What is the New Thousand Trails Adventure Membership Upgrade?

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It’s been a few years since we’ve seen a new camping membership from Thousand Trails, and there’s been a lot of buzz about their new Adventure membership upgrade. What are the benefits? How is it different to other membership options? And is it worth the investment? Thousand Trails (TT) officially launched their new “Adventure” Membership today. In this article, we cover all the details, and answer as many questions as we can, to help you make an informed decision about whether this new camping membership is right for you.

We’ll also share exactly how you can get an exclusive RVLOVE discount on upgrades, and how to get the best deal with the launch promotion which is being rolled out in phases. Phase 1 (highest) discount ends today February 1, 2021. Phase 2 discount drops by $500 and kicks in tomorrow, 2/2/21. Keep on reading for details.

Thousand Trails is running an exclusive launch sale for the new Adventure membership. Prices, promotions, and availability are subject to change at any time. 

Click here for an accurate, obligation-free quote or complete quote form below

Aerial view of Sunshine Key RV Resort, Marathon, FL (part of the Trails Collection)

Yes, Please send me the latest info and special promotions on Thousand Trails memberships.

Office with a view at Thousand Trails, Gateway to Cape Cod, FL

What is the Adventure Membership?

The ‘Adventure’ is now officially the newest, biggest and best RV camping membership available from Thousand Trails. Equity Lifestyle Properties is the parent company that owns all of the 81 Thousand Trails Campgrounds, plus more than 110 Encore RV Resorts and Destination Campgrounds, around North America. 

This new Adventure offering is the top of the RV camping membership food chain, offering the most benefits, the greatest flexibility, and with the widest range of reciprocal program benefits.

We caught up with the management team at Thousand Trails HQ to learn more and drill them with our questions. We’re here to share everything there is to know about the  new Adventure membership with you. 

New to the world of Thousand Trails?

Before we dive in, you may already know we’ve written a TON about Thousand Trails over the years, in our efforts to demystify what can often be a confusing subject! But if you’re new here, we suggest you also might also like to get a thorough education on all things Thousand Trails by reading our other in-depth TT articles. We cover the Zone Camping PassTrails Collection, New TT Membership Options and PricingBuying New vs Used, and Membership Upgrades. Plus Our Comprehensive Review of TT After 6 Years and 823 nights of TT Camping – Is It Worth It in great detail. In fact, you’ll find everything TT-related, including campground reviews, rounded up in one handy place, right here.

Click for obligation-free quote / best price on TT’s new Adventure membership

Glamping tent at Marina Dunes RV Park, California (Trails Collection). Source: RVonthego.com

What's the big deal about the new TT membership?

For years, we (and TT) have been hearing feedback from people (existing members and those considering a TT membership) on what kinds of benefits they want more of in their camping membership. Specifically, the various ways Thousand Trails could be better. We’ve been members (and fans) of Thousand Trails since we first hit the road in 2014, as it made our full time RV life so much more affordable. So we’re pleased to see this new Adventure upgrade, which opens up a whole new world of RV camping experiences. 

If you’ve been looking for any or all of the following, you’ll want to keep reading to learn more about the Adventure:

  • More freedom and flexibility in camping options
  • Longer advance reservation window to secure preferred dates
  • Greater access to better properties, with nicer amenities
  • Camp more often, with less time out of the system
  • Access to even more RV resorts and destination campgrounds with full hookups
  • More of a premium camping experience
  • Longer stays – during peak and off peak periods
  • Access to more campgrounds nationally, including outside of the TT network
  • A greater variety of travel experiences and options 
  • Manage your camping expenses without having to ‘rough it’ or move as frequently

OK, let’s dive into the specifics of what you’ll get with this new membership!

Click for an obligation-free quote / best price on the Adventure TT membership

Palm trees at sunset, Thousand Trails Palm Springs, Palm Desert, CA

What are the benefits of the Adventure upgrade?

We’ll assume you’re already somewhat familiar with Thousand Trails, how it works, and the other membership options. So let’s jump right into the juicy details of what you’ll get with this membership. We’ve bolded some of the bullets to highlight their unique value:

  • Unlimited nights of camping at NO nightly fee
  • 180 day advance booking reservation window
  • Stay 21 days and move from park to park (with no time out of the system)
  • Additional Weeks – 4 x non-high use weeks per year at $29 per week PLUS 2 x high use weeks per year at $99 per week
  • Option to add on the Trails Collection reciprocal program for $315 a year to access 110+ additional parks
  • Option to add on the NEW Trails Collection PLUS reciprocal program for $615 a year to access 110+ additional parks, enjoy longer stays up to 21 days, move from park to park, plus a longer reservation window of 90 days
  • Up to 50% discounts on Cabins, plus 5 x weekly cabin rental rebate certificates
  • 2 years free membership to RPI Resort Connections Reciprocal Program (at $199 / year, total value $398) PLUS 6 x $500 vacation credits (value $3,000)
  • RVontheGo.com 20% discount on daily rate and seasonal deals (at Encore parks)
  • Getaway Cabins – Rent for $60 a night PLUS get a free one week stay every year for 10 years (or trade your week for an RPI condo or cruise vacation)
  • Annual Dues – freeze at age 62
  • Family benefits, with up to 8 Courtesy Cards and 4 Zone Camping Passes

The annual dues for the Adventure will carry over from what you are already paying with your existing membership that you would be upgrading from. (Up to $615 a year for new memberships).

As you’ll see, the NEW Trails Collection PLUS option is really amped up from the original, so let’s take a closer look.

Click for an obligation-free quote / best price on the Adventure TT membership

The pool at Fun-n-Sun RV Resort in the Rio Grande, Valley, Texas (part of Trails Collection)

What is the Trails Collection PLUS?

The original Trails Collection (TC) has been around for a few years now and is an optional reciprocal program of 110+ Encore properties that you can add on to any Thousand Trails membership for $315 a year. Learn more about the Trails Collection here.

The NEW and improved Trails Collection PLUS is an additional option that is ONLY available as an exclusive benefit to Adventure members. You can add this on to their Adventure membership for $615 a year. 

Basically, the Trails Collection PLUS is an upgraded and expanded version of the standard Trails Collection add-on. And this is what we see as being as a key ingredient to making the Adventure an attractive membership option to some folks. 

So, what exactly do you get that’s bigger and better in the Trails Collection PLUS?

  • Access to 110+ Encore RV Resorts & Destination Campgrounds (currently 113)
  • 90 Day advance reservation window (instead of 60 days with the TC)
  • 21 Days in / 7 days out of a park if you wish to return to the same one (instead of 14 days in / 7 days out with the original Trails Collection)
  • Park to Park Access between Encore Parks (instead of NO park to park with TC)
  • Cost is $615 per year on top of annual dues (standard TC is $315 per year)
  • No nightly fee for most properties, however a small number of premium Encore properties (around 10) charge $20 per night (eg. in the Florida Keys).

Sunshine Key RV Resort, Marathon, FL (part of the Trails Collection)

A closer look at the benefits of Trails Collection PLUS

Here are the benefits that really start making the Adventure membership more flexible and exciting, thanks to the new (and optional) Trails Collection PLUS reciprocal program:

  • You can reserve your stays a full 3 months in advance – that’s an additional 30 days earlier than the Trails Collection – which makes it much easier to travel the country and secure reservations at premium locations for the dates you want. 
  • You can stay for up to 3 weeks at a time – instead of the usual 2 weeks – at any Trails Collection (Encore) property. 
  • Instead of having to stay OUT of Trails Collection (Encore) parks for 7 days before your next reservation, you can immediately move straight to another Encore / Trails Collection park with NO time out of the camping network! However, if you want to have a second stay at the same property, you must stay out of that park for 7 days. This is a huge advantage for those who like to bounce between Thousand Trails (TT) and Trails Collection (TC) campgrounds to maximize the use of their membership and cost savings. It is especially useful if you’re staying in a region for an extended period of time. For example: if you like to snowbird down south in the winter, or stay in popular coastal locations in the summer.

All this allows you to travel far and wide, and plan your travels with more certainty and confidence. Adding the Trails Collection PLUS to an Adventure membership, expands your camping options so much more? We can see this add-on alone could be a game changer for many who have been unable to secure their preferred camping reservations when and where they wanted. And who plan to travel to the regions of the country where Trails Collection parks are present, of course.

Click for an obligation-free quote / best price on the Adventure TT membership

Our campsite at Thousand Trails, Orlando, Florida. Photo credit: Jerome Braga

What about RPI?

Resort Parks International – also known as RPI – is another reciprocal program available to TT members with an upgraded membership (not Zone Camping Pass holders). The RPI network has hundreds of RV parks and campgrounds that you can stay at from $10 a night – plus cabins and condos all around North America – to help fill in the gaps where Thousand Trails / Encore / Trails Collection don’t have much (or any) presence.

With the TT Adventure upgrade, you’ll get your first 2 years membership to RPI Resort Connections for free (valued at $199 a year, for a total of $398).

RPI Resort Connections also allows you to expand your travel options by trading your free cabin week for a condominium week or a cabin at another resort. Or even a cruise (obviously, when it’s safe to do those again). So those cabin weeks don’t have to go to waste, if you don’t use them.

Even if you mostly prefer travel by RV, you just might like to mix up your travels every now and then with a different kind of experience. For example: you may choose to visit an area that doesn’t have an RV park and decide to stay in a condo or cabin instead. Or if your RV needs to go in for repair, this expands your options for places to stay. Instead of hanging around the RV repair shop, use your free week to take a vacation!

See the map below to see the entire network of campgrounds available with Thousand Trails, Trails Collection and RPI – across North America. 

Then, let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

North America camping locations for Thousand Trails, Trails Collection (Encore) and RPI

Pros and Cons of TT Adventure Membership Upgrade

In our opinion, as mentioned above, one of the most exciting things about the Adventure membership is the exclusive Trails Collection PLUS add-on. While optional, it offers so much more freedom and access to longer stays at premium properties. To us, it’s well worth the $615 per year. That is, IF you travel to regions where they have locations. But even if you only stayed at a handful of Encore parks in select areas, this could represent good value for you.

Plus, the RPI Resort Connections reciprocal program is automatically included (for free) for the first 2 years. So this really expands your travel options in terms of both travel style and geography.

So let’s now look at the pros and cons of the whole package with all the bells & whistles, because that’s really what we think the majority of people would go for.

The bike path, cliffs and ocean by San Francisco RV Resort, CA (part of Trails Collection)

Adventure + Trails Collection PLUS + RPI Resort Connections

PROS

  • Expanded membership with access to more than 190 parks nationally (TT and TC) 
  • Longer reservation windows of 180 days for TT, 90 days for Trails Collection PLUS
  • Stay longer, up to 21 days at 110+ Trails Collection properties, plus TT parks
  • Ability to move from park to park within the Trails Collection / Encore network o parks, with no 7 days out (unless you want to return to the same park)
  • Increased likelihood of securing preferred dates at popular parks and peak times
  • Ability to extend your TT campground stays by 7-days (four times during off peak @ $29, and two times during peak seasons @ $99)
  • Access to hundreds more campgrounds around North America through RPI
  • Get $3,000 in travel credits for condo/cruise vacations ($500 / year for 6 years)
  • Stack your Cabin stays and Getaway weeks on top of what you already have with your current TT membership
  • Increased access to premium RV-style camping and accommodations
  • Ability to swap Getaway cabin weeks for condo or cruise vacations (via RPI)
  • Family benefits, with up to 8 Courtesy Cards and 4 Zone Camping Passes
  • Ability to maximize savings on camping fees by reducing stays outside of network
  • Annual dues freeze at age 62
  • Enjoy nationwide travels at a slower, more relaxing travel pace
  • Can finance with 10% down and monthly payments
  • Membership activates immediately, so you can start booking right away.

CONS

  • If your current membership has benefits you really like, but they aren’t also part of the Adventure upgrade, you will lose them (superseded by Adventure benefits)
  • You can only “Will” your Adventure membership to one beneficiary (instead of 8)
  • Being a premium product, it has a higher investment cost (but it can be financed, with interest.)

Click for an obligation-free quote / best price on the Adventure TT membership

Sandhill cranes stroll along the golf course at Clerbrook RV Resort, FL (part of Trails Collection)

What happened to the Ultimate Odyssey?

After many, many months of rumors about the Ultimate Odyssey going away, this membership option has finally been retired, and replaced by the Adventure upgrade.

That means the 28 day stay option that was available with the Ultimate Odyssey which appealed to slow travelers is no longer an option (year round). That said, you CAN still enjoy many extended RV camping stays with the Adventure program, by making multiple 3 and 4 weeks-long reservations throughout the year. See how you can do that in the section below.

If, after weighing everything up, you still prefer the Ultimate Odyssey membership, know that you can now only buy this on the used market as a resale membership

Cabin at Marina Dunes RV Park, CA (new to Trails Collection). Source: RVontheGo.com

How to maximize longer stays with Adventure

  • Stay up to 21 days and move park to park within Thousand Trails (standard)
  • You can extend your stays to 28 days instead of 21 days four (4) times a year with 7-day extensions during OFF PEAK times @ $29 / week
  • Extend your stays to 21 days instead of 14 twice a year with 7-day extensions during PEAK times @ $99 / week
  • Stay up to 21 days at a time at Trails Collection / Encore parks many times a year (most are no nightly fee, but a handful of premium properties charge $20 a night)

By utilizing your extension week options during peak and off peak times, you can book four x 4-week stays (off peak) and two 3-week stays (peak) over 22 weeks, which is close to half the year. And the rest of the year you can do 10 x 3 week stays at either Thousand Trails or Trails Collection properties. Thus, you could still ‘travel slow’ by keeping your RV moves to other locations down to as low as 16 stays during an entire year. 

Click for an obligation-free quote / best price on the Adventure TT membership

Aerial view of the pool and sporting courts at Thousand Trails, Hershey, PA

Who is the Adventure membership best suited for?

We believe you will find the Adventure membership most attractive, if you:

  • RV camp regularly – as a full timer, seasonal / snowbird RVer, or extended traveler
  • Like taking regular vacations every year – by RV, cabins, cabins or cruise
  • Have had concerns or challenges getting advance reservations and want a longer booking window that will (virtually) guarantee your preferred dates
  • Prefer longer stays of 21 or 28 days, multiple times a year
  • Want even more access to the premium Encore / Trails Collection properties
  • Like the ability to move from park to park within the Encore / Trails Collection properties, without having to spend 7 days out of the network
  • Plan to spend a lot of time in popular locations like Florida, California Arizona, or Texas in winter – or coastal areas like Oregon, California and Maine in summer
  • Enjoy variety of travel styles with cabins, condos or cruise vacations
  • Value having backup accommodation options when you are without your RV
  • Want to make the most of your camping membership investment by maximizing your usage, saving money by containing costs, and reducing unexpected surprises
  • Like the idea of minimal monthly camping fees or a fixed monthly payment

Aerial view of Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina, in the Florida Keys (Trails Collection)

What is the cost of the Adventure upgrade?

We don’t know the exact price tag as yet – the best we can do right now is guess the ‘retail’ price and promotional offers until we learn more in the coming days. As you may already know, Thousand Trails can be somewhat confusing when it comes to pricing.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Thousand Trails does not make their membership upgrade costs public, so it’s tricky to provide an exact answer on what you will actually end up paying
  • Several variables can affect pricing, including special promotions, and even which specific membership/contract you are upgrading from (there are literally thousands of different contracts out there) 
  • You can finance your membership with no credit check, 10% down and monthly payments (with interest)
  •  If you eventually decide to stop traveling and no longer want or need your membership, you can re-sell your membership (with benefits intact) to recoup part of your investment.

Starting today (January 28, 2021) Thousand Trails is offering a special promotional discount for the Adventure launch. They are rolling out the promotions in phases, with the current discount being the highest (until 2/1/21 when it shifts to Phase 2). Right now, the only way to get a truly accurate price on what it would cost YOU to upgrade from your current membership to the new Adventure, is to speak to a dedicated Membership Specialist.

Click for an obligation-free quote / best price on TT Adventure membership

Aerial view of Bethpage Camp-Resort, VA amenities (Trails Collection). Source: RVonthego.com

How to get the TT Adventure Upgrade?

As with all of TT’s other membership upgrades, you first need to be a TT member to step up to the Adventure – a Zone Camping Pass, Elite Basic, Elite Connections, or Ultimate Odyssey membership. Don’t worry if you are not yet a TT member – our TT Membership Specialists (see below) can personally answer your questions, sign you up with a Zone Camping Pass (and get you the best price) then set you up with your new Adventure membership. 

Even if you have one of the older legacy TT memberships – VIP, Alliance, Platinum, Platinum Plus etc – you can also upgrade to the new Adventure. It doesn’t matter if you inherited your membership, purchased it new many years ago, or bought it used (as a resale). It does not cost you anything to get a quote on the Adventure upgrade. That’s always the best way to weigh up if it is right for you and worth the price difference.

Here is who we personally recommend:

We have worked with Jim and Brandy for many years, we trust them, and we get positive feedback on their service from other happy members almost every week. They are very knowledgable, patient and helpful and can answer any other questions you may have.

That us (left) with Jim & Brandy (right) and their pups Cash & Princess at TT Bend, OR in 2017

How to get the best deal on the Adventure upgrade?

Thousand Trails is running their promotional offers on the Adventure in a phased approach, with the best discounts being rolled out first. If you do want this membership, you’ll likely get the very best deal ever to be offered on the Adventure during this promo launch period, especially during this first week. 

TT has been keeping the pricing closely under wraps. But as soon as we know more about pricing and discounts, we’ll update this article (as well as our pricing article). 

Again, we recommend you complete the form to get a quote with “best price available” direct from our trusted contacts at TT – Jim and Brandy Reneau. Even if now isn’t the right time for you to buy, they can add you to their “Specials Hotlist” and let you know as soon as the next sales and promotional offer comes up.

Click for an obligation-free quote / best deal on the Adventure TT membership

Leaving Thousand Trails Rondout Valley, NY in 2015

Is the Thousand Trails Adventure Upgrade Worth it?

Based on our 6+ years of full time RVing experience, utilizing our Thousand Trails membership extensively during that time, we would say YES! It will be worth it – the disclaimer being, as long as it meets your travel style and needs and you USE it!

We first started out with a Zone Camping Pass, upgraded to Elite, then added the Trails Collection. Since 2014, we have spent 823 nights within the TT camping network and it has saved us thousands of dollars each year. We can see how the new Adventure upgrade would inspire us to plan for longer stays, and take full advantage of the Trails Collection PLUS benefits, booking stays at some of their premium properties.

Ultimately, it’s up to YOU to decide if the Adventure is right for you. Whether you enjoy your current TT camping membership membership or you’re just considering Thousand Trails and and like the concept of it, but want to learn more.

If you want MORE freedom in your RV travels, with access to more (and nicer) properties, the ability to stay more longer and more often, book further in advance, and move from park to park (within Encore as well as TT) then we believe this will likely be a very attractive membership to you – and many others.

Do the math to work out how much it could save you

Being a premium product, if you get a quote on the Adventure membership and it seems high, keep it in perspective and do the math. We always recommend taking a big picture view of your RV camping expenses over the longer term, taking into account how many years you (and your family) plan you travel and use your membership. Then calculate what you would end up spending on regular campgrounds, paying regular, retail rates! 

As a guide, RV parks typically charge $30–$60 a night (or more). Monthly rates may offer better value, but these can also range from $500–$2,000 a month (or more) especially in highly popular tourist areas. But if you have your sights set on highly popular locations – say California’s Coast, the Oregon Coast, near major National Parks, and the Florida Keys – bump up your estimates. Those nightly rates can easily hit $60–$140 (with an average nightly rate of $100. We’ve even seen them as high as $200 a night!) Check the websites of a few campgrounds in the areas you plan to travel, to get a good feel for their rates.

When you really sit down to crunch the numbers, it’s easy to see just how quickly your RV camping expenses can add up over time!

PS. We added up what we spent on RV camping fees over 6 years across all camping options here, to help you gauge what RV camping can and does cost! Nightly camping rates are increasing every year. You can also read our comprehensive 6 year review of our Thousand Trails membership (what it cost and what it saved us) here

Here’s a quick, yet useful exercise

Before you make any camping membership purchase:

  • Estimate how many nights a year you plan to use your Thousand Trails Camping Membership to camp in your RV
  • Multiply that number by an average campground rate, based on the areas you plan to travel. 
  • Then multiply that total by the number of years you think you’ll be doing RV travel
  • Don’t forget to include any additional money you might spend on other kinds of vacations or accommodations – condos, cabins, cruises – in your total estimate.

Finally, take a step back and take a realistic look at what you COULD SPEND if you don’t have a camping membership. And what you COULD SAVE if you did. 

Let your own numbers give you the answer!

Final comments

Personally, based on our own experience with RV travel and how valuable Thousand Trails has been for us, we see the new Adventure membership upgrade as a really viable option for enhancing your TT RV camping experience. Especially if (like us) you value longer and nicer stays at a wide variety of campgrounds in desirable locations around the country.

If you RV full time or do extended RV travel, and you mostly stay at campgrounds within the Thousand Trails network, you could easily save enough money to cover the cost of the membership purchase within the first year.

See if buying a Thousand Trails Adventure membership upgrade makes sense for YOU and let us know…

What do you think about the Adventure upgrade?

  • Are these membership benefits useful and appealing to you? 
  • Would the Adventure membership be a good fit for your travel needs? 
  • Is this new membership offering a game changer for you?
  • Was this article helpful?

Leave us a comment with your thoughts, below.

GOT QUESTIONS?

Please leave us a note below with your questions. We’ll be happy to answer them here, or perhaps even follow up with another FAQ post. Happy Trails!

Our campsite at Thousand Trails, Palm Springs, CA

Yes, Please send me the latest info and special promotions on Thousand Trails memberships.

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Nubble Lighthouse in York Maine, near Thousand Trails Moody Beach, ME

Recommended Resources

Over the years, we’ve found many great resources that help save us money and/or enhance our RVs and RV life. Here are some of our faves that we recommend.

If you have any questions at all about these resources and providers, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’re here to help.

10 thoughts on “What is the New Thousand Trails Adventure Membership Upgrade?”

  1. Hi I’m just learning about tt I’m a travel nurse who does full time rv. I am super confused how this works I don’t see any option between elite standard or adventure to choose from when I went to their website to buy. Please help!

    Reply
  2. As a member of TT since 1987 , as a charter member and a Canadian I must say TT sucks . We have not been contacted about any changes that has taken place over the years. They call some TT Parks that just that but are not as we can not use these parks but with out membership new parks were to be inclulded .

    Reply
    • Hi Tom – Wow that’s a long time being a TT member! And yes there is not much of a TT presence in Canada, mostly in the USA. We have heard some of the charter members haven’t been as happy with the TT changes over the past few decades. A lot has changed, we understand, from when the parks were owned by TT, which faced bankruptcy more than once. Equity Lifestyle Properties is a real estate investment trust that purchased Thousand Trails holdings/assets back in 2004, and it’s an entirely new company now. Given the state of the company and properties at that time, we understand it’s quite a long haul to get things back up to speed (due to so much expensive infrastructure) but the new park acquisitions and improvements have been happening, albeit now as fast as we might like! I am surprised you haven’t received any communications about changes over the years – are you still a current member paying annual dues? Sorry to hear it’s not been working out for you. We have been members since 2014, so can only report on our personal experience during that time over the past 7 years. Also, sorry, but I am not quite following your last sentence?

      Reply
  3. I currently have an Elite Connections membership with some nice legacy benefits. TT quoted me nearly $10k to “upgrade” to the new membership, which actually has less TT benefits than my current one. The Trails Collection Plus package is attractive, but not nearly worth the price of admission. This upgrade is a big “Swing and a Miss” in my book…..YMMV! Thanks again for the info!

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing Nick! It’s good for us to learn what others are being quoted, as we haven’t had access to that specific information, just what was on the website. If you have legacy benefits also wrapped into your EC I can see why that would be more attractive for you to keep! Especially for an extra $10K. Agree – the Trails Collection PLUS is the most attractive option (at least it was to us) but sounds like for you, it’s not worth the “price of admission”. It’s been great hearing the different perspectives and feedback on this Adventure membership! Our quote (via the website – not via a Membership Specialist) from an Elite Basic looked to be around $9,500…. but perhaps in reality it would be closer to $10k or more as your Elite Connections would be worth more than our Elite Basic. I thought the EC upgrade was more like $8,500 (based on what I was finding over the weekend) so it’s handy to know it’s nearly $10K – is that the upgrade price WITH or WITHOUT tax? Glad the info was helpful and thanks again for sharing1 We’re learning every day with this one! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Hi there,
    I am in my early 60s and husband in late 50s we have a 32′ bumper pull. We purchased a VIP membership on a resale through the company you recommended years ago and they were great. Up to Dec 2020 I was still working full time so our RVing time was limited to short vacations and there are VERY few TT campgrounds in northeast where we are. We are set to go full time no later than May 2023. We crunched the #s on this new TT Adventure program and at the $$$ of adding another $15K on top of what we already have invested in our TT membership package (67 campgrounds, 120 booking, 21 day stay and park to park) PLUS then add the additional annual dues which we pay AND new add on the $615 per year for the Trails collection (if we read things right) the cost far outweighs the benefits. We would be better off booking at an RV resort using rack rate on those occasions we want to for a few days. We plan to be able to full time at least for 10-20 years and even so, with our other d/c programs of lifetime PA and Escapees as well as our Military Fam Camps/military discounts we cannot justify the expense of their new TT “upgrade”. Our camping style is combine boondocking with park camping and we do a lot of national, state and county parks now as well into the future. My lifetime NP senior pass we also get 50% off National Parks and have some booked for this spring @ $7.50-10 per night, some with W/E. As you have said, it is for each unique camping family to “crunch the numbers” to see if it works for you. For us, it did not.

    Reply
    • Hi Luise, great to see you did the math and considered how you like to camp and whether or not it’s worth it. The Lifetime NP Pass for 50% is a great deal for seniors! Also happy to hear you are enjoying your VIP membership – that’s a good one as you get 21 days park to park and can add on the Trails Collection for $315 to expand your park network. You also don’t have high use restrictions with the VIP pass, which is very handy when snow birding in the winter months! The $15K ish price on the Adventure is the retail price, you would not need to pay that… as you already have a VIP and would get a discount in lieu. I did some more sleuthing over the weekend and the best I can guesstimate is the “other membership upgrades” (like VIP, Platinum etc) would be around $12K to upgrade from (Elite was about $9,500, Elite Connections about $,8500, Ultimate Odyssey about $3K) thus, a few thousand less, but still a princely sum. (note membership prices are subject to change – this was based on the current launch promotion). That said, one of the advantages of the Adventure Upgrade is it would effectively give your resale VIP membership an additional value that it doesn’t have now, being the ability to re-sell it and recoup some of your $. If you tried to sell your VIP now, it would not be worth anything, as the member benefits only transfer once with a resale (and you are the beneficiary of that). If you upgraded to the Adventure, you WOULD be able to re-sell your membership later as an Adventure (with those benefits intact) for about half the price of a new Adventure. We are merely guessing – around $7,500? So if you consider the upgrade from VIP to Adventure would cost say $12K, and you were eventually able to sell for about $7.5K, the actual cost of upgrading would be more around the $5k-$6k mark. Of course, that’s still $, and may be worth considering if you plan on full timing for several years. ALL THAT SAID, these are our best guesstimates in an imperfect (and often confusing) world, and you would need to get a specific quote for your situation/membership from TT to weigh it up properly. Also there is never a guarantee on being able to sell memberships and for how much. Those are subject to market forces = supply vs demand. In 2009 they were hard to sell. These days it’s very easy. Resale prices have stayed healthy and increased over the past 5+ years due to solid demand, but none of us ever know what the future holds! (including inflation, rising campground prices, government facilities closing – as they did in 2020 with COVID etc). That’s why we always recommend people do their homework and weigh up the pros vs cons, risk vs reward – before making ANY significant purchase… whether that’s a campground membership, or an RV, extended warranty etc. It’s great to see you crunching your own numbers to arrive at the best decision for YOU. But hope this extra bit of insight we gained over the weekend is helpful. The VIP, especially with the Trails Collection add on – is still a good membership with solid benefits that are a handy tool in your camping arsenal! And of course, you can often score decent monthly rates are RV parks that makes it more affordable than paying nightly. Wishing you all the best!

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  5. One thing you didn’t cover was how to cancel Thousand Trails memberships and the ease / unease of trying to do so. My personal experience is it seems impossible. Thousand Trails is very quick to talk with you when they want to sell you an upgrade to your current membership level, but if you are trying to talk to Member Services about canceling or not “auto renewing” next round the only response I’ve gotten is hours of hold music after transferring my call. My last attempt was disconnected after 2 hours, 25 minutes, and 46 seconds on hold.

    Reply
    • Hi Mark – well, that isn’t what the article was about. The purpose of the article was to explain the specific benefits of the Adventure membership and help people understand it. If we tried to cover absolutely everything TT related it would be a very thick book! And their cancellation policy/instruction is covered in your TT contract. Yes, we have heard people having a frustrating time trying to cancel their memberships and this year, in particular, it has been hard to get through on the phones, as their people have had to work from home during COVID. Per the TT contract, we always recommend people check their contract, then sent their notice of cancellation in writing WELL in advance of the annual dues renewal date – and mail to TT Corporate HQ via registered/certified mail so you have a record of it. That way you have a paper trail AND tracking, proof or receipt/delivery. And if you get charged after that anyway, you can take it up with them or dispute with your credit card company and have the letter of cancellation as evidence to get a refund. But TT should not charge you after receiving written notice of cancellation and enacting that. Putting these things in writing is always the best practice, and I think that’s what TT requires anyway, so I expect that a call to TT customer service would maybe even result in them advising you send the cancellation notice in writing. Hope that helps! Good luck!

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