We didn’t know exactly how much we would end up using our Harvest Hosts membership when we purchased it for $49 in July 2017.
At that point, I just knew it was a pretty cool idea that fascinated me and that I had to try out as we spent a year traveling in our RV across the United States and Canada.
One Year of Remarkable Off-the-Grid Experiences
Nearly a year later, the truth is that we have only been able to visit three different locations and spend a total of four nights at Harvest Hosts locations. This is much less than I wish I could say we had used it, because each and every stay has been completely remarkable and enjoyable.
When we started out on this grand RVing adventure, I was focused heavily on options that would allow us to cut costs and live cheaply on the road. And when I saw that I could couple that focus with the ability to experience “off the beaten path” wineries, farms and cideries across the continent, it was a complete no-brainer.
Starting Our Vineyard Adventures on the Right Foot
Our first Harvest Hosts experience proved to be a completely unexpected and fantastic international experience. And it wasn’t even a vineyard, actually.
After streaking north from Texas as fast as we could in June of 2017, we had made our way to the northernmost point of our trek at Banff National Park near Calgary, Alberta, Canada in late July. We soaked in the sights and sounds in that striking landscape for about a week. But the time came to start making our way to the southwest toward our next destination in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Most RV parks that I had been able to track down between Banff and Vancouver were either well out of the way or pretty dang expensive. Neither of those appealed to me very much, especially with the additional expenses we incurred during our Banff excursions. I wanted to pinch some pennies!
Enter Scenic Road Cider Co. in Kelowna, BC. (You can see our full post on Scenic Road Cider here.) Located in a picturesque setting just 15 minutes outside of downtown Kelowna, we pulled up without much of a clue of what to expect. We knew that we would not have water nor electric during our one-night stay, but we felt that the adventure was worth the unknowns and inconveniences that came along with that.
A Fantastic Story Behind This Family Cidery
We were not wrong. It was MORE than worth it.
One of the owners, Marina, walked down the road to greet us and point us to our parking spot for the night. She also offered to give us a tour and a tasting at the cidery even though they were not open that day.
After getting everything situated for our stay, we walked up the hill where we also met Marina’s husband, Harv. They both gave us a full tour of their cidery operation and told us the full story of their operation. Specifically, we heard about how their family had just accidentally stumbled into the cider business after buying the plot of land that included the apple orchards.
Great Hosts, Great Location, Great Beverages
As entrepreneurs ourselves, we were completely fascinated to hear one of those great “accidental entrepreneur” stories! And Harv and Marina were very gracious hosts, allowing us to sample all the different tasty varieties of cider so we could decide what we just had to purchase. (We purchased a few different varieties, by the way. This is a great way to support your host and get some incredible goodies for yourself. Win-win!)
We had a peaceful stay right on the edge of their family orchard and headed out early the next morning for our Vancouver destination.
Harvest Hosts Locations in Oregon
A few months later, we had the opportunity to also stay at a couple of other places in both northern and southern Oregon as we drifted south.
Plum Hill Vineyards in Gaston, just a bit southwest of Portland, OR, welcomed us to their winery and provided a water connection and a 15-amp electric connection to keep us comfortable. Our two-night stay proved to be equally enjoyable with a full wine tasting in their tasting room and a bottle or two to take back to the RV with us for later.
The last stop we have been able to enjoy, Devitt Winery & Vineyards, is located about 30 minutes southwest of Medford, OR and was the perfect stopping point for us as we made our way from Florence on the Oregon coast to Umpqua National Forest and Crater Lake for the experience of a lifetime. The crew at Devitt showed us great hospitality and we again walked away with some tasty beverage choices to enjoy. Incidentally, they were also able to offer us a water and 15-amp electrical connection, so that was an added bonus.
Limits to Our Ability to Use the Harvest Hosts Membership
If my RV (26-ft travel trailer) was better equipped for boondocking, we would have used Harvest Hosts far more than we have been able to in the past year. The majority of the host locations do not offer water or electric hookups for your RV, and this has made things a bit challenging for us and our travel trailer.
But if you are set up for going off-grid with your RV (larger holding tanks, solar or generator for power, etc.), I can almost guarantee that you will get the chance to use a Harvest Hosts membership much, much more than we have in the past year.
Is the Harvest Hosts Membership Really Worth It?
Here’s the thing: Even though we have only spent four nights at these remarkable spots in the past 11 months, the membership has still more than paid for itself.
We have paid an average of about $35 per night for an RV site over the past year when not staying at a Thousand Trails campground as members. So those four nights would have cost us about $140, which means that we have saved $91 ($140 minus $49 HH annual membership fee) just with our limited use.
So, yes, it was a solid financial decision even with our limited ability to use it.
This Is About Much More than the Money
But more importantly, it has broadened our family’s horizons and allowed us to meet some beautiful people in gorgeous settings. (The wine and cider purchased during our stays was also a wonderful little perk, just FYI.)
Want an Extra Month of Membership for Free??
If you choose to sign up with Harvest Hosts and mention that you heard about them on TREKKN.co or from Todd and Julie Bonner, they will give both of us an extra month of membership for FREE!
Go ahead and sign up today! Your family will thank you.
We have zero regrets about our Harvest Hosts membership purchase and feel that our lives have been enriched by the opportunities that the membership has offered us. You can bet that I will be renewing our membership for another year (or longer) when the time comes this summer.
We crave more experiences like these that Harvest Hosts has opened us up to. As I prepare my RV for more boondocking opportunities moving forward, you can also bet that I will be getting much more use out of this unique outdoor adventure membership for years to come.
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Todd Bonner is the quieter half of the dynamic TREKKN duo. He spends most of his time sharing information about RV travel and safety, RV accessories and tips, and the National Parks he has visited and still desperately craves. When he’s not busy working on TREKKN, you will often find him staring at breathtaking pictures of Glacier National Park, his favorite spot on earth.
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