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> For Admins: Add Area In Review For Satellite Reception
switz
post May 4 2010, 10:46 AM
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With Direct TV (and I assume others) satellite set up for motorhomes, one of the first questions I ask when reserving a spot is "can I get satellite reception from that space?" Just yesterday, I checked into a very nice campground (Lassen KOA, Northern Ca.) and the manager didn't really know. They were nice enough to let me walk around and pick my spot as they weren't crowded at all. I found a perfect spot that got me Direct TV HD.

It would be nice to see an area in the review for what space # one camped in and do they use satellite for TV. If they do, were they able to get reception. Just a thought. Regards, Steve
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dalsgal
post May 4 2010, 03:04 PM
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That would be a benefit to us managers also. Since I don't have a way to check each spot it would be nice if people would let us know how the satellite was. Since we have dish in the house we live in on the property I don't have a way of knowing how good/bad a site is.
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RLM
post May 5 2010, 06:48 PM
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This brings up an issue that I, as a customer of the site, think is worthy of consideration by the administrators. That being an update of the Accommodation /Hook-Up feature of CG reviews.

The present list is good for a general overview of a campground, but I personally think it is outdated. Even if the written portion of the review was excellent, I might still question whether a Travel Trailer owner really paid much attention to the fact that the C/G was in fact… Big Rig Friendly. A Pull-Thru site doesn’t mean that the 40 foot MH with tow vehicle can fit into it.

I have some suggestions for expanding the campground data. Perhaps there are others who can add to these.
 Pull Thru Sites - How long and how wide??
 Big Rig Access - It’s not just size, but also maneuverability.
 Shade Trees – Needs to be clarified. None/Light/Heavy
 Family Friendly – What does that mean?
 Wireless Internet – Again it needs clarification. None/Weak/Strong
 Cable TV – How many channels??
 Satellite reception - None/Weak/Strong

Some things on the list are less valuable information. Telephone and Modem hook ups are two of those. Wi-Fi is 21st century. The other two are antiquated. I am wondering what campgrounds have a restriction on Pets. Perhaps that is useless info. Pet friendly would be more appropriate. If there is a pool, then there is access to it. Yes?

Perhaps it would be helpful to others who considering staying at a particular C/G if there was a fill in the blank for “other amenities.” Hot tubs, club house, suffle board, horseshoes, pet area, breakfast buffet, golf nearby, etc. etc would make me want to consider the RV park as a place to stay.

For the C/G owners who are reading this, I would respectfully suggest that a rare negative check box on cleaniness of your bathrooms isn't as important as what other amenities you provide. I would also suggest that what would be absolutely more important to your customers is a check box for rating customer service. I would pay more for good service that than anything else you have to offer.

Some of these suggested changes, and I absolutely am not trying to run the site, might be worth considering. If for no other reason than to reduce the length of a review or to moderate the complaints about bad reviews.
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Texasrvers
post May 5 2010, 07:54 PM
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RLM,

It's interesting that you bring this up at just this time. The admins have been discussing the need for some updating for quite a while now. You have some very good suggestions, and in fact almost everything you mentioned has been discussed.

The problem is how do you list enough information on the form to tell about the campground and at the same time not make it too long or tedious to fill out. If every possible characteristic of a campground is listed for check off I'm afraid the list would be far too long. Almost every RVer has their priorities that they want to see in a cg. Some are interested in playgrounds, others care more about a clubhouse, while someone else would like to know if pets are allowed. Then there is the degree to which things are available. What kind and how much playground equipment is there? Does the clubhouse have an exercise room, a kitchen, etc.? Is there a fenced area for off leash pets to play? You can see how this could go on and on.

Therefore, it is necessary to try to choose those items that the majority of RVers would look for or want to know about. That is no easy task especially when you consider that there is only so much room on the form. If the "pets" category got removed to make room for a "clubhouse" listing, I'm sure we would hear from both sides. Some would certainly think that pets are more important than a clubhouse, but this would be a favorable change for those that don't travel with pets and who want clubhouse information. Since it is pretty much impossible to list everything we believe the more specific information should be relayed through comments. Someone who has pets will probably make a few comments about the condition of the pet area. If someone really likes the clubhouse they will mention it.

Also keep in mind that none of us are professional reviewers. We go to a campground to camp and have fun, not spend our time inspecting and measuring. If the form is too complicated and if members feel they have to report on every little thing they will stop writing reviews.

The admins realize that some of the terms are antiquated, and others are ambiguous. How much shade should there be before "shade sites" is checked. While none/light/heavy help clarify, they still depend entirely on someone's opinion of what constitutes light or heavy. Your light may be my heavy. You can see the problem, I hope.

All that said, the admins are hoping that some areas of the website will be revised. Our webmaster is very busy, but I'm sure he will make changes as soon as possible. Again thanks for your input. You have made us feel we are on the right track.
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Jerry S
post May 5 2010, 10:38 PM
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I have to side with most of what TX said. Not only can the list of things to check off get out of hand but you also have the "opinion" factor in these listings. Things like big rig, pet, kid, and family friendly are opinions. Things like "# of cable channels" is factual and can easily be listed. I usually give a ball bark figure (20, 40, 60) for the number of channels in my reviews.

The original item suggested in this thread (satellite reception) is much trickier. Unless you have a very open park (read treeless or no trees over 12' high), a park may have a variety of sites which may or may not be good for sat TV. Then there are sites which are not good for roof dishes but OK if you use a ground dish. Before I got a roof dish on my latest RV, I wouldn't have known for certain how to ascertain Sat. reception avilability in a "varied" site park. Is a reviewer supposed to go around the park and see how many sites have a clear SW view? Again, I now usually make some comment about how many of the park's sites seem to be sat. TV friendly if it has not been mentioned by recent reviewers.

WIFI also has too may parameters. Free, costly, near office only, all sites, fast, slow, dropped signal, kicked off, and on and on. All the reviewer can say is what his experience was when he/she used the service. It may work fine for me during my stay but not for the next reviewer. Then again, that reviewer may be one of those WIFI abusers who crashes the system with his overload.

Any that's just 2 items.
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John Blue
post May 6 2010, 01:45 PM
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As TX said we have been work hard to review all items that RV people have posted and our own input as we are RV people as well. The list of new and change items are very long now. How much time will a person spend checking off all the items that could be added? The website pages would run on to the point a person would go to sleep before you got to the end. Site would need to add faster and large servers to pick up the new load. We know the site will not fit everyone's needs but we try.

Do not understand the Satellite reception - None/Weak/Strong. If we see a weak signal level less than 90, system will not work well. You have a good signal or a no go.


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John
Brandon, Fl.
FMCA F-248693
Foretravel MH
Honda CRV tow
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pianotuna
post May 6 2010, 09:11 PM
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Hi,

Perhaps do a poll and see how many satellite users there are? Personally I think it may be only a tiny fraction of the folks who RV.

One problem with wifi none, weak, strong is that my weak might be the next user's strong. I don't really care about the signal strength--but rather the through put or bandwidth. Of course that varies directly as the number of users. I can't say that weak strong would help me identify a "good camping spot" from another.


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Regards,

Don
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RLM
post May 7 2010, 08:38 PM
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I am also a Webmaster. If I had to spend time trying to please everyone, I’d quit doing it. The fact that the admins have already recognized the issue is a positive. There are other ideas in this thread that are well thought out and relevant and probably will be considered as well. I respectfully comment on those comments.

1- The check box laundry list could be expanded and still be within reasonable length. Combining choices that are related or similar into one box might work. As an example, combine the pet and family issue into Pet and Family Friendly. I think all experienced RV’er have a handle on what makes that a Yes. The reviewer can make a comment in their written review if one or the other isn’t true.
2- If there are current selections that will be deleted, then adding some new ones that have been suggested or thought of will not increase the laundry list. I’d respectfully suggest that even if the list were a bit longer, it might in fact reduce the amount of bit’s and bites placed in a review. If the website database won't handle it, then that is a mute point.
3- Since the review section lacks advertising, the time spend on a page by a viewer would mean less to the admin than the viewer. It would be interesting to know if viewers would prefer the laundry list or the written review when it comes to their time on site.
4- Time spent checking off items does not necessarily increase because the current system has defaults that one does not need to change from the previous input. I realize that we are in the ‘fast food’ mode most of the time, but even if the list doubled in size, the minor amount of time to preview it is minimal. Even if that weren’t true, I will spend as much time as needed to find the campground that fits my needs.
5-It is true that most of the laundry list could be termed as an opinion. But so is the written review. If you do a factual only list, then about half of the present list will go.

Texasrver you are absolutely correct in that it is no easy task. Now let me open another can of worms for you. Above all else, the change I would most like to see is a method to rate a reviewer. Something on the order of “Was this review helpful?” I think that is useful quality control tool.
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DXSMac
post May 7 2010, 09:33 PM
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QUOTE(RLM @ May 7 2010, 07:38 PM) *

Above all else, the change I would most like to see is a method to rate a reviewer. Something on the order of “Was this review helpful?” I think that is useful quality control tool.


I don't know. I have mixed feelings on that. Hmmm......

JJ


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Check out my blog on TOADLESS RVing!
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Texasrvers
post May 7 2010, 10:54 PM
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RLM,

You have made some good suggestions and your arguments in # 2, 4, and 5 have merit. I am not sure I understand what you are saying in #3, and rating the reviewer will require a lot more consideration. The one I do not necessarily agree with is #1. While I think the point of your suggestion is valid--combining similar categories might be advantageous--I do not think your example is is a good one. In my opinion there are many parks that are "adult type" (no kids) parks that allow pets and likewise there are those that welcome kids but do not allow pets. I cannot see how pet friendly and family friendly could be checked off as one, even if the reviewer could make comments to the contrary about one or the other. But I do understand your point and think it is a good one.

The bottom line is the webmaster is in charge of making changes to the website. We make suggestions, and if he agrees or sees the validity of the request he will try to find time to make the changes.
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Tallboy
post May 9 2010, 12:06 PM
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What about a place where a person has to add their email to the review? Then if someone has a question about the campground they can always email the reviewer and ask the questions they have in mind.
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DXSMac
post May 9 2010, 04:15 PM
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QUOTE(Nolan @ May 9 2010, 11:06 AM) *

What about a place where a person has to add their email to the review? Then if someone has a question about the campground they can always email the reviewer and ask the questions they have in mind.


That's an interesting suggestion..... but to me, the point of this website and the reviews are..... "anonymous." Adding an email address takes away the "anonymous" part, even if you have no idea who "hotrod@whatever.net" is...... But it's interesting.......

JJ


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Texasrvers
post May 9 2010, 05:26 PM
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There have been discussions in the past about whether or not to keep reviews anonymous. If I remember correctly most members did not want their identity known. So I agree with JJ. Adding the email address would not keep the reviews anonymous.
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TXBobcat
post May 9 2010, 11:41 PM
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I like this thread. What frustrates me is someone reviewing a park and says the clothes washer did not work and gave it a 1. The other says the flowers are beautiful and gave it a 10.

I give parks like Rayford Crossing in Spring TX a 9 and Buckhorn Resort in Kerrville TX maybe a 10. The difference between Rayford and Buckhorn is that the concrete sites are level. But they are great. To get a 10 they have to be very good.

I am not complaining for the following, so do not take this in a negative manner. I am just expressing my experience.

I really rely on RV Park Reviews to determine the majority of the campgrounds where I will stay. After reading many reviews that gave no information about the campgrounds being a great place to stay, I tried to make a list of things that I thought were important and saved it in the notepad format.

When I went to review a campground I would use this format. I found out that the list type format was not acceptable to the comment part of the review. So I would remove the carriage return and make the list in a paragraph format which, as I am told, is like one long sentence and was hard to read. I don't really care if anyone knows that I am making a specific post because I am trying to give clear concise information so those trying to find a place can make a good decision. That is what I would like from those that made reviews I am reading to help find an acceptable place to stay.

I am not pointing to the person that PMed me to change the way I posted a review. I am ok with the PM, I just don't know how to make an informative review with out giving facts. I know what I am interested in many may not be.

This is some of the information and the format I used to try to relay to anyone wanting to stay at a campgound that I have stayed at.


Shore Services: 50amp, Sewer good, Water @ psi
WiFi:
AT&T Cell Phone:
Sprint Air Card:
Verizon Air Card:
Cable:
Site:
Site Size:
Site Closeness:
Roads:
Restrooms:
Laundry:
Long term tentants:
Directv Satellite:
Discounts:
Payment:
Additional Charges:

Additional Remarks:


I found out this was not useable in the comment area. So I changed it and it went like this.

Shore Services: 50amp, Sewer good, Water 40 @ psi - Wi-Fi: Good - AT&T Cell Phone: Good - Sprint Air Card: Poor - Verizon Air Card: Very Good - Cable: Poor Could not use on site 5 - Site: Poor. Concrete but broken. Un-level front to back and side to side. - Site Size: Some good - Site Closeness: Good. Can put out awning - Roads: Paved - Restrooms: Good In office - Laundry: Good. 2 W & 2 D $1.00 each - Long term tenants: Few or none - DirecTV Satellite: Open area good signal - Discounts: None - Payment: Credit Card - Additional Charges: None - Additional Remarks: This park has a lot of 30amp and a few 50amp. Come in early and get a better spot. We would stay here again when we come through. I would have rated higher if the site pad were not broken and very unlevel.

This I am told is hard to read and should break it up. I haven't posted again yet, and I will but I guess it might read easier if I put a few carriage returns in and around to make it easier to read. I will try this in the future.

Lastly. I try to give good information and would rather read something in the format that I wrote than something that gives no valuable information about the campground.

Something else would be nice is if we can post a photo showing the park. Many times the park has great photos but when you get there you find it is not half what it seems.

We plan to go to Florida and I found that some of the campgrounds have fees in the 3 digit range. Bluewater Key RV Resort shows to cost $150 per night for some sites. PS this is listed under Bluewater Key rather than Key West Florida.

I apologize for the long post and please receive this in a positive manner. It is meant in a constructive manner.

Thank you for letting me express my thoughts.
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rgatijnet
post May 10 2010, 09:07 AM
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My reviews all reflect MY OPINION of a campground, based on my use of one particular RV site. For all I know, the other side of the park may be better or worse for satellite, WIFI water pressure, etc. When I read a review, I also understand that the person that wrote the review only stayed at one site and their opinion may or may not apply to the site that I am assigned. I take most reviews with a grain of salt and look more for neatness, road condition, basic amenities, and staff helpfulness. I have been known to pull into a park and pull right out, even though the review I read seemed to indicate that this was a decent RV park. Everyone looks for different things and has their own set of standards as to what they will accept. A review, no matter how thorough, is still only one person's opinion. Don't make things too complicated since it really doesn't matter that much for most people.
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