I looked at PPA in the past...I just looked at it again. Looking at the Texas CGs ...I took a sample of about 10 and every one of them had this restriction but one and that one had special restrictions based on the months.
I hear what you are saying, 2_Retired, but I'd hate to get a membership thinking that they would give me the half off deal and would ignore the book. I'm sure some would and I don't want to sit there trying to wheel and deal when I have my family around and we are having fun. When you have done this what have you done...just simply asked? What did they say...did you have to negotiate a bit?
I wonder if I could call ahead and ask for the discount vs just showing up? There is actually one place close to my waterfowl lease that has this restriction but I'm wondering if they would still give me the deal anyway...it's a place I would probably go to 3 or 4 times for multiple days each if they gave me that deal.
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I get 50% off of all Natl Park camp sites and free entrance at the entrance gate at the natl parks and Fedearal REC areas with my Senior Pass. Pretty good deal for the one time $10 fee and lifetime membership (62 and older).
The card says good for US Fish and Wildlife, Forest service, BLM, Natl Parks, and Bureau of Rec places. usually all that has ever been asked of me was my ZIP CODE and one time I had to show a drivers license. They are always comparing the card to sometime on a computer screen when we go through the park main gates.
Roy, the Senior card is also good at COE & TVA.
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CakeHenn, the DW and I recently acquired a campground membership by transfer to Travel Resorts of America, Sycamore Lodge. we paid $500 plus transfer fee (399.00) for a lifetime membership. There are many online that people will transfer for $500 or less. The main reason we wanted this membership is so we could participate in the Coast To Coast program. The C2C program allows you to stay at one of there participating campgrounds for $10 to $15 a night including weekends. the only black out dates are holidays. There is a $365 a year maint fee for our home site but the saving when we camp at a c2c is worth it for us. There is a on line camp directory for c2c for you to see ant there are a lot of campgrounds in Texas.
I got Passport America last year and earned my costs back in two weeks of camping. You are correct in that there are restrictions so research the list of campground that you may/could utilize and figure out your cost savings based on that. With PPA, Ohio State Parks are ALL in and there discount is 50% Sunday-Wednesday. OH SP's are usually $27-$34 a day. I usually plan at least one full week, Sunday to Saturday vacation in a OH SP. So figure at the cheapest site, I'm saving $13.50 Sun-Wed or 4x which is $54.
Since the membership only costs $44, I saved $10 and got my money back on one week of camping.
Some years, I may burn two weeks at a OH SP. When gas prices go up, I stay closer to home so this may be one of those years. At any rate, I usually get some 3 day trips in over the course of the year also. I have been doing Friday night-Monday departures on those trips lately to get the Sunday discount and it's easier for my wife to get a Monday off than a Friday so that has been a benefit. That adds another $13.50 minimum 3-4x to the savings for me.
So in review, you really need to identify the campgrounds you can and will use and make a determination on who much it would save you personally. For me, It's a no brainer and a great value.
2011 Silverado Crewcab 4x4
2012 Passport 238ML
Hope your travels are safe and the friendships made camping are lasting.
You will seldom find a half price park near a major attraction or that offers the discount during peak times, including weekends. Weekends may be included at places like snowbird parks where almost all the guests are monthly or longer and there is no real overnight or weekend traffic. Also watch out for parks that offer 50% off with few restrictions because you may find they are worth only that half price rate. Check the surrounding parks. There isn't much difference in a park offering 50% off a $50 rate and a nicer park that will only discount their $30 rate 10%. There is no rule to what a park can claim as it's rate before offering those discounts. The bottom line cost is really the bottom line.
If there are some campgrounds that you plan on visiting, try giving them a call before joining the club. Try to make a reservation for when you might visit there and ask them if they're a member of (insert club name here). At that point, you'll see how firm they are on their restriction. I know with PA, you might find that some are more flexible on their restrictions than what is indicated in the listing.
As an example, the Passport America listing for Sunshine Holiday Daytona park indicates that the discount is not available October through April. However, September 2010, I was able to make a reservation at the discounted rate for 4 nights after Easter, which was in April last year. There is some flexibility there and, of course, it up to the campground to set and determine whether to stand firm on the restriction or not.
I use Passport America. It seems to come thru for places I want to go.
Don't be shy about asking for Senior Citizens, Law Enforcement or Military discounts.
I have reduced prices from $28 per night by someone allowing me to piggyback discounts and staying for $10-12 per night during the week.
CakeHenn - I'm another one where the PPA doesn't work so well. I'm a weekend warrior, so most of my camping is on the weekends. And personally, I prefer the state parks over the parking lot resorts I see a lot of the times. I have the TPWD annual pass which saves me the daily fees and gets me 50% off the second night on up to 4 trips a year.
I did have the PPA the first year we camped and while I may have gotten most of my money back on one trip, I didn't enjoy the parks as much. They were just for overnight basically.
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Hey, it is like the airlines & all of their different fares for the same flight. If you can play by their rules for the really cheap seats/CG site i.e. when they are not in demand, you get a good price.
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