5 Reasons Why You Need to RV with an RV Club
RVs Pam Furlong knew about. RV clubs, not so much. Then her parents joined an RV club, Buck-A-Roo Sams, an Arizona-based chapter of the 2-million-member Good Sam Club. Now, Furlong’s not only a Buck-A-Roo Sams member herself, she’s looking at joining a second RV club.
“It’s just so much fun,” says Furlong, host of GroupWorks’ RV channel.
Here’s why you should consider hitching a ride with an RV club yourself:
1. The benefits!
We’re talking about the cold, hard cash benefits that come from belonging to groups. Good Sam Club members, for instance, enjoy discounts on RV parks and campgrounds, on RV supplies and accessories and on fuel. Good Sam and other groups, such as the 60,000-member Escapees RV Club, offer their RVers optional roadside assistance plans. Members of Family Campers & RVers get reciprocal memberships to Passport America, a discount campground club.
2. The togetherness!
Sure, you could drive your motorhome or towable solo to the Sierra Nevada mountains, but then you’d miss the afternoon social.
“We have happy hours, we grill together, do a potluck,” says Furlong. “Every Thanksgiving, we meet at a certain place, and we do a Thanksgiving together.”
There are logistical — if not safety — advantages that come with caravaning, too.
“If you have a breakdown, you’ve got other people around you,” Furlong says.
3. The alone time!
So, yes, we know, we just finished saying you should join an RV club for the community, and we mean it. The thing is, as Furlong explains, alone time is part of the community experience. Or at least it can be.
“You can join the activities, or be off to yourself as much as you want to,” Furlong says.
5. The family — no matter what kind of family you’re looking to join!
According to the RV Industry Association, some 10 million U.S. households count themselves among the ranks of RV owners. That’s a lot of people — with a lot of different interests, and access to lot of different RV clubs. There’s SMART, an acronym for “Special Military Active Recreational Travelers,” which organizes RV caravans for military veterans and their families. There’s Loners on Wheels, an RV club for single men and women who enjoy hitting the road alone, but don’t mind companionship, either. There’s the International Camping Club, which focuses on family camping and RVing.
Furlong says she’s looking at joining a RV club that’s devoted to boondocking — or, the art of roughing it, RV-style.
“You’re off the grid. You’re using your own solar panels and generators,” says Furlong. “A lot of people boondock as a group for safety reasons, though there are plenty of people who feel comfortable doing it alone. But for me, it’s more relaxing [in a club setting].”
And make no mistake, RV clubs do become RV families. Furlong’s seen it happen in her own family, with her own parents. “They’ve really bonded with some of these people,” Furlong says.
5. The motivation!
If you fear you’ve lost your get-up-and-go spirit, then let others help you find it. According to the 2017 American Camper Report, which surveyed more than 24,000 individuals and households nationwide, and found RV camping to be the second-most popular form of camping in the United States, respondents time and again cited other people — significant others and spouses, family members, friends — as prime motivating factors for planning return trips to the great outdoors. Fifteen percent of those surveyed said online sites that help campers meet up with other campers — a la, RV clubs — spurred them to go camping in the future.
As Furlong says, RV clubs aren’t just great fun, “they get you out.”