Passport America VS Good Sam: Which One is Better?

This post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclaimer here.

We are all about finding ways to save a few dollars while traveling. After all, the more money we can keep in our bank account, the longer we can keep traveling in our RV full-time. RV memberships like Passport America promise to save you big money, but is it worth it? I want to give a full Passport America review and Good Sam Club review as these are the two most popular RV memberships that everyone says you need on the road.

They both boast camping discounts across the country, but which one is better?

Let’s start with Passport America.

Passport America Review

passport america

Overview: Passport America offers a 50% discount at their participating 1,600+ campgrounds across the country. (Don’t be fooled by the covered wagon on their logo. This is a great RV membership!)

Yearly membership cost: $44/year

Savings: 50% at each participating campground.

Number of participating campgrounds: 1,100+


  • 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 campgrounds as Good Sam.
  • Restrictions and black out dates. Many of the RV parks don’t offer Passport America during weekends, peak season, or holidays. Before you show up to a Passport America park, make sure you double-check the RV park profile in your Passport America app to see if they are currently accepting the discount. I have talked campgrounds into letting us use our discount even though it was a weekend because they weren’t very busy. Better to call ahead and see if they’d be willing to let you use it!
  • Not every campground is of great quality (but many are).

We purchased our membership before we hit the road, and it paid for itself within two nights. 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 the best quality. If it costs under $15, it’s for a reason, guys. The $15 ones usually offer a dump station, and that’s it. Good for a single-night stopover on a road trip, but not exactly a place to enjoy camping.

However, it has proven to be our first choice of membership club when we travel to a new area. If we can find a decent Passport America campground, we stay there. Like when we found a campground in Old Orchard Beach where we could walk to the beach AND it cost us under $30. Now that’s a big win.

heath kayaking in maine

We estimate that last year we stayed at over 50 campgrounds that offered Passport America, which gave us a savings of over $750 for the year. Crazy, right?

In my mind, it is 100% worth it whether you are going on a month-long trip or dipping your toes into full-time RV life.

You can sign up for a Passport America membership here.

We are lifetime members of PA because we know how much money it can save us. We’ve been RVing since 2014 and this membership has paid for itself 50 times over.

Good Sam Review

Overview: Get 10% off your stay at all Good Sam parks + discounts at Camping World and Flying J

Yearly membership cost: $39/year

Savings: 10% at each participating campground, plus a slew of other benefits

Number of participating campgrounds: 2,000


  • The Good Sam campgrounds we stayed at had a 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. They are everywhere.
  • Good Sam offers more than just camping discounts. They have a great roadside assistance program (speaking as someone stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere), and they offer the Good Sam extended service plan. These are, however, additional fees.


  • Every time we tried to use the Good Sam app to find an RV park, it crashed.
  • 10% savings means you need to use the discount at least 10 times to start saving money

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 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. We will go slightly out of our way to stay at a PA park and save $20 versus staying at the nearby park and saving $4.

We save anywhere from $2-5 each time we use Good Sam, which can add up over time. But compared to saving $15+ at every use, we will always choose a Passport America park first. The Good Sam membership paid for itself but didn’t save us too much money. 

Good Sam, however, is a constantly evolving membership. They are always adding new benefits and changing things up. Right now, with the membership, you can dump tanks for free at Camping World, get a free inspection, save on Fantasy RV tours, save 10¢ on diesel at Pilot Flying J, and other discounts. You also get access to discounts on other products like audio tours, Wild Sam Magazine, mail service, and it currently says “Princess Cruise Lines – Coming Soon.” I’m very intrigued with this seemingly random cruise ship partnership!

There are a lot of potential benefits, and even more if you buy the “Elite” level of membership (which at first glance doesn’t look worth it, but that’s just me).

Good Sam isn’t a bad membership to pick up, but you’ll need to keep the list of benefits handy so you remember to use it and get your money’s worth. Get that free inspection, and you can make your money back! (Of course you’ll also hear from the techs that you have hundreds of dollars worth of repairs, I’m sure, so maybe not!)

Learn more about the Good Sam membership here.

Which membership club is better?

My recommendation would be to sign up for both club memberships. Both can save you money, especially if you’re RVing full-time.

But if I had to pick just one based on the savings it offers, it would be Passport America.

Passport America offers a 50% discount and its 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 app that allows us to find an RV park quickly.

Below are a few screenshots of the Passport America app.



Passport America seems to care a bit more about the technology side of its business, making it the clear winner if you’re trying to grab a campsite fast while you’re on the road. They’ve been an awesome resource for us to save money while on the road full-time.

Here is a link to sign up for one of their annual memberships (this is an affiliate link). If you need our membership ID, it’s C-643889.

Read Next: Unconventional Ways to Save Big on Travel Costs

36 Responses

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • […] members of Passport America and Good Sam, which both offer discounts at participating campgrounds (here is a review I wrote of using Good Sam vs. Passport […]

  • 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.

  • RVE 0017: Jill Sessa Talks Travel Advice for Solo Female RVers and Running a Service-Based Business - Heath Padgett says:

    […] Passport America […]

  • […] Lodging: $2,710.84 (Were able to keep this so low mostly because of using membership clubs like Passport America) Groceries: $2,053.05 Gym Membership (planet fitness): $344.84 Phone Bill: $1,311.22 Eating Out: […]

  • 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!!!

      • 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.

  • […] Passport America […]

  • 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

  • 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. =)

  • […] Passport America VS. Good Sam […]

    • Passport and Good Sam typically send us phone books of all the participating parks once a year.

  • How did you get your affiliate link for Passport America? I would love to be able to share a link for family and friends, or to post on our blog!

    • You automatically get one if you’re a member. Just sign into your account on their site and you can find your link!

  • Which is the real/better Passport America? There are 2 different Passport America sites. Two different companies. and

    • Hey Toby, here’s our link:

      Both of those websites are the same company. It looks like the second one you found is the side of the company that’s geared more toward attracting campgrounds to join versus campers.

  • Best Reasons For RVers (Especially NEW RVers) To Try A Good Sam Club Membership | The RVing Guide says:

    […] Passport America vs. Good Sam Club Membership […]

  • Good article, I agree with MOST of what you’ve written, with the exception of God Sam parks having the ability to pay for a higher score. I happen to be one of the reps that rate campgrounds for Good Sam. In addition to rating the parks, they are able to purchase advertising in the directory and online. There is a very set way the parks are rated, which is pretty black and white. We rate them, share the ratings with the park owner and then discuss marketing. We’ve had to bring scores down in parks that advertise a lot just based on changes in the park and not meeting the set criteria. The flip side is we also tell parks little things they can do to improve the ratings and most parks listen to and appreciate the advice and we are able to up the rating the next year. this goes for parks that advertise or not. If we did a pay to play, we’d get fired, it’s not something that is taken lightly, a lot of time is spent on this in training. It’s part of the integrity of the club, members getting a true look at parks they might visit. If a park owner says they are able to pay for a higher rating, I’d venture too guess it’s a park that doesn’t advertise with Good Sam at all and are jaded.

    As for the mobile app, much improved, give it another go. 🙂

  • I’ve been a traveling by rv minister since buying our Vixen 21TD in 98. I’ve put 203,000 miles on it. I stay mostly at Walmart and churches when overnighting . I read your whole post and enjoyed it. Like you, I’m home anywhere I park. We just bought an 04 Four Winds Chateau 31p to replace our Vixen while trying to find a new transaxle for it. Having gotten 28-30 mpg in the Vixen all these years, it’s hard getting 8.5 mpg in the Chateau. But the extra room is nice. The RV life is a good ministry, too. See ya down the road. I’m easy to find, I’m the one with a smile, because I’m having fun.

  • […] use Good Sam and Passport America for camping discounts—I highly recommend both. But if you really want to save money camping, […]

  • […] Passport America VS Good Sam: Which One is Better?  This page is a good example of narrow reporting. No mention of insurance, mechanical breakdown, liability, etc. Tunnel vision with overnight temporary camping the view. Something I recommend doing at all Web sites where you are seeking information, read the comment section. The most valuable information and/or a link to more info may be found there. […]

  • […] Passport America also recently released an updated app available free in the App Store too. When we’re looking for stopover sites or trying to save money, we’ll check Passport America first. […]

Comments are closed.