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Old 07-30-2014, 11:54 PM   #11
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I've had my RV for about 3 weeks now and already paid off my Passport America membership...that one is a no brainer.
Got a 1000 Trails Southeast region free for a year with the RV purchase from the dealer but so far have not used it. Did stay at one in S. New Jersey that was really not a place I'd go back to.
Anyone have a SE zone pass that has a favorite 1000trails to recommend?
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:19 AM   #12
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Out of curiosity, where did you stay in S. New Jersey?

I really enjoy the Clermont park (TT Orlando). It's a nice park.

I'm current at the Diamond Caverns park near Mammoth Cave National Park. Decent place, a little small but many of the sites are pretty cozy. It is also showing its age in a few areas, but it was a good location for us.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:11 AM   #13
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We bought one in 1993, it is a life time membership and the maintenance fees were contractually frozen when the first one of us reached 62 years old, this worked out good for us because the fees up till then were linked to inflation past a certain number (can't remember the number) but they had not risen much. We got free camping at our home park, two weeks in one week out, the park was quite good and had a water park attached (gone now) the activities were great (note I said were) there are so many members now but the rule book keeps getting thicker and people don't come which actually suits the owners, no hydro, no water being used so their cost are way down. We went there in mid-July and the place was dead.
Anyway at the beginning we got access to coast to coast which we used and found it suited our traveling, it was dropped (no input from members) and ROD was brought in, it was, is, useless east of the rockies, we now find that Passport America works best with AOR/ACN next.
If I was giving advise on this now I would advise against buying into something you have little to no control over. I will add that we bought a Disney one and it works great.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:18 AM   #14
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I agree that the driving force needs to be your ability to use it and to like where you camp. I looked into it and found that the campgrounds here in the northeast associated with TT were not that great. If I recall correctly I think there were only 3 in all of New England (VT, NH, ME, MA, RI, CT). Six states - three campgrounds. Not that compelling to join.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:58 AM   #15
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We are Charter Lifetime Good Sam members. That was a smart buy back in 2004

We bit on the Good Sam offer of Passport America (PA) for $30 special (normally $44/year) On our return from Goshen we will make that money back + $15 in CG savings--so that paid for itself. The PA CG we will be staying at in KY is right outside Mammouth Cave and has had a very favorable review on this forum.

Time will tell if we will buy a PA Lifetime membership ($360 I think, and that may be discounted through Good Sam)

Resort Memberships? We are still considering this but not-so-sure it will be for us. We went to a Ocean Canyon "Sales-cation" earlier this month. Bad weather + high pressure sales soured us on that Property. I vented to Management and, to their credit they want us to try again at another property. You can read about hte experience here:
Ocean Canyon RV Resorts? RV Membership Clubs in General

IMHO, if you are going Full Time you should consider SOME type of membership camping association. In this thread on Ocean Canyons I do a cost analysis of membership:
Ocean Canyon properties

Hope this helps!
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:17 PM   #16
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Resort "memberships" seem IMO to be a bit of a misnomer. You get no 'rights' or input into anything. So anything can change at any time, they can sell, etc. Since what you were 'sold' isn't perhaps what you end up paying for you have to expect a certain amount of, well, frustration I guess.

We bought into an ROD resort and they tried to sell it..the deal fell through but things changed anyway. We are not 'life' members so can be assessed for improvements (they did wifi but it's $5/day...we paid for it with our assessment...). The contract says all sites are first come first serve but they started offering seasonal rentals on sites. A clear breech of contract.
We were told a number of things that turned out not to be true and a few things were mentioned that really weren't true or well, perhaps were turds being polished more than reality.

If we were FT it would be a great deal, no question. The more you camp the better the deal as the costs are fixed.

I can say since we're paid up, so to speak, we can go camping without checking our bank account. With ROD/AOR/ACN memberships we can go to 4 or 5 CGs within about 2 hours drive. ALL are better than public CGs we've been to.
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
Out of curiosity, where did you stay in S. New Jersey?

I really enjoy the Clermont park (TT Orlando). It's a nice park.

I'm current at the Diamond Caverns park near Mammoth Cave National Park. Decent place, a little small but many of the sites are pretty cozy. It is also showing its age in a few areas, but it was a good location for us.
It was Sea Pines down near Avalon. The town & beach were great though!
Thanks for the recommendations on Daimond Caverns & Clermont!
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by vinmaker View Post
I agree that the driving force needs to be your ability to use it and to like where you camp. I looked into it and found that the campgrounds here in the northeast associated with TT were not that great. If I recall correctly I think there were only 3 in all of New England (VT, NH, ME, MA, RI, CT). Six states - three campgrounds. Not that compelling to join.
Here's the actual map of their 5 zones and camps within each zone.
Thousand Trails: Membership Zones
At $545 for a year...you need to be able to HAPPILY camp at least 20 nites in your zones parks each year to break even with private parks using other discounts like Passport/Good Sam...if you figure $30 bucks a nite.
If some of the parks in the zone aren't kept or run well..that further reduces the limited 13-23 parks in each zone. I think if you lived near a couple of good ones and like to camp weekends & holidays fairly close to home...this could make good sense. But do your due diligence on conditions before signing up for anything.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:24 AM   #19
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I'm a member/owner in a deeded membership campground in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We have a large facility with two swimming pools, a lake, tennis courts and a huge club house with separate commercial kitchen. We're a 5 star rated member of Coast to Coast.

The benefit is we have a fabulous place to go, and it's just over an hour from a large city. For $375 yearly dues, we can stay 14 days a month free March until December. This campground is one of those that spoils you. We have large RV storage lots, and my trailer has only left there 1x in 18 years. The campground moves trailers on and off the campsites, so many owners don't even have tow vehicles. The park owns 28 travel trailers (sliders) and 4 park models for rent for members without RV's.

On the down side is that you've got to make sure the price to purchase a membership is reasonable. You've got to make sure that the resort is being managed properly, and that there's sufficient working capital to pay for current operations and any future capital expenditures/upkeep. Electrical systems, water lines and sewer lines are very expensive to upkeep. We have about 12 full time employees that must be paid. Our board members are good stewards and very responsible with our money.

Our campground has members of all ages, and it's fortunately has a turnover of owners. Some die, many of their children join, and many new members come on line yearly. We've never been so busy in the Summer with campers--a great sign. (Some campgrounds just die and go out of business.) A sustaining membership is most important over a number of years.

That's it in a nutshell. When you go into camping, it takes a commitment to follow that lifestyle/hobby. And you'll be rewarded every time you go to your campground. I personally just don't care for big cities anymore, and raising our daughter camping was a very healthy lifestyle for us. Now she's bringing her two young children, and they just love the place.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
I've had my RV for about 3 weeks now and already paid off my Passport America membership...that one is a no brainer.
Got a 1000 Trails Southeast region free for a year with the RV purchase from the dealer but so far have not used it. Did stay at one in S. New Jersey that was really not a place I'd go back to.
Anyone have a SE zone pass that has a favorite 1000trails to recommend?
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
It was Sea Pines down near Avalon. The town & beach were great though!
Thanks for the recommendations on Daimond Caverns & Clermont!
That's interesting- I really like Sea Pines. It's quiet, wooded, and quiet. I heard that they just redid their pool this year and it's supposed to be nice.

But, Avalon/Stone Harbor are my wife's childhood beaches. We like the short drive into Avalon to get to the beach.

There's another southern Jersey campground called Lake and Shore. A lot of people like that one more as it has more amenities (water park and lake stuff) and seems to have more going on.

We're at Twin Mills in Howe, IN now. It is affiliated with Encore/Thousand Trails somehow, but we have to pay for the week. Just got here last night late (like 10:30) only to find our neighbor's car was parked in our site and their bikes were encroaching. Ended up going to find an open pull through and will move come lunch time.
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