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My wife and I just went thru a 2 hour Internet/cellphone presentation yesterday, at the persistent request of Thousand Trails.   We are Fulltimers, have owned a TT Membership for six years, used 28 days last year (2017) and will use 7 days this year.   We have a 'VIP' membership, 120 days advance Reservation, 21 days in 7-out, immediate park -to-park, etc.   We pay annual dues of ~ $580.

We bought the Membership in 2012 via a broker, from the original member.   We are generally not unhappy with TT or the Membership.

Yesterday's presentation left us with more questions than answers.   Nothing was provided in hard copy.   It was represented to be a contract update with NO sales effort... but in fact was a very strong sales pitch to upgrade to new designations of Membrship called 'Odyssey'... 'Ultimate Odyssey', etc.   Prices were in the 6 - $8,000 range, for some nice features.   We thanked them for the info, and declined.   Then they shifted focus to another element of their sales pitch... that annual dues would be going up 'dramatically' (my words)... with projections over 10 years going into the $1K to $2K annual range.   It was clearly stated that is the only way TT has to cover their obligated costs of providing camping sites for people like us.   The two gentlemen on the cellphone were polite, but blunt about the costs and that it will happen.   My wife & I had the distinct impression that the overall TT message was... "Pay for an upgrade... or pay big bucks for annual dues... or leave and we won't miss you". 

Anybody able to share any insights as to what is going on? Similar experiences?      

 

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35 minutes ago, Jim & Alice said:

My wife and I just went thru a 2 hour Internet/cellphone presentation yesterday, at the persistent request of Thousand Trails.   We are Fulltimers, have owned a TT Membership for six years, used 28 days last year (2017) and will use 7 days this year.   We have a 'VIP' membership, 120 days advance Reservation, 21 days in 7-out, immediate park -to-park, etc.   We pay annual dues of ~ $580.

We bought the Membership in 2012 via a broker, from the original member.   We are generally not unhappy with TT or the Membership.

Yesterday's presentation left us with more questions than answers.   Nothing was provided in hard copy.   It was represented to be a contract update with NO sales effort... but in fact was a very strong sales pitch to upgrade to new designations of Membrship called 'Odyssey'... 'Ultimate Odyssey', etc.   Prices were in the 6 - $8,000 range, for some nice features.   We thanked them for the info, and declined.   Then they shifted focus to another element of their sales pitch... that annual dues would be going up 'dramatically' (my words)... with projections over 10 years going into the $1K to $2K annual range.   It was clearly stated that is the only way TT has to cover their obligated costs of providing camping sites for people like us.   The two gentlemen on the cellphone were polite, but blunt about the costs and that it will happen.   My wife & I had the distinct impression that the overall TT message was... "Pay for an upgrade... or pay big bucks for annual dues... or leave and we won't miss you". 

Anybody able to share any insights as to what is going on? Similar experiences?      

 

my older membership VIP contract clearly states that at 62 years of age my annual dues are LOCKED IN forever.  So I need to wait six years.  You may wish to read if that's in your VIP contract already. 

Also see that I can freeze dues for five years and not pay anything and not use the contract after the first year.  But reading the various clauses (as we just bought this used VIP contract) shows that they can go up by the CONSUMER PRICE INDEX or and in addition to other ways as needed.  Point is they kind of got you, and yet they do not.

Considering the comparable RV rental spots services of $350 to $1000 a month we all need to compare.  Boondocking is cheaper, but you best know how to get water and supplies nearby; and that is a lot of driving gas cost at 10MPG.

Am looking forward to other discussion. 

 

 

************* seems I was wrong about a used contract.  They frozen dues does not transfer to a used membership in the contract. Per my discussion with the resell company.

 

Edited by offroad

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This was not thousand trails talking to you. It was a sales company hired by thousand trails. You need to complain to thousand trails about the deceptive comments to get you an the phone and then the high pressure sales tactics. We did add the elite to our alliance membership but it was us who went to the thousand trails representative, not a sales man calling us. We got a good price and some good addons. They now offer better deals such as no fee for camping.

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With the few days per year you are using it, why don’t you just sell it?  

I would have told them where they could put their pitch, being the mild mannered person that I am😂😂😂😂

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We went through a similar sales call. We bought a Zone pass in 2016 and are mostly happy with the program. We bought at the Hershey RV show they ran a "show special". We agreed to 4 years and 2 zones for $425 annually. We can switch zones on the anniversary date. 60 day res window, 14 in, 7 out.

This type of program suits us better than the long long term contracts they push on the calls.

We added the Trails Collection for $199, an annual election.

Not sure what we will do when the 4 years is up. 

Skip all TT sales presentations, that's my advice.

We use the zone pass mostly Sept-Dec, an easy period to get reservations.

The Trails Collection gives a lot of places to park Nationwide, not just in your zone(s).

Edited by ToddF

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Howdy!

We have a Elite Connection TT membership and our dues a locked. The problem we face is TT is selling off most of the sites in the parks as seasonal or long term leaving few for fulltimers like ourselves to use. If and when we can find a park to stay in we still get our yearly dues money back. We have found that some RV parks cost us this year on our trip to Alaska cost us as much for a week or two stay as what we pay for yearly dues to TT’s. So question is when they raise the dues to a $1,000.00 plus what are they going to do for the money they get from you. So far I’ve see little to no improvements and a lot of decline in TT”s in the passed ten year of our membership.

” Happy Trails “

Chiefneon

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Chiefneon... you wrote: "The problem we face is TT is selling off most of the sites in the parks as seasonal or long term leaving few for fulltimers like ourselves to use".

Goodpoint - we are seeing that trend at our favorite parks... Verde Valley in Arizona, and Lake Tawakani in East Texas.   That is a factor in our thinking. 

Edited by Jim & Alice

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ToddF... you wrote:

"We went through a similar sales call. We bought a Zone pass in 2016 and are mostly happy with the program."

Thanks for pointing that out.   In our limited travel usage we could probably make a Zone Pass work for us.   We'll have to check that out.   We know can terminate our membership, or sell it... if the annual dues get to be too high for what we use.

Edited by Jim & Alice

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11 hours ago, offroad said:

************* seems I was wrong about a used contract.  They frozen dues does not transfer to a used membership in the contract. Per my discussion with the resell company.

I think this is my case.   In TT terms I have a '2nd generation' membership... and the freeze in dues did not transfer.   Thanks.

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9 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

I would have told them where they could put their pitch, being the mild mannered person that I am😂😂😂😂

Barb, about an hour into their presentation I was thinking of you... Wish you hada been there!

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11 hours ago, Ronbo said:

You need to complain to thousand trails about the deceptive comments to get you an the phone and then the high pressure sales tactics.

I think you are right... supposedly, they will be sending us a customer survey.   We shall see.

Edited by Jim & Alice

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These bloggers do a nice overview of TT options.

https://rvlove.com/2015/01/28/thousand-trails-membership-upgrades/

We spent 2 weeks each in Lake and Shore (Jersey Shore) and Clermont (Orlando). These 2 locations alone would have cost $1,400 at regular retail rates in other campgrounds. This fact is what makes TT a great deal.

At Lake and Shore, they have a beautiful new welcome center.

In Orlando, 2 beautiful (newer) pools.

My point is that they are improving their sites. 

Staff go out of  their way to help .

Most places we stay have FHU.

We all know the shortcomings of some locations, in some cases it's just a cheap place to park for a few nights.

 

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We have never bought into TT.  We have considered it twice over the years, stayed in a few of their parks, then decided it wasn't for us.  However, it is a popular membership for some folks and fits the way they want to travel/camp.  

With any type of group you might belong to that has annual dues or fees, if it no longer fits your needs or is worth the money then it is time to say goodbye IMHO.  

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