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A Message From The Board | 40 Years of Support and Progress

By Shawn Loring #76442, Escapees CEO, and the Escapees Board of Directors

When Escapees founders, Joe Peterson (a traveling electrician) and Kay Peterson (a traveling nurse), started Escapees RV Club, there was no lofty vision. There was no detailed plan with five- and 10-year goals. Rather, Joe and Kay authored a series of articles for Woodall’s Trailer Travel magazine. In one article, they stated that they would be willing to start a club for full-time RVers, if enough people were interested. In Kay’s words; “Several said, if a newsletter was involved, they were very interested. We had two dozen positive responses from the magazine, and I began to think really big. If this thing caught on, there might someday be a hundred, even two hundred, members!”

Escapees RV Club is currently over 60,000 people strong across the United States, Canada and throughout South America. The club started with humble roots as groups of families, working and raising children while on the road, all bound together with a common set of values—caring and sharing. The sentiment of “people helping people” became the driving force for all the services Escapees offers today. We didn’t set out to become “a total support network for all RVers.” Instead, we grew to offer services in eight different industries, because it helped friends, like you, to be more successful in this wonderful, unconventional lifestyle.

The club started small. In 1978, we sent out a five-page newsletter. In 1979, we hosted our first Escapade, and it was attended by 27 families. By 1985, we started a mail-forwarding service to enable our members to maintain their social and business affairs while traveling.

Our growth has always been purposeful and guided by your voices and your needs.

Today we offer the following resources for RVers:
Publishing—books and Escapees magazine
Travel—HOPs, cruises and Xscapers convergences
Education—Escapees Rvers’ Boot Camp, Escapees SmartWeigh, RVers’ Online University, articles and blogs
Mail service—largest private mail-forwarding service in the country
Membership—discounts offered to our members from multiple vendors
Campgrounds—seven Rainbow Parks (in seven states) and 11 SKP Co-Op parks
Utilities—water and sewer at selected parks
Long-term leases—Escapees Rainbow Parks Unlimited (ERPU)
In March of 2015, we had a metaphoric return to our roots. Travis and Melanie Carr #8 co-founded Xscapers, a diverse community of active, adventurous RVers who are dedicated to enabling the dream of working and sharing life on the road. The Xscapers community now represents 13 percent of the Escapees RV Club.

And we are not stopping there! As we begin 2018, we have plans to add more services and to refine our existing offerings. Escapees will continue to focus on advocacy. We will not be able to fight every fight, and we will not win every time we fight; however, we’ll continue to champion RVers rights.

As Escapees adds more services to our roster, rest assured, we will maintain the same values we had when we were two people sharing experiences with our friends in a one-page newsletter. The Escapees Board of Directors are merely stewards of a movement that is much greater than ourselves. And this movement is four decades strong. Approximately 300,000 families have contributed to the Escapees community, sharing knowledge and making memories together. While we believe the services we offer enable you to successfully RV, Escapees is more than a collection of discounts and services. Escapees is a way to truly be freedom driven in the company of like-minded souls.

So, as we celebrate our first 40 years, we honor you, your sense of adventure and your commitment to fellowship. Cheers!

3 Responses

    1. Then you’re in the right place, Jim! Feel free to browse the menus above to learn more about our benefits and services. If you are looking for a general overview, clicking on “About” will give you a little history of the club and walk you through what we offer.

  1. My Grandma and Grandpa were full time RV’ers when I was growing up. They retired from it 30 years ago because my Grandpa was losing his Eye sight. I wish I know more about their rv life. But if any of you seasoned RV’ers remember a Glenn and Margarete Ellis, That’s my grandma and grandpa!!!

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