Below is a review of the RV magazines with which I am familiar. First is a general description of the content, followed by my opinion of that content. There are others, but these are the ones that I am knowledgeable of.
This is the magazine of the Escapees RV Club. This magazine is of general interest to RVers as well as to the membership. It does have news of particular interest to members, but it also has some of the best and most useful articles of any magazine around. Thoughts for the Road, a column by founder Kay Peterson, are always thought provoking. The magazine is just under 90 pages with very little advertising, and the articles and stories are excellent, and of general interest. It does have classified ads, new product reviews, and a subscriber opinion page. At the back is a list of all SKP parks. The most unique part of this magazine is the fact that the content is mpst;y written by members and the pay that they receive is very small. These articles are very professional, even though the writers are not writing as a profession. This is in my mind, the very best of the RV magazines. You must be a member of Escapees to get the magazine and it would be worth the price if that were the only reason that you joined.
This is the magazine of the Good Sam Club. It too has things of general interest. This is a fairly good magazine. The columns Newsline, RV Insight, Action Line, and Tech Topics, are what make the magazine of interest to all RVers. There are other things, which are well written, and worth your time, but there are also some very slanted articles in support of the other services and products of the Affinity Group, which is the parent of the Good Sam club. Good Sam is actually a "for profit" business, and not a true club. I doubt that I would pay as much as the GS dues for the magazine alone. It is good, but probably not that good.
I no longer subscribe.
The Affinity Group publishes this magazine. It is an excellent magazine with quality publishing techniques and is very attractive. The travel articles are well written and usually accurate. Hotline, Lifestyle, and MH News, are regular features that are worth the time of any RV'er. Of interest to all owners of motor homes are Coach & Chassis, Powertrain, and Quick Tips. The reviews of motor homes are diminished by the fact that the publisher not only accepts advertising form the manufacturers, but they frequently have a full page ad for the reviewed motor home on the adjoining page to the article. I have never seen any but the mildest of criticisms in a review, but the specs and data are accurate and the review is generally accurate. This magazine should be very useful to any motorhome owner.
This is Affinity's counterpart to Motorhome for the RV'er who chooses to tow a trailer. Some articles appear in both magazines, but not all. It is of equal quality and content. When I owned a trailer I read it as faithfully as I now do Motorhome. I recommend it to those who own fifth wheels and trailers.
I no longer subscribe.
This is the magazine of the FMCA. You must own a motor home of some type to join this club. The magazine has columns Technical Inquiries and Tech & Travel Tips that are excellent. Their product reviews are also well done. The magazine is as quality a publication as I have come across in the RV world. It is also the largest of the RV magazines, running more than 200 pages. It has articles that are written by both members and professional writers. If rallies for motor homes are your thing, you will love this magazine. A large part of it is dedicated to promoting the future rallies and to telling about the past ones. There are the usual columns of interest to members and some very good travel pieces. The magazine is well written and professionally presented.
I no longer subscribe.
Trailer Life RV Directory
This is the directory that we have used for the past ten years or so. We use it primarily because it has the best directions to parks of any directory we are familiar with. It is a good directory, but not a great one. The ratings are frequently higher than we would give and sometimes we wonder why two parks that we find to be very different, have the same rating. It also appears to us, that any park, which advertises, cannot receive a rating that is less than 5. I do not know a lot about the manner of rating the parks, but I do know that the people who do the ratings also sell the advertising at the same time that they do the rating. As far as I have been able to determine, none of the other directories are any better. The Affinity Group publishes both this and the Woodall's directory.
I purchase a new copy every other year
This is the magazine for the person who wishes to work while traveling or to spend time as a park volunteer for their campsite. If it isn't the best magazine of it's type, then the best one has stayed well hidden! It has columns on how to find and to keep jobs for the RV'er and how to be sure that the job is a fit. It has features about noteworthy places to work and some about people who are doing the jobs. But mostly it has ads from those who wish to have us as employees or as volunteers. The jobs are listed by state and region to help you locate something in the area where you wish to travel. There are usually about 40 pages of them and they are of every type imaginable. They also take ads from those seeking jobs. I don't know why as if you can't find something in this magazine, you must be unemployable! It comes out every other month and it has to be the greatest bargain out there.
This magazine bills itself as "the RV travel magazine of the Southwest." It has well written travel features which often cover areas that are not well known, but worth the time to visit. It is a quality magazine, but it does have a high percentage of advertising. It is published quarterly and each issue has an emphasis on a featured southwestern state. Additionally each issue has some content on other states in the region. At $12.50 per year, I do not consider it to be worth the price, but they are frequently found in racks for free distribution at RV supply stores in the southwest, and I do pick one up and read it then. Remember that even a free subscription must have postage paid on it when forwarded to you.
I do not subscribe.