Thursday, June 19, 2008

Membership Parks

A comment on my last post asked about our opinion of Membership parks, so I thought I'd write a bit about that. We joined Thousand Trails in 2006. Along with that membership came a membership in Resorts of Distinction. Here's my post from 2006 when we first bought in. So, is it worth it? That's the question we all ask. We paid $6,500 for the membership. Then annual dues for TT is $500, and ROD is $230. Just like a health club, it's a good deal the more you use it. If you don't use it, it's a waste of money! So far, we've stayed in TT/ROD parks a total of 253 nights. If you take the total amount we've paid ($7,230) and divide by the number of nights, you get $28.50/night. That's not particularly cheap, but it's not bad. And, as we continue to use them, it will continue to go down. Actually, at this point, I think we can say the original $6,500 has served it's purpose and we can just count the annual dues going forward. So, to make $730 = $20/night, we need to stay a total of 37 nights per year. You can buy used memberships for a lot less than the $6,500 we paid. Just be sure to do your research. Each membership has different rules. Some only allow access to parks in a particular region of the country, some allow maximum 2 week stays, some allow 3 weeks etc. etc. Make sure there are enough parks in the area you want to travel. Thousand Trails have a lot more parks on the west coast than the east, and there are only a few in the middle. ROD has a few more parks, but they aren't all the same quality. The TT parks are called 'Preserves' and they are awesome. That has been the best part for us is discovering the beautiful settings of these parks. Each site is large. You're really camping, not just parking. And, you can count on a certain level of amenities. Every TT park we've been in has a pool and a hot tub. And, you can count on Wi-Fi in the clubhouse. One caveat ... sites are not all 'modern.' I've heard complaints from folks that have big rigs and need 50amp electrical service. We're small and only need 30amp, so the more natural settings is great for us. Peace River, where we spent the entire season 2005-6, is our very favorite park. If you follow the link - you'll see a place to view a video. This is one of Jim's very first Photostory videos. Here's a slideshow of some of the membership parks where we've stayed.
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