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> Encore / Thousand Trails, Despite bad reviews of management, still looks a good deal?
post Jun 30 2013, 02:27 PM
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I ended up in a Thousand Trails park for one night in Red Rocks area Arizona, and received all the promotional materials, I can't help but think it looks like a good deal.

If I am reading it right, $525 for first 30 nights of camping, and each additional night is $3. Just have to move every two weeks, and spend a week outside of the system between the two week stints, which is my normal travel pattern anyway.

Using 30 nights works out to $17.50 a night and gets cheaper per night the more it is used, the way I read it. So:

Nights per year $ per Night
30 $17.50
40 $13.88
50 $11.70
60 $10.25
70 $9.21
80 $8.44
90 $7.83
120 $6.63
180 $5.42

I travel for 3 months a year, so with the week long exclusions I could end up spending 60 nights in an encore park for $10.25 a night with full hookups and it seems usually a pool.

I've stayed in parks with poor service and customer relations for alot more than that.

Can anyone comment on experience with the basic value of Encore / Thousand trails?

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post Jun 30 2013, 05:45 PM
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We have stayed in a number of 1000 Trails and Encore parks, and the quality varies enormously.

Even as fulltimers, we do not want to be committed to stay in those parks enough to make a membership pay, and when we looked into it the initial cost of membership was in the thousands of dollars, although they are available much less expensively on the resale market. One reseller that we were very happy with is Campground Membership Outlet. We didn't buy a 1000 Trails membership from them, but we did buy another.

Remember, you may need to drive hundreds of miles to find the next 1000 Trails or Encore park. Do you really want to spend all your time in one of the parks in those two systems?

One common caveat with 1000 Trails membership is to carefully review what you need to do to get out of the membership contract when the time comes.

If you are really interested in a membership that saves you money and has many, many more parks than 1000 Trails or Encore, consider joining a network of independently owned parks such as Coast-to-Coast or RPI. They cost little to join and their annual dues are under $100. Many 1000 Trails and Encore parks belong to those same networks. To join them you need to own a membership in one of their participating parks, but a reseller like Campground Membership Outlet can hook you up with one of those for very little money. The quality of the parks in those networks is also highly variable, but you have RVParkReviews.com to help you find the good parks!

Hope that helps.

Dave Rudisill
Fulltimer since 2002
2004 Beaver Monterey
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