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Thousand Trails Membership Worth It ?

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We wound up having to stay in a TT campground next to a vacation rental property we own, I wound up with pneumonia and we had to extend our stay, total cost (as non members) for our stay was about $250. We decided to call about membership, they applied our current fees to the membership... to make a long story short, between that stay and a 14 day stay in a beautiful park in WA state (Crescent Bar) between the two stays, we're at break even for our membership. At only about 45 days into our membership, I'd say it's excellent value... I'll post more after the year is up and we take a longer trip

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Re read what I posted  earlier on this post. I don't care if they were  the greatest deal ever I will never do business with them. They are unethical and I won't do business with someone who tries to steal from you then lies about it.

Bill

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Herman your always spot on most of the time.  I have had TT for some 15 years and have been to 47 of their campgrounds.  Almost all of them have been adequate.  They are not Outdoor Resorts of America.  Last year we stayed in TT 102 nights for the annual fee of $585.  We upgraded our membership when they added 2 more campground systems that gave us a lot better coverage in the east.  We bought our original membership from a broker for $99 dollars plus $750 transfer fee to TT.  The reason so many are for sale is people get old and quite RVing and they don't want to pay the annual fee cause they are not using it.  At that time the membership that we got was $8K from TT.  It included 14 days in and we could go park to park with no time out and frozen dues.  Its not for everyone but its great for us.  We are not full time.

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Like any contract, where money is involved, let an attorney look at it...then sign up, if you feel comfortable!  Not a benefit for us.

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Hi - We've been on the road 26 months out of the past 30.  We bought into a TT "Elite" membership and found the following to be the most persistent and consistent drawbacks:

Booking windows - With our national membership we have access to all TT and Encore campgrounds but these can only be booked 120 or 60 days out respectively.  We have found that Encore properties are generally of a higher quality as far as condition and upkeep. But the booking window makes it almost impossible for us to get into an Encore property during the desirable "seasons" (Nov-April in FL and May-Sep in ME are prime examples).  In fact the one time we were able to get into an Encore cg was when we were told by another camper that they were about to cancel their reservation.  Other than that we were limited to TT campgrounds.

First-Come-First-Served policy - This is a very annoying aspect of TT operations that is in place because of decades old contracts with original members. TT operates on the policy that campsites are NOT assigned according to the size of your rig, or your needs for water, sewer, electric but rather by your arrival at the location.  When you reserve a site in advance at a particular TT campground, unlike KOA or any private cg, they do not set aside a campsite for you and have it waiting for you when you arrive.  When you arrive at the TT cg you are told which sites are vacant (or will be vacant after check out time) and you are told to see for yourself which you would like to park in.  This creates all kind of issues not the least of which is that after driving for 5 hours or more the last thing you want to have to do is crawl through an entire campground comparing individual sites for the one best suited to your rig.  On one occasion we drove around Lake Gaston TT RV Park for 2 hours before giving up on what was available, canceling our reservation, and just going back on the road.  The TT park did not have anything suitable for our rig - unless we wanted to park with our front wheels 10 inches off the ground - but didn't know it!  We had to waste time and energy finding out what THEIR inventory was. This is a result of their promise of First-Come-First-Served - so that the 25ft pull trailers can fill 60ft long, extra wide sites.  Reserving through the website is only a "general" reservation and the 800 "customer service" number is closed on weekends.

Locations - Since we haven't run out of places we've heard about that we want to visit we tend to be very selective about our destinations.  When we decide we want to stay near relatives in Miami FL, or historic area elsewhere in the country - that means we would rather not stay at the TT that's a 2-3 hour drive away. So we spend the extra money to stay at a KOA or private cg closer to WHERE WE WANT TO BE. But that's just us.  Before joining TT - look closely at their map and compare their locations to your wish list of places to see.

So these are the 3 conditions that annoy me most about my TT membership.  The condition of the campgrounds vary but in general, with very few exceptions, there was no TT cg that we've been to that was nicer, cleaner, better organized, better maintained, or better located than the smallest KOA cg we've been to - and we wind up at a lot of KOA's because they exist where we want to go and we can usually get a firm booking when we want to be there.  Encore cg are more attractive cg but are usually unavailable in desirable locations at desirable dates due to the 60 day booking window.

Happy trails!

 

 

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Josh2000, Welcome to the FMCA Forums!

You described exactly what I had experienced and the very reasons we would never consider it. I always cherry pick my site, could be the view or it could be out of the bathhouse path so people don’t have a need or desire to cut through our site. 

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Joe, that's one thing we love about the Resort in Alto, NM...you got to be a goat to cut thru! :lol:

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4 hours ago, manholt said:

Joe, that's one thing we love about the Resort in Alto, NM...you got to be a goat to cut thru! :lol:

:lol::wub:

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Josh, welcome and thanks for posting your experience with TT membership.  Maybe it will help a newbie who could be considering all the possibilities.

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