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Old 11-21-2013, 12:56 AM   #1
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1000 Trails Memberships

Does anyone have a membership in this RV club or whatever you call it? I was told it's $525 for a year and you get 30 days free camping plus only pay $3 a night for the rest of the year after that. That means after the initial $525 - 30 free days, you get to camp for $90 a month w/full hookups until you renew your membership after the year is up. If this is true, how do they make a profit doing this? Has anyone had experience with this particular club or Org? Was it good or bad? Did you feel you got your money's worth? Was it a nuisance to have to move every 14 days? Were there enough CGs to suit you as you traveled or snow-birded. Was it possible to get the discounts on weekends and Holidays? Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:21 AM   #2
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Several threads here for Thousand Trails. I have been investigating the regional membership as you describe. If the CGs are where you would use them and are of quality and amenities that work for you its a good deal.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:30 AM   #3
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Several threads here for Thousand Trails. I have been investigating the regional membership as you describe. If the CGs are where you would use them and are of quality and amenities that work for you its a good deal.
What I'm having trouble wrapping my head around is how they can make money with this deal if it's as people claim and the website says. There must be a catch somewhere. I mean, who starts a business to break even or lose money? $3 a day wouldn't even cover the cost of the insurance, water and electricity the camper used. I'll see if I can find those threads.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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Well don't quote me on this, but i thought i had read somewhere that you can Not stay on a strait through basis. You were aloud to stay 2 or 3 weeks at a time and then return a week later. And of course the way they make up for it is to gouge the non member when ever one should pull in for a overnight stay or maybe a weekend stay! This is my Opinion on what i can remember reading. Don't shoot the messenger please!
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:13 AM   #5
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You would most likely get the most accurate information here.

Thousand Trails - America's Finest Outdoor Getaways, Membership RV Parks and Campgrounds

http://www.thousandtrails.com/handbook.asp

Every time that I have taken a close look at owners selling their memberships I have always come away that it wouldn't work for our RV lifestyle.

You may be different.

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Old 11-21-2013, 09:16 AM   #6
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Because they sell some really pricey memberships. You are talking about a zone pass good for only one year that have been added the last couple of years. They get their big money from selling lifetime memberships that have annual dues attached to them. I would check out the condition of the parks you are interested in because quality is not great in some of them. And many Thousand Trails parks now accept Passport America. There is a big resale market for these lifetime memberships and they can be had for a very reasonable price.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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Well don't quote me on this, but i thought i had read somewhere that you can Not stay on a strait through basis. You were aloud to stay 2 or 3 weeks at a time and then return a week later. And of course the way they make up for it is to gouge the non member when ever one should pull in for a overnight stay or maybe a weekend stay! This is my Opinion on what i can remember reading. Don't shoot the messenger please!
Yes, you are right. You can only stay for 14 days but someone on another forum said it's 3 weeks now. Apparently it's changed a few times in the past few years. Or perhaps only some allow the 28 day stay. Making people leave for a week is absurd.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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Every time that I have taken a close look at owners selling their memberships I have always come away that it wouldn't work for our RV lifestyle.
You may be different.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
After looking into this it wouldn't work for us either. The hopscotching and what I read about some of the participating "Reserves" including the locations turned me off.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:45 AM   #9
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Not sure if all of the Thousand Trails do this now but I know some do allow you to stay for the 7 days that you are supposed to leave. Of course to stay is not free and you do get charged close to what a different park would charge for a weeks stay.

Double check the parks, double check the rules. And no we do not have a membership. We drove thru some of them in the areas where we were at and determined that we did not want to stay at them. I am sure there are some that are nice but they were not where we drive thru.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:49 AM   #10
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Because they sell some really pricey memberships. You are talking about a zone pass good for only one year that have been added the last couple of years. They get their big money from selling lifetime memberships that have annual dues attached to them. I would check out the condition of the parks you are interested in because quality is not great in some of them. And many Thousand Trails parks now accept Passport America. There is a big resale market for these lifetime memberships and they can be had for a very reasonable price.
I read somewhere the lifetime membership is something like $1600.00 which isn't chicken feed for most of us. From what I've read online and the threads I found here, we'll pass......... thanks to all of you for replying.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:40 PM   #11
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We have been members for years and find the system excellent for our needs. We are on the west coast and frequently use the system in NV, CA, OR, WA. On the whole the parks are in good shape and run well.

Our membership (Alliance by name) allows us 2 weeks, one week out before you return to the park. But, you can stay in the system by simply moving to another preserve. We do the 2 weeks in and 1 out frequently and it is just not a problem for us. Of course, if you have a ton of stuff that you must pack up I guess it could get to be a pain.

We get 50 nights "free", pay annual dues and when we extend a 3rd week pay $20/night for the priveledge, actually less than most decent parks charge now days. We probably use the system 200 nights a year and it saves us a bundle. There are memberships that permit 3 week stays before you must leave the park. There is also a dues option for more that 50 days for those that stay in the system more than we do.

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Old 11-21-2013, 05:42 PM   #12
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We've had a TT membership for several years - bought it as a resale. There are dozens of different membership contracts with all kinds of different rules, so hearsay is not a reliable means of gathering info.

In any case, the new parent company, Equity Life Styles Properties (ELS) told us at a members meeting a few weeks ago that they no longer sell lifetime memberships cause they couldn't make any money at it. Of course, existing membership contracts are honored, but there won't be any new ones sold. So the Zone Pass is all there is unless you buy a resale.

The low price works because they already own the parks and pay the staff, so they just need to increase the number of campers to get the total revenue up. Although the $3/day is not much income, be aware that many TT sites are 30A and water & electric only, so not everyone is gobbling up lots of power or getting FHU for $3/day.

Like any campground membership, you have to go there to realize any savings. $3/day camping is not helpful if you don't want to go to that location, or can't get off from work to go camping. Think carefully about your style of travel before even considering a membership park. One advantage of TT, though, is that they have 80+ parks, plus you get access to other ELS properties at a discounted rate.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:12 PM   #13
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You need never buy a membeship. With a little looking you will find people who will give you their membership free, you pay the transfer fee Thousand Trails charges, annual dues, and the fee charged by the home park.
BTW, IMO it is much better to find a nation-wide membership(no longer available I understand) than a restrictive regional membership. The home park makes a huge difference too.
A friend who in a lifetime member with a nation-wide plan, talked me into investigating and steered me to a man who did offer me a really sweet-sounding deal. I backed out because TT parks are usually out of the way for our style of traveling.
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:45 PM   #14
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Be sure you read ALL the fine print, and there is lots of it. We had a TT membership and let it drop. Seems everytime we got to a CG all the spaces were taken by "permanent" RVs that were there for the season.
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