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ERIC@BABIN.COM

PIO PICO CALIFORNIA THOUSAND TRAILS

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Dang it!  I have much more fun writing happy / good reviews of places we travel.... this week it's just not possible.

Here is a letter I'm working on to send to Thousand Trails corporate.  It's just a draft for now, but you'll get the jest of our experience.

If anyone knows a good contact email for someone high up in the TT corporation please share that info with me.  I'm truly trying to help them know what is going on at this park.

 

THOUSAND TRAILS PIO PICO JAMUL CALIFORNIA

JUNE 22, 2018 (APPROX. 2 PM)

 

I MADE RESERVATION FOR FULL HOOK UPS / 50 AMP / WATER / ELECTRIC

AT FIRST GLANCE AS WE ENTERED THE PARK IT LOOKED DIRTY, DUSTY, UNKEPT, AND NOT COMFORTABLE.  THE PADS WERE IN MANY CASES UNLEVEL DIRT TRAILS NEAR SOME BEAT UP ELECTRICAL BOXES.  AT THIS POINT, IT’S NOT LOOKING LIKE WE’RE GOING TO ENJOY OUR STAY… BUT, WE WILL GIVE IT A CHANCE.  YOU NEVER KNOW.

WE FINALLY FIND A PLACE TO PARK THAT WE CAN FIT, RIGHT NEXT TO THE “BROWN BOXES” THE RANGER SAID WOULD WORK FOR OUR RESERVATIONS….. WELL, GUESS WHAT… THEY ARE ALL 30 AMP.  NO 50 AMP AVAILABLE.  OF COURSE THE RANGER STATION DIDN’T OFFER THAT INFO WHEN WE CHECKED IN. WE ASSUMED WE WERE GETTING WHAT WE HAD A “RESERVATION” FOR.  WHEN I RETURNED TO THE RANGER STATION TO REQUEST HELP FINDING A 50 AMP SPOT, WHICH I HAD RESERVED, THE REPLY WAS “OH…. THOSE ARE ALL UP HERE… AND THEY ARE FULL. YOU ARE NOT GUARANTEED ANYTHING WITH YOUR RESERVATION… NOT SEWER, NOT ELECTRICITY, NOT WATER.”  YES, THAT WAS THE QUOTE FROM THE PERSON IN THE RANGER STATION.  AT THIS POINT I’M WONDERING WHAT THOUSAND TRAILS BELIEVES THE DEFINITION OF “RESERVED” TO BE?

I DECIDED TO ATTEMPT TO SQUEAK BY WITH 30 AMP. I HAD TROUBLE FINDING A 30 AMP THAT DID NOT HAVE THE “L1 & NUETRAL” REVERSED.  9 OF THE 12 I TESTED WERE WIRED INCORRECTLY.

OF THE 3 I FOUND THAT WERE NOT WIRED INCORRECTLY THE TREES WERE SO BADLY OVERGROWN ON 2 OF THEM WE COULD NOT FIT IN THE SPOT.  THIS IS VERY COMMON… WHILE LOOKING FOR OUR INITIAL SPOT, WHICH ENDED UP HAVING REVERSED WIRING, MORE THAN HALF OF THE OPEN SPOTS HAD OVERGROWN TREES MAKING  IT IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCESS TO THE PAD (WELL, NOT REALLY “PAD”, AS MENTIONED, MORE OF AN UNLEVEL DIRT TRAIL BETWEEN GRAVEL ROADS.)  IF YOU DON’T MIND TREE SCRAPS DOWN THE SIDE OF YOUR RV, OR A BRANCH KNOCKING OFF AN A/C UNIT… THEN YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SQUEEZE IN.

HERE IS THE BEST OR WORST PART OF THIS ENTIRE STORY, WHEN I WENT TO EXPLAIN TO THE RANGER I HAD TO PLUG INTO AN EMPTY SPOT NEXT TO ME, WHICH I COULD NOT FIT IN, BUT THE WIRING WORKED, HE TOLD ME I COULD NOT DO THAT, AND I MUST MOVE.  HE WAS NOT CONCERNED ABOUT THE REVERSED WIRING WHICH HAS THE POTENTENTIAL TO DAMAGE SOMEONE’S RV,  INJURE THEM, OR EVEN WORSE.  NOT THE BEST COSTOMER SERVICE. ALSO, THINK OF THE LAWSUIT THAT WOULD HAPPEN IF SOMEONE IS INJURED BY THE WIRING PROBLEMS AFTER THOUSAND TRAILS HAS BEEN NOTIFIED OF IT AND THE RANGER FAILED TO ACT ON IT.

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE IF A FIRST TIME THOUSAND TRAILS CUSTOMER ROLLED INTO PIO PICO ASSUMING ALL OF THE PROPERTIES WERE OF THIS POOR QUALITY.  YOU’D NEVER HAVE A REPEAT CUSTOMER.  IT’S THIS TYPE OF PROPERTY THAT HAS ME CONSIDERING CANCELING, AND SHARING MY EXPERIENCE WITH ANYONE WILLING TO LISTEN. 

WE HAVE TRAVELED THE COUNTRY, AND HAVE STAYED AT NUMEROUS THOUSAND TRAILS.  OVERWHELMINGLY IT’S BEEN A GOOD EXPERIENCE, AND IN SOME CASES GREAT.  THIS IS SO BAD, IT OVERSHADOWS ALL THE GOOD.  THIS PARK IS TRULY A “WORST CASE SCENERIO”.  I ENCOURAGE SOMEONE HIGH IN THE THOUSAND TRAILS CORPORATION TO MAKE A VISIT AND SEE FOR YOURSELF HOW POORLY THIS PARK IS REPRESENTING YOUR NAME.

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Some Thousand Trails parks are better than others.  We stayed in Pio Pico several years ago and the only thing we found odd was the diameter of the sewer dump, too small for our dump fitting.  We left home the first part of May and have stayed in a Thousand Trails park every night since.  Have had good experiences, we are now in Seaside Thousand Trails for 2 more weeks.  We have stayed in 44 different Thousand Trails parks so far.

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37 minutes ago, desertdeals69 said:

Some Thousand Trails parks are better than others.  We stayed in Pio Pico several years ago and the only thing we found odd was the diameter of the sewer dump, too small for our dump fitting.  We left home the first part of May and have stayed in a Thousand Trails park every night since.  Have had good experiences, we are now in Seaside Thousand Trails for 2 more weeks.  We have stayed in 44 different Thousand Trails parks so far.

Very true.... most are good... I guess the disclaimer TT uses of "first come, first served" applies to hook ups also.  

At Pio Pico you must have stayed at the part that is near the clubhouse etc..... that appears to be where the nice spots are... well, nice compared to this section. 

You've stayed out TT "every night"?   You must have a different membership than we do.... 14 days in, 7 out.  

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2 hours ago, ERIC@BABIN.COM said:

Very true.... most are good... I guess the disclaimer TT uses of "first come, first served" applies to hook ups also.  

At Pio Pico you must have stayed at the part that is near the clubhouse etc..... that appears to be where the nice spots are... well, nice compared to this section. 

You've stayed out TT "every night"?   You must have a different membership than we do.... 14 days in, 7 out.  

We have the basic Elite.  21 days and go park to park.  14 days in high use parks. Before we up graded to Elite we could do 14 days and go park to park.  There are almost 500 different contracts in the system.  I have never had the opportunity to reserve full hookups, some parks don't have sewer, just a dump station.  In some parks 50 amp is a $5 up charge.

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5 hours ago, ERIC@BABIN.COM said:

Very true.... most are good... I guess the disclaimer TT uses of "first come, first served" applies to hook ups also.  

At Pio Pico you must have stayed at the part that is near the clubhouse etc..... that appears to be where the nice spots are... well, nice compared to this section. 

You've stayed out TT "every night"?   You must have a different membership than we do.... 14 days in, 7 out.  

Welcome to TT. What you have experienced is the standard TT park, some are worse. 

desertdeals69 has the most unique contract as it doesen't match what TT has on any of it's websites. I have posted my experiences with them and they were not at all positive. 

 The longest you can stay at any one park is 14 days at a time. Furthermore, after any stay of 4 days of longer, you will need to wait at least one week before you can stay in another Thousand Trails Park. 

Bill

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17 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

Welcome to TT. What you have experienced is the standard TT park, some are worse. 

desertdeals69 has the most unique contract as it doesen't match what TT has on any of it's websites. I have posted my experiences with them and they were not at all positive. 

 The longest you can stay at any one park is 14 days at a time. Furthermore, after any stay of 4 days of longer, you will need to wait at least one week before you can stay in another Thousand Trails Park. 

Bill

Basic Elite reservations 120 days out, 21 days in/park to park.  Elite Connections reservations 180 days,  21 days in/park to park.  Ultimate Odyssey reservations 180 days, 28 days in/park to park.  There are other discounts, cabins etc. with the different plans.

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19 minutes ago, desertdeals69 said:

Basic Elite reservations 120 days out, 21 days in/park to park.  Elite Connections reservations 180 days,  21 days in/park to park.  Ultimate Odyssey reservations 180 days, 28 days in/park to park.  There are other discounts, cabins etc. with the different plans.

That isn't the plan Eric has and nun of the TT websites mention them, why is that? 

Bill

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46 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

That isn't the plan Eric has and nun of the TT websites mention them, why is that? 

Bill

There are close to 500 different contract plans out there.  I'm reading the info off the current brochure they handed me.  I'm in the Seaside Thousand trails park now until July 6.

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DD69.

Do you go to different TT's in Central, Southern and Eastern part's of America? 

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1 hour ago, manholt said:

DD69.

Do you go to different TT's in Central, Southern and Eastern part's of America? 

Most of the TTs are in the west, south, east.  Yes we have been all over.  None in the middle of the country so we stay with friends and family.

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I have heard of the "Elite" contract... and yes... it's difficult to keep track of what contracts are available.... It seems they offer different contracts almost daily.

I have the cheapest contract there is.... not sure what it is called, but it's the 14day max (over 4 days, must stay out 7). Reserve up to 60 days out. 

Also, regarding not reserving exact amps, hook ups etc.... yes, you are probably correct.... it just seems I remember reserving 50 amp etc but could very well be wrong.... I'll take that part out of my letter...… 

I guess is what I need to consider is if I can't be guaranteed a 50amp, the membership is useless to me.  

Time to give it some thought! 

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1 hour ago, ERIC@BABIN.COM said:

I have heard of the "Elite" contract... and yes... it's difficult to keep track of what contracts are available.... It seems they offer different contracts almost daily.

I have the cheapest contract there is.... not sure what it is called, but it's the 14day max (over 4 days, must stay out 7). Reserve up to 60 days out. 

Also, regarding not reserving exact amps, hook ups etc.... yes, you are probably correct.... it just seems I remember reserving 50 amp etc but could very well be wrong.... I'll take that part out of my letter...… 

I guess is what I need to consider is if I can't be guaranteed a 50amp, the membership is useless to me.  

Time to give it some thought! 

Although I have 50 amp service since I rewired my coach I can get by with 30 in most cases.  I can run both airs and they draw 20-21 amps and I lower the charge rate on the inverter to 5 amps so I am under the 30 amp available.  If I'm in a sunny area I turn off the charger and let my 800 watts of solar take care of the 6 AGM batteries.

 

 

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I just got off their main site.  There is 1,000 sites that need updating of 50amp Service, TT is currently doing 18...:rolleyes: That's nice of them! :wacko:  TT just updated Lake Conroe, TX.  I went to it in 1983, to  get my 3 free nights stay & a Coleman Sleeping Bag...15/30  amp then!  They just changed out to 30/50 amps... :blink:

Still a sleazy operation, that has not changed in 45 years, as far as I'm concerned !!! 

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1 hour ago, manholt said:

I just got off their main site.  There is 1,000 sites that need updating of 50amp Service, TT is currently doing 18...:rolleyes: That's nice of them! :wacko:  TT just updated Lake Conroe, TX.  I went to it in 1983, to  get my 3 free nights stay & a Coleman Sleeping Bag...15/30  amp then!  They just changed out to 30/50 amps... :blink:

Still a sleazy operation, that has not changed in 45 years, as far as I'm concerned !!! 

We've stayed at the Lake Conroe park.... we did have a good experience there. 

 

We are now at a state park.... Sweetwater Summit.... VERY NICE compared to TT down the road... and only $33/night with full hoo ups / 50 amp. AND.... we actually have cellphone service!

 

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1 hour ago, manholt said:

I just got off their main site.  There is 1,000 sites that need updating of 50amp Service, TT is currently doing 18...:rolleyes: That's nice of them! :wacko:  TT just updated Lake Conroe, TX.  I went to it in 1983, to  get my 3 free nights stay & a Coleman Sleeping Bag...15/30  amp then!  They just changed out to 30/50 amps... :blink:

Still a sleazy operation, that has not changed in 45 years, as far as I'm concerned !!! 

I guess we have a different vision.  If you need all the utility amenities then Thousand Trails is not for you.  I think Thousand Trails is perfect for me as I'm on a limited budget and think 100-150 nights a year with electric and water and sometimes sewer for $586 annual dues total is what I like.  I am in the Seaside Thousand Trails now and have 50amp available but using the 30 amp.

I went to Conroe for my 3 nights free, the salesman got up halfway through the presentation when he didn't think I was going to buy.  He wanted $7999 for the membership.  I went on ebay and bought a better one for $99 and paid $750 transfer fee.  I upgraded a few years ago to Elite so now I have over 80 parks I can use for free.

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16 minutes ago, desertdeals69 said:

I guess we have a different vision.  If you need all the utility amenities then Thousand Trails is not for you.  I think Thousand Trails is perfect for me as I'm on a limited budget and think 100-150 nights a year with electric and water and sometimes sewer for $586 annual dues total is what I like.  I am in the Seaside Thousand Trails now and have 50amp available but using the 30 amp.

I went to Conroe for my 3 nights free, the salesman got up halfway through the presentation when he didn't think I was going to buy.  He wanted $7999 for the membership.  I went on ebay and bought a better one for $99 and paid $750 transfer fee.  I upgraded a few years ago to Elite so now I have over 80 parks I can use for free.

True..... I have sat through one of those before.... when the sales person came out with the "$8,000" price I replied.... "so, I pay that now and I'm good to go for life?  I never have to pay anything again?"   He says "pretty much... you just pay the annual fee of $585 and that's it".  I replied, "wait, I pay $8k of front and still have to pay what I'm paying now annually?"  He stopped the sales pitch at that point and let me go on about my day.... I know the $8k gives you longer stays, and more advance reservations... but, for that money, I'd expect to never have to pay an annual fee.... 

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I do pretty good with Passport America. Tonight in Mulberry Grove, IL $23.00. 

I will never do TT again after they committed fraud by charging my CC without permission. 

Bill

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We also do PP America.  Greatest thing, since the building of Freeways! 

DD69.  We do as many days or more as you, both of us on a fixed income...hate to throw $$$ away!  I just felt that 45 years ago, had I spent the $2,400...I would have thrown $2,200 away!  That was a lot of MONEY 45 years ago!

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We tried PP America once.  The rate was posted just under $23 a night.  Checked in for 2 nights mid week and it was almost $60 by the time that add on for such things as A/C, 2 kids, etc. I thought it would be about $26.  Never again will I use PP.

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1 hour ago, manholt said:

We also do PP America.  Greatest thing, since the building of Freeways! 

DD69.  We do as many days or more as you, both of us on a fixed income...hate to throw $$$ away!  I just felt that 45 years ago, had I spent the $2,400...I would have thrown $2,200 away!  That was a lot of MONEY 45 years ago!

50 years ago the price was $750.  How much have you spent on campgrounds since?  My total investment in Thousand Trails which I paid cash for is $4849 for purchase.  I just pay the annual fee $586 and all the camping is at no charge.  I think that its a good deal.  $12.94 a night for 14 years of use to date.  From now on its $5.86 as night or less.

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50 years ago?   That's interesting!  TT's 45th Anniversary is now...Back 49 years ago,  1969, the founder had one campground in WA. :)

Other than that, there's a reason why you bought it for $99 + transfer fee, on ebay! I just can't understand why you paid an additional $4849!!! :blink:

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4 hours ago, manholt said:

50 years ago?   That's interesting!  TT's 45th Anniversary is now...Back 49 years ago,  1969, the founder had one campground in WA. :)

Other than that, there's a reason why you bought it for $99 + transfer fee, on ebay! I just can't understand why you paid an additional $4849!!! :blink:

I talked to a guy some years ago and thats what he paid and his annual was $125.  It was in the 60s.  I paid an additional $4000 for 2 more campground systems that upped the total by some 28.  We have used about half of them.  Its been great for us, not for everyone.

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Well, I think it's time for us, to agree, to disagree on this subject.  My departed wife, had 3 kids....me none.  All 3 was very happy to receive the free tent's, camping stoves and sleeping bags from TT !!! :lol: 

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22 hours ago, desertdeals69 said:

We tried PP America once.  The rate was posted just under $23 a night.  Checked in for 2 nights mid week and it was almost $60 by the time that add on for such things as A/C, 2 kids, etc. I thought it would be about $26.  Never again will I use PP.

Well I saved over $600.00 last year I haven't added up the savings this year but I bet I come out better. 

Bill

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