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With nightly camping fees increasing along with hotels, food, attractions, and other traveling costs, everyone is looking for ways to save money.
One of the best ways to stay on budget is through memberships. Thousand Trails is one of the best camping memberships for RVers because it eliminates the nightly fees.
Let’s look at where to find a Thousand Trails membership for sale and your options before purchasing.
What is Thousand Trails?
Thousand Trails is one of the largest networks of campgrounds in North America. Locations are throughout Canada and the United States.
From the west coast to the east coast and from Florida up to Maine, Thousand Trails campgrounds are in popular tourist destinations and beautiful scenery.
Both members and non-members can enjoy the RV parks, but members receive extra benefits and savings.
How Many Thousand Trails Campgrounds Are There?
There are 82 Thousand Trails campgrounds spread throughout five zones. There are 18 campgrounds in the northwest in British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. The southwest has 19 campgrounds in California, Nevada, and Arizona.
The smallest zone, the midwest, has only eight campgrounds. The largest zone, the southeast, has 23 campgrounds from Texas to Florida. Also, the northeast zone has 14 campgrounds from Pennsylvania to Maine.
In addition to the Thousand Trails locations, an optional add-on Trails Collection gives members access to even more locations.
This add-on has over 100 RV parks that members can use for free or for a significantly reduced rate. Some of these Trails Collections locations are 55+ RV parks.
Pros of Having a Thousand Trails Membership
The biggest pro to having a Thousand Trails membership is the no nightly fees. Except for the Camping Pass, all other membership levels give you unlimited nightly stays at any of the Thousand Trails campgrounds all over the country.
For full-time travelers, this is a huge reduction in cost. The upfront membership cost doesn’t compare to the overnight fees charged at most campgrounds.
For traveling families, buying a Thousand Trails membership for sale is a way to meet other traveling families. Because it’s so cost-effective, many families use the membership to save money.
You might meet a family in Florida and then travel to Texas and see the same family again. Thousand Trails fosters somewhat of a community of its own as members travel among the different locations.
Keep in Mind: With 82 campgrounds, it can be hard to decide which are worth staying at, but you’ll love these 10 Most Popular Thousand Trails Campgrounds!
Cons of Having a Thousand Trails Membership
Thousand Trails campgrounds aren’t resorts. They don’t offer resort-like amenities, and their facilities aren’t 10 stars.
You can expect to see run-down roads, limited 50-amp sites, and older facilities across the country from one location to another. There are exceptions like Thousand Trails in Orlando, but most campgrounds aren’t much to behold.
In addition to outdated campgrounds, Thousand Trails doesn’t have locations in every state. From New Mexico to Missouri, Colorado is the only state with a Thousand Trails campground.
If you spend most of your time traveling in this part of the country, a membership won’t be worth it because you won’t have a variety of locations to choose from.
What Are The Different Membership Levels?
If you’re looking for a Thousand Trails membership for sale, you have several options.
Depending on your budget and traveling style, there will be a membership that best suits your needs. The cheapest option is the Camping Pass, but it’s also the most limited.
Just launched in January 2021, the Adventure package is the most expensive Thousand Trails membership for sale and comes with the most benefits.
It costs around $17,000 with yearly dues of about $600. With the Adventure membership, owners can stay up to 21 nights at any Thousand Trails or Trails Collection location.
No time out of the Thousand Trails system is required. Owners also receive five free weeks of cabin rentals.
The booking window is 180 days in advance for Thousand Trails locations and 90 days in advance for Trails Collection locations.
The Trails Collection Plus comes with the Aventure membership; you can’t purchase it as an add-on. This gives Adventure owners longer stays in Trails Collection campgrounds and a larger booking window.
Keep in Mind: Want to learn more about the Thousand Trails Adventure Membership? Here’s everything you need to know about the Adventure package!
Priced around $10,000 with yearly dues of about $600, the Elite Connections is the level below the Adventure membership.
Like the Adventure membership, Elite Connections owners can stay up to 21 days at any Thousand Trails location without any time out of the system.
These owners don’t have access to the Trails Collection Plus. But they do have a 180-day booking window for Thousand Trails locations. Owners also receive 50% off cabin rentals.
The Elite Basic Thousand Trails membership for sale costs around $8,000 with yearly dues of about $600. It’s the cheapest option that gives owners access to all Thousand Trails locations nationwide.
Members can stay up to 21 days at any Thousand Trails location without any time out of the system. The booking window is the biggest difference between the Connections and the Basic membership.
Elite Basic owners only have a 120-day booking window. They also receive 50% off cabin rentals.
The Thousand Trails Camping Pass is zone-specific. It doesn’t give nationwide access. This option is best for weekend warriors who aren’t traveling all over the country.
If you like to camp within 3 to 4 hours of your home several times a year with Thousand Trails locations near you, it’s a great affordable option. The cost is about $630 per year. You can add on zones for $70 if you’d like to be able to travel a couple times a year to another area of the country.
Like with Adventure, Elite Connections, and Elite Basic memberships, there are no nightly fees with a Camping Pass. However, owners are restricted to only 14 days of camping.
If your stay is longer than four days, you must be out of the Thousand Trails system for seven nights. The booking window is 60 days in advance.
Trails Collection Add-On
As mentioned earlier, the Trails Collection add-on gives owners access to over 100 additional locations throughout the country.
Many of these locations are in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, where snowbirds like to congregate in the winter. Some of these have age restrictions, while others have a nominal nightly fee of up to $20 per night.
Stays are limited to 14 days, and owners can’t go from one Trails Collection location to another.
They must be out for seven days before returning to the same location or visiting another Trails Collection location. The booking window is 60 days in advance.
Where Can I Find a Thousand Trails Membership for Sale?
If you aren’t sure where to find a Thousand Trails membership for sale, there are two options.
You can spend more money and buy a new membership with all the perks mentioned above. Or you can save money and buy a used membership, but you may forfeit some of the benefits.
New Thousand Trails Membership
Just like buying a new car or a new RV is more expensive than buying a used one, the same is true for purchasing a Thousand Trails membership for sale. The prices listed above are for new memberships.
The good news is that your membership remains the same as nightly campground fees go up. You pay the one-time cost of the membership and then the yearly dues associated with the membership.
If the rate goes from $50 to $60 per night, you still enjoy no nightly fees. Contact Jim and Brandy Renea at Thousand Trails if you’re interested in purchasing a new Thousand Trails membership.
Used Thousand Trails Membership
On a tight budget and not sure if you’ll use a Thousand Trails membership as much as you hope? You can buy a used membership from Campground Membership Outlet.
There are more options when buying used, as many old memberships are available for resale. You might find a great older membership that suits your travel needs better than any new membership options.
However, the downside to buying used is you can’t resell it at the membership level you purchased. For example, if you buy a used Elite Basic membership, you won’t be able to resale it as an Elite Basic membership.
You also sometimes lose perks with a used membership. Older memberships may have a smaller booking window or limited access to locations, so you aren’t able to stay at every location.
But if you understand the benefits and they fit your travel lifestyle, then a used Thousand Trails membership for sale is a great option. Contact Kimberly from Campground Membership Outlet for more details about purchasing a used membership.
How Much Does a Thousand Trails Membership Cost?
As mentioned above, a new Thousand Trails membership can cost as much as $17,000 for an Adventure membership. A Camping Pass is the cheapest option, even cheaper than used memberships because they’re zone-specific.
Just as the new memberships vary depending on level, so do used Thousand Trails memberships.
An Elite Basic may cost around $8,000 new, but a used one may only cost around $6,000. Older memberships may cost as little as $3,000, depending on the perks.
Is a Thousand Trails Camping Membership Worth It?
Before you decide to purchase a Thousand Trails membership for sale, make sure to check out the campground map.
If you’re not traveling along the east coast, throughout Texas and Arizona, or along the west coast, it might not be cost-effective.
If traveling in those areas, consider how many nights you camp per year to determine if the price is right. Are you a part-time RVer who only goes on vacation once or twice a year?
Spending money on a membership plus the annual dues might not make sense. But if you travel often or full-time, a Thousand Trails membership for sale is one of the best money-saving camping memberships available.
Do the math. Check out the map. Consider your budget. What makes sense for your RVing family?