Originally Posted by cgotto1204
My membership allows me to make a reservation 120 days in advance. But I was dismayed that Thousand Trails, Hershey is almost booked up in advance for the Hershey RV show.
Don't be amazed. Those of us with various lifetime memberships can book 120 to 210 (don't think there are any longer out than this) days in advance, and during the Hershey show you'll find that Thousand Trails (my home Trails CG) is filled with lifers!
We bought in so long ago we have seen the many other CG networks absorbed into it, and it change hands. VERY few have memberships like ours - it's sort of an extended version of the Lifetime Platinum Plus VIP - with 28 consecutive day stay, go direct to next CG, 60 night free before $3/night, 210 days advance booking/no restrictions, 6 courtesy cards, and preferred access to timeshare resorts. Our yearly dues have been frozen as well, and we need only camp 12 nights for that to pay for itself. However, we camp at least 25 nights in Trails CGs because we live near some of their best CGs in the network. Our two go-tos for weekend escapes are just 2.5 hours drive.
At one time, we could have said we stayed at all of the network campgrounds, but now can only claim about 75%. MANY of them are old and tired unfortunately... However, in the last two seasons I've seen funds being pumped into 3 of the properties personally with electrical upgrades, playground reconstruction, site leveling, and bath house renovation. All good things!
For us, we'll hang onto our membership because we not only take advantage of the nice CGs we actually have near us, but we've also used the timeshare access quite a bit to our favorite destinations where we cannot haul the camper because of time constraints. It's worked well for us.
Anyone interested in the network CGs, know that you can take a tour of any of them by simply stopping in at the guard house/check in and let them know you're considering membership. They may give you the blessing to drive through yourself, or you may need to take a spin in their golf cart. Also, a large majority of network campgrounds do set aside a few spaces for use by non-members to explore the experience to see if you want to join. You just need to call Thousand Trails reservations, they'll check availability with the specific campground for non-members, and you must pay for the reservation in full with a credit card if there's room. In either case, expect to get a follow-up call about membership. Further, you can very regularly get a steep discount on the Zone Pass memberships, often ~$200, with careful timing watching for the specials and membership drives. Further, they often run buy one zone and get a second at a steep discount (or even free as I saw posted on the guard shack at Hershey last year).