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Old 02-17-2015, 09:22 AM   #1
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Looking for a Thousand Trails membership

I know that this subject has been hashed around a lot over the decades, but we really would like to find an economical way to get a TT membership.

Lots of posters have told stories of giving them away because they never use them, etc. Trouble is, when I look for them, the resellers want a bunch of money for them, plus the $750 transfer fee.

I'm not looking for something free, but what is realistic, and how do we make it happen?

If you have one, PM me, otherwise, what is your experience or suggestion?

Tom
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:28 AM   #2
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Zone membership? Works well for us.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:17 AM   #3
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Had one and spent years getting them to recognize I quit. Wouldn't get another even if THEY paid me.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:47 AM   #4
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If TT had enough parks and if their park conditions, reputation, and management style comes up a bunch.....it will be a long time from now. Not holding my breath.

Each to their own tolerances, but first hand info from other RVers and this stuff here will make me wait for calmer waters.

http://thousand-trails-rv.pissedconsumer.com

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/...housand-trails
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLGPE View Post
I know that this subject has been hashed around a lot over the decades, but we really would like to find an economical way to get a TT membership.

Lots of posters have told stories of giving them away because they never use them, etc. Trouble is, when I look for them, the resellers want a bunch of money for them, plus the $750 transfer fee.

I'm not looking for something free, but what is realistic, and how do we make it happen?

If you have one, PM me, otherwise, what is your experience or suggestion?

Tom
Hi Tom,

We have a fairly new (2 years) 'elite' membership that we purchased new. Cost $4999 + first years dues of around $500 FYI. That gave us 85 parks up to 3 weeks, plus we can go 'park to park' which means we can stay in the TT system 365 days a year, and book reservations out to 150 days. In theory after 60 days in system they charge $3/day, however after 2 years we've never been charged and don't know anyone who has been.

Our membership also included RPI Preferred 'free' for the first year ($150 after) which adds a bunch of parks we can stay at for $10/night up to 2 weeks at a time. We use it a lot in between, so it's been worth it, but we can drop RPI any time.

We also get access to ELS's Encore parks for $23/night - including the parks in the Keys that are normally $100/night (stayed for 2 weeks and it was great).

Keep in mind - some older memberships don't include all the parks that newer memberships do (all the parks shown on the TT site). As ELS purchased other regional parks networks - like Outdoor World - they added campgrounds. Most TT members I've talked to didn't have all the parks that we do. Most only had 2 Florida parks (we have 3) for example - just Orlando and Peace River. Your intended usage will dictate if it's worth it to you to pay more to get more parks of course, but make sure to check this before buying a used membership.

On the flip side, some older memberships don't have the same restrictions as the newer ones - such as high-use restrictions on the Florida and Palm Springs parks - max 2 reservations instead of 3, and max 2 weeks at a time instead of 3.

I think it's a good membership if you full-time (we do) and are going to get a lot of usage/be in the areas where the TT parks are.

As we full-time, our location isn't always that important to us, as long as we're somewhere temperate. We like the Thousand Trails parks as they're mostly near the coasts (East/West/Lakes/Gulf) most of them are large and quiet, and we have been able to get strong Verizon 4G signal in all of them (we work from 'home'). Also, the 'preserves' are all large, the sites are usually nicely spaced and fairly large/private, and most of the facilities are decent, if a bit dated and in need of repair here and there depending on the park. <-probably my biggest knock on TT, but considering we spend most of our time in/around our RV or doing things in the area, not that big a deal really.

We've had our membership for 2 years and have spent around 200 days each year in TT, so for us it has been a good investment. We've gone through other membership sales pitches that were more restrictive (far fewer parks) and more expensive ($10K+).

If you break it down, we've spent $15/night to stay on full-hookups in TT (with free electricity) over the past 2 years. If we continue to use the parks at the same rate (200 nights a year) that cost will drop to an average of $11/night after 3 years, $9/night after 4 years and so on. Compare that to weekly/monthly rates at most parks and it's a pretty solid investment.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:31 PM   #6
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Thousand Trails membership,How It Works
I can't find the name of this guy that re-sells TT, C2C, etc memberships. I'll try to find it and reply again. He seems to have the best pricing around.
Occasionally I'll seen TT memberships listed in the for sale, (some even want someone to assume the annual dues and give away the membership) forums on escapees.com, irv2.com, keep checking them.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLGPE View Post
I know that this subject has been hashed around a lot over the decades, but we really would like to find an economical way to get a TT membership.

Lots of posters have told stories of giving them away because they never use them, etc. Trouble is, when I look for them, the resellers want a bunch of money for them, plus the $750 transfer fee.

I'm not looking for something free, but what is realistic, and how do we make it happen?

If you have one, PM me, otherwise, what is your experience or suggestion?

Tom
Tom, check Craigslist. In Canada I have seen them as inexpensive as 500.00
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Old 02-17-2015, 04:07 PM   #8
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We've been members for approx. 35 years and love the system. No system is perfect, but TTN is pretty damn good. Ignore the naysayers, there are plenty of members that use the parks and save a ton of $ by doing so.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:35 PM   #9
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We've been members for approx. 35 years and love the system. No system is perfect, but TTN is pretty damn good. Ignore the naysayers, there are plenty of members that use the parks and save a ton of $ by doing so.
Friends who are full-timers use TT, and C2C, and several others, virtually all the time. They love their nationwide plans.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:45 PM   #10
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Looking for a Thousand Trails membership

Wish I had pics of the 2 TT parks I stayed at. Yikes! One night was nuff! Big sites, yes. Nuthin level. Hookups haphazard and worn. Non-members are allowed, and book ahead and have the best sites. Maybe okay for weekend stuff, but ya gotta go there a lot to break even in degraded sites.
TT has a big recovering job ahead, if they DO it!
I spend +/- $20 per night, monthly basis. Don't need to move every 2 weeks. Grand facilities! Worth the chump-change difference.
Happy trails!
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:06 AM   #11
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Craigslist will sometimes have folks selling there. I have seen ads in motorhome and fmca magazines.
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:29 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies, folks. I'm still pondering. It's beginning to look like the zone pass may be the way to go.


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Old 02-18-2015, 11:39 AM   #13
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Wish I had pics of the 2 TT parks I stayed at. Yikes! One night was nuff! Big sites, yes. Nuthin level. Hookups haphazard and worn. Non-members are allowed, and book ahead and have the best sites. Maybe okay for weekend stuff, but ya gotta go there a lot to break even in degraded sites.
TT has a big recovering job ahead, if they DO it!
I spend +/- $20 per night, monthly basis. Don't need to move every 2 weeks. Grand facilities! Worth the chump-change difference.
Happy trails!
Agreed that some of the parks need work. In our experience the parks vary pretty dramatically. The park in Sturbridge, MA is horrible and I won't go back, whereas Gateway to Cape Cod in MA is solid to excellent especially if you get a good site (we did). We spent 3 weeks in Gateway in a huge corner site with a fire ring and had tons of privacy, lots of visitors (our family lives in MA), etc.. The park is very comparable to a state park - dirt roads and lots of trees - but I grew up tent camping so I like looking at the woods. I agree that very few of the parks have perfectly smooth roads, perfectly level and paved or gravel spots, landscaping, etc.., but in my experience the parks that do have really nice digs tend to stack the spaces close together and charge $30 - $40/day on average, or minimum $600/month + electric depending where you are (there's your $20+/day).

As far as cost, with our membership we can stay 3 weeks and add a 4th week for $27. In general we never want to stay longer than that in one place anyway - call me ADD, but I like a change of scenery every few weeks.

Also, I wouldn't call the savings chump change - We've spent 400 total nights in TT parks in the past 2 years for an average of $15/night (including our initial membership costs) vs. your 400 nights at an average of $20/night = $2000 saved. Every year those numbers will improve.

at 3 years we'll net an average of $11/day over 600 days = $6,600
Your $20/day x 600 days = $12,000

at 4 years we'll net an average of $9/day over 800 days = $7,200
Your $20/day x 800 days = $16,000

at 5 years we'll net an average of $7.8/day over 1000 days = $7,800
Your $20/day (might go up by then) x 1000 days = $20,000

While I'm sure many people consider $12,000 over 5 years chump change ($2400/year or $200/month average) - and assuming substantially better park conditions for your extra investment, then sure, I get it. I'm not trying to say that your way - or any other way - is wrong.

Just saying that for some of us it makes sense to save the money - especially considering that on average our stays in TT 'preserves' have been more than adequate for our requirements.

All that said, I would never recommend a membership to someone who didn't full-time or most-of-the-time with the intention of using the parks pretty heavily on the front end. The yearly dues are the same if you have one zone, all the zones, or an 'elite' membership like we do, so over time a membership doesn't make sense unless you use the parks a lot.

Most of the complaints I see are from vacationers - and in their case I get it.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:05 PM   #14
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Find them on Ebay and Craigslist, or a broker site like the RVParkstore.com. I bought mine several years ago for $1000, which included the $850 transfer fee, and that was for a premium (Alliance) nationwide membership with extra perks. Looks like they are running somewhat higher now, perhaps because ELS has been investing money to upgrade the old parks and improving management.

I won't get into the yea/nay debate - that's not what the OP asked about. Suffice it to say there are some great parks and some shabby ones, and that you can save money if you use the parks often enough. If you aren't gonna use them, don't buy in. If you aren't sure, buy an annual Zone Pass to find out if you like it without making an expensive commitment.
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