Good Sam Samborees - Does Anyone Attend?

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Mike in Texas

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New Braunfels, TX
I get frequent emails from Good Sam Tours advertising Samborees. The most recent received today was Christmas in Branson Samboree to be held December 5 ? 10, 2006. For the life of me I cannot imagine what they might provide that would be worth $1785 per rig for 6 days and 5 nights. I have asked them previously and didn't get any compelling reasons. Do any of you attend these Good Sam events and if so are they worth the cost?
 

Tom

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Mike,

That sure sounds like a lot of money. We haven't belonged to Good Sam for many years, largely due to their practice of inundating us with junk mail. Maybe the large Samboree fee is needed to help pay for all the junk mail?
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
We became lifetime members of GS before Affinity took them over and have not had anything to do with them since Affinity came on the seen.  If we were not already lifetime members we wouldn't be GS members at all for the same reason Tom mentioned.  Any contact with them seems to trigger a new wave of junk mail.  I do have a new policy now that whenever I receive junk mail from GS or an affinity group organization I put them on my call list and I call their 800 number whenever I am near a pay phone.  Let them know why I called and that the calls will continue until they stop the junk mail.

No we do not attend GS functions anymore since Affinity came on the scene.
 

Betty Brewer

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We have attended a couple of Good Sam Samborees.  We went to The Rose Parade and saw pre float building.  Had a New Years party.  Just a whole number of things.  In my opinion it was very well worth the money.  We could not have gotten such good grandstand seats as a private individual purchasing.  We could not have gotten the special  parking spot for RV.  The  parties and all created lots of action with fellow RVers and I love d the whole thing. 

We went to Calgary Stampede one year and loved it for the same reasons.  I think it depends on whether or not you  like to meet new people and have thing s all taken care of you.  It's like room service.  All decisions made. 
I'd check the price of shows too see how much of your Branson money goes there.  You would probably have very good seats. 
We are Good Sam members and have not noticed being inundated with junk  mail but have realized MUCH savings at the 10% off on campground fees we enjoy.  (Note we do have our mail forwarded and they may screen it out)

If you read the fine print you may  come to realize the value.. Especially if meals are included ans shows aren't cheap.  Theywere very well run events and we still see some of the folks we met on those trips!

Betty
 

fredethomas

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Thanks Betty for finally saying something positive about Good Sam.  They do have some good things going for them, and as you said the high price of tours, etc. includes some A-1 benefits.  We see the same in our Newmar Kountry Klub tours, FMCA tours, etc.  You usually get what you pay for and that's, as you said, good seats, most meals, good parking places.  And it is a good organization for those who don't qualify for FMCA or don't care to belong to an certain brand owner's club, which almost all brands have.

I really think they have been bashed about long enough here.  We are lifetime members, but don't participate in the many of the events they sponsor as our plate is full with other activities.  And, like you, we have NOT been inundated with mail.  There was a period of time, several years ago now, that this was so, but once they saw all the negative reaction to it, I believe they felt it was in their good interests to slow it down.  We subscribe to their Highways and Motorhome magazines and always find good information in them.  And again, this has not increased any unusual mail flow from them.  We also frequently take advantage of the 10% off at campgrounds, usually looking for those first before others, and are not being hypocritical about that, i.e. bashing but using their benefits.

Thanks for letting me vent.  Daisy
 

Tom

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Thanks for letting me vent.

LOL Daisy, that didn't seem like venting, just saying it the way you see it.

fredethomas said:
I really think they have been bashed about long enough here.

No intentional bashing, just a warning based on our experience. Note that I have the same reaction to anyone or any organization that sends junk to my mailbox. I've even told friends/neighbors to keep their junk mail out of my mailbox, so I'm sure not singling out Good Sam. But at least my neighbors honor my requests.

.... once they saw all the negative reaction to it, I believe they felt it was in their good interests to slow it down.

That sure hasn't been our experience. Any time we sign up for anything that is remotely associated with GS or they find our address on another mailing list, bam! the junk mail comes in waves again.

BTW anyone get the impression I hate junk mail with a passion? You're right! If I even see/catch someone leaving a flyer in my mailbox, on my doorstep or under a windshield wiper on my car, they get asked to remove it.
 

Tom

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Thanks for that insight Betty. I must admit that we haven't attended any Samborees, so I really had no idea what one gets for their money. Now I'm curious what 'Christmas in Branson' includes for $1785.
 

Carl L

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Tom said:
Thanks for that insight Betty. I must admit that we haven't attended any Samborees, so I really had no idea what one gets for their money. Now I'm curious what 'Christmas in Branson' includes for $1785.

Should be good for that price.  The Bracebridge Dinner at the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite NP costs about $1200 but it includes a couple of nights in a 4-5 star hotel and one helluva formal dinner.
 

Tom

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Carl Lundquist said:
Should be good for that price.

I would hope so Carl. Hopefully it doesn't include a few nights at an expensive hotel though  :-\
 

Carl L

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Tom said:
I would hope so Carl. Hopefully it doesn't include a few nights at an expensive hotel though? :-\

I suspect so.  And you do not have to hustle up a tux for the occasion.  8)
 

Tom

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Carl Lundquist said:
....you do not have to hustle up a tux for the occasion.

That's good. I used to hate dressing up like a penguin for corporate events. We'd always try to sneak out early but usually got caught. "Where are you going this early?" To which I'd reply, pointing at Chris, "This is my rent-a-date and, if I don't get her back by midnight, she'll turn into a pumpkin".

We'd escape while the other party was trying to figure out what was wrong with this version of Cinderella  ;D
 

Shayne

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Personally the whole town of Branson isn/t worth that kind on money? It's an ok place to see some intertainment but not at the price? JUST MY HUMBLE OPINION,.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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We are also satisified Good Sam members and usually renew our membership for three year periods.  We used to get a lot of mail from GS, but not much anymore - don't know if they have changed polic or simply got tired of us ignoring their sales pitches. And I do occaionally take advantage of one of their offers, e.g. a discount copy of Trailer Life Campground guide. The 10%campground discount usually more than covers our annual dues, so it's basically a freebie. Of course, I can sometimes get a similar 10% discount via FMCA or another organization.

Their tour rates do seem high, but theater tickets for two in Brnason don't come cheap and I suspect thereare some meals and such in there as well as campground fees.  But you can easily do Branson on your own - there are dozens of campgrounds in all price ranges (including a Corp of Engineers park on the nearby lake) - and ticket outlets abound. There really is no need for a guided tour, but some folks enjoy having someone else make all the arrangements.
 

colleenfl

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We attended the GS RV Rally in Daytona Florida held on the speedway. It was awesome!!! This was put on by Good Sams Club and Fleetwood. Many many many vendors, a whold heck of a lot of dealers with just about every mh type. Great seminars, great music, etc etc.
I would attend again and hoping that they keep it at Daytona Spedway. We met a lot of great people.
I do agree with everyone about all the junk that comes like every other day, but I am happy with GS we had to use them once and they were fast getting help to us with a very minimal charge to us. It is just comforting to have just like with our Boat we have Boat US which is like a GS club but only on the water.

Colleen
 

Tom

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Hi Colleen,

We belong to BOATUS too and also have our boat insurance with them. Their emergency service dropped a little initially when they merged with (or bought) TowBoatUS and canned the local BOATUS contract boats. But they seem to have recovered and we've used them a few times. I don't get junk mail from them though.

We used to have Good Sam ERS on our old Pace Arrow and used them shortly after we bought it. Had good service, although the service provider was actually U-Haul who used to have a rental fleet of Southwind motorhomes at that time. Since owning our current coach, we have CoachNet, which offers a more complete service.

As you correctly say, it's comforting to have a service you can call when you need help.

Sounds like the Daytona rally was fun.
 

motojavaphil

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Jan 22, 2006
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Rio Rancho, New Mexico
We are GS Members and enjoy some of the benefits.  I dont think we would do any of the Samboree's as I think they are a bit pricey for what we can do.  The money could go into a good cruise when you have to get away from vacation or retirement.
 

Ernie Ekberg

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Mar 17, 2005
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We were members for years. Have not been a member in quite a while. We still get their junk mail. Recently, friends drove 2000 miles to a fair ground where they had reservations. A Good Sam rally was there also. The head of parking was very rude and told my friends they could not park there. They are Good Sam members, to boot. They parked out of the way there anyway and the Good Sam people never asked them to join them or even spoke to them. Makes you wonder what the Good Sam credo is all about. Incidentally, my friends intend to let the Good Sam organization know about this incident. This was the state samboree in Montana. Ernie- drving a Wanderlodge in Montana
 

colleenfl

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Hi Tom

I need to check out CoachNet have not heard of them. The Daytona Rally was really good and you needed 2 or 3 days to cover everything without feeling rushed.

I am sorry for the person who had a bad experience in Montana that is so unlike GS, I do understand the parking because everyone pays for it and fills up very fast especially on site parking for MH's, cars can park for a fee each day, and they have a lot of off site parking for MH's and bus you over of course all of these need to be made well in advance.
There is no excuse for someone to be rude in my book. GS always are out to get new members so I am shocked no one asked them to join, they should really let GS know about this the rudeness.

Happy Trails
Colleen

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The GS Caravans aren't the only form of "Samboree" and in fact are probably the least significant form. It's basically just a paid caravan tour and the GS prices aren't a lot different than other comercial RV caravan tour operators.

GS also runs state and national Samborees (aka rallies) and the local GS chapters sponsor their own local Samborees, typcally a monthly get-together for chapter members (and often guests as well).  We don't belong to a local GS chapter, but we know some who do and they are enthsiastic about the comraderie of their group and the fun they have.  I think  a local camping club, ala a local GS chapter, is a great way to meet other campers in your area and have fun. If you don't like GS, look into Family Campers & RVers, another national club with local chapters. FCRV is member-owned rather than a commercial venture like GS. 
 

BernieD

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Goodyear, AZ
colleenfl said:
I need to check out CoachNet have not heard of them. The Daytona Rally was really good and you needed 2 or 3 days to cover everything without feeling rushed.

Colleen

Coach Net is probably the best of all of the roadside service providers. Many of the members here have Coach Net, and many have switched to Coach Net from other providers. Many new motor homes come with a 1-3 year roadside coverage and they use Coach Net for the service. Not to worry.

Gary gave a very good explanation of GS Samborees and Caravans. However, another alternative is Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). Along with semi-annual conventions (similar to the rally, but from what I have heard, much better organized), annual area rallies and about 400 chapters for local activities and common interests. FMCA is also member owned and is able to provide member benefits worth about 3 times the annual membership cost.
I would venture to say a survey of Forum members would find a much higher level of attendance at FMCA rallies than at GS.
 
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