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Old 11-30-2018, 07:23 AM   #1
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Thousand trails campground membership

So when we purchased our Rv we got a year free with this organization, We picked zone 1. Anyone have feed back on the total experiance? good or bad what should we expect.
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:40 AM   #2
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We got a free membership also use only 6 of the free days. The CG as limited to where you can stay and the they put you in the worse sites One CG we left after 2 days of our 6 days stay over the CG was that bad. Hopefully you have better luck in your area.
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:40 AM   #3
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I've heard some mixed reviews about TT from here and other forums.

Forum member ependydad (Doug) is a full timer and a member of TT and uses them often. If he doesn't chime in here maybe you could PM him.
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:20 AM   #4
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Since it is free, use it and decide for yourself if it fits for you.
We also got a free year when we bought our camper. Used it once, was ok. They just don't have campgrounds where I want to go, and I prefer state parks. We would never get our money worth, so it does not fit for us, we did not renew.
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:34 AM   #5
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GalsOfEscape nailed it- the value of Thousand Trails comes down to:
- are there parks where you want to go?
- what kind of camping experience do you want?

The number of TT parks are fairly limited with about 80 parks across the country and maybe 1/5 in the zone you’re in. We got lucky, there were 2 parks within 2 hours of us when we had our house AND family/friends of ours camped at them regularly.

You can also add-on to your Thousand Trails Membership and it opens many Encore parks to you. Note the Encore parks are often 1/2 park models and 1/2 RV campgrounds (and sometimes more like 60/40 or 70/30).

Which also- the TT parks are more traditional RV parks. Wide open spaces with some trees vs campgrounds where it’s more of a nature feeling. What kind of camping do you want?

And lastly, TT parks are all first come, first served. With the large number of RVers and larg number of memberships, it can be tough finding a spot you like on a Friday afternoon. And if you’re in a big rig, this can be problematic/challenging. If you have travel flexibility, you can negate the issue by arriving on Wednesday or Thursday (but you also can’t leave your rig on a campsite unattended overnight). You may or may not get a site with sewer.

The parks are usually fair to middling with a couple great ones and a couple of stinkers. Beauty is also in the eye of the beholder. There’s a park in VA that we loved but I read here that someone hated.

For a fulltimer, it can be an amazing deal. We will often go for months on end without paying campground fees.
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:08 PM   #6
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We have been members for many years and it does boil down to "does it fit your style". We have had many good experiences and met a lot of nice people.
We bought before the zone thing and have parks available all over the country. As mentioned, sometimes they are not where we want to go but it gives us alternatives.
If you decide to buy, look to the secondary(resale) market; there are some good bargains.
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:14 PM   #7
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We were Thousand Trails members for 10 years and just sold our membership because of health problems. We were not full timers but did use our membership for about 4 months (extensively as snowbird) of the year and periodically in the summer. We had purchased a resale membership from CMR (Campground Membership Resales and they recently helped us sell it when we retired from travelling and camping) The annual dues for full membership are around $600.00 per year so at that rate if you were to camp more than 15 nights per year@ $40 per night you would be in pocket. Of course the original cost has to be considered but resale memberships are available for under $2000.00. We bought ours 10 years ago for $2000.00 used it for those years and resold it for $1375.00. There are 62 Thousand Trails park and lots of add on opportunities if you nare going to camp a lot. Our average total cost for camping for 4 months (including our membership fee) worked out to around $950.00 Plus fuel , vehicle maintenance and food. It all depends on how much you will use it. And finally, We loved the Thousand Trails parks and actually stayed at 56 of the 62 over 10 the years.
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:42 PM   #8
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Red face thousand trails member last 3 yrs-travel all 50 states

thousand trails /encore /RPI/etc. have resorts/campgrounds across the USA!
they range from old campgrounds to newer resorts. a lot of them are currently going thru an upgrade (thanks to the new owner group). what package you buy will determine what access to the parks you will have . full timing RV'ers tend to go with the elite package w/trails collection if you plan on traveling a lot .You can save a lot of money on sites ,but spend a lot on fuel due to time limits at parks . also no TT/encore parks exist in the center of America ,but some RPI parks are available or passport America in some cases. TT has some nice parks around but it can be difficult to get into some of them due to demand or they may limit time there w/extra fee's $3-20 a day typical at high use parks . the key's are still recovering from the hurricanes as of 11/2018 but are open on a limited basis! Prime time parks are very difficult to book so be ready for alternate plans. If you like a certain park to winter in I would just buy an annual site there and stay the winter or summer . if you want to see the country on a budget go elite package and be flexible and don't expect exclusive resorts but nice to ok places to stay .In general they all need some upgrades as they are old parks ,but you can see they are working on fixing them up (takes time and money) checkout Conroe ,tx as they upgrade that park -this is the future of their park plans coming . if you like the mixed use you will love it
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:55 PM   #9
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There are literally thousands of of TT posts and threads on any RV forum.
A Google search will give you months of reviews to read.
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:58 PM   #10
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I have been a thousand trails elite member for 3years. Travel all around the country. Also purchased the trails collection for 199 dollars that gives you 100 more encore parks. If you plan on doing a good deal of traveling it's the way to go.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:02 PM   #11
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The few people we know that are members say it is going down hill, fast. I stayed at the one in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and it was a slum.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:29 PM   #12
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I'm planning on giving TT a try. There are 3 close enough to make weekend trips and all 3 look nice.


I'm going to utilize the free camping offer to check it out.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:32 PM   #13
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With where you are located you have quite a few parks to select from but as some have said you need to book as early as you can and also arrive before a Friday especially for the parks in your area, like Hershey, and Circle M and also Pa Dutch.
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:57 PM   #14
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Lucky you to get a FREE membership. My wife and I paid thousands up front in 1992 plus thousands more to upgrade plus a yearly membership fee which you will not have to pay anything to use the campgrounds. Just enjoy the campgrounds that you visit for free.
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:32 PM   #15
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We have an Alliance National membership which was given to us. We pay about $650 per year in dues. Many of the west coast parks are crowded and run down. Every year we consider dumping the membership but we are set for another year in 2019. We figure 20 nights usage is about breaking even on what we pay. One benefit with our membership is advanced reservations and we have already reserved for April 2019. If we were considering joining now we probably wouldn’t, considered what we know. Good luck!
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:05 PM   #16
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Thousand Trails

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalsofEscape View Post
Since it is free, use it and decide for yourself if it fits for you.
We also got a free year when we bought our camper. Used it once, was ok. They just don't have campgrounds where I want to go, and I prefer state parks. We would never get our money worth, so it does not fit for us, we did not renew.
Agree. Too few TT Parks in our area. Would never get our monies worth! Besides the first TT Park, that we stayed at this summer, was one of the worst, and most expensive CG we camped. Remember, "Encore", "Resort" TT CG's, have a "fee" to stay. NOT FREE (included in timeshare cost, per region)
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twdenman View Post
Remember, "Encore", "Resort" TT CG's, have a "fee" to stay. NOT FREE (included in timeshare cost, per region)
Do you mind expanding on that? I’ve been to many TT and Encore parks.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:59 AM   #18
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I don't pay anything to stay at the campground other than the yearly membership fee.
We recouped the buy-in fee long ago.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:56 PM   #19
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thank you for the in site, think we will do our one year free and see from there
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