Sunday, May 3, 2020

Thousand Trails Year Two

Our second year of Thousand Trails expires on June 30, 2020. The program has worked very well for us again, as it would for most traveling full-timers.

Little Diamond WA campsite overlooked a large disc golf arena.
There was an indoor hot tub and ice cream socials once a week.

This year I am closing out this record-keeping a little early because we bought a boat in April and hope to be sailing the rest of 2020+ and into the forseeable future. Therefore we will not be renewing our Thousand Trails membership for a third year in July.

Cherokee Landing TN was a quiet park with an abundance of wildlife

But, if we were to remain full-timers I definitely would renew it.  Even with only 9 months of use we still came out way ahead. 

Here's how the math broke down for our second year of  membership:

Date Description Value Balance
7/1/2019 Basic Program Dues w/1 zone (NorthEast) ($585) ($585)
7/1/2019 Trails Collection ($214) ($799)
7/1/2019 Two Additional Zones (SouthWest, SouthEast) ($108) ($907)
7/1/2019 Zones - One more zone (NorthWest) ($54) ($961)
7/9/2019 Portland Fairview Encore (4 nights @ $20 vs $63.60) $174 ($787)
7/21/2019 Birch Bay WA (4 nights @$0 vs $68.11) $272 ($514)
7/26/2019 Little Diamond WA (14 nights @ $0 vs $44/night) $616 $102
9/24/2019 Cherokee Landing TN (14 nights @ $0 vs $44/night) $616 $718
10/16/2019 Natchez Trace TN (10 nights @ $0 v $44.61/night) $446 $1,164
11/12/2019 Crystal Isles FL ($0 v 1@$63, 10 @ $47) $533 $1,697
3/19/2020 Goose Creek NC (12 nights @ $0 vs $80) $960 $2,657

As we discovered before, the Encore resorts are swankier, and some of the older basic TT resorts are in need of significant maintenance. Thousand Trails can always be counted on for at least the basics, and we always go in expecting just that and let ourselves by pleasantly surprised by any extras.

Goose Creek, NC, has a stocked pond in which the kids fish all day

We did not have any problems getting into areas we wanted to visit; we didn't always get the exact resort or the exact dates we wanted but we could always land close enough with some flexibility.

So, our annual investment for this second year was $961, which we turned into $2657 of free camping, which worked out to be an average of $13.93/night for our year's investment. We'll be parking the RV in storage soon after transitioning onto the boat, otherwise we would be seeking additional campsites through the last quarter of our membership and these figures would be even more favorable.

Crystal River, FL has boat ramps and manatees

Closing out our account was a bit of a hassle, they want it in writing as well as by phone call during which time they tried to talk me out of it. Because I'm a belts-and-suspenders type of gal, I also did a website chat and then followed-up by e-mail which they confirmed over a month after receipt. Time well tell if it has all been cancelled properly. I'll let you know in July.

Natchez Trace Campground in TN winds around a large pond.
The park also contains a fabulous rec hall with pool tables and a foosball table.


  1. Wonderful that all worked so well for you. Sounds like you could take the RV back to Goose creek for a few weeks free before time runs out and she goes into storage. On to the next adventure. 👍🏻

    1. I suppose we could. Although I expect by the time the lockdown lifts we'll be ready to sail away. Hoping so, anyways.