If you’re an avid camper, you may have considered investing in campground memberships. These memberships can offer a range of benefits, from discounted rates to exclusive access in some campgrounds or RV Parks. But, and it’s a BIG BUT – there are definitely drawbacks for Canadians.
So, before you purchase a campground membership weigh the pros and cons – we’ve done some research you may find interesting.
Table of Contents
Before we get into the specifics of individual campground memberships I’m going to list some of the benefits which you should find interesting. But! Don’t sign up yet because not all of these benefits are available to Canadians!
Access to Exclusive Campgrounds & Amenities
One of the biggest advantages of owning a campground membership is the access to exclusive campgrounds and amenities. They may not always be available to the general public.
These campgrounds usually have swimming pools, hot tubs and all kinds of amenities such as playgrounds, sports equipment, storage facilities, boat rentals or golf courses.
It’s important to know that not all memberships offer access to these high-end amenities, so do your research before signing on the dotted line.
Potential Cost Savings on Camping Fees
I don’t know about you but my thoughts about campground memberships is the hope of having reduced campground or RV Park fees. Many memberships offer discounted rates or even free camping at affiliated campgrounds. If you are a full-time RVer or camp frequently, these savings can add up quickly. That might may the initial investment worthwhile.
However, it’s important to consider how often you’ll use the membership and if the cost savings will outweigh the initial investment and any annual fees.
Flexibility in Travel Plans with Campground Memberships
Another advantage of owning a campground membership is the flexibility it can provide when making travel plans.
With a membership, you might have access to a network of affiliated campgrounds across the country, giving you more options for where to stay when you’re traveling.
Note: Be aware that this network may be limited in Canada – more to follow below.
Most memberships, but not all, offer their members the ability to make reservations in advance, making it possible to have a spot waiting for you in your favourite campground during peak seasons.
Note: Read the fine print before signing because not all memberships allow reservations in advance.
Campground Memberships Fees & Maintenance Costs
One of the most important questions you have to ask yourself is if it’s worth the investment cost. Membership fees can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the type of membership and the amenities offered.
Also, some memberships may require annual maintenance fees or other ongoing costs. Be careful and evaluate the costs and benefits to determine if it will really save you money in the long run.
Limited Availability & Restrictions
One potential disadvantage of campground memberships is the limited availability and restrictions. Some memberships may only offer access to a small select group of campgrounds or RV Parks, which might make it inconvenient for you.
Additionally, some memberships might have restrictions on when you can use the campgrounds, such as blackout dates during peak seasons.
Once again, I can’t stress enough that it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of any membership before deciding to sign the dotted line. Make sure it fits your needs, budget and travel plans.
Campground Memberships Available to Canadians
I need to be clear – I am NOT an expert! All I can offer is the information I’ve found during my research. I can’t stress enough that you need to do your own research and make your own decisions. I just hope I’ve given you enough information to help you in your decision making.
In order to be eligible for membership in Coast to Coast, you must first become a member of one of their participating resorts. Coast memberships are not available to the general public at any cost, but instead are offered by one of their network resorts at the time of your resort membership purchase.
So the first thing I did was look to see how many network resorts there are in Canada and I found five.
What that means is – you need to purchase a campground membership from a park – following their terms and then pay extra for a Coast to Coast membership. Members pay $10/night to stay at these campgrounds.The five Canadian campground membership parks are:
- Woodbury Resort and Marina, Ainsworth, BC
- Country Maples RV Resort, Chemainus, BC
- Camping de Compton, Compton, QC
- Holiday Park Resort, Kelowna, BC
- Wilderness Village at Crimson Lake, Rocky Mountain House, AB
There are 69 good neighbour parks that Coast to Coast members get a discounted rate when visiting.
Each of the 5 Canadian Membership Parks have different prices to join and do your research to ask yourself those questions again – how many nights can you stay, how often and what are the benefits.
It will depend on the type of travel you do or if you like to stay in one spot for long periods of time.
NOTE: I know some Canadians purchase memberships at parks just across the border into the U.S. with lower fees but gives them access to Coast to Coast and it works for their type of travel. Each choice will depend on our own needs.
They do offer a FREE 3 day/ 2 night stay for anyone so you can learn more. I could not find the price of Coast to Coast but it may be included in the price of your home membership park.
Thousand Trails is one of the largest networks of RV resorts and campgrounds in North America, with over 80 locations in 22 states and British Columbia. No other provinces in Canada have campgrounds partnering with Thousand Trails.
The campground in BC is supposed to be at Cultus Lake but their link doesn’t work so can’t confirm it is part of their network any longer.
Costs: Their annual price right now is $536 US per year – you can camp all year for no overnight fees. Their regular price is $670/year. To my knowledge it is for all of their 6 regions.
Reduced costs: Pick one of 5 regions and pay only $536. Add additional regions for just $90. (I think their special rate as of May 8th is better ).
OR: Purchase the Trails Collection only: Get 100+ more campgrounds nationwide with The Trails Collection for only $370.
NOTE: Once again do your research as to what areas and campgrounds they are affiliated with and what their rules are.
Questions to ask:
- How many days can you stay at each campground?
- How often can you visit each campground?
- What amenities are offered?
- Are there any extra benefits to their membership?
- If you only camp in Canada – what is the benefit?
Passport America quotes itself as The “Original and World’s Largest 50% Discount Camping Club” – a discount membership club that provides half price camping to a network of Over 1,100 quality campgrounds and RV parks throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For a low yearly fee of only $44 (U.S. Funds), Passport America members can save 50% on nightly camping rates and access an array of discounts on RV related services– making it more affordable and easier to live your dreams through the RVing lifestyle.
For our purposes today let’s assume you only travel in Canada here’s the number of campgrounds and RV Parks in each Province and Territory.
- British Columbia – 8 campgrounds.
- Alberta – 6 campgrounds.
- Saskatchewan – 0 campgrounds
- Manitoba – 0 campgrounds
- Ontario – 14 campgrounds.
- Quebec – 13 campgrounds
- New Brunswick – 10 campgrounds.
- Nova Scotia – 11 campgrounds.
- P.E.I. – 5 campgrounds
- Newfoundland & Labrador – 0 campgrounds.
- Yukon – 1 campground.
Note: If you do travel outside of Canada they do offer over 1100 campgrounds between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
If you do travel extensively outside of Canada regularly consider purchasing a lifetime or longer term membership.
I am not a member but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. I haven’t done any extensive traveling the past few years so it didn’t make sense for us.
Resorts Parks International
Similar to Coast to Coast you must have a membership in a membership campground / park before you can join Resorts Parks International. Once again each park has their own individual prices and benefits so do you due diligence please. They don’t quote their prices and offer different levels to their membership.
Listed below are the Canadian affiliated parks.
- Holiday Park, Kelowna, BC
- Country Maples, Chemainus, BC
- Ridgeview Resort, Radium Hot Springs, BC
- Camping de Compton, Compton, QC
I looked to see if they offer discounts elsewhere but didn’t see any benefits except from their own affiliated parks. Maybe you know something I don’t and can share with us please.
The next list are campground clubs with their own set of rules and regulations.
Harvest Hosts is a network of wineries, breweries & distilleries, farms, attractions, private properties, and golf courses that invite RVers to stay overnight.
The yearly membership gives members unlimited access to stay at any one of the Host‘s unique locations.
Free overnight parking on Private Property.
If you are traveling alone and needing a safe place to park overnight then Boondockers Welcome is what you need. This is the perfect way to travel across the country, make new friends and get the safety solo RVers are sometimes looking for.
Good Sam membership starts at $29/year (U.S). and offers a variety of benefits including 10% discount on Good Sam Parks and campgrounds.
I searched their campground listings and they have many campgrounds in Canada and for 10% off it might be worth joining. Their membership also gives you discounts in their Camping World stores (US only). There are fuel discounts and other perks but other than the 10% campground discount it’s all in the U.S. If you only travel in Canada you won’t be able to access them. Their roadside assistance is separate.
North America Camping Club administers a nationwide camping club where members can visit affiliated resorts and campgrounds and pay reduced fees for overnight Recreational Vehicle (RV) camping. The membership offered is a one-year membership that may be renewed annually upon its expiration by paying the annual membership fee.
Become a NACC member and you too can enjoy camping at reduced rates across the USA and Canada.
Note: They do say they have reduced rates across Canada but it really appears to be limited. Their fees are $99/year (U.S.) Most of their affiliated parks appear to be in Eastern U.S.
Conclusion: Final analysis regarding Campground Memberships for Canadians
Personally, I think there are benefits to joining different campground memberships but it really depends on the type of travel you do. I’m definitely not an expert but I hope the information I’ve given you your decision can be made easier and you’re better informed. As usual Canadians face many challenges when RVing in Canada but that means we just have to get more creative.
Traveling alone can be daunting! I know not everyone finds it that way but for some solo RVers they appreciate having the support and company of other RVers . It’s not always easy to find other solo RVers with similar interests and that’s where RV Clubs come in to play.
Just a few of the benefits of joining an RV Club are meeting new people, getting access to exclusive discounts, and collecting tips from other more experienced solo RVers in Canada.
Do you have any campground memberships? What are your thoughts about them for Canadians in Canada? Please comment below – I would love to hear from you.
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