View Full Version : campsite memberships

07-06-2009, 11:19 PM
Hello: My husband and I have been admiring the TrailManor for a couple of years. Have a deposit down on the Elkmont Upright and wish to know what others' experiences have been with the various campsite memberships. We are especially interested in the Coast to Coast and Thousand Trails options. Can anyone tell us your experience please? thank you, von iams

07-07-2009, 07:26 AM
This topic comes up now and again. Many people have joined, and some have been pleased. But many have not, finding that the member campgrounds never seem to be in the place you want to go. That choice will have to be yours, and other members will chime in with their experiences. But if you decide to you want to get out, you'll end up in the hands of those outfits you see on TV - you know, SELL YOUR TIME SHARE OR CAMPGROUND MEMBERSHIP FOR CAYSH!

There is one new wrinkle in the situation. Coast-to-Coast, at least (and possibly 1000 Trails, though I'm not sure) are owned by the Affinity Group, which also owns Good Sam and Camping World. Because of the downturn in the economy, the financial houses have announced that Affinity Group is "likely to fail" within the next year. We had a discussion on this topic a few months ago. If you use the Search tool on the term Affinity, you ought to find it, along with links to some of the sources.


07-07-2009, 10:00 AM
Like Bill says...

Scott O
07-07-2009, 04:29 PM
We had a Western Horizon membership for a while and finally took a beating and let it lapse. They seem to be a good deal for people who use them for large portions of the year and stay for some time in each place. But for casual travelers, the campground is rarely where you need it to be, and we would not let the location of the place determine where we wanted to go. For the prices charged for some memberships, you can stay at really nice places many nights before you start to lose money.

07-07-2009, 05:30 PM
We have been members of TTN for over 25 years. You might say we have given our money away. We really never stay at TTN campgrounds that much. Most of them are far out in the country and we like stayng close to town. But all of them are vary nice. We did stay at Orlando TTN for about a week. Did Disneyworld. It is vary nice and does back up to Disneyworld property but its one of those things (you can't get there from here) LOL You have to drive back into town and follow the directions to Disney.

07-10-2009, 11:12 PM
We've been with 1000 Trails (TTN) for quite a while. Not having any sort of trailer for the last 5 years certainly put a crimp in our usage! We joined because my husband's parents are full-timers and usually stay in TTN parks. At the time we bought it we thought we were going to full time for a couple of years. We do really like the TTN parks that we've used (with the exception of Yosemite which was very crowded and not very well stocked).

It is definitely better in some parts of the country than others. We have a pretty big choice of very nice TTN parks near us - three on the Oregon coast, one in Bend (all these are within about two hours of our house). Driving just a little farther (within a day's drive) we have many more very nice parks to choose from in Washington and Northern Cal. It is resort camping and is not for everyone.

Is it worth the money? I'm sure it's not unless you use it a good deal of the year like my in-laws. The kids like the mini-golf, swimming pools, etc.

As an aside, I'm sure we'll be using our membership after this weekend when we finally get a TM. We got the TV two years ago and it has taken us this long to get a TM. We are SO excited!

11-01-2009, 09:43 AM
From the latest issue of RVTravel.com:

"A California business magazine reported last week that the owner of the Affinity Group, the publisher of Trailer Life and Motorhome Magazines and the owner of the Good Sam Club, is in serious financial trouble. Pacific Coast Business Magazine wrote that the company has missed interest payments on more than $114 million in debt for nearly two months, that Standard and Poor has given its bonds junk status, and that between 2007 and 2008 the company swung from a $6.3 million profit to a $125.3 million loss."


11-01-2009, 11:57 AM
Thanks to a member of our TM club who is also a member of Hart Ranch, we stayed at Hart Ranch (near Rapid City, SD) for almost a week last month. Nice place, and the location is convenient for so many attractions in the area.

But looking over the membership materials, benefits, etc. we quickly decided that, while it's a very nice campground, it's like buying a timeshare apartment/condo, in that you have a limited amount of time that you may use it each year, and in that you have to find a way to sell your membership when you want out. They DO have a 3-day trial available (as do many others, I'm told), but that doesn't help with how much/often you'd use it.

So it wouldn't fit our life/travel style, but obviously does fit that of many people.

Scott O
11-01-2009, 03:29 PM
Western Horizons is also apparently in some trouble. They are selling off some units and restructuring. We are going to an information meeting in a couple of weeks and will find out what is going on.