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Old 06-06-2010, 09:07 AM   #1
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Thousand Trails

We had just went into a Camping World the other day and they had a sales rep form Thousand Trails in the store. Anyway the deal was for a yearly membership fee for any zone and you chose and an additional zone could be bought for a one time fee.

I told the sales rep would get back to him if I was interested.

I have figured the expense a year of the the campgrounds we stay at each year and compared to the cost of the yearly membership fee and the three dollar a night charge for the campgrounds in there program, and it seems to be a cost savings to belong to this membership. In addition if the sales pitch on pricing and the membership is true I may actually add more weekend trips to the schedule.

I have some questions for anyone that is a current member of Thousand Trails about the availability of sites. Has anyone run into problems reserving a campground?

For instance they have a lot of resorts in Florida can you get a reservation the months of January, February or is it difficult?

Is it really three dollars a night or are there hidden fees or restrictions on any of the camp grounds?

I appreciate any information.
Thank you.

Jim & Toni
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
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When we bought our first Coach in 1995 we were given a free membership to RPI (Resort Parks International) with our home park (Sportmans Paradise) being in Panguitch UT.

Our combined membership and park maintenance fee was around $200 annually, and to the best of my recollection the nightly fees at the participating parks were between $3 & $4 back in the late 90's, not sure what they are today.

During our travels we found most parks participating in the RPI system were well off the travel routes we used and/or had no space available when we called to make reservations.

Another feature we didn't care for was the limited stay of 14 days then you had to move to another membership park. When we arrive at our final destination we usually stay 1 to 2 months so we don't want the hassle of moving every 14 days once we're set up.

These memberships are probably OK for those who do somewhat touch-and-go traveling in their RV but for our RV lifestyle I can't see any benefit.

Just out of curiosity, what is the buy in cost to join TT these days and how much do they charge for annual membership and park maintenance fees if you don't mind sharing that information.

Best of luck with your decision and have many fun, safe and trouble free journeys

Jim & SherrySeward

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Old 06-06-2010, 11:53 AM   #3
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Hi Jim,
Several friends of our have a TT membership. I do not know the details of their memberships, but they do complain a lot about not being able to get into TT resorts dung peak season. This is especially true of the Florida resorts in the winter.

If you decide to buy, consider the after market for purchasing a membership. They go dirt cheap. Make sure you know what you are buying. TT has more memberships than an insurance company has policy choices.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:27 PM   #4
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Hi Jim, don't do it! I was given a free membership to TT when I purchased my RV. There is a yearly maintenance fee that you must pay. It was 450.00 then could be more now. You can only stay 14 days then must move. You can only stay in one if they have room for you. Also find out how many days per year you can stay. My neighbor paid over $6000 for his and can't get out of it unless he can find someone to buy it from him.You must pay the maintenance fee whether you use the membership or not. I do see them for sale at a big discount by owners looking to get out from under. My parents used theirs when you could stay for $1 per night and about $100.00 yearly fee. When the fee went to $ 300.00, they started using Pass port America for 49.00 per year and %50 off camp sites. Also ask people who have tried to cancel out their membership if they decide they are not happy with it. If you are an attorney then don't worry.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:33 PM   #5
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First off, I have been a Thousand Trails member for many years. They have many different memberships so the replies here may or may not apply to you.
I have never had a problem getting a reservation in their campgrounds. I spent 15 nights in Peace River, FL followed by 5 nights in Orlando in January 2008. No problem getting a reservation.
Just be sure and read your contract thoroughly and know what you are getting before you sign if you decide to join. If the contract says $3.00 per night, then that's what it costs. However, that would probably be for 30 amp hook up. 50 amp is $2.00 per night extra.
My contract allows me to stay up to 14 nights free for 30 amp.
Regarding the comment about cancellation. My contract states that I can cancel after the first three years upon giving written notice.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:59 PM   #6
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I am told the Flordia resorts (Preserves) fill up in the winter.. I have never been in a TT park south of the Carolinas save Las Vegas and never had a problem getting a site.. EVER.

The other membership park I'm in now fills up every summer.. 750 sites when it is finished (About 700 now) and it's booked solid.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:38 PM   #7
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we have a tt membership

our annual is 400.
and the cost to buy in was less than most, but i still may have paid to much but i felt it was fair for the return .
i wish tt had more park in colorado and wyoming? that is a great place for summer to get away from the southern heat.
they do seem to be heavily fortified for the north east coast and Washington state

they do throw in rpi for the first year then its fee is based on if you keep the condo and cruise junk, why would an rver need a condo? anywho
our "home base park" is a ways from us,
all our tt parks are free with a 14 night max stay
however if you stay 4 then move to another park it resets,

we don't snowbird so i can see how the 14 day is an inconvenience
but it also opens up spaces for those of us that wander around.
i would like to visit south texas in the winter, as well.
rpi parks are 10 a night
enjoy America and ready go camp has their quirks to, the stay is discounted then you can negotiate
some parks its less money to use other clubs or member ship numbers to start off
i had a real nice lady at ready go camp show me the loop holes and i check those rates first before all others except tt

my favorite park so far is texoma preserve
its friendly
you will not drive over 5 mph
ITS clean
very family and
its clean.
grass was not over grown
no garbage anywhere
pool was clean
adult areas were very nice
family areas were very nice
and did i say it was CLEAN

all this combined with my discounts at coe parks pretty much covers my camping
if i can stay for 10-15 a night and get great service i feel good.
in texas and i am sure other states do it
if you get the states camping guide book it lists zillions ( optimist) of private cg's and you get great discounts with them on your own or combined with other membership alliances
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:41 PM   #8
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We just visited our first TT park on Memorial Day weekend. I was shown the membership too, consisting of a annual $499 dues. This provided me 30 days free camping (same 14 day at a park) and the $3 per day fee beyond 30 days. We were told we could back out every year if we decided not to renew. The park selection for the Southeast looks really good and I think it would be a good fit for me and my family. I do enjoy ready other people's experiences.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:56 PM   #9
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Go here.............http://www.thousandtrails.com/FreeOffer/index2.asp

My best friend called me last week. He was a TT member for years and gave it up.
He spoke to TT last month and here is what he told me he did and what they said.

He fulltimes in his fiver on his property in NTx. We have a spot there also , along with 3 other couples. It is within 3 miles of TT Texoma.

Anyway, he spoke to a lady in Orlando and there is a deal where you can join either West or East zone for a one time fee of 450.00. They financed it for 37.50 per month. For that membership, he can stay 14 in and 7 out in any of the parks. They are now run by Encore. Now also, if you only stay 4 days , you can leave that park and go to any park, stay 4 more days , leave and go to any other park , including the one you just recently come from. Actually, you can spend 365 days a year in a TT park, and never pay but 37.50 per month. He gave me a ladies name of Lucy in Orlando sales office, I called her after readint your post bout the 3.00 and she said, no charge under this new deal.
It is a ONE YEAR CONTRACT and can be renewed year by year (I.m sure they will raise the price next year, but so what, you can quit if you dont like it ).

How can you go wrong on that? He has already spent 10 days in TT parks and he hasnt paid but 37.50 and he has a full month almost left for that 37.50.

If you are interested, call that Lady , Lucy , in the Orlando sales office.
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Old 06-07-2010, 04:47 PM   #10
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I am also a TT member since 1999, if you spend a lot of time on the road its well worth it if you are a weekender or a seasonal camper maybe not so good. We are always ahead due to the time on the road but we do not stay in TT exclusively. In Florida you have to make reservations well in advance as with any other high use area if you follow this rule you will be ok. TT are usually parks you would want to spend more than a few days in 1-2 wks or more. I have seen some of the other discount parks very few are desireable for more than an overnight. Yet TT parks are not on the same level as the upscale resort parks but the price is not there either. The main problem I have found is the improvements that were needed 6 & 7 yrs ago still exist they are reluctant to make needed improvements. You only see this after going to the same places time after time. They now offer a great deal of plans that when you calculate the total cost per night compared to a compareable private campground make it a pretty good deal.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:38 PM   #11
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Thank you for all the replies I appreciate all the comments.
The deal they had going was a yearly fee of $450 for one zone no buy in fees and you could add a zone for a one time fee of $750 at ant time. First thirty days of camping was free. $3 a night after that at any of the parks in your zone.

The yearly fee could go up but no long term contracts want out don't renew when your yearly fee comes up.
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:23 PM   #12
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wow reading this tells me there is so much wiggle room in their contracts
our 400 annual allows us free at any tt park, some with 50 amp charge 3 a night
i havent seen a ZONE clause in our paperwork, i might need to re-read it again
they did have a 1 yr, 3 yr, 5 and 10 yr plan
each one had its hits or misses
we figured if we stay 30 days at a minimum each year we used up the 400 in annual fees

for us that's easy as falling off a log
texoma was going through an upgrade of electrical and the 50 amp spots had a 3 surcharge, but we were assured this is not ever lasting...........
however 3 a night is a steal
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:34 PM   #13
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By the way.. If you do buy into TT and plan on wintering in South Carolina

Private Message me.. Please.. I plan on returning there this winter. and likely the one after.. After that if hearth and soul are still hanging out near each other I may wander about some.. But I really liked the community down there.
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:10 PM   #14
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Hello All, I have no experience with TT, however I do have experience with a Coast to Coast and RPI Affiliated Campground which I know to be similar. We bought a membership in the campground out West as a resale with a relatively low price and a fixed yearly dues structure. Our purpose was to use the Coast to Coast and RPI which at the time was $1. per night with occasional surcharges for AC use. The main problem was the lack of many campgrounds in the middle of the country, difficulty with getting reservations and the increase of camping fees. We accepted the price increase, costs do go up but more and more campgrounds dropped out or went under. the numbers went from 800+ down to 3-400. We ended up traveling further and further to find one still in business. When we stopped using them most of the Campgrounds we used to like to stay in had gone Bankrupt. The Campgrounds had to resort to trying their best to sell new memberships to support the Campground very similar to what has been called a PONZI Scheme, the selling of new memberships as the only means to support the Campground.
We then went through a major problem in trying to end our relationship. It was very similar to joining Tony Sopranos organization and trying to leave.
This is just our experience over a 12 year period and does not reflect all the Campground Memberships. Additionally there are some great well run Campgrounds in these systems.

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