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Old 10-01-2012, 08:55 PM   #43
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Smile Thank you

After stumbling on this forum I am thankful I never joined. I was very interested up till a few months ago, plus getting TT phone calls about joining and my better half kept saying NO!
Now I have to tell her she was correct again. What really got to me was reading that TT is now becoming one of those Trailer Trash places that we hate where it is all permanent sites, with just a few open sites. We love being around real campers.
My wife kept reminding me we have enough trouble finding PA campgrounds on out Coast to Coast travels never mind trying to find TT places to stay. Why throw away money.
Again, Thanks for all the information.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:10 PM   #44
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Me Too

We joined about the same time, having three young daughters and planning on experiencing the promised ambiance and safety for our kids. We paid a lot of money for the promised lifetime membership, no annual fee, anticipating purchasing an RV in the future. Many options, (TT, NACO, some additional resort system) appealed to us. Several years later the first financial crunch hit and the annual fee system began. Short version to a long tale,we fought with them for months and years, dealing with many frustrating calls and letters, before agreeing we would always be members, but could not use the facilities without paying the annual fee. We have never been back in intervening 15 or so years. I was surprised to see the company is still in operation doing what they always have done. An expensive lesson for us. Good luck to all of you who are attempting to use the system.

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Originally Posted by 2BuckeyeHams View Post
We bought in to TT in 84. We've added NACO, then LTR - even voluntarily upped our dues (nearly 2x) to keep Thousand Trails afloat during their hard times. We felt it's better to have a membership campground than have them go under. We retired & became full-time RVers in 07. We've seen a lot of Equity Lifestyle changes + a lot of complaining from members & staffers. In the last month we've been in and out of the Forest Lake TT, now called Forest Lake Preserve w-Encore logo. Being open to the public (drive-ups, Passport America, RPI, etc) sure changes things - not good. We bought into a membership campground back in 84 to get away from public campgrounds and long term campers. We loved TT's business plan. In retirement we planned to enjoy the outdoors without dogs on 20+ft leads, barking incessently, tied outide long term campers that look like they should be in a trailer park. I asked the Ranger how many dogs are permited per campsite - he said no limit. Our barking-dog neighbor has 4 dogs so he's right. Most campgrounds allow 2-3, apparently Encore doesn't care provided the public has $$$. Upon arrival we were told which sites were available, others were empty but not offered. That's wrong! There's no postings about a Manager Meeting so this park is apparently run covertly. Ugly... We "day" visited a near-by Encore only to see that it looks like any public campground that allows mostly leased sites. Guess that's what's in TTN's future. So sad.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:49 PM   #45
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I bought my Thousand Trails membership in 1986 for $5000. Have I lost money on my investment? I'm sure I have! Do I regret buying it? No, because I enjoy using it. I don't always get the site I want and certain sections that I used to love to park in are no longer available to me, but I still get what I consider to be a secure campground with amenities I can count on. It is not perfect.....and it certainly isn't what I bought in to many years ago, but most parks still seem to care about the members and my stay is usually enjoyable.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #46
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As to quiting,,,, I did the math and I'm better off keeping both my TT and Outdoor Adventure memberships.

As for TT however.. Friday (This coming friday as I type) I'll be going to one of their contracted liar fests.. And I'll very likely be wired (Wearing a recorder). And that's all I can say for now.

I will review the contract before going (I still have it) and may ask some questions.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:29 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
As to quiting,,,, I did the math and I'm better off keeping both my TT and Outdoor Adventure memberships.

As for TT however.. Friday (This coming friday as I type) I'll be going to one of their contracted liar fests.. And I'll very likely be wired (Wearing a recorder). And that's all I can say for now.

I will review the contract before going (I still have it) and may ask some questions.
Please keep us updated - I for one would like to hear how this goes.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:18 PM   #48
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Please keep us updated - I for one would like to hear how this goes.
Me too! I have heard reports that it was just a sales pitch to get people to upgrade and then I have heard from others that it was a nice "welcome, get-to-know-you" experience.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:15 PM   #49
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Make sure it is a state that you can record the other person in without their consent.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:00 AM   #50
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I also want to see how all thees TT problems shake out. We are not members but have a TT place nearby that we really like. They do have a lack of maintenance, but we love the location. Its a $500 yearly membership and I think I could come out on that I just worry about anything that's "too good to be true"
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:09 AM   #51
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You think 1000 trails is bad, you should have a membership with Western Horizons. 20 parks 5 years ago - now about1 in the west (+ 3 AOR and Sunbelt- extra dues) and they are still "pushing" memberships.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:21 PM   #52
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I just had a TT 'sales pitch' today. We stopped at a TT (using PA) and decided to purchase the basic membership - which is 2 zones (buy 1 get 1) for the price of the annual fee - nothing more, so $525 for the year which we will recoup in the next 3 months easily. The TT guy came to our rig - he was very pleasant, no used car sales treatment.

The basic plan lets you stay up to 14 days in a park, then you need to leave for 7 days. The caveat is if you stay even 5 days in a park you need to leave for 7 days. You can stay 4 days in a park and then go to another TT park for 4 days and so on - but 5 days or more in any park and you must leave the system for a week.

There are 2 'premium' plans. 'Basic Elite' and 'Elite Connections'.

Basic Elite gives you up to 21 days in a park with no wait between parks and 2x a year you can stay an extra week for $29 (total). You get 60 free days a year (instead of 30) and every day after that is $3. It includes RPI and Enjoy America for a year free, then $159/year after to maintain those. You can reserve up to 120 days in advance and have 3 active reservations. Other than the 81 TT Parks, they're including 5 parks that are Encore Parks, but they're all in the Great Lakes region. Finally you get 5 'free' weeks in cabin rentals. The term you're signing up for is minimum 5 years and dues are $525/year and can (will) adjust up.

Price = $4995 + first years dues ($525)

Elite Connections has everything Basic Elite has and adds 9 more Encore Parks to the system - Seattle, Acadia NP area, Upstate NY, 2 in FL near Tampa, S Lake Tahoe, Phoenix, near Tucson, and TX near the MX border. It also includes 2 years of RPI and Enjoy America and ups the reservation window to 180 days.

Price = $7995 + first years dues ($525)

I think I could get my monies worth, but on the flip side I haven't visited the vast majority of the parks so I don't know what they're like.

The park we're in - S. Timothy Lake in PA - is nice enough. There aren't many people here right now, but the RVs that are here look like they never leave. There are a lot of people living in park model 'cabins' too. They're pushing their 'annual' memberships (via signage), so I can see where some have said that the parks are moving more toward full time residents.

I think I'll use my basic plan to visit a few more of the parks before we decide to take the plunge. The wife would like to sign up, but it seems like a lot of $$ to spend sight unseen (pun intended) on anything.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:02 PM   #53
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If you decide to buy, consider a used contract. Alliance will get you park to park,or 1 week out of same park reservations 150 days ahead. 3 hi season res.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:58 AM   #54
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If you decide to buy, consider a used contract. Alliance will get you park to park,or 1 week out of same park reservations 150 days ahead. 3 hi season res.
I've been looking at used contracts also, but they seem to be all over the board. There are a few listed on ebay, but the terms are different. For example, someone is trying to give away a contract, but you pay the $1000 transfer and the yearly dues are $1471! It only allows 2 weeks at a time and with the yearly dues would cost more than a new contract in just a couple years. I can see why they want out!
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