I thought I would update our Thousand Trails Zone Pass Membership experience over the past year a half since some of the benefits and “zones” have changed a bit. We still love the membership and still think it’s the best value in RV parks for fulltimers and perhaps part-timers…as long as you use it of course!
First, the zones have split from just East and West, to four zones - SE, NE, SW, NW. Yes, seems they made the deal too sweet in the beginning. However, it’s still an excellent value none the less. To Thousand Trails credit (so far anyways), they have continued to honor our East Zone Pass renewals. Our membership dues went up from $450 to $475 and they are currently selling a single zone for $499. Not too bad considering that costs in general have gone up around the Country.
If you haven’t already, you should visit my previous evaluation of our East Zone Pass here. I hope to better evaluate the costs based on today’s zone pass rates below.
So, let’s break it down. We bought our East Zone Pass on April 1, 2010 and by April 1, 2011 we used our membership a total of 114 nights. To get our nightly rate we just divide 114 into $450 for a grand total of $3.95 per night! Not bad at all! Some might say, “Well, you have both zones so you are getting more value than I could.” Ok, then let’s look at 2011. Although we still have the same East Zone Pass, we actually will only utilize the South East Zone this year. ($4k+ in car and RV repairs have limited the mileage this season!). Since April 1, 2011, we have stayed 90 nights in the system as of Oct. 4, 2011. Considering our new $475 in dues, divided by 90, our grand total per night..$5.28! (based on current dues of $499— $5.55 per night.) And there is still six months to go! Really, where can you get full hook-ups, pools, lounges, activities, recreation for less than $10 per night for a family of five? Nowhere else!
April 1, 2010 - April 1, 2011
April 1, 2011 - Oct. 4, 2011
Now, let’s consider how many nights you would need to use in order to break even on a $499, one zone pass. As in my previous blog post, we’ll stick with the (low) average of $20 and $30 per night at a standard campground. If you normally camp where rates are $20 per night, it will take 25 nights to break even on the pass (for the math folks..yes, there’s the “cost of money” factor, but at today’s rates this is negligable) and at $30/nt, 17 nights. For all the amenities that Thousand Trails provides, I think you will be hard pressed to find something similar for less than $30 a night.
$499 One Zone Pass Break Even Point
|$20 - 25 nights||$30 - 17 nights
||$40 - 13 nights|
To offer even more flexibility, you are now able to pay for your pass in monthly or quarterly installments. Monthly costs start at $41.56 for a one zone pass. Of course, the main point to consider even more than cost is whether you will USE the pass. Some parks are close to everything (Orlando), where as many are in the middle or close to nowhere (Cherokee Landiing).
To sweeten the deal, Families on the Road has recently negotiated a promo/discount code that will give you an instant $50 rebate! PLUS a $25 visa card! So you’re getting the BEST DEAL ON THE PLANET for a Thousand Trails Zone Pass for essentially $424! As soon as I get the code, I’ll update this post but until then you can still get the deal by emailing the FOTR webmasters, Rita and Pete at americasguest101 at yahoo dot com.