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Old 11-06-2015, 08:00 AM   #1
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Thousand Trails

DW is retiring next year and since she does not like to dry camp that much I was thinking about TT. Is it worth it? We plan on doing a lot of camping next year, our plan is to have no plan. The only plan is to stay in a campground for at least three days or more and never drive more than 300 miles when we move.


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Old 11-06-2015, 10:52 AM   #2
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My DW and I joined Thousand Trails this past August. The reason we did is because we visited one of their campgrounds at Lake Gaston, NC and liked it. We recently retired, sold our boat and bought a new 5er. We talked to the manager about getting a site and was told that the cost for non members it was,I think, $49 a night. If we stayed any length of time it would we worth joining. We plan to take a trip to Maine next year and we were able to get two zones for the price of one. The zones we have are north and south east which is from Maine to Florida and west to Texas. We get 30 days free at their campgrounds and after that the cost is $3 a night.

We figured if nothing else we will spend a lot of time at Lake Gaston. It is only two hours from our house. We are also thinking about buying a pontoon boat next year. Apparently we can't get boating out of our system and a 36 mile long lake will be fun. They have outdoor storage for $350 a year. Another plus for us.

Becoming a member works for us. We can only stay at a TT campground for two weeks and then leave for a week. I think if you only stay for three days you can go to another one for three days and so on. We have only stayed at two TT campgrounds this year, Lake Gaston and Yemassee, SC. There are other plans but what we have is fine. What I didn't know before I joined is that if we renew our membership we get another 30 days free.

I have an app on my phone CAMPUSA that I use to check out campgrounds. Also as a member you can go to campgrounds managed by Oncore at a discount. We haven't done that yet.

Bottom line is how much camping do you plan to do.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spock123 View Post
DW is retiring next year and since she does not like to dry camp that much I was thinking about TT. Is it worth it? We plan on doing a lot of camping next year, our plan is to have no plan. The only plan is to stay in a campground for at least three days or more and never drive more than 300 miles when we move.


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Just do a "thousand trails" search on this forum and you will have more responses to all your questions than you could possibly absorb.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
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I like our membership and think that it helps with our average nightly cost. But, the properties are fairly spreadout - east coast and west coast and a few in between. So, think about your travel plans and if it'll really help you out; remembering that you have to pay the same yearly fee if you use zero nights or a hundred nights.

As for RV parks, they're OK. Nothing great, rarely terrible- though, I'm generally easy to please. I've been to places that I thought were perfectly acceptable only to hear people refer to those places as dumps.

I have a couple of articles that might help:
Learn To RV: Is Thousand Trails Right for You?

Learn To RV: Thousand Trails Overview
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:52 PM   #5
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Posted this once before for someone..
If you search for them you will find numerous posts of good and bad.

We have been members since 2006 or so and I am happy for what they are. For the time we camp and the cost of the membership and dues we get are monies worth out of them as far as I am concerned.

When we first joined they were pretty much exclusive to members. Now they seem to let anyone in to camp, so not much different than a regular campground in that regard. But, with that said I have never had a bad experience with any campground in the TT network or other campground (except one in OC, MD). They now also have a ton more cabins and a few I have been now have many seasonal sites that take up a lot of the spots.

I have read many people complain of their quality and friendliness of the campgrounds. I must be very understanding or something but I have not ever experienced this issue. They have only ever been very helpful and understanding. Even had them offer to let me borrow a vehicle when I had a brake issue in NY state. I have camped there in a pop-up and now a trailer. Never was treated poorly.

Would I buy into TT again? If they were the same as they were when we joined, yes. We are members for life, low dues, access to TT, OW, RPI, NACO, Encore... Blah blah. We have nationwide coverage and can pass along three times to family, no zones or expiration's. With today's rules and reg?

NOT SURE now, now It sounds like it is 2x the price higher dues and only good for 10 or so years I think. With what we have now it made sense for the camping we did. Now I would have to really look hard at the cost v staying at any other private CG when going away to see if it would be worth the $7,000 buy in and $800 dues. Now if you plan is to use it for the 10 years (older than me and retired, I am 34) then maybe it would be good.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:54 PM   #6
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We purchased a one year membership last year after purchasing our new 5th wheel. While we were able to use it enough to make it worthwhile this year, I am not sure I will renew. We learned that you cannot book a specific site or even site with specific options such as sewer hookups or 50 amp service. Sometimes when we arrived, we had to take spaces we didn't like when non-members already had nicer sites.

I also found when planning longer trips, that 1000 trails are not typically located along travel routes. Therefore, we wee unable to use 1000 trail parks on a long trip this year as they were never located where we needed to spend the night.

All that being said, if you have some parks in your neck of the woods and you like going there, it is well worth it. We spent a week at Yosemite this year and that alone paid for the membership as they have very expensive guest rates and the campground is extremely well situated.

FYI, we did learn that the Corp. that owns them has finally started to give some money towards improvements. That would be most welcome.

Just be aware of the good and the bad of it for your area.
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:05 PM   #7
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I will agree they had been starting to fall appart but I have been seeing nwer pool decks, better leveling of sites and in Orlando (where we just left) they have several loops closed due to new electric being installed.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:36 PM   #8
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If you are a full timer or do a whole lot of camping, a TT membership can mean dirt cheap camping. A big factor is where you would be needing them--check out Thousand Trails: Membership Zones - many on west & east coasts, but there is nothing between Illinois and California. You also get 10% to 20% off at RV Camp Sites in the U.S. | American RV Camping Grounds | RVontheGO parks
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:41 AM   #9
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It all comes down to your style of camping. For me it wouldn't be worth it but my sister mother-in-law does get her value out of her membership.
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:37 AM   #10
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If you decide to buy a used membership before you buy get the membership # and call member services and they will tell you what that membership is includes as there are different levels. It can work some years out good and some not, might all depend where you want to be. Good luck in your search.
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