Thousand Trails Changes The Rules


Well-known member
We bought into a private campground several years ago and with that membership came the opportunity to join "ROD". (Resorts of Distinction) We've stayed at several campgrounds using ROD and never had a problem. On our current trip through Oregon and Washington, we came across one resort that told us they only allow five ROD members to stay at the same time and they are restricted to a certain part of the campground. This resort is a "Leisure Time Resort Thousand Trails". Two weeks prior to this, we stayed at another Thousand Trails and had no such restrictions on where in the resort we stayed. Allowing only five ROD members to camp in a resort with over 200 spaces seems a little absurd and restricting them to a certain, less desirable area is downright tacky. Several months prior to this, we inquired about staying at another Thousand Trails and were told the company, Thousand Trails, had instituted new policy's regarding ROD and RPI users. The users would not be able to select a site from anywhere in the park, but confined to a particular area. Did Thousand Trails buy Leisure Time Resorts? Are these seemingly new restrictions on ROD and RPI users company policy or left to the descrition of the individual resorts? I'm getting the feeling that Thousand Trails is the big gorilla in this venture and is out to restrict all other camping memberships from having a reasonable choice of where to stay. Anybody have any insight into whats going on here? Oh, and I was offered the "zone membership" for $0 enrollment and $499 a year from Thousand Trails. They left me with the impression of "if you want to stay here, you better join us".


Past Heartland Ambassador
Although not members of TT, we are members of other reciprocal fact, we own two separate home park memberships. One in Western Horizon, which gives us ROD and one in Travel Resorts, which gives us CtoC and AOR.

What you're explaining is a common practice in the industry. The owner parks have always limited the number of site they make available to the reciprocal system, but in the majority of cases they can be anywhere in the park. However, we had stayed at parks while using all three reciprocals where we are limited to specific areas. This usually happens when they only have a limited number of full hook-up sites, they save these for homepark members...just the way it is, and I imagine the way it will stay. I actually see it becoming more prevelant as they sell more and more memberships.


Well-known member
I think that Leasure time resorts bought TT.Thanks for the heads up I will have to check this out having bought a TT membership about a year ago.


Original Owners Club Member
Actually Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELP) bought Thousand Trails about 1 year ago. ELP also own Leisure Time. Since ELP's purchase they have been several changes to TT. Encore resorts is also part of the ELP system and you can stay at a TT park under the Encore umbrella but it will cost you about $45 a night and you will be solicited by a sales person. The free zone offer is really quite a good deal and if you look at what it offers it is too good to pass up IMHO. ROD Coast to Coast, and CC Good Neighbor Parks and some other member park organizations usually are allowed to camp in Thousand Trails, Western Horizons, Encore NACO, Mid=Atlantic, Outdoor World, AOR, and several other member parks. Usually these parks have a limited number of sites set aside for these non-members. These sites are usually the less desirable sites and may not be 50 amp sites. It depends on the policy of the parent organization and/or park management. I ran into this last year trying to make a reservation at a public park via the Coast to Coast Good Neighbor system. I could not make the reservation because they only allowed 5 sites as Good Neighbor Sites and they were not 50 amp but 30 amp sites. They did have sites available but not as CC Good Neighbor Sites.

This same thing happens with public parks and Camp Club USA and Passport America. The public park only sets aside so many sites for Passport America and/or Camp Club USA. They are in a particular area of the park. So I guess what I am saying is this is nothing unique to Thousand Trails but a common practice in the Campground Industry. I guess we should be grateful we can stay in these parks with discounted sites.


Well-known member
Thanks for the clarifications. I guess if I want to stay I pay. I'm just trying to figure out how to get the biggest bang for my buck to fit my personal situation, without joining every club out there.


Thanks for the clarifications. I guess if I want to stay I pay. I'm just trying to figure out how to get the biggest bang for my buck to fit my personal situation, without joining every club out there.
Being regulated to a specific area of a resort is no big deal. We've stayed at Tropic Winds in Harlingen TX many times and are restricted to a 40 site section. All excellent sites by the way.
What upsets me is that TT changes the rules in the middle of the game. During the past 8 or so years, we have stayed 2-3 times each at 2 resorts listed in the RPI book (they are Mid-Atlantic parks owned by TT) and made reservations through RPI (have to be a TT member to belong to RPI) for these parks. We stayed at one of these resorts last spring! When I called for reservations on, Friday 9/24, I was told by RPI that I have to contact my home park (TT) to make a reservation. And, by the way, I'll probably have to upgrade my membership to stay at these resorts or pay full resort price per night. As a member in good standing with RPI, my membership level with TT should not make a difference. If it's listed in the RPI book, and I am a RPI member, I should be able to make a reservation. I plan to call TT tomorrow, Monday 9/27 to determine if my choice is to pay somewhere around $4000 to upgrade, $499 for a regional pass or find other discount parks, hopefully in the same areas, to stay for the total of 17 days we intended to stay at the two parks this winter.