Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Thousand Trails: Thumbs up, thumbs down

It depends on your source, but according to two recent reports, Thousand Trails is a really great organization to belong to, or maybe not so great.

In case you are not familiar with Thousand Trails, it’s a membership camping organization with locations across the country.

Encore RV resorts and Thousand Trails campgrounds announced this past week that 79 of their properties received the 2019 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. Of the 79 winning properties, 14 are receiving the certificate for the first time, while two, Thousand Trails Orlando and Rancho Oso RV Resort, are TripAdvisor Hall of Fame Winners for receiving the prestigious award for the fifth straight year.

Okay, sounds good, but the readers of might disagree. In a survey this past week, about half of the 463 respondents were dissatisfied with their memberships. Nearly a quarter said they wish they had never joined. On the brighter side, 27 percent said they were “very happy” with their membership.

Our survey (now closed):
Total votes 463.


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


  1. Having been Thousand Trails members for 2 years we can say that they are a tremendous deal for those who can use them. One has to note that their locations are not evenly distributed across the US, so if traveling where they are not you would not get your money’s worth. This past year we spent over 120 nites in T.T. parks – all across the country. While a very few were not that great – for a variety of reasons ranging from site angularity to very bad access directions (Carolina Landing, SC – are you listening?) , most were quite acceptable – even nice – and most are in great locations. And some are spectacular (like Rancho Oso and Yosemite Lakes to name a few). Found all 3 T.T. parks in Florida to be great, well run resorts (while their “sister” Encore parks often left lots to be desired (except Riverside RV Resort)- which was exceptional!)).

    But for our annual fee + 2 Zone upgrades we were able to stay virtually everywhere we wanted for less $$ than anyone would believe. I like their on-line reservation system- which I used almost exclusively, and when I had to call them their agents were friendly and did their upmost to help us however they could.

    While we have temporarily let our subscription expire because we are traveling in New England and Canada now, and heading back West across Canada, when we return to full time RVing next spring in the Western US we will eagerly re-join Thousand Trails. We have been greatly pleased by their service and their parks

  2. I won’t buy anything on Amazon that has a rating as low as that received in your survey by Thousand Trails. I’ve also heard good and bad reviews from YouTubers, and the good reports just don’t outweigh the bad enough for me to want to spend the money and take a gamble with them, but then the RV park/”resort” experience is not the thing I’m looking for, anyway…

  3. I am no longer a member so didn’t participate in the survey. Used to be a member and for the most part its great IF you can use it. Living in AZ there is only one TT park, during our one year membership could never get in, it was always full! We also had the Encore package and did use that many times, also great, but we didn’t use it enough to make financial sense.
    During our membership we did travel in California and Oregon where there are many parks and it was great. Most parks are not on the way to someplace so they become the destination. We saw and enjoyed places we would never have gone to before. Some parks were unavailable due to floods and season. Some places are more like boon docking but with hook ups. By that I mean the spaces were not level, paved or even gravel in some cases, but they did have power and water and nice clubhouse facilities. Many needed repairs, I understand they are working on that.

    • Sounds like a time share scheme for mobile homes. Not for me. The lady and I like the spontaneity and adventure that is the heart of RV’ing.
      Different strokes for different folks, all is well, something for everyone.


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