We’ve had a Thousand Trails membership for a few years now and use it a ton. And by “ton” I mean we’ve used it for well over half of our 780 days of fulltime RVing. Their offerings haven’t changed much recently though, until now. For the basics on what Thousand Trails (TT) is and to see the two different memberships we’ve used so far, head over to our in-depth explanation of Thousand Trails and how we use it. After you’ve familiarized yourself with all of that information, let’s talk about what has changed.
The New Thousand Trails Adventure Membership
The big new thing is the “Adventure” membership. TT has replaced their “Ultimate Odyssey” tier with the “Adventure” tier which comes packing some new goodies. It remains at the top of the three-tier structure, above both the Elite Basic and Elite Connections tiers, and continues to demand the highest membership price. The current TT membership prices as of 1/27/21 are the Elite Basic for $6,995, Elite Connections for $9,145, and the new Adventure tier is $15,595.
We’ve heard that there is going to be a pretty significant sale (maybe even up to $2,000 off!) on the new Adventure tier for a short time after it debuts, so if you’re interested in it you may want to call our Thousand Trails Reps sooner rather than later! Their contact info is at the bottom of this post.
And as always, if you already have a Thousand Trails membership you can upgrade it to a higher tier for much cheaper than buying it brand new. Again, reach out to our TT Reps for more details on how that works.
So what’s all the new stuff that TT has revealed? Well, there’s a lot. There is a big update to Family Benefits which we’ll get to in a minute, some extra RPI Resort Connections and cabins stuff, and they added a bunch more extra weeks too but the biggest news by far though is the new Trails Collection Plus membership that’s only available to Adventure members.
NEW Trails Collection Plus – Adventure Members Only
TT’s basic Trails Collection membership is an optional add-on that opens the door to more than 100 Encore-branded campgrounds. It is $315/year on top of your regular TT membership costs (as of 1/27/21). The basic Trails Collection membership comes with a 60-day booking window, a 14-day maximum stay, and (most importantly/annoyingly) you can’t go park-to-park. That means if you stay in an Encore park for any length of time you have to be out of all Encore parks for a minimum of 7 nights before you can go back to an Encore park with your Trails Collection membership. In contrast, you can go park-to-park within the core TT campgrounds all you want with your TT membership.
The new Trails Collection Plus membership turns the dial up on everything. Along with that huge list of available campgrounds you also get a 90-day booking window, 21-day max stays, and park-to-park access. That last one is massive for full-timers like us.
This all comes at a price though – Trails Collection Plus is $615/year, so an extra $300 compared to the base Trails Collection add-on. The bigger cost though is that it’s only available to add onto an Adventure membership. If you’re upgrading from an Elite Basic or Elite Connections membership to the new Adventure tier you’ll get Trails Collection Plus free for the first year though, which is really cool.
Updated Family Benefits
TT also changed around their Family Benefits for all three membership tiers just a little bit. You can “issue” (read: sell for $215/year) up to four 5-Zone TT Camping Pass memberships to family members. This gives them a really good discount on a TT zone pass. If they want to keep the pass for subsequent years the price goes up a little bit each year. If you have questions about how that works, give our TT representative a call (contact info at the bottom).
You’ll also be able to hook family up with 8 “Family Courtesy Cards” for only $125 per year that will allow them to use Thousand Trails parks for up to 21 days per year. That brings the nightly cost down to just under $6/night for those three weeks. That’s a pretty cool way to get your family camping with you!
Note: TT defines family as grandparents, parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren.
The Updated Membership Grid:
One Odd Negative Change
There is one change that’s actually a negative and I’m not 100% sure why they did it. The previous Ultimate Odyssey tier included a 180-day booking window and up to 28 days per stay. The new Adventure tier keeps the 180-day booking window but reduces the max stay to 21 days. It’s not a huge deal it’s definitely something I wanted to point out.
More Additional Discounted Weeks
Even though there’s a maximum stay limit associated with all of the membership levels, they all come with an extra benefit that allows you to extend a stay up to an extra week for a small fee. The Elite Basic and Elite Connections tiers come with 2 additional weeks per year that you can add onto a stay in a non-high use season for only $29/week. The Adventure tier kicks that up a couple notches with 4 additional weeks in a non-high use season for only $29/week and an extra 2 weeks in a high use season for $99/week.
More Cabin and RPI Benefits
All of the TT memberships also come with pretty significant discounts on using their in-campground cabins, and they come with a free cabin week per year for five years in the form of a coupon book when you join. TT has also enhanced these benefits for the Elite Connections and Adventure tiers with an extra free week for years 6-10 and the ability to trade those free weeks in for RPI condos or cruises.
As for RPI, more formally known as Resort Parks International, the Elite Connections and Adventure tiers also come with 2 free years of an RPI Resort Connections membership. The Adventure tier also gets six $500 vacation credits, though we’re not sure exactly what those can be used on. Our Elite Basic membership came with one free year of RPI Preferred Gold but we never used it and aren’t too familiar with how that all works. If you want more info on those make sure to ask your TT rep.
Getting the Best Price on Your Thousand Trails Membership
We love our Thousand Trails membership and wouldn’t be able to fulltime without it. We don’t know if the extra benefits in the new Adventure tier warrant the extra cost yet, but we’re definitely using the heck out of our Elite Basic membership. There is simply no better way to afford RVing.
Reach out to our Thousand Trails representatives Warren and Sharon Lewis by email or by calling 804-366-0798 to learn more. When you tell them Five2Go sent you, they’ll hook you up with the best available price which could save you a bunch of money!