We are about half way through our road trip and have a few Thousand Trails campgrounds under our belts now, so I figured we would do a little review of what we’ve thought so far. A full review will come at the end of all the campgrounds and their amenities.
What is Thousand Trails membership?
Thousand Trails is a system of campgrounds across America (with one in BC!) that you can stay at for free if you are a member. There are a few rules to that, and different levels of membership, but that’a the gist of it.
We bought our Thousand Trails camping pass in November of last year during a sale, and can use it until November of this year. If we had purchased a full membership, we would have lifetime membership, although there are yearly fees (under $500). With the camping pass, we can book 60 days in advance and stay 2 weeks in a park, as long as we are out for 1 week in between stays. HOWEVER, for most of our stays, we are in a campground for 4 nights or less, so we can go location to location with no time out. (With most full memberships you can book 6 months in advance and stay 3 or 4 weeks in campgrounds with no time out in-between.)
If you don’t have a trailer, full membership also gets you discounted stays in the cabins and cottages in each campground, or you can exchange getaway cottage weeks for resort or cruise weeks! (We are seriously considering getting a membership when we are retiring!)
What does a Thousand Trails campground have?
Most Thousand Trails campgrounds we have visited are full RV resorts, with amenities such as pools, clubhouses, gated entrances, playgrounds, and other activities and programs.
For example, at Yosemite Lakes where we are now, there is mini golf and other sports, and nightly activities like movies under the stars or live bands with a taco truck and free s’mores. There is no pool at this campground, however the river that goes through the campground is swim/fishable.
Campsites are at least 30 amps and have water. Some campgrounds have upgraded to having 50 amp and sewer available at most sites, but not all. Campsites are first come, first served, which has its pros and cons, but overall we’ve found some good sites.
What are our thoughts so far?
So far, we’ve loved staying in Thousand Trails campgrounds. Based on the cost of our camping pass, and the amount of nights we are staying, it works out to less than $15 a night. You can’t beat that!
Otherwise, it seems that it’s mostly seniors and families that have memberships, so the campgrounds are quiet and clean, and the kids have always found some new friends. The pools are a perfect temperature, the clubhouses are clean and tidy (if somewhat dated), and the sites fit our extra large rig, which is hard to find in state campgrounds, and many older RV resorts.
Camping Passes are currently only $499 for a year, and include one zone. You can check out pricing, campground locations, and more here.