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Old 05-02-2022, 02:17 AM   #1
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Educate me - thousand trails - Florida winter shuffle

2008 Tiffin Phaeton 40’ DP
have full timed for 2 years but retired Dec 2021
So this will be first winter traveling
We have thousand trails (TT) elite with trails collection (TC) & RPI
We’ve used TT extensively thus far & are happy with it
We’d like to winter in FL in TT parks in so far as possible
We have 120 day reservations TT & 60 days for TC, TC 2 weeks in, 7 days out
I know the TT & TC rules, requirements, constraints
Can any one that has done this prove advice:
A) is this doable?
B) will all TC parks be full?
C) tips on booking FL winter in TT system
D) other things I don’t even know (unknown/unknowns)
Thanks in advance
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Old 05-02-2022, 09:21 AM   #2
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The winter park where we stay in Ft. Myers Beach is a TT park. They are usually fully-booked during the season, however they have at least 2 sites available for short-term stays, which are usually TT members.
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Old 05-02-2022, 09:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swduns View Post
2008 Tiffin Phaeton 40’ DP
have full timed for 2 years but retired Dec 2021
So this will be first winter traveling
We have thousand trails (TT) elite with trails collection (TC) & RPI
We’ve used TT extensively thus far & are happy with it
We’d like to winter in FL in TT parks in so far as possible
We have 120 day reservations TT & 60 days for TC, TC 2 weeks in, 7 days out
I know the TT & TC rules, requirements, constraints
Can any one that has done this prove advice:
A) is this doable?
B) will all TC parks be full?
C) tips on booking FL winter in TT system
D) other things I don’t even know (unknown/unknowns)
Thanks in advance
We have been TT members since 2003, Elite Connections. We did last October, November, and most of December in Florida last year.

A/D)
In Florida there is 3 TT parks, Three Flags, Orlando and Peace River. Peace River you will park in the field and sign up on a list to get a 50-amp site when one becomes available. It could be several days before you move to the 50-amp site. It is really tight coming into the park, they allow cars to exit the same area as you pull in and kids run and play, ride bikes in that area as well, use caution pulling in.
Orlando last year, December 15th, during high use time, they started letting people in, but making them stage at the large parking lot and then they would take you around looking for a site. Before that you checked in at 12pm and you found your own site. They said they had to wait for additional staff to arrive before they started the staging for sites.
Three Flags the 2 times we were there they assigned us a site in the back with the seasonals, instead of the pull thru sites up front.
Orlando and Three Flags are high use parks, so it is limited to 2 weeks max after December 15th.

B)
TC/ Encore parks-only has so many TT spots available. Example: Sunshine Keys, has around 20 sites until December 15th, then it drops to 10 sites. We spent last Thanksgiving there for 2 weeks. At that time the park was less then 1/2 full.

C)
tips- get on the site at the soonest possible time, we have a 180-days booking window, so even if 120-day window seems like allot of time, it adds to the stress of finding any spots.
Same for the TC booking window, the 60-day window is not allot of time, you are competing with allot of others. Plus some of the TC parks will not work for us because of our size, 45 foot tri-axle toy hauler.

Orlando enforces the 12pm check in time to the minute, if you are very early they tell you to leave and come back at noon. They will have a traffic back-up out on the main road for people waiting to check in creating a huge traffic problem on the road and getting in to the park. Two lane road coming in but at noon one lane is full or rigs trying to get in.

So, from December 15th to middle of March, be ready to move every 2 weeks.

Last December after we returned from Sunshine Keys, Orlando lost electric for 12 hours, the contractors building the new section hit a cable and knocked the whole park out for about 12 hours.
This year in April at Palms Spring electrical issues, we were out of electric for 4 days, burned 45 gallons of generator fuel. It took a week to get power back on, then it happened again and from what I heard is they closed the park earlier then planned. It usually closes May 15th, but they shut it down in mid-April for repairs. During the first week of power outage, TT cancelled incoming reservations and people were still pulling in to the park thinking they had reservations, which the reservations had been cancelled.
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Old 05-08-2022, 08:08 AM   #4
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Not much response/feedback/info .....

I would expect a lot of IRV2 full timers have done the Florida shuffle

I expected to get a lot of info and experience feedback on how to do winter in Florida

The two who replied were very helpful but I expected there was a lot of experience in wintering in Florida and particular with Thousand Trails ....
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Old 05-08-2022, 09:06 AM   #5
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Keep in mind when you make reservations it goes by days (180 days) not by 6 months from the date you want. For example, I made reservations for October 31st. At six months it would have been May 1st, but at 180 days it was later by 3-4 days before I was able to make the reservations.
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Old 05-08-2022, 09:40 AM   #6
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Good to know ... thanks Hamm2018 ...
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Old 05-18-2022, 06:13 AM   #7
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Have stayed at 6 flags and stay in a nice park just north of TT peace river. Neither are places I would care to spend any time. Why anyone would go through the hassels of the winter shuffle when there are so many nice parks to stay at is something that I don't understand.
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Old 05-18-2022, 08:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Teamfoxy View Post
Have stayed at 6 flags and stay in a nice park just north of TT peace river. Neither are places I would care to spend any time. Why anyone would go through the hassels of the winter shuffle when there are so many nice parks to stay at is something that I don't understand.
We spent a total of 44 days in the Orlando area last winter, moved 2 times, one from Three Flags (7 days) to Orlando (14 days) and then from Orlando (15 days) to Three Flags (7 days). We went to the Peace River TT Park for (1 night) on the way to Sunshine Keys. AT Sunshine Keys we stayed there for $280 for 2 weeks.

The cost of the 44 days out of our pocket was $0.00. We have been TT Members since 2003 and have upgraded to the current package we have in 2020. Last year we spent 172 days in the TT system. So, the reason we would do the winter shuffle is the cost of staying in the same place for 21 days in a TT Park at a time.
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Old 05-19-2022, 04:46 AM   #9
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I can see why after being sucked in to TT membership that you might feel obligated to use it. But Peace River TT is a slum that floods out a lot. When we stayed at 6 flags, the sites were raised grass islands and the roads were like canals in Venice after it rained. I'm thankful that I only had a free zone-pass and could see what a waste of money the higher priced memberships would be. I guess you could say that the free membership was worth what I paid for it.
The park we spend the winter in has quite a few ex TT members that got tired of TT Peace River and decided that it was well worth getting out of the TT cycle and moving to a nicer place.
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