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Harvest Hosts

deadticket8
Explorer
Explorer
Any experience anyone wants to share? Pros, cons?
33 REPLIES 33

JaxDad
Explorer III
Explorer III
Matt_Colie wrote:
Deadticket,
That be the case, you need to look long and hard at BW, a lot of us welcome dogs and can have power available for a fee.
Matt


Agreed Matt, I have 2 BW sites and allow (well-mannered) dogs at both and offer 15 amp electric for free to my guests.

Several BW places that I stay at have a runway and allow me to fly in & out. I doubt you’d find any HH locations that fit that bill.

Matt_Colie
Explorer
Explorer
Deadticket,
That be the case, you need to look long and hard at BW, a lot of us welcome dogs and can have power available for a fee.
Matt
Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs (one dear dog is waiting for us at the bridge) going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.

spoon059
Explorer II
Explorer II
Curious, are you finding lodges that offer power?
2015 Ram CTD
2015 Jayco 29QBS

deadticket8
Explorer
Explorer
Just got done reading the comments in full. Great info! I am an Elk and have overnighted at many lodges. Ive always felt safe. Seems like Harvest Host may not work for me as I travel with two dogs.It sounds like I would have to call each site and enquire. Food for thought.

qtla9111
Nomad
Nomad
We're hosts here in Mexico. It's a great program. We are three hours from the border so for those that request a stay it's great for recovering and preparing for their Mexico trip.

We are size limited but we enjoy the rving company and sharing stories with Mexico rvers and newbies. We have a couple here this weekend. A tour of the area, happy hours and chats.

We haven't used them as a guest but we are looking forward to it.
2005 Dodge Durango Hemi
2008 Funfinder 230DS
Living and Boondocking Mexico Blog

Matt_Colie
Explorer
Explorer
Funny that someone should mention the multi-night issue. We are BW Hosts and one of the few within striking range of a museum complex. Very often a member will as about the museum and then I offer them at least three nights. Get Here, Do the museum part, relax one night do the village area, recover and then depart. We live nearby and regularly spend a bunch of days in the museum and grounds.

Matt
Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs (one dear dog is waiting for us at the bridge) going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.

MRC54
Explorer
Explorer
We use both Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome (now the same company, but keeping things separately). We prefer Boondockers because most places have the option to stay multiple nights, and many have hookups. For example, We had a six night stay in Centuria, WI at a 'hobby farm'. Super friendly folks, 50 amp power, and water. And we had a wonderful stay south of Fort Worth on an 80 acre hay farm with power hookup. The couple hosting were especially welcoming.

Our experience has been nothing but positive. As is the norm in the RV community, the people (hosts) have been amazing. More than helpful, anxious to provide a positive experience.

As an aside, I am always puzzled by postings that comment negatively on a question without experience. I’m sure any OP is looking for real world opinions from people that have actually used the experience or product.
2021 Keystone Alpine 3712KB
2009 Sierra 3500 DRW

Full timing starting May 1

Belgique
Explorer
Explorer
We prefer Boondockers Welcome because most will permit a 2 or 3 night stay and some have electric.
Hickory, NC
2007 Fleetwood Discovery 40X

Matt_Colie
Explorer
Explorer
JaxDad wrote:
Matt, the two gals that started Boondockers Welcome (very close to here in Southern Ontario) sold the whole thing to Harvest Hosts last year.

BW & HH are one group now.

Unfortunately they resisted identifying the former BW hosts separately but if you know what you’re looking at it’s pretty easy to tell them apart.


Yes, they sold it, and it is a good thing that the buyers had a couple of years almost shut down by the plague to get it close to right.

It is better now, but in many ways it still does not work as well as it did before. Jmho

Matt
Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs (one dear dog is waiting for us at the bridge) going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.

goducks10
Explorer
Explorer
Being able to not hear your neighbor fart in the RV next to you at an RV is worth the $20-$40 spent on something I can actually use. If I spend $60 at an RV park al I get is a fitting in the ground for my sewer hose.
If I drop $30 at an HH I could get anything from wine to fresh produce to ?.
HH is intended as a 1 nite stay. For less than a typical sardine packed permanent resident RV park, I can get a spot where I have space and quiet.

Veebyes
Explorer II
Explorer II
Just like there are multiple styles of RVs, the style of HH is not for everyone. Indeed, all of the categories of host are not for everyone. We filter out a few of the categories when searching for a location.

We are not wine drinkers or big restaurant goers so those locations get filtered out. We don't plan trips around using HH locations. If one is convenient then great. If not, some CG or, heaven forbid, Walmart, will do.

If you are looking at HH for the 'free' factor, keep looking. It is not for you. If you enjoy a different experience from the run of the mill CG & are prepared for bit of dry camping this is a good fit providing stories to be told for years to come.

The 'welcoming committee' consisting of a herd of goats will never be forgotten.
Boat: 32' 1996 Albin 32+2, single Cummins 315hp
40+ night per year overnighter

2007 Alpenlite 34RLR
2006 Chevy 3500 LT, CC,LB 6.6L Diesel

Ham Radio: VP9KL, IRLP node 7995

JaxDad
Explorer III
Explorer III
Matt_Colie wrote:
If you can overnight purely self contained, then also consider Boondockers Welcome. It isn't really boondocking, but it can easily qualify as dry camping.
We have been BW hosts for a few years now and only about half even welcome the 15amp lead that I can provide. Oh and water when the weather is warm. I do ask for 5$ for the 15amp because electric here is expensive.
The great joke is that we have yet to be guests anywhere because when we were first members the host density was really low and they just were not where we needed them to be.
I am hoping to change that this year.

Matt


Matt, the two gals that started Boondockers Welcome (very close to here in Southern Ontario) sold the whole thing to Harvest Hosts last year.

BW & HH are one group now.

Unfortunately they resisted identifying the former BW hosts separately but if you know what you’re looking at it’s pretty easy to tell them apart.

mkc
Explorer
Explorer
wapiticountry wrote:
Harvest Hosts doesn’t publish the host locations because that is literally the only thing they have to sell. I would bet almost all the hosts would offer the exact same accommodations to non members if they called and asked.
Those hosts expect you to buy their products, that is how they were sold on being hosts in the first place. It is marketed as a way for those businesses to increase their sales. If the hosts get a string of non buyers just looking for free stays those hosts will become ex-hosts. They aren’t RV centric charities, they are small businesses looking for new customers.


This is literally the business model for Harvest Hosts.

They "sell" the concept to the host sites as a means to bring in new retail traffic that otherwise wouldn't visit. And they promise the host property that visitors will spend at least the value of an RV site at the host property in exchange for a one night stopover. No promise or guarantee of any hookups are required. The host sets the rules regarding pets and generators (both generally not allowed, especially pets if there's a farm dog).

Harvest Hosts then "sells" the concept of these unique locations to dry camp/boondock to RVers. Most of the sites are off the beaten path or at least not along a travel route. Not really for overnight stops if you're enroute somewhere, but that's what Harvest Hosts suggest the sites are intended to be. RVers see "free camping*" and miss the asterisk that says you should spend as much as you would on an RV park night at the host site.

It's never been our style of stopover and we don't care for the business model.
2017 LTV Unity

Matt_Colie
Explorer
Explorer
If you can overnight purely self contained, then also consider Boondockers Welcome. It isn't really boondocking, but it can easily qualify as dry camping.
We have been BW hosts for a few years now and only about half even welcome the 15amp lead that I can provide. Oh and water when the weather is warm. I do ask for 5$ for the 15amp because electric here is expensive.
The great joke is that we have yet to be guests anywhere because when we were first members the host density was really low and they just were not where we needed them to be.
I am hoping to change that this year.

Matt
Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs (one dear dog is waiting for us at the bridge) going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.