Passport America VS Good Sam: Which One is Better?
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Passport America VS Good Sam: Which One is Better?

posted in: Resources, RVing | 24

This is a breakdown of Passport America VS Good Sam club memberships. Both of these membership clubs offer awesome discounts, but which one is better?

Both Passport America and Good Sam offer a valuable service, but if you’re just getting started RVing or haven’t signed up for a membership club yet- I wrote this post to break down the different pros and cons for both Passport America and Good Sam. (I use an affiliate link in the Passport America links below. This means that if you click through the link and decide to sign up, I get a small commission. I only do this with products I actually use and would recommend to a friend).

passport america

Overview: Passport America offers a 50% discount at their participating 1,900+ campgrounds across the country. We purchased our membership before we hit the road and it paid for itself within the first couple of uses. One of the first things we learned with Passport America was to always double check the RV park reviews with Google or a website like Campendium. This is because not every single Passport America park is going to be very classy (we learned this right off the bat). However, it has proven to be our first choice of membership club when we are traveling into a new area. If we can find a decent Passport America campground, we stay there.

Yearly membership cost: $44/year 

Savings: 50% at each participating campground. We estimate that last year we stayed at over 50 campgrounds who offered Passport America, which gave us a savings of over $750 for the year. Crazy, right? You can sign up for a Passport America membership here.

Number of participating campgrounds: 1,900

Pros:

  • Their iPhone application is very user friendly and easy to use
  • 50% is a ton of savings for each campground

Cons:

  • While you can usually find several Passport America’s in each town, there aren’t as many listed campground as Good Sam.
  • Many of the RV parks don’t offer Passport America during weekends, peak season, or holidays. Before you show up to a Passport America, make sure you double check the RV park profile in your Passport America application (P.S I’ve been able to talk campgrounds into letting us use our discount, even though it was a weekend, because they weren’t very busy. Better to just call ahead and see if they’d be willing to let you use it)
  • Not every campground is great quality (but many are)

good sam membership

Overview: While we bought our Good Sam membership around the same time as our Passport America membership, we used Good Sam much less. The main reason why we didn’t use Good Sam as much is that it only offers a 10% discount, which, compared to a 50% discount, is nothing to call home about. Good Sam is the obvious leader in the membership space as they also do insurance (we have ours through Good Sam) and own Flying J, and Camping World.

Yearly membership cost: $25/year 

Savings: 10% at each participating campground. We save anywhere from $2-5 each time we used Good Sam, which can add up over time. Overall, the membership paid for itself, but didn’t save us too much money. 

Number of participating campground: 2,100

Pros:

  • The Good Sam campgrounds we stayed at had an overall higher level of cleanliness and upkeep.
  • Good Sam ranks each park by cleanliness, friendliness, etc. so you can learn more about the park before arriving. (However, after talking to park owners, these numbers are skewed based on how much the park is willing to pay for higher scores.)
  • You won’t have an issue finding a Good Sam park wherever you travel.

Cons:

  • Every time we tried to use the Good Sam app to find an RV park, it crashed on us.
  • 10% savings hardly holds a candle to 50% off

In conclusion, which membership club is better?

My recommendation would be to sign up for both club memberships. But if I had to pick just one based off the amount of savings it offers, it would be Passport America.

Passport America offers the 50% discount and it’s number of participating campgrounds is nearing that of Good Sam. Plus, as a full-time RVer who is constantly looking for campgrounds on the fly, it’s important to have a reliable iPhone application that allows us to find an RV park at any given time.

Below are a few screenshots inside the Passport America app.

pa3

pa2

pa1

Passport America definitely seems to care a bit more about the technology side of their business. They’ve been an awesome resource for us to save money while being on the road full-time. Here is a link where you can sign up for one of their yearly memberships (this is an affiliate link).

Follow Heath:

Cofounder of CampgroundBooking.com and host of The RV Entrepreneur Podcast. From 2014-15 my wife, Alyssa, and I traveled to all 50 states making a documentary about hourly work. I love sharing this RV lifestyle with new people, meeting friends on the road, and the occasional binge of Tex-Mex food.

  • Len Ware Jr

    I have Good Sam and you also get a discount at Camping World on merchandise and a good discount on propane. At FlyingJ you get $.03 off fuel, which is not much but if you go through a lot of fuel it adds up.

    • Very true, some more perks of the Good Sam card 🙂

    • Lee Ensminger

      If you get the Pilot/Flying J charge card [not a credit card; a charge card must be paid in full every month] you’ll get an 8 cent/gallon discount on diesel and a 6 cent/gallon discount on gas. It’s a good deal if you’re driving something large enough that it’s more convenient to use the RV islands or truck lanes that Pilot/Flying J offer. They can also be used as free overnight parking.

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  • Perfect timing! My wife and I are about to start our 50 state RV road trip and already payed for Good Sam’s. After reading your post and looking at the Passport America app, we might have to get that too! I have a feeling that I’ll have a very similar blog post when the time comes.

    • Awesome Shea! Glad you liked it. If you guys decide to go with Passport, would love it if you could purchase through my links on this blog 🙂

      • Purchased last night! Check your dashboard and hopefully you have another affiliate hit.

        • You’re awesome Shea! 🙂 Hopefully you guys get a lot of use out of it!

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  • Dominick Clark

    Hi…does passport america support tent camping

  • Sonny Novak

    Heath…in the past hour I have read your comparison, joined PA, made reservations at a PA campground starting Monday and already amortized my first year membership fee!! Thanks!!!

    • haha that is awesome! Congrats and glad this article helped 🙂

    • bradpitcher

      So you were able to get the discount without having the physical card yet?

      • Hey Brad, when you first sign up, they send you a picture of your card so you can use it before you get it in the mail (we used that for six months until we got back to Texas to get our mail). But for a lot of parks, we say we have PA or GS and they don’t even ask to see the card at all.

        • bradpitcher

          Ah, cool. Thank you!

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  • David Pugh

    We have had our THOR Windsport 31a for a year now and have Good Sam & Passport America. I find Passport America excessive restrictions but decided to renew with the Cyber Monday offer, buy 5yr & get 2yr free! CODE:CM16

  • Bridgette

    Good lord I am spamming the heck out of you guys… but when I purchase these in 2019? I will use your link. Hope still doing it then. Otherwise…um.. this comment is moot. =)

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