Good Sam Club drops basic member benefit

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BY THE RV TRAVEL STAFF
Several RVtravel.com readers have reported receiving messages from the Good Sam Club that it is discontinuing its trip planning tool on April 10. The Trip Planner has been one of the club’s more popular free member benefits. As you will read below, the club “hopes” to launch a bigger and better tool before the end of the year.

“We know how important a trip planning tool is to our members,” the email message noted. “The current trip planning tool has been a wonderful service for many years. However, based on feedback that we have received from our members, we feel that it’s time and necessary to make improvements that meets the needs of all our members.

“A new, bigger and better trip planning tool is currently under construction. We would like to ask your patience while it is being developed. Our hope is to launch the new tool by the end of 2019.”

The message also advises that “if you have any planned trips they will no longer be available once the current trip planner comes down.”


In related news, the club reports that its membership has grown to an all-time high of 2.1 million.

NOTE: Many readers report that RV Trip Wizard offers a better trip planning tool than the one noted above from Good Sam. Learn about it here. Other readers have mentioned RV Parky as a good source for planning a trip.

The message received by members:

 


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Bob Schilling
Guest
Bob Schilling

I’ve got to say I don’t believe the story that users were not happy with the map service and that was why it was discontinued. I love the software and have told GS that many times. I don’t know of anyone using this service that doesn’t love it, especially if you have a compatible GPS to download to like the Rand McNally 7720. And, puzzle me this… why, if they can’t have the ‘new’ service up until the end of 2019, did they not leave the current one in place until then? Something is very, very fishy here. The map… Read more »

Henry
Guest
Henry

I’ve used the Good Sam Trip Planner for many years to choose campgrounds while traveling. I was quite dismayed when I received the notice, so I contacted the company with my complaints. Their response was that they had contract problems with the actual developer of the product. They decided to develop their own product but it won’t be ready this year. Their intention is to provide some sort of temporary solution while they work on their own product. They didn’t elaborate as to what the temporary solution was.

Sink Jaxon
Guest
Sink Jaxon

Lemonis has destroyed the Good Sam Club, and I’m certain it will soon be a thing of the past.

Tom Piper
Guest

I have used the GS trip planner for several years as a very useful tool for advanced travel. The best part, IMHO, is the ability to input the RV dimensions to avoid low underpasses, etc. Recently I started using the RV Trip Planner and like it a lot. It does what the GS app does and much more. I am also moving my extended service and road service to Coach-Net. Probably keep GS for the discounts but that is on the bubble too.

19KC69
Guest
19KC69

I am not and never was a Good Sam member. We fulltime RV (mostly Boondocking) and have used free apps to plan our trips, free apps told to us by the RVTravel Newsletter, by the way (thank you RVTravel). There are some good, free apps out there. Why would you pay for this service?

Steve
Guest
Steve

Trip Planner has gotten increasingly unstable since I first began using it about 7 years ago. In frustration I found RV Trip Wizard, did their free trial and then signed up for the $30 annual fee. Well worth it. Far more flexible but a little more complicated. And they have FAR more RV parks along your route without trying to highlight the Good Sam’s parks and low-keying KOAs or others. I’m soooooooooo done with Good Sam’s club once my subscription expires, especially since Lemonis’ asinine political comments. Let’s Make Camping Great Again!

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

Sounds like poor planning to me. Why would you remove the old one when you don’t have the new one yet. My guess is they won’t even come out with it. I did try the feature once and it was very glitchy. (Yes I had a good connection.) sorry. Just not a Good Sam fan.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Watch the dues go up in price to cover the cost of The Trip Planner. I have no intention of renewing my membership this March.

BWO
Guest
BWO

I am not surprised by this, particularly since I have been using the planner for years. Began just after we bought our first motorhome and our Good Sam/Rand McNally GPS. In the past year or two, I have provided quite a bit of feedback to them about the instability (increasingly unavailable online), out-datedness, and lack of support of the trip planner. I suspect other users were seeing the same thing. So, it appears they were listening, but I doubt the new planner will be a bargain – or any better than other apps now available. Back when we first started… Read more »

Dry Creek
Guest
Dry Creek

As a lifetime member (pre political stance by M. Lemonis), I’ve toyed around with their trip planner. It’s not nearly as clunky as some programs that have been around for years, but it’s really nothing special.
I like my Garmin 770DZL, with a thorough itinerary vetting by my Rand McNally print atlas prior to departure. We also keep a copy of “The Next Exit” by the co-pilots seat. And, now that we’ve finally left the stone ages and both have a smart phone, there’s Google Maps and MapQuest.

Paul
Guest

I am a life member but have never used trip planner. I have relied on Delorme street Atlas and Google maps since I gave up on paper maps (still a back up). Of course Delorme is gone, killed by Garmin. I cannot plan more than a couple days down there road even when going cross country since we change routes for weather or any other reason. Our campground search material is every thing from campendium.com to COE to daysend to Harvest Host. When we started rving in 2001 CW was a candy store and we would go Miles out of… Read more »

Tommy Molnar
Guest
Tommy Molnar

I hate to admit, but as a life member (did that back when it was beneficial to do so), I don’t even know what the trip planner IS.

Tony
Guest
Tony

Please keep in mind that Camping World stock is plummeting and they are having serious stock problems which I sure will impact what CW & GS will do or have to face in the coming months and years.

JJH3rd
Guest

After reading this thread, I looked up RVParky (www.rvparky.com), signed up and entered two trips we are about to do: a short one (10 days, 1000mi) and a longer one (41 days, 2600mi). IMHO RvParky is as easy to use as Trip Planner. After GS takes down Trip Planner, its replacement will have to be significantly better/easier/more intuitive to use to cause me to switch back.

Rita Rosson
Guest
Rita Rosson

I too use RV Parky mostly and find it As good as any other out there.

Bounder
Guest
Bounder

GS had contracted with Rand McNally to provide its online trip planner. You can still use it to plan and transfer your route to most GPS units here http://tripmaker.randmcnally.com/
and it’s free!

Don
Guest
Don

Can you download the tripmaker file into the Good Sam GPS? When I try to do that I can only “Import Good Sam Trip” and can find no way to “Import Tripmaker trip” file because the icon does not exist. I suspect the dock software picks GS when the device is connected before downloading the docking software. Any help is appreciated.

Rod
Guest
Rod

I think it is dumb that they retire the old one before providing a new one. We use the trip planner all the time. Even if they just leave the old one as is and stop development it would be better then taking it away before they have a replacement.

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

Rod, This is business decision. You can be sure when CW reintroduces the service it will come with a fee. It will no longer be free! If they introduced the new service with a fee and discontinued the free service simultaneously they would face a humongous backlash and the new service would not sell well. By cancelling the free service now and introducing the new service with a fee, 9 months later customers will be more apt to sign up with less complaints. Good business decision ….. TERRIBLE MORAL DECISION

shari.brickley
Guest
shari.brickley

agreed, we use it a lot and as a reference for places to go back to (or avoid). don’t understand why they can’t leave it up until there’s a replacement

CajunRVer
Guest
CajunRVer

I used the Trip Planner as one of my tools for vacation route planning. I would hate to loose this GS benefit. While useful, it is long overdue for improvement. Perhaps GS is just using this as leverage to negotiate the price they pay to their software software/service provider.

Michael Bracewell
Guest
Michael Bracewell

I wish they would keep the current planner until they are ready to launch the new one. Canceling the old one in April and then putting out the new one by the end of the year is not the right thing to do for the customers

Warren G
Guest
Warren G

I did contact them asking why they couldn’t leave the existing tool up during the development of the new tool. They responded that the 3rd party system they used was going up significantly in price, and they would have had to increase dues to cover it. I have some issues with their explanation. First, they should have been planning in advance for this and not caught flat footed. Second, I doubt that the added increase would have been a major drag in their overall P&L, and a dues increase would not have been critical. I’ll have to evaluate whether my… Read more »

George
Guest
George

Like all businesses that are bleeding, adjustments must be made. Although not a customer friendly direction, we have the luxury of doing business elsewhere. If you can not find the same product for the same cost or free elsewhere, then you have your answer.
This even happens here with rvtravel, as expenses increased and income is static, decisions were made for the greater good.
There is no free ride folks.

K
Guest
K

Take the survey on the trip planner main page and express your disappointment in the comment sections. Then, send them a message through their contact page. Express your disappointment, and request that they keep the old version until the new one is developed. Maybe if they realize how many of their members are upset, they will reconsider.

jgvtxman
Guest
jgvtxman

Another corporate move that undoubtedly and for no good reason will tick off its members. Marcus, hello? Like, why remove the current one altogether while its replacement is being developed? If that even happen. Seems like a ploy. Hopefully many, many members will find suitable trip planners on other platforms and just move beyond GS in this respect. That usually happens when one thing goes out and competition fills the gap. They admitted they use a third party provider so they obviously had some notice of impending price increase if that is to be be believed, so why not just… Read more »

Cubfan
Guest
Cubfan

I have been a member for years. The only benefit I have is taking their mail directly to the recycle container.

Sue
Guest
Sue

Wonder if Lemonis will read these comments like he did previous negative comments on this site about GSC?? Hope so.

Dan
Guest
Dan

I’ve been a Good Sam club member for a long time. I’m a life member. I guess since I don’t use the trip planning service I didn’t get that notice.

Cary Nickel
Guest
Cary Nickel

Why wouldn’t they wait for the new one before eliminating the old one? My guess is no-one will ever see the “new” one.

RJ
Guest
RJ

Or we’ll have to pay for it!!

John
Guest
John

I asked them that via email – they said the company providing their current service tripled their rates and if they septet using them while waiting on the new service to be ready, they would have to charge us more for their service.

Steve DeBaets
Guest
Steve DeBaets

We have used RVParky for finding campgrounds for several years and have had good luck finding whatever type and price range of campground we want. It an Android and Apple app.

Ralph Woznick
Guest
Ralph Woznick

I agree with the previous comments. I have never experienced a system taken down months before its replacement is launched. Good Sam’s action is not customer friendly.

Ami
Guest
Ami

Where’s Lemonis now?

Donald Wright
Guest
Donald Wright

Good Sam offers a trip planner service? Are we able to use campgrounds that aren’t the overpriced and overcrowded Good Sam Campgrounds?

JBC
Guest
JBC

Ditto, Trip Planner should stay running until they are ready to launch the ‘new program’. All member info/planning information from the original program should shift transparently to the new program. This is the 21st century. Somehow I am doubting a new program will be forthcoming.
Any thoughts on Camping World’s status – should we be buying new memberships? If Camping World ‘stores’ are at risk because of poor finances (did I read that story right?), should we pay (membership renewal) for something that may be gone?

Thomas Anderson
Guest
Thomas Anderson

This is the last straw for me. I will not renew with them again. Any recommendations where a replacement trip planning tool can be had?

Steve
Guest
Steve

I love the RVParky app, and RVParky.com. Free, and a really good resource.

RV Staff
Admin

Thanks for the question, Thomas. Here is a terrific article from Chris Guld, Geeks on Tour, published on RVtravel.com last September: https://www.rvtravel.com/trip-planning-tools/ It covers different trip planning tools for different purposes. I’m sure this will help. Have a great day! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Suzan Dowell Glaser
Guest
Suzan Dowell Glaser

RVParky free and awesome

Clifton
Guest
Clifton

This is BULL. I use this to find campgrounds every time I go camping. We camp for at least a week every other month. Most of the time we stay at 3 or more campgrounds. We use trip planner to find campgrounds exclusively. As a LIFETIME member this is just not right to just shut it down for months.

Ray
Guest
Ray

They should not take down the trip planner until the are ready to launch the new and better trip planner. Stupid move on their part.

egwilly
Guest
egwilly

Good Sam is no where near the club it used to be. They shouldn’t take the trip planner down until the new one is launched (if ever). Recreation.Gov just updated their website (with many issues), and left the old one up until launch time. Funny that the government has to show how it’s done! Many reasons including this why I dropped Good Sam from my list of companies to give my business to. Don’t trust their evaluation and reviews of campgrounds and RV resorts. Their point system is way off. Scoring some places we’ve been 9 and 10. In reality… Read more »

Pat OConnor
Guest
Pat OConnor

If you are replacing or improving a product, why would you take down, remove or otherwise disable the existing product? Since joining the RV community last year (2018), I continue to be confounded with the way the industry works. As consumers, we all want and choose to be here, and maybe that’s the problem: none of the companies have to really “work” to keep us happy. Instead, they let us think we’re getting as good as it gets, and there is no way to improve. We just don’t understand. The RV industry is just different, and we are just not… Read more »

Don & Nancy Schneider
Guest
Don & Nancy Schneider

I use Trip Planner every year as we plan our 3-4 month summer trip. I suspect that the new software will NOT be able to download to our “aged Good Sam GPS units” and will only support a new tablet or other gadget! We have “lifetime maps” on our GPS that is not updated on a regular basis. I also sent my opinions to the survey request but dont expect any of it to be in the new software. If I have to buy a new GPS to support the new software then Good Sam will NOT be among the… Read more »

Rammer
Guest
Rammer

I have used the trip planner on a number of occasions, in fact I just used it a couple of days ago. Maybe it needs some improvement but why take a useable service away before a replacement is available? Something more than than they are saying is going on, why take it down just as we are going into the busy camping/travel season. It is my guess that a replacement Trip Planner will never be available and it is just another way for M. L. to make or save a few extra bucks! I emailed GS expressing my thoughts but… Read more »

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Here’s the situation! If you are developing a new Software programs, then you get it developed, BETA tested and DEBUGGED, then you launch it as a test, BEFORE taking down the previous program that worked fine! This is just another thing with BAD SAMS CLUB and Marky L***! He probably Cut 10 jobs by doing this and will never replace them. As for the NEW and Improved Travel Tool, Forget about it, you will never see it again. I am sorry to say My Wife and I are lifetime members, so we can’t get our money back. Good Sams (BAD… Read more »

Debbie Anderson
Guest
Debbie Anderson

I think it is fine, every application eventually needs updating. The only concern I would have is if they raised the membership pricing.

Barry
Guest
Barry

Good Sam club sounds like they are becoming the Bad Sam club. I bet this move has to do with the almighty dollar. You never remove something to replace it later. Shame on you BS club!

Cubfan
Guest
Cubfan

Marcus has two commandments in life. 1st commandment is reduce expenses and increase revenue. 2nd commandment is see 1st commandment.

Mary Frances
Guest
Mary Frances

It makes no sense to get rid,of this one while working on a new one. Why not keep the existing one while developing a better one?

friz
Guest
friz

GS is dead to me. Now no trip planner and still the worst campground discount available. They were the way to go decades. Sadly their time has passed as Mr. Lemonis slowly monetizes and dismantles it.

Bob
Guest
Bob

Sounds as though they are planning on dropping it completely. I have been on other (non rv) sites that were supposed to upgrade and it never happened.
I agree that they should have kept the old trip planner up and running until the ‘NEW’ version has been completed. They could even set up a beta test of the new one to work out any bugs.
If and when they do roll out the new one, look for an add on charge to use it.
My roadside assistance is up for renewal. Time to consider an alternative.

chipper
Guest
chipper

pathetic

REW
Guest
REW

Any recommendations for a replacement from anyone using different software for RV trip planning?

Steve
Guest
Steve

RVParky.com

RV Staff
Admin

Hi, REW. Here’s a response I posted to someone else’s similar inquiry:

Here is a terrific article from Chris Guld, Geeks on Tour, published on RVtravel.com last September: https://www.rvtravel.com/trip-planning-tools/ It covers different trip planning tools for different purposes. I’m sure this will help.

Have a great day, REW! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

BuzzElectric
Guest
BuzzElectric

As a life time member of GS, I have never used it. No loss, not user friendly on a phone.

Allan Cardinal
Guest
Allan Cardinal

The only benefit of being a member, for me, was the trip planner. It was the best one we found, others were not good and even dangerous, ie giving routes through tunnels, low clearance etc. I really dont understand why they would take down the current planner while developing a new one especially going into peak travel season, does not make sense and seems that something else is going on. I would think that this will hurt their membership, I for one am not renewing

Eric Ramey
Guest

Luckily I use at least 3 or 4 different websites to help plan trips. So I am not too concerned about GS not offering their trip routing service.
However,it does seem kind of odd to kill one system before having another one in place.

Christine
Guest
Christine

Which ones do you use please?

Graybyrd
Guest

So the Good Sam members will miss the spring, summer, and fall months of the RV season while the Trip Planner is offline. And “hopefully by the end of 2019” it the new, improved version will come online. Hmmm. And as the end of the year approaches, queries will receive the standard software developers answer: “Trust us. Real soon now.” It seems more than a bit harsh & foreboding that the planner is being taken down so far in advance of the promised upgrade.

Bob p
Guest
Bob p

Just another way Lamonis can increase his profit, now the people who took care of the program can be fired.