Thursday, January 01, 2009

RV Fulltime Thousand Trails

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CAMPGROUND PROFILE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Write a profile for a TTNLT, OW, MA or RPI campground or resort because your opinion and experience matter.

I was looking over some of the new thousand trails Contracts and noticed an interesting change.
The upgrade fee to an elite membership is near 5000.00 dollars and one must pay 3 dollars a day after 60 days.  Ouch this is a big difference from the original contracts.   For full-timers this 3 dollars a day adds up to about the cost of a years’ worth of insurance on our rig. Which over 10 years would be well over 10,000 dollars.  At this price one is better off just purchasing a used contract form a good dealer. 
How to buy a Used thousand trails Membership

Now it takes about 3 to 8 weeks currently for TTNLT to facilitate the change of owner on a used membership.  So this is defiantly a draw back.  However depending on the use of the membership this could save a great deal of money for the owner over the length of ownership    and about 50% off of the price of a new contract. 
Since DA Juice Mon ( 40 foot sailing Yacht) was declared a total loss after suffering severe cracking due to a grounding in a bad storm off the coast of Islamorada FL in the Keys.  Amanda and Mav insisted on a non-sinking yacht. Therefore we purchased a luxury 40 foot  KZ Escalade 5th wheel.  (Thank you Mark Scott at Giant Recreation World Orlando for saving us about 10 grand his direct line is  407 448 1949 tell him Norwood sent you.  )
While I don’t like the direction of Thousand Trails, Naco, Leisure time, Mid Atlantic, Outdoor World I regrettably must admit there is real financial benefit to being a member.  So Amanda and I familiarized ourselves with the new contracts and fees. And while I normally recommend our guy in LOTS CA I feel one can do a lot better buying a used membership now since the new membership have so many draw backs. 
It is scary buying a quality used thousand trails membership at a distance because you pay 2000 to 3000 dollars upfront and you don’t see anything for nearly a month.  I believe this process makes buying a used membership difficult and time consuming for an individual. This will stop most people from even considering a used contract. 
Buying a used membership is a bit confusing and if you are not comfortable with the person you are buying from I would suggest finding a good Broker.  A good broker has many years of experience dealing with the contracts departments and is able to resolve issue quickly that might have taken a long time without their assistance.  There is no doubt you will pay a bit more for a membership using a  broker.  But this broker may very well save you a great deal of money in upgrades by helping you find the right membership the first time.   

This may not sound like a lot but I have purchased 5 different thousand trails contracts over the years and know firsthand that every contract is different. There are 1000s of variations.  So having someone familiar with all the thousand trails contracts is very necessary to buying a contract that best fits your needs. 
 If you need help finding a Broker to buy or sale please email me or Amanda atnocar303@gmail.com  (be sure to title your email TTNLT or something similar)
Good luck on your research  will see you on the TTNLT Trail!!!

There are two things that you will need to do before embarking on your fulltime adventure with Thousand Trails; 1) finding the right RV to live in and 2) deciding which Thousand Contract is right for you Or upgrading your current Thousand Trails membership . I put together this article to help you navigate your way through the many Thousand Trails contracts and succeed at the contract game.


Thousand Trails: Please email Norwood at norcar303@gmail.com if you would like the contact information for the sales professional we worked with at Thousand Trails.

Recently my wife and I purchased a Thousand Trails Elite National Membership Upgrade. This took some work and we were quoted many different prices but found the lowest cost way to purchase our upgrade was through a guy that was referred to us who works directly for Thousand Trails.

First we went to a preserve and this was not the best experience. Let me explain. I have been told so many different and conflicting things about the Platinum, Plus and VIP membership that I really did not know what was true. I spoke to members who have a platinum but say they have no high use restriction. However after reading the contract one will find this is simply not true. I spoke to sales people who told me the same. This was very frustrating and this is why I started this site to help potential buyers find a better more informed way to purchase what they need.

I want to provide Thousand Trails members who are interested in upgrades the ability ask me any question they want about the process. It’s simply not right to have hidden and misrepresented memberships.

Here is a little more information about our set up and our experiences…
We purchased from a very well know RV dealer in FL who gave us a free zone membership to thousand trails. This was a great experience because our sale man took great care of us and helped us stay within our price range on a 2007 Forest River Cherokee 5th wheel. Really Brant impressed us.

Then we found Craig a thousand trails sales professional who helped us upgrade our membership to a National Elite membership.

Back to Thousand Trails… well since we had a nice free membership from Lazydays we wanted to Upgrede our thousand trails membership to a national membership. This can be a strange process because some sales people try to charge a lot more for a membership than others. However we found a great guy who is honest and had our best interest at hart. Please email Norwood at norcar303@gmail.com if you would like information.

The Thousand Trails membership upgrade we purchased was an Elite (higher than Platinum)and it is one of the best memberships one can buy. It has 21 days in the thousand trails system and no out time which means after our 21 day in we can go to the next preserve. It also comes with some vacation cabins free of charge but this is really not why we purchased. Next RPI preferred Gold was included and ROD which offer a great extended network for traveling. RPI Basically offers 10 dollars a night at nice campgrounds and ROD offers free camping but I have not yet used them so I will update this once I learn more.

Cost
We paid 4000 thousand dollars for the Thousand Trails Membership upgrade and feel it was worth every penny. We were going to add Outdoor World for another 2000 but felt we really would not use it with our particular travels. Keep in mind I am talking about a new membership not used. Price a used Platinum Thousand Trails membership you will see its very expensive. Thousand Trails TTNLR membership and upgrade
RV Emergency Road Service from the Good Sam Club
View Photos of Singles - Match.com

I would be willing to bet that the majority of people will save money and hassle buying new. But this is your choice. Whatever you do, do not take anyone’s word on the contracts used or new for sale. YOU MUST READ THE CONTRACT TO KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE OR WILL PURCAHSE! All too often if you ask a person about their contract they simply have not read the thing and they will tell you they have privileges that they really do not. Again this can be easily solved but you must read the contract.

Here is a list of all the newer Thousand Trails memberships....
Getaway
National
Zone (west or east)
Region
3-Park

Here is a list of the available Thousand Trails Upgrades:
Platinum
Platinum Plus
Platinum VIP
Elite
Elite Connections


I hope this helps a few of you navigate the Thousand Trails contract game in a more informed manner. Take care and say hello if you see our 2007 Forest River Cherokee Fifth Wheel pulled by our 05 red Nissan Titian truck. Also if you talk to Craig or Brant be sure to tell them hello from Amanda and I.

Happy Travels
Norwood

RV Emergency Road Service from the Good Sam Club

Oh and PS here is a list of the Campgrounds that TTNLT members can stay at (certain campgrounds are only available to members with upgrades).

Write a profile for a TTNLT, OW, MA or RPI campground or resort because your opinion and experience matter.


Thousand Trails: (abc order)
Bend/Sunriver- Bend Oregon
Chehalis- Chehalis Washington
Chesapeake Bay- Gloucester Virginia
Colorado River – Columbus Texas
Countryside RV Resort- Apache Junction Arizona (ELS Park Pass)
Cultus Lake – Lindell Beach British Columbia
Forest Lake- Advance North Carolina
Hershey- Lebanon Pennsylvania
Horseshoe Lakes – Clinton Indiana
Idyllwild – Idyllwild California
Kenisee Lake – Jefferson Ohio
La Conner – LaConner Washington
Lake Conroe – Willis Texas
Lake of the Springs – Oregon House California
Lake Tawakoni- Point Texas
Lake Texoma – Gordonwille Texas
Lake Whitney – Bridgeport Texas
Las Vegas – Las Vegas Nevada
Leavenworth – Leavenworth Washington
Lynchburg – Gladys Virginia
Medina Lake – Lakehills Texas
Morgan Hill – Morgan Hill California
Mount Vernon- Bow Washington
Oakzanita – Descanso California
Orlando – Clermont Florida
Pacific City – Cloverdale Oregon
Palm Springs- Palm Desert California
Pio Pico – Jamul California
San Benito - Paicines, California
Soledad Canyon - Acton, California
St. Clair - St. Clair, Michigan


Naco:
Bay Landing – Bridgeport Texas
Birch Bay- Blaine Washington
Carolina Landing – Fair Play South Carolina
Cherokee Landing – Middleton Tennessee
Chestnut Lake – Port Republic New Jersey
Indian Lakes- Batesville Indiana
Lake Minden – Nicolaus California
Little Diamond- Newport Washington
Long Beach – Seaview Washington
Natchez Trace - Hohenwald Tennessee
Peace River- Wauchula Florida
Ponderosa Resort- Lotus California
Rancho Oso – Santa Barbara California
Russian River – Cloverdale California
Snowflower – Emigrant Gap California
South Jetty - Florence, Oregon
Tropic Winds Resort – Harlingen Texas (ELS, Thousand Trails, Naco, Leisure Time)
Turtle Beach Fish Camp- Manteca, California
Virginia Landing – Quniby Virginia
Wilderness Lakes – Menifee California
Yosemite Lakes- Groveland California


Leisure Time:
Crescent Bar- Qunicy Washington
Grandy Creek – Concrete Washington
Oceana – Ocean City Washington
Paradise – Silver Creek Washington
Seaside – Seaside Oregon
Thunderbird- Monroe Washington
Tropic Winds RV Resort – Harlingen Texas
Whalers Rest – South Beach Oregon


Mid-Atlantic:
Bear Cave - Buchanan, Michigan
Diamond Caverns – Park City Kentucky
Green Mountain – Lenoir North Carolina
Hidden Cove – Arley Alabama
Rondout Valley – Accord New York
The Oaks at Point South - Yemassee South Carolina
Three Flags- Wildwood Florida


Outdoor World:
Circle M – Lancaster Pennsylvania
Gateway to Cape Cod - Rochester Maine
Gettysburg Farm – Dover Pennsylvania
Harbor View – Colonial Beach Virginia
Lake and Shore – Ocean View New Jersey
Lake Gaston – Littleton North Carolina
Moody Beach – Moody ME
Orlando Encore – Clermont Florida (only available to Outdoor World members, TT members who added on OW this park is NOT available to you)
PA Dutch Country – Manheim Pennsylvania
Pine Country – Belvidere Illinois
Scotrun – Scotrun Pennsylvania
Sea Pines – Swainton New Jersey
Sturbridge - Sturbridge MA
Timothy Lake North &South - East Stroudsburg PA
Williamsburg – Williamsburg Virginia










“Amanda's Weekly Zen” is not associated with Thousand Trails or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries. All the text, images, graphics are copyrighted by A.M. Perez. You must contact A.M. Perez and include a link back to www.amandasweeklyzen.com to use any of the text, images or graphics at “Amanda's Weekly Zen.” All Rights are Reserved.

16 comments:

chaunee911 said...

Thanks for your website. We are just now starting to travel using our Platinum membership. Its more than frustrating not to find true accounts of what a park is like and it will be refreshing to have something like that. I've bookmarked your page and will refer to it often. Our home park is Snowflower in CA and we use that and Lake of the Springs alot as that is where we keep our trailer in the winter.

Linda said...

Thank you for posting your website. My Husband and I are 1000 trail/Outdoor World/Naco national members are we are looking to upgrade to the 21/21/21 plan because we are becoming full timers. Many of the sales offices in 1000 trails are now closed and there is very little info on the 1000 trails website. Your site was most helpful!

Amanda said...

Chaunee911 - Thanks so much for the comments. I am happy you find my site helpful.

Happy Travels :)
Amanda

Amanda said...

Linda-
Fulltiming is a blast if you guys need any advice feel free to contact us. TTNLT is the best place we could find to fulltime. Hope your upgrade goes smooth (I am sure it will if you have someone like Craig to walk you through it... our upgrade was a breeze).

Happy Travels-
Amanda :)

Dupuis' on tour said...

Linda, is this venue appropriate for your netral opinion?

I am currnetly closing on a TT Platinum (money down, nothing signed) Not haven that good feeling.

At first it was explained as a Platinum +, then the reseller told me that the + is not an advantage and that part of the membership is not transferabe? Can't be transfered (Y/N)
No outdoor world mentioned either ?

Is the addendem all I need for the contract?

This is supposed to be 21/21 National unlimted use?

What do I need to look for

Any advice is appreciated.

Amanda said...

Dupuis' on tour-
I personally cannot answer the questions that you are asking about the Thousand Trails contracts since I do not work for Thousand Trails. Your best bet is to contact a Thousand Trails rep because they would know they answers to your questions. Email my husband Norwood at norcar303@gmail.com and he will forward you Craig (who does work for Thousand Trails and will give you honest answers to your questions unlike some questionable resellers) information.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda! You are right on that you hear different ones about contracts.We heard several different used VIP membership for 3000.00 and can stay at Orlando park for 3 weeks even at peak time which is really nice for us.We have been here all winter.We got 10 weeks in the cabins with ours.We started to get a new contract but found out they don't let you stay at Orlando 3 weeks anymore with the new contracts so we looked till we found a used contract that said we could stay here 3 weeks. We love TT too and would recomend it to anyone who loves to RV.If you buy a used contract I would 1st call TT and make sure it is what you think it is.When I called about mine the lady said no about staying here 3 weeks but I told her to read the contract and she said your right it does.They don't know when you come here if your is new or used anyway.I think I saw your trailer a few week ago,small world.

Anonymous said...

HI. We have been long of TT and the information we have received from corporate that there is some 1500? memberships. The problem is (as I see it) that TT (ELS now) write several basic types of memberships and then proceeds to write a whole lot of addendums/attachments to these contracts. The sales forces sells them as standard memberships but in reallity they are attachments to a contract. Case in point is the VIP membership. I know of at least two different variations of the VIP membership and while they are referred to as VIP membership, there are significant differences between the two as to what they offered. Another case is when you can get you dues frozen. Some contract allow and some don't. So don't be fooled by a name. Your comment of "read the contract" is a very wise observation. With TT, take nothing that sales says as gospel. Read the contract. In our experiences, we have found nobody that fully understands what all the different contracts offer resulting in that you get a lot of of answers from TT personell that may not be the whole truth. My personal opinion is that I don't understand how any company can allow itself to generate so many different contracts. This has got to be a nightmare for both the company their customers.

don winder said...

I to have been playing the game with TT, all of the new ones currently being sold have a 10 cap where they revert back to TT. I puchased one(made an offere on one that gave me 7 seven campsites for 400.00 dollars...after reading the contract i turned that one down and bought one that allowed me to go to 7 western states..1200. dollars ok thoght that was good but then found out about the vip version that allowed me to stay 21 plus days ect.....but i missed out on that one ...and now people call me just trying me to take over their dues..Today i just went to an ekite presentaion for the 4,000 dollars i can upgrade to the 21 day camping and ad condos..to..My I'm actually thinking about it cause my dues would be cheaper...if i skip the 1 week of free cabin stay a year for 10 years it brings the elite down to 3995....still thinking!!!

Anonymous said...

Been a TTN member for 8 years. Why would anyone want to buy into this group now? Since ELS bought it, it's all open to the public - no longer a membership campground system. They are all run down and getting worse (I've been to all of them) The parks are turning into trailer parks where you can lease a site, rent it by the day, week, month,year. The "members" get the leftovers. Don't waste your money.

Amanda said...

Anonymous thanks for sharing your thoughts on TTN. There is a group on Facebook that is by members for members who are discussing issues and sharing contact, park and other related information with one another you are welcome to join and discuss further.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=100167576704240&ref=ts

Kimberly said...

Thank you for taking the time to post this. As a result of this posting, we 1. bought a gold tt membership and 2. had Craig upgrade it to Elite for us! Hope to meet you 'in the system'!

Thanks!
Kimberly

Anonymous said...

TTN is an organizational mess. BE SURE to read any paperwork before signing since they've been lax and all over the map on what they tell you is included/allowed with whatever level you buy into. Now new management seems to be saying that regardless of what you were told....what's in writing is what you get going forward. Also- anyone know about being on an annual lease but syllable being amable to use your membership. We specifically asked before paying thousands for a uone-year lease. We used both until someone decided se can't do that. The rules+res don't specify and we were told by more than one person that it is fine to do. The ranger said new management doesn't think out should be allowed....regardless is what their sales people said.

Marc said...

We have been a Thousand Trails Western Zone Member since 2003 with Wilderness Lakes, CA as our home park.

IF you came to this blog for advice, take my experience and advice to heart, RUN AWAY FROM ANYTHING THOUSAND TRAILS related as fast as you can.

Ownership is constantly turning over and nearly every preserve in our zone has shown degredation not improvement in our 8 years.

As one ANONYMOUS poster pointed out, the whole point of being guaranteed a "member" site whenever you wanted one is a myth because you now have to contend with the general public.

Are you kidding me? The general public!

And it is no joke that regardless of your history with the company (TT), when you arrive to a preserve and the general public has all the "good" sites (if you can call them that), the long suffering, over paying, little served MEMBER gets the shaft and the left over "bad" campsites.

Its all just bull.

If there was a way for us to get out from this mess with any sort of return on our nearly $10K investment ($5K buy in and ever rising annual dues/assessments), we would. Believe me, we would.

JUST DON'T DO IT!

blank said...

Thousand Trails Lake Magic the manager went into our account and canceled and moved reservations without our permission. I am trying to be diplomatic about this hostile action however this is not going far with thousand trails staff.
This has gone to far and we are now looking into other options, I can no longer recommend thousand trails. And if you plan to spend more then the 500 for a free contract I would really think twice.

life traveler said...

We were proposed the "upgrade" last night and are thinking, thinking. Don't like the open to general public feature, but do like the 21 day stay policy. Lots of money after already spending lots of money. They are in it to make $$ and that is the bottom. We are skeptical. Hmmm, what to do, but have really appreciated this sit!