Tuesday, October 3, 2023



How “good” is the Good Sam “free RV dump” offer?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

stuffed mailbox copyMarcus Lemonis must love us. We know that because one day, in our mailbox landed a COMPLIMENTARY membership to the Good Sam Club, courtesy of the company’s hot-shot president. Now, we’ve been members of Good Sam in the past, but trouble was, we finally took to calling the outfit the Good SPAM club, because we got more mail from Sam than from our health insurance company, if you can believe that.

Tired of getting adverts for things we weren’t interested in, we let our membership lapse. But there’s one thing you can say for the Good Sam group, they’ve got nothing if but persistence. The latest “come on” included all kinds of special offers. Included among them was that Good Sam members can dump their tanks **free** at “select” Camping World Super Stores.

Now that’s quite an inducement. It seems like it’s harder and harder to find a free anything, much less a free dump station. When you and the rig are out and about and need to make a little 40 gallon deposit, it’s nice to be able to do it without having to shell out cash.

So let’s see, there must be a way to find out which “select” Camping World stores offer this service. A quick look at the Good Sam Club website revealed nothing. A perusal of the Camping World website showed nada. Reviewing several RV forums led to the discovery that some Camping World stores offered free dump stations to anyone.

So we tried calling the “horse’s mouth.” A call to the Camping World customer service toll-free number resulted in a six-minutes-plus wait time on hold with never an ability to speak to a human being. We gave up, figuring the average RVer with a full tank would probably have hung up long before.

So we tried a different Internet search approach. This time we hit sites that listed “RV Dump Stations,” and cross-referenced them with Camping World locations. A few, we mean VERY FEW, states were listed. Of them, only one Camping World location was listed per state. We then phoned a few for information.

Newhall, California: CW doesn’t answer their toll-free line. We tried the regular number and finally roused a rep who told us that yes, Good Sam members could dump for free; all others pay $7.

Tucson, Arizona: The representative there distinctly tried to steer us away from their facility. “It’s not too convenient,” we were told. In fact, there was a dump station, but it has no water to rinse your hose (or presumably any spills). Still, no charge – to anyone – if you’re willing to brave the so-called dump station.

Fort Worth, Texas: After listening to a fuzzy, fast-talking, completely unintelligible recording, we were automatically shunted to a slow-talking, sort-of-drawling representative who told us if we didn’t have a Camping World or Good Sam membership, the dump fee was $25. “Twenty-five dollars to dump your tanks?” we asked incredulously. At that point, the rep added that, well, he’d add a Camping World Club membership for that price, good for some real nice discounts.

When we “quit” the Good Sam Club some time back, we thought at the time that it had been years since Good Sam had ‘really been much Good for anything,’ other than maybe the corporate owners. Sorry to say, but it doesn’t sound like much has changed.



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2 years ago

First time RVer, after reading all the comments I’m so glad I bought only 1 year. It has paid for itself because was able to grab crazy deals from covid digital CW RV roadshow. Stacked good sam price + rv show 10% + 10% off everything. Got progressive industry surge protector for 188$ vs 300$ and on the go water softener for 144$ and other knick knack for 10% off or more already low CW prices plus used cashback website. I forgot to use cashback site when signing up and could have gotten 5$ cashback for my 29$ membership but did get 25$ camping rebate coupon. Checked again it jumped to 15$ cashback. 15% off propane refill at CW could be good but haven’t tried. 5cents off per gallon at pilot/flying j gas station I really liked because I pump costco and it is very similar pricing. Overall good deal for first timers getting start up gear but probably no need to renew unless you like the gas discount which can add up overtime especially if you have a large/multiple vehicles.

Mike b
4 years ago

Article is a few years old, but at least now there is an easy list.


7 years ago

I’m a Good Sam Life Member and the only thing it’s really good for is the measly 10% discount at Good Sam parks (the savings basically equals the taxes, so no real savings). I have an old 1995 Fleetwood Bounder that does not qualify for their insurance. I had their Roadside Assistance for a year, what a JOKE! I went back to AAA immediately. There is no help from Good Sam for stranded RV’ers. I had to pay $120 for two nights in a roadside hotel last month while waiting for emergency repair on my transmission. Good Sam’s reply? You have to be in an accident to get any relief whatsoever. Unfortunately, I don’t have the AAA premium that would have covered half the costs. I’m out $120 that I couldn’t really afford after paying for the transmission repair. Since life members pay only once, I’m kind of stuck with this useless card. I do use it for the campgrounds though, and for the small discounts at Camping World service, which I really hate. Now that Lazy Days is just ten minutes up the road from me I might go there for repairs and service (much better customer service, too). Unfortunately, they don’t take Good Sam discounts (or any discount for that matter). The RV service/repair/help business is the worst scam in history. And Mark and his cronies at Good Sam are doing nothing about it but reaping in the cash for their own personal benefit. Good Sam is dead….

Russell Gilmore
7 years ago

Gee, I thought it was just me who had lost enthusiasm for Camping World over the years. Our nearest Camping World (about 15 miles) has a dump station in the parking lot, and they do not check for Good Sam membership. Sometimes when returning from a trip in that direction, we will stop there for a final dump and we pick up some supplies at the store. I’ve been a member for about 30 years, used to look forward to a trip to Camping World, but sad to say there is less and less reason to go there.

Gene Bjerke
7 years ago

There are a number of web sites that list dump stations anywhere in the country. I have an app on my phone that is quite complete.

By the way, there are often free dump stations located at sewage treatment plants.

7 years ago

I hate to say it, but Good Sam is no longer much good. I especially do not like the insurance program which you would think would be good. Fortunately I am an insurance agent (retired) and caught a mistake that could have left us with no coverage. Needless to say when it came up for renewal I moved the coverage. There are other markets such as Progressive that are a lot more competitive and you know you have the coverage you need. They are a little picky when you sign up but it is worth it. I am not all about the final premium because in the end, you get what you pay for. Read the quote and ask questions and you will find Good Sam left out in the cold, no matter what they claim. I don’t complain about Camping World because they can give some great service and some locations hire really knowledgeable employees. If you don’t like them, go somewhere else.

7 years ago

Most stores are convenient and have items that are hard to find else where unless you use UPS delivery. Don’t buy many items anymore since been RVing for years but are handy for travel needed RV items. Never used there service department.

Lee Ensminger
7 years ago

All this whining about something that, if and when available, is free. When will people realize NOTHING is for free. There’s always a cost, even if you’re not paying it directly. Don’t like Camping World prices? Don’t shop there. But don’t complain about them trying to make money. They employ people, who expect to be paid. They sell products, many of which aren’t available just anywhere, for which they expect to make a profit. Otherwise, why bother?!? No business exists without making a profit. Russ, Denny, I don’t know what you did when you worked, but I presume you did work, so, did you do it for free? No compensation whatsoever? Hardly. If you find a “free” RV dump, SOMEONE paid to put that infrastructure in place. Maybe you were a pilot. I managed a small airport for a few years in retirement. What an eye-opening experience. There should be free ramp space and tiedown, or better yet, free indoor hangar. And where’s the “free courtesy car?” And by the way, your fuel is priced too high! I thought pilots won the prize for being cheap, but I’m starting to wonder if some RV’ers aren’t contending for the prize. Geez!

7 years ago
Reply to  Lee Ensminger

I am in complete agreement with an organization such as Camping World to not only be profitable but also thriving.
And I try to cater to as many businesses on a regular basis that I want to stay around.

With that said and since Russ mentioned calling Newhall CW and mentioning they do not answer the 800 number (my experience many times as well). I have been in the past and currently belong to Good Sams Club, have bought trailers from CW AND have tried to buy 2 other trailers from them having competitive offers. The sales side completely depends on the salesperson and NOT CW management.

The current Starcraft hybrid trailer they told me to go else where with the offer I had. Then I had a warranty issue. Made an appt to look at two problems, one being a recall for the spring hangars and the other being a canvas tearing issue.
Had a difficult time getting a service appt (45 days out made in Feb).

After leaving it for 2 weeks, I had to call them as to the status. They said they would get back to me. Several days later I called back and they said everything was fine.
The canvas was normal even though you could see sunlight through the holes. The hangar issue was possible fracturing of the bracket, they also said checked out.
When I went to pick it up it was missing 1 of the 2 propane tanks (the plastic cover does not sit properly with a tank missing, so I tie wrapped in to the frame). I called the Service Rep out and he said the Service Mgr was at lunch but would inform him.

I left, and have not heard from them after 90 days.

With the warranty issue, I asked the Rep to write up the invoice (charged $45 to look at warranty and recall issues) so I have a record of the problem during the warranty period.

Then I contacted Starcraft, they said CW never contacted them on the issue for Starcraft to either accept the claim or reject it and referred me to another Starcraft dealer 80 miles away. I did send pictures of the issue showing tearing in the folds on the outside and sunlight shining through from the inside. This is what the CW technician said was normal.

Everyone at CW has been friendly, non confrontational, but of no help. The only useful sales manager I dealt with is no longer there.

So with Marcus Lemonis going on Undercover Boss and boasting about how profitable he has made the company, I am surprised if Newhall CW is any example of a corporate model store.

I commend running a profitable business, that is competitive and honors the warranties of its vendors. From my experience over a 10+ yr period do not see how they are profitable treating a customer the way I have been treated who spends money at there stores in Sales, Service and Retail?

Laura P. Schulman
7 years ago

I have yet to find a Camping World with a dump station at all (although we know they have them in their service department: how else would they make those delicate repairs?!)

On the other hand, there are two free dump stations in downtown Flagstaff, AZ, at Conoco gas stations. How about that for encouraging RV tourism?

Chris Kamradt
7 years ago

Would tend to agree. I’ve found that Sam isn’t much good for anything but insurance…we got a substantially less expensive rate from them.

Brenda Grothier
7 years ago

We stay in Syracuse N.Y. area near our kid’s house. We go to Camping World to dump our tanks every three weeks. This year we bought a flojet so we don’t have to this summer.

7 years ago

I am a good sam life member and get NOTHING in the mail from them.. Maybe this is because when I signed up I read the material and checked the box that let me opt out of receiving valuable information from GS and partners…

7 years ago

Good Sam = Bad Sam! Now think about this! CW/GS handles Thor products as their number one RV product. A good product for entry level and towable’s. Now fast forward. Thor just purchased Jayco/Entegra coach. Can you imagine your PDI or warranty work at any CW service sales location? I’m sure NIRV, RV One, and Lazy Days are thrilled as well. Just my 2 cents worth!

Tommy Molnar
7 years ago

20+ years ago when we bought our first trailer, we thought Good Sam was cool, and got a lifetime membership. We never saw any advantage to our membership after all these years – until – we signed up for the Good Sam / Camping World RV Rally last year in Phoenix. Half price for life members! Finally, after all these years, a benefit for our “Lifetime Membership”. We never shop at CW because there are NO deals there – EVER.

Denny Snyder
7 years ago

They just have got too big for there own shorts. It’s big business now not about helping RVers. The all mighty $$$$$$.

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