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Old 07-01-2016, 08:20 AM   #15
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Passport America has restrictions. With some CGs you have to stay multiple days, can't use discount on weekends, and most CGs are not in convenient locations, check the map BEFORE you purchase. I joined in 2014 because we were going to Alaska from our home on Cape Cod. We were doing a lot of 1 night stands, so with multi day requirements, we were not able to use PA. After over 13k miles and 4 months we were never able to use it, even once, we did not renew and find for us, PA is not worth it. I am sure it is worthwhile for some people, but be sure you read!ALL the restrictions before you lay out your money. This is just our experience, yours may be different.
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:37 PM   #16
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Thanks for the great first hand info. Nothing like experience.

With the increase of seasonal folks, do you sometimes find you are not able to get in a park at all? For a full timer this might present problems.
Howdy!

So far we have been able to get into the parks. We do find also that a lot of the good sites near the water are at times most of the FHU sites are all taken by seasonal folks and as stated their numbers are increasing.

"Happy Trails"
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:56 PM   #17
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Passport America is very reasonable but in FL most parks won't accept it during high season and up north the same for summer.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:58 PM   #18
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Just tried Thousand Trails for the first time. We booked two nights at $51 per night. A little high, but a confirmed reservation for FHU on a business trip was worth it. Received the confirmation email within minutes.
Then the fun began. We arrived and yes, they did have our "reservation". So off we go to our reserved site to get a good night's sleep, right? Wrong! It turns out that our "reservation" gives us the right to show up and drive around looking for an empty site, which may or may not have FHU. Only four sites left, with power and water only. Same rate as FHU. It was too late in the day to look for another campground.
We were treated to a long us-and-them spiel about the relationship between the campground and the central reservations desk.
We met other equally dissatisfied customers and would never consider any further dealings with this organization. Everyone we dealt with made us feel more like marks than customers.
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:34 AM   #19
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2 Zones for the price of 1

They currently have an offer (which happens so much it really is their base rate) of 2 zones for the price of 1 $545.

I would/will try that offer. If you use it for 1 month of camping and no more I would consider it as break even in cost.
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:56 AM   #20
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They currently have an offer (which happens so much it really is their base rate) of 2 zones for the price of 1 $545.

I would/will try that offer. If you use it for 1 month of camping and no more I would consider it as break even in cost.
I agree with Dexters comment ...

I feel a TT membership is still a great, if not the best value out there, and even more so if you take advantage of the BOGO promotion that is running now.

We've been camping for decades, RV'ing for the last 6 years and just this year joined TT on an earlier BOGO promotion. Prior to TT, we camped in our RV at all sorts of places - KOA, private campgrounds, state campgrounds, walmart, backyards, friend houses, etc.

While I have not added up the costs of nights we spent at campgrounds where we paid full price (or discounted with GoodSam, Passport America, etc) I know that the average night is between 45-65+ per night.

So far with our TT membership of $545/year (2 zones) we have camped 13 nights at 2 preserves and have another 27 nights booked. Averaging the 40 nights we have used (or booked) that brings our cost per night to $14.38 a night, and that average will only go down the more we use our membership.

That is pretty darn cheap for camping. Of the 13 nights we have camped so far, we had full hookups 11 of those nights. The first 2 nights we camped at Hershey we only had Elec&Water, but we moved the 3rd day to a full hookup site.

With our BOGO membership, we have access to 37 preserves in the Northeast and Southeast. I don't foresee us dropping our TT membership, but rather upgrading it in a few years when we have more time to travel.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:17 PM   #21
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With our BOGO membership, we have access to 37 preserves in the Northeast and Southeast. I don't foresee us dropping our TT membership, but rather upgrading it in a few years when we have more time to travel.
That's the way to do it.

If you were full timing on the BOGO you can stay in the system for 14 then out for 7. Theoretically, you can stay 2/3 of the year in the system for $545 and 1/3 out of the system. Then there is the discount at Encore parks.

Thousand Trails Camping Pass

Q: How long can I stay at a resort?
A: While there is no limit to the total number of nights that you may use your Zone Camping Pass each year, we do set a maximum of 14 consecutive days for any particular stay at one of our resorts. Additionally, if your stay exceeds four consecutive nights, you must wait for seven nights before you stay again at any resort.
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:06 PM   #22
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That's the way to do it.

If you were full timing on the BOGO you can stay in the system for 14 then out for 7. Theoretically, you can stay 2/3 of the year in the system for $545 and 1/3 out of the system. Then there is the discount at Encore parks.
You bet ... although with our 2 zone pass, the per night cost is $3/per night after the first 30 nights per year. I also think that the zone pass doesn't offer the same level of discounts at Encore Parks - at least for the ones I have checked, some of which stated that my membership wasn't valid for a discount.

Technically I could stay in the Northeast/Southeast all year - park to park - if we only stayed 4 nights at each park. This would incur an extra cost of $1,005 per year ($3/night * 335 nights).

For us though, that would just be too much arrive, setup, stay, breakdown, drive, repeat - which is why an upgraded membership, when we're ready, is on the list. We'd like to be able to do 21 days park to park, with a longer reservation window.

The downside that I see with the zone pass, and the National Pass, is that there is only a 60 day booking window. We've actually been ok with it so far. We got into Hershey for Memorial Day with about a 3 week out reservation. I surprised the DW with the TT membership and we spent 5 days at Hershey before heading over to Pocono Raceway for the NASCAR weekend.

We did try to get into Sea Pines and Lake&Shore with about a weeks notice for the week of June 20th, but could not get in. We ended up booking 10 days at Chestnut Lake for the same period. While we try to plan our trips more in advance, I got the last 2 tickets to see Jason Mraz at the Ocean City Pier about 8 days before the show - so in short order I needed to find a place near there to stay for the week.

A big deciding factor for me in joining with the BOGO was so that we could get out and travel more, at an affordable price. We live in CT and have 18 TT preserves within a days drive & single tank of fuel, and 13 of those are within a few hours drive & 1/2 tank of fuel. For us, the 2 biggest factors with using the RV more are fuel costs and campground costs. I have the luxury of being able to work remotely about 80% of the time - all I need is a good Verizon 4G signal - so mostly work isn't an issue and food costs, well they're relatively the same if we are at home or travel.

Fuel is low right now - I could fill our tank (if it were empty) for less than $180, which leaves the highest cost being the campground - and now getting camping at an avg of $14/night solves that.

We travel without kids - well without 2 legged kids - and we look less at the preserves as a destination and more as an affordable place to stay with our RV while we explore the nearby areas.

Right now we're counting down the days to our next trip. We're heading back to Pocono Raceway for the July NASCAR race in 10 days. Following the race weekend, we're heading right to the Williamsburg VA preserve for 14 days.
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:01 AM   #23
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... - and now getting camping at an avg of $14/night solves that.
Just to clarify this ... the avg of $14 per night is our annual membership ($545) PLUS our future costs of $3 per night (for trips we have already booked) in excess of the 30 included nights.

As we've already absorbed/spent the money on the annual membership, realistically our nights beyond 30 are only costing us $3/night. I don't know where else you can camp for 14 days, with water/elec, plus sewer in many sites, along with the other amenities that TT preserves offer for $42.

As a disclaimer, I will say that there can be a $3-5 per day charge for 50amp at some preserves. Typically this is in areas that have been upgraded from 30amp to 30/50amp to recoup the costs. This is the case in some sections of Hershey.
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