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padre44
I wonder what some of your experience is with the accuracy of reviews on this site? I had a bad experience where I didn't stay the night because the place appeared so poor when we arrived, that I drove another hour to get to another campground. However the review of the place on this site was good. I was not able to post a review because we didn't actually stay there. I've been told that some campground owners will have friends or relatives write in a positive review which of course skews the impression given. Just wondered if anyone else has had some surprises like that.
Texasrvers
As Iím sure you are aware, our members are not professional reviewers. Everything that is said is their opinion. The problem with inconsistent reviews is that the things that are important to one person may not mean anything to someone else. For example, a reviewer may rate a park lower because it does not have a pool. If having a pool is not important to you, then you may give the place a higher score. Also keep in mind that RV parks can change very quickly. In your case if all the previous reviews were good, then maybe something happened to cause the park to go downhill quickly.

That said, the admins on this site try to be sure the reviews are fair and reasonable and honest. They are aware that owners and their friends sometimes try to post reviews about their parks. There are procedures in place to identify these reviews, but some do sneak through. This is why it is important to go back and read all the previous reviews. If a park has an on-going problem, it is very likely that it will be mentioned in more than one review, and this will give you a good clue as to the parkís true rating. I am sorry you were misled this time, and hopefully you will not be surprised again in the future.
HappiestCamper
Also, don't just read the reviews for that park - read what the reviewers have written about other parks. That will give you an idea of what they liked or disliked about the park you are looking at.
Fitzjohnfan
Also, it is acceptable to post a review, if you had a personal experiance with a park, but decided not to stay because of your experiance.
Many times you will see reviews like: "tried to check in but manager was rude so did not stay" or "site they gave us was too small to accomodate rig, and they didn't have any others, so we left."

Obviously, if you drive by and the place looks like a dump, so you don't even stop, then its probably not worth posting a review.

Just my thoughts.
dalsgal
You also have to take into account what is written sometimes. I have seen two reviews recently of campgrounds that I know are right on a beach. The reviewers complained about lots of sand around. What did they expect when you stay right on a beach? Some people get too picky about things while others are much more laid back in their reviews.
John Blue
We camped in a Nat. forest and park was full of trees. We do not like trees. I see the problem here! rolleyes.gif
jamarynn1
I've looked at parks that had, say, ten reviews that ranged from a 1 to a 10. One will say "friendliest people I've ever seen, best park I've ever been to, pool was wonderful, bathrooms were clean, etc." and the next one will say "rudest people I've ever seen, would rather spend the night by the side of the road than stay here again, the pool was scummy, and I wouldn't send my dog into the bathroom..." You'll look at the dates on both of the reviews and they'll be the same month. There are some people who have one thing they don't like and BAM! it's ALL bad. Same thing goes for cruise ship reviews and reviews of buffets in Vegas. I just throw out the best review and the worst review and average it out. As an earlier poster said, the lack of something might be a deal breaker for one and an advantage for another. I don't have a dog with me, so the lack of a dog park doesn't bother me. On the other hand, I don't have an in-rig washer/dryer, so a park that has only two washers and dryers for a 100-spot park IS a problem with me. We stayed at 29 parks last year and I found something good about all of them. Nothing was bad enough to turn me off.
jim crowl
I've used the reviews for several years, and posted my own over the last couple years, and am pleased with the overall accuracy when I make a park decision based on reviews. I too tend to put less weight on the best and worst review of a park. I am actually more interested in the comments than the actual rating number.

It's easier to judge when considering a park with a lot of reviews, than one with only one or two. I try to put things in perspective. If most reviews compliment a park on the clean rest rooms, but one reviewer complains about the dirty showers I tend to believe I will find clean rest rooms. The park staff may have done a great job of cleaning the rest rooms, but the lone reviewer may have stepped into the shower right after a selfish slob with no consideration for the next person used them.

I look at trends, where the average rating has either increased or declined for the last couple years. Poor management can run a good park into the ground. Likewise, I have stayed places where positive improvements have been found on later visits. I tend to give the most weight to reviews in the past year.

I personally don't know if we should accept the "I drove through, but didn't stay there" reviews. I read one of those in which the criticism seemed mostly about the number of permanent residents they observed. How can you properly review a park from a two minute drive through (although I myself have pulled up to a park and gone on by ) . If they had stayed the comment might have been "there were a lot of permanent residents, but we found the ones we met very hospitable and welcoming".





joez
QUOTE
I've been told that some campground owners will have friends or relatives write in a positive review which of course skews the impression given


It's a free peer review site and, even though I feel they do a great job of screening out the shills, I am sure some slip through. Auctioneers plant people to run up bids. Realtors paint a home for sale in flowery terms. It's a tough world out there and we all have to be alert consumers. We have been using this site for 5 years traveling 200+ nights per year and have never found a park far off from what we expected from the reviews. You do, as others have said, need to read the comments closely instead of looking at the number. On the other hand, some of the well known review books have, IMO, been far off in their ratings of campgrounds.
Florida Native
When we were in the lodging business, we suffered from some of our competators writng glowing reviews of their place and bad ones about others. In these hard economic times, it is a temptation. It is very hard for the sites to prevent, so it is up to us the users to weed out the bad from the good. It can be done, but requires a little work on our part. It is worth it.
parmm
I'm at a state park right now where most of the reviewers gave it glowing ratings. Said all the site are level - not one is. And some are so bad that I don't know how people keep from falling over banks when they get out of their travel trailer or tent trailer. And they talk about lake side site - there are none? And while the sites are blacktopped, they are just wide enough for the vehicle with and not a person walking beside it. No gravel, just muck! And they say there are pull thru sites here, can't find one anywhere, unless you call a site on the side of the road a pull thru site, kind of like parallel parking??? I'm having trouble giving it a 5. ph34r.gif wacko.gif

Oh, and they said this particular campground was big rig accessible blink.gif . Well, I am in a 36' DP with my toad. The motorhome is backed in as far as possible and my smaller toad is bumper to bumper with it and it sticks out right to the edge of the road pavement white line, on the longest full service site at the park. unsure.gif Talk about white line fever!!
Gil J
Regardless of source, I see value in the reviews. Typically, I'm more confident with the persepctives shared from the consensus reviewers rater than those that give extremely high or low ratings. I also look to see if the reviews are submitted by those that have submitted other reviews for campgrounds in different areas. This, to me, reduces the likelihood that a great rarting is coming from a campground owner or friend.

What could make the ratings individually more applicable would be to have the reviewers create a profile with their key criteria for a campground. This would allow you to filter the reviews based on those reviews submitted by reviewers' with similiar preferences.

Anyway, all reviews are welcome,

Gil
Badger_In_Oz
I run a free RV review website in Australia.

I have to agree with Texasrvers and Jamarynn1, and a lot of other comments.

Sometimes I query a review because it just seems out of character with the previous reviews. I may query it with the reviewer and/or the park management. With reviews mentioning an "attitude problem" with management, I have found that either I am getting only one side of the story from the reviewer, or the management was temporary or had changed. In the case of "poor facilities", I usually find the reviewer has high or unrealistic expectations (like the sand issue mentioned above) above other reviewers.

Unfortunately, I donít have a way for people to easily see all the reviews of each reviewer, like HappiestCamper mentioned, but I do have a number beside the reviewers name showing how many reviews they have submitted (only started keeping track since 2007). I personally hold more weight to a review from someone that have posted 20 reviews than from someone that has done 1. I don't even bother "moderating" reviews of someone that has sent in 20 or more.

It is almost detective work trying to determine if a report is from a genuine traveller or sneakily from the park manager. I have only picked up three parks trying to review their own parks dishonestly (I refuse to now list their parks or carry reviews for them). I suppose there may be non-genuine reviews amongst the rest, but I can't see where one review could slant the flavour of the park. As said above, read all reviews, and possibly chuck out the best and worst reviews.

The general consensus about my website (from comments sent to me, and when I send out a poll to people who have submitted 10 or more reviews Ė with a 95% return rate of the poll) is that the reviews are reliable. I can't see why the vast majority of reviews on this website should be any different.

I was also one of the administrators of Australia's largest caravanning forum until the other year. It is not an envious task being an admin/moderator of a review site or forum Ė no matter what they do, someone will always say they are always "wrong".

Happy RVing (or caravanning as we say).
Sonic
I've found the reviews on this site extremely helpful. That said, I take them all with a BIG grain of salt. I put more faith in reviews from people that are obviously travelling, based on their review history. I also try to read between the lines to see if a bad rating - or a great one - might be mainly based on things that aren't that important to me. I try to "pay my way" by leaving reviews of my own. I hope they're as helpful to others as I've found most of these to be to me.
jamarynn1
Just checked into the first park we've stayed at that truly didn't live up to its reviews. We're pretty go-with-the-flow people and have stayed at some less-than-desirable places but have always found something we liked about the place. The only thing I can say about this place is that it's about the only game in town and it's convenient to some sights we want to see, but it is truly a DUMP! It'll do for a couple of days but I can't believe the people who reviewed it were staying at the same park we're at. Also, not exactly sure where they came up with the pictures that are on their website. Wishful thinking, I guess. Ah, well....can't win 'em all. The last three places were delightful.
boogie
QUOTE(joez @ May 7 2011, 09:55 AM) *

It's a free peer review site and, even though I feel they do a great job of screening out the shills, I am sure some slip through. ......


Agreed! We have one park in our area which does this from time to time with comments regarding do not stop at (which of course is the competition).... LOL
Cape Codger
ohmy.gif
As others have written, it is best to read all the reviews then weigh if you want to stay or not. As one mentioned everybody has different tastes, likes and dislikes.
We have given top ratings to several and then later on a return trip or another trip find the place now rates a two or three at best and you feel like an idiot for giving the place a good rating in the first place.
the5reeds
It seems like basic guidelines for reviews might be a good idea. It seems to me that people "grade on a curve" giving mediocre campgrounds overly high rating just because it's the best within 50 miles or something. We've recently been to a couple of campgrounds that people gave 8's and 10's but in our opinion was a 5 at best. To me, a "10" has large spaces, miles of hiking and biking trails, swimming pools, full hookups, great wifi, green grass or open space, and close to supurb amenities like beach, rivers, lakes, or an amusement park. I've never really seen it yet. Even Fort Wilderness at Disneyworld, while really great, didn't deserve a 10 because it didn't have free wifi. Let's give this approach a try: Give one point for each of the following ( or partial credit ):

Beautiful setting
Great hiking and/or biking trails
Swimming pool
Easy access to beach, lake, river, museums, amusement park, etc
good free wifi
Full hookup (elect, water, waste)
Quiet location
Large private campsites
Full and clean bathroom facilities
Open spaces and/or grassy areas



kcmoedoe
QUOTE(the5reeds @ Jul 6 2012, 06:05 PM) *

It seems like basic guidelines for reviews might be a good idea. It seems to me that people "grade on a curve" giving mediocre campgrounds overly high rating just because it's the best within 50 miles or something. We've recently been to a couple of campgrounds that people gave 8's and 10's but in our opinion was a 5 at best. To me, a "10" has large spaces, miles of hiking and biking trails, swimming pools, full hookups, great wifi, green grass or open space, and close to supurb amenities like beach, rivers, lakes, or an amusement park. I've never really seen it yet. Even Fort Wilderness at Disneyworld, while really great, didn't deserve a 10 because it didn't have free wifi. Let's give this approach a try: Give one point for each of the following ( or partial credit ):

Beautiful setting
Great hiking and/or biking trails
Swimming pool
Easy access to beach, lake, river, museums, amusement park, etc
good free wifi
Full hookup (elect, water, waste)
Quiet location
Large private campsites
Full and clean bathroom facilities
Open spaces and/or grassy areas
The problem with your criteria is I don't care about biking and hiking trails, open spaces and grassy areas, swimming pools etc. I can also see circumstances where quiet and large sites wouldn't be an issue if the site was convenient and convenient to whatever I was looking for. Wifi doesn't have to be free, it's nice, but I sure wouldn't be upset paying for good service, especially if the park price was reasonable. There just isn't a one size fits all rating system.
joez
QUOTE
Give one point for each of the following ( or partial credit ):

Beautiful setting
Great hiking and/or biking trails
Swimming pool
Easy access to beach, lake, river, museums, amusement park, etc
good free wifi
Full hookup (elect, water, waste)
Quiet location
Large private campsites
Full and clean bathroom facilities
Open spaces and/or grassy areas


Mark me also as one that these criteria would not fit. DW and I do not care about hiking/biking, we typically are not staying for access to things, we have our own wifi and do not typically use public systems, we use our own bathrooms and do not generally even see inside a campground's, and,except for dog walk areas, grass and open spaces are irrelevant. When those are important to someone else, that is great, but rigid rating systems would not work for us. That's the reason the commentary is a lot more important to us than what number a reviewer chooses.
the5reeds
I knew I'd get responses to my criteria. Yes those are what's important to me and my wife, but obviously not what's important to everyone. I am curious though, what other people consider to merit a rating of "10" ?
BC Wanderer
QUOTE(the5reeds @ Jul 6 2012, 06:33 PM) *

I knew I'd get responses to my criteria. Yes those are what's important to me and my wife, but obviously not what's important to everyone. I am curious though, what other people consider to merit a rating of "10" ?


A ten for me would differ from location to location, season to season, based on criteria relating to what my needs or wants are at the time. Examples: I could care less if cable was available near a great fishing hole. In Canada, it gets cool in the fall so I don't think a pool would interest me but a hot tub would be up there. Thus, an RV Park that you may think is wonderful might be very low on the scale to me. I don't care if the sites are small if all I'm doing is sleeping there but I would like a wide open space if I were spend time at the park. Reviews are very subjective that's why I read the post and not worry too much about the number given.

I have discovered most low scores relate more to a difference between the user and management that the actual amenities or condition.
NYDutch
QUOTE(the5reeds @ Jul 6 2012, 09:33 PM) *

I knew I'd get responses to my criteria. Yes those are what's important to me and my wife, but obviously not what's important to everyone. I am curious though, what other people consider to merit a rating of "10" ?

A "10" campground or park for my wife and I, is one that significantly exceeds our expectations for the type of facility. Our expectations at a state park for instance, would be quite different from what we would expect from a park that bills itself as an "RV Resort".
joez
QUOTE(Dutch_12078 @ Jul 7 2012, 10:02 AM) *

A "10" campground or park for my wife and I, is one that significantly exceeds our expectations for the type of facility. Our expectations at a state park for instance, would be quite different from what we would expect from a park that bills itself as an "RV Resort".


IMO, that is the right answer. A "10" resort, for us, would have gorgeous landscaping, all concrete roads and pads, a good restaurant on site, golf, possibly massage, etc. A "10" state park would have a completely different set of expectations, as would a campground billing itself as "family oriented" or some other genre. In reality, in well over 1200 nights in campgrounds we have found very few 9 or 10, and very few low rated ones. Most are adequate to good. After six years of using this site to help choose where to park, we have not been surprised once when choosing a place for the first time that was reviewed here. Surprises have come from some of the more traditional rating books that are still popular. Our take is that contributors here are honest and realistic in their evaluations. JMHO.
rgatijnet
QUOTE(joez @ Jul 6 2012, 09:03 PM) *

Mark me also as one that these criteria would not fit. DW and I do not care about hiking/biking, we typically are not staying for access to things, we have our own wifi and do not typically use public systems, we use our own bathrooms and do not generally even see inside a campground's, and,except for dog walk areas, grass and open spaces are irrelevant. When those are important to someone else, that is great, but rigid rating systems would not work for us. That's the reason the commentary is a lot more important to us than what number a reviewer chooses.


Since we are pretty much overnighters most of the time, to me a 10 is one that is convenient to the highway, easy in and easy out, quiet for a good night's rest, a reasonable rate, and friendly managers. Other than that, we do not need or want to pay for much more than the basics.
Since we do most of our travels in the Winter, a pool is no concern as are other outside activities. WIFI means nothing as we have our own. Cable TV will not be used and we may or may not hook up to water and sewer, depending on if we need to fill our water tank or empty our waste tanks.
What we do need is 50 amp service that is easy to connect to and pull thru site so we do not have to disconnect our toad.
With this criteria, when I write a review of a park, I write it and rate the park as to how it honestly met my needs. I could care less how the park is rated by others that may have stayed a week and used all of the amenities. If someone loved the pool and gave it a great "10" review, I may have given the same RV park a "6" because it was difficult for me to maneuver in and out for an overnight stay. By the same token, they may have trashed a park because of a dirty pool and I may give it a "10" because it was perfect for an overnight stay in the middle of the Winter.
Different folks, different needs, different reviews. There is no one size fits all criteria. I will continue to honestly rate a park based on how it suits my needs. Simple really. smile.gif
Frank Rader
When planning a trip I plan campgrounds using this site, exclusively. I've used it with other sites, but now just this site. I trust it.
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