaded fast buck or a big commissions. Everything we do shows the opposite. We, your board of directors test every move we make to see if we are making the financial health of Camperworld stronger, not just in the short term, but in the long run!

Q. I can’t come up with the assessment money in time, what do I do?

A. A minimum of $300 must be paid by the 20th of April, 2014. The balance can be paid in 3 more installments.
A group of volunteers will be contacting all members one on one starting on April 9th to answer any additional questions. If you have not received a call by April 14th, e-mail drhonline@me.com and I will contact you directly.

Worth Pondering…

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

—Peter Drucker

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AmeriGO RV Club Set to Launch

RV industry veterans and membership club innovators have developed a new company—AmeriGO RV Club—poised to be the ultimate RV club and online community dedicated to RV enthusiasts.

AmeriGO RV Club LogoScheduled to launch in October 2013, AmeriGO RV Club boasts value-added membership benefits, services, and discounts via a highly advanced online RV club experience, explained Joe McAdams, chairman of AmeriGo RV Club, in a company news release.

“With decades of experience in the RV industry and having already built an amazing set of offerings with our allied partners, it is with great enthusiasm that we announce the development of AmeriGO RV Club,” said Joe McAdams, Chairman of AmeriGO RV Club.

“Our goal in creating AmeriGO is to build a trusted resource for products, services, and information that adds value and security for the RV enthusiast by providing access to and savings at our premier network of RV vendors, dealers, and campgrounds.”

Distinctive Benefits, Partners and Sponsors

Led by RV industry experts and featuring a vast range of partnerships with leading companies, AmeriGO RV Club has established an RV Club benefits program with unique offerings designed especially for RVers, according to the news release.

The club will present exclusive programs, services, and savings for members.

AmeriGO’s alliances present a vast range of benefits to members as follows:

  • AmeriGO has teamed up with Equity LifeStyle Properties, owner of Thousand Trails campgrounds and Encore RV Resorts, to offer Club members a discount of 10 percent off daily rates at over 170 locations across North America
  • Via a strategic alliance with AmeriGO, Progressive presents RVers the opportunity to shop for and purchase Progressive RV insurance policies online at AmeriGOrv.com and via the AmeriGO Agency
  • AmeriGO has teamed with Carefree Resorts to give club members access to a family of RV resorts where they will be welcomed by friendly and helpful staff, and can enjoy safe, well maintained communities with modern amenities and vibrant activity programs while benefiting from a discount of 10 percent on overnight stays
  • AmeriGO RV Club members will have exclusive access to an AmeriGO RV Club Protection plan by American Guardian Warranty
  • AmeriGO RV Club has created a strategic alliance with Newcoast Financial Services to provide RVers with the best finance programs available in the industry—featuring the most competitive rates and terms available as well as experienced staff with specialized knowledge in RV lending
  • AmeriGO is pleased to join forces with the highest quality RV dealerships; the company’s goal is to establish a coast-to-coast network of certified dealerships that will offer AmeriGO members peace of mind as they ride the open road across North America

RV Enthusiast Focused Resources and Online Community

Joe McAdams, Chairman of AmeriGO RV Club
Joe McAdams, Chairman of AmeriGO RV Club

Designed around a collaborative online community AmeriGO members will have access to an ever-expanding range of RV-related news and information, RV travel tips and hints, tech resources, RV living articles, popular and fun RV destinations and much more.

Members will also be able to share their experiences and engage in communication with other like-minded RV enthusiasts via the site’s online community, local chapters, and social media channels. Those new to the RV world will have the opportunity to learn all about RVing from experts, friends, and family as well as fellow RVers.

Comprehensive online RV search and shopping offerings will also allow AmeriGO RVers to find public and private campgrounds, and dealers across the nation.

Most Affordable, Comprehensive RV Club

Joe Daquino, President of AmeriGO RV Club
Joe Daquino, President of AmeriGO RV Club

With a yearly membership fee of only $9.95, AmeriGO RV Club offers an affordable, comprehensive RV club with access to a spectrum of benefits, services, and resources dedicated to RV enthusiasts.

“We are thrilled to launch AmeriGO RV Club as a premier membership club dedicated to RV enthusiasts,” said Joe Daquino, President of AmeriGO RV Club.

“At AmeriGOrv.com, we are creating a highly advanced online destination that provides RVers with unmatched value and makes the RV experience easier and more exciting than ever.”

Details

AmeriGO RV Club

In pre-launch phase, AmeriGO RV Club is being developed as a premier member-driven club for RV enthusiasts that will serve the entire RV marketplace.

The company’s programs will present consumers with valuable benefits, discounts and unique opportunities designed especially for RVers, and featuring a highly advanced online destination and community for anything and everything related to RVing.

Website: amerigorv.com

Worth Pondering…

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.

—Sir John Lubbock

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RV Golf Club Offers Free Camping

Every day thousands of RV owners spend upward of $60 a night at RV parks across the country only to endure excessive noise, overcrowded sites, and out-dated facilities, said Jim Vernes, owner of RV Golf Club (RVGC), in a news release.

RV Golf CardRVers can park for FREE at a beautiful golf course or resort with access to all the amenities, be treated like members, and receive discounts on dining, shopping, and health spas.

“The thing I like most about RV Golf Club is you can save $30 to $60 a night on RV parking. I would use that money to have dinner in the clubhouse, so it’s like I enjoy a free meal every night,” said Doug Dulac, an RV owner from Las Vegas.

RV Golf Club has assembled the locations of hundreds of golf courses and high-end resorts around the United States and Canada that are welcoming RV owners—and the RVers don’t have to be golfers to get involved.

“We currently have 334 properties, some of the Top 100 and Top 50 courses in the nation, along with several luxury resorts with world-class accommodations,” said Vernes, who noted more are coming on board every week.

For a small member fee, RVers can save thousands of dollars while enjoying beautiful, un-crowded surroundings that have not previously been available to them.

An annual RV Golf Club membership allows you to combine four favorite past times: traveling, golfing, dining, and shopping.

The membership qualifies you for FREE RV parking, plus “Members” discounts on green fees, food and beverages, golf shop merchandise, and other services provided by the golf course and restaurant owners and operators.

An annual RV Golf Club membership allows you to combine four favorite past times: traveling, golfing, dining, and shopping. (Source: rvgolfclub.com)
An annual RV Golf Club membership allows you to combine four favorite past times: traveling, golfing, dining, and shopping. (Source: rvgolfclub.com)

The overnight parking at golf courses is for self contained RVs for one evening and does NOT include hookups. You are welcome to check with the golf course about staying an additional night. Engage in some commerce and they would be delighted to have you stay (space available).

As an RV Owner you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

Overnight parking at the RVGC golf courses and Resort Hotels, plus 2-nights parking at RV Resorts is free. You are welcome to stay at each golf course as often as you like, as long as you are spending money there and free at each RV resort twice.

You receive membership discounts on green fees, food, beverages, and merchandise in the shops and services at most RVGC golf courses and RV Resorts.

Golf courses and RV Resorts offer peaceful, quiet, and secure settings.

The landscaping is elaborate so you’ll probably find yourself smelling the roses.

It’s a pleasure to be within walking distance to golfing, dining, shopping, and services such as massages and golf lessons.

The membership qualifies you for FREE RV parking, plus “Members” discounts on green fees. (Source: rvgolfclub.com)
The membership qualifies you for FREE RV parking, plus “Members” discounts on green fees. (Source: rvgolfclub.com)

If you care to engage in conversation, you will share a common bond with other RVers and members and guests of the golf club.

Save a substantial amount on RV parking.

Details

RV Golf Club (RVGC)

The RV Golf Club is a conduit, introducing RV Owners to Golf Courses and RV Resorts in a mutually rewarding relationship.

Charter Membership: $49.00/year

Lifetime Charter Membership: $245.00

Address: 2235 E. Flamingo Rd. #100D, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Phone: (800) 520-0757

Website: rvgolfclub.com

Worth Pondering…

I played as much golf as I could in North Dakota, but summer up there is pretty short.  It usually falls on Tuesday.

—Mike Morley

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Ocean Canyon Properties Acquires Alabama RV Resort

Ocean Canyon Properties, a privately owned membership camping system, announces the acquisition of Gemini Funding Company, Inc., the owner of Styx River Resort and RV Park in Robertsdale, Alabama.

good ocp logoOcean Canyon Properties has been participating in the management of Styx River Resort since 2009. The acquisition was completed on December 31, 2012.

Styx River Resort is a members-only resort located near the Gulf of Mexico, between Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida, on the 41-mile long Styx River. Styx River Resort is open year-round and features contemporary amenities with exciting activity programs for its members.

Amenities include a river-front beach, an outdoor and indoor pool, restaurant, a large clubhouse, and activity center with an adjoining outdoor patio, nature trails, and a children’s playground. The resort also features 30 cabins and cottages available for member rental and 150 RV sites.

From their initial involvement in the management of Styx River, Ocean Canyon focused on the improvement of the resort, including the leveling of RV sites, cabin renovation, road repair, general repairs, and cosmetic enhancement.

According to the news release, the company plans aggressive improvements to the resort now that it has assumed ownership.

Mike Pournoury, president of Ocean Canyon Properties, states, “We’ve been working on this acquisition since 2009 and we are very excited about taking ownership. It is a great resort, and although it has been a part of the Ocean Canyon resort system for some time now, full ownership and control will allow us to bring the development and improvement of Styx to the next level.”

Styx River Resort is Ocean Canyon Properties’ flagship property in Southern Alabama and is a geographical complement to Ocean Canyon’s Mountain Lakes Resort on Lake Guntersville in Northern Alabama, near Huntsville.

Styx-River-ResortIt is one of eight resorts in the Ocean Canyon private membership resort system, which also includes Bear’s Den Resort in Grove, Oklahoma; Tres Rios Resort in Glen Rose, Texas; Millwood Landing Golf and RV Resort in Ashdown, Arkansas; Abita Springs Resort in Abita Springs, Louisiana; North Shore Resort in Greensboro, Georgia; Mountain Lakes Resort in Langston, Alabama; and Texoma Shores Resort in Madill, Oklahoma.

Ocean Canyon Properties is a growing system of eight privately owned, membership resorts that offer The Ocean Canyon Properties senior management has been directly involved in the membership camping resort industry on a national platform for more than 30 years.

Details

Ocean Canyon Properties (OCP)

Ocean Canyon Properties (OCP) is a growing system of privately-owned membership resorts that offer RV campsites, vacation cabins, cottages, and condos along with a variety of private resort amenities.

With eight beautiful resort locations situated throughout the southern United States, OCP’s resorts provide the safe, secure, and enjoyable recreational experience that so many families seek.

The OCP senior management has been directly involved in the membership camping resort industry on a national platform for over 30 years.

As an OCP member you will enjoy the many amenities found at the varied resorts: golf, tennis, volleyball, horseshoes, fishing, and walking trails as well as swimming pools and eating and entertainment facilities.

Regularly planned activities are also scheduled for the whole family.

OCP also provides member access to over 300 other membership resorts around the U.S. and Canada. Whether you want to spend time at your OCP home resort or travel the country staying at reciprocal private membership RV resorts, you’ll enjoy the exclusive privileges of your OCP membership.

Styx River Resort map
Styx River Resort map

Address: 1911 Galleria Oaks Drive, Texarkana, TX 75503

Phone: (888) 567-5941 (toll free)

Website: oceancanyon.com

Worth Pondering…

Membership has its privileges.

—registered trademarks of American Express Company

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Is Membership Camping Cost Effective?

In today’s post we’ll look at relative costs and walk through a cost analysis to determine if purchasing a membership camping system makes sound financial sense based on your current camping pattern.

Cost?

Camping at Lynchburg (Virginia) Preserve, a Thousand Trails membership campground. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Membership in a camping system involves an initial purchase price that ranges from under $3,000 to more than $10,000, plus annual dues or maintenance fee that range from less than $100 to $600 or more.

Cost Analysis

The derived benefits depend upon your travel pattern and projected usage. The more you use the membership, the more your savings increase.

Assuming that your objective in joining a membership campground is to reduce your camping expenses, then do the math.

Figure out how many nights you will need to stay in membership campgrounds, as opposed to non-membership campgrounds, to really save money.

Prices of membership campground systems vary; but let’s say, for example, your membership fee is $8,000 and the current annual dues are $400 per year. Let’s also assume you will use the membership for a minimum of 10 years.

The membership cost ($8,000 divided by 10 years) would amount to $800 per year. The annual dues would add another $400 per year.

Using these figures, it would cost $1200 per year to maintain a campground membership.

Camping at Hershey Preserve, a Thousand Trails membership campsite in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Campground fees at private RV parks vary with amenities and location (as they say in real estate, location, location, location).

Some rates are hitting the stratosphere! How about the current rates at these resorts:

Campland on the Bay, San Diego, California: $65-$400 per night + tax

Sunland Escondido RV Resort, Escondido, California: $39-$86 per night + tax

Boyd’s Key West Campground, Florida: $70-$90 per night (water/electric sites); $90-$120 per night (full hookups sites) + tax

In spite of these astronomical rates, a non-membership campground charges on average at least $35 (+ taxes) per night for a camping site.

Dividing this $35 into the $1200 annual cost of a campground membership means you could potentially stay in a non-membership campground for 35 nights each year for what it would cost to belong to a membership campground.

In this case, if you think that during the next 10 years you will spend more than 35 nights per year in a membership campgrounds, it might make good financial sense to join.

Assuming an average nightly campground cost of $35, let’s project the costs beyond the initial 35 nights to determine potential savings:

30 nights (1 month)    @ $35     $1050

60 nights (2 months)   @ $35     $2100

90 nights (3 months)   @ $35     $3150

120 nights (4 months) @ $35     $4200

150 nights (5 months) @ $35     $5250

180 nights (6 months) @ $35     $6300

A Review

Check out several competing membership camping systems before signing on the dotted line.

Visit or, better yet, spend several days in several campgrounds in the membership system.

Listen to the sales presentation. Ask questions. Take notes. Take literature and copies of the contracts home to scrutinize and compare. Sleep on it before making your final decision.

Camping at Chesapeake (Virginia) Preserve, a Thousand Trails Preserve. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Ask current members if they would recommend joining. Do they have any difficulty making reservations? What is the financial condition of the camping system? Are they satisfied with the benefits derived from their membership?

Know what you will be getting into before you buy.

Joining a membership camping system should complement your RVing needs, make good financial sense, and enhance your enjoyment of RVing.

And remember that not all memberships are created equal.

Membership campgrounds have worked well for us, but they are not right for everyone.

The bottom line: Read the contract—every single word—before signing on the dotted line!

Disclaimer: I am a member of Thousand Trails, Western Horizon Resorts, and Passport America camping club but do not represent them or sell memberships.

Please Note: This is Part 3 of a 3-part series on Membership Campgrounds

Part 1: Membership Campground Contract Tough to Cancel

Part 2: Is Membership Camping For You?

Worth Pondering…

The older I get, the more I learn to tolerate human shortcomings—and the less I tolerate bad attitudes.

—Anon

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