Week 835-836 - Harvest Hosts Hints - 08-21-2022

Harvest Hosts Hints

HarvestHosts.com is a membership subscription for free Dry Camping. (All numbers shown here are as of August 2022). For a $99 annual fee you can camp at 3,587 sites for free. Sites may be farms, wineries, breweries, museums and other interesting places. For $40 more you can camp at over 400 golf courses. While it is free, it is recommended that you spend $20 or more to compensate the business and encourage them to remain as hosts. Click for a full description of Harvest Hosts (HH) and how to use their service.

HH stays are limited to one night. Normally for one night we stay at an Elks lodge or a Passport America park or use other resources as shown on Finding Campgrounds & RV Parks

In the Summer of 2022, traveling with Pete's sister Donnalee, we decided to "test" the Harvest Host concept. We stayed at every HH site that was along our route. The HH website allows you to search along your route and specify how many miles off the route you are willing to go to an HH location.

On our 4,333 mile trip, these are the six HH hosts that we enjoyed.

Bison Golf Club, Show Low, Arizona

Level gravel sites in a beautiful natural setting. As you can see it is a tight fit. But even with the 64 foot long Mother/Scooter/JeepShip, we were able to camp without disconnecting (just be careful). The HH is actually run by the staff of Buffalo Bills Tavern, which is the restaurant on the golf course property. Our donation was buying a nice meal at Buffalo Bills.

The Buffalo Bill Tavern.

Wines of the San Juan

The winery is situated along the San Juan River just east of Blanco, New Mexico. The property is populated with hundreds of beautiful trees. You can see our RV site beyond the pond. Most HH's are dry camping, but here we were offered 50 amp power and water!

Owners are David and Marcia. David manages the winery/vineyard while Marcia hosts the tasting and sales. The tasting room was closed on the day of our visit but they opened and served us. See more of this wonderful stay at Wines of the San Juan.

Winery of the Holy Cross Abby

Yes, the Abby is serving! Flat gravel sites for two and we could park in "buddy site" formation.

Wines were served outdoors at our table under the great shade trees. As usual for wineries, there were plenty of trinkets in their store. The Abby is in Canon City, Colorado.

Hideout Motel

The motel is in Cokeville, Wyoming on State Highway 89 and is new to Harvest Hosts. The HH listing mentions full RV hookups! We chose to park next to a large grass area (Mandy asked).

In the evening we soaked in the home-style spa with nice jets and enjoyed a free fully-stocked shower. Truly, this is the crown jewel of HH locations: full hookups, grass, spa, shower, you couldn't ask for more. Many kudos to the new owners, we pray that your new venture is wildly successful.

Fremont Golf Course

Our second golf course HH location was in St. Anthony, Idaho. Parking on hard surface right on Tee #1.

1) Our view from the living room window. 2) Two RVs can stay. We were too long to pull-thru, not a problem. Some HH golf courses require you purchase a round of golf. Not this one, we just enjoyed drinks and meals were also available.

Greycliff Mill

The Mill is newly opened on a large long-time ranch in Greycliff, Montana. Several sites were available near the barn. Beautiful, level and we had grass.

Meals were available at the Mill. They are building on the property to provide more services and events.

Our Analysis

Our test of HH is complete. Is Harvest Hosts worth the membership? That depends on how you travel.

We had a general route and tried to find HH sites along the route. We move often but generally stay two or more days at each location. With HH you can only stay one day. If we move after one day, we don't want a long trip that day. That can be tough to find. We traveled 174 miles to get to Show Low's Bison Golf Club. The next day we moved just 3 miles to the Show Low Elks Lodge. But, usually it will not work this way.

We chose to only visit HH locations within 5 miles of our main route. As it turned out, all of these were within a mile. HH locations by their nature are mostly "out in the country". So, on our 4,333 mile trip, we only found six suitable locations.

As we will stay six months at Palm Creek RV in the winter, we can do the annual math now.

We paid $140 for the membership and 6 x $20 for donations. The total was $260 or $43 per night. $45 is the average price of an RV park with full hookups. So for us, it was not worth it monetarially. However, we really did enjoy safe dry camping with lots of room and few or no neighbors.

The MotherShip is 44 feet with the ScooterShip. This did limit the HH locations that we could stay at.

How about you? Suppose you just want to wander with no defined stops. You could move everyday and mostly find fun and interesting and "free" sites. Note that you don't have to buy anything, but if you and others don't, the host might leave the HH network. Let say you spent half your year at HH spots. Your total would be $140 plus $3,600, total $3,740 / 180 or about $21 / day.
Thats looks pretty good if you want to dry camp for six months.

That's our analysis, you decide.

With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy

Photos from August 2022

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