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If you are a full time RVer or even a seasonal RVer, you are most likely familiar with at least one discount camping club program offered to travelers on the road. Programs like Passport America offer 50% off discounts to RV parks. Good Sam Club members can take advantage of
discounts to affiliated RV parks,Camping World products, and even gas/diesel discounts.
We have been a member of both programs and have found benefits to being a member of each one, however, Escapees RV Club has shown to be a very valuable program to us as it offers a plethora of benefits, especially for those pursuing the full time RVing lifestyle. It’s our “one stop shopping” headquarters to all things RVing.
We chose to become and continue to be members of Escapees RV Club for the following six reasons:
#1: Escapees RV Club was founded by RVers for RVers.
The concept of Escapees was devised by a couple, Joe and Kay Peterson, traveling the countryside eight years prior to its establishment in 1978. The idea of uniting fellow RVers with a club that offers assistance with traveling arose. Since then, the baton has been passed to their daughter and her growing family, two generations of the Carr family, avid travelers themselves, who have helped the organization branch out into many avenues that focus on the company’s basic principles of supporting travelers, providing knowledge on the lifestyle, and assisting with parking and home-base locations. What was once a few hundred members thirty years ago has grown to over 32,000 members and continues to grow.
#2: You get more bang for your buck when it comes to the annual fee.
Many camping clubs offer great deals for yearly membership; Escapees is no exception. Boasting at a mere $39.95 per year, members benefit from a number of helpful tools to help them with life on the road. Among these many tools are the travel guide that lists discounted RV parks and dry camping sites nationwide, workamping/job opportunities, access to RV related products and services, a bi-monthly subscription to Escapees magazine chock full of articles and tips dedicated to the RVing lifestyle, information on upcoming seminars and meet-ups structured to meet the needs of both novice and veteran RVers, and online question/answer forums.
#3 Handling mail is less complicated through Escapees.
Receiving mail while traveling can be tricky business; however, Escapees makes it their business to keep the process simple through their mail forwarding service. Three categories of mail service are offered, ranging from a $95 to $135 annual fee (excluding the initial postage deposit and enrollment fee), depending upon if the user wants to have all mail forwarded to their current physical location or just selected pieces of mail. Scanning incoming letters is an additional option.
This address can be utilized for domicile purposes, as well, assisting RVers with a home base. Addresses are available for the states of Florida, Texas, and South Dakota. After securing an address from Escapees, we were able to become residents of Texas, registering our motorhome and additional vehicles and acquiring a driver’s license.
A little disclaimer we were told: In addition to obtaining an address from one of these three states, establishing residency in-state can include actions like setting up appointments with a family physician, opening up a bank account, joining a religious establishment, and/or saving personal belongings with a storage company. Escapees recommends legal counsel on their site that can assist in answering questions you may have regarding residency issues.
#4 Escapees selection of vendors encompasses many services including just recently health insurance.
Escapees formed a partnership with RVer Insurance Exchange. Brokers assist in customizing health plans to fit any RVing caravan from single travelers to families, also including RV/auto insurance. We have been working with Coleen Elkins since this past summer with short and long term health plans. We have nothing but great things to say about her and the company as she has always assisted us with any questions we’ve had in a timely manner and is very informed in the field, along with Escapees benefits and additional services.
#5 Comradery is what makes the lifestyle so special and Escapees enforces this idea in many ways.
Perhaps the backbone of Escapees is the desire to form bonds and lasting relationships with others on the road. This is a unique lifestyle shared by a small (but ever increasing) percentage of the population so support in all aspects of daily living is priceless. Escapees accomplishes this goal by providing a number of ways for fellow RVers to come together either in person or online, through learning and fun.
Week long rallies are held annually across the nation and open to all RVers, seasonal and full-time, novice and veteran, members and non-members. Rallies include back-to-back seminars on subjects ranging from maintenance of your motor vehicle to financial options to staying connected and then some. Attendees can supplement their time at the rallies with entertainment like socials, craft/hobby sessions, and comedic/musical entertainment.
For those novice RVers (or anyone really), Escapees offers RV Boot Camp, a crash course in function and care of your home on wheels and the 101 on living life in ever-changing sceneries. This is separate from rallies and typically lasts for a few days.
Aside from rallies and boot camps, Escapees sets up opportunities for members to meet up at locations/events. For example, this past summer of 2015, Escapees scheduled a gathering at Albuquerque’s Annual Balloon Festival. Members camped at a designated location, an area ideal for viewing the spectacular ascension, and enjoyed all the area had to offer with fellow travelers. Other members gather together for events specific to their interests. RVers who seek others that enjoy activities like boondocking, outdoor sports, or even participating in disaster relief programs can share their talent and passion together.
In just the past few years, Escapees has made additions to its membership. Typically viewed as an organization for retirees, generally over 50 years of age, Escapees has clarified their population parameters, noting that it is indeed a club for all travelers, young and young at heart, traversing the roads alone or with a family.
Xscapers was created. It is not a separate entity of Escapees, but an addition to the crew. Members can opt to be identified as an Xscaper, a new generation of RVers, on the road, still working or just recently retired. Although there is a separate website for Xscapers, it contains the same general information and benefits as the original Escapees website, only emphasizing information (articles, forums, and videos) geared towards the demographic.
#6 Escapees has a history of advocating for the fellow RVer.
Escapees has a history of leading the charge for RVers’ rights in the nation. At one point the right to vote was liable to be taken away from full time RVers due to their mobile lifestyle. The company took this issue to court and came out the victor. The mail service has, indeed, a legitimate physical address.
In another instance, Escapees partnered with other camper clubs to create the “Good Neighbor Policy” which allows full timers to stay overnight on private business properties based on the code of conduct recognized by many industries. This policy allows RVers, like us that find this preferable on long distance travel, to stay in public establishments like Wal-Mart and Pilot overnight (pending policy agreement with said establishment).
If you would like more information on full time RVing, check out our RVing Info page.
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