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Old 09-10-2011, 11:21 PM   #1
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Membership camping

Looking for the pros and cons of having a membership like 1000 trails and rpi or going on your own. I presently don't have one and friends of mine do and they have all sorts of restrictions and when they get to the desert nobody wants to take you at the peak and if they do its not the premium sites. Would appreciate any inputs from both people with and without memberships before i get one.

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Old 09-11-2011, 08:56 AM   #2
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It really depends on your travel style. I used to belong to C2C and found that it didn't really suit my needs for the cost. If you are full-time or most of the time, it may be worthwhile. Look and see where the locations are and determine if you would be in those areas or would want to visit. Yes, there are restrictions and you have annual dues or maintence fees. In addition, read the contract carefully. Can you opt out at anytime or must you sell your membership to someone else (there isn't a high demand for the memberships) in order to get out of your annual fees.
I found that the locations weren't convient to use just when traveling, they were more for a destination and several nights stay. I did have a contract where I could opt out at any time by either selling my membership or deeding it back to my home park, which is what I eventually did.
Good luck on your decision.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:16 PM   #3
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We've been TTN members for years and love it. Yes, there are problems (mostly with power) but overall it has been great for us. Allows us to travel more freely as the cost of camping is greatly reduced. We primarily travel in the west and they have several CGs in the area. We also use RPI and Passport America and find that we generally save money with all of these.

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Old 09-11-2011, 01:43 PM   #4
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You really need to check these things out. Most are high pressure..."you have to decide today, the deal is one day only." We joined 1000 Trails, but will be leaving when it expires next spring...just don't use it. Plus there are a great many empty trailers permanently parked (stored) in the majority of the prime parking spots. The other problem is most are 30 amp, with a few 50 amp for extra money.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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My opinion:

There not worth the money unless your full time; then it's a toss up.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:55 PM   #6
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Do the math.

Lots of crazy rules in some memberships. We are RPI, and staying in an Encore CG in Pismo Beach, ca this weekend. We get 30% peak season and pay $18 for off season through RPI. Checked in yesterday and they tried to charge me for peak season. I asked them when off season started and they said yesterday. I asked, shouldn't I get the off season price then and they said the off season is different for Encore and RPI. I agued that 2 different off seasons was not right and asked when RPI off season started. They said they did not know, I needed to ask RPI. RPI also said they did not know, ask the CG. Finally realizing this did not make sense, the CG gave me off season rate.

We are hoping that when we retire, we will be able to make it more of a financial advantage having our membership. We also have Colorado River Adventure, which is real bad on their strange rules. Their answer to every question is " read your contract". I do, and still cant find the answers.

Take your time looking into memberships.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smack2020 View Post
Do the math.

Lots of crazy rules in some memberships. We are RPI, and staying in an Encore CG in Pismo Beach, ca this weekend. We get 30% peak season and pay $18 for off season through RPI. Checked in yesterday and they tried to charge me for peak season. I asked them when off season started and they said yesterday. I asked, shouldn't I get the off season price then and they said the off season is different for Encore and RPI. I agued that 2 different off seasons was not right and asked when RPI off season started. They said they did not know, I needed to ask RPI. RPI also said they did not know, ask the CG. Finally realizing this did not make sense, the CG gave me off season rate.

We are hoping that when we retire, we will be able to make it more of a financial advantage having our membership. We also have Colorado River Adventure, which is real bad on their strange rules. Their answer to every question is " read your contract". I do, and still cant find the answers.

Take your time looking into memberships.
I really got flamed on another well known RV Forum (to remain nameless) about my thoughts about certain campground memberships. My suggestion is run! Run away do not look back and check your purse and your pockets as you run from their sales pitch
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by melvonnar View Post
My opinion:

There not worth the money unless your full time; then it's a toss
up.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:21 PM   #9
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I spend a lot of time in TT parks (And one other Membership park)

If you plan on spending lot of time in the parks I will give you some math.

Dues of say 500 a year.. KOA 50-80/night.. Let's see. a week (7 nights) at 80 bucks = 560 bucks.

Ok, that's the math.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:36 PM   #10
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Just like anything else it depends on you. My parents have been full timing for 5 years now and have found it worth while to keep their, I think 4 memberships. They like being able to pick their spot in TT. They probably use their time shares for 8-9 of ten months of the year, other 2 months they are in my yard. (their house has 6 tires and no foundation)
My wife and I have a TT family menbership from my parents and used 75% of the time this year but do not know about next.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:07 PM   #11
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If you use them and the parks are in areas you want to go to then they are a good deal. The big question is will you want to do the same thing year after year. We are members of three membership campgrounds; Western Horizon, Thousand Trails, and Sunrise resorts. So far in my mind at least Sunrise is the only company to not have screwed us. TT has changed the rules and although we thought we were purchasing a lifetime contract it is only good for 10 years plus they now are open to the public so it really is not a members only park. Western Horizon sold us a membership that for an additional fee also included all new parks. They then sold off over half of the parks they owned. Have we gotten our moneys worth? Maybe. Would I do it again? Never. Probably the nearest thing to a deal out there right now is the TT zone membership and I am not too sure about it.

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Old 09-11-2011, 09:13 PM   #12
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If you really want a membership park package there are several resellars out there. Google "Membership RV Parks discounted" . we bought a package for 500 bucks. it gives us 7 nights FREE at a Campground in georgia. plus it gives us access to Resort Parks International and Coast to Coast. All 3 have annual dues. My total dues are 200 bucks. We use the 7 free nights going and coming back into Florida so that takes care of that annuakl dues (59 bucks). then RPI & C ro C are 69 eaCH ANNUALLY. For that we get to stay at their parks usually for 10 bucks a night. We travel for 3 to 5 months and use them where ever we can. if you do the math. 200 annually divided by 90 = 2 bucks plus 10 or 12 bucks a night. cheap if you use the membership. Be sure if you buy a membership that it is a walk away membership. Many force you to either keep paying dues or try to resell your membership. also look for all the restrictions. they can bwe a real pain in the butt.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:42 PM   #13
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First of all, if you want to buy in, buy a re-sale rather than a new membership. The price of anew one is outrageous in most cases, where as buying from somebody else is quite reasonable. There are reputable brokers that handle all kinds of resales, and also many on Ebay.

Whether it s a good deal depends on how much you use it. Fulltimers and long-timers have to be parked somewhere many nights a year, so they have ample opportunity to utilize any park system they are a member of. But even then, they have to be in places you want to go. A low-cost park in a place you don't want to be is no bargain!

We've been Thousand Trails and RPI members for 4 years now. Had some health problems one year and did not get to use it at all, but the dues had to be paid regardless. But when we do use them, our cost is $550 for 50 nights of camping. that's a great deal for a full hook-up site in popular areas. RPI gives us further opportunities to visit other parks at $10/night. So the math works fine IF you make an effort to utilize the parks.

There can be quite a variation in the quality of the parks in a system. Thousand Trails has 57 parks nationwide and while many are quite nice, a few are rather run down or just plain old. I suggest visiting as many as you can before making a decision, even if you just drive in and look around. You can usually get 1-3 day guest privileges too, and some of the parks now admit the public (at local market rates) if there is space available.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm
I spend a lot of time in TT parks (And one other Membership park)

If you plan on spending lot of time in the parks I will give you some math.

Dues of say 500 a year.. KOA 50-80/night.. Let's see. a week (7 nights) at 80 bucks = 560 bucks.

Ok, that's the math.
That part always made sense to me. What didnt make sense was the $10k CRA wanted as a "buy-in" fee on top of the $500+ in annual "maintenance fees". In the long run, even if we spent every weekend there (which we wouldnt) it would take many many many years to even break even if we did the math at $70 per night fees. The kicker is I have NEVER even seen a campground at $70 per night fees and I have even stayed at resort type locations. My vote is stay away, UNLESS you are talking about something like the TT zone pass for $500 with no other fees and you truly being honest with yourself intend to use it enough for the math to work.
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