There is a surge in RV traveling these days as people want to experience the outdoors even amidst the pandemic. RVs give them the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while still maintaining social distance and of course, practicing minimum health standards.
However, we’d like to give you a heads up. One of the things you might not know about RV traveling is the added cost of parking and staying at campgrounds. Yup, it’s not just about loading your gears and essentials in your RV and hitting the road towards your desired destination.
Truth is, there are many stops along the way and if you have a big RV, it can be challenging to find a space where you can park your recreational vehicle for the night so that you can take a break from driving. Not to mention that they can be quite expensive too. If you travel quite often, these expenses can add up and cost a lot of money!
So, why don’t you try signing up for a membership at Harvest Hosts for a change?
What is Harvest Hosts?
If you’re tired of the usual campgrounds which can also get really crowded during peak season, then Harvest Hosts is for you.
Harvest Hosts offers a membership program so that those who join can avail of the perks and discounts offered by their partner establishments. They have a network of over 1, 415+ businesses which involves farms, wineries, breweries, distilleries, golf courses, and other attractions in the North American region.
These businesses or Hosts allow RVers to stay in their stunning locations for free. While it is not required, campers are encouraged to support their Hosts by purchasing their products in exchange for their free stay. The recommended minimum purchase amount is $20. This creates a win-win situation for everyone!
How to be a Harvest Hosts member?
Here are the requirements for those who wish to join the Harvey Hosts membership program:
- You must use a self-contained RV of any class and size. This means your RV must have an inside kitchen, toilet, and water tank since the Hosts usually don’t provide hookups and other services. So, you can travel in your Class A, B, or C motorhomes, fifth wheel campers, toy haulers, travel trailers, truck campers, or camper vans.
- Tent camping and sleeping in your car are not allowed.
- You can only stay with your Host for 1 night. Members must call the Host ahead of time and you will be accommodated when you arrive within business hours.
- Members must present their proof of membership and registration upon arrival at the Host’s location.
- Members should have a liability insurance and should have a copy in their vehicles. The Hosts are not liable for any theft or damages to your RV while you’re inside their premises.
Is Harvest Hosts Legit?
Yes! Harvest Hosts has been in business since 2009 and they have partnered with thousands of businesses to provide RVers a fun and unique place to stay for the night.
At the same time, Harvest Hosts supports the small businesses by recommending their members to buy from their Hosts.
Harvest Hosts has been featured by different media companies such as The New York Times, New York Post, Good Morning America, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, MotorHome, and Airstream Life.
To date, Harvest Hosts has thousands of members all over the country who have been enjoying their perks and services.
There are also lots of other reviews available all over the internet so that you can know about other people’s experiences with Harvest Hosts. They also feature a Review page on their website. Based from what we’ve read across different sources, everyone’s having a great time using their services.
How much is Harvest Hosts?
Harvest Hosts membership is $79 per year but if you click this link, you’ll get a 15% discount!
Your Harvest Hosts membership entitles you to:
- Access their mobile app available for iOS and Android users
- Search for Hosts along your route or near your destination
- Take a look at the localized interactive maps of your Hosts’ locations
- Obtain detailed routes and information regarding your trip
- See the photos of the Host locations which were uploaded by fellow members who’ve already visited the sites
- Upload your own photos and reviews on the Hosts pages
- Avail of discounts from their other RV programs
- Receive a monthly newsletter about the latest events and updates regarding their Hosts’ businesses and the RV community
Best of all, you get to stay with your Hosts and enjoy the stunning view in their respective locations for free! You also get the opportunity to try their quality products and have a taste of authentic local culture.
You get to enjoy all of these perks for an annual membership fee of $79 or just $67.15 when you register through this link.
Harvest Hosts Locations
When you’re a member of Harvest Hosts, you get to stay overnight at over 1,417+ farms, wineries, breweries, and other attractions for free. They’re continuously adding up other locations and partnering with more businesses for their members to enjoy.
Harvest Host locations are found across North America, Alaska, Canada, and Baja California. There are Hosts in Florida, Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Wyoming in the US and Vancouver and Calgary in Canada.
When you look at their website, you won’t see a detailed list of partner establishments or the exact locations of their Hosts. They have a map that will give you an idea regarding the city location of the Hosts and what type of business they have.
You can filter the Harvest Host type so you can choose if you want to stay in a winery, farm, brewery, distillery, museum, or other attractions.
They include agri-tourism sites such as farm museums, historic open-air museums, alpaca ranches, aviation museums, wildlife rescue facilities, oil museums, dinosaur museum, alligator ranch, and museums inside the breweries and distilleries.
You can explore fruit and vegetable farms, cider mills, berry farms, orchards, organic farms, lavender farms, flower and herb gardens, goat or cow dairies, creameries and maple sugar farms, or shop for the freshest produce at farm markets.
Only members will be able to access the complete details of the Hosts such as their exact address, contact information, and ways to get there. Each of the Hosts has their own information page where you can know more about their hours of operation and amenities they offer. The photos and reviews of other Harvest Hosts members will also be available for your reference.
Making these information exclusive to members is Harvest Hosts’ way of respecting and protecting the privacy of their Hosts. When they make these information public, other people might just go there even if they aren’t members and abuse the hospitality of these establishments.
After all, they are not your typical RV park nor campground. These businesses have only opened their doors and extended their hospitality to RVers who have availed of Harvest Hosts membership program.
Harvest Hosts has a Location Gallery that would give you an idea about how these places look like. These were also uploaded by their members so you can be sure that these are actual pictures during their stay.
Their gallery is so beautiful! The places are so inviting. You can see vast and spacious lands covered with lush greens and cultivated fields. There are vineyards, orchards, and gardens with scenic views. You know right away that you’re going to experience something extraordinary.
The view is so relaxing. You will immediately feel comfortable since you don’t have to compete with a lot of other RVers for camping space. There is much room for you to do other outdoor activities like strolling, biking, or simply lounging around to enjoy the view around you. These are such a treat on your stop to your desired destination.
Harvest Hosts Golf Courses
Once you’re already a member of Harvest Hosts, you can upgrade your plan so that you can also stay in golf courses in different locations. This will cost you an additional $40 per year but you get to enjoy the following benefits:
- Gain access to more than 350 golf courses around the country
- Perks and discounts in these golf courses when you play golf, dine in their restaurant, and avail of other services
- Stay in a scenic, peaceful, and safe location
Give your best shot at golf courses in Albany, Atlanta, San Antonio, Los Angeles, or Portland. Have access to golf courses in Alberta, British Columbia, Edmonton, and Calgary if you’re in Canada. You can also enjoy the greens and holes at Clarenville and St. Pierre and Miquelon.
Picture this – you wake up in the morning and when you look out the window of your RV you see the fresh, lush and inviting fairway so close to you bathed in the morning rays of the sun. It is so peaceful, quiet, and you won’t hear a thing except maybe for the distant sound of a lawn mower but even that just adds to the charm of the place.
You can cook your breakfast and enjoy your coffee amidst the peace and serenity of the place. Then you can take a leisurely stroll around the place or get right into a game of golf.
Golf courses are RV-friendly too. You have spacious parking and you can set up you grill for some barbecue and drinks. Some have cable TV, Wi-Fi, water, and even provide hookups to make your stay more comfortable although this might come as an added expense but for sure they’re going to be worth it.
This plan isn’t just for golfers. Even if you don’t play golf, you can upgrade to this plan and use this to gain access to these golf courses and the services they offer. You can dine in at the country club’s restaurant, have a relaxing massage at the spa, take a dip in the swimming pool, or go to their gift shops for some shopping.
The great thing about upgrading to a Golf Plan, aside from having access to these locations, is that it expands your choices for places to stay for the night. So now you have 1,778+ Hosts to choose from!
Plus we all know that golf courses are usually set against a backdrop of magnificent views of nature so you’re guaranteed to be spending the night at a beautiful place. This is why golf courses are gaining popularity in the RV community as camping grounds as they are such ideal places for a nice and scenic holiday!
Is Harvest Hosts Worth It?
Is it worth it to spend $79 per year for the Classic Plan or $119 for the Golf Plan? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of your membership in our Harvest Hosts Review.
Let’s start with what’s so great about this membership program.
Not your usual campground
If you want a unique place to stay for the night, we highly recommend Harvest Hosts for you. Think about majestic vineyards, charming farms, stunning distilleries, fantastic golf courses, other scenic attractions and staying there for the night for free!
You’ll get to have a unique travel experience at their beautiful spots when you camp with their Hosts.
This is definitely an upgrade over good ol’ boring campgrounds with jampacked parking. Parking space isn’t an issue when you’ve got Harvest Hosts. There might even be times when you’re the only guest at your chosen destination. Imagine having the entire farm to yourself and sleeping peacefully with a billion stars shining above you.
You won’t be missing out on adventures. Some of the locations are off the beaten path so it’s already an adventure and wonderful discovery to get to them.
Many say that Harvest Hosts is the AirBnB or RV traveling. Why not? They give you the opportunity to experience local culture by taking you to places you wouldn’t have known by yourself.
Their Hosts are located at unique spots. It is like finding a hidden gem as you travel. You get to see places many people haven’t seen before, you get to eat and drink delicious local food and drinks across America. How authentic and unique can it get?
And talk about supporting our local economy! Harvest Hosts encourages their members to make a small purchase to their Hosts. This isn’t a requirement, by the way. We love that in their own way, they’re teaching members about gratefulness and showing their appreciation to the hospitality of their Hosts.
During your stay, you get to know the owners and you also learn more about their business. You can make new friends along the way. You also get to enjoy fresh produce, fine wine, and the best products in a certain locality.
Easy Sign-up Process
It’s so easy to sign up and they allow any class of RV. The validity of your membership is from the date of your purchase so it’s good for 365 days unlike some that need to be renewed every January. You will receive a tag with your name and membership number which will serve as your ID when you enter the Hosts’ premises.
Variety of Activities
For those concerned that they won’t be able to maximize their membership since they don’t drink alcohol, we’re here to tell you that Harvest Hosts has a lot more to offer than just wines and beers. They have also partnered with museums, farms, and other attractions to offer alcohol-free treats to their members.
Besides, the wineries and distilleries often have other things to offer like good food or an artisan shop where you can buy the best gifts for your loved ones.
For those who plan to upgrade to the Golf Plan, the additional $40 is going to be worth it. You can enjoy the perks and discounts even if you’re not a golfer yourself. The golf courses offer restaurants, spas, and other services. And your plan upgrade will widen your options for staying the night. You can relax at the scenic views of these golf courses and have the place to yourself.
For pet lovers out there, 90% of the Hosts allows you to bring your furry friends with you as long as they are on a leash. No more need to worry about taking your pets with you.
Lastly, the Hosts are flexible. You can talk to them regarding specific arrangements and see if they’ll allow them. For example, some allow you to use your generators or even invite you to stay for more than 1 night.
This won’t be a legit review if we won’t discuss the other side of Harvest Hosts membership.
What we don’t like about it is that you can only stay for 1 night. That’s a very limited time for some to be enjoying such an amazing location and what they have to offer. Talk about so little time, so much to do and to enjoy!
You can only stay for a maximum of 24 hours. You can stay longer at the Host’s discretion when they’ve invited you to do so. But Harvest Hosts generally discourage extended stays to avoid wearing out your welcome from the Hosts.
Need to plan ahead of time
We’re not exactly thrilled either that reservations aren’t done through the app. You have to contact the Host directly for reservations and it is recommended to give a 24-hour to 2 weeks’ notice.
Some Hosts may not be contactable right away because they are busy. These are usually small businesses where owners manage everything so don’t expect to get a response to your inquiries right away. This is why it’s important for you to plan ahead and get in touch with them early to ensure that you have a place to stay for that particular night.
Only self-contained RVs are allowed
Members’ RVs should be self-contained because only a small number of Hosts offer hookups. Those Hosts that offer water or electricity to their guests may provide these as a complimentary service or as an added option with a fee. Members can know more about these in the information page of each Host.
More locations, please
Harvest Hosts can work on broadening their covered locations to offer more choices to their members that will cater to their personal preferences and not just because those were the only locations available near them.
How about a lifetime membership?
Lastly, they don’t offer a lifetime membership anymore! That would mean more savings for those who regularly travel RV style and more opportunity to enjoy unique experiences along the road.
It is definitely worth it to be a member of Harvest Hosts! Especially those who want to experience new camping spots. You get to stay in amazing locations peacefully and for free. Add to that the unique experience that each Host offers. This already pays for the $79 membership fee which makes it a great value for your money.
Their ever-expanding network of Hosts make it easier for them to cater to your personal travel preferences and needs. Should you find that this program doesn’t fit your specific travel needs, Harvest Hosts offers a 100% money back guarantee after a 3-month period. So, there’s really nothing to lose and a lot of great deals to gain from this membership we tell you.
As Harvest Hosts says, adventure is calling, what are you waiting for? Give yourself a chance to experience something different when you travel. Let Harvest Hosts take you there and provide you that extraordinary experience.
Free Overnight Parking for RVs
We understand that RV life can be quite expensive and it would be a big help if you can cut some costs here and there. There are other ways for you to save on overnight parking for your RV.
To save money, some RVers stay at Walmart parking lots and truck stops. Walmart has said that RVers are their valued customers and you can park at their stores for free for 24 hours. RVers can also spend the night at truck stops provided you follow the rules, park at designated spots, and don’t take up more space than you’re supposed to.
You can also park for free at the Bureau of Land Management, National Forest, and government-owned lands around the country. But they’re usually off-grid and don’t have showers and hook ups for electricity.
Walmarts don’t have the amenities that you need like water, a dump station, and electricity. And you’re sharing precious space with working drivers at the truck stops plus your safety and security are not guaranteed. The fact that you have an RV and have with you some expensive stuff can make you vulnerable to robbers and attackers.
That’s why it’s still best to park your recreational vehicle at RV parks, campgrounds, and other RV-friendly establishments. They offer the amenities that you need while ensuring your safety and security.
However, these things come with a price. The average cost is between $25 to $60 per night. The rate depends on the time of the year, location, and amenities offered by these campsites.
Whether you’re just RVing for a couple of nights or practicing the full-time van life, these rates can hurt your pocket and affect your finances. That’s why it’s best to look for ways to save up on costs without sacrificing your safety and comfort.
Joining an RV Club Membership
There are various RV club memberships available today. Each one offers different packages for their members. This usually includes discounts at their partner RV parks and establishments and other services. Long-time RVers recommend that you sign up to at least 3 RV Club memberships to maximize your savings when you travel RV style.
You have to pay a certain amount to be able to join an RV club in exchange for the services, perks and discounts that they offer. Check the features of the RV club that you’re signing up for to make sure that you get the best deal.
In particular, consider the coverage, value for money, and your unique travel needs when joining an RV Club Membership.
Do they have national coverage or regional? Some may quickly opt for national coverage for its wider scope. But regional memberships are worthy to be considered especially if you frequently travel to a particular area. They may have a better selection of local partners.
Value for Money
Check also the value for money for their membership fee. Annual fees may range from $40 to $150 and these clubs usually give discounts when you sign up with them for 2 years or more.
Don’t just sign up because of low membership rates. Check their features and benefits included in the package. Look at their partner establishments and services offered.
Your Unique Travel Needs
We all have different needs and preferences when we travel. You should consider your own travel requirements when signing up for an RV membership.
Some RV clubs offer much more than you need that’s why you end up paying for more. Meanwhile, there are some clubs wherein the membership fee will pay for itself in just a matter of 2 to 3 days because of the great deals and discounts that you can get.
We all want to save money when we travel and RV memberships can help us cut our expenses. Just make sure that you’re signing up with the club that best suits your travel needs and style for you to maximize its benefits.
Harvest Hosts is a great membership club to consider since they provide you with a unique experience by letting you stay in different locations across the country other than your usual campgrounds. They are also ever expanding their network for a wider coverage and offer more choices to RVers. The membership fee is worth it because the memories you create are priceless.