You can never have too many camping options. As someone who has been full-time RVing for more than five years, including during every peak tourist season and major holiday weekend, I’m constantly trying to expand my campground resource list.
Because, let’s face it, you can’t always get your dream camping spot. It can be heartbreaking to dream about that Yosemite visit for so long, only to find every campground in and remotely close to the national park is booked for weeks solid.
How can you create the magic without that crucial piece of the puzzle: an amazing backdrop for your home on wheels? While it won’t fit every person’s travel style, I recommend you take a serious look at an innovative membership program called Harvest Hosts.
What Is Harvest Hosts?
For $79 annually, Harvest Hosts members gain access to a treasure trove of farms, wineries, breweries, museums, and other attractions, where they can stay overnight for free. In California, this membership easily pays for itself after one or two nights.
Recently, Harvest Hosts unveiled a golf membership tier. For just $40 more than the classic membership ($119 annually), members are invited to stay at golf courses around the country. Life hardly gets better than this for those who enjoy the sport of golf.
The host database is quickly approaching 750 locations, and Harvest Hosts owner Joel Holland says two new hosts are being added almost every day! With so many options to choose from, you can find interesting camping options in just about every region of the country.
In Texas, you can walk outside your RV door and experience a self-guided petting zoo with animals like camels, miniature donkeys, and peacocks. In California and states across the country, you can relish a superb wine tasting without having to worry about a designated driver. Your home on wheels is mere steps away!
Other interesting hosts include aircraft museums, art galleries, a mountain railroad in Oregon, and even a gator ranch on the Gulf Coast. You’ll have so much fun exploring the Harvest Hosts map and reinventing your perfect RV road trip, now that you have access to this program.
How to Know Whether Harvest Hosts Is Right for You
Harvest Hosts may not be right for every RV traveler. Here’s a test. To find out whether this RV camping option is a good fit for you, see whether you can answer yes to the following four questions.
- Can you call ahead? Out of courtesy, Harvest Hosts asks members to contact their hosts at least a day ahead to confirm their stay.
- Can you stay only one night? Harvest Hosts stays are no more than 24 hours. If you’re trying to stay in one area and explore for a while, you’ll need to extend your stay at another location.
- Are you okay with dry camping? The vast majority of Harvest Hosts locations don’t provide hookups of any kind. For those who are new to RVing, this means you won’t have connections for electricity, water, or sewer. But remember, it’s only for one night!
- Are you willing to patronize the business? While camping is free with membership, you should always find a way to patronize your host business. For the most part, this will be a painless part of the process. You need a bottle of wine anyway, right? More often than not, you’re paying for a matchless RV camping experience you can’t get anywhere else–and supporting a small, local business in the process.
If you answered “yes” to all four of these questions, then a Harvest Hosts membership should be a no-brainer. If a “no” snuck in there, then it might be worth evaluating whether you can change your travel habits to accommodate this interesting RV camping alternative.
Take Advantage of This RV Campground Alternative
If RV disaster hasn’t struck you yet, it will. There will come a day when the campground where you planned to stay is full or even closed unexpectedly. When the time comes, replace panic with excitement. Pull up your Harvest Hosts map and recalibrate your adventure plans.
Learn more at harvesthosts.com.
Travel writer Brittany Highland is adventuring through her sixth year of full-time travel. After exploring the continental United States for the first five years in a Class A diesel RV, she and her husband downsized to their Jeep Wrangler. With their two-year-old, nicknamed #LittleNomad, they overlanded through the interior of Mexico in early 2019. The couple now bounces between their Jeep and a Winnebago View, moving the convoy every few days while working full-time. You can follow Brittany on RVWanderlust.com, Jeepsies.com, and all the related social platforms. Within the next few years, she plans to begin overlanding around the world.