We are not full timers but we do belong to Coast to Coast (C2C) and Resort Parks International (RPI). Both are composed of resorts all over the country and allow you to camp at $5-6 per night. You must belong to a resort as a "home park" which can be quite costly but it is possible to buy a membership very inexpensively thru one of the various resale outfits listed in the back of Trailer Life Magazine. We purchased ours through Campground Membership Outlet, who usually advertise in the magazine. We have been very pleased with our membership and use it a lot. Another good group to join is the Escapees. Here is a link to their website. http://www.escapees.com/website/
Here are links to C2C and RPI. http://www.coastresorts.com/ http://www.resortparks.com/
Good luck on your full time adventures.
We just last weekend spend a 3 day 2 night visit to a Thousand Trails Preserve. They have 3 levels of membership - Country, Region and Zone. Country is just that - all the US. Region is the US divided basically into thirds and each 1/3 is a region. Zone is each region divided into smaller areas - usually about 5 states. Each has an annual fee of about $300.00/year.
Pricing if I recall correctly is $8995, $6995 & $4995. With a special offer (like if you sign today...) it was all reduced about $2000. for each value.
We are considering the zone as you get the local states, access to all other 1000 Trails campsites, and what interested us most is another whole selection of RPI campsites at $5.00/night all across the country. They indiated they all have to meet the standards of Thousand Trails inspectors - whatever that is. We are going to make a trip back to Ca sometime, but not sure when. That alone would justify about 1/3 of the package.
If you are going to do calculations on these figures, remember to figure against a per night basis. If you camp 10 weekends/year thats 20 nights out - when figuring a per trip basis.
We used $30.00/night and figure after 100 trips/2 nights per trip we were pretty even.
These are transferable (you can pass to your kids, resell, etc). Some suggest looking into finding someone wanting to sell their membership.
You can go to the Thousand Trails site and request a trial visit for about $30.00 for a weekend with the agreement to listen to their sales pitch. Ours was free as we received a 'Complimentary Passport' in the mail. We had a good time.
Bruce & Carolyn Wittmeier MikeBrandn@aol.com
2001 Ford F250 PSD, Ext cab, Shortbed, Island Blue/Silver, 4X4 Off-road, Auto w/SOF, Alum Wheels, Chrome Step, Line-X bedliner, Reese 16K slider hitch, Jordan Ultima 2020, AirLift Airbags, Sunnybrook 30RKFS
Another option is Passport America, much cheaper to join (about $40 a year) and 1/2 price at member campgrounds. Generally that worked out to $9 to $12 a night for us, although there were areas on our trip which did not have a convieniant member campground.
I read the above but am still wondering what is the best option if we are planning going all over the country, and into canada and mexico with the ability to stay in one place for a month or two at a time. What are the limits on how long you can stay with the various memberships and or discount clubs
Thousand Trails, AOR, and Western Horizons all limit stays to a max of 14 days, but allow 21 days off season. I don't know of any system that permits longer stays. Passport America parks sometimes have excessive limitations (not summers in the north, not winters in the south, no weekends, only two nights, pay extra for a/c, more than two people, etc.) If you can use the systems, they make great sense financially, as long as you do not overpay when you get a membership, and avoid excessive annual dues.
We've been fulltiming about 3-1/2 years and enjoy our memberships regularly.