Almost everyone has heard of the Elks Lodges, more properly called The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the USA.
This caring and sharing organization was founded in New York City in 1868 by 15 actors and entertainers. It was originally called Jolly Corks. There seems to be no explanation for the name nor for the current name of Elks. There certainly were no four-legged elks in New York City in the 1860s. Much more information about the Elks Lodge is available online by searching for Elks Lodges.
However, for RV owners, many of the more than 2,000 Elks lodges in the United States offer RV parking for their members nationwide. Of course, not all of the lodges offer RV parking and, unfortunately, not all of the lodges that offer parking are listed on the Elk’s web directory of lodges, available at Elks.org. This website will help any RVer get started in the right direction to find an Elks Lodge with facilities or space for RV parking.
Earlier this year, I stayed at the Florence, Ariz., Elks lodge RV parking lot. RVs may be parked in a gravel and grassed field directly north of the lodge building. Plus, the lodge offers certain amenities to members including pool tables and meals that are served several times per week. A donation is accepted for the dry camping that is available near the lodge. No other facilities are available at the lodge in Florence, but many Elks lodges have full or partial hookups for from 5 to 25 RVs.
Information concerning the available amenities is available on the lodge”s website. Driving directions aren’t offered on the website, but are readily available on other sites.
In most, but not all situations, RVers must become members of the Elks organization before they can park on site.
My friend, Cindy, has been an Elk for several years and routinely stays at lodges around the country. She is very complimentary about RVing at the Elk lodges. Many others who are routine Elk campers have also agreed and offers positive statements.
Here are the advantages of RVing at Elk lodges:
- Parking with fellow Elks members who also enjoy RVing.
- Use of adjacent lodge facilities for recreation and meals.
- The security of being near an established, local and respected community organization.
- Donations or low-cost fees are accepted.
- Donations or fees are usually given to a deserving charity or project of that lodge.
- There are lodges in virtually every state in America.
- Fees are often less than the cost of staying at local RV parks.
- Initiation fees and annual dues for membership are relatively small when compared to the money that may be saved by parking at the Elks lodges.
There are a few disadvantages to consider before deciding if this is right for you. They include:
- Not all lodges offer RV parking.
- Many lodges do not have hookups or dump stations.
According to the Elks’ website, to be eligible for membership, you must be a citizen of the United States over the age of 21 who believes in God. Members are expected to participate in lodge activities. For more information about becoming a member, click here.