|When we bought our first RV in 1999 we looked at membership parks like Thousand Trails. We decided against TT for several reasons. Among those reasons were: the upfront payment of $5k, the annual renewal of several hundred dollars and the two weeks in - two weeks out requirement (at that time). Beyond that, we just didn't want to feel obligated to choose a TT park we traveled.
We did join Good Sam and Passport America. We are members of a Good Sam chapter and have used their ERS (Emergency Road Service) since '99. We have found Passport America to be extremely useful over the years. Membership costs less than $50 (I forget how much). For that you get 1/2 price camping at 1400+ campgrounds around the country. In Pigeon Forge, TN we stayed for as much as 6 months at a PA park while working at Dollywood. The monthly rate was about the same as the PA daily rate times 30.
There are many PA parks here in Florida where we now live (again). Before we fulltimed we spent many long weekends at various member parks around North and Central Florida. We recently came off the road fulltime but we're doing weekends at PA parks again.
On long trips I would plan stops at as many PA parks as possible along I-10, I-75, I-40 and I-95. With the cost of diesel, overnighting at a PA park while traveling is cheaper than a night in the WalMart parking lot (in part because She Who Must Be Obeyed cleans out WalMart every time!).
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J.D. Sanders RV Center