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i was wondering what people consider when they rate a park
I believe there is considerable subjectivity to what each person considers when they rate a park - and yes, what i like may not be what you dislike
so, in an effort towards less subjectivity and more objectivity, i came up with the following considerations when i rate a park.
regards, pdq

Park Rating System Considerations (rated on a 5 point scale)

Site Quality
consider; level, privacy, easy in/out, satellite reception

consider; cleanliness, water pressure

consider; laundry room, gym, pool, 50 amp, wifi

consider proximity to city or mother nature, grocery store, other shopping

Pet Friendliness
consider; walking area, baggies, ‘rules’, breed restrictions
dobble post sad.gif
QUOTE(Wink @ Jun 4 2012, 08:43 PM) *

I rate more on the camp ground than the park over all.And base a lot of it on what they advertise
and what is there.Main thing it is how easy is it for what ever size rig that they say that you can get in.As for one I just rated said the spot I was on was for a 42 foot rig but no way could you get to it with out dragging limbs to get to it.Also if it is advertised to be gravel hard pack shell or what ever and turns out to be dirt is a big minus.Also if under trees that have a lot of falling limbs,nuts,pine cones or what ever that may damage your roof or so unlevel you have to build up with blocks more than a few inch's to level.To me these are the big points buster.I will all ways explain the hi lights for a lower score that average.
Any thing as for services they don`t advertise I don`t take off for.Only if they say they have something and they don`t.I will make a note of like satellite hard to get for trees in the way but then just becouse I can`t get it with dish you may can with another service that points at other satellites. smile.gif
But main thing is any thing that can damage your unit in the camp ground.

If a park has the basics (level sites, good roads, clean bath houses, etc.), then everything else has to be scored on what they advertise. Downgrading a federal park in the middle of nowhere for not having wi-fi (when they don't say they do) is wrong - but downgrading a resort that advertises wi-fi that doesn't work (not just for you , but your neighbors also) is okay.

Like you said, what's important to me may not be important to you, and vice versa. The consider list you have under amenities wouldn't apply to me, but I'm sure there are things I like in a CG that doesn't apply to you. The important thing is that the reviews are fair.
Florida Native
We write the review and then I just let a number come into my head. I ask my wife to do the same thing. Most of the time, we are right together. If we are off by 2 or more, we talk until one of us convinces the other. We rate against what was published not against a mythical "perfect" campground. We have given very high scores to small, inexpensive parks that were exactly as advertised and had friendly helpful people. We rate value which is quality/price. If they lie about things in their website, they get a mention of it and a low score. The lowest score I ever gave was because a campground owner deliberately lied to me about the quality (of lack of any) WiFi service. When he was telling me, I felt like he was lying and he was. Stupid things like loudly driving the gasoline golf car around the park at 6:30 AM really gets a down grade. Any lack of concern for the campers lowers the score and appreciation of the campers gets a higher score. Things like acorns falling on the roof are not a reason to downgrade in my opinion, Some trees have acorns and we are camping. It comes with the territory. A bad review can cost an owner a whole lot of dollars. Not writing a bad review when needed can cost another camper a bad experience. We must take them seriously. I can not checkout the reviews on my cell phone which makes it much nicer.
I try to rate a park by how well it meets my expectations. If I am staying in a forest service campground in the middle of the mountains I do not expect wifi, shopping, easy wide roads, level sites or even flush toilets. If I am staying in a resort at $100.00 a night, I expect those things. I don't lower my ratings if a park doesn't have certain amenities unless they are listed or expected due to the nature of the park. The original post mentioned gyms, I would never expect a gym anywhere but a true resort, and wouldn't lower my score of any park that didn't have one. However if it was advertised as an amenity and I found it consisted of one broken ab roller, I would mention it and probably lower my overall score. In most instances, cleanliness, quality utilities and no evidence of deferred maintance is enough to get a high score. A lack of rule enforcement is something that will draw a low score. Again, if the park is pretty much what I expected it to be it will get a good score. I don't have any hard or fast rules that will raise or lower a score, it is just kind of the overall feel.
Downgrading a federal park in the middle of nowhere for not having wi-fi (when they don't say they do) is wrong - but downgrading a resort that advertises wi-fi that doesn't work (not just for you , but your neighbors also) is okay.

Telling me something is wrong is not the way it is done on a peer review site. If, in my mind, a campground had to have WiFi to be high rated, then I am perfectly within the scope of this site to downgrade one that does not. Personally, I do not care about the quality of public WiFi, whether it is available or not. IMO, to expect good public WiFi is an oxymoron and I use my own, but that is just me. A campground without full hook ups could never be very high rated to me, but I understand others have other needs. I do not care about showers or toilets as we never use them in a campground. My criteria may indeed be different for rating a campground, but until there are a published set of rules we all must adhere to, I will continue calling them as I see fit. Please, this site works extremely well because our opinions matter and we are not all crammed into the same mold. JMHO.
May I jump in on this topic and clarify something about writing reviews. The Yes/No questions that are answered when submitting a review mean the feature is AVAILABLE at the park regardless of how well it worked, or whether or not it was open, or whether or not the reviewer used it.

For example we get reviews where the 50 amp has been changed from Yes to No even though the last 25 reviewers said yes. Then this reviewer mentions that they stayed in a 30 amp spot. We can only assume that they marked it no because their spot was not 50 amp. The same thing happens with pull through. A reviewer will mark it no if they stayed in a back in, even though the park does have pull through sites. We also get no’s to pools that are not open during the off season, but clearly they have one, and it should be marked a yes. And then there is the wi-fi. I understand that it is so bad at some places it may as well be a no, but if the service is provided the reviewer should say yes and then mention in their comments that it did not work.

I bring this up because we are already into our busy summer season when reviews come in faster than they can be approved. When a previous answer is changed by a reviewer, the admin needs to verify the change. This takes time that could be spent approving other reviews, so please help us out by marking (or not changing) the correct answer. We would really appreciate your help.
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Jun 5 2012, 01:03 PM) *

Things like acorns falling on the roof are not a reason to downgrade in my opinion, Some trees have acorns and we are camping. It comes with the territory.

First glad to see you can get back to camping.

If you were referring to my post.I was not talking about acorns falling.Only things that can dent or damage a RV roof.

Hope to see you on the road soon.
Florida Native
If you were referring to my post.I was not talking about acorns falling.Only things that can dent or damage a RV roof.

No, I was talking about the times when we have had acorns falling on our roof and were glad to hear them reminding us how great it is to be out in the woods instead of a gravel parking lot. Our last weekend 3 day camping trip was in the woods and it was wonderful. We had no TV, no internet, and 2 bar phone reception. It was just what we were looking for and as we have stayed there before and were expecting it. I would much rather have acorns on the roof that the 6 foot away neighbor's kids frisbee. We have some large oak trees around our house and at certain times of the year they fall continuously on my neighbor's metal carport roof. After a while you don't even hear them. Kinda like the smell doesn't bother the man working at a sewer plant.
Traveling man
I think there will always be a mixture of objectivity and subjectivity, which is not a problem, as long as people give enough info that I can see why their rating is low. For example, I do not travel with dogs, so I will not worry about a low rating when someone goes on at length about the lack of a dog run.

Before I give a rating I also think about other parks I have rated, and how it fits in rating wise. I like to let a few days go by after leaving the park so any little problems can be in realistic perspective before I do a review. Like a professor we all tend to have our own standards. I seldom give the top rating, as my expectation is quite high for this, while some reviewers may do this every time they have a good stay.

In selecting a park, I'm more interested in considering the comments than the numbers, although both are helpful.
QUOTE(jim crowl @ Jun 7 2012, 10:18 AM) *

In selecting a park, I'm more interested in considering the comments than the numbers, although both are helpful.

I agree. The comments are much more important than the numbers. Numbers are extremely subjective. I don't care that someone rated the park a 2 just because it didn't have a dog park, your kids got yelled at by the owner, or the weather was bad. I DO want to know if the pool is green, the electricity cuts out frequently and if the internet hardly ever works. The only times the numbers count for me is when a park consistantly gets 1's or 10's. That will sway me, definitely.
thanks for the comments everyone.

we use this site A LOT
and i know others do too
a big THANK YOU for it being here

i read the comments - not so much the numbers
i appreciate the descriptors reviews provide

within this post - i really appreciate the moderators perspective(s) on things
these comments can be helpful to us as reviewers
as for discrepancies; one park we stayed at, while this website noted it had 50 amp, the owner stated they have never had 50 amp

regards, pdq
I rate a park ONLY on what it means for me. If it has a great swimming pool, and I have no need for it, I am not even going to mention it in my review.
We do a lot of traveling and overnight stays are more common for us than for some RV'rs. I will say whether a park is convenient to get to from the highway, easy to maneuver in and park. clean, quiet, pet friendly, and maybe a few other things that apply to us and the way we travel.
I don't feel that I can give an accurate review about amenities that I don't use or would not miss if they were not there.
Naturally this means that if someone reads one of my many reviews, they will have to understand that I am giving this review based on a one night stay and some of the things I say may or may not apply to them. By the same token, when I read a review from someone that trashes the swimming pool and complains about the WIFI reception or bathroom cleanliness, I may still find the park very satisfactory for an overnight place to park.
Basically what I am saying is that we should all give a review based on our own needs and expectations and try not to give an opinion on things we do not need or use at an RV park.
Frank Rader
The first year we camped I read reviews and posted none. I've been posting about 2 years. What I rate in the 0 - 10 are things owners can control. I might note that a campground is noisy from a highway but I do not rate that because it is normally out of owner control. I start each campground with a 10 then -1 for things I think the owners should do better. Typical start is level and connections. I don't give + its for level and tight water connection but I -1 for level, -1 for leaking, -1 for poor hook up layout, -1 for poor campsite layout, -1 for trashy campground, -1 for rutty roads. Where I focus more than most is the bathhouse. I'm in a 'pop out" and we have a fully functional bath but with four traveling we're more likely to use the bathhouse. A poorly done bath house can cost a bunch: -1 dirty showers, -1 poor ventilation, -1 no hot water control, -1 time limit controls, -1 buggy, -1 restrictor shower heads that are not cleaned (I usually can clean them). A primary thing I look at, and most campgrounds do well on, is staff attitude and availability. -1 no one in office during posted hours, -1 less than attentive and pleasant. Sometimes I'll +1 for something outstanding like an especially well stocked camp store.

In the narrative before the -1 I try to relay basic stuff like access, residential or in route, tight turns, night sky, road noise and unusual rules. Just before the -1 rating stuff I put whether I'd camp there again. Writing this, that is probably the most important think so I'll put that first. I've been leading off with a speed test of the wi-fi signal, if any, because about 1/2 campgrounds advertising wi-fi do not have it sufficient to accomplish much. If they advertise it and it is difficult to get on or stay on, that's -1.

In reading other's reports the first thing I look at is the type of camper. A motorhome or 5th wheel does not need what a tent trailer (me) needs. I rarely read beyond the three current posts.
From reading all of the comments, it is evident that there are differing opinions on what makes a good review. My opinion is not intended to change anyone else's. But, a good review is obvious because it is well written with proper grammar and sentences so that one does not have to guess at what is being said. First and foremost, it also focuses on the facilities, services, and amenities of the campground.

It would be most helpful if reviews were done as Texasrvers said, where they focus on the whole park and not just limited to what's around one's RV site. The reviewer should always keep in mind that the prospective user could be in a different RV or even a tent. Therefore; doing a review in first person perspective saying what one personally did or saw does not help as much as a facts-based review that gives a general idea of what those other RV users can expect to find at the campground.

In other words, I'm looking for a reviewer to either confirm or deny the facts of what the campground website is trying to sell me. After that, perhaps a short well-chosen factual comment about the hook-ups, site, or accommodations that aren't obvious might be helpful. An example is good (or bad) utilities, cell coverage, access in and out, TV/Sat signals, dog run, etc. Even if you don't use them, how hard is it to walking over to the bath house facilities and make a note on their cleanliness and include that check mark in the review? A lot of reviewers don't.

A good review is written so that it is not "all about me" but rather is "about us."
When I rate parks, I don't do the "It didn't have WiFi so give it a 2" thing. I rate on, as RLM said, "what is the park trying to sell me" and I rate it against other parks selling the same "experience."

I would give a rustic Forest Service campground a 10 even it it was all boondocking if there was good spacing between sites, lots of trees for shade, easy to get in and out of, etc.

We also rate parks based on their own advertized standard.
One park may be marketed as a safe overnight stop. Long pull through sites so one does not have to unhook. Perhaps a clean cool pool to take a refreshing swim after a long day on the road, clean laundry, fresh air and a good night sleep, etc.

Another park may be marketed as a destination. It is set up for folks to stay awhile, either with advertized 'in park' activities, or perhaps near a national park, historical area, river rapids, fishing lake, etc., which comes with it's own set of activities.

Those I find, are easier to rate.

Parks blessed with overnight AND destination location, therefore market to BOTH worlds, have a challenging task. Trying to please multiple markets. Those are the parks that I see the greatest range of numerical values. Thus the need to articulate in the body of the review.

This site has done a great job of keeping the rants, personal name-dropping, vulgar language, and slang-language to minimum. Thanks so much!
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