I obtained my Thousand Trails RV Resort Membership in 2002. It’s called the basic membership and it provides for access to about 60 campgrounds which they call preserves, because they believe in preserving nature. Two-weeks in, one-week out of the system before you can re-enter. Reservations can be made 90 days in advance. There’s an annual membership fee of $559 a year…no per-night costs.
Mary purchased an identical membership identical to mine in 2009 so that we could go from park-to-park without having to deal with the one-week out of the system.
About one year ago Thousand Trails came out with a membership upgrade called Elite. Mary and I have chatted about it off-and-on for the last year.
Since I’m at the La Connor Preserve (one of only three sales locations in the west) and know the Sales Rep (aka Membership Director) Brad Stolzenburg, really well, I decided to investigate about the details of the membership.
Brad now sits at the same desk I occupied ten years ago when I sold memberships for Thousand Trails…
I will drop/give away my membership. We will upgrade Mary’s membership and both of our names will appear on it. Instead of having to pay two annual dues per year, we will now have only one (the same as we pay now), and the dues will be frozen for the rest of our lives. In effect, doing this cuts our current dues in one-half.
Among other benefits of the upgrade are:
120 day advance reservations,
21 day stays (twice a year for $29 you can extend a stay to four weeks),
We will be able to go park-to-park with no time between stays,
We will gain about another 21 additional parks,
All linear family members (up to eight) may apply for family courtesy cards which allows for the same privileges as the primary members for $32 a year, (they may not use the system while we are in it). Four of these cards may be converted to National Memberships, which can be used even while we are in the system, by paying the annual dues of $559,
Included is a free (for the first year and $149 per thereafter) Resort Parks International membership which allows access to many other RV parks across the nation. There is a modest $10 nightly fee to stay at these parks,
Frozen dues for life,
The membership may be put into an Inactive Status for up to five years with no dues required.
The membership may be sold after two years for no more than the original sales price.
Mary and I hope to continue RVing for at least another ten years. In which time the cost of our upgrade was more than well covered by not have to pay two sets of annual dues.
Thousand Trails offers several levels of membership. If interested you may contact Brad for the details at his office at 800-884-1113. Please note that I am no longer associated with Thousand Trails Membership Sales in any way.
Here is a map showing all 81 locations. Some states do not have locations because of insufficient RV traffic/usage…
The best way to maximize the financial benefits of a membership is to use it a lot and frequently…which we intend to do. Go RVing!
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
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