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Old 12-27-2007, 02:04 PM   #1
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
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Thousand Trails National Preserves

Does anyone know anything about this organization? Good or bad?

As we were researching places to camp during 2008, my wife and I came across it on the internet and wanted to know if anyone knew anything about them. It seems the only way to find out about the membership cost is to visit one of their properties for a free weekend, a-la time share sales pitch. I don't want to waste my time if they are expensive or if they are not a decent value. On the other hand, if their properties are all full hook-ups with well maintained, spacious campsites, I might be interested if it meant I would have a good idea what would be waiting for us when we got to one of their properties.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:54 PM   #2
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Thousand Trails

I've spent a couple weekends at the Thousand Trails / Natchez Trace Wilderness Preserve, 1363 Napier Rd., Hohenwald TN. 38462 while deer hunting at Laurel Hill game preserve. It is right off Natchez Trace Parkway just south of Hohenwald. It was a pretty nice place. It had two small lakes which allowed swimming in a beach area only as well as two swimming pools. They also had facilities for horseshoes, jogging track, clubhouse, laundry, tennis courts, minature golf, country store, racquetball courts, table tennis, RV storage area, walking trails, tent campground, marian, fishing boats with motors, canoes, shuffleboard, cabin rentals, health spa, sauna, adult center, chapel group lodges and volleyball. They have some sites for full hookups and others water & electricity. I'm looking at an old brochure from three to fours years ago.

I don't remember how much it was when I stayed there but I remember it was just a little more than some other areas I had stayed at in the past. I just looked at the website for that location and it doesn't look like much, if any, has been added to the site. I did notice that a fish cleaning area had been added that was not on my brochure as well as a church.

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Old 12-27-2007, 04:38 PM   #3
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Thanks Craig. I hadn't heard of them before, but they have a campground near where I may be working for a while next year and they offer a low monthly rate plus electric that would be a good deal less than renting a Courtyard by Marriott or equivalent.

It would also be nice to know if their properties are nice before getting to one and finding it's right on an off ramp or in an industrial park or something.
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:54 PM   #4
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The price depends on the options. Several people are selling memberships on ebay Thousand Trails, Memberships, Everything Else items on
The ebay prices go as high as $5000 with a $750 transfer fee and an annual fee of around $500.

It looks and sounds a lot like the time share deals of years past. Be prepared for the "hard sell".


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Old 12-27-2007, 07:18 PM   #5
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I have met several full-time people who swear by Thousand Trails. Explore your options in buying a membership. The for sale ads in rv magazines usually list memberships for sale at much less than you will pay if dealing directly with Thousand Trails.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:49 PM   #6
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Talking just a few thoughts....

i am in and out of the thousand trails park in orlando on highway 27. my work takes me in there 4 or 5 days a week....i am pretty much in every campground with big rv's in the orlando area all week long....i also have a membership in thousand trails....

this is one nice park from the office and pay elsewhere and save HUGE amounts of money...i have seen memberships on ebay go for 100 bucks to a couple of thousand...there is a transfer fee that varies from 750 to 990 depending on the membership type...check thousand trails memberships....there are a lot of people who are just trying to dump them...because they dont use and dont want to pay annual fees of about 450 a membership resales....

take the 3 days free...sit and listen to the speech for an hour or so and then if you like the deal buy the membership somewhere else...

orlando thousand trails, peace river thousand trails, clerbrook rv resort, encore lake magic, sherwood forest, tropical palms...all owned by the same company now...leave one park go directly to another....all of these within an hours drive...

orlando thousand trails...50 amp paved sites, 2 pools, whirlpool, gameroom, fishing lake that is huge, boat rental, kids play area, tennis courts, rec center, dancing room and ball room, store, wifi, nice and clean, about 500 sites give or take...all really nice...

i have a membership and really like the park..get a deal on your membership and you should enjoy it as long as you use it...
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:02 AM   #7
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Study the "Home Park" rules

Thousand Trails has system where membership you buy is attached to a "home park" which was first seller of the membership. I believe there is a time maximum limit on stays at any Thousand Trails Resort other than yoru home park... Thus if you were looking to park the Airstream and leave it for a few months, that might not work out, unless that location was the home park for your membership.. Some may waive it, but not in popular places in high season...

Resale market similar to time shares as well, with lots of lower priced resales on auction or websites or through ads in back of Trailer Life, etc.. After marketing costs stripped out on resale, prices are less expensive than "New" memberships. You should also read fine print around transfer eligibility and fees, as they set them to discourage (but not block..) resales from hindering sales of new memberships...

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Old 12-28-2007, 04:41 AM   #8
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Their NY park is near me. It's a typical family oriented RV park. People like it, but nothing about it says 'Trail" or "National Preserve" to me, just a typical park. Those membership fees seem way high to me....
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:31 PM   #9
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We have been members of Thousand Trails for 5 years and are very pleased with it. So far most of our stays have been in Texas at the Medina lake preserve. Yes, it is a preserve. Large herd of white tail deer, jackrabbits, and anything else you can imagine. We have also stayed at Conroe, the Colorado River (both in Texas) and Peace River in FL. Everything is aimed at the family. These are very clean facilities.

This coming summer we are planning a 3 month trip from TX up through CA, OR and WA using the Thousand Trail Parks. I can stay 14 days at each location.

Since we live in the San Antonio area we are able to use the Madina lake park several times a month. The sites are large and not cramped.
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:34 PM   #10
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Forgot something. I believe that Thousand Trails was actually started in CA by Roy Roger and Dale Evans. I have seen photo's of their attendance when the Medina Lake Preserve was opened.
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