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