RV alone or together – That is the Question!?!
By Debbie Sipe
Executive Director, California Assn of RV Parks & Campgrounds
My husband and I love the adventure of a road trip – discovering new places, witnessing new vistas, remembering what makes this a great country, and meeting other campers along the way. Equally so, we also cherish the times we RV with friends and family. While we are not members of a specific RV club, over the years our RVing friends and their families have created our own RV group. It all started 22 years ago when our best friends got tired of the tug of war of two families pulling them during Thanksgiving. They packed up their tent, Weber BBQ, a turkey and the rest of the fixins. They told both sets of parents, follow us to the coast and we will all celebrate together. My husband and our two children joined them two years later. Our trip this year counted 14 rigs, my parents, my in-laws, sisters, cousins and adopted friends. Two were even third generation: our friends' daughter purchased her own tent trailer and my son rented his own motorhome.
I have to say it runs in the family, my mother is the treasurer for their local Elks RV Club, my Dad is a founding member of a local fishing club that holds fishing derbies all in and near northern California RV parks & campgrounds. And the two of them coordinate and organize group rallies wherever a jazz festival is going on: Monterey in March, Sacramento in May, Mammoth in July, and Pismo in October.....all in RVs... all with friends in their RVs.
Have you tried RVing with a group? Simply ask some of your RV friends or family if they would like to join you? Many RV parks and campgrounds provide a club room with kitchen facilities, BBQ areas, and even picnic grounds to attract groups and clubs. Here is a quick link to Camp-California.com parks listing club facilities. Call in advance to make sure there are sites available and that you can be placed together in the park. Many parks offer a 10% discount if you have 10 or more rigs. Some parks charge for their club room, some don't. Have some friends or family that you would like to include but they don't have an RV? Many parks are installing lodges, cabins, cottages, teepees, or canvas sided tents. Here is a quick link for parks with club facilities and overnight accommodations.
Another option is to join an existing club. RVers and campers are some of the friendliest folks out there. This is a great opportunity to create new friendships that will last a lifetime. There are literally hundreds spread throughout California. There are clubs affiliated with local service organizations like the Elks or Rotary. Almost every RV brand has a club created to foster experiences of loyal users. The Good Sam Club, a national club of almost 1 million members, has local chapters everywhere. Check your local church, they often times have an RV club.
Maintaining lists of RV Clubs is a much tougher job than highlighting the benefits of belonging to a group. Most RV clubs are all coordinated by volunteers. And as we all know, volunteers come and go. And a different volunteer is usually in charge of planning a monthly or quarterly outing. As a result, the contact information changes frequently. However, we have attempted to provide some links to those clubs with permanent websites and searching tips for finding others that may be located in your back yard!
- The Funtimes Guide offers a great article on why you should join an RV Club
- Good Sam Northern California Chapters
- Good Sam Southern California Chapters
- Family Motorhome Coach Association
- Family Campers & RVers
- rvlinks.com – Has lots of links to different types of clubs and associations
- www.rv-clubs.us – This website lists lots of clubs. Most of the manufacturer club links are functional. Not all of the others are as discussed above. The nature of RV Clubs makes contact information very transient.
- National African American RVers Association
- Rainbow RV
- Special Military Active & Retired Travel Club
- Vintage RV Club links
Are you already a member of a club? Send us your contact information and we will add you to the list. Want to attract new club members. Post an invitation on our Facebook page.