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Old 10-18-2013, 11:54 PM   #29
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Tomorrow (Saturday) the DW and I will attend a short "update" briefing on TT. We will pick up another ZONE to add to the two we already have gotten. Normally I believe each ZONE costs around $700.00. Even the DW is willing to attend the approximately 35 minute "sales update pitch". deSanford They do offer a great shameless bribe to get us there.
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:50 AM   #30
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We spent last weekend at the Pio Pico Thousand Trails Preserve near San Diego. We were there with 9 other rigs from our local RV club. Pio Pico let us use the club house for free. Without a doubt there is lots of room for improvement in this campground. But this park really is a preserve near a huge city. It is maybe 10 miles as the crow flies from San Diego and it is quiet (except for crotch rocket motorcyclists who insist on going by on a small rural road with bicyclists everywhere that is posted 25 mph and they are going 85 mph.) and peaceful. There is no cell phone coverage. They have two very nice large pools. There are lots of recreational type features, some well maintained and some not so much. It is gated with guards and gate codes. There are lots of coaches that rent full time and likely don't leave here often. But there are also lots of good spots to camp for the week, day, or..... People working and running the park could not be nicer. Where our group was in the back 40, there were some obvious poor people who live here, but caused no problems. There are park workers through the park on electric cats all the time so no wild parties can take place.

We all had a good time and my families cost for four nights of camping was zilch. If you like RV parks that are somewhat off the main roads Thousand Trails has a lot of them. This does not include the Palm Springs TT, which is the noisiest RV Park we have ever stayed in.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:12 PM   #31
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Today the DW and I went to our TT meeting, while I went to the men's room my wife told the very friendly and informative "agent" she had a meeting to attend. I come back to the table and the DW asked me to fill out a form and we can go. OK so the form asked which ZONE do you want added to the TWO I already have. I picked the South Eastern Zone we both signed our names and said thank you and left. That was it. The TT "agent" asked if we had any questions, and I asked when are some of the parks going to get improved. He didn't miss a beat and told us they will be investing upwards of 40 million in 2014, and that their Zone Pass Program is a BIG success. In return as I'm leaving I said for my $500.00 a year I'll be a member as long as I'm able to drive the RV. To which he said "we have 90 year old ladies who still belong and drive their RVs to TT Preserves. deSanford PS Thank you TT for 3 Zones.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:49 PM   #32
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Just attended the "sales pitch" meeting yesterday. I say "sales pitch" but in reality, there was absolutely NO pressure to buy anything. We've had a Zone pass (SW area) and have used it extensively......we have many "reserves" in the greater So Calif area that we like.....don't get me wrong, there NOT Resorts by any means but there mostly clean, well kept campgrounds with some extra's. We decided to upgrade to a membership which is "lifetime", gives us 90 free nights a year, all the Zones, RPI, plus other campgrounds. My thought was exactly as expressed here, I plan to use it and use it we will. I'm not one to spend a good amount of money and then let it go to waste. The wife and I are retired, not full timers but are fortunate enough to be able to go when we want ....so we will be going.

Prior to retiring, I used the MH as an anchor in the drive-way practically and now with this new membership, the MH will get some use finally. Once again, I think the decision to go with Thousand Trails/Encore depends on its use and in our case, the availability of Reserves close by to home.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:11 AM   #33
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I am amused when one says that they are getting x number of free nights a year. It is not free until you recoup the money you spend for the membership and the annual fees.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:20 PM   #34
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Oh Gee, forgive me for Not amusing you!
"Free" for lack on a better word and I would say MOST everyone gets the jest of the meaning of the term in this instance! Give me a Break! But just for your edification, using that "free" 90 days in just one year would recoup the membership cost thus using the same "free" 90 days in the following years, you only need to recoup your maintenance fee's/dues which could easily be done with just 10 "free" days thus giving you 80 "TOTALLY FREE" days of camping for the remainder of your contract.

Does this work better for you?
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:32 PM   #35
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I am amused when one says that they are getting x number of free nights a year. It is not free until you recoup the money you spend for the membership and the annual fees.
It is recouped if you go enough times.

I looked at TT but they do not have enough CGs in places we would frequent enough, and we prefer the freedom of going to many new-to-us CGs over a much wider and diverse geography.

Also, the "time-out" is anoying, and TT is now allowing so many regular campers in that folks I know that had membership gave it up because the best sites were not available. Also, TT camps seem to be getting pretty dated, you know, tired.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:49 PM   #36
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We did a 30-day trip from California to Nevada, Montana, Washington and Oregon and only were able to stay at TT campsites two nites - locations were limited or not near the areas we were visiting. Restrooms were just ok. They are often located miles from an attraction altho they will call their campground after same (ex. Leavenworth campsite is 25 miles from Leavenworth and Palm Springs is really closer to Palm Desert). If you call to make reservations, the lines in the East shutdown by 2PM West coast time so doing a quick getaway is not always easy (we have their getaway package as well). I agree with all the other comments that you really need to use it to make it worth it and you really need to want the camping experience - not great if you are looking to visit nearby museums etc.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:52 PM   #37
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It is recouped if you go enough times.

I looked at TT but they do not have enough CGs in places we would frequent enough, and we prefer the freedom of going to many new-to-us CGs over a much wider and diverse geography.

Also, the "time-out" is anoying, and TT is now allowing so many regular campers in that folks I know that had membership gave it up because the best sites were not available. Also, TT camps seem to be getting pretty dated, you know, tired.
I agree completely with CampDeven - dated facilities, weird "timeouts" on continuous travel use so hard to plan campsite to campsite. and definitely, their ads about "free" really can only make sense AFTER you have used them for the annual membership fee. They have become good marketers but need to address their core product - only providing internet wireless at their lodges instead of the whole campground is crazy in this day and age.
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:23 PM   #38
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I've not been a Big supporter of TT in most instances either for some of the same reasons expressed above. My decision to go with a 'full" membership was based solely on OUR ability to get OUR money's worth...nothing more. In my previous Zone Pass, I had use of one particular CG that made the purchase a No brainer....that being Tahoe Valley(here again, not a Resort but a popular, fairly nice CG in a Beautiful area). This past summer, we used our membership at a couple of other locations that I'm sure to return. Just for kicks and I'm not selling or advocating anything here, but I also disliked the "time out" stipulation of the Zone Pass(14 days in-7 out).....the new membership is 21 days in and Park to Park, it offers 5 Encore Parks as part of your Home Parks, it also has a feature allowing you to Not pay your dues in years you have a lifestyle change and not use the system(without penalty), 180 days reservation window, dues frozen plus additional perks.

TT members have a Facebook page which consists only of MEMBERS and its a sounding board for issues in the TT Reserves.....its not sugar coated in any way. One of the worst Reserves I've been to was TT Soledad here in Calif.....just terrible maintenance issues and fairly trashy. Long story short, ELS(owners of TT) are dumping a couple of million into this Park to clean it up and bring it back to its former self..this is happening now.

Please rest assured, I have no affiliation with TT corporation, I plainly agree with others here, if you use it, you can get your dollars worth and then some out of it. To each his own..... so Have Fun and travel often!
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:30 PM   #39
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This past year in one trip, I used it for 2 weeks at Ponderosa Reserve on the American River here in Calif, then went to Tahoe Valley for 3 weeks and finished up with 1 week at Yosemite Lakes just before the big fires up that way. All 3 reserves, even with their issues, I would return to.
Just as an example....
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:54 PM   #40
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jpharley

See if this amuses you, $500 a year dues, 10 weeks in TT parks a year = how much a night? Figures it out.?
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:23 PM   #41
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jpharley See if this amuses you, $500 a year dues, 10 weeks in TT parks a year = how much a night? Figures it out.?

How about this...........500.00 a year dues and am in TT parks over 100 TT stays per year.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:20 AM   #42
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I am at the Morgan Hill park and the pungent odor of cat urine was in the air. It was coming from two junker Class A's parked side by side all alone in the 50 amp area 3 rows away. I complained to the manager and she said they knew of it but could do nothing. Mgr said Corporate told them there was no regulation or rule against having a smelly RV and that I could move to another space if the smell bothered me.
So knowing the Manager and Corporate was useless, I made a call to the County SPCA Animal Control office. I gave the manager the phone number and asked her to also call my contact at Animal Control - and she never did. Animal Control came out that afternoon and found the RV's location with their nose and started action. They chewed out the Ranger for not taking action. They commented that they expected that Thousand Trails would allow a meth lab to operate in the campground. Animal Control returned again the next day. Surprise - the two smelly RVs left this afternoon 9 days early. Probably to avoid Animal Controls follow up action. No word if citations were issued or felines confiscated. Animal Control did call me back after their first visit and thanked me for taking the initiative to call.
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