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If you’re looking to shake up your next RV trip, then Harvest Hosts may just be the way to do it. A refreshing alternative to RV parks or campgrounds, Harvest Hosts is a service made up of currently over 2,000 wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, and even museums and golf courses that let RVs park on the property overnight for free! Still, this does come with strings attached.

While you won’t be charged for rocking up to the host’s location in your RV, in exchange for their hospitality you are expected to buy something from the venue in which you’re staying. Now, this doesn’t sound too bad. After all, you get to enjoy a nice trip to a stunning location in your RV while supporting local business.

Harvest Hosts puts you right in the middle of it. You can opt to stay in a beautiful vineyard and wake up to the sight of grapevines stretching for miles. Does it get any better than that? Harvest Hosts can also offer a more private experience than your standard RV park too, as sometimes you may be the only person staying at that particular location.

This is a breath of fresh air from a noisy campsite that can often feel cramped and overcrowded, or an RV park that is often located just off the noisy interstate. Not exactly peaceful! While it’s important to note that not all RV parks or campgrounds are unpleasant experiences, it’s nice to have a change of pace sometimes.

After all, no matter the kind of vacation we’re going on, you want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and it’s hard to do that in a place with little space and a lot of noise – no matter where you’re staying.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at Harvest Hosts – what exactly it is, its founding, and who would really make use of it – its locations, rules, and membership options, as well as what we found great about it and what could be better. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions. Let’s get into it!

What Is Harvest Hosts, And Who Is It For?

Harvest Hosts is a service designed for those with self-contained RVs who want an alternative way to camp besides campgrounds and RV parks. It’s ideal for those who like something a little different from their vacations and want a change from the standard RV vacation.

It’s also ideal for those who want to support small business, and enjoy authentic wines and beers, or golf enthusiasts who want to be able to do a little golfing while staying in their RV.

But even if you’re not a wine or beer drinker, a Harvest Hosts membership has something to offer. There are plenty of other venues such as museums, farms, and golf courses to choose from, so your trip isn’t based solely around alcohol like it would be if you stayed at a winery or brewery. But even the wineries sell other products you can buy alongside or instead of their wines.

Harvest Hosts is now owned by Joel Holland and his wife Mary Ashley Holland. Joel and Mary Ashley are keen RVers from Vail, Colorado, and often bring their pets with them on their RV adventures. Joel and Mary Ashley believe in the freedom that RVing offers, but that not a lot of RVers are not utilizing the freedom offered by their vehicles to their full potential.

Their mission with Harvest Hosts is simple – to unleash the potential of RVs!

Joel and Mary Ashley have spent hundreds of hours driving their RV through all 48 lower States, and noticed a frustrating trend of a lack of unique overnight RV experiences. But that all changed when they joined Harvest Hosts. They soon fell in love with the service, and have stayed at amazing locations from wineries to alpaca farms.

They then went on to purchase Harvest Hosts in 2018 from the original founders, Don and Kim Greene, wanting to carry on fostering the incredible community created by Harvest Hosts and building more connections between Harvest Hosts members and hosts.

How Do You Sign Up For Harvest Hosts?

Signing up for Harvest Hosts couldn’t be easier, and there are two different membership options to choose from. The first membership option is classic membership that gives you access to all the breweries, distilleries, farms, museums and vineyards that Harvest Hosts have to offer. The classic membership is definitely the most popular membership option, with a large network of hosts in over 2,000 locations across the country.

Classic membership gives you access to all of these locations. All you then need to do is call up your desired venue, inquire if a space is available, and then reserve a spot. Easy!

The second option is the Harvest Hosts Golf membership, which is basically the same as classic membership but with the addition of golf course locations. But with the golf course membership there are more locations to choose from.

It’s worth subscribing to this membership, as it opens up your options a bit more if none of the classic membership locations sound appealing, or there are no locations in your area that are appealing to you. Given the number of locations available all over the country this shouldn’t be a problem, but in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon there aren’t a lot of vineyards and farms.

But there are a few golf courses, so if you live in that area and don’t want to travel far, it’s worth exploring the venues offered by the golf membership option.

You’ll be signing up to a one-year membership, which will expire one year from the date of purchase. Once you’re signed up, you’ll receive a tag that you can then print out and hang from your rearview mirror, or place on your dash for the duration of your stay. Your tag will have your name and membership number on it, so staff at the location will know you’re meant to be there and won’t ask you to move your vehicle.

Once sign up is complete, you can then move onto the hard part… trying to decide which locations you want to stay at!

Where Can You Stay With Harvest Hosts?

Where Can You Stay With Harvest Hosts

Harvest Host has plenty of locations to choose from. Granted, there are some areas with few locations to stay, but no matter where you live you’re bound to find a venue that is near to you, or near to where you’re travelling to. It’s worth nothing that availability in some of the more popular locations might be limited as they get busy, and availability will depend on the time of year.

This might be disappointing to some, as when you start to look at locations you may feel that the locations are not as abundant as you thought, or are limited depending on where you are or where you’re going.

To check how many locations might be available in your destination, you can check the public Harvest Hosts map. This is available even without a membership, but when you sign up for a membership you will be granted access to a more detailed map giving you further information on each location.

One area that doesn’t have a lot of Harvest Host locations is Jekyll Island, Georgia. Locations in this are limited and only golf courses are currently available. While the golf membership does open up your options for more locations, there is an issue with staying on a golf course – especially if you’re not a golfer. Harvest Hosts state that you do not have to play golf to make use of their golf courses, but this isn’t exactly true.

Some golf courses require you to play golf in order to stay for the night. This doesn’t really make staying on a golf course feasible if you didn’t intend to play golf during your stay, even if the golf course is the only Harvest Hosts location near to your destination.

While this isn’t the case for all the golf course locations offered by Harvest Hosts, this can be disappointing and frustrating to some who want to make use of a Harvest Hosts location near them, but the only location is a golf course that requires you to play a game.

Of course, if you’re a golfer, then the golf course membership is excellent. But if you aren’t, just be aware that when signing up for a membership to be aware that you may need to play golf in one of the golf locations, and if that is something you’d be interested in during your vacation and if spending enough money at the course restaurant or pro shop will make up for it.

We could also say the same about the classic membership, and you should be prepared to purchase wine or other produce from the location you’re staying in. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it is expected, and it is common courtesy to patronize the owners of the local business that has hosted you for the night.

What Are The Rules Of Harvest Hosts?

Harvest Host has set out some rules for you to follow when you stay at one of their host locations that we believe are both fair to the host and to you, the camper. There are only a couple of rules that you may not have encountered from a similar service, but most of the rules are to be expected. Let’s take a look at some of these rules.

A self-contained RV is required: This means that everything you need is inside your RV, such as showers. You are not permitted to use outdoor showers, or tents, etc. We believe this is reasonable, as you don’t want to ruin the location view by pitching up too many things outside your RV and taking up space.

While they are happy to host you, your hosts have other everyday customers to consider, so want you to blend right in with the surroundings.

You’re only allowed to stay for one night: Nobody likes to overstay their welcome, and a Harvest Hosts location is a great detour while en route to your destination. Some hosts may allow you to stay for more than one night as long as they don’t have other guests arriving too, but this is rare.

The rules also state that you are not supposed to inquire about staying longer than a night, but you can stay more than one night if the host offers.

Express your interest in a location before arriving: Arriving unannounced is not allowed, and this is understandable. After all, the hosts need to make sure they have room for you and are prepared for your arrival. Just showing up without inquiring and making sure there is space for you is grounds for the host to deny you entry. And who wants to drive all the way out to a location to be turned away?

Make sure you call ahead first!

Spend at least $20 with the host: Harvest Hosts advises you to spend at least $20 with your host, and this is reasonable, we believe. While the host is letting you stay on their property for free, they are still running a business and patronizing and supporting your host is just common courtesy and encourages the host to remain part of the service. Plus, $20 is cheaper than a stay at most RV parks!

We believe these rules to be fair and easy to follow, based on common courtesy and respect between the host and the campers. Sticking to the rules makes for a smooth, enjoyable stay and helps Harvest Hosts expand its location database by taking on interested hosts who may be inspired by the good experience of other hosts already using the service.

Harvest Hosts: The Pros

  • It helps small businesses: The idea of buying something from a local business in exchange for staying on their property overnight for free is pretty cool!
  • Expanding your horizons: The wide range of locations offered by Harvest Hosts lets you discover a whole host of locations, some that are way out there and just make your vacation more adventurous and exciting!
  • Getting to sample good, fresh produce: Not only do you get to try out gorgeous wine when you stay at a vineyard, but you get to visit amazing farms and taste their delicious, freshly grown produce too.
  • Having more options for a detour: If you’re in for a particularly long drive to your destination, it’s nice to stop somewhere along the way that is unique, peaceful, and maybe even a little exciting.
  • Pet-friendly locations: Some campers love to take their pets with them along for the adventure, and most Harvest Host locations allow pets. Always make sure to ask about this when you inquire, though.
  • The chance to meet new people: You not only get to meet friendly fellow RVers with Harvest Hosts, but also friendly and helpful hosts too.
  • Easy-to-use website and app: Here you’ll easily find all the information you need about the locations you’re interested in.

Harvest Host: The Cons

  • Limited locations: Although Harvest Hosts is ever-expanding, depending on where you are and where you’re going, you may find the options sparse.
  • Required to play golf on some golf locations: Although ideal for golfers, some golf course locations require you to play a round to stay there, and it’s often not enough to just eat a meal at the restaurant or buy something at the pro shop.
  • No access to amenities: There is no access to water, electric, Wi-Fi, and dump stations at most locations. Some locations do offer these amenities, but it’s rare. Some campers may not be expecting these things, but this does give the edge to RV parks that do provide these things.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Benefits Of Being A Harvest Hosts Member?

The membership benefits of Harvest Hosts include information on the hosts that will let you park overnight in their locations, with information on the hours they operate, how to locate them, information on their amenities, reviews and photos of their business, and links to their social media and website.

You will also be given a membership dashboard with a ‘Request-A-Stay’ system that gives you access to the calendar of your hosts and make online requests to stay at their location, download your membership card and badge that you bring with you during your stay, and review the locations you have stayed at.

Plus, the interactive host map lets you search for hosts by state, locations, or routes, and plan trips and save the details of hosts you’re interested in. With the Harvest Hosts mobile app, you’ll receive a monthly newsletter with information on new hosts, and with membership you also have access to a Member Success Team to help with your every need.

What Vehicles Are Allowed At Harvest Hosts Locations?

All RV classes are allowed, including motorhomes, camper vans, truck campers, travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, toy haulers, and schoolies. Vehicles that are towed behind RVs are also permitted. However, regular pop-up campers (or folding camping trailers) where the trailer pops up and out at the sides and the middle are not allowed.

Tents including ground tents or car rooftop tents are also not allowed, as is overlanding in jeeps, bikes, or ATVs, or sleeping in cars, minivans, or trucks.

Hybrid (expandable) travel trailers are only allowed if the bed areas are popped out and the rest of the trailer is made up of four rigid sides. Camper vans where only the bed area pops up is allowed, as long as the rest of the van has four rigid sides. Teardrop and clamshell trailers are also allowed, but the use of their outdoor cooking features is not allowed.

Are Locations Open All Year Round?

While most of the locations offered by Harvest Hosts are open all year-round, some farms and vineyards might operate seasonally. Hosts in locations with adverse winter weather may also not be open during these times, but all the hosts provide information on their opening hours on the Harvest Hosts website.

You can also double-check for last-minute operation changes by visiting the host’s website or social media pages. When you make an inquiry with a host however, let them know what time you expect to arrive to make sure they are open at that time.

Is There Water, Electricity, Etc. At Harvest Hosts Locations?

As the hosts are primarily vineyards, farms, or breweries, they do not have the amenities you would expect at a campsite. However, few of the hosts do provide water or electricity. Information on what amenities a host provides can be found on the website, and there may be a charge for using these amenities.

Can I Bring A Generator?

You can bring a generator to a Harvest Hosts location but remember to be considerate and inquire with the host beforehand that this is okay, and if so, they can assign you a spot where the generator will not be a disturbance to others. If you are parked near neighbors or other campers, the Harvest Hosts website asks you to not use your generator excessively or have it on all the time.

Final Thoughts

Harvest Hosts is ideal for those looking for something a little different to the normal RV trips and want an alternative to run-of-the-mill RV parks. The warm welcome you receive when you arrive at a host location and the peacefulness of staying overnight on a farm, vineyard, golf course, or museum is wonderful.

While locations will differ in quality, the majority of locations are excellent, and expanding your membership option to include golf course options gives you more of an idea of what’s available. But beware that some golf course locations will require you to play a round of golf in order to stay there. However, if you are a golfer, Harvest Hosts has plenty of exceptional golf courses to offer, that would be an ideal place to stay if you want to fit in a round of golf on your trip!

If you’re bored by RV parks and campgrounds, Harvest Hosts provides a terrific alternative for somewhere to stay on your next camping trip.

Discover How To Prepare, Launch & Grow Your Dream Digital Nomad Business!

Become financially independent by building a passion-based online business

DO YOU BELIEVE ADVENTURES ARE WORTH CHASING?

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