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ToddF

Thousand Trails Zone Pass

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We signed up in Fall '16 for 4 years (Zone pass 2 zones) for $425. Then added Trails collection when they rolled out that program. My plan is to not renew next Fall and go a year without it. I'm using a "bunching" strategy and cramming in a couple of big trips before this last year runs out. (Unlimited stays!). Will stick mostly around the Midwest for the 20/21 camping season and use Escapee parks. Then will probably buy a Zone pass for the Northwest and Southwest in the Spring of 2021 and explore the West coast. 14 day stays are great, we don't need 21 or 28 nights in one spot, so I'm leaning against buying a lifetime membership when our zone passes expire.

 

The trails collection added over 100 parks to our "menu". It sure has worked out well being able to stay in the NE and SE zone plus all the 55+ parks in Texas and Arizona.

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We are Thousand Trails (TT) members but not TT fans. We are currently in the NW and have found that any of the "Reasonable" TT parks are booked up a long time in advance. The ones that aren't booked up are in our experience pretty run down.

Be aware that having a pass or a membership does not guarantee you a site or even get you a reserved spot. You may end up in  a dry camping spot or find the only one left is too small for your rig.

You don't have to pay the full price for membership either. You can buy a "Used" membership on Craigslist or thru a number of resellers online. A membership that may cost $7000 at the sales office in the park may be $3000 or less "Used". There is a transfer fee when you buy a used membership around $750 so be aware of that if you go that route.

Our experiences with TT is here: https://banbrv.blogspot.com/2017/11/thousand-trails-good-and-bad.html

BnB

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Interesting, past TT member and fan. Due to health we sold our RV and TT membership this year. We would not have been able to full time for 13 years without TT. Have used Good Sam, KOA, Passport, City, National, etc etc. I never recommend parks because what works for me may not work for you. 20 years ago when I first joined TT, all the parks were in better shape - but so was I!

Really have to do your homework and figure out what you want, ask lots of folks about their experiences. Guess we got good at "the system" we loved the NW and rarely had an issue getting in any of the parks. Once we went into overflow and within the hour, ranger came over with an assigned site for us.

Whatever you do, enjoy! It'll all make for good memories to discuss once you have to hang up the keys. (Howdy BnB)

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Wow, Brian and Barb's blog is filled with great info on TT and a 2019 update that shocks me if it's true. No more zone pass sales after 2019? (That means I'll have to come up with a Plan B).

We were camping primarily in the Fall (Sept-Dec) so parks are never full. Makes it so easy to make reservations and the atmosphere is more laid back. We've been as far North as Wells Maine (a really nice park with great staff) and as far South as Punta Gorda (Trails Collection (TC) add on). The park in Punta Gorda is absolutely beautiful. Only stayed there a few nights to get a feel for the area, but the TC add on allowed a free stay. 

Our average nightly cost has been in the $15-$25 night range taking into account the $425 zone pass fee + $199 (now $214) TC add on.

It will be interesting to see what transpires when our zone pass contract expires in Sept 2020. I like the TT system and will buy a lifetime membership if I have to. I am aware of the resale market so will need to "shop around" before buying. When you buy direct from TT, you pay a lot as Barb and Brian point out. But you might get more parks then you would on an older contract.

 

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On 8/20/2019 at 9:02 AM, ToddF said:

We signed up in Fall '16 for 4 years (Zone pass 2 zones) for $425. Then added Trails collection when they rolled out that program. My plan is to not renew next Fall and go a year without it. I'm using a "bunching" strategy and cramming in a couple of big trips before this last year runs out. (Unlimited stays!). Will stick mostly around the Midwest for the 20/21 camping season and use Escapee parks. Then will probably buy a Zone pass for the Northwest and Southwest in the Spring of 2021 and explore the West coast. 14 day stays are great, we don't need 21 or 28 nights in one spot, so I'm leaning against buying a lifetime membership when our zone passes expire.

 

The trails collection added over 100 parks to our "menu". It sure has worked out well being able to stay in the NE and SE zone plus all the 55+ parks in Texas and Arizona.

From my experience make sure you give them notice in writing well before your expiration date or they will charge you again.

James

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