Good Sam is one of the most popular RV clubs in the nation, offering several benefits to RVers. But unfortunately for some, joining up also comes with an unexpected element — Good Sam regrets! We’re examining some of them today to help you figure out whether a membership is right for you.
What Does a Good Sam Membership Include?
Good Sam membership is perhaps most well-known for its campground discounts. For your $29 yearly membership fee, you’ll get a 10% discount on more than 2,000 Good Sam-affiliated RV parks and campgrounds.
Members also get gas discounts of 5 cents per gallon (or 8 cents for diesel) at Pilot Flying J locations.
In addition, you’ll have access to deals and specials at retailers like Overton’s, Gander RV & Outdoors, and Camping World.
Camping World also offers additional benefits like unlimited use of its RV and boat dump stations, a discount on propane, and a yearly RV inspection.
Beyond these, Good Sam Membership also includes a smattering of more minor benefits. These include the use of Good Sam’s online trip planner, discounts to RV shows, and discounts on Good Sam’s premium services like roadside assistance and mailboxes. Even with all of these perks, some members do have Good Sam regrets.
The Top 5 Regrets of Buying a Good Sam Membership
Unfortunately, the plan isn’t for everyone. Those who don’t consider potential issues could end up with some significant Good Sam regrets.
1. The Best Benefits Cost Extra
As usual, however, the devil is in the details. While your $29 Good Sam membership gets you access to these programs, it doesn’t cover the cost of them. Finding out you have to pay more after your purchase the member could lead you to having Good Sam regrets.
Enrolling in these additional benefits starts around $40 – 50 each, significantly more than your membership itself.
2. Campground Discounts Aren’t Worth It
This one is a matter of simple math. While the 10% campground discount is the most-talked-about element of Good Sam, it’s not a great deal for everyone.
For example, RVers who only take out their rig a few times a year may not even break even. In most cases, your 10% discount will amount to $3 – $9 per night.
Plus, depending on your camping style, it may not offer discounts at all! This is especially true for those who frequently camp at state or national parks or who boondock.
3. Get Ready for Junk Mail
In exchange for the discounts and benefits we’ve discussed, Good Sam shares your information with marketing partners, which means tons of junk mail.
For some, this may just be an annoyance. But for full-timers or others who use mailbox services, this surge in mail can result in extra costs or hassle. This can be a major Good Sam regret for some.
4. Camping World Might Not Be Worth It
Camping World may be one of the best-known stores for RVers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best overall.
Anyone who’s spoken with longtime RVers has likely heard a Camping World horror story. The chain has faced frequent complaints of lousy service and even multiple lawsuits.
Plus, you may find better prices elsewhere with a bit of shopping around.
While Camping World can undoubtedly be a useful store, it’s worth keeping in mind these possible issues if you see the Camping World aspect as a major regret for your Good Sam membership.
5. Gas Discounts Don’t Add Up to Much
Saving money is always nice, but it’s important to keep things in perspective. For a 100-gallon fill-up in a Class A rig, you’ll only save $5 out of roughly $250 – $300.
You will save slightly more on diesel but also pay more for diesel, making it essentially a wash(check out TSD for better diesel savings).
While Pilot Flying J has more than 750 locations, they may not be particularly convenient to your travel route. Traveling out of your way can eat up more gas than you save in discounts. Some members report not saving as much on gas as one of their Good Sam regrets.
When Should You Consider a Good Sam Membership?
Despite all these potential Good Sam regrets, there are still many people who can benefit from membership.
The more you use your RV, the better deal the membership will be. Full-timers or those who make regular trips in their RV can quickly see the membership pay for itself.
Similarly, if you’re already a frequent Camping World or Flying J customer, you should consider a membership.
Overall, if you would save as much or more than the cost of membership, a Good Sam membership may be a good idea for you.
Understand Your RV Club Options
While many new RVers rush to sign up, it’s essential to understand all parts of the Good Sam membership. As with many RV clubs, whether it’s worth it will depend on your rig, your camping style, and your budget.