Table of Contents Show
- What Is Passport America?
- These Passport America Reviews Will Make You Think Twice
- Restrictions Are The Main Reason PA Gets a Bad Rap
- How Much Does Passport America Cost?
- What Are Passport America Campgrounds Like?
- The Passport America Reviews Aren’t All Bad
- Is a Passport America Membership Worth It?
These Passport America reviews might make you think twice before signing up for the 50% off camping club.
We did some digging and found some pretty significant complaints from unhappy customers about Passport America. What are the pros and cons of this camping membership? Let’s get into what they had to say.
What Is Passport America?
Passport America is a discount camping club that saves RVers 50% on overnight camping rates at participating locations. This discount camping membership has over 1,400 participating campgrounds across the US and is an excellent resource for travelers looking to save money.
Passport America also has get-togethers and rallies for those interested in making new friends. The company doesn’t own the campgrounds, so the membership varies. Instead, they work with campgrounds and RV parks around the country to bring discounts to their members.
This benefits both parties. The campgrounds get the marketing and new customers, and Passport America makes money by selling these memberships to their customer base.
But Passport America might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
These Passport America Reviews Will Make You Think Twice
Not all Passport America customers are happy with the service. We scoured through tons of reviews and found a few major complaints from unhappy Passport America customers. These reviews might make you think twice.
Passport America Reviews
Since Passport America doesn’t regulate the campgrounds that offer discounts, you may have inconsistent experiences at different locations. It can depend on the season, state, and other factors.
Georgia W. complained that they had difficulty using their membership during their trip.“Last winter we headed to Texas and planned on a stop in Kansas. Called ahead, said we were Passport America members and verified they discounted. Got there the evening of our trip only to be told they no longer accept PA, but since we called ahead they would knock off $5.”
Then as they journeyed through the midwest campgrounds that usually accept Passport America would not honor it during the wheat harvest, in the summer months, or due to other restrictions.
She concluded,“I would NOT recommend purchasing a membership unless you know exactly where you’re going and when, then only if you check to see if it’s accepted during that time. I feel a restriction of accepting it for only 1 to 2 nights is reasonable, but restricting [it] for the entire season is ridiculous and shouldn’t be allowed.”
Campgrounds within the Passport America directory can use their discretion on offering discounts. Usually, the campground directory lists notes about when you can and can’t use the deal at specific campgrounds. Many campgrounds will not allow the discount on weekends, holidays, or for more than one or two nights.
Pro Tip: Looking for the right RV club to join? Check out The Ultimate Guide to RV Clubs to help make your decision.
Ramon V. from Google Reviews said that it could be worth it or a waste of money based on where you plan to stay and the time of year. He mentioned that you’d have more trouble finding a spot that accepts the membership if you go to places like Florida in the winter or Colorado in the summer during prime seasons.
Ramon said, “The restrictions are so ridiculous I’ve seen parks where Passport is valid for like a month or two out of the whole year. I think if you got rid of parks [which] restrict Passport to only certain months, you would be left with only a handful of parks.”
He suggests looking up which parks you want to go to and checking the notes tab in the app to see what restrictions apply. But he also said that you could get your money’s worth for the membership from just one stay. Make sure to look into each campground and plan your trips accordingly.
Passport America Campground Reviews
You’ll see a handful of negative reviews about the overall experience of finding participating campgrounds that don’t have a ton of restrictions. But you’ll also come across plenty of negative reviews about participating campgrounds in the network.
Although Passport America doesn’t have any control over the cleanliness or friendliness of a campground, they should take pride in having a network of high-quality locations. From these reviews, it doesn’t seem like that’s a factor.
Angela L. from Google Reviews said, “I’m living full-time out of my RV and can’t find a single desirable spot that’s covered by Passport America. The parks included in their discount are all pretty crummy with under three star ratings. When I tried to cancel my membership, they said they’d only refund $34 of it, and I have to send all of their useless materials back. Stick with Good Sam–this one isn’t worth ten cents.”
Chad H. from Google Reviews also said that even though they made sure they met the requirements, hosts would tell them something different or not honor the discount. “Once you tell them you are with PA, customer service goes out the window. If you want to use it, be prepared to have all weekends, holidays, seasonal days, and premium/larger sites excluded, as well as unhelpful and sometimes rude hosts.”
From hosts changing the requirements on a whim, not honoring the discount, or poor customer service, you may feel disappointed in the membership. But what is the main reason Passport America gets a bad rap?
Restrictions Are The Main Reason PA Gets a Bad Rap
Since campgrounds can set their own rules for when travelers can use their Passport America discount, the restrictions can get kind of crazy.
It can feel like jumping through hoops to find a campsite along your route that will honor your discount for any given night. If it’s a weekend, holiday, busy season, or something happening in the local area, you’ll be out of luck.
The tight restrictions and rules individual campgrounds place on honoring the discount is the number one reason customers complain about the membership.
How Much Does Passport America Cost?
Passport America costs $44 per year. This membership can pay for itself with just one or two nights of use. That is if you can find a campground that will honor it.
Depending on where or when you travel, you might have a problem finding campgrounds that honor the discount. Although that’s not always the case, you should keep this in mind.
What Are Passport America Campgrounds Like?
Passport America campgrounds run from roadside RV parks to larger RV campgrounds. There is no standard for what makes a Passport America campground because it isn’t a chain; it’s just a network of primarily local campgrounds participating in a discount system.
Some of these campgrounds have tons of amenities and perks, while others are no-frills parking pads in off-the-beaten-path locations.
The Passport America Reviews Aren’t All Bad
Remember, you’ll find far more positive Passport America reviews than negative ones. It seems some people just got really unlucky. Or they were traveling at a busy time for the campgrounds that chose not to honor the discount.
At only $44 per year, a discount that could potentially save you hundreds of dollars seems like a no-brainer.
Tonya R. on Google says, “With a little planning, you will save hundreds of dollars on campsites each year. Great customer service, very personable. With Passport America, you are not just another customer you are treated like you are family. Very helpful with all of your camping needs.”
Edgar G. on Google says you need to do a little research and check the park’s websites. Prices can change throughout the year, and you won’t always stay at a 10 star hotel. However, he was very satisfied with the membership.
He says, “Always had good luck with staying at campsite[s] using Passport America… We highly recommend PA to all we meet on and off the road.”
Many campers enjoy the low price and savings. While you need to do some research, most Passport America members have enjoyed the service.
Pro Tip: Here’s more on why many find the Passport America RV membership worth it.
Is a Passport America Membership Worth It?
If $44 per year to save 50% on overnight camping seems like a no-brainer, then try this camping membership. Especially if you travel a lot, you may find it very helpful. Sure, you might have times when you can’t use it or can’t find a participating campground. But all it takes is just one or two nights of use for the membership to pay for itself.
Plus, you have 365 days to camp, so we’d say yes: Passport America is worth it. Keep your expectations in check and educate yourself on when you can and can’t use it to avoid disappointment.
Would you consider a Passport America membership?