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RV Journal, a travel-related consumer magazine circulated primarily for free in the Southwest, has started an RV club that will offer discounts and event-oriented rallies starting this fall. The publication also plans to rate as many as 500 campgrounds in its distribution area within the next two years.

“The club is based on the mission of the magazine — to serve RVers,” said Publisher Bill Todd. “We do very little editorial on ‘buy this’ or test reports. All of our editorial is related to travel.”

Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based RV Journal, which distributes 125,000 copies, circulates free primarily in California, Arizona, Nevada and western Utah. About 6,000 people who subscribe to the quarterly magazine for $24.95 a year receive two-for-one discounts at selected campgrounds.

Those who subscribe will automatically become members of the RVJ Club, Todd said.

When the RV club is in full swing, member campgrounds will offer 10% discounts, Todd said.

The RVJ Club’s first rally will be Oct. 13-15 at the Miramar Air Show, San Diego.

“We are already planning three or four more rallies,” Todd said. “My idea of a rally is not the same as most rallies today, which often are supplier shows. We will do event rallies and we are going to create some of our own, including rallies that primarily are aimed at RVers with children.”

Todd said the RVJ Club rating system will concentrate on giving RVers a text description of campgrounds, primarily on the Internet.

“We are going to do a text report on each park and there will be photographs,” Todd said. “We want them to given an hones report, and it will be very detailed.”

Inspections will be conducted by three to five teams of active full-time RVers Todd said. “These will be people who are very familiar with what to look for, and they won’t be selling anything to the campground,” he said. “We want them to give an honest report and it will be very detailed.”

To participate in the discount program, parks will be charged a $300 annual fee, Todd said, but may or may not be “recommended” by the club.

Todd said there are approximately 1,000 campgrounds in the four states where RV Journal primarily circulates. “We will hopefully in two years have half of them rated,” Todd said. “It is a very ambitious project.”