Wednesday, December 7, 2022


Is Good Sam giving away free memberships? Appears so. . .


By Chuck Woodbury
In last week’s newsletter, Issue 817, I asked if you had ever received a complimentary membership to the Good Sam Club.

A reader had asked me earlier if the club was giving them away. He said he let his membership expire, but three months later received a new card in the mail with a “complimentary” membership with the same member number but an expiration date a year later. I realized after talking with him that the same thing had happened to me.

Well, it looks from the responses that the club does, indeed, give away free memberships. It also appears it gives away memberships that look like memberships, but aren’t official. Here are a few of the emails we received about this:

A reader named Ira responded: “My Good Sam membership expired August 31. The new complimentary deal came this week, call it the Oct. 20. Yes, the name and membership number are the same, with a new expiration date of September 25, 2018.”

Jeff L. wrote: “Yes, I got a free Good Sam Membership a month ago. I was not going to renew my membership as I do not have a Camping World nearby, do not often stay at a Good Sam parks, and I have found the prices at Camping World to be high. I do not see any benefit to membership.”

Reader Judy W responded: “Yes, I have received membership cards but when I show someone (who offers discounts with membership) the card they say they have no proof that I’m a member.”

Jim A wrote: “I’m not a Good Sam fan at all, but what do you know, they sent me a year’s membership? I use the occasional discount when we stay at a Good Sam Park.”

A reader named Ken had this to say: “Last year I signed up for a Good Sam membership and a week later I signed up for the roadside assistance plan. Surprisingly enough, within one month of paying my dues for both, I received a complimentary membership card (not roadside) in the mail. I called and asked for a refund or extension on my paid membership, since I had received the complimentary membership. I was told by customer service that I could not qualify for the free membership because I had already purchased a paid membership. I had not requested the free membership but was sent it randomly.” 

A reader named Lori wrote: “I, too, received what I thought was a ‘free’ Good Sam membership card two or three months ago. However, last week I looked at it (since I had signed up for GS Roadside Assistance and was organizing my RV cards), and it said on the back something about not being valid for membership. On the front it looks like the real McCoy. I put it in the round file cabinet and figured I didn’t have membership.”

Another reader wrote, who had apparently had not even read what I had written in the last newsletter. He asked: “I didn’t renew my GS membership in August, tired of supporting Marcus L. Today I received a complimentary membership, which I find curious. Are you aware of this tactic? Have there been that many people dissatisfied and drop them or am I just lucky? I’d like your take on this and wonder if any/many of your readers have been similarly gifted.”

Apparently, the club also pitches memberships, or at least renewals by phone. A reader named Jason wrote: “I let our membership lapse, got many phone calls wanting us back and they offered three years at the price of one plus a printed campground directory. Online it shows the membership expiration correctly, but I still don’t have membership cards four months later and no printed directory. I have submitted the contact form on their website three times with no response.”


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Joseph Weinstein
5 years ago

I can’t help but express some disappointment with some of the comments. Chuck, and many of us participate, asks for volunteer contributions to keep this newsletter going; I buy through the newsletter from Amazon as often as I remember. Camping World is a business that many of us use when it is either profitable or convenient for us. The owner, whom ever they are, has a right to a profit that will allow them to continue to provide us with the choice to use their services or not. Frankly, I wouldn’t think of using a method to provide me with a “free service.” I vote with my dollars and support the RV companies that allow us to enjoy this lifestyle. Really disappointed in those who think that something of value should be provided free because they disagree with a pricing or policy. I use CW when it benefits me and in a few cases they were there when I needed them for a specific reason; I want companies like this to stay in business. Chuck, I think you are wrong on this one and should review your position.

Joseph Weinstein
4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Hi Chuck,
I read the newsletter every week. I didn’t see your reply until today and appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you. We are on the move today so I will contact you this week. Thanks for being open to constructive criticism. I wrote to you because it matters.

5 years ago

Curious whether any of the Canadian members got the same freebe memberships? We’ve received a barrage of renewal notices with a $10.00 merchandise certificate as the best incentive offer. So far I have resisted renewing both my membership and Roadside Assistance as: a) seldom stayed at a park where a GS discount was offered, b) no convenient Camping World store and the few times we stop by one their prices tend to be over the top.
As for the Roadside Assistance the one time we called for assistance while travelling thorough Southern Alberta they couldn’t find our location! Suggested I call back the next morning by which time they hoped to find it in their system! We instead cautiously limped to a truck service centre for assistance. Not easy during harvest season!

Diane M
5 years ago

As a Lifetime member this is somewhat irritating. (Happy for those getting the free deal, though).Only thing that makes it somewhat less aggravating is the Pilot/Flying J discount level in truck lanes is higher than regular membership. Would be nice if occassionally companies did something nice for loyal customers, not just new or lapsed. GS offered a deal for new members on the Lifetime membership a number of years ago. I called to ask what about existing customers. Said only for new. Emailed Marcus Lemonis. Got my reduced price Lifetime membership!

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