Just don’t allow yourself to be pressured to buy on the spot – give yourself time to research all the options and go with the one that works best for you. If you decide buying new may be a fit for your needs, we recommend Jim and Brandy Reneau (TT Membership Specialists) – we know them personally and they also are very helpful and provide a great service, not salesy or pushy either! Or even join a local YMCA or visit public pools IF they are open. Now, you can get a better price on the annual zone pass if you make a longer, four (4) year commitment and elect monthly payments. A Thousand Trails membership upgrade is the next step after enjoying the basic Zone Passes! When we hit the road, we never intended for ALL of our RV camping to be in TT parks. Great Dusana – thank you for sharing the update! Free. We wrote this article covering the pros and cons of each option – hope it helps! As you can see, it’s really not a one size fits all answer…its totally depends on your individual needs and budget… but I hope this helps. Hope that helps! So flexibility is the name of the game, but there are thousands of campgrounds around the country (80 of which are TT) so there is always somewhere you can find to camp. We think that’s an important thing to keep in mind and help manage your expectations. If you scored a great deal on your TT Zone Pass, let us know by sharing the details with us here! Purchase your Thousand Trails Camping Pass today! Not all. HI Jon, glad you find the content helpful! This helps offset what you are spending at other non-TT-parks throughout the year. Ultimate Odyssey gives you 28 days park to park. How do I find out the transfer fee? In the (almost) five years we’ve been full-time RVing, we’ve spent over 700 nights in more than 60 RV parks within the Thousand Trails camping network (so far). In fact, we’re on our way to another TT park now that we have stayed at previously and are looking forward to it. And we totally agree withy our comments about why many RVers stay our west to save money on BLM land! But I can tell you in 5 years of full timing, spending over 700 nights in TT parks and driving a 40′ motorhome, we have NEVER not been able to find a site. We’re also going to assume you buy the two zones plus the Trails Collection (as above) as that’s such a great combo that we believe would suit most people very well, with a huge number of parks to choose from. And just buy the zones you need for each year. Ultimately, only YOU can decide if TT is for you or not… and what you want to believe is written out there… we always strive to provide a balanced perspective, and not get caught up in the whiners…they aren’t the kind of people most of us want to be camping with anyway! There should be no problems making reservations outside of the peak periods and holidays… within a 60 day window, especially at parks that are not considered the most popular. Click the link below to be redirected to the Thousand Trails website and have the promo code applied automatically then follow the instructions below! As you’ve probably gathered, having been TT members now for almost 5 years,  it’s a camping membership that we are big fans of. And great website!! You are wise to have some stability in your first year until you get into the swing of things, it certainly worked well for us. When you consider that most campgrounds with hookups range between $30-65 per night, it’s easy to see why Thousand Trails represents such good value, especially for full-timers like us! First of all, if you have a reservation, there should always be a site available for you at a TT park. Do you recommend going this route? 🙂. Beware of “Alliance” memberships (resale) – people give them away but you still have to pay the transfer fee and the TEN YEAR contract starts over again with you! The deal you get on Encore properties depends on which TT membership you have. The parks we enjoy most we return to, the ones we enjoy least we don’t, it’s as simple as that. And that is ALWAYS what we try and do in our articles – to educate and empower people with the information for them to weigh up and determine for themselves, if TT is right for them… or not. And while we did upgrade our membership (later that year) to take advantage of the extra benefits, that was a bigger commitment, both in terms of money and time (contract term). If we enjoy it as much as you do, I’m sure we will be upgrading by the time our first year is up. We’ve been nestled among lush, leafy green trees in Florence, OR and stuck in a dry dustbowl at Morgan Hill, CA (we know, it’s neither TT’s nor California’s fault there’s been a three year drought). There is no fee to do that and it’s easy to do online or by phone. In the whole scheme of things, it’s a fraction of what you’ll end up saving every year in camping fees. Now were itching to travel North America and see all there is to see. We bought a Zone Pass on a ‘Buy one, get one free’ promotion on a reference from friends who are avid TTers 4 years ago. Just book ahead – especially for the most popular places and most popular times…. Majority of Trails Collection (Encore) parks are full hookup, but not all, definitely most. Has there ever been a park that was not up to the expected standards? Thank you for this! If you haven’t already discovered this by scouring their website, Thousand Trails (TT) is a national campground membership network of over 80 private RV resorts and campgrounds (also called preserves) in 22 US states and B.C., Canada. Once you upgrade, you only pay one annual fee per year (not both Zone Pass and upgrade – you only pay the one). There are other ways kids and and adults can entertain themselves safely. And dolly is rarely if ever a problem, sometimes you will get a pull through and other times you will need to unhook and back into your site. They will ensure you get the best deal, and they provide a great service. Some people don’t like booking in advance – and I understand that, and while we often do that, we also often move our reservations around a bit as the dates get closer.. sure sometimes it requires a bit of time and persistence, but it is still worth it to us, for the savings. It can be SO CONFUSING! Also whech parks in fL only allow 2 weeks? Hope this helps! But if you’re planning to go full-time and explore all of the states, like us, you may not want to lock yourself in for that long.Â. A: The initial term of a Thousand Trails Camping Pass is (a) one (1) year if you purchase one to four zones and you elect to pay the annual fee in full at the time of purchase, (b) two (2) years if you purchase one to four zones and you elect to pay the annual fee in monthly installments, or (c) five (5) years if you purchase a National ZPP (all five zones). Thousand Trails will apparently send us a gift card as a little ‘thank you’ which will buy us dinner! We have rarely had an issue, you will be fine, especially if you don’t leave popular parks bookings to the last minute 🙂 Hope that helps! Elite, Platinum, Alliance) and why we chose to go that route, please click here. And they do run special promos several times a year. While all this sounds like a great deal – and it is – if you’re a full-time or extended travel RVer, you will also need to factor in your ‘out of network’ costs. BUT we did our homework. The first gotcha of a Thousand Trails Membership is that it is designed to keep you from simply living in their parks full time. This is Customer Service at the Worst. If people are diligent about booking when their window opens – AND stay mindful that there are no guarantees – especially in peak times at the most popular places – they should not experience that issue on a regular basis…We have made reservations 60 days ahead plenty of times with no issues, when we had a zone pass. Thousand Trails doesn’t have campgrounds in every area you’d most likely want to visit. The same 14 day in / 7 day out rule applies. So there are always varying conditions. But with a maintenance fee this low, it seems like a good piece of security blanket. But there is another way to add even more RV parks to your Thousand Trails Zone Camping Pass membership with the, Initial ZCP $585 + $3,660 = $4,245. Originally we were going to take just 5 days to cross the US but now this pass will pay for itself before we reach Florida. Afte’or you’ve activated it, you should only need to ave to pay the annual dues (which you can also put ‘on hold’ if there is going to be a period of time you wont’ be using it for a year or more). How many parks have pull thrust and accept 41 ft rvs? The Thousand Trails preserves, campgrounds, and resorts within the Trails Collection are divided into 5 zones: Northwest - 22 campgrounds and preserves Southwest - 45 campgrounds and preserves Southeast - 78 campgrounds and preserves One final note, the longer advance reservation booking window is one of the advantages of the upgrades (eg. They can also keep you updated of any upcoming promotions, special discounts and answer any questions you may have about new TT upgrades, like the Elite Basic, Elite Connections and Ultimate Odyssey, which we’ll be covering in more detail in a separate post. If you want additional feedback, jump onto the Thousand Trails Good, Bad and Ugly Facebook Group to read some other commentary. Now, how much you save will all depend on how much you stay in the TT system. The difference is, with TT, you pay so little for your camping fees, and being a member-based camping network, they don’t open too many sites to the public, and you can reserve a spot (just not a specific site). You’ll soon see how easy it is to get your money’s worth out of a Thousand Trails camping membership. At first, with all of the preparation, RV repairs, modifications, and traveling we’ve done, I thought I could write this book myself. We have been thinking about a Thousand Trails pass for a while now and began looking into it more since going full-time in August of this year. We truly appreciate the information and insight you have posted for all newbies like us. These may be subject to change if Thousand Trails decides to amend the Zone Pass terms, but this gives you a good general overview: While the 4 year, $35.41 per month option may initially seem appealing, you need to remember that you are entering into a 4 year contract that you cannot cancel without paying out the balance in full. Finally, if in doubt, call Chad at CMO. It’s hard to find that in public campgrounds unless you’re a member of some other kind of RV club with social groups (such as Escapees). Hope that helps! Of course, once you arrive, THEN you have to drive around to FIND your spot… you are guaranteed a space but not a SPECIFIC space. Our dolly slides under our coach in need. So I am sure those incidents are isolated. Let’s take a look at some cost-benefit scenarios. It’s par for the course. This way I could stay year round or as long as I want at any site or move anytime anywhere and stay in the system. If we can’t get a reservation when and where we want, we stay somewhere else. However, overall, I am satisfied as I have been able to avoid the less then desirable resorts primarily because I am also a Trails Collection member (great value). The longest you can stay at any one park is 14 days at a time. Thanks for the very helpful information! We have friends who are in the “Coast to Coast” network and they are telling us they like it and that we should buy into it. And you also want to purchase the Trails Collection add-on for the extra RV resorts. Hi Angela, based on what you have shared, you will probably want to buy one of the used/resale memberships with the 21 day park to park privileges. Give Jim and Brandy Reneau a call to get your Zone Camping Pass – they often have a special deal running to get you the best price, and sometimes even prices that are not shown on the website – just mention RVLove when you speak to them. Hi Denny, With a Thousand Trails ELITE membership, you can book 120 days out and stay 21 days and move from park to park with no time out of the system. I figure this would cost me for two zones year round about $1250. It will educate you about the benefits, differences and the process – you may even going direct to a membership upgrade option is a better fit for your needs than a Zone Pass. We appreciate your comments – that is exactly what we strive to do. The Thousand Trails Camping Pass is the entry level or first tier membership level, and the Ultimate Odyssey is the highest level or fourth tier membership level. You are wise to ask the question first before buying, so you can know what to expect. When we had a Zone Pass, it was 60 days…and we didn’t have any issues at all getting the places and dates we wanted because we booked 60 days ahead. which you may be willing to do. We know some people who stay in it year round (with a different, upgraded membership option that allows them to do that). You are wise to be doing your research this far in advance, especially if considering a resale membership as this purchase/transfer time can take up to 8 weeks, and of course, you want to be making your reservations a few months ahead as well. But again, read our other post about TT membership upgrades before making a final decision. When you are ready to buy your zone pass, don’t just simply pay the first price TT quotes you! And yes, we have heard many comments like that. Oh yes, TT can be SO confusing!!! I have looked everywhere for information about them. Many people complain because they didn’t do their due diligence and properly understand membership rules or read the contract before signing. If you have a Zone pass, you must stay out of TT for 7 days if your previous stay was 5 nights or more. When the TC add-on was first released, there was a “hole” in the TT online booking system where some people were able to book Trails Collection/Encore parks back to back – but that loophole has not been closed. And some we like purely for the location. Good Luck! Of course you don’t have to stay in those. Re the res window, some parks (even if you have a 210 day window) still only have a 90 day reservation period because of the original camping network they were part of…. Wow, great info.. Pretty amazing value, huh? Very nice article and helpful in my decision on the TT system. The move a lot…so this may work for Thousand Trails Zone Pass -! Cancel, availability opens from time to time and/or money time – want TT now to! 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