What is the Good Sam Club, exactly?

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The following is from a Camping World earnings conference call with investors on March 7. Midway into the call, Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis asked Good Sam Enterprises President Thomas Wolfe to update investors on the club. Here is what he said.

“The Consumer Services and Plans segment has always been focused on developing unique products and services to enhance the RV lifestyle. The Good Sam Club itself dates back more than 50 years and got its start as a group of RV owners who came together to share ideas and assist fellow members on the road. That original heritage of bringing people together, sharing ideas and resources is still core to the way we think about our consumer services and plans business.

“Our Good Sam Club is the largest RV membership club in the world and we are leveraging our core competencies and infrastructure to extend our offerings into the outdoor community and broaden our membership base. The club members save up to 10% to 20% every day on a variety of products and services across Camping World, Gander Outdoors, and Overton’s businesses as well as other special benefits such as free online shipping and member-only discounts.

“Beyond the discounts, we are broadening all of our publications, blogs, websites, to include more content around outdoor and recreational activities. For example, our Good Sam directory now features information on parks with access to hiking trails, hunting areas, and boat launches, and our motorhome and trailer life magazines run regular features on a variety of outdoor products and activities.

“Within the next few months, we will be expanding our customer financing options by rolling out a new private label credit card program that complements our existing co-branded credit card program. In addition to the financing offerings, both cards will allow customers to build loyalty points and receive additional benefits and discounts.

“Within the roadside assistance and extended warranty programs, we are developing additional offerings that extend the reach of these services into the auto category, while at the same time leveraging our IT and call center infrastructure. On the marketing side, we are focused on analyzing buying habits and spending patterns to personalize our offerings and communications around the unique interests of our club members.

“With 2.1 million Good Sam Club members and 5.1 million active customers across our platform, we have a tremendous opportunity to continue expanding our consumers and plans business and broadening our reach within both the RV and the outdoor community.”

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Sherri Eley
1 year ago

It’s time to decide whether to renew our Roadside Assist with Good Sam or check out what AAA has to offer. WE had a bad experience with Good Sam several years ago. Our motorhome had a breakdown on I 75 N. just about 2 hours from home. WE waited hours for someone from Good SAm to arrive. He got things going and we went on our way only to break down again within a few miles. The first time we were stranded on a busy interstate, and watched a driver towing a trailer lose some of the wooden pallets from his trailer, in the lane right next to where we were stranded. So for hours vehicles drove over pieces of wood, sending them flying into the side of our motorhome. Another vehicle towing a car. lost his car just as it passed our MH. The traffic was so bad that even the state highway patrolman said he would not venture out into traffic to clean up the debris. It was a harrowing several hours. And after all was said and done, we were stranded at 2 pm in the afternoon, only a couple of hours from home… And after two tows, we made it home around 10 pm. So Good Sam, not one of our favorite things.

Linda B
1 year ago
Reply to  Sherri Eley

May I suggest you consider the roadside assistance program offered by FMCA?

Pati Beatty
1 year ago

I noticed in reading this article there seems to be no mention of state Good Sam Clubs or local chapters. Many people are discouraged with lack of support or even recognition from the higher ups at Good Sam. Yes, we can get discounts but there is not marketing to get new members into travel local chapters, so a lot of clubs seem to be dying. We have visited with individuals in RV parks about our chapter and often they say, we didn’t know there were travel clubs! I called Good Sam Headquarters and asked to speak to someone about the state club and local chapters. I explained what I wanted and the person answering the phone gave me Roadside Assistance. Good Sam . please have something about the fun and support given by being a member of a club. We get propaganda from Good Sam probably weekly that only shows insurance, financing or purchases available with a Good Sam membership. We that are still in local chapters could be a great marketing tool for you! Please don’t forget us!

Cecilia
1 year ago
Reply to  Pati Beatty

We’ve been Good Sam members for almost three years and never knew anything about local chapters. Only found out about it from your comment.

Dan
1 year ago

The ONLY reason we continue to be members of Good Sam is the Pilot and Flying J fuel card. The discount is nice, but even nicer is starting the pump without going to the fuel desk. With a 40′ diesel MH towing a car, easy in and easy out is very important to us.

Chuck needs to get a fuel card deal with Flying J and Pilot. It’s worth a $50 annual donation fee to me Chuck.

Robert Nebel. Jr
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan

You do not need to belong to Good Sam to keep your fuel card.

D Harrison
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan

I have consistently found better prices at other places than Flying J and Pilot, even with the discount. Yet, many people consider this a good deal. Am I missing something?

Tom Piper
1 year ago

Nice presentation. Too bad Camping World service, after purchase, is not only famously bad but there doesn’t seem to be anyone in the organization willing to improve it. Too bad, there is lots of potential there. Marcus’ 3-Ps are just about non-existent.

JJH3rd
1 year ago

I can just imagine the business plan:
“We get hold of GS membership database & their auxiliary services: road-side assistance and the trvle insurances which gives us a built-in customer base and we buy Camping World, Gander & Overtons. At this point we have the outdoor market boxed: we can sell the RV & everything that goes into it, plus all the hunting, fishing and camping goods the GS membership needs.”

The only flaw in this picture is that there is great competition across this market, as other posting have shown. The “convenience” of one-stop-shopping doesn’t offset the actual savings Internet users can find with a little research. As long as I can continue to get a GS discount at RV parks, I’ll probably continue to pay for yearly subscriptions, but I’ll keep track to ensure its IS a benefit.

Cubfan
1 year ago

These goofs need to have a reality check. Their catalog and bricks n mortar prices are higher than most places. Even sale items are higher. Then they have a charge of $85 for shipping larger items. Please don’t insult us.

Prospector 1950
1 year ago

Years ago when CB (citizen band), radio was still a good thing with wonderful people using it, and of which at that time was still ran and properly controlled by the FCC (federal communications commission), and yet still before the stupid uncontrolled, and out-of-control CB Craze hit after the movie “Convoy” aired of which forever changed and totally damaged the good reputation of not only CB radio, but also the lives of those original great CB people who went out of their way back then to help others. At that time during one of our local community CB club Coffee breaks at a local café, I happened to run across a group of people who had travel trailers and were traveling together across the states and enjoying themselves. I seen their “Good Sam Club” stickers and thought they were one of the groups of people who were CB’ers and were traveling together on vacation. Of course all CB’ers use handles (radio nick-names), so, out of pure curiosity, as I walked past their tables on my way over to where our local CB’ers were having their own coffee, I stopped and asked them what their CB handles were? They looked at me like I was an idiotic Moron, and the one who seemed to be their head-hauncho-in-charge looked at me in a nasty sour-faced look, and. told me in a nasty sarcastic attitude and tone-of-voice to kindly Butt out of their conversation, and go leave them alone, and stay the h%ll out of their business, as they had no CB’s and had no use for CB’ers who were always butting into their personal affairs. So, in red-faced humiliation, I proceeded over and had coffee with our local CB’ers. One of our CB’ers who had just happen to overhear the conversation set out to explain to me that those were members of a group of people who were RV’rs, and that the Good Sam club was originally started out by a man whose name was “Sam” who’s RV had broken down out in the middle of nowhere, and after sitting alongside the highway for most of the day a fellow RV’er happened by, and stopped to help him out. Afterward they stopped at a small truck stop where Sam’s RV was finally fixed, at the attached repair garage. I was informed that accordingly, because that stranded RV’er by the name of Sam, was so grateful for the help, that as they were sitting there having lunch together and waiting for Sam’s RV to be repaired, they both decided to form a club of volunteers to help out other broken-down, or down-on-their-luck RV’ers. The local CB’er who was also a an RV’er himself and of whom also was member of the Good Sam club, apologized to me for the horrible unkind attitude they had directed towards me and stated that normally the people in the Good Sam club were good people overall. Since that day, and even though I am an occasional RV’er myself, I have never wanted anything to do with the Good Sam club. To me (as I have somewhat observed it’s progress over the years), it is nothing more than a club which originally started out great, but slowly over the years, fell into a commercialized money-making racket of which I still want nothing to do with, rather than an RV’er helping friendship club.

Merlin
1 year ago

What he said is that the Good Sam Club is a massive, captive audience marketing tool for Camping World Enterprises. I am a lifetime member because I obtained that membership many years ago when the club really meant something. I would not now willingly pay dues to this organization.

Fred Kelley
1 year ago
Reply to  Merlin

I belong to a GS club & life member,. Now days most GS clubs have become a click! Not promoting the betterment of RV, or even helping stranded broken down RVers. Sad?

Robert Nebel
1 year ago
Reply to  Merlin

I am in the same boat, Lifetime member and I avoid Camping World if at all possible.

Captn John
1 year ago

The savings on diesel fuel alone is worth the dues. Add purchase savings and CG discounts and I’m far ahead every year.

Merlin
1 year ago
Reply to  Captn John

Not anymore! I used to think the eight cents per gallon was a good deal but during my travels over the past two or three years I have found the discounted price of diesel at Flying J and Pilot to be significantly higher than the prices at other local area fuel stations.

Danny Wells
1 year ago
Reply to  Captn John

If you look at Amazon and compare prices I’m quite sure Amazon beats GS 9 out of 10 times. And as far as CW & GS’s sale items, they’re the same almost every so called sale.

Jeff
1 year ago

Should be understood that most of this Article is nothing but FLUFF! And it is an insult to Good Sams Members.

Most RVers are much smarter than this!

jgvtxman
1 year ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Spot on Chuck!

Willie
1 year ago

“…we are leveraging our core competencies and infrastructure to extend our offerings into the outdoor community and broaden our membership base.”

Ahahahaahaaaa! Dilbert works for Marcus! I wonder if this mope really understands how his fancy talk is so insulting to their customers? Those folks at Camping World just don’t get it.

Cathi
1 year ago
Reply to  Willie

But he wasn’t talking to the customers, he was talking to the money people and they care more for the profit margin and less for the customers that may or may not create the profit.

MrDisaster
1 year ago
Reply to  Willie

Wait,,, what??? They have core competencies?

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

So “Good Sam” owns Trailer Life magazine as well?

Merlin
1 year ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Yes! And MotorHome. And a good portion of the RV Shows that take place every year around the country.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Hey, Tommy. Out of curiosity I looked it up. Here are some Good Sam Enterprises subsidiaries, according to Google: Trailer Life magazine; MotorHome magazine; Camping World; Good Sam Club; Anglia Ruskin University, England; Centre Mathematics and Computer Science, Amsterdam; TL Enterprises Inc (Trailer Life); Affinity Brokerage, Inc.; Woodall Publications Corporation; Dexter-Russell, Inc.; Affinity Road and Travel Club, Inc.; Coast Marketing Group, Inc.; Camping World Insurance Services of Nevada, Inc.; CWFR Capital Corp.; Camping World, Inc.; VBI Inc.; Camp Coast to Coast, Inc (resorts and campgrounds); Power Sports Media, Inc.; Affinity Advertising, LP; Golf Card Resort Services Inc.; Camping World Insurance Services of Texas Inc.; Camping Realty, Inc.; Affinity Guest Services Inc.; Ehlert Publishing Group Inc.; CW Michigan, Inc.; Camping World Insurance Services of Kentucky, Inc.; Camping World Card Services, Inc.; GSS Enterprises, Inc.; Tom Raper, Inc.; American Guide Services, Inc.; Golf Card International Corp.; U. S. R. V., Inc.; AGI Productions, Inc.

Now aren’t you glad you asked? 😯 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Marilyn
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

This is very interesting, I had no idea. Now I understand why my Motorhome magazine is getting smaller and less informative. Thank you for the information Diane. I think I will stick with my RVtravel.com.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Marilyn

You’re welcome, Marilyn. I was quite surprised to see all of Good Sam Enterprises’ subsidiaries! Schools in England and Amsterdam? Huh? Interesting indeed. Have a good evening. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

David
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

My understanding is that Camping World, Good Sam, etc. all fall under the umbrella of Affinity Group. While researching the answer, I came across the following article on RV Daily Report entitled “Stephen Adams doubles down on Marcus Lemonis”. A rather interesting read. The link to the article is: https://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/stephen-adams-doubles-down-on-marcus-lemonis/

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

Thanks, David. I’ve been doing more research on this and my head is spinning. It looks like Affinity Group, Inc. (AGI) was the predecessor of Camping World and Good Sam. The article you found on RV Daily Report was dated January 20, 2011, and a LOT has happened since then. Marcus Lemonis is Chairman and CEO, as well as a Director, of Camping World Holdings, Inc. Stephen Adams is a Director of Camping World Holdings, Inc., and Good Sam Enterprises. Here is a quote from Bloomberg about Good Sam Enterprises, LLC: “The company was formerly known as Affinity Group, LLC and changed its name to Good Sam Enterprises, LLC in May 2011. … Good Sam Enterprises, LLC operates as a subsidiary of Camping World Holdings, Inc.” So, I guess Camping World Holdings, Inc., is the parent of Good Sam Enterprises, Inc. If I got any of this information incorrect, maybe Mr. Lemonis will be good enough to correct me. (My old brain can’t handle all of this info.) 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Daniel
1 year ago
Reply to  Marilyn

Now I know why some Motorhome RV reviews are missing key information. Recently read an article which did not list the Cargo carrying capacity. I suspect it’s a brand CW sells on their lots

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Wow! All that’s missing from this list are a few restaurant chains. Maybe some hotel chains as well. Thanks for your efforts! I think . . .

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Ha! You’re welcome, Tommy. I’m sure those will be added in the near future. 😯 —Diane at RVtravel.com