Harvest Host One of the questions we often get asked is how do we like Harvest Host? Yes, we have a Harvest Host membership. We love staying at Harvest Host locations. Harvest Host membership for us gives us low-price options when we are moving larger distances. When we are in travel mode an overnight stop at a Harvest Host location is a welcome overnight break. (The above picture is our RV parked at a Harvest Host location.)
This article is updated from the February 2020 article with the same title
Sometimes we have used Harvest Host locations as the first night at a longer-stay destination. We do this so we can look around and get a feel for the location before committing to a specific campground.
What is Harvest Host?
To understand how we use Harvest Host in the first paragraph then need to understand the program, which is a little like an insider’s club. There are two different ways to view the program and we view it from the perspective of a paying member. (That would be our perspective.) An equally valid view would be to look at the program from the Host’s point of perspective.
I want everyone to know that we have paid for our membership to Harvest Hosts. This is a membership we are proud to support and have nothing but good things to say about them. Harvest Host does not pay us (nor do we get paid for any of our reviews).
From my perspective as a traveler
I joined Harvest Host so that we could stay at locations along the road – for no or low cost.
We have a self-contained RV that doesn’t require any outside assistance to spend the night, or two, or ten. The only thing we need is enough maneuvering room, enough space that is flat enough and permission.
The host members provide the things in the previous sentence so that I can camp there overnight. In exchange for camping at the host location, we agree to patronize the location and typically buy something that they are offering to sell.
Harvest Host replaces the need for overnight stops at locations like Walmart or a truck stop. I don’t count myself as being above an overnight stop at Walmart, but in the last two years, we haven’t done that and don’t plan to in the future.
Wine and beer
Many of the hosts have wine tasting and wine for sale. Breweries also participate in the same way. We stop, set up camp in a location that they have set aside for us, and after we set up, we participate in the wine tasting, usually purchasing our favorite to be consumed later. After the tasting, we return to the RV, cook dinner, and settle in for the night.
We discussed with friends who don’t use Harvest Host because they don’t like wine, that although members are expected to make a purchase while at the stop, it doesn’t have to be wine, or they could purchase wine to be later given to a friend as a gift.
Here is one of our blog entries from when we stayed at a Harvest Host winery. Boondocking at a Winery
Museums and other attractions
The most obvious hosts are selling something that we want and would usually purchase anyway. Less obvious would be things like museums, where the exchange is that we are guests of the museum, and then spend the night.
Why would a host want to participate? Well, the answer is that RVers who are traveling are a customer group, which is very easy to attract, at no cost. All businesses know that the most difficult part of marketing is that much money spent, creates almost zero returns. Here the marketing cost nothing and the RV travelers probably wouldn’t stop to make purchases, and now they do. This is an easy win-win for both the traveler and the host.
Occasionally, I present the idea to possible hosts and other RVers. Generally, both have questions about the program. I am available as needed to explain the parts of the program, and if you have any questions feel free to drop me a note and we can talk about it.
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