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My brother-in-law’s family of four is headed out for a year long RV trip throughout the U.S. soon. We were discussing the gaps in their itinerary and the process of finding places to stay in between their firmly booked reservations. Certain big box retailers have a policy that allows RVs to stay in their parking lots for free. That’s thoughtful of them and all, but wouldn’t it be nice if other more exciting business locations had a similar option. Interestingly, I started to receive ads for Harvest Hosts every time I went online over the next few days. Once I learned a bit about the program, I became convinced that this could be great for full-time or even part-time RVers.
What is Harvest Hosts?
Harvest Hosts is a network of wineries, breweries and distilleries, farms and attractions that invite RVers to visit and stay overnight for free! Members can visit and stay at up to 1145+ locations after paying the annual membership fee. There are locations in all the lower 48 U.S. states, Canada, Alaska and Baja California.
How Do I Join?
The program has two different membership plans that are detailed below. The Harvest Hosts Classic plan is regularly $79 per year and the Harvest Hosts + Golf plan is $119 annually. Both provide unlimited overnight stays and generally are paid for in the cost of a couple of nights at a typical campground. This seems like a pretty sweet deal if you are able to take advantage of a couple of stays.
However, the program is running some specials through the end of July. I was targeted on multiple social media channels and was offered promotion codes to save 15% on the Classic Plan with the code FREEDOM (cost of $67.15) or $20 off of the Classic + Golf plan with the code GOLF20 (cost of $99).
Why Do the Hosts Participate?
Harvest Hosts provides marketing and exposure for the Hosts and their business. The program asks that campers support the business by spending a minimum of $20 per stay. While it’s not a requirement, it’s a great way to pick up local products and still saves you in campground fees. Per the Harvest Hosts website, “Hosts are sharing their properties and introducing you to their way of life and the products they produce. They hope that you will appreciate what they have created and will make a purchase either for yourself or as a gift for a friend. Your purchase supports their American dream. In addition, Hosts get to meet some pretty amazing people from all over the world!” If you have a business and would be interested in hosting you can find details on how to do it here.
What Are the Rules For RVers?
- You must have a self-contained RV with a toilet, water tank and inside cooking facilities.
- No tents of any kind are allowed.
- Overnight stays are limited to one night unless the Host says otherwise.
- Proof of membership and registration are required upon arrival.
- Members are required to maintain liability insurance on their vehicle and proof of such insurance must be carried in the vehicle.
Here are the four main reasons why I think this program has tons of potential for full-time RVers, yet can still provide value for those who are on the road semi-regularly:
- The network of up to 1145+ locations where RVers can visit and stay overnight for free after the annual membership fee.
- The cost of the program can be recouped after 2-3 visits considering the price of a typical campground.
- The wide range of interesting locations and you are for the most part supporting small businesses.
- The opportunity to meet interesting people along the way.
Check out the Harvest Host FAQs for answers to other questions. Are you a member of this program? Let us know what you think!