Thinking of joining Escapees RV Club - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-08-2015, 09:13 PM   #1
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
Eastern Ontario
Posts: 93
Thinking of joining Escapees RV Club

We are thinking of joining Escapees Rv Club. I would like to hear about other peoples experiences with them. I want the good the bad and the ugly. I know that Norm and Ginny really like them.

Sandy C.

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Old 10-08-2015, 09:23 PM   #2
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Name: Cathy
Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
POBox 1267, Denison, Texas
Posts: 807
Their forums are a valuable resource. Never been to their meets. Their magazine is also good. The membership price is way down from $60-$70 a couple of years ago so it is a good time to join. If you are interested in full-timing, they know all there is to know and can help you with setting yourself up on domicile and mail service and more. They also have a small park network and their info always includes maps and more on those.

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Old 10-09-2015, 03:10 AM   #3
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Name: Shannon
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 3
What magazine are your referring to?
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:29 AM   #4
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Name: Cathy
Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
POBox 1267, Denison, Texas
Posts: 807
The Escapees organization has a magazine. They have no connection to Escape trailers.
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:44 AM   #5
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 7,376
In 2016 year Escapees have their huge national rally called an Escapade in Essex Junction, Vermont from July 24-29th. WE have not been but to fulltimers it's the 'Mecca' of rallies.

They are a whole RV organization with an assisted living center supported by the members in Texas that is very reasonable, really could serve as a model for the nation, a very good magazine, reasonably priced RV retirement communities with their Co-op RV parks. It's definitely worth investigating.

We have had a number of FRV members visit our place in FL to see for themselves what our park is like and to learn some of the benefits. As most of you know FRV members are always welcome visitors. pretty much tells it all. When we were starting we bought a number of their publications and followed their forum of mostly fulltimers (you don't need to be an Escapee to go to their forum.)

Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:52 AM   #6
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Name: Kathy
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19
Posts: 600
We've been members for quite a few years. I think we get good value for the cost of our membership. We've never been to any of the rallies but have stayed at some of the Escapees parks. The fees are very reasonable, sometimes free I think if you just want to boondock overnight. I like the inclusive nature of Escapees. Although it's primarily geared towards the needs of fulltimers and those with big rigs, anyone is welcome and we've always been greeted warmly when we've stayed at an Escapees park in our little trailer. They have a new sub-group for work campers now too and are really making an effort to reach out to younger RV owners. If you travel for long periods of time, they have a great mail forwarding service. I always find something useful and/or interesting in the magazine that comes with our membership too.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:03 AM   #7
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Name: Philip
Trailer: Escape 13 /Hyundai Santa Fe
British Columbia
Posts: 471
I joined a few years ago then never really used their services. But I understand some people love Escapees. So I'd just say be clear about your needs when you join any organization. And if you're new to RVing, or you've just retired your needs--hopes and dreams--will evolve over time. For me Good Sam has been great. I really like their Roadside Assistance and most places offer a discount for members so membership gets paid back pretty fast.

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Old 10-09-2015, 10:03 PM   #8
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
Eastern Ontario
Posts: 93
Thanks to everyone who replied. All the information I could find on Escapees seems to be positive and this is been reflected here. We are going to try being snowbirds this winter. We want to use their campgrounds and Boondocking guide. I think we will probably join them. Please keep the comments coming.

Sandy C
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:27 AM   #9
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Name: Mon
Trailer: 13' 2008 Scamp...YAY!
Posts: 213
I had been looking forward to the Escapees Boot Camp in November. Due to NOT having the surgery I expected, I won't be going. Great place to learn about RVing when you know NOTHING!

Just a note, Escapees and Good Sam are two DIFFERENT functions.

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Old 10-10-2015, 09:30 AM   #10
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Big Foot
Posts: 9

This is one of two RV Organizations that we belong to mainly due to the fact that it suits our way of travelling and we feel that we receive good value for the cost. We dry camp 90% of the time so the dry-camp option at the Escapees parks is well worth the membership fee to us. It is particularly good if you are heading south west to Arizona/California.
The employees, volunteers and members of this group are all very helpful and friendly and have always made us feel welcome wherever we go.
Birds of a Feather(BOF) are special interest groups you might be interested in checking out. eg. We spent a week in Quartzsite,AZ two years ago with the Boomers group and had a great time.(informal movies, seminars, discussions, social hour, pancakes breakfasts)
Day's End is definitely a worth while extra if you plan on doing much boondocking. We found once you join initially if you submit enough updates you can get the next year's list for free. is another site you might be interested for your travels.
Other sources of snowbirding information is The Canadian Snowbird association(CSA), Medipac, and Explorer RV Club.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:03 AM   #11
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 7,376
Day's End, boondocking, camping, overnight parking

This is a link to the Days End Directory. I recall it's $5 a year for a membership to Day's End if you make no additions. The link above has the ability for non-members to explore it a little.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:47 PM   #12
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Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Posts: 552

For a Scamp13, I guess that I would really suggest some caution,
calling the Escapees phone number, telling them what your rig is,
and asking a lot of questions before joining.

For us, so far, the Escapees membership has not worked out as well
as we had hoped or expected.

For any question that you ask an engineer, the answer you will usually
get is "It depends." The following might be the "It depends" factors.

Does your Scamp 13 have a bathroom and blackwater tank?

Do you hope to do mostly dry camping or do you want to have electric,
water, and sewer hookups? Or just electric plus water? Or just electric?

Do you want to set up any sort of shelter other than an awning attached
to the trailer? (i.e. an EZ-UP, CLAM, etc.)

Are there Escapee parks near your planned destination(s) and, if so,
are they Co-Op parks or Rainbow parks?

Our Scamp13 does not have a bathroom, so we usually use campground
facilities and carry a porta-potti. Because it is a small trailer, we want
the ability to be outdoors and still have some protection from sun, rain,
and bugs. In July of this year, we saw an unexpected 65 mph wind pick
up an awning, blow it up and over a friend's trailer, and completely
destroy the aluminum poles. During that same storm, our small (6x6 feet)
CLAM Traveler shelter/screen-room/tent stood up to the wind and was
completely undamaged.

While at Scamp Camp 2015 in Sebring, we took an afternoon and enjoyed
Norm and Ginny's great hospitality and toured their wonderful Escapee
Co-Op park and home.

Based on that very positive experience, we joined Escapees about a
month later. I'm sorry to report that our experience has not always
been positive.

Although I didn't realize it when we joined, there are two different types
of Escapee parks; the Co-Op parks (like Norm & Ginny's) and the Rainbow
parks. The rules and by-laws for those two types of parks can apparently
be fairly different.

The actual Escapee parks (both types) and other affiliated parks that
provide discounts to Escapee members are described in the Escapee
Travel Guide.
(You can download a pdf copy of the Travel Guide at the above link.)

In the Travel Guide, you will find that many of the Co-Op parks have
wording that says "self contained RVs only" and some of them even
add a "no porta-potties" clause. In general, it would appear that the
Co-Op parks might be a bit discriminatory and are much more geared
to the larger motorhome/large-trailer folks who usually stay longer
in one place. (Norm & Ginny's Co-Op park seems to be the exception
to that rule and seems to operate in a way that is a bit more like the
Rainbow parks. In general, I would say that Norm & and Ginny are
far more knowledgeable about all aspects of the Escapees parks and
club than I am and they might have more updated information in the
future! )

Some examples of our experience .....
On a recent trip to California, my wife lost a contact lens a couple
weeks into the trip. I needed a place that we could have our home
optical shop send some new contacts where they would hold them
for us until our arrival. I decided that Park Sierra (Coarsegold, Ca.)
was near enough to the Sequoia trees that it might be a good place
to send the contacts and perhaps spend a few days.

What I was told, by the Park Sierra manager, was that we would not
be considered a "self-contained RV " unless we had a blackwater tank.
We did have a fresh water tank, a grey water tank, propane, a 12v
electrical system, and a never-used porta-potti. However, without a
blackwater tank, he suggested that he could only put us in the
primitive/dry-camping area. He suggested that, if we wanted electric
(and possibly water?) that we should probably go to a KOA down the
road a ways. Since we had planned quick overnight stays and lots
of sightseeing, I had not brought our solar panel setup and had not
planned on dry camping. As a result, my wife decided to go the rest
of the trip using some backup single vision glasses (instead of her
) and I did all of the driving for the rest of the trip.

On another occasion, we made reservations at a Rainbow park and
told them that we hoped to set up the CLAM Traveler shelter and
wanted to make sure that was permitted and that our intended
site would have sufficient room. Whoever answered the phone
said that they would make the reservation and would verify with
the manager(s) that it was OK and that they would call us back
at our home phone number if that would be any problem. Having
heard nothing from them in two weeks (no in person calls and no
voicemails left on our answering machine, we set off for the park.

An hour out from the park, we called to confirm our arrival, ask
about office hours and local discount tickets, etc. We were told
that separate shelters were not permitted and that we had no
reservation (it had been canceled?). We asked if we could rent
a spot in the primitive/dry-camping area for a screen shelter
or a tent and they (again, not the mangers) told my wife that
they didn't have/offer that capability. (It said clearly in the park
description in the Travel Guide that they did offer dry camping
and the park map showed the dry camping area on the west side
of the park.) They suggested that, if we wanted to set up a
screen room, there was a KOA down the road.

At that point, with our daughter and grandchildren already on the
road and approximately an hour behind us, we gave up and found
a Passport America discounted park that provided a site for both
our trailer and a screen room/tent at a similar price point. (When
we returned home, I did review the caller-ID entries and found
an Escapee entry. However, there never was any voicemail left
on our machine that might have told us that our reservation had
not been made or had been canceled.)

In fairness, Escapees recently sent out a survey of what folks
really wanted in a park and what people valued most in their
RV travels. It seems possible that the Escapees organization
might be reviewing their current rules and operating guidelines
and might be interested in making some improvements?

On our trip to California, we stayed in many Passport America
parks, many Good Sam parks, and one KOA. Many times, we
hooked up to electric only and didn't even bother with city water
connections and/or any added water in the grey tank.

Out of 3 attempts to stay at Escapee parks, we have so far
had one success.

I have already renewed our Good Sam membership for several
more years and will likely renew our Passport America membership.

For now, before considering Escapee renewal, I will wait and see
if there are any changes forthcoming in the Escapee parks operation.

Depending on your needs, I still think that the Escapee membership
might have benefits for some folks and that, overall, they might
be trying to improve their operation.

Clearly, our wants and needs in a camping club membership might
be different than some other folks. So, as always, YMMV.

Good luck with whatever you decide meets your requirements!

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Old 10-10-2015, 11:04 PM   #13
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Trailer: 2001 13 ft Scamp / 1993 Jeep Cherokee
Posts: 1,252
A couple of years ago I joined the Escapee's and found what Ray was speaking about. Some of their Parks don't allow for Non-self contained RV's.

I consider myself "Self Contained" as I have a gray water tank and a Porta-Potty. I can go a week or so without having to dump. So if they don't want me for a night or two, I don't want them.

I belong to Passport America, which is 1/2 price camping, and found that I can do just as well with them as I could with any of the campgrounds that were in the Escapee's additional campground directory. In fact, lots of the same campgrounds are in both.

Oh by the way Ray, you do have a black water tank if you have a PP.
Joy A. & Lily
and "Puff", too
No. Ca. Sierra Foothills
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:47 PM   #14
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
Eastern Ontario
Posts: 93
Thanks for all the replies. Ray has definitely given us food for thought. Our little Scamp does not have a bathroom. We use a port potty. We plan to dry camp as much as possible but occasionally plan to stay at a campground and use their facilities mainly showers and such. We would use a shelter/tent for a long term stay. Their Days End directory would be very handy for us as would the travel guide.
Please keep the comments coming.

Sandy C.

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