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My wife and I recently bought a big rig from a couple which also included a membership into Thousand Trails as part of the package deal. We are currently experiencing difficulty transferring the membership, and we wonder if it is worth the effort. We would appreciate hearing about any experiences you seasoned travelers have had concerning this resort in particular and any other rv resorts you may have had experiences. It is a big investment, and while we have read other review sites on Thousand Trails, we are not sure we trust all the information on those sites, probably from our lacking very little rv experience. We find it hard to separate legitimate from illegitimate complaints in those forums. We look forward to a long association with the Escapees RV Club and hope to meet many members. If you think you can help us, please jump in and comment. We will value any input. 

Edited by mlsj2009

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If it came with the rig, then I would say yes, its worth the effort, otherwise no.  My past experiences when I had one was okay.  Some of the campgrounds are really nice, others not more than any other campground.  There really isn't many of them, especially in the northeast.  I would hope that the couple is helping with the transfer.  I've never heard of anyone having problems with a transfer.

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Thanks Al for your input. Just learning this forum, so slow to respond. The couple is helping us, but over the phone to the TT representative, what they have said so far and what they do doesn't seem to be consistent. Time will tell I suppose.

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I would keep going up their chain of command.  Did you check their website for procedures?  It used to be a pretty comprehensive site.  I haven't had many problems when I had their membership.  The thing I really didn't like was that you could make a reservation, but not for a particular site.  You showed up, and searched for a site that would meet your needs.  It may or maynot be a good site.  Then, they started tacking on resort fees.  Why have a membership if you have to still pay more.  Some of the campgrounds were so-so, and others really nice.

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We’re thru the original owners? Which membership is it?  Alliance is very good with 210 day reservation window. All you need is the membership number and call member services and they will give you the particulars. You will want, not need, the original contract from the owners as thousand trails will not supply you a copy. If you plan on doing any traveling or have a thousand trails campground near you it will be very beneficial. Find out what parks it includes. Some contracts have more parks. Thousand trails has a Facebook page but sift what you read. There are some very dissatisfied people on there and we know they make the most noise. Most of the parks are older and do have some issues. None of the issues would be bad enough for us to give up our membership. We love our membership and have added the elite to it. We will be add ing trails connection ina month or two. We also use passport America when on the road and also escapees parks when in the area. Don’t forget the COE parks, national parks, state parks, fairgrounds and mom and pop parks. Think of it as a tool in your camping inventory. I feel ours is worth it. After the transfer fee and first years dues, we just pay our annual fees. We get 50 free nights and then pay our low nightly rate. 

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Call 800-388-7788. They will help you out and give you all the info you will need.

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thanks for the responses. In and out today, so please bare with me. The membership is a Platinum plus, with 120 day window. For our purpose, we only plan to travel a lot for 3 years, and TT has the resorts  in three of the four areas we plan to spend some time. If they charge resort fees, what is the purpose of having a membership? We have read a lot of complaints in reviews on the net but considering the numbers vs the total membership, many may or may not have legitimacy. Too, their is the class action lawsuit that was successfully brought against one of the former or current owners of TT and ended in a $4 m plus settlement, according to news sources. On the other hand, I see many current updates to some of their parks. Theoretically, the platinum plus gives us entry into every park in the system and no days waiting to move to the next one, and on top of that, we are suppose to be able to stay 21 days. We have already sent in our declaration to transfer, but we were advised by one of the CSRs to wait on their transfer docs when the contract says different. So, I hope to do both. 

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One other problem I am hearing on the net. With the new owners (2008 I believe), I understand that they are allowing full timers to take up the spots along with day campers. Don't know whether or not that is true, but if so, wouldn't that defeat the purpose of having a membership to begin with?

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A membership is only as good as you use it. We had a membership in a different system and pretty much only used one park but it was an excellent location for us so we used it a lot. You say TT has parks in 3 of the 4 areas where you'd like to spend time. To me, that makes it worth jumping through the hoops to get this into effect. Good luck.

Linda Sand

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thanks, sandsys, good wisdom. That is what we are thinking too. We try not to allow the negatives we hear to sway us too far, but yet, we try to be prudent. If we go into the agreement, which we are currently planning to do, we will go into it with the attitude we will make the best of it.

Edited by mlsj2009

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We have a Platinum Plus with a 21 day stay. I have never paid a resort fee with my membership. Park to park with no time out and the 120 day window. I have on occasion paid a 50 amp fee if I wanted a 50 Amp site instead of a 30 amp site. Some parks may have a high use season and your stay will be limited to 14 days. 

That's the "nuts and bolts" about a PP membership.

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Since you are newer RVers there is no way to predict how you will actually feel about most of TT's parks.  Over the years we have considered a membership but after staying in a couple of their parks it killed it for us.  For us we decided it restricts when and where you actually travel too much plus some of their parks are too crowded and not that nice.  

I know some folks like the TT memberships but it just isn't for us.

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How does having a membership restrict where you travel?  I’ve heard this before and can’t figure out how we have had membership parks for 13 years and never have had the ‘membership police’ stop us from going where we want to go.  

 

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Like just about everything in life, some like them while others do not. I suppose a membership could limit your travels if you were to only stay in the parks belonging to that membership service, but I have known only one or two people who did that. Most folks only stay in a membership park when it happens to be where they wish to go. 

I have never been a member of any of the park groups, other than Passport America but that is because we never spent longer than 2 weeks in any commercial RV park and most of them we stop for 1 night to 1 week. We prefer to spend our extended stops either at some volunteer position, or at one of the Escapee parks, but that is just us. 

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When I was going south for the 6 months of winter I would drive to to my home park across the river from Parker, Arizona. Annual fee for that park was $500 and I could stay free for two weeks using all their amenities then leave for a week and repeat. Then I'd buy an annual pass for the BLM LTVAs for $180 and go there for my week out to get some quiet time away from the bustle of the park. That made my per night fee about $3.75. Keep in mind that I was living in a Class B with no toad so I had to leave my home park every two weeks anyway to stock up on groceries. That system worked for me but would not be ideal for everyone.

Linda Sand

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On ‎6‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 2:55 PM, Barbaraok said:

How does having a membership restrict where you travel?  I’ve heard this before and can’t figure out how we have had membership parks for 13 years and never have had the ‘membership police’ stop us from going where we want to go.  

 

Okay, we wanted to be within driving distance of New Orleans and some other sites in the Gulf Coast area for a month.  Found a park with 130' pull through sites for $300 a month plus electric (that is $10 a day plus juice).  Stayed a month and was able to visit everything.  How would a TT membership worked out there?

We booked a CG in central Illinois so we can stay and visit kids/grandkids for 2 months.  All are within a 150 miles radius.  Park is $330 a month including electric (that is $11 a day with juice).  How would a TT membership worked out for this?

I'll admit when we make our run over to Michigan, up through the UP, and over to the Carolinas we may be able to book at TT campgrounds, or maybe not since I have never really checked to see if they are in those areas.  

Certainly you can see by our travel this year that a TT membership either would have been worthless or would have restricted where and when we travel.  

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You seem to think having a membership is the end all and be all of where we go while traveling.   No one said you have to have one.  Just that A LOT OF US use them effectively and save money.

We spent 2 weeks at a membership park just north of NO several years ago for $0/night.  Enjoyed our stay and we were ready to go at the end of 2 weeks.    If we had wanted to stay a month,  we would have looked for something else and maybe have found a park like you found.    We are in Western Washington right now.   Have been since the 20th of May.  Our costs for a sites until the 13th of August will be $105, which is one week under AOR ($15/night) and all of the rest under TT and ROD ($0/night).  Yes, we move every 2 weeks - which is fine with us as we get to see different areas that we enjoy with each move.       Plus we will spend 2 weeks at San Francisco RV Resort, in Pacifica, CA, just south of SF, which is usually $100/night, for $20/night while we visit friends in the SF area in September.  

I really don't understand the hostility that I see all of the time to membership parks.  If you don't like them, don't buy a membership.  

 

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18 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

 

I really don't understand the hostility that I see all of the time to membership parks.  If you don't like them, don't buy a membership.  

 

I don't see the hostility.

You do it over here too?

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 12:03 PM, Barbaraok said:

You seem to think having a membership is the end all and be all of where we go while traveling.   No one said you have to have one.  Just that A LOT OF US use them effectively and save money.

We spent 2 weeks at a membership park just north of NO several years ago for $0/night.  Enjoyed our stay and we were ready to go at the end of 2 weeks.    If we had wanted to stay a month,  we would have looked for something else and maybe have found a park like you found.    We are in Western Washington right now.   Have been since the 20th of May.  Our costs for a sites until the 13th of August will be $105, which is one week under AOR ($15/night) and all of the rest under TT and ROD ($0/night).  Yes, we move every 2 weeks - which is fine with us as we get to see different areas that we enjoy with each move.       Plus we will spend 2 weeks at San Francisco RV Resort, in Pacifica, CA, just south of SF, which is usually $100/night, for $20/night while we visit friends in the SF area in September.  

I really don't understand the hostility that I see all of the time to membership parks.  If you don't like them, don't buy a membership.  

 

Sorry if you interpret my opinion of how a membership in TT would effect our full time lifestyle as hostility.  I certainly did not mean to come across that way.  We like to plan our travels based solely on destinations.  Once we determine a general area we want to visit then we start the search for a CG or site to stay.  Other than that there are two or three specific areas we will stay a month or so at to visit family and do our doctor visits.  Non of those areas have TT parks we would consider staying at.  

You really should not be so defensive when a new person asks about membership parks.  Don't you want them to hear opinions from folks, like yourself, that use them and also folks that don't use them?   Again, if you like TT and it works for you then I'm happy for you.  It just isn't anything that fits our fulltime lifestyle.

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I've been on this forum since 2005.  We purchased our first membership before we went fulltiming as my parents had used them when they fulltimed and we knew the value of them ESPECIALLY on the west coast.  Back then there were people castigating me, telling me I would owe dues until after I died, how stupid we were for buying one, how we were wasting money, and on and on.  So I've been trying to correct misinformation about membership parks for 13 years and when I see someone write that membership parks restrict where you can travel it seems that we are back at square one in terms of educating people.:(

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21 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

I've been on this forum since 2005.  We purchased our first membership before we went fulltiming as my parents had used them when they fulltimed and we knew the value of them ESPECIALLY on the west coast.  Back then there were people castigating me, telling me I would owe dues until after I died, how stupid we were for buying one, how we were wasting money, and on and on.  So I've been trying to correct misinformation about membership parks for 13 years and when I see someone write that membership parks restrict where you can travel it seems that we are back at square one in terms of educating people.:(

I think you need to step back and think about what you are saying for a minute.  None of the posts under this current topic (including mine) has said you are stupid for buying a TT membership, or that you were wasting money, or anything that even comes close to.....castigating?...….

I simply expressed my opinion that a TT membership would restrict my ability to travel how I want to travel.  In other words, it won't work for me!  Please don't feel like you have to "educate" me or try to convince me on a TT membership.  I have checked into it twice and we have stayed at their parks, it just isn't happening for us.  

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I never said that someone in this thread said I was stupid.  I said "Back then ...."   

I said that after 13 years I AM STILL TRYING TO CORRECT MISINFORMATION such as saying that membership parks restrict where you can travel.   And YOU keep repeating that misinformation.  They IN NO WAY RESTRICT how you can travel.  

I agree, since you want to do 1 month or longer stays that WON'T WORK FOR YOU.  Not that they restrict your travel, they are just not designed for people who want monthly stays.  

Critical reading skills are always important.

 

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19 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

I never said that someone in this thread said I was stupid.  I said "Back then ...."   

I said that after 13 years I AM STILL TRYING TO CORRECT MISINFORMATION such as saying that membership parks restrict where you can travel.   And YOU keep repeating that misinformation.  They IN NO WAY RESTRICT how you can travel.  

I agree, since you want to do 1 month or longer stays that WON'T WORK FOR YOU.  Not that they restrict your travel, they are just not designed for people who want monthly stays.  

Critical reading skills are always important.

 

Apparently since the dark bold print has come out you are getting your panties in a wad over this whole thing.  When you said "I am still trying to correct misinformation such as saying that membership parks restrict where you can travel" "They in no way restrict how you can travel".    Those statements are misleading and false.  It sounds like something a salesman for TT would say to reel a couple in to purchasing.  What you probably should say, unless you are a salesman or get some type of compensation for referring folks, is that depending on where and how you travel, a TT membership (or any of the membership parks) could work out great for you and should not effect how and where you travel.  I stand by my statement that for us a TT membership does restrict where we travel and how we travel, therefore it is not for us.  

Now I would like to be politically correct and apologize for anything negative my RV ancestors said to you in the past to indicate you were stupid for buying such a pass in the first place.

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20 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

I never said that someone in this thread said I was stupid.  I said "Back then ...."   

I said that after 13 years I AM STILL TRYING TO CORRECT MISINFORMATION such as saying that membership parks restrict where you can travel.   And YOU keep repeating that misinformation.  They IN NO WAY RESTRICT how you can travel.  

I agree, since you want to do 1 month or longer stays that WON'T WORK FOR YOU.  Not that they restrict your travel, they are just not designed for people who want monthly stays.  

Critical reading skills are always important.

 

Just one other point Barb, or Dave, or whoever is actually writing these responses.  When you have praised these membership parks and made comments about them under other threads on this forum you referenced your blog.  When you create a blog and make statements about something and push your agenda that is great, it is your blog and people reading it can just take your ramblings with a grain of salt.  But on an Escapees public forum where many new RVers come for initial advise I think it is a disservice to post anything but your opinion or experience.   There is a huge difference on what is proper to post on your blog and what you should be posting on this forum, IMHO of course.

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