Website: ThousandTrails.com TTN Logo

Member Services: 800.388.7788

Reservations: 800.288.7045

 
Wilderness Lakes...Palm Springs
VerdeValley
 

Full-time RV travelers like to have campgrounds available to them that are more like a homebase than a parking lot. This group of campgrounds provide that sanctuary. Primarily located on both coasts, these campgrounds are available to members for a maximum of three weeks at one time for the cost of an annual maintenance fee and a one-time membership fee. Most of these campgrounds provide gated security, swimming pools, minimum activities, and lots of space. Located away from metro areas, they include acres of hiking, biking and walking trails.

The campgrounds are not resorts (although there are a few that qualify), but usually provide large sites that are considered "rustic": 30 Amp service without concrete pads. Tables and BBQ pits are supplied, along with trees and wildlife. The sites are not always level, and sometimes utilities are shared by a neighbor. Picture your favorite fishing lake campground, rustic but in beautiful natural surroundings.

There are new memberships available that offer access to Equity Lifestyle's Encore park system as well as the Thousand Trails campgrounds. These Encore parks are designed for seasonal living in park models with a few RV sites in the mix.

These sites offer more of the "resort" experience, basically parking lots with activities, 50 Amp service, and concrete everywhere. These "resorts" are at least 25 years old and very few are AAA rated. The obvious advantage to this type of membership is their location, often near tourists spots and possibly family members.

A 20% discount on Encore nightly rates is available with any membership, but these new memberships allow access for two weeks at a time for just the resort fee of $4 per night. The amount of Encore parks available depends on the price of the membership.

Thousand Trails/NACO (TTN) is a part of Equity Lifestyles (ELS), a holding company that owns over 380 properties in the United States and Canada.

Currently the Thousand Trails RV campground properties include Thousand Trails/NACO (TTN) , LeisureTime Resorts (LTR), Outdoor World, and Mid-Atlantic Resorts properties. One of the important features of a TTN membership is security, with most properties providing Park Rangers on duty 24/7.

Thousand Trails/NACO is a private campground system that includes over 52 properties located in the United States and Canada.

Leisure Time Resorts is a private campground system that includes seven properties located in Washington and Oregon.

Outdoor World is a private system of 14 campground properties and RV resorts located throughout Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Mid-Atlantic Resorts is a private system of seven campground properties and RV resorts located in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Michigan, New York, and North Carolina.

Encore is the retail division that includes 80+ commercial parks with rental park models and mobile homes that cater to seasonal guests. There are RV sites available in most of these parks for overnight or seasonal occupancy. Some of these Encore parks are available to you as a Thousand Trails member.

These are usually special Encore rates promoted during either the winter or summer seasons. Some Encore parks special rates are just a "$4 per night resort fee" for a limited time of one or two weeks, then completely out of the system for one week before returning. Some Encore parks have special rates on a 3-month stay. All Encore parks have a 20% discount on nightly rates. Look for the special rates in the latest edition of TrailBlazer Magazine that is included with the membership.

Resale Memberships

These memberships are offered for sale by individuals who no longer use these parks. These individuals are no longer traveling, or have settled in one spot for a season. Some members just want to get out from under the maintenance fee and give their membership away for the transfer fee charged by Thousand Trails. These memberships (contracts) pass all of their amenities to the new owner with the exception of the "frozen dues" section.

There are many different memberships available (over 100 at last count). One of the older memberships that combined the best elements is called "Platinum." These contracts allow the member to stay in one park for three weeks, then out of that park for one week before they can return. If there is another Thousand Trails park nearby, that park can be used for that one week out (called "park-to-park"). There is no surcharge or limited nights restriction.

The Platinum contract gives the member access to the original Thousand Trails/NACO and LeisureTime parks; about 59 parks in all. These parks are primarily located on the West and East coasts where the weather is consistently good for at least one season.

The Platinum current maintenance fee is between $525-$650 per year (depending on the resale contract). The maintenance fee gives you access 365 days a year. The overnight stay is limited to three weeks, with one week out (or park-to-park), before returning. The current market membership fee is between $0 to $2,000, determined by the individual seller.

After deciding on a membership resale, write the contract number down (before you buy) and call Member Services (above) for all the details to ensure this is the right contract for your travels.

Websites with "Thousand Trails Resale Membership" For Sale ads:

www.rv-online.com (classified ads)

www.rvproperty.com (links)

www.RVNetwork.com (Escapees Forum)

http://www.campgroundmembershipoutlet.com/ (broker)

For a membership with access to Mid-Atlantic Resorts and Outdoor World, see Bob Sumner (below). These memberships may not yet be on the resale market.

For more information about discount cards and private campground memberships, see Membership campgrounds and discount camping clubs.

 

The Answer Man: Bob Sumner
Telephone: 530.355.9491
eMail: bob_sumner@equitylifestyle.com

Bob can explain all the membership options available to you, and can sell either a Zone Pass or an Elite upgrade. Bob sells new contracts at the current retail price, not "resales."

For all the insider details, tell him Margo at RV Lifestyle Experts sent you.

       
 
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