Thousand Trails Pre-Owned Memberships

Thousand Trails Pre-Owned Memberships

We get a lot of questions about our Thousand Trails membership as we travel. There is quite a bit of confusion about these memberships – mainly because Thousand Trails doesn’t advertise many of them. We purchased a pre-owned membership and are very happy with it.

The basic membership from Thousand Trails is a “Zone Pass”. Thousand Trails divides the US into five zones (Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, Midwest and Northeast). When you purchase a zone pass, you select which zone you want to camp in and your pass is good to stay in any campground within that zone for 12 months from the time of purchase. You can stay up to 14 consecutive days at a park, but must leave the Thousand Trails system for 7 days before you can use your pass again. The current price for a zone pass is $585. You can buy additional zones for $54 each.

The zone pass is probably good for folks that want to camp on weekends and holidays, but what if you want to explore the entire country while full timing like us? Thousand Trails has “upgraded” memberships that you can purchase, allowing you to explore all the parks across the country. Since they sell these memberships on commission, there really isn’t any good information on their cost.

There is another option: a pre-owned membership on the re-sale market. When a Thousand Trails member decides to stop camping for whatever reason, they have the ability to sell their upgraded membership to another person. The original contract terms follow the membership transfer. We purchased our pre-owned membership through Campground Membership Outlet. The experience was stress free and they really gave us some great information.

There are four popular memberships on the re-sale market: Platinum, Platinum Plus, VIP and Elite. The following information was current one year ago when we purchased our membership:

THE PLATINUM MEMBERSHIP:

·         Can stay up to 21 nights and go park to park with no time out of the system

·         365 days a year at no nightly fee

·         Can make a reservation up to 90 days in advance

·         Adult family benefits – up to 4 adult family benefit cards each year

·         Includes 60 membership resorts – TT, Naco, Leisure Time

·         RPI Basic for annual RPI dues

·         Annual dues to TT average $549 – $650

·         The Platinum Memberships currently average @ $2450 – $2650 / that price includes all transfer fees

THE PLATINUM PLUS MEMBERSHIP:

·         Can stay up to 21 nights and go park to park with no time out of the system

·         365 days a year at no nightly fee

·         Can make a reservation up to 120 days in advance

·         Adult family benefits – up to 8 adult family benefit cards each year

·         Includes 60 membership resorts – TT, Naco, Leisure Time

·         RPI Basic or RPI Preferred for annual RPI annual dues

·         Annual dues average $549 – $650

·         The Platinum Plus Membership average @ $2650 – $2850 / That price includes all transfer fees

THE VIP / ELITE MEMBERSHIP:

·         Can stay up to 21 nights and go park to park with no time out of the system

·         365 days a year at no nightly fee

·         Can make a reservation up to 120 days in advance

·         50% off cabin rentals when booked for 7 nights or more

·         Adult family benefits – up to 8 adult family benefit cards each year

·         Includes 60 membership resorts – TT, Naco, Leisure Time

·         “No High Use Restrictions” – can stay full 21 nights when high use is in effect at specific parks

·         RPI Basic or RPI Preferred for annual RPI dues

·         Annual dues to TT average $549 – $650

·         The VIP Memberships currently average @ $2850 – $3150 / that price includes all transfer fees

THE FULL ELITE MEMBERSHIP:

·         Can stay up to 21 nights and go park to park with no time out of the system

·         365 days a year at no nightly fee

·         Can make a reservation up to 120 days in advance / 90 to OW & MA

·         50% off cabin rentals when booked for 5 nights or more

·         Adult family benefits – up to 8 adult family benefit cards each year

·         Can stay additional 7 nights – 2 times a year following a 21 night stay for   $29.00

·         Includes all 81 membership resorts – TT, Naco, Leisure Time, Mid Atlantic & Outdoor World

·         RPI Basic/RPI Preferred/RPI Preferred Gold for annual RPI dues

·         Annual dues to TT average $549 – $650

·         The Full Elite Memberships currently average @ $3650 – $3950 / that price includes all transfer fees

The cost of the membership is a one time payment when you make your purchase. You pay your annual dues as long as you keep your account active. You can sell your membership if you don’t want it anymore, but there are some restrictions and Chad or Kimberly can explain those to you in detail.

We purchased a pre-owned VIP. As you can see, we’re able to use 60 parks nationwide and can make a reservation up to 120 days in advance. We’re able to stay at any of our 60 parks for up to 21 consecutive days at no cost. We can travel from one TT park to another, but can’t return to our previous park for at least seven days and we can make reservations up to 120 days in advance.

Let’s look at the math part of it:

Let’s say you purchase a membership for $3000. Let’s say you pay $600 per year for your annual dues. If you average your camping costs at $40 per night, you would recoup your annual dues cost ($600) after just 15 nights! You would recoup your total start up cost ($3600) after just 90 nights!

An upgraded membership is not for everyone. To be honest, the 60 parks nationwide are bunched around the country and may not be located where you want to stay, so take a look at the Thousand Trails website to see if they fit your travel plans. You can purchase some additional parks by enrolling in the Trails Collection. The Trails Collection gives you 100+ additional parks for an extra $214 per year and no nightly fees for up to 14 days each stay. You’re also able to enroll in a reciprocal program called Resort Parks International (RPI). The RPI Preferred program is currently $119 per year. RPI gives you many more parks throughout the country and you pay $10 to $15 per night for up to 14 days depending on the park. We’ve used our RPI membership quite a bit in the midwest.

Hopefully this gives you some information to consider. Campground Membership Outlet is a wealth of information regarding Thousand Trails memberships and we’ve listed a link to them on our website under Affiliates. If you found this information valuable and decide to contact Campground Membership Outlet, please let them know you were referred by us and we’ll get a small referral fee. Also, please let us know if you found this helpful!

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Your info about the upgraded to memberships was very helpful. Thank you so much, we’ll be contacting chad or Kimberly soon. Just started following you on fb cheers!
    Keith

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