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

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 software is at least as important to me as the discount at member RV parks. Very sorry I renewed my GS membership just before their announcement. Might have reconsidered.

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

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

Tom Piper

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

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

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

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

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

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 using it, there were few planning apps specifically for campers.

So as a frustrated user, I am not all that sorry to see it go, although I agree with others that just taking it — and our files — away cold turkey is a little bit extreme. Along with it, however, will go my Good Sam membership: just one more in a long of line of disappointments from this company.

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

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 our way to stop at one. Recently I will go Miles out of my way to avoid them. Many dealers carry what we need and online resources for in the gap when we are staying parked for a while

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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

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

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 Good Sam campground savings cover the cost of their membership before I renew with them. Given that our preference is to stay in state and national parks and COE parks, it would be questionable.

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.