It only takes one horrible RVing experience to realize the importance of being picky regarding where you stay. Encore RV Resorts are a trendy spot for many travelers to camp in their rigs. Unfortunately, their reputation has taken a hit in recent years among the RV community.
While they may fall under the same umbrella, it can be hard to know how to set your expectations for these resorts. We’ve seen many disappointing stories from fellow travelers during our adventures. Today, we’re sharing five reasons you should avoid Encore Resorts as much as possible.
Let’s dive in and get started!
What Are Encore Resorts?
Encore RV Resorts are a popular selection of RV resorts in Florida, Texas, and California. Since they’re in warmer climates, they’ve become favored spots for long-term and seasonal travelers. Their 80+ locations are open to the public, and some Thousand Trails membership plans offer stays at Encore resorts for a reduced rate or free.
To provide a resort-style and luxury feel, sites have full hookups, swimming pools, and entertainment services like WiFi and cable TV. In addition, some resorts offer schedules full of events and activities for guests to enjoy. However, as you’ll soon discover, each location is unique. Some miss the mark in trying to offer a luxury experience.
What’s the Difference Between Thousand Trails and Encore RV?
Thousand Trails and Encore are sister companies. The same parent company owns them. However, they’re very different despite sharing a parent company. Consumers must understand their unique qualities when deciding on a place to stay.
Thousand Trails is the flagship brand for the entire network. They offer the widest variety of camping options and are in 22 states and British Columbia. You’ll find everything from rustic campsites to massive campgrounds with resort-like amenities. You can find their campgrounds near national parks and close to the most famous amusement parks in the world.
On the other hand, Encore RV Resorts are only in California, Florida, and Texas. They are usually in more urban and residential areas. They provide a more luxurious experience for campers. When you book an Encore RV Resort site, you can expect swimming pools, hot tubs, and many events for guests to enjoy.
Pro Tip: It’s wise to be selective when choosing your campsite, but you don’t want to take it too far! These are 9 Signs You Might Be a Campground Snob.
Who Owns Encore RV Resorts?
Encore RV Resorts is a brand under the ownership of Equity LifeStyle Properties. This massive company owns communities and resorts in 30+ states and British Columbia. They own more than 400 properties with mobile home communities and RV campgrounds throughout North America.
Aside from campgrounds, Equity LifeStyle Properties offers various additional services. They provide home sales, leasing, property management, and resort operations. However, their diverse portfolio could make it challenging to focus on doing one thing well.
5 Reasons to Avoid Encore Resorts
Many RVers have a love-hate relationship with Encore RV Resorts. Let’s look at some of the most common complaints from RVers staying at these resorts and why you might want to avoid them. Let’s get started!
If you want to stay at an Encore Resort, prepare before considering the costs. Some spots can cost hundreds of dollars nightly, depending on when and where you want to visit. Remember, you’re bringing your RV and only paying for a spot to park.
However, these resorts can be very budget-friendly if you’re a Thousand Trails member. Sites costing $100+ per night may only cost you $20. However, you can’t overlook that you’re paying hundreds of dollars yearly, and you’ve likely already spent hundreds or thousands buying into the club.
When you factor in that some of these “resorts” need updating, they can easily seem too expensive. In most locations, you can find more budget-friendly spots to stay. They may not always provide a luxury or resort feel, but at least you’re not also paying a premium price.
Often Very Crowded
Many resorts try to maximize their revenues by cramming as many spots as possible into an area. This may not be a huge deal during the off-season and shoulder season. However, during prime camping season, it can feel like you’re practically camping on top of your neighbors. Not to mention, there may be hundreds of campsites that make you feel like you’re in a small city.
If you enjoy having space to stretch out or want privacy, you’ll likely not find it here. If you and your neighbor have slides on your RV, you may be lucky if there are more than a few feet between your rigs. In addition, maneuvering a big rig in a crowded campground is no picnic. It can send your nerves through the roof trying to avoid damaging your RV or someone else’s property.
Strict Rules and Regulations
Another source of frustration for RVers at Encore Resorts is the list of rules and regulations. Some locations have multiple pages of strict policies that guests must follow. If guests do not comply, they may have to cut their trip short if the resort ejects them from the premises.
Additionally, some Encore RV Resorts have age restrictions for RVs. Some won’t allow any rig to stay on their property older than ten years. They don’t care how cute the inside of your vintage trailer is. If the date of manufacture is more than a decade ago, you might find somewhere else to stay.
While some Encore Resorts may not care about the age of your RV, they may care about your age. You read that correctly! Some resorts, especially in Florida, require that at least one guest in the reservation is over the age of 55. They may also frown upon guests bringing young kids or grandkids on their adventures.
Pro Tip: Know these 5 Weirdest Rules You’ll Find in RV Parks before you head out on your adventure.
Encore RV Resorts are often near some of the most famous tourist destinations in the country. They’re trendy places for snowbirds looking to escape snow and winter weather up north. However, these resorts can fill up quickly during the winter.
As a result, you may have to plan six or more months if you want to stay at these resorts. While full-time travelers may be able to plan early, it’s not always possible for everyone.
Typically Lack Nature
If you’re expecting to enjoy the sounds of nature while relaxing at your campsite, you’ll probably want to avoid Encore RV Resorts. Since these are often in more urban and city-like locations, nature can be hard to come by.
While some sites will have fire pits to roast marshmallows for your s’mores, it won’t likely be the traditional camping experience. Trees and other vegetation are typically lacking, and the owners will have probably converted open grass space into a campsite. As a result, viewing wildlife usually won’t happen, either.
On the flip side, the lack of trees sometimes means they are often a better place to stay for a 40ft RV.
Encore RV Resorts Might Not Be For You
Encore RV Resorts can often leave much for guests to desire. Are they the worse spots in the world to camp? Absolutely not. However, it’s hard for us to recommend them all the time because experiences can be hit or miss depending on the location. Just remember to do your research and determine if the specific park will meet your needs.
Would you stay at Encore Resorts? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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Sunday 16th of April 2023
In Florida many Encore parks speak limited or no English
Friday 7th of April 2023
Love Yuma Arizona Encore parks. Stayed in all states except Forida. Encore parks have lots of amenities and socializing activities vs. TT parks which are more like campgrounds.
Thursday 6th of April 2023
Some, if not all, have a small number of sites for those affiliated with TT and they are usually the most cramped sites. But still, very convenient and cost effective. Some of my favorite locations have been Encore parks.
Thursday 6th of April 2023
Encore at Fiesta Key was awful!!! Excited when we arrived…beautiful entrance…flowers , palm trees and nice welcome center. Behind that was a mostly gravel parking lot. Sites so close together, our neighbors sewage hookup was under our picnic table. Had 2 Mens toilets and 2 showers for 200+ sites. Strict rules but our complaint that our neighbor played reggae music all day long, even when he wasn’t on his site, was not followed up…they said he was a VIP. At least they moved us to another site,next to a swamp…but quiet. The staff was nice, but management not so much. It was the worst RV Resort we’ve stayed at and would never recommend it.
Wednesday 5th of April 2023
I can agree with most of what you said. But as a thousand Trails member it is advantageous for us to take advantage of Encore locations. Though it is not always easy for various member contract rules. You didn’t mention the Arizona Encore locations which are mostly mobile home parks with empty lots for rv’s.