I was thinking about buying an RV, and when I went to the dealer they offered me 30 days of FREE Camping at Thousand Trails if I purchased an RV. Has anyone ever been to any of the Thousand Trails Parks?
The TT offer is just a come on. Most likely if you di take it you will be subjected to intense pressure to join TT. If y0ou do join you can bet that the dealer will get a very heavy payback for sending you. IMOH the TT offer is something to avoid. Personally I would probably find another dealer that will give me a good 25 - 40 percent discount on the rig. Shop around and use the 800 nbrs to call other dealers accross the country compare prices.
I have been to a T.T. Campground once... However it was a long time ago and I was not camping, just visiting.
I would use the free days, but be advised that most dealers offer a bunch of free camping nights to new buyers as part of the dealer, this is not really special,,,, In fact it likely costs the dealer nothing as the hosting campground is paying for it, THey hope that you will spend a few (perhaps as much as 10 or 12) thousand more and buy a membership in their campground
A membership that comes with annual dues (often around 3-5 hundred dollars per year
Is this a good deal? Well... That is for you to decide... I happen to hold two memberships, One vintabe membership in Travel America, along with President's culb (it's "Affilated parks" program) and one in Outdoor Adventury whichc comes with Camp Coast to Coast, CCC (Camp Coast to Coast) has been getting mixed reviews..
Now, the "Good" news... Most campground chains have a range of camp grounds, Some are good, some are ... Well, Let's just say "Not so good"
Outdoor Adventure: Well, they are doing it differently.. They are NOT using other people's money to re-build and improve the parks they buy. They are using membership sales to do it.
Most chains (The now Defunct "All Seasons" TT, and more) were built with other people's money (Bank Loans, investors, that kind of thing) and when the good folks wanted it back... Well, that was not a good time in the industry. Some companies came out of it stronger, Some chaptered out, Some sold out. Lots of folks lost benefits
Just remember what I told my wife when we bought our first membership......
The salesman had told us about all the things the park was going to have, Put-Put golf, horse trails, and much much more... At that time they were using what is now the family center as a sales office, he promised they woudl build a sales office too.
I told my wife I believed they were going to build the sales office, you see, the bulldozers were on scene
Today, it is nearly a quarter century later... Do they have put-put golf (Yes, members built the course a few years ago) Horse trails (no, also no horses) Fishing pont... (Well, they have a fishing puddle) Wading pool for the kiddies (Closed, too dangerous) Heated indoor swiming pool and sauna (no, in fact last time I was there the outdoor pool was not all that good)
The sales building was, however, quickly built (in fact when first visited the park as a member it was open)
The new park I just joined... They are going to heve miniture golf too (Bulldozers on scene) and a lot of additional sites (likewise) no horse trails though (Salesman even said no horses) but every improvement he mentioned was a work IN PROGRESS, not just a drawing on a wish list. And the existing "Common" facilities there... FANTASTIC is the only description I can give, Excelent "Family Center"
I recently bought a RV from Lazydays with the free 30 nights at TT
the offer played no part in the purchase and i just used the free nights
The first stay was at their Orlando camp and it included a pressure selling session,the woman wrote in big letters refused to purchase further membership and that was the end of that stay.Further bookings (always difficult) was met with ,are you a lazydays member and somehow they always seemed fully booked.
Although the staff were always friendly i found both sites basic and in need of refurbishment to bring them to todays expectations
I grewup with going to TT and now have my own membership. All of the parks that I have been to are on the West Coast and I have not been to one that I was disappointed in. We go camping 15-30 weekends per year and we almost always go to TT. Sure hope this helps.
We had a membership but found it just wasn't worth the dues. We cannot recommend buying into any camping membership club. If your home part runs into trouble and is sold you are just out of luck. We didn't have this happen to us but met folks who had. Another big negative is they are rarely located along the routes we normally travel. I would highly recommend traveling for a couple years before seriously considering a camping membership. Try Passport America instead. usually pays for itself with in one or two nights camping at a participating park.
Thousand Trails, and in fact most all Membership Campground chains have a number of campgrounds. Some are excelent, some are well located, some are... Well,,, Not so good.
I have been to TT parks, I'd call them "nothing special" as far as membership campgrounds are. TT, like nearly all Membership campground chains has had bankruptcy issues. (Personally I signed many years ago with All Seasons, which became Travel Americia, and is now returning to All Seasons I'm told)
One exception to that rule is Michigan Outdoor Adventure... The parks I've been to so far have been very nice in and of themselves
They are also a DEBT FREE park, they are paying nobody interest, Their total indebetness is "This month's bills" (Utilities and work done in the park withing the last 30 days) and they have a positive bank balance.
All said,,, Most membership campgrounds belong to one or more assoications, such as Camp Coast To Coast or Resort Parks International
This gives you limited membership "rights" (Note really rights, more like privlidges) in other parks across the country and in some cases other countries as well.
Is membership a good deal? Well... Personally I have no major complaints. but I will tell you to be wary when you visit the sales office