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Old 07-01-2016, 09:53 AM   #1
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Thousand Trails questions

Newbie going fully time in Sept. and planning on traveling north from San Diego up into Oregon and maybe Washington(3 to 5 months). Looking for personal experiences with TT on condition of their properties and how booked are they in being able to plan trips and get reservations. Right now they have a two zone price for the price of one until July 4 which seems like a good deal. I have also read that there is a secondary market to be able to buy higher level memberships at a discount from people selling them? Sorry to be so wordy but being new to RVing I need to catch up.
Thanks in advance for all replys.
Jim & Diane
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimemeone View Post
Newbie going fully time in Sept. and planning on traveling north from San Diego up into Oregon and maybe Washington(3 to 5 months). Looking for personal experiences with TT on condition of their properties and how booked are they in being able to plan trips and get reservations. Right now they have a two zone price for the price of one until July 4 which seems like a good deal. I have also read that there is a secondary market to be able to buy higher level memberships at a discount from people selling them?
Jim & Diane
I can't speak to the condition of Thousand Trails properties on the west coast, as we're in PA. But we did buy the 2-zone "special" from them a couple of years ago, and later had an opportunity to add another to it. As a result, we have access to TT properties from the entire eastern half of the US. The TT properties we have visited so far have been pretty nice - 5 locations, soon to be 6. Some of them had been somewhat neglected for years, but Thousand Trails/Encore seems to be working hard to fix that and bring them up to date.

And yes, there is a fairly active market for picking up higher-level memberships, like their "Elite" package. I've looked at it and so far it hasn't seemed like a good value for me, even at a reduced price. BTW, once you get into a TT membership, it's my understanding that we all pay the same annual renewal fee no matter what your membership level, AFAIK.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:10 AM   #3
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P.S. If you're going fulltime, you might find that you don't like some of the restrictions on the Thousand Trails Zone Pass. You're limited to 14 consecutive nights, after which you have to be out for a week. You get 30 "free" nights per year at TT properties, which sounds like of limited, but the good news is that additional nights are only $3 per night. And you have a 60-day advance window for making reservations, while some of the more expensive higher-level memberships allow longer stays, let you go directly from park to park, and have much longer windows for advance reservations.

Most TT sites have a camp hosts who have weekly seminars on the membership options. I've gone to a couple of them, and they're very pleasant, and not high pressure. Very informative.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:34 AM   #4
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We are TT members. The properties are usually rustic, rather than resort, in nature. This works for us. The properties are usually aged, however improvements care underway at must locations. Security has been good as well as the friendliness / helpfulness of staff persons. If the locations are where you will use them, and you do use them, it can be a good deal.

Additionally, Passport America is usually very good to have, if you don't already. It gets you 50% off at participating camp grounds. There are limitations that vary by facility. I have found that if you are outside the allocated days, ask if they will honor anyway. Often they will say yes as half money is better than no money.

An America the Beautiful pass is something to get also. Gets discounts at federal park facilities.
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Old 07-01-2016, 02:58 PM   #5
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before buying I say you visit a few of them...

We went to the one in central texas since were were staying at Lake Conroe for an IRV2 rally, and the wife said she would not stay there....
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:19 PM   #6
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before buying I say you visit a few of them...

We went to the one in central texas since were were staying at Lake Conroe for an IRV2 rally, and the wife said she would not stay there....
That's good advice. We actually did that, visited the nearest TT property, and then while on another trip we dropped in at a couple of TT properties in NJ. We liked what we saw well enough to sign up.

Interesting comment about Lake Conroe - that seems to be one of their most frequently-hyped properties. Maybe there's a reason they hype it so much!

Roger
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Old 07-03-2016, 06:00 PM   #7
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I don't have any personal experience with Thousand Trails. However I did read a great blog post on the topic on the www.rvlove.com blog.

http://www.rvlove.com/2015/01/28/tho....2iRh3whX.dpbs
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:06 PM   #8
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Thousand Trails questions

As fulltimers we get bored visiting the same parks.
The adventure is not in just "camping". It is exploring the whole continent.
TT would not fit us at all. And the reviews continue to show further degradation in quality.
The Journey is Our Destination!
How about you?
We invest in our Happy!


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Old 07-03-2016, 08:53 PM   #9
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We're with you Dave and Nola. No membership parks for us. Well Passport America but that's different places each time.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimemeone View Post
Newbie going fully time in Sept. and planning on traveling north from San Diego up into Oregon and maybe Washington(3 to 5 months). Looking for personal experiences with TT on condition of their properties and how booked are they in being able to plan trips and get reservations. Right now they have a two zone price for the price of one until July 4 which seems like a good deal. I have also read that there is a secondary market to be able to buy higher level memberships at a discount from people selling them? Sorry to be so wordy but being new to RVing I need to catch up.
Thanks in advance for all replys.
Jim & Diane
We have been full timing for almost 2 years and are TT members. We originally had a 2 for 1 zone pass but quickly upgraded via a resale site in Florida to a 1980's platinum plan which gives us 21 days with no time out of the system. We also have PA and also do some dry camping as well as regular parks. For the most part we have enjoyed the TT parks in WA, OR and California. Most are older but spacious. Some have full hookups, some just water and electric. We have met some fantastic people and made some great friends. There are many parks we have enjoyed and many we have yet to visit but I guess our favorites for different reasons, would be Seaside, OR
Menifee, CA and Sunriver, OR.

We have yet to stay at some of the higher elevation parks like Idylwild or Snowflower near Tahoe, but we like TT for two basic reasons. First, there simply isn't a more affordable way to live full time on the road unless you are "off the grid" all the time and secondly, we generally like to set up our site and stay for 21 days before breaking camp and moving on. We stayed at Faria Beach Park in Ventura, CA for 12 days last November. The cost was $600. Not much room in the budget for much of that.

Enjoy your new life as full timers. Its a great life and one we hope to continue for many many years. As we have just sold our S&B WA residence, we are truly members of the "home is where we park it" tribe.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:09 PM   #11
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We FTd for 7 yrs..........

Bought a Private Campground Membership via RESALE.
Allowed us to stay up to 14 nights per visit for $10/15 night.
This membership had a 'home' park and affiliate membership (C2C)
Initial buy in was $950.
After first year.....annual dues were $59/home park and $139/C2C

With the affiliate we have stayed at Thousand Trails, Western Horizon, Canyon Lakes and NUMEROUS other 'private' campgrounds. All for $10/15 night
Also have used it to stay at Encore, Good Neighbor CGs at reduced rates.

That along with Passport America =, city parks, State/National/COE CGs, Fairgrounds and Boondocking we were able to control our nightly site fees.

In the 7 yrs and traveling 6 complete round trips across the USA we only stayed a couple of times in same CG----by choice!

RESALE.......RESALE........RESALE

RV Park and Campground Memberships
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