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TXBobcat
I have been a member of the Park Reviews for a while. I try to drop down and read some of the Forum threads . I thought this time I might setup and say hello.

There is a lot of good information on this forum as there are on other forums I read. I enjoy reading the comments of the posters.

One thing that I wish people that submit a review would do is not give emotional reviews. DW & I travel fulltime in a 5th wheel and I use the Park Reviews to try and find a place to stay. We normally stay a week or a month but if we have a specific destination we will stay only 2 days.

I have found reviews that say the landscaping was good or the dog next door barked all night then give the park a high rating or very low rating and nothing else is useless.

I changed my method of reviewing a campground to that of first giving things that are specific staying at the park. 30/50amp good, water pressure 50psi, sites are gravel, dirt, or concrete, size of sites, if I had to level a little, a lot or not at all, is there a clear sky to the south for sat, if the WiFi works well, weak, not at all, free or cost and amount.

At the end of the review I will give personal (emotional) preferences, like office personnel are nice, if pool is clean, and such. Some of you may recognize my posts. I first tried to make them as a line by line note but the carriage returns were eliminated and everything word wrapped. I don’t have a problem with that. I was just trying to make the reviews easy to read and scan.

I hope to enjoy future posts with you.
God Bless you all and Travel Safe..
BC

DXSMac
Hello TXBobcat. I, too, attempted a "bulleted list" on a review and it all jumbled up in a word wrap. I learned my lesson.

You will find that there is no clear and consistent method for the reviews. That's because each of us has different things that are "important" to us. For example, I don't carry a satellite, so I'm not sensitive to satellite issues. If I see trees in a park, my reviews will say, "OH WOW, WE HAVE TREES!!!" I also don't tow a car, so I'm not sensitive to those issues, either. I don't comment on "is there, or is there not any room for toads" unless I see another RV with a toad and they struggle to get in. Then I might comment. Now, since I don't tow a car, I usually comment on whether or not there are things like restaurants or grocery stores within walking distance. On the other hand, those with cars, don't care about those things.

Even if this site had "standards," everyone's interpretation of the "Standards" would still be different and we would still have problems.

Now, I do agree with you on the emotional thing. We have had many threads over "what constitutes a review." I forgot who said it (I think it was GWBischoff, but not sure), but I still crack up over (and this comment was made "tongue in cheek..") the comment of: "It rained, give it a 2...." Now, I'm not going to downgrade a park because it rained, but I will comment over whether or not said rain caused my sewer hose to be buried in a mud puddle and I had to dig it out..... (I actually had that happen!) And I will comment if a snake gets wrapped around my sewer hose..... (I had that happen, too!) but I won't downgrade the park. Also, being a solo traveler, I will comment if there are situations that put you in a "blind corner," as I have had that happen at a couple of parks. But people who travel in couples aren't going to be sensitive to situations that wreck havoc on a solo traveler (like blind corners...).

I try to focus on.... "what were my expectations of that park" versus...."were my expectations met." Now, I camped at a park that was so... JUST THE BASICS they didn't have showers or laundry, but it had great landscaping! I had a good time, I got what I needed, but since they didn't have showers or laundry, I gave it a 5. Someone else might have given it a 7. I usually just read the comments and ignore the numerical score. The numerical score is meaningless to me. The only reason I put on in my reviews is that the review won't post unless you do!

JJ
Denali
QUOTE(TXBobcat @ Mar 8 2009, 11:39 AM) *
I first tried to make them as a line by line note but the carriage returns were eliminated and everything word wrapped. I don’t have a problem with that. I was just trying to make the reviews easy to read and scan.
For better or worse, this web site does not allow carriage returns in our reviews. I guess that saves screen real estate.
John Blue
Bobcat,

Same here with all my reviews. Information only on what you will find at this campground like roads, pot holes, sites, level, hard to get in and out of sites, water, power, sewer, and other information on my list to look for. I also check the bathrooms and showers but never use them. I write up number of TV channels you may get on DTV and cable TV. Did our Verizon cell phone work well. You see reports that my cell phone was good, OK who was your carrier?

I do not write up bad dogs, cats, people, or we had rain the hold week so park is a 1. The people will be gone next time we come into park and new ones will take up the sites. No one cares about my kids did not like the kids next door or we had pizza two nights in a row. All this is useless information and a waste of hard drive space.
Lindsay Richards
I used to debate with myself about the number I gave a campground, but finally came to the conclusion that if you just clear you mind and the right number will come to you. We try to subjectively figure in the value (what you get for what you pay). I might rate an older campground without a pool or fancy amenities an eight where I might rate a Maine seaside fancy resort a six. I think most people expect it to be done this way. We have stayed in what many would be considered great campgrounds and rated them average. We have also rated places that we found along beside the road that were very simple highly. We also try to give the highlights on what was very good or very bad. I also try to mention any highlights that we enjoyed like a good restaurant or attraction. These are also subjective as we tend to like the small, local restaurants and stay away from the tourist places. A neat trick to find great lunch places is to go into town just before lunch time and watch for the lawyers (they usually wear suspenders) and follow them to the “meat and three vegetables” places.
RLM
Correct me if I am wrong in making the following remark based on the posted concerns in this thread. This website needs a major update to allow for more selections of default values in rating a campground.

I suspect that the “Family Friendly” and “Pet Friendly” selections are now supremely obsolete. What camp ground owner in their right mind would advertise that they don't want families or pets in the park? Shade Trees" might be questionable even if we all agreed on what the defination of shade was. "Tent's are allowed." So what the heck does that mean?? Rarely, do I ever see someone comment on the qualifty of a tent site. The Big Rig friendly question should not be answered by anyone who doesn’t own one because you don’t have any idea of the many, many variables that make it so.

Perhaps the section where we check the “radio buttons” should be expanded to include such choices as utility status, TV and satellite coverage, cell coverage, size of the site, level, access roads in and out, value for the price, expectations met, etc.. I’m not running the website, but these suggestions seem logical…. if for no other reason to “reduce the screen real estate”, minimize the emotional reviews, and update the default values into what is current today.

We’ve had this discussion before, and I’m beginning to wonder if the web administrators are paying attention to legitimate concerns.

Regardless of their present system, my most valued resource for accuracy is to click on the link for a poster’s previous reviews. If those are consistent, then I can trust your judgment.
Texasrvers
QUOTE(RLM @ Mar 9 2009, 01:01 AM) *

Correct me if I am wrong


OK, you left yourself open smile.gif . Actually you have made some very valid points. Here are my thoughts.

QUOTE
I suspect that the “Family Friendly” and “Pet Friendly” selections are now supremely obsolete.


Not entirely, but I do think they could use a little clarification. There are many parks that do not allow kids. The 55+ parks for example. (Let's not get into a debate again over whether these are right or wrong. Right now I'm just stating the fact that they exist.) There are also parks that may allow or even welcome kids but which do not have a pool, playground equipment, or activities for children. These might not be considered "family friendly," but they are not really family UNfriendly either. I think the term could be modified to "Provides playground equipment/children's activities"--something along that line.

"Pet friendly" is just about the same thing. Some places do not allow pets, and even when they do their facilities may not be very accommodating. Other places go all out with enclosed pet runs and exercise equipment. Perhaps this could simply be "Pets Allowed," and then let the reviewer comment on the quality if they feel a need to.

QUOTE
Shade Trees" might be questionable even if we all agreed on what the defination of shade was.


I agree. This is a very subjective call. I think it is nice to know if there is some shade available, but I'm not sure how to achieve a standardized answer.

QUOTE
"Tent's are allowed." So what the heck does that mean?? Rarely, do I ever see someone comment on the qualifty of a tent site.


Lots of places allow people to camp in tents (KOA's come to mind), while others (like the upscale resorts) do not allow tents or even screen rooms. I think there are still many tent campers out there. I also think that sometimes the older folks sleep in the RV, and they set up tents for the kids. Some places don't allow this. You must have a separate site for the tents. But you are right there are not many reviews for tent sites. Still I think this is one to keep.

QUOTE
The Big Rig friendly question should not be answered by anyone who doesn’t own one because you don’t have any idea of the many, many variables that make it so.



I have always viewed places from a big rig point of view, so it is hard for me to say if I would still do so if I had a smaller RV. We all tend to consider only those things which affect our situation, so I agree with you somewhat on this. People can usually determine if sites are long enough to accommodate big rigs, but narrow streets, tight turns, and low branches might not be noticed. However, if you look at what they camped in you can get an idea if they considered these things. Most motorhomes and 5th wheels are big and high profile even if they are not technically a big rig. People who have these kinds of RV might be more prone to notice big rig needs. (By the way what is the standard for a big rig. When we had our 35' motorhome we were not always put in big rig sites. Now that we are 37' we almost always get one without even asking.)

QUOTE
Perhaps the section where we check the “radio buttons” should be expanded to include such choices as utility status, TV and satellite coverage, cell coverage, size of the site, level, access roads in and out, value for the price, expectations met, etc.. I’m not running the website, but these suggestions seem logical…. if for no other reason to “reduce the screen real estate”, minimize the emotional reviews, and update the default values into what is current today.


I agree that some of this needs to be modernized a bit, and adding a few more basic check off items would be good, too. However, I really do believe it is the comment section that makes this site good. Don't forget that you can get all the basic information about the park from any of the campsite directories that are out there, but they do not tell you about the atmosphere of the park, or about how friendly the staff and residents are; is there a party going on all the time; is there a railroad track 10' away. These are things that come out in a reviewer's comments. Yes, these do tend to get emotional, and unfortunately a park is sometimes rated low for a bad incident (at least in the reviewer's mind) when the facilities are just fine. That is the nature of the beast, and I don't think there is ever anything that can be done to keep people from doing this. I guess the webmaster could read and edit every review to his liking, but then I don't think many members would like that either.

QUOTE
We’ve had this discussion before, and I’m beginning to wonder if the web administrators are paying attention to legitimate concerns.



I'm sure the webmaster considers all concerns. I'm just not sure if he considers all concerns to be legitimate. (This is me speaking--not him.) I have seen many changes to this website over the years, and many of those changes came from members' suggestions. For instance someone mentioned that it was very cumbersome to have to scroll through all the reviews for a particular park just to get to the next park, and he/she wanted the WM to eliminate all the old reviews. Someone else spoke up and said they liked having the older reviews so that they could determine a pattern of service for the park. That's when the WM added the drop down menu to display/hide older reviews. That was a good solution for both sides of the issue. I also think that when I first joined the newer reviews were posted at the bottom of the list. Someone suggested that it would be better to have the newer reviews displayed first to again avoid all the scrolling so the WM reversed the order. So I think he does pay attention, and does change things when they are for the better. It's just that sometimes our ideas of "better" are not always in agreement.

QUOTE
Regardless of their present system, my most valued resource for accuracy is to click on the link for a poster’s previous reviews. If those are consistent, then I can trust your judgment.


At least we can end in agreement. This is one of the best features that has ever been added. And just so you know this is another one that came out of a suggestion/discussion that the webmaster listened to.
TXBobcat
Hay Guys.. Great discussion..
I agree with the above..
For tent campers.. The can use this. So they can post their opinions. One thing that I saw at the campground we are in now is that there are a lot of ant around. This would effect those in tents as much if not more that those of us that are in RV's.

We travel in a 38' Fifth Wheel. When I review a campground I look at not only is the park easy for me to get into a site but is it easier for shorter, 30' rigs.. We went to a campground and almost had a problem with the size. When we pulled in off of a 2 lane road into the campground there was no way to turn around except going completely through the campground. There was only one site that we could use and it was a pull thru. When we were leaving we had to slowly weave around trees to get out. If we had been much bigger we could not have gotten out.

The campground we are in now has a lot of sand and trees. I had to have two people help me back into the site I am in now. Trees very close and overhanging near the roof. Sand gave me a real problem getting in because my front wheels kept sinking into the sand. My fear when I get ready to leave is that I will have to pull out through the sand & that I may have a problem again. These are things I like to put in the comments that may make it easier for someone else with a long rig to know before coming to the park.

Another thing I would like to see.. The cost of the site is shown in only one manner. Nightly rate. It would help me if the reviewer could pick from say, Nightly, weekly, Monthly, 3 months, 6 months/longer. If the person reviewing stayed on a monthly basis the daily rate may be $20 but if they stay on a nightly basis it could be $35. A lot of difference. Also if they take Passport America, Camp Club USA, discounts would be helpful also.

Lindsay Richards
Lots of campgrounds here in Florida are 55 plus and don't accept kids. Many parks also have limits on the numer and size of animals. We take both into consideration when selecting a park. Many campgrounds would be hurt a lot if they started accepting children. There are always going to be different strokes for different folks and places for most kinds of parks. We even have several nudist parks here in Florida and thank goodness they advertise it to keep out unsuspecting old, fat folks like me away.
joez
I am actually surprised (and glad) that this site has stayed around and, with a little care, remained useful for finding suitable campgrounds. RV travelers who use this site are generally remarkably thorough in their reviews. When I used to travel a lot on business there were several motel/hotel user review sites that became unuseable a few months after they started due to false reviews by owners/competitors or just plain unhappy customers who fixated on minor inconveniences. I read reports where some owners coerced employees into writing false reports and there were, I read, even some lawsuits threatened by motels who recieved bad reviews. With a little care it is possible to get a really good idea of a cgs suitability from this site. I pay attention, also, to the comments more than the number. Past reviews are very important - I found one poster with a lot of reviews who judges all cgs by their facilities for children - pretty much a negative for us. I personally do not like trees - they get in the way of satellite, make navigation and parking touchy at times and drip sap, twigs, etc. So I need to read the reviews and judge for myself as someone may give a state park, for instance, a very high rating when it would be less desireable for us. All that said, I use this site a lot and have, to date, never gone to a campground that did not meet our expectations based on rvparkreviews research.
Texasrvers
joez,

Thank you for your post. You (and many others) obviously know how to use this site and get the most from the reviews. I hope it continues to be a help to you for many more years.
Lindsay Richards
We were in the Bed and Breakfast businesss and Trip Advisor became very popular. In our town, about 75% of the "reviews" were bogus. Several owners posted glowing reviews about themselves and nasty reviews about the B and B's that were getting the bulk of the business. We complained and complained about it to Trip Advisor without any luck. Their main thing was getting some content on the sites to increase their ad revenue. It really does a disservice to the public, but is very hard to stop. In our case, we banded together and told the offending jerk that if he did it anymore, we would all tell every phone call not to rent with him and why. Strangely enought it stopped. He still writes some glowing reviews about his ow place and even forgets to use a bogus email and uses his own email.
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