Full-timer RVers Piper Morgan and her husband, Orlando, have been members of Thousand Trails, a resort membership association, for a little more than 10 years. A few years ago, the two decided to cross one item off their bucket list and take an RV along the West Coast.
Starting from their new home base at the Thousand Trails Lake Conroe resort in Texas, the two drove their 2003 Newmar KountryStar Class A motorhome west to San Diego, then north all the way to Washington.
They would camp at Thousand Trails parks along the route, staying several weeks at a time before moving on, often not knowing their next destination until other members would set them off on a new course for adventure.
Piper told Woodall’s Campground Management. “It was only supposed to be for three months, and we found ourselves staying longer and a year later we decided it was time to come back to Texas.”
Thousand Trails is one of the campground industry’s several dozen member-based camping associations, of which there are two types of campground memberships: discount clubs, whose members enjoy reduced rates at participating private parks, and membership associations, in which members enjoy access to exclusive resorts either owned by the association or often by other corporate-owned chain of parks.
Also, there are many discount clubs, but some of the larger ones include Passport America, Good Sam Club and Happy Camper Club. In addition, many RV owners clubs including the Escapees and Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) offer discounted camping at participating parks as a member benefit.