Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Membership parks

We settled in to our first membership park for the year. I can tell that I am in a membership park by the site layout and lack of thought to placement of the utilities. This seems to be a common thread in the many we have stayed in the last four and a half years. In one of our less judicious decisions, we purchased a trial five year membership in Western Horizons during our third month of full timing. The park we stayed in turned out to be one of the best maintained and friendly in the system. We were to later discover that many others were poorly maintained and manned by sulky to hostile staff.

The park we are currently in has a very friendly staff and a lot of nice facilities for members with families. The facilities seem to be maintained, but it has some of the common traits shared by most of the parks we have been in. The emphasis is on those items that the sales office loves to show off. These generally include the pools, tennis courts, and club facilities. The support facilities like laundry and well laid out campsites are just passing thoughts. Here the sites are not prepped in any way. There are stakes showing where in the grass you park. The many deep ruts indicate little interest in keeping them up and useable. The sites are large, which makes the decision to use one post for four sites power and water hookups, a long haul for everyone. When I have to use every hose and length of power cord to get connected-yep this must be a membership park. There are two washers and dryers for 160 sites and are very busy. The picnic area is next to the trash dumpsters, go figure.

They have a large RV storage area, as do most membership parks. This one seemed to be more like a RV historical dig.

These parks are probably a good choice if you plan on spending a lot of time in them. For us, it was a mistake for the way we travel.


Along the Way with JnK said...

We are Coast to Coast members and agree with what you wrote.

Just today we headed to our next location, a membership park and ended up finding another park to stay instead. This is not the first time, we pulled in and pulled right back out for several reasons, many that you mentioned but others as well.

What we notice is we are always put into the less then desireable sites with many times only water and electric, or surrounded by trees that look as if they will fall if we blow on them. With the membership parks, we have noticed there are less great parks and many more less then desireable ones.

Again, I wonder how they get these high ratings. Not by what we see!

Donna K said...

I can see why you are disappointed, but thank you for sharing. It helps those of us who have not yet made the decision on member parks. I have mostly good things about all the Escapees parks but we haven't stayed in one yet. Hope you find something better on down the road.

Travels with Emma said...

Don't know anything about membership parks, so this was an eye opener for me. I have just never considered them.

Rick said...

Thanks for your honest appraisal of membership parks. It sure helps to know these things so we can avoid perhaps making the same mistake.

pidge said...

Thank you so much for this post. We have been considering joining one of these for 4 years, but for some reason kept putting it off. You have made up my mind for me. We love Passport America though. You do find run down parks through this also, but for the most part they are pretty nice, and good for a one night stay. Again, thanks... :)

Janna and Mike said...

We almost purchased a used membership a few years back--we think we are very glad we didn't!

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

Bummer. I suppose there is some fine print in the contract that won't let you resign your membership.

They have no problem taking your money and then not living up to maintaining the campgrounds in reasonable condition.

I'm going to avoid Western Horizons like the plague.

Kevin Read said...

Definitely not our cup of tea. Too bad you had more bad experiences then good with the membership. At least you know not to renew it.

Kevin and Ruth

Gail Houle said...

As others have stated, your honest evaluation will help us from making the same type of mistake. If it was a 5 year trial membership, hopefully you'll be out of it soon.

Jerry and Suzy said...

We have seem some very rough membership parks as well. However, the one we are in right now (Thousand Trails in Morgan Hill, CA)is gorgeous. Our site is very large, but yes, it is water and electric only. It is level, grassy, and in the 90's for temp. We have stayed in some great membership parks, and some lousy open-to-the-public parks. And vise versa of course. Everyone's experience is definitely their own, and like everything you read on line, open to challenge!

Margie and Roger said...

From what I've seen and heard, a lot of the membership parks aren't very nice. That one looked sort of like an RV graveyard. We joined Thousand Trails for one zone for one year - we'll stay in them on our way back to Florida.