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Catching Bass From the Bank: 8 Practical Pointers for Fishing From Shore

No boat? No problem. Shore angling is great and it’s something I’ve done for a number of years. When I recently moved, I had to sell my boat, so it forced me to get a little more creative about where I fish and whether or not I can actually cast from the shore. 

In many cases, this is how we all got our start. We went out to the lake with a parent or grandparent and they showed us how to fish. It all happened from the shore and I’ve had some incredible experiences standing on land so I want you to know that you don’t need to buy a boat to catch big bass. 

Learning how to bass fish from shore will help you increase your chances of pulling in a lunker. 

8 Best Shore Fishing Tips 

Here are my best tips for catching bass from the bank:

1. Cast Parallel 

One of the best things about fishing from the shore is the fact that it’s so much easier to place your bait where you actually want it to go. That’s the funny thing about shore fishing. People with boats will always make it sound like you’re not a real angler if you don’t have one. 

Hand holding a fishing pole over a bank.
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6 Key Tips for Renting Out Your RV

Curious about what it would be Like to Rent Out Your RV? We have rented our RV over 25 times in the past 3 years. Having some ups and downs has taught us a lot about the right way to go about renting out the RV. Trust me, these tips can save you time, money and heartache. Forget Craigslist or FB Marketplace, there are some great safe services to use like Good Sam Rentals. These are peer-to-peer RV rental platforms. Think of them as the Airbnb’s of RV rentals.

But before you turn the keys over to your first RV renter, here are a few things you need to think about. We started renting our RV a few years ago and had success. Once Good Sam Rentals launched, we quickly listed our RV for rent on that platform. Having our RV listing on multiple platforms definitely increased our number of inquiries. We were drawn to Good Sam’s RV rentals by the lower cost and brand-name exposure. 

Research the Platforms. Know the Costs and Benefits

The headlines tout making up to $50,000 plus from renting your RV. While this may be true, you need to understand the costs and the benefits provided by each platform. Each takes a “cut” or percentage of your rental income. Good Sam Rentals have a low 5% commission, while other RV rental platforms charge significantly more. Most provide up to a million dollar liability insurance and free roadside assistance. 

Pro Tip —if you want to earn top dollar on your RV rental, a few “extras” go a long way.  A simple “thank you for your rental” basket is a great surprise for renters and definitely will have them starting their vacation with a smile! 

Choose Your Renters Carefully 

Most if not all peer-to-peer rental platforms “vet” your potential customers. The depth of this vetting varies and typically it’s a driving background check. For most RVers, their RV is the second largest purchase of their lives and our RV is truly our home away from home. We would not rent it to anyone we felt would not treat it in the same fashion as we do. Accidents can happen (that’s what insurance is for) but abuse or mistreatment of the RV doesn’t fly with us. I wouldn’t want anyone treating our RV like some people treat rental cars. Verify your rental platform rules; Good Sam’s Rentals rules clearly stated that we would not be forced to rent to anyone we didn’t feel comfortable renting to.

RV Check-in/Check Out form for Good Sam RV Rentals
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34 New Good Sam Parks Lead the Way to Value and Savings

Thirty-four campgrounds recently joined the Good Sam Network, making it easier for campers to enjoy savings and value on the road. Indeed, Good Sam members can save big with a 10 percent discount at any of our 2,000-plus Good Sam Parks across North America.

Not a member? Sign up online to purchase a membership or simply buy it at the Good Sam Park you visit (discounts apply immediately). As you plan your trip, check each park’s link to determine seasonal availability and make reservations.

Alabama

Sugar Sands RV Resort, Gulf Shores

White sands, cool breezes and fun on the Gulf of Mexico make Gulf Shores a popular destination. Visitors who stay at this resort can camp in one of 77 roomy, full-hookup sites and enjoy the pool and a rec hall. Fishing and boating are close by.

California

The beach at Bodega Bay. Getty Images

Colorful hot air balloons float over vineyards.
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Paws in Your Travels: What to Expect When Seeking Pet Care on the Road

RVing with my dog makes every day more fun. But if she got sick in a campground or on the road, we’ve got problems. Staffing shortages in the veterinary field are making it harder than ever to get pets into a clinic—especially when you’re visiting unfamiliar areas. This doesn’t mean you need to leave your adventure pets home. But you should know what to expect if your cat or dog needs care on the road, and how to avoid urgent care visits in the first place.

RVing Pets and Current Vet Care Obstacles

Like many industries, veterinary clinics have a huge staffing shortage problem right now. As a result, most practices are not taking new patients. If they do, it often means waiting for weeks to see a vet for non-urgent matters. And when things do get serious, emergency clinics manage clients by queuing them up in the clinic parking lot. Waits can be seven or eight hours just to get a pet into the clinic.

Getty Images

This is a huge traveling pets health care issue that didn’t hit home with me until July, when we adopted Nellie. She is our first dog since 2020, and she came to us with some health issues that needed attention. As full-time RVers since 2007, we thought we knew how to get great vet care on the road.

Getting Vet Care for RVing Pets is Totally Different Today

Before the pandemic, the biggest challenge was to locate a high quality, accredited veterinary clinic near us. Sometimes we traveled directly to a veterinary teaching hospital for serious pet health issues. We almost always got an appointment when we wanted, where we wanted.

Scared small yellow dog sitting in owners lap
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Enjoy August at California’s Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging

Glamping is the name of the game at Yosemite Pines in Groveland, California. Bring your own RV or rent a luxurious Conestoga wagon, enjoy a cabin, chill in a yurt or opt for a retro trailer as your preferred choice for a unique adventure. Grab the family or friends and make a reservation in August, taking advantage of one of our Specials at Yosemite Pines!

A retro trailer for rent. Photo: Yosemite Pines

A television reporter with a Sacramento ABC affiliate recently enjoyed camping in a Conestoga wagon at the campground and he shared his experiences here.

Yosemite National Park’s west entrance is approximately a 22-mile scenic drive away! Fill your days with hiking, strolling, biking, paddling, fishing or just enjoying those breathtaking, awe-inspiring views throughout the park. Make your park entry reservation at www.recreation.gov; it is good for three consecutive days beginning with the day of arrival reserved and includes one vehicle and all occupants. Remember, this year, a reservation is required to drive into Yosemite National Park.

El Capitan and Cathedral Rock in Yosemite National Park. Getty Images

Giant rock faces against a blue sky.
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Frankenmuth: A Bridge to Central Michigan’s Rich Bavarian Past

Get a taste of Germany in America’s Midwest. Located in the heart of the Wolverine State, Frankenmuth celebrates its ties to the old country in a big way; in fact, the town’s nickname is Michigan’s Little Bavaria. Looking for great Oktoberfest celebrations? You’ve come to the right place, but don’t limit yourself to the fall Teutonic celebration. Every season gives you a reason to visit Frankenmuth.

German Origins

A clock tower telling the story of the pied piper at the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth.

The area’s German roots are apparent just about everywhere you look in Frankenmuth. Shop for European goods in the Bavarian Inn Castle, learn how to roll an authentic Bavarian pretzel at a local bakery and sample hops from the many breweries in town. The Frankenmuth Brewery is a great place to start; it opened in 1862, making it the oldest brewery in Michigan, and it continues serving tall steins of golden goodness. You can view the town from a pedal-powered trolley or take a walking tour to see the sights.

Cruising the Cass

Launch a kayak or canoe for a trip down the Cass River, close to town. You might even be able to paddle under the Holz Brucke (German for “wooden bridge”) Covered Bridge, the longest covered bridge in Michigan and a prime example of Bavarian craftsmanship and design. For an old-timey sample of Bavarian charms from the water, step aboard the Bavarian Belle Riverboat. The authentic stern-driven paddlewheeler operates one-hour historical tours on the bucolic waterway.

The Bavarian Belle on the Cass River. Photo: Frankenmuth.org.

A white, two-deck paddlewheeler churns down a calm river.
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August Regional Travel — Stay Cool in the Midwest

As summer temperatures rise, it’s always a good idea to stay close to cool bodies of water. The following trips keep you close to some of the most beautiful rivers, lakes and streams in North America.

See our Regional Travel Calendar for more year-round destinations.

Iowa

In Western Iowa, a pair of waterways give boaters and anglers opportunities for fun.

Ride and Fish the Rivers

Explore the Mississippi River from the port city of Davenport in eastern Iowa. Hop on a Channel Cat Water Taxi and ride the river to compelling sights along the banks. On the Illinois side of the river, board the elegant Celebration Belle and sail the Big Muddy in style on a four-hour lunch cruise. There’s also a Broadway and Movie Theme cruise as well as narrated voyages.

Sky bridge in Davenport, Iowa. Getty Images

Man fishing from a canoe on lake surrounded by forest.
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Stranded – A Canadian Snowbird Dilemma

A Snowbird Dilemma

The events of 2020 have affected many things in our daily lives.  One of these is the closure of our borders that separate the U.S.A. and Canada.  The freedom for residents and citizens on both sides to freely cross from one to another has been, for the time being, temporarily interrupted.  Fortunately, commercially shipped goods and authorized essential traffic has been able to maintain flow.

For the majority of the population, staying in place until it is open again is somewhat manageable.  However, for some people, like the Canadian Snowbirds, the managing may be much more difficult.  A great deal of Snowbirds have sold their traditional stick homes years ago and have opted to live in their recreational vehicles.  Many stay in their favorite RV campground in Canada from about April until October at which time they migrate to their pick of locations in the southern regions of the U.S.  This annual migration and following of the sunny warmer weather is repeated year after year.

That all changed on March 21, 2020 allowing Canadians only to cross the border back into their country.  This allowed the season of 2019/20 snowbirds to return home.  But, who would have thought this would last this long? The usual departure date for Canadian snowbirds has long past.  The border crossings are still shut and probably will remain so for a while longer.

This has stranded many Snowbirds from the eastern provinces to the Pacific shores.  Canada’s climate is not really suitable for weathering a winter in an RV with the exception of the lower British Columbia coast, Vancouver Island and the related Gulf Islands.  In addition, there are other locations in lower British Columbia and west of the Rockies that do not get as much snow and cold temperatures as one normally would expect in Canada.  Places like the Okanagan Valley, for example, may provide a winter shelter for some stranded RV full-timers.   While there are many RV parks in these areas, those that remain open for the winter accommodation are normally quite full with domestic full timers from the colder provinces.  This is resulting in many RV owners seeking any port in a storm.  Dry camping in the best Canadian winter climate location may be the best many can hope for.  It may be a long winter!

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The Two Most Commonly Stolen Items From a Motorhome

For the most part recreational vehicles are not targeted by criminal events such as break and enter, component, or entire vehicle theft.  Any of this type of criminal activity is nearly unheard of during the camping season.  This is in part probably due to the vehicles being in use or even on and off throughout the season.  While during the off season, when stored for the winter, some break-ins and theft unfortunately do occur.  However, these are not that common, perhaps due to the low resulted revenue obtained.  After all, they only get maybe a TV and an in-dash radio. all of which may bring a hundred and fifty dollars at best when fenced.  RV wheels, tires, and related components are not targeted as they are from too much a niche market.

Well, all that was back then.  Today bigger dollar bounty has changed all that.  Ever climbing gas prices and large catalytic converters are the spoils that are attracting criminals to RVs.

When it comes to gasoline theft, to the perpetrator a motor home or a twin tank tow vehicle is like a fuel tanker with capacities of 75 to 200 gallons.  At today’s prices hundreds of dollars worth could be stolen in a short time.

Catalytic Convertor

The other item that has attracted people to turn thief is the catalytic converter.  These are found on pretty well all automobiles and trucks since their introduction and becoming mandatory in the early seventies.  Due to their containing a small quantity of precious metals in the form of palladium and platinum, theft of these has grown.  They are part of the exhaust system found between the engine and the muffler.  They can be cut off from beneath the vehicle in a matter of minutes.  These can bring hundreds of dollars and often a thousand or more, depending on the size and model.  Larger truck engines may have five times the valuable metals quantity, which of course elevates the price.


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Flying High in Wichita: Kansas’s Biggest City Buzzes With Fun

On the banks of the Arkansas River in the heart of the Sunflower State, the city now known as Wichita has served as a crossroads for travelers ranging from Native Americans to high-powered aviation pioneers. Today, the largest town in Kansas celebrates trailblazers, with restaurants, museums and art galleries that express the town’s dynamic sense of adventure and accomplishment. Walking and biking trails are plentiful throughout the city and the waterfront, and sports fans can cheer for everything from a professional Double-A baseball team to minor league hockey to a flat track roller derby league. But Wichita hasn’t lost touch with its trading post roots, lovingly preserving its rough-and-tumble past.

Come Fly with Me

Discover how Wichita, “Air Capital of the World,” helped end World War II. This was where nearly 1,650 Boeing Superfortress bombers were built — the most B-29s manufactured during WWII. A restored B-29 can be seen at the Doc Hangar, Education and Visitors Center at Eisenhower National Airport. “Doc” is one of only two B-29s still airworthy and visitors can pay for the ride of a lifetime in this rare warbird. Once you’ve touched down, soar into the Kansas Aviation Museum with three floors of aerial displays and learn why Kansas manufactured 67% of all general aviation aircraft in the world.

Getty Images

Located within the Historic Airport Terminal, the museum also devotes exhibits to Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart, the dashing aviator heroes of the 20s and 30s who set records and frequently landed in Wichita.

Kansas Aviation Museum Display. Photo: Eric Friedebach

A small flying machine displayed in a museum setting.
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The Full-Time RVing Game

The post The Full-Time RVing Game appeared first on Good Sam Camping Blog.

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Flying High Over Wichita

The post Flying High Over Wichita appeared first on Good Sam Camping Blog.

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Candy Hill Campground Thrills Guests in the Heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

Make sweet vacation memories at Candy Hill Campground in Winchester, Virginia. Sitting in the Shenandoah Valley, Candy Hill serves as the perfect base camp for exploring a region known for its lush rolling hills, apple orchards and award-winning wineries. Folks who prefer to stay local can relax and enjoy the ample amenities and activities of the campground. Also, Civil War History and rugged hiking trails are on the menu in this northern Virginia destination.

History and Hiking, Above and Below

Visiting history buffs will discover a bounty of Civil War battlefields. Twenty minutes from Candy Hill Campground, the Cedar Creek Battlefield preserves the spot where Confederate forces surprised sleeping Union troops on an early October morning in 1864. In Luray Caverns to the south, visitors can walk through the cathedral-like rooms of the largest caverns in the eastern United States. Adjacent to the caverns, the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum showcases vehicles that transported people over the past century. Marvel at towering rock columns formed over the course of millions of years.

Stalactites reflected on water in Luray Caverns. Getty Images

Hikers will be glad to know that Winchester is a short drive from access points to the Appalachian Trail. The Trails at the Museum of Shenandoah Valley constitutes a network of short, kid-friendly paths with some great art installations along the way. Advanced hikers will find thrilling vistas on Signal Knob, a 10.7-mile trek in the George Washington National Forest. This hike culminates on Signal Knob Overlook, once a Confederate lookout.

Candy Hill Campground also sits just 27 miles away from Shenandoah National Park. The sweeping expanse of land preserves 200,000 acres of a landscape dotted with rocky promontories, fields of wildflowers and bubbling streams. Take a hike to the rock formation known as Old Rag, which dishes out a stunning 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape. Ascend the 4,000-foot-tall Stony Man mountain for even more stellar vistas.

A square swimming pool with adjacent hot tub.
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12 Dog-Friendly National Parks for Adventures With Your Pooch

A tour of America’s national parks is on many RV bucket lists, but bringing your pup to these destinations can be a challenge. It’s important to know pet restrictions in the national parks you’re hoping to visit in order to minimize your impact on these sensitive environments. But an easier alternative is to target the most dog-friendly national parks in the US. Some of these parks offer miles of pet-friendly hiking trails, as well as boarding services if you plan a hike to a location where your pups can’t go. 

So let’s check them out!

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park. Getty Images

The most northeastern park in the United States offers nearly 120 miles of pet-friendly hiking trails. The park’s multi-use carriage roads, which are popular for horse-drawn carriage rides and biking, also are open to dogs. 

The only exceptions include technical trails that require ascending iron rungs or ladders, as well as several public areas in the park. Those exceptions include Duck Harbor Campground and the Wild Gardens of Acadia year-round, as well as Echo Lake and Sand Beach from mid-May through mid-September, the park’s busy season. 

A bridge stretches across a wide chasm.
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Yellowstone Marks Big Anniversary: Discover 150 Ways to Experience This Classic American Vacation Destination

On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant changed the world. On that day, Grant signed the eloquently written “Yellowstone National Park Protection Act,” which stated that a huge corner of Wyoming and narrow slivers of Idaho and Montana would be “hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy or sale…and dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”

“What an audacious idea it was,” said Ryan Hauck executive director of Cody Yellowstone. “The very thought of setting aside 2.2 million acres of natural resource-rich land must have seemed outrageous. But a few visionaries convinced Congress and President Grant that it was the right thing to do. And the entire world is fortunate they did.”

Photo: Cody Yellowstone

Cody Yellowstone is the marketing arm for Park County, Wyoming, which includes the Yellowstone gateway communities of Cody, Meeteetse and Powell, the Shoshone National Forest to the east and a large swath of Yellowstone National Park.

“Yellowstone was preserved to be a ‘pleasuring ground’ for everyone, and 150 years later, it still is,” said Hauck. “I’d call that a huge success and a testament to the scores of people who have dedicated their lives to ensuring that we continue to respect and promote the vision of the park’s founders.”

A man with silver hair in Western regalia fires a pistol in a cloud of smoke
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Our Experience Renting Out Our Camper for the First Time

For the past six years, my husband and I have RVed all over the country. We’ve also owned four different RVs in that time. But, I can honestly say that we’ve never considered renting any of those RVs out…until recently.

We had heard about other RVers who were making extra money on their campers while they weren’t using them by renting them out. While we thought it was a brilliant idea, the main reason we didn’t rent any of our RVs was because we were using them so much. In fact, we lived and traveled full-time in our first two RVs for over two years. Even after full-timing, we continued to spend more months out of the year on the road than at home, so our RVs rarely sat in storage for much longer than a couple weeks.

Recently though, after starting a family, we downsized to a travel trailer and now prefer to enjoy taking shorter camping trips close to home when the Colorado weather allows. So after planning out our camping adventures for this summer and fall, we saw several weeks on the calendar where our camper would just be sitting on our property.

We’ve made so many special memories throughout our years of RVing and are always encouraging others to get out there and adventure as well. However, we know that not everyone can justify the cost of buying and owning an RV if they only use it once or twice a summer. For those people, renting is an excellent option and we figured it would be a win-win for us to make some extra money while allowing other people to experience the joy of RVing!

Of course, we had our fears about renting out our camper. What if the renters destroy it? How will the insurance work? Can you really trust strangers to take good care of your camper?

Computer screen showing interior and exterior of travel trailer
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Montana on My Mind: Big Adventures in Big Sky Country

When it comes to exploring the outdoors, the sky’s the limit in Big Sky Country. Montana is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking, pristine, and multi-faceted regions in the country. Being the largest landlocked state in the US, the Treasure State’s landscape encompasses desert, badlands, prairie, snow-capped mountains, and more than 8 million acres of national forest. From panoramic vistas, wild and scenic rivers, abundant wildlife, and Old West history, Montana’s offerings are endless. Visitors from around the world are drawn to its ancient glaciers and canyons, old-growth forests and nearly 100 different mountain ranges. Throughout the state, enjoy world-class fishing, Native American cultural sites, ghost towns, and dozens of hot springs. Despite its global visitation, you’ll still find more cows than people in Montana— making it the ideal spot to plan an escape.

This spring, many parts of Montana received record rainfall, and places like North Yellowstone and Red Lodge suffered catastrophic flooding with a 1-in-500-year meteorological event. With that being said, now is the perfect time to plan your 2023 trip to the impacted areas or explore other parts of Montana in 2022.

Libby and the Kootenai River

The Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge stretches high over the Kootenai Gorge.

Founded in the 1880s, Libby Montana can be found in the Northwestern corner of the state along the Idaho panhandle border. Situated along the Kootenai River and flanked by the Cabinet Mountains, the town is in the heart of 2.2 million acres of national forest. Libby is home to over 140 lakes, 3 major rivers, and over 1,400 miles of trails- leaving plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. While exploring this remote part of Montana, head to the famed Kootenai Falls and Swinging Bridge. Follow the 1.6mile out-and-back trail to the suspension bridge, spanning 220 feet across Kootenai Gorge. Continue on to Kootenai Falls, one of the largest free-flowing waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest. Extending the entire length of the river, the vibrant turquoise falls dramatically cascade down the craggy rocks as it heads towards the gorge. If this scene looks familiar, that’s because it’s been a popular Hollywood filming sight, including credits in The Revenant and The River Wild.

Kootenai River

Trailer parked near river during sunset.
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July Regional Travel — Embrace Your Camping Independence in the Northwest

There’s more to July than fireworks on the Fourth. This is the month to really celebrate your travel independence, and that means going where your desires take you in some of America’s most beautiful landscapes.

See our Regional Travel Calendar for more year-round destinations.

Idaho

Southeast Idaho is a treasure trove of adventures. Roam otherworldly landscapes then go for a relaxing soaked in soothing hot springs.

Explore and Soak

Close to Fort Hall, the American Falls Reservoir offers 87 square miles of almost every imaginable type of water recreation. Go boating, waterskiing and windsurfing on the water, or explore the 100 miles of shoreline. Anglers will fill their fishing nets with cutthroat trout, crappie yellow perch and channel catfish.

North Crater Flows, Craters of the Moon National Monument. Getty Images

Herd of wild horses walking across a grassy prairie with low hills in background.
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Catching Bass in Heavy Cover: Stealth is the Name of the Game

One of the things that excite me the most as a bass angler is walking up to a flooded lake loaded with vegetation. As I stare out over the lake, I can’t help but think about all the opportunities for catching bass that lie beneath. 

The problem is getting a lure into the water without getting hung up on every cast. Having to dodge lily pads, low-hanging trees and standing timber is a serious challenge for a lot of anglers, but it’s even more challenging when there isn’t a lot of open water. 

These are the types of ponds I really enjoy so I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on this type of fishing, what lures to use, how to cast and how to pull the lunkers out of their hiding spots. 

Here are some of my biggest tips for finding bass in heavy cover. 

Back Off 

If you’re fishing from a boat, most people think you need to get right on top of the cover to prevent a miscast and getting hung up on something. This is where perfecting your cast really comes into play. 

Algea-covered water.
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Explore and Save at 31 New Good Sam Campgrounds Across America

Find more value at top travel destinations across North America. Thirty-one campgrounds have recently joined the Good Sam Campground network, increasing your odds of finding savings on the road. Good Sam members get a 10 percent discount at any of our roughly 2,000 Good Sam Campgrounds in North America.

If you’re not a member, Sign up online to purchase a membership or simply buy it at the Good Sam Campground you visit (discounts apply immediately). As you plan your trip, check each campground’s link to determine seasonal availability and make reservations.

Visit one of these new Good Sam Campgrounds today:

Alabama

River Ridge Resort, Guntersville

Birdwatchers flock to this region to see migratory avians fly over Lake Guntersville. The fishing isn’t bad here either, and visitors can enjoy this region from River Ridge RV Park, which has a marina with kayaking along with nearby trails for hiking, biking and ATV riding.

Wilderness RV Park

Cemetery with quirky tombstone names.
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