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GaryWT
So thankful that we all like different things in a campground. Stopped at a campground 2 years ago and loved it, great little KOA while we were traveling. Every time we talk about the trip which was a great trip, everyone talks about the KOA. I keep reading negative reviews about the place. Wifi not good, cable not good, site not good, road not good or whatever. Gives me hope that when we can make it back to the area, we will not have an issue getting in.
nedmtnman
QUOTE(GaryWT @ Jul 20 2014, 09:51 PM) *

So thankful that we all like different things in a campground. Stopped at a campground 2 years ago and loved it, great little KOA while we were traveling. Every time we talk about the trip which was a great trip, everyone talks about the KOA. I keep reading negative reviews about the place. Wifi not good, cable not good, site not good, road not good or whatever. Gives me hope that when we can make it back to the area, we will not have an issue getting in.



Yeah, I sometimes wonder if I am in the same campground. We all see things different.

Tallboy
Last night my wife was looking for some campgrounds for next summer. Yes, planning our trip for next summer already. She told me she was amazed on all the reviews of people who had MHs and 5th wheel trailers complaining about the paid shower, the small and dirty shower houses. She asked why don't they use their own in the RV? I said maybe to small? Her: Then why did they buy the RV if the shower and bath area was to small?

But like you we have gone to campgrounds with poor reviews because there is nothing else in the area that we want to be in. Try it for a night and they have been great. It is interesting sometimes.
docj
You've identified a point that so many seem to overlook. The numerical score a reviewer gives to a park may be heavily influenced by factors of no concern to you such as bathrooms. My approach to picking a park is to first look at the average numerical score. My experience has shown that if a park has an average score of "7" or better then most likely it will be acceptable to us.

After selecting a park with an acceptable average score I then scan through the mos recent 5-10 reviews to determine the factors that dropped the score below "10". For us many of the complaints are irrelevant. As full-timers in a 40' MH we use our own bathroom and laundry. We carry an unlimited cellular connection and rarely use park wifi (in the US). We have satellite TV so we don't need cable or OTA. We don't have kids or pets so playgrounds and dogwalks don't matter and we rarely bother to use the pool. As a result, most clean, attractive parks are fine with us and many that get 7's would rate as 10's in our book.

I find it a shame that some people insist on giving a park a very low numerical rating because of one specific objection irrespective of the remainder of their camping experience. These days it seems more parks get low ratings because of poor wifi than anything else. It's as if nothing matters anymore other than one's ability to get on the internet! cool.gif
GaryWT
Yes, agree with much of what is said. I get a full hook up site as I am using my bathroom. Wifi is nice but I have 4G and cable is good but not what we go camping for.
mdcamping
QUOTE(Nolan @ Jul 21 2014, 10:01 AM) *

Last night my wife was looking for some campgrounds for next summer. Yes, planning our trip for next summer already. She told me she was amazed on all the reviews of people who had MHs and 5th wheel trailers complaining about the paid shower, the small and dirty shower houses. She asked why don't they use their own in the RV? I said maybe to small? Her: Then why did they buy the RV if the shower and bath area was to small?

But like you we have gone to campgrounds with poor reviews because there is nothing else in the area that we want to be in. Try it for a night and they have been great. It is interesting sometimes.


We have a smaller TT and for us we use our shower for storage, just don't have the extra space. So we end up using the campground facilities. I have found bathrooms sub-par but never to the extent where I have had to rate a campground below average.

This said, I have read on the forums often where people say "buy your second RV first" well for me I believe "Stay Within Your Means When Buying a RV" (sorry if I sound like I'm on my soap Box biggrin.gif )

Mike
nedmtnman
I too look at what the reviewer says. I used the shower in my 5er so I didn't rate the bathrooms. If I didn't see bad reviews about things important to me I stayed there. I have stayed in places rated a 4 that were fine for me. It's all a matter of opinion. I don't think I have ever given a place a 10. Maybe a 9 once.
NYDutch
We normally use the bath facilities in our coach, but while walking around a park, we'll often answer the calls of nature at the closest park facility. Since that does give us a chance to evaluate them for cleanliness, etc., I do mention it in my reviews.
Luvtheroad
If a park advertises that it has clean bathrooms, cable TV and Wi-Fi, then I am paying for those amenities. If those amenities aren't working, then I'm not getting what I'm paying for. Simple as that. I like to get what I pay for. If I *don't* get what I pay for, I note that in my reviews.
jimnina
We would have to agree with some of each reply in this topic. It is really hard to have a single type rating that everyone can agree on. We usually travel each summer for 2-3 weeks with our grandkids. Our biggest 'WANT' during that time is a pool tongue.gif . We have a 39' DP but we are only concerned with a level site, we don't really mind what type of surface it has. Since our rule is 'No Electronics' while at the campground we aren't really concerned with the WiFi or cable. On the other hand when we travel without the grandkids we don't care about the pool and we do care about the scenery for hiking or just relaxing with a fire. If we think about it the biggest problem we have is where campgrounds don't allow campfires and are not pet friendly. We also look for the average scores and determine from there what the 'Problem' was that brought the score down sad.gif
BoomerNY
When reading reviews, I also look at the overall average score. I tend to discount the reviews that give a "1", calling it the "worst campground ever" as those folks usually have an axe to grind against the CG. What I don't understand is some of the reasons people give for dinging a CG with a negative rating.

Example: we're at the KOA in Virginia Beach. Many of the the negative reviews I've seen, the submitter was dinging the CG because of the noise from the military jets that frequently fly overhead. To me, that's completely unfair and, frankly, just stupid. It'd be like me saying this campground sucks because there's so many French-Canadians! biggrin.gif (Yes, there are F/A-18s that frequently fly overhead. Yes, they are loud. YES IT IS AWESOME! - No, they have not spoiled the trip at all!)

I also don't care much about wi-fi so I don't factor that in to my rating. I sometimes will use the CG showers and toilets and rate them accordingly when I do. For us, we look for activities for the kiddos, a clean park, and helpful friendly staff. We're pretty laid back, and don't get too uptight when we're camping. Not too much gets us riled up where we've felt we had to pack up and leave a park, and hasn't happened yet. But I do my research prior to going to an unknown place and rarely do I have any surprises when I get to my destination. There's so much info out there and fairly easy to find on the interwebs. If you do your research and due diligence, you shouldn't have any surprises.
docj
QUOTE(BoomerNY @ Jul 23 2014, 07:44 AM) *


Example: we're at the KOA in Virginia Beach. Many of the the negative reviews I've seen, the submitter was dinging the CG because of the noise from the military jets that frequently fly overhead. To me, that's completely unfair and, frankly, just stupid. It'd be like me saying this campground sucks because there's so many French-Canadians! biggrin.gif (Yes, there are F/A-18s that frequently fly overhead. Yes, they are loud. YES IT IS AWESOME! - No, they have not spoiled the trip at all!)



I cannot figure out why people blame CG's for "being brown" if they're in the desert or blame coastal CG's for being "windy." I really liked one that said "there's not much to do around here" as if that was something under the CG's control. IMO people need to judge a CG on what it offers, not what the region offers in the way of climate or tourist attractions. Some reviewers seem to have the attitude that it's the CG's responsibility to entertain them just because they decided to spend the night there. Given them a break! It's no different than a hotel; a place to spend a night!
dalsgal
How about the review that complained that it was sandy at the beach?
BoomerNY
QUOTE(docj @ Jul 23 2014, 06:49 PM) *

I cannot figure out why people blame CG's for "being brown" if they're in the desert or blame coastal CG's for being "windy." I really liked one that said "there's not much to do around here" as if that was something under the CG's control. IMO people need to judge a CG on what it offers, not what the region offers in the way of climate or tourist attractions. Some reviewers seem to have the attitude that it's the CG's responsibility to entertain them just because they decided to spend the night there. Given them a break! It's no different than a hotel; a place to spend a night!


Agree %100. Sometimes we choose the park based on geographical location (ie. VA Beach) other times based on what the CG itself has to offer (ie Jellystone WNY). It's not up to the CG to find me stuff to do.
BoomerNY
QUOTE(dalsgal @ Jul 23 2014, 09:34 PM) *

How about the review that complained that it was sandy at the beach?


"Whadya mean no ice??? I gotta drink this coffee HOT?!?!?!"

docj
QUOTE(dalsgal @ Jul 23 2014, 08:34 PM) *

How about the review that complained that it was sandy at the beach?


laugh.gif I did see one about Grand Teton park complaining that there was no OTA TV, no wifi and the trees blocked the satellite view. What else would you to to Teton park for anyway? After you've looked at a mountain for a couple of minutes what else are you going to do?
RLM
QUOTE(nedmtnman @ Jul 21 2014, 06:04 AM) *

Yeah, I sometimes wonder if I am in the same campground. We all see things different.


Very true. The review that is most helpful to me is the one that attempts to see things through other people's eyes. If folks considered that a review has a primary purpose of providing information about the facilities, amenities, and services of a CG, and whose goal is to help others to make a decision about using the park, then it is useful.
John S.
Yes reviews differ and I know I have marked down only a few places. To me if they have good power water and roads and I can fit in my site and be level I am happy. I have come to expect that wifi is not going to work most places with all the streaming going on. It is simpler to use my mifi.

Now, if they say the roads are tight or the trees scratch or the peer was poor then I will look closely. If they say the owner is rude I might take a chance but more likely if i see that a couple times, I will pass. I do not need the drama.
That is why the write up is more important than the number score but lots of 1s and 2s are a flag.
MT woodworker
We do almost all of our camping in Montana (home of the very first KOA) about 1/2 privately owned and 1/2 state or federal. Most of Eastern Montana in the summer is dry and hot, Western Montana has a lot more paved roads and trees. Each has it benefits and draw backs. What I don't get about the reviews is blaming something on the campground in the actual score given when it is not something they can change or fix, ie weather, other campers not following the rules, trains a mile away, gravel roads that they do not own, cable tv (a good portion of Montana does not even have cable tv available to them).

I would love to ask some reviewers if they ever leave the comfort of their RV or if they just sit in it and find negative things to write about. When did it become okay to break campground rules then write a bad review because you were told to quit breaking the rules or leave and admit to breaking those rules in your review? When did it become okay to claim to go "camping" but essentially never leave "home" with its comforts of recliners, tv's, wireless internet, and gripe and complain that they chose a campground that does not have all the things they need to have their comforts work? I do like to have a decent cell or wi-fi signal so I can check weather reports and I'll mention it in a post but it is not a part of my score for the campground unless they are charging me for it.

We have literally had a mid 60's couple get parked across the road from us at one campground as an early check in and ask to be moved to another site because they don't like kids while we were in the process of packing up to go back home for the week. They never even saw our kids, just their bikes getting loaded into our camper. I wonder what they would have wrote for a review if the campground would have told them no we won't move you as these people will be gone in the next 1/2 hour? I felt horrible for the extra work we created for the work camper by just being there. When did we become so overly sensitive that we can't tolerate anything outside of our own comfort zone for any length of time?

If I were to rate a park poorly, they would have to not clean the bathrooms or office, have unsafe water, electric or sewer hookups, have very rough pot holed roads and extremely un-level pads (more than 4" side to side), do no repairs or updates to facilities, have extremely poor customer service or have horribly high rates or lots of add on charges (I believe most KOA's in MT are verging on being over priced). Or if an emergency or problem arises no one representing the campground offers any type of assistance.

Like the OP said, I am glad we all view things differently, but I wish there was a way to make it fair for all involved.
dalsgal
QUOTE(MT woodworker @ Jul 26 2014, 03:04 PM) *

I would love to ask some reviewers if they ever leave the comfort of their RV or if they just sit in it and find negative things to write about. When did it become okay to break campground rules then write a bad review because you were told to quit breaking the rules or leave and admit to breaking those rules in your review? When did it become okay to claim to go "camping" but essentially never leave "home" with its comforts of recliners, tv's, wireless internet, and gripe and complain that they chose a campground that does not have all the things they need to have their comforts work? I do like to have a decent cell or wi-fi signal so I can check weather reports and I'll mention it in a post but it is not a part of my score for the campground unless they are charging me for it.


I'm sure I will get a bad review from some folks here. The man had 4 empty bottles of beer at the pool. I went over and reminded him we don't allow alcohol or glass at the pool. He got up, took his bottles home and came back with a bag of fresh ones. I told him again about the rule. I looked over about 15 minutes later and he had the bottle of beer in the pool with him. I made him leave the pool area completely. His comment to me was, "well my family are the only ones at the pool so what difference does it make?" Then his 18 year old son got angry and spewed all kinds of vulgarity at me while the mother stood beside him and said nothing. The mother lied to me about when the kids were leaving and their ages, the kids used our bathhouse and refused to flush, dropped sunflower hulls all around the concrete at the pool. The mother even allowed the boy and his 16 year old girlfriend to go to the shower house and shower together with no regard for anyone else. I know they use the review boards and I'm sure I'll get blasted for insisting the rules apply to everyone at all times.
dalsgal
Sorry, double posting here
docj
QUOTE(dalsgal @ Jul 26 2014, 07:25 PM) *

I'm sure I will get a bad review from some folks here. The man had 4 empty bottles of beer at the pool. I went over and reminded him we don't allow alcohol or glass at the pool. He got up, took his bottles home and came back with a bag of fresh ones. I told him again about the rule. I looked over about 15 minutes later and he had the bottle of beer in the pool with him. I made him leave the pool area completely. His comment to me was, "well my family are the only ones at the pool so what difference does it make?" Then his 18 year old son got angry and spewed all kinds of vulgarity at me while the mother stood beside him and said nothing. The mother lied to me about when the kids were leaving and their ages, the kids used our bathhouse and refused to flush, dropped sunflower hulls all around the concrete at the pool. The mother even allowed the boy and his 16 year old girlfriend to go to the shower house and shower together with no regard for anyone else. I know they use the review boards and I'm sure I'll get blasted for insisting the rules apply to everyone at all times.


I'm surprised you didn't just ask him to leave. I would think you had every justification for doing so.
Tiffinman
I'm surprised you just didn't call the police.
dalsgal
The sheriff's department here is a joke. The family's truck is broken down and they can't pull their 5th wheel out. Fortunately the kids are gone and I'm telling them tomorrow they will have to find a way to be out of the park on Monday. At this point they are not disturbing other campers so I'm watching them carefully and will see that they leave Monday.
Hutch333id
QUOTE(dalsgal @ Jul 26 2014, 06:25 PM) *

I'm sure I will get a bad review from some folks here. The man had 4 empty bottles of beer at the pool. I went over and reminded him we don't allow alcohol or glass at the pool. He got up, took his bottles home and came back with a bag of fresh ones. I told him again about the rule. I looked over about 15 minutes later and he had the bottle of beer in the pool with him. I made him leave the pool area completely. His comment to me was, "well my family are the only ones at the pool so what difference does it make?" Then his 18 year old son got angry and spewed all kinds of vulgarity at me while the mother stood beside him and said nothing. The mother lied to me about when the kids were leaving and their ages, the kids used our bathhouse and refused to flush, dropped sunflower hulls all around the concrete at the pool. The mother even allowed the boy and his 16 year old girlfriend to go to the shower house and shower together with no regard for anyone else. I know they use the review boards and I'm sure I'll get blasted for insisting the rules apply to everyone at all times.

I applaud you for trying to uphold your rules and regulations with such lowlife. Unfortunately people like that feel it is all about them and not for the greater good of everyone.
dalsgal
I wanted to update you folks. The rule breakers found someone with a truck that could pull their 5th wheel and left here this morning. They let the dogs run free all morning and left their trash piled up in their site even though we state we don't have site pick up. I ignored them because I was so happy to have them out of here. Now I can enjoy my Sunday off. biggrin.gif
jobob
QUOTE(dalsgal @ Jul 27 2014, 11:27 AM) *

I wanted to update you folks. The rule breakers found someone with a truck that could pull their 5th wheel and left here this morning. They let the dogs run free all morning and left their trash piled up in their site even though we state we don't have site pick up. I ignored them because I was so happy to have them out of here. Now I can enjoy my Sunday off. biggrin.gif


Don't be surprised if you have many, many bad reviews from this family and that they go on for months or years depending on how vindictive they are.
mdcamping
QUOTE(jobob @ Jul 27 2014, 01:48 PM) *

Don't be surprised if you have many, many bad reviews from this family and that they go on for months or years depending on how vindictive they are.


I would put my 2 cents on that the punks don't get out to often, so if they manage to figure out about writing a review, It will probably be a rant on some obscure review website that know one pays any attention to.

Mike
dalsgal
The parents travel in their RV for jobs and they had already told me they do reviews on this site. I'm not really worried about them posting because I'm sure their vindictiveness will be obvious to anyone reading. I would rather have them angry because I make people follow the rules than have good people upset because I let the rules slide. I don't always like our rules or rules at other CG's we have stayed in but no one really enjoys staying at a place where they make rules and then don't enforce them. Most rules are really basic common courtesy.
jimnina
dalsgal sad.gif
Sorry for your turmoil with THOSE camper wannabees. I truly hope you don't get a lot of them mad.gif . We have camped up and down the East Coast for 35 years and am happy to say we don't run into that kind very often. As mentioned by others it always befuddles me when I see a bad review based on , beach sand, coastal breezes, cold wind, jets flying overhead, etc. I know that before we decide to camp in those areas that those type of things ARE there. That's why we pickum laugh.gif You can't fix 'STUPID'
GaryWT
So sorry for owners who never know what type of campers are coming through the door. I am happy to see owner enforce the rules. A review I wrote recently was negative because management knew of the problem but would not correct it. Most rules are to correct issues of the past. Once in awhile a rule might seem silly but most are for the safety of all campers. Have never seen a campground that did not post rules so they should not be a surprise.
MelBtraveln
After breaking my knee cap and having surgery last month (now home recouping and doing PT), I have spent a lot of time doing research on the 'puter for our upming retirement trip. In early March, 2016, we will take off on a one year tour of the country. I have learned a ton of helpful stuff reading through this forum. (Joined last night.) It's great!

I started out with tents of all shapes and sizes in my youth, then graduated to pop-ups in early adult-hood, having had two. In my early 40s switched to travel trailers: 1st was a 1995 24' Terry Resort (loved that trailer); 2nd was a 2001 26' Trail Lite with sofa slide-out. Loved it, too.

But now, due to numerous ortho issues (rotator cuff surgery last year, an Achilles tendon injury 3 mos ago and now this knee), I'm looking for EASE OF SET-UP and this spring plan on purchasing a Class C MH, 28-32' range. Only 2 of us will be traveling, with a rare visit from a relative or two at a few places along the way.

Planning a flexible itinerary now. We'll be leaving from our home in Texas and hitting highlights in AZ, CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY, SD, then the upper Midwest and Great Lakes, on to New York and New England, then down through the mid-Atlantic states and finally across the south back to Texas, ending up in the Austin area. Through posts on this forum, I'm able to identify places we may want to stay for overnights or extended periods. I am so glad I happened onto this site. I've read posts that are absolutely hysterical and downright bewildering; but mostly I find great info about campgrounds all over the country.

So thanks to everyone who posts this valuable and very helpful info!

Mel
Florida Native
Join Passport America and Good Sam, Look into getting a WiFi antenna for your laptop and maybe Myfi or some other phone based internet access service. Make sure you have a digital camera and make sure you have a place to store a lot of photos (we have over 10,000 on our site). You can setup all this type of stuff while you are laid up. My wife has had rotator cuff and total knee. Dyour PT faithfully. Learn about Wal-Mart camping and other boondocking.. Get National Park info and state park info (all on the internet or phone app) Develop check lit for setup and departure. Join IR2 forums and Escapee forums. Lots of people out there wanting to help. Learn to communicate with your wife, Different now you are retired. GOOD LUCK.
MelBtraveln
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Aug 6 2014, 07:06 PM) *

Join Passport America and Good Sam, Look into getting a WiFi antenna for your laptop and maybe Myfi or some other phone based internet access service. Make sure you have a digital camera and make sure you have a place to store a lot of photos (we have over 10,000 on our site). You can setup all this type of stuff while you are laid up. My wife has had rotator cuff and total knee. Dyour PT faithfully. Learn about Wal-Mart camping and other boondocking.. Get National Park info and state park info (all on the internet or phone app) Develop check lit for setup and departure. Join IR2 forums and Escapee forums. Lots of people out there wanting to help. Learn to communicate with your wife, Different now you are retired. GOOD LUCK.


Good advice all the way around, Lindsay. Thanks. DW & I communicate beautifully and have enjoyed spending time together for 20 years. Never gets old. "Retirement" for me, after the trip, will involve some volunteering for a good non-profit, grandkid spoilin' and exploring the surroundings in our retirement community of Pagosa Springs, CO, where we already own a home. (Won't retire until Dec, 2015.)

This trip has been our dream for the past 5 years! REALLY looking forward to it.

Mel
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