A consumer advocacy group has formed to assist people who say they lost money at the hands of unscrupulous or financially failing campground/resort membership firms.

The non-profit National Association for Members of Campground Resorts, Condominiums and Timeshares (NAM) also seeks to educate consumers on the practices of membership resorts that allegedly fail to honor contracts, become bankrupt or sell memberships to other companies.

“Too often, consumers are victims of fraud, and they don’t want to admit that – especially us older people,” said Barbara Mozingo, state coordinator for the Dayton, Ohio-based group, which is primarily made up of RVers.

Mozingo said NAM enjoyed a strong response from consumers, who must submit stamped envelopes in order to receive NAM’s newsletter, which RVers are encouraged to copy and disseminate to other consumers. RVers can also visit the group’s Web site (natlassoc.com), where they can get information and updates on bankruptcy proceedings and litigation involving campground membership firms.

Mozingo said the association – which operates on a shoestring budget and is run by volunteers – ultimately hopes to establish a nationwide network of activists.
“My job is to start state associations and state chapters to get people to talk about these problems and try to solve them,” she said.

NAM also plans to bring its grassroots support to the campgrounds themselves. “We currently have three ambassadors that we’re encouraging to go from campground to campground,” she said. “They talk to the owners and ask questions, such as, ‘do you have an escape clause in your contract?’ “