Video: Pros and cons of joining Thousand Trails


This is one of the best reviews of the Thousand Trails membership program we’ve seen. After watching this you’ll wonder how anyone could ever figure out what level of membership is best, and whether in the long run if it’s a good deal to buy a membership in a camping program that can cost more than $10,000 to join.

John and Michelle, the RV Odd Couple on YouTube, took a lot of time to analyze the TT program (and monstrously long contract), offering both pros and cons of the various levels of membership. If you’re thinking about becoming a member, you should definitely watch this video.


  1. Could they make this membership program any more confusing? Sounds to me this whole thing is a scam. Even your kids are responsible for paying after you are dead?

    • David, it’s only about as clear as mud! LOL. The kids aren’t on the hook after you pass, our understanding is that they would only pay yearly dues should they choose to keep the membership. They wouldn’t have to pay the initial investment. But like all things, it’s only worth-while if you use it!

    • Each contract is different. When I got my Mom’s from her estate I found out it didn’t include a few things like RPI, but because hers was an old Alliance membership I did get extra reservation time and a couple other small things. That said, if you are full-timers and you use it, your expenses are minimal factored against pay as you go parks. I have worked in several and most run $45 plus per night.

  2. Great video, very informative. Their cost per night, while impressive, is somewhat misleading as it does not include the cost of the membership(s) or the annual dues. I do understand that the longer they have, and use, their membership, the cheaper it is per day for the initial cost.

    • The delta between TT and non-TT was $22 a night ($25 vs $3). For those 91 nights in the system you could say they saved $2,002. If their mix of usage (91 TT vs 60 non-TT) continues then they’re annual savings is roughly $4,000 and their break-even for initial membership recovery is effectively 2 years. After that with annual dues of roughly $600 they’ll need 27 days of TT per year for break even. All that assumes that the $22 delta stays roughly the same.

      For them it appears to be a fair bet with the only con I can see is their daughter growing up with the socialization requirements that children prosper in (stable school and friends).

      I like the video and subscribed.

      • Thank you Bill! You are absolutely right, the only issue is finding other kids. The good thing is that the Thousand Trails parks that we’ve visited all have a playground. And as more families venture into F/T RVing, we are finding more and more kids for our daughter to play with! Thank you again!

    • Thank you Lee! We are planning on re-calculating the savings once we hit our year milestone. Your comment is probably our biggest regret when calculating cost. We will be sure to include our membership cost in the next budget video. Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Have to question why Thousand Trails allows their sales people to continue with deceptive sales practices.

      • No Glen, That’s funny! We paid full price for our Thousand Trails membership. In the video we share exactly how much we paid for it. We purchased this before we became the RV Odd Couple and we still don’t receive any special benefits. (which is somewhat frustrating but fair)

        Bottom line: For a full-timer it’s a no-brainer. For a weekend warrior, the zone pass is probably a better bet- if you use it!

        We have no idea what the program looked like in 1980 but it’s really good now. (only 39 years have passed- lol!) Especially the Trails Collection add on! Those parks are amazing!

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