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!”
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.
• 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)
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!