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Old 09-25-2020, 06:46 PM   #1
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Thousand Trails Availability Question

Hi all, I found out that a park where I want to make a reservation is a Thousand Trails park. The 2 week cost would be almost equal to the cost of the annual TT membership. Is there anyway to find out if the park has TT availability before I sign up? The park has availability, but I don’t know if it’s a TT site. Neither the park or TT office is open for phone calls right now so I thought someone might know if it’s worth even pursuing. Thanks!!
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Old 09-25-2020, 06:52 PM   #2
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Which park?
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:11 PM   #3
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Portland Fairview RV Park.
From October 3rd through 9th for a 43' fifth wheel.
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:20 PM   #4
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tread slowly...you may have trouble trying to unload the TT membership when you're ready to sell. do some research before you plunk down your $.
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:22 PM   #5
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Can we opt out after one year? I thought it was the kind of thing that you had to renew annually.
If so, it will almost completely pay for itself for the first year with this one stay.
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:46 PM   #6
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Portland Fairview RV Park.
From October 3rd through 9th for a 43' fifth wheel.
This is NOT a Thousand Trails park, but it is an Encore Park. There is a big difference in the parks.
1) Thousand Trails has several different membership the cheapest is known as a Camping Pass, formally a Zone Pass. It allows you to stay for 2 weeks at a time then you MUST be out of the system for 7 days. But only in Thousand Trails parks.
If you want to stay in an Encore park for 2 weeks at "no cost", you need to buy The Trails Collection for $300 in addition to the zone pass.
So you are looking at around $900 or so/year. Yes if you purchase the camping pass it is only for a year, no obligation to renew year after year.

Here is the Thousand Trails link
https://thousandtrails.com/
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamm2018 View Post
This is NOT a Thousand Trails park, but it is an Encore Park. There is a big difference in the parks.
1) Thousand Trails has several different membership the cheapest is known as a Camping Pass, formally a Zone Pass. It allows you to stay for 2 weeks at a time then you MUST be out of the system for 7 days. But only in Thousand Trails parks.
If you want to stay in an Encore park for 2 weeks at "no cost", you need to buy The Trails Collection for $300 in addition to the zone pass.
So you are looking at around $900 or so/year. Yes if you purchase the camping pass it is only for a year, no obligation to renew year after year.

Here is the Thousand Trails link
https://thousandtrails.com/
Yes, I saw that. I was prepared to pay for the Trails Collection add-on. The park is $66/night and I'd use 7 nights. TT is running a 20% off discount right now on membership, so the cost of staying at the park would be well over half the cost of a TT + trails membership. It felt like with that math a membership would be worth it. We'd only need to say a week somewhere else over the course of the year (we are full-timing) to get the full value.
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jillhope7 View Post
Can we opt out after one year? I thought it was the kind of thing that you had to renew annually.
If so, it will almost completely pay for itself for the first year with this one stay.
Your terminology may be confusing a little bit here.
There are different level of memberships in the Thousand Trails system:
the cheapest is the Camping Pass, formally the Zone Pass. It is for 1 year and only for the zone you purchase. There are 5 zones, purchase 1 for $599 then you can add another zone for $59. This is only for Thousand Trails parks, not Encore Parks.
But if you want more campgrounds you must purchase the Trails Collection for $299/year, which is Encore Parks.

https://thousandtrails.com/membership-info

There are several levels of Elite memberships
Elite basic, Elite Connections and Elite (can't remember the name for it).
But even with these you need the Trails Collection to stay at some Encore parks for 2 weeks at no cost. Some Encore Parks you still must pay $20.00/night. After your 2 weeks you need to be out of the Encore parks for 7 days before you can go back in under the Trails Collection membership.

The only one you can "opt out after 1 year "is Camping pass, you just don't buy it again. The other memberships you have yearly dues to pay at the 1st of the year, usually about $600/year. At least that is our dues yearly. If you do not pay the membership dues you can suspend the membership, but to use it again you need to pay the dues before using it. Read the contract I think it says you must be active for the first 2 years, before suspending the membership.
If you buy the Elite from Thousand Trails you can finance it thru them. Get an ideal of how much these memberships can cost?

Our experience with Thousand Trails, we have been members since 2003. We have upgraded our membership twice and now are Elite Connections members.
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:43 PM   #9
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Thanks, I do get all of those details. I've spent a lot of time on a few different websites (both private reviewers and the TT site) that break down each type and level of membership, discuss purchasing used/resale memberships, etc. It seems as though everything I'm seeing indicates that if after a year, regardless of what membership I purchase, if I'm unhappy I can cancel with 30 days notice, OR resell again if I were to go with a used and want to try and recoup some of my initial costs. Right now I am considering a zone pass, with an add-on zone, and the Encore/Trails Collection. And even if this particular trip doesn't work out, I would still consider the membership, just further down the road.
I just really want to know if it's possible for a non-member to confirm availability before signing up. If I call TT tomorrow, will they tell me if the park that I want is available on the dates I need before I sign on the dotted line?
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Old 09-26-2020, 08:53 AM   #10
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You're on the right track in looking into availability. The Trails Collection program sets aside a small # of sites in the ENCORE parks for this program. I would do as you suggest and call TT and see if you can complete your purchase and reservation all in one call.
Be sure to check out rvlove blogger (google with Thousand Trails). They have an extensive piece on TT and all the options. I upgraded to Elite (bought on ebay) after 3 years on the Zone Pass + Trails Collection. Very happy. Have never had trouble getting reservations but I travel after Labor Day thru the end of Dec and that is "off peak" in most parks.
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:30 AM   #11
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We looked into adding the Encore Parks to our TT as there is one that we were interested in going to sometimes.

We checked into it, drove the toad out and did a drive through wasn't impressed at all. IIRC the TT members were limited to which area of the property you could stay at, and it wasn't as nice as the reviews made it sound.

The rest of the parks are in areas that we are highly unlikely to visit so it wasn't worth the cost.
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Old 09-28-2020, 07:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jillhope7 View Post
Thanks, I do get all of those details. I've spent a lot of time on a few different websites (both private reviewers and the TT site) that break down each type and level of membership, discuss purchasing used/resale memberships, etc. It seems as though everything I'm seeing indicates that if after a year, regardless of what membership I purchase, if I'm unhappy I can cancel with 30 days notice, OR resell again if I were to go with a used and want to try and recoup some of my initial costs. Right now I am considering a zone pass, with an add-on zone, and the Encore/Trails Collection. And even if this particular trip doesn't work out, I would still consider the membership, just further down the road.
I just really want to know if it's possible for a non-member to confirm availability before signing up. If I call TT tomorrow, will they tell me if the park that I want is available on the dates I need before I sign on the dotted line?
On the website you can make a reservation without being a member. It will allow you to discover if there is a open site. Also another part you may not know is at Thousand Trails parks you can not reserve a specific site, you just make a reservation. These parks are first come first serve types.
So if you get there late you get what is left over.
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:30 PM   #13
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Some of the parks assign a specific site when you check in. (Las Vegas, Voyager Tucson,- Tranquil Timbers are 3 I know of that did this when I checked in). Checking in at Noon or early afternoon - especially on Sun, Mon, or Tues, can expand the # of sites you have to choose from for the parks with "first come, first serve". (Voyager is a Trails Collection park. Many of those assign sites when you check in.). Availability of "retail" sites on the RVGO reservation system means nothing to folks using their membership. Sites are allocated according to the different types, "retail", and Zone pass or other membership camping program. The Trails collection program mentions this limited availability in the membership documents. Thousand Trails is always subject to availability, but in my experience, they go out of their way to accommodate. Prior to joining TT, we found the Wells Maine site in our Passport America directory and showed up without a reservation. They were very busy but found us a site and gave us 50% off our stay.
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Old 09-29-2020, 10:51 PM   #14
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Also another part you may not know is at Thousand Trails parks you can not reserve a specific site, you just make a reservation. These parks are first come first serve types.
So if you get there late you get what is left over.
I have a 43' rig. When I make a reservation and they take that info, aren't I at least guaranteed a site that will fit me? I did end up joining and the agent on the phone who facilitated my purchase said I would be guaranteed a site that fit me, he actually had to cancel the reservation and then rebook it with that info.
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