Our Experience with Thousand Trails

I was very skeptical about buying a membership with Thousand Trails (TT) as I wasn’t sure we would actually get our money’s worth. One thing I learned right away is to read the fine print. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting into.  I understood that I was only buying certain zones, but one of the things I didn’t realize was that you couldn’t book more than 60 days out. I had bought our membership in May in hopes that I could start booking for our big trip north well in advance. Instead I had to wait until 60 days prior to the first day of my stay at each place I wanted to stay at.  In the end, it didn’t seem to be a problem as I was able to make a reservation for each place I wanted to be at once I reached the 60-day prior mark. However, it wasn’t until we got to the first Thousand Trails park that we booked that we found out that even with a reservation, it doesn’t mean they will have a spot for you. What’s the purpose in making a reservation, if there not going to have a spot? In all our months of RVing we have never run into this problem as it makes sense that if you make a reservation you expect to have a site waiting for you.

The first TT we attempted to go to was Gateway to Cape Cod RV Campground located at 90 Stevens Road, Rochester, MA. It was our first experience and the worse. The first thing we learned was when you arrive at a TT park, you get to choose your campsite. That is, if you can find one. Driving around looking for a site is not something we have ever had to do as all campgrounds/resorts we have visited always direct us to where we are to go even if I have picked our site out online, the host still directs us as to where to go and how to get there. The host at Gateway was of no help and very rude. She didn’t even have a clue as to which sites might be available. Just said drive around until you find something and then come tell me where you are. I’m sorry but this is not the way to manage a campground. After this experience I was ready to cancel our membership and never recommend them to anyone. This is when we discovered that even though we had a reservation made for over 60 days, it didn’t guarantee us a site upon arrival. Luckily we were able to find another campground to stay at; however, it ended up costing us $200. 

Our second TT was at Sturbridge RV Resort located at 19 Mashapaug Rd in Sturbridge, MA, which wasn’t too far from Rochester. Our experience was better as far as the campground having space available, but the spaces were so close together we couldn’t even open our awning. If we had, it would have touched our neighbor’s RV who had come in on the same day we had. They were supposed to stay for 10 days, but they left the next day, which I assume was due to lack of site space. There ended up being a water leak at our door on day two and they didn’t even consider fixing it until the day we were to leave. They wanted us to leave by 9:00 am so they could get started, but I’m pretty sure check out was not until noon. I understand the leak needed to be fixed, but we had already been inconvenienced with lack of space and having to walk through water, so what would another hour or two hurt.

The third TT was at Timothy Lake North at 6837 Timothy Lake Road, E Stroudsburg, PA. As for the ranger, she was great. She told me several sites that were opened and showed me how to get to them.  As for space, well let’s just say it was much better than the last place; however, the grounds needed a lot of care. They were trimming trees and cutting grass near the check-in, laundry, pool and up front areas, but they failed to manicure the rest of the property.  We parked on an end site in a pull-through only to discover that we would have to back up to get out as we couldn’t make the turn to the right pulling a fifth wheel and the entrance/exit to the left was blocked off.

We finally made it to our fourth TT park in Lebanon, PA at Hershey RV & Camping Resort located at 493 S Mt Pleasant Road and found the best park of all.  Not only was the ranger full of information and a breath of fresh air, but everyone else we have had contact with during our stay was as well. Our stay was during Labor Day weekend for eight nights and being that we were arriving on Friday before the holiday, we were afraid there wouldn’t be any spots available. However, we arrived right before noon and luckily there were several. We lucked out with a spot that no one can park behind or in front of us, so we are more than happy with our site. There is so much to do here to entertain yourself, from a pool and spa, to tennis and volleyball courts and so much more. Our only complaint is the Wi-Fi, which when it worked was very slow. Liking this place makes coming back to this area a big possibility in the future.

If you’re considering purchasing a membership to Thousand Trails make sure you read every word of the contract before you obligate yourself. If I had known then what I know now, I would not have bought the membership and because of the issues we had in the beginning I will not renew when the times comes.

 

Our Visit to Wahlburgers and Fenway Park

After our time in New Hampshire and Maine, we headed to Massachusetts.  While there, we would visit Rhode Island and Connecticut to round out the final three New England states.  I know several people who love the New England states, but we are not two of those people.  We met more rude and obnoxious people than we’ve ever seen in the south.  The traffic was horrendous and don’t even get me started on how much stuff cost.  Let’s just say this will be my first and only trip to the upper states.

The main reason for going to Massachusetts was to go to Boston.  We were supposed to have stayed at a Thousand Trails (TT) campground, Gateway to Cape Cod, in Rochester about an hours drive from Boston.  However, when we arrived, even though we had made our reservation back in June, there were no spots available. This made us have to search for something else and pay out of pocket, which we would not have had to do at the TT place as it’s part of our membership fee.  We found a nice little place about 30 minutes away in Plymouth, Pinewood Lodge Campground. Even though they had several perms and seasonal campers, it was still a nice little place to put down and we had a pull-through site, which is always a plus as well.  Unfortunately, our satellite didn’t work under the trees, but they have cable, which we opted for as opposed to sewer. 

Wahlburgers

Wahlburgers

On Friday the 19th of August we headed for Boston for two things: a burger from Whalburgers and to tour Fenway Park.  I mean really who goes to Boston for a once in a lifetime trip and not go to Fenway.  Good news:  we got to enjoy a great burger and hope that many more Whalburger restaurants will go up throughout the US so others will get to taste them as well.  Bad news:  a concert had played at Fenway the day before and another one was scheduled for the next day.  Not only did we have to pay more to do the tour, but we didn’t even get to see the damn field because it was covered in chairs and concert set up.  What pissed me off the most about this is the ticket taker didn’t bother to tell us that we would get jipped on the tour so we got screwed twice, once on the price and again on the tour. 

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Fenway Park Entrance

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The seat I sat in that happens to be one of the original seats in the park.

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The red seat marks the longest homerun ever hit in Fenway Park. Batter was Ted Williams.

In order to get around Boston, we took a trolley, so we could hop on, hop off at any of the 16 locations they stopped at.  This made it possible for us to see more of the city and not have to fight crazy traffic in the process.  One of the places I wanted to see was Cheers, “where everybody knows your name”, which is the bar that inspired the beloved television show created in 1982.  There was lots of memorabilia and episodes from days gone by playing on the screens throughout the gift shop area.  We didn’t eat there as we were saving up for burgers elsewhere.  I just wanted to see where it all originated from.

Cheers, Est 1895

Cheers, Est 1895

The original Cheer Restaurant

The original Cheer Restaurant located in Boston

We spent a day driving to the cape to see a few lighthouses, but other than that I wasn’t impressed with Cape Cod.  I’m beginning to think this country girl just needs to go back south, find a beautiful lake and stay put. However, I did enjoy some great lobster and crab claws at the Lobster Hut in Plymouth, but I also discovered that live lobster is not for me as I prefer just the tails.  Seeing that head laying there and breaking into an unclean lobster is just not my cup of tea.

Massachusetts Lighthouses (click on a pic for a bigger view and to scroll through all)

 

After four nights, we headed over to our second Thousand Trails campground hoping we would have a better experience than the first.  Well let’s just say I’m beginning to realize that a TT membership was not worth the price and I will not be renewing and will be trying to sell the one I have as it is just not for us.  The second campground, Sturbridge RV Resort, located in Sturbridge, MA has the closest sites I think I have ever seen.  We could not open our awning as it would have touched our next door neighbors camper who arrived the same day as we did.  They only lasted one night and had told us they were to be there for 10.  I have no idea where they went as they left while we were on our trip through Rhode Island.

Our trips to Rhode Island and Connecticut were pretty much both a bust.  We didn’t see any lighthouses in either state as they were either too far off shore or on private land that was inaccessible.  The scenery we did see was no different than what we had seen in Maine and Massachusetts. Like I said before this is our one and only time driving up here as there is nothing that has inspired us enough to ever come back.

Below are pics of Massachusetts and Fenway Park.  To get a bigger view, click on a pic and scroll through the slideshow.