Travels with Pickles

Our Thousand Trails Experience

While The Gump was still stuck in the shop getting the last of the shake down items worked on, we decided to purchase a two zone Thousand Trails membership. We did so because they had parks located near Dave’s father and my brother and because I remembered the parks as being acceptable when I was little. It was an emotional purchase and we, I, should have done more research before we pulled the trigger!

We are heading toward our first zone and so of course we wanted the park closest to Dave’s father. First tip off of coming problems, Thousand Trails is NOT user friendly. There is no information on what parks can accommodate big rigs on either their site or their app. Strike One.

I get on the phone and begin calling the participating parks in Illinois and Wisconsin. After having a ludicrous conversation with Pine Country in Belvidere, IL about length of rigs they can fit (FYI, they told me 38 feet and yet they’ve told Thousand Trails corporate 40 feet) I gave up and moved on to Wisconsin parks. Sure enough, two parks close enough could handle our length with ease and had 50 amp service.

Now comes the time to make reservations, which because of our membership level can only be made 90 calendar days out. I try the first park, Arrowhead at Wisconsin Dells. I’ve had a pleasant phone conversation with the park. I know they can easily fit our length, have 50 amp service, and are pet friendly. So, imagine my utter joy when the reservation system will only offer me 30 amp service and non-pet sites. Strike Two.

Frustrated and irritated I decide to try Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, WI where I’ve had a similar pleasant interaction with the campground staff. I input the dates and am shocked to discover that the system tells me that we have an invalid membership for this park. Strike Three.

Beyond irritated now, I call customer service at Thousand Trails who inform me that I can only make reservations online and that I “should lie about having pets” to make my reservation. That is a direct quote from their customer service representative. Needless to say, we don’t operate that way and will not lie about having pets to make a reservation. I post a tweet about our experience and to my surprise I get a direct message request from Thousand Trails.

This direct message results in a three weeks delay in making reservations for late Fall in the Midwest. If you’ve never made reservations, campgrounds, RV parks, etc. close down for the season around mid-October. Getting a reservation is not simple when we will be there, so my patience (which was already extremely low) was stretched to the breaking point. Last week I get a call from this poor guy who offered us no solutions, hadn’t bothered to listen to the RECORDED customer service call instructing me to lie, and who still could secure us a reservation in Wisconsin.

At this point, Thousand Trails is a pointless membership with almost six hundred dollars flushed down the toilet. Cancelling your membership is cumbersome, must occur within a thirty day window from date of purchase, and they are not on par with their competitors. We will NOT be renewing our membership. We will not lie to secure a reservation. We will not settle for 30amp power in potentially cold or hot conditions when 50amp power exists at a park.

Buyer beware of purchasing a Thousand Trails pass. Be prepared for customer service, or rather the lack thereof, on par with the worst you have ever experienced. If you have a big rig, save your time, money, and sanity because your rig is unwelcomed at the majority of their parks.

2 thoughts on “Our Thousand Trails Experience

  1. o. Wooldridge

    Hmmm, funny, I’m full time at TT, and never have a problem. 50amp almost always available, get my reservations made with no hangups, enjoy the parks and people. That being said, there’s always at least one sore head in the crowd. Equity Lifestyles bought them out not long ago, and are improving the parks and the employees there also. Too bad you had a run of bad luck with them. Been around TT now for nearly 30 years. It did go down hill, but it’s slowly coming back!