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Urgently Seeking TT Membership

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Urgently seeking a used Thousand Trails membership, due to a spate of issues which have left me in dire circumstances.

After going through a bitter divorce last year and being left with almost nothing, I bought a teardrop and decided to make it home. As I only had about $1,500 to my name after buying the teardrop, I *THOUGHT* I found a good soul in a local campground owner who wanted to help me out. Monthly rates were $620, but the owner said if I gave him $2,000 cash upfront and helped out with some odds & ends on the property when needed, that would be good enough for the first year, giving me time get back on my feet. So I wound up taking a payday loan for the extra $500 and gave this fella $2,000 cash...the last money I had aside from a small food & gas fund I squirreled away. Well...

What the owner DIDN'T tell me, was that he was in the midst of selling the property, and within 2 weeks would be gone for good. Once the new proprietors came on board, they approached me and asked for the rent, and that's when the shit hit the fan. Turns out the owner did the same thing to 4 or 5 other people and stole about $12,000 before he left town! The new owners were actually very kind and they too were disgusted with what was done, but there was little they could do. They gave everyone that was ripped off 2 free months of a campsite, but beyond that they had to start making mortgage payments on the property and those that didn't have the funds were asked to leave.

With no savings, a payday loan I couldn't pay back, and just a crappy part-time job I held, my only option at that point was to boondock, which I gladly accepted. 

After quickly learning the ins & outs of boondocking, I thought I had lucked into another situation which would save my butt, though this too didn't last. On my 3rd week of boondocking I was parked in a quiet residential area one particular night. I learned to get out of my spots by about 8am to avoid raising flags with homeowners and prevent any troubles, which was working pretty well, until this day.

I trekked to a local park about 6am to get my walking exercise in for an hour and left the teardrop locked up in the spot I stayed in the night before. After doing my business I returned to the street about 7:30 where I parked and didn't see the teardrop. Thought I accidentally was in the wrong area or was looking in the wrong place. After about 20 minutes of confusion and grief, I learned that the teardrop was towed while I was gone. Called the police department and they gave me the name of the tow company. Got someone on the line and they apologized but said since I was parked in a residential area and a complaint was called in, there was nothing they could do and had to tow it. They then told me it would be $185 to get the trailer out! When I explained I didn't have the money, they said to get it quick, as the storage rate would go up by $75 per day.

My uncle who lives on a very small disability pension told me he'd lend me the cash to get the teardrop out, god bless his heart. He lent me $275 since it was a day later and the storage fee had gone up, but I did manage to get the trailer out. To add insult to injury however, after getting the teardrop out of storage I noticed the police left me with a parting gift of a $135 ticket for parking in a residential zone, which had to be paid within 2 weeks.

By this point I was strapped financially, couldn't even pay my payday loan off and was stressed about reimbursing my uncle...I was at my breaking point. So the only thing I could continue to do was boondock and manage the best that I could with the hand I was dealt. I forgot about the ticket since I couldn't pay it. My only source of income was doing some light cleanup & repairs at a church I've been attending for a few years now, where they'd pay me about $100 per week for 2 days of work.

The boondocking was once again doing well for about 8 weeks, when one day out of nowhere, as I was getting ready to enter the interstate, a patrol car pulls behind me with the lights blaring. After stopping and doing all of the paperwork & insurance business, the cop comes back to my car and tells me my license is suspended. I told the officer there must be a mistake, but he said it was for failure to pay the parking ticket I received 2 months prior.

Sooo, the teardrop wound up getting towed again and I was hit with another ticket! Now homeless, I had to sleep on the floor of my uncle's studio apartment until I could get everything under control. As I suffer from crippling back pain, getting work isn't easy for me, but luckily, through a stroke of grace from the lord, I was able to land a decent job about a week later that would pay me $300 per week. After my first week of work and getting to know the owner, he took pity on me and said he'd float me my first 3 weeks salary upfront with no strings, which was a miracle. Wound up paying off my payday loan, got the teardrop back via a payment plan with the court and I'm now back on the road. Also...

The church I'm a parishioner of and used to help out at actually held a fundraiser and put together an $1,800 emergency fund for me. Coupled with my new job, I'll at least be able to make ends meet, even if it's tight.

My plan is to invest the $1,800 into a Thousand Trails membership, enabling me to quit the stressful boondocking, so I can at least enjoy the peace and mind of having a permanent home base or two.

If anyone is looking to sell a membership please contact me as soon as possible. I'm looking for what they call park to park, with no high usage restrictions, and again, my budget is $2,000 tops.

Sorry for being so longwinded, but as I'm a man of faith, I want to show that for all of the bad that's fallen on me, a lot of good has too. Some very kind people have helped me through difficult times, and coupled with blessings from the lord, I made it through some sticky situations. If you too are going through your own ordeals, I urge you to continue to have faith, and try to spread cheer with whomever you may meet.

John 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

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2 hours ago, Twotoes said:

Why don’t you ask the church if you can boondock in their parking lot?

I'll be honest, I did think about that, but there's a certain point that a person becomes a pest, and I don't want to push it, as they have already done MORE than enough for me. Further, summer's just starting here, and it'll be near 100 almost everyday this week. And when winter comes it can go as low as the single digits. Which means I'm eventually going to need hook-ups for heat & a/c. I think a TT membership is a solid long-term investment which will pay for itself very quickly.

Btw, in my haste earlier, I forgot to thank a fellow camper I met who told me about this great site, Gary Duggan. Gary, if you happen to see this, I was the fellow you spoke with at Quick Check. Thanks for the advice, kind words, and steering me to this website.

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I am not sure TT is the right solution. Do you have a TT near you? I think normally you can only spend a certain number of days in your local TT and then need to leave for x number of days.

Someone had a TT for sale on this site recently within you budget but I would research this further. There is also a secondary market for TT resales. Or Craigs list or Ebay. Google is your friend............

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13 hours ago, SWharton said:

I am not sure TT is the right solution. Do you have a TT near you? I think normally you can only spend a certain number of days in your local TT and then need to leave for x number of days.

Someone had a TT for sale on this site recently within you budget but I would research this further. There is also a secondary market for TT resales. Or Craigs list or Ebay. Google is your friend............

I've done a LOT of research on TT, and I can definitively tell you that, unless one happens to live on the west coast where there's a glut of free BLM land or dirt cheap indian reservation-type campgrounds, it would be pretty tough to full-time without a membership.

Boondocking on the east coast (where I am) is certainly doable in the spring & fall, but without hookups for my teardrop in the summer & winter, it would be a pretty miserable existence. Of the few free/"cheap" places there are in my neck of the woods, pretty much all of them don't allow generators, which makes 4 season camping almost impossible.

For the small investment of a few thousand dollars for a TT membership, one will esssentially have free rent for life, barring the yearly fees. Even the most basic of campgrounds around here charge about $600+ per month. If I had to pay that PLUS all of the other camping expenses every month (gas, food, Good Sam, mobile service, etc.), I'd be better off living in a sticks & bricks at that point.

Based on my research, the 2 biggest mistakes people make when buying a TT membership are...

Thinking they will be staying at luxury 5 star camping resorts, which is certainly not the case. Most of the cg's in their network are simply average, and a few are downright nasty.

Buying an expensive membership and not using it enough to where it pays for itself. Spending several thousand dollars (or a lot more) and only using it a handful times per year isn't worth it, IMO. 

As to your point about having to leave the campground after a certain amount of days, that is correct. Depending upon which membership you choose, you either have to leave every 14 days if the campground is full in peak seasons, or every 21 days. *This is a simplied answer, as there are MANY variables, but I'm proving info on the membership levels I'm interested in*

Having to move to a new campground every 14 or 21 days (which are usually only a few miles away), is still FAR superior to boondocking, as you have full hookups, showers, activities, dump stations, etc. All of which you don't pay a dime for, outside of the initial investment and yearly fees. 

I was recommended to this site by another camper I met on the road, who suggested I post an ad on here looking for a used membership. I'd much rather go that route versus paying a middleman to buy one, if possible.

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Just replying to your specific interest in Thousand Trails....Most everyone recommends Campground Membership Outlet for both selling and purchasing used memberships.  They make their money from the transfer fees, so it doesn't cost you any extra for using their service.  Also, they have a reputation for responding to inquiries quickly.  Their website is: https://www.campgroundmembershipoutlet.com/

During the busy times of the year the Thousand Trails campgrounds really fill up, so you will want to get a membership that lets you book as early as possible and you will want to get reservations out a few months in the future since you want to pretty much live in the system. 

I'm guessing you've researched enough to know where the properties are in relation to your job.  In the Lancaster, PA area, you could bounce from one to another without leaving the general vicinity, at least in the summer.  I'm not sure about the winters - I know that many of them close.  If you haven't looked into that, you might want to before taking the leap.

Good luck in your research.

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11 minutes ago, jimd40 said:

is this real ???

Why wouldn't it be? This is a forum for campers, and I own a teardrop. This section is for those buying & selling campground memberships, and I'm seeking a Thousand Trails. With all due respect, I don't understand why you'd even ask that.

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6 minutes ago, GR "Scott" Cundiff said:

Just replying to your specific interest in Thousand Trails....Most everyone recommends Campground Membership Outlet for both selling and purchasing used memberships.  They make their money from the transfer fees, so it doesn't cost you any extra for using their service.  Also, they have a reputation for responding to inquiries quickly.  Their website is: https://www.campgroundmembershipoutlet.com/

During the busy times of the year the Thousand Trails campgrounds really fill up, so you will want to get a membership that lets you book as early as possible and you will want to get reservations out a few months in the future since you want to pretty much live in the system. 

I'm guessing you've researched enough to know where the properties are in relation to your job.  In the Lancaster, PA area, you could bounce from one to another without leaving the general vicinity, at least in the summer.  I'm not sure about the winters - I know that many of them close.  If you haven't looked into that, you might want to before taking the leap.

Good luck in your research.

Scott, thanks for the great info. I agree with everything you said, and yes, I am familiar with CMO, but would rather go through a private party if possible, to save a few bucks.

As to your point about most campgrounds in the northeast being closed during winter, that is correct. Definitely not as many options during the colder months, but I've done some research and have figured out a few workarounds.

Are you in Lancaster? If so, it's beautiful up there, been out there a few times and I love it.

Thanks again :)

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10 minutes ago, LiveForCamping said:

Scott, thanks for the great info. I agree with everything you said, and yes, I am familiar with CMO, but would rather go through a private party if possible, to save a few bucks.

As to your point about most campgrounds in the northeast being closed during winter, that is correct. Definitely not as many options during the colder months, but I've done some research and have figured out a few workarounds.

Are you in Lancaster? If so, it's beautiful up there, been out there a few times and I love it.

Thanks again :)

Wishing you the best in your planning.  Just remember that trying to save a few bucks has already cost you a lot of money.  Going with a reputable company to buy a used membership might be a wise move in the long run.

Edited by GR "Scott" Cundiff

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I don’t know what type of work you do but have you looked into work camping for an RV Park part time in exchange for a site with FHU.? Many of us do that in the summers and some even in the winter seasons. This may help you save the cost of a TT membership and may even put a few dollars in your pocket. Just a thought. 

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