Harvest Hosts: Changing the Way We Travel
Image from harvesthosts.com
Harvest Hosts is a game changer for traveling in an RV! It's a brilliant concept that unites businesses across North America and RVers for a stop-over-stays on road trips. Harvest Hosts is a membership based program in which members get access to a network of wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, museums and attractions that invite them to stay overnight. Many of the host locations are dry camping only, no hookups, but a few Harvest Hosts have hookups and often offer them for an additional fee. In order to become a member you "must have a self-contained RV with a toilet, water tank and inside cooking facilities." Basically, you must be self contained so that you do not require use of the facilities besides a place to park. Harvest Hosts "kindly ask our members to support their Hosts by purchasing one of their local products with each stay!" This in our opinion is usually a perk of staying at a Harvest Host. Good beer, wine, food or entertainment is usually available. In general, it is considered courteous to spend $20 with your host. This is a deal!
Why is this plan so brilliant?
Not only does it help RV travelers find safe and fun places to stay overnight, but it brings extra revenue to businesses across the country as they go about their daily routine. Harvest Hosts not only introduces its members to great independently owned businesses, it brings worth to something not being utilized during the evening; parking spaces. What use is a parking space overnight to a business that is only open during the day? Thankfully, now those spaces are worth an extra something to these places.
It's a new kind of advertisement! You won't find out where the Harvest Hosts are until you purchase the membership. This lends a sense of exclusivity and privacy that helps both businesses and members feel like they are in something special together. You may stumble upon a business that you would have never come across had you not needed a place to stay overnight on your way to Wherever, North America.
Prior to buying our membership, we were curious what the Harvest Hosts app would look like but couldn't see any examples. Turns out there is a really good reason; privacy.
Harvest Hosts says:
Out of respect for our Hosts privacy, complete details of the Host locations are only available to members. Please understand that if we released the Host information to the general public, too many people would abuse the info, upsetting the Hosts and harming the program. We don't want to put our Hosts in the awkward position of having to turn away people who are not in the program and think they are RV locations.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to advertise and we know that there are certain Harvest Hosts where we've stayed that we will never stop talking about! We're talking about you, NRS Ranch outside of Dallas, TX! The NRS Ranch was our first Harvest Hosts experience and we feel like we hit the jackpot! We feel comfortable sharing our Harvest Hosts experience at the NRS Ranch because the NRS Ranch offers hookup sites for a fee on their website. So while you can stay at the NRS Ranch as a Harvest Hosts member, you do not have to be a Harvest Hosts member to stay at the NRS Ranch. If you are not a Harvest Hosts Member you will have to pay to stay: NRS Ranch offers a few different overnight options on their website including hook-up sites, adorable cabins, and even some cowboy motel rooms. Check them out: https://nrsevents.com/book-now/
Read about our experience at the NRS Ranch here in our blog:
See for yourself in this video about our stay at the NRS Ranch:
Harvest Hosts is growing rapidly and expanding to include more and more hosts. In the beginning of the program you had to call the host on the phone and ask permission to stay. Now, Harvest Hosts has an amazing app where you request stays. The app is super user friendly and has so much data at your fingertips. You can use filter fields into the app when searching for locations to take into consideration the length and height of your RV, if you have pets, and other important information needed to know if you and the host site make a good match. You wouldn't want to show up at a spot and not fit!
The app continues to impress with its user friendly interface, marking locations with distinct colored icons for type of business and the ability to use the Interactive Host Map to mark favorite hosts and store future hosts sites on interest. It's also really easy to communicate with your host through the app where you can ask them specific questions and find out their guidelines for their location. For example, not all hosts allow generators and some have different hours of operation which may not allow you to stay of the day you need. In general, most of this information is already readily available in the app in the host information but if you need to ask the host a question, it's very easy to send your question and get a response using the app.
A new feature on the app that we're looking forward to using is the Request-A-Stay system. This feature allows members to see the Host's calendar and make a request to stay online for those Hosts who have opted into this feature.
Currently, Harvest Hosts has two types of memberships: The Classic & Harvest Hosts + Golf
Each of these memberships comes with a 3 month 100% money back guarantee, not that we think you'll be asking for you money back. Be aware that membership fees have gone up over the last few years as Harvest Hosts has branched out and fine tuned their resources. But don't despair, Harvest Hosts has offered a locked in rate for memberships in the past as long as you stay current. It's just something to keep in mind.
The Classic Harvest Hosts membership is currently a $99 annual membership that includes:
Unlimited overnight stays with No Camping Fees
380 Breweries & Distilleries
686 Museums & other attractions
The Harvest Hosts + Golf is currently a $139 annual membership that includes everything offered in The Classic Harvest Hosts membership plus access to:
415 Golf Courses & country clubs including their spa facilities & restaurants
Technically, there is a third membership option through Harvest Hosts. When we purchased our Harvest Hosts membership we were given the option to add another program, Boondocker's Welcome to our membership. Harvest Hosts acquired Boondocker's Welcome in 2021. Boondockers Welcome offers overnight RV parking on private property and unlike Harvest Hosts it does not require any purchase required at host locations. Boondocker's locations are also different from Harvest Hosts in that they offer 1-5 night stays depending on the host and about 70% offer hookups.
Find out more about Boondockers Welcome here: https://www.boondockerswelcome.com
Harvest Host has changed the way we travel. It's easier to stop and stay on your journey. As free overnight parking places become harder to find and less safe, we could not be happier to know that Harvest Hosts is going strong and here to stay. It has taken a lot of the worry away when we want to travel long distances and need a spot to overnight. Knowing you have a nice place to stay between point A and point B is truly peace of mind. We love visiting these businesses and meeting fun and hardworking people as we travel. We can't wait to see what locations Harvest Hosts will add next!
If you are a small business that would like this additional revenue stream and think you'd be a good fit for Harvest Hosts, please contact them. According to Harvest Hosts website, their host location program is cost-free! Check out their host program here: https://harvesthosts.com/hosts/
One day, we hope to see you on our Harvest Hosts map and be able to request-a-stay!