Harvest Hosts Review – [The Pros and cons]

By Ray Roman | June 23, 2022

Are you tired of staying at the same, old boring campground as you did last year?  Are you looking for something different?  Something social? Something fun and exciting? Our Harvest Hosts review will tell whether it’s with the price.

Have you ever considered using Harvest Hosts?  Let us answer a few questions you might have about Harvest Hosts and maybe we can introduce you to an option that offers an opportunity to add something different to your next trip instead of the traditional stay.

Harvest Hosts review

Table of Contents

What is Harvest Hosts?

Harvest Hosts is a network of locations that host RVers at different location types with no nightly fee.  To have access to this network one must pay a membership fee.

Harvest Hosts currently has over 3603+ Hosts (including 416 golf courses) located in all of the lower 48 US states, Canada, Alaska, and Baja California.  Some of these sites include wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, gardens, museums, golf courses, and various other attractions including an alligator ranch!  See them all here.

Campers can only stay one night (no longer than 24 hours), additional time is occasionally granted by the host.  You must be able to boondock as most hosts do not have water, electricity, or dumping options.

A few hosts will have amenities such as water and electricity but those will come with a fee if you choose to use those services. Let’s continue on with our Harvest Hosts review.

How does it work?

The whole process is pretty simple.  First, purchase your annual membership, then choose a location (you’ll need to give the host at least a 24-hour notice), and go!  Memberships are good for one year starting the date of purchase and can be renewed one year from then. 

Once you arrive onsite, you’ll need proof of your Harvest Host membership and proof of liability insurance on your vehicle.  It is important to note that hosts are not responsible for damages, theft, injury, or lost items.   

There are a few rules, no tents or tent-link structures are allowed.  Also, campers cannot sleep in vehicles (cars, trucks, or vans).  Your RV must have an indoor toilet, holding tanks for all water used, and the ability to cook inside the RV.

There is no dumping allowed on host property.  This RV membership allows you to stay 24 hours with a host unless a host invites you to stay longer.  

The listing for each location will include helpful information such as maximum allowed RV length, days available, the amount of parking available if the location has any sort of additional amenities (such as water or electricity) if pets are welcome, and more.  

While not required, it is suggested that when you visit a host you spend a minimum of $20 to support their business.  Most hosts will sell goods such as produce, a wine made on location, gift shop goodies, and other great items.

This is how Harvest Hosts attracts different hosts by allowing for exposure to the host’s business.  

Several of the hosts will offer one-of-a-kind experiences as part of the stay, sometimes that includes a private tour of the location, samples of products, an opportunity to ask questions, or just to have a conversation and hear stories about the host’s business or life.  

The Positives of Harvest Hosts

This is going to be a better alternative to a truck stop or an empty, un-secure parking lot.  Most of these locations will be safer, and more secure, and you’ll probably have a better time staying with a host than a boring parking lot or campground. 

Did you know that a lot of cities have decided to rule against sleeping in a vehicle on public property?  Yes, even including in your RV.

With Harvest Hosts, you won’t have to stress about having a place when you get there and whether you’ll be chased away by the police at some point overnight. 

Harvest Hosts will more than likely be cheaper than a campground, whether public or private, these typically range between $40-$100 a night.  If you use your Harvest Hosts membership just a few times a year it’ll have paid for itself.

All you’ll be out after that is the strongly suggested but not required $20 purchase from the host.  And let’s be honest, you’d probably have spent that anyway having stopped at such unique, fun places. 

A positive that may not be as evident right away is the connections you’re bound to make while visiting these locations whether it be with fellow campers or the hosts themselves.  With a Harvest Host, you’ll be able to meet new people and have new experiences, what could be better?

The Negatives of Harvest Host

The most negative thing we found was in advertising we thought could be misleading.  They advertise that they offer “RV camping at 1,091+ wineries, breweries, farms, and attractions that invite RVers to stay FOR FREE!”.

But then you’ll find that the stay is free AFTER you’ve paid your $79 membership fee and it doesn’t account for the suggested $20 spent at each host’s location. This fee could add up, but we still think it is cheaper than reserving a campground.

Another disappointment is that the list of hosts can be wanting in some states.  In fact, a few states with just a site or two, like Nevada has maybe three host locations.

Montana has four total for the entire state.  If you’re traveling along the coasts; however, there are plenty of options. The west coast has host locations, but the western states are fairly sparse.

The eastern states, though, are more plentiful as well as the coast. 

Keep in mind that Harvest Hosts is regularly adding new locations and will send a monthly newsletter via email to members announcing new hosts. 

Finally, the boondocking requirement can be stressful if you aren’t prepared.  You’ll need to have emptied your tanks before getting onsite and you will want to make sure that you have enough fuel for the appliances you use to cook.

You also need to have packed plenty of water as you can’t count on freshwater being available.  With some planning ahead, however, much of this stress can be mitigated.  

Is Harvest Hosts a good replacement for RV parks?

I don’t think we can answer that question for you because everyone’s needs differ.  It is a great option for a quick one-night stop, as the stay is limited to 24 hours. If you’re looking for a place to relax and spend a few days doing it, Harvest Hosts isn’t going to be the place for that.  

Also, how comfortable you are dry camping matters.  If you are the kind of RVer that wants air conditioning, electricity, fresh water available, and the option to dump your tanks, you may not find this as exciting as someone who values experience/affordability over comfort.  

Finally, the last thing to consider is how social do you want to be?  Harvest Hosts relies on the exposure of the host’s business to entice them to join the network, that exposure is going to come from interaction with you.

If you love the idea of meeting someone new and experiencing something different than what a traditional campground can offer then Harvest Hosts is going to be a great fit. If you just want to relax and be left alone, this may not be the best option for you. 

Harvest Hosts, is it worth the price?

If you are outgoing, open to new experiences, comfortable with a $79 membership, willing to spend $20 to support a small business, and not looking to stay longer, we think so.

Hanging out with a Harvest Host doesn’t have to be something you do all the time, but it is a fun alternative when you’re looking for adventure and something out of the ordinary!  

Harvest Hosts Review Final Thoughts

Well, if you’re convinced this is an experience you’ve been waiting for, visit Harvest Host’s Website and start your adventure!

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Ray Roman

Ray Roman is the co-owner/author of Go Travel Trailers. He is the main contributor of content and an avid researcher of travel trailers and the RV lifestyle. He loves fly fishing, vacationing in Red River, NM, and spending time with family and friends.