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GaryWT
I do enjoy reading the reviews on this site but I do get a chuckle at what the rating numbers mean to different people. Everyone has there own way of coming up with the number which is great but but I do chuckle.

A couple of examples are when you see a review with a 6 or 7, I think OK not the best place but lets see what is wrong and then the reviewer has a problem with everything, rules not enforced, dirty, staff not friendly etc., to me we are looking at a lower rating. Then I see a campground with a rating of 1 and think this should be good reading, the review starts off with this is the cleaning place we have been to, great activities for the kids, friendly campers etc etc but... one staff member was not nice and caused the rating to drop to 1, short of murder or something, who knows.

Now, of course I am not there and these reviewers had to live it but it does make for interesting reading. Thank you all for posting your reviews and helping us other campers out.
BBear
There's various ways to perceive the review ratings. I actually kind of do them in reverse...those who have large RV's and rate camprounds low because of maneuverability, is usually a campground I'll rate high because I tent camp and maneuverability means nothing to me. The same goes for those who rate campgrounds low because they don't allow pets, that's a campground I'd probably rate high because I'd rather stay at a campground that does not allow pets. Same with "planned activities"...those who rate campgrounds low because they have very little activities, I would probably rate that campground a 10.

The campgrounds I rate high are ones that offer very little in terms of "creature comforts"... they are the campgrounds where you might actually have to plan your own activities to keep your kids entertained and the only animals you'll see are the ones that are native to the area.

I've even come to know certain people's style of rating campgrounds and what they rate as high is a place I know I would not consider going and the places they rate low are more than likely places that I will love to stay at...that works well for me.

For the most part though, the last thing I look at is the rating...I look and see what the poster's views of the campground are, which is most important...at least in my opinion, that's more important, smile.gif
Cheryl
I do the same, the actual review means more than the rating. Unfortunately, sometimes the reviewer is not very informative with their remarks which can lead to a stay at a campground that we would normally avoid. The more information in the review the better.
I think this is the best site on the web for campground information. Hope it stays active for a very very long time.
Beastdriver
Most certainly, the numerical ratings are not nearly as important as the comments. And it is true that the perception of what constitutes a 1 and what constitutes a 10, and everything in between, varies all over the place. But consider the alternative: Depending on Trailer Life and Woodalls. I think I had rather have hemmoroids. Did I spell that right, Cheryl?biggrin.gif
Cheryl
I don't know, I never had them. Why don't you use the spell check?
BBear
QUOTE(Cheryl @ Aug 11 2005, 11:42 AM)
I do the same, the actual review means more than the rating. Unfortunately, sometimes the reviewer is not very informative with their remarks which can lead to a stay at a campground that we would normally avoid. The more information in the review the better.
I think this is the best site on the web for campground information. Hope it stays active for a very very long time.
*



I totally agree about some being vague in their reviews, but that's why it's always nice to have several other reviews of the campground to compare it to.

And, I, too, find this the best site on the web for campground info as well.
BBear
QUOTE(Beastdriver @ Aug 11 2005, 04:32 PM)
Most certainly, the numerical ratings are not nearly as important as the comments. And it is true that the perception of what constitutes a 1 and what constitutes a 10, and everything in between, varies all over the place. But consider the alternative: Depending on Trailer Life and Woodalls. I think I had rather have hemmoroids.  Did I spell that right, Cheryl?biggrin.gif
*



I totally agree and with regards to Trailer Life and Woodalls, I think most of the campgrounds who pay for their above average ratings should think more of taking the money they invested in buying their rating in those publications and put it to better use investing it in their campgrounds.

LOL about hemmoroids, I think it's hemorrhoids, but I don't use that term very often I refer to them as a pain in the behind..... laugh.gif
Stan47
Why do you think the top-rated campgrounds have "bought" their high ratings?

Doesn't look that way to me.
Cheryl Fuller
Stan, obviously you have never stayed at a campground based on the fact that Trailer Life or Woodall's gave them a high rating and when you arrived, discovered that it was less than expected. I think most of us here have had that experience, so we trust our friends here over those directories. The campgrounds pay to e listed in those directories and the reviews appear to be somewhat biased in their favor.
Cheryl Fuller
Okay guys, I did spell check that last post and it did not pick up that In had typed in "e" instead of "be" and I didn't catch it until it was too late. Sorry.
Cheryl
Please don't feel the need to apologize about any spelling/grammatical errors. Most of us on here don't care about things like that as long as we can read/understand the post. I like to use spell check on my own posts just because I tend to look at the keys when I type. My fingers are usually faster than my eyes which can cause a LOT of errors.
Sarah Baldus
QUOTE(BBear @ Aug 11 2005, 06:52 PM)
QUOTE(Beastdriver @ Aug 11 2005, 04:32 PM)
Most certainly, the numerical ratings are not nearly as important as the comments. And it is true that the perception of what constitutes a 1 and what constitutes a 10, and everything in between, varies all over the place. But consider the alternative: Depending on Trailer Life and Woodalls. I think I had rather have hemmoroids.  Did I spell that right, Cheryl?biggrin.gif
*



I totally agree and with regards to Trailer Life and Woodalls, I think most of the campgrounds who pay for their above average ratings should think more of taking the money they invested in buying their rating in those publications and put it to better use investing it in their campgrounds.

LOL about hemmoroids, I think it's hemorrhoids, but I don't use that term very often I refer to them as a pain in the behind..... laugh.gif
*




I am just new to this sight and fairly new to RVing. My husband and I just purchased a 2002 34 ft. motorhome last summer and are having lots of fun with it. We need to get a little more experienced in finding good CG's. What are you two referring to when you knock the validity of Woodall's et al? I haven't found it really helpful, and was wondering why it is referred to so much? Please advise.
TentingTimesTwo
In my view, a far better resource than the ad-dependent Trailer Life and Woodall's is Frommer's Best RV and Tent Campgrounds. It is far more comprehensive, highly readable, rates campgrounds on the factors most important to both tent campers and RV owners, and includes local sites of interest and detailed descriptions of the profiled campgrounds, as well as maps and driving directions. Best of all, it doesn't take ads! While it's not perfect (at least one "turkey," the Buena Vista campground in Buena, NJ, got an undeserved high rating, for example), it's a great resource when used in conjunction with this website.
Beastdriver
Actually, the Trailer Life and Woodalls directories do have two very important uses.

First, the maps in the front of the books (Trailer Life) that show you where each campground is located on the state maps is helpful in trip planning. But that is as far as it goes. Once you refer to the write up for the locations identified by the maps, you take your life in your own hands. Any resemblance between the rating and the actual park is purely coincidental, and appears to be based on who buys the biggest ad, or who has influence with the "inspectors."

The second important use for these guides is as levelers to put under your jacks. This is, by far, the most imporant use.

I am rarely disappointed with parks I select based on this site. It does happen occasaionally, but not often. I am almost always disappointed with sites I select based on Trailer Life and Woodalls. On occasion, they are right on, but it is rare.
Sarah Baldus
QUOTE(Beastdriver @ Aug 12 2005, 10:53 AM)
Actually, the Trailer Life and Woodalls directories do have two very important uses.

First, the maps in the front of the books (Trailer Life) that show you where each campground is located on the state maps is helpful in trip planning. But that is as far as it goes. Once you refer to the write up for the locations identified by the maps, you take your life in your own hands. Any resemblance between the rating and the actual park is purely coincidental, and appears to be based on who buys the biggest ad, or who has influence with the "inspectors."

The second important use for these guides is as levelers to put under your jacks. This is, by far, the most imporant use.

I am rarely disappointed with parks I select based on this site. It does happen occasaionally, but not often. I am almost always disappointed with sites I select based on Trailer Life and Woodalls. On occasion, they are right on, but it is rare.
*



Thank you for your reply. This information is very helpful. Since we are newbies, we were of the belief that Woodall's was the Bible of RVing. We have already, however, been burned by one of their reviews. Speaking of burning, we may add one more to the list of uses for Woodall's.
Sunflyer
Recently someone rated a campground that I personally know to be a sorry place(as do all the other reviewers). They rated it an 8 and then seemingly apologized for the place....."well this could have been better and that wasn't so good....etc." dry.gif and said they would stay again. Basically they agreed with all the other 1's and 2's and gave it an 8. sad.gif I don't know about you but an 8 is a pretty nice place. Maybe not the best but worth my $$$.

I guess some folks got that old axiom (If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all) drummed into their head to the point where they can't be honest about a place.
Cheryl Fuller
Sarah - welcome to our site and to the world of rv'ing. My husband and I started last summer also. He has wanted an rv for years and drug me to every rv show in the Denver area for the past 5 or 6 yrs. I fought it all the way, thinking that I had no desire to be cooking, doing dishes, cleaning, and making beds while on vacation. In July of 2004, I made the comment that it might not be a bad idea. That was on a Wed. and on Friday, we were sitting at the dealer signing the papers. We really love it and look forward to each and every trip. You will be much better off checking the campground reviews on this site than taking the word of the printed directories we have mentioned. I have found that these guys rarely steer you wrong.
John Blue
I rate camp grounds on everything that I see in that camp site. I look at everything, showers, pool, playgrounds, level sites, roads, pot holes, dump, office staff, grounds, what the campground looks like over all. I never rate a camp ground down due items like "the office did not like my dog or cat" so park is a 1. This is so dumb. You read how nice the place was and them they rate it a 2 or 3. Like other comments on this, TL and other books are good to get you in the right place and them see if camp ground is on this site them make your pick. Look at the hold picture and not one small item and them give it a number or weight from 1-10. Most information I pick up here is right on the money.
Sarah Baldus
Thanks for the kind welcome. I'm still a novice at navigating through this site. Some of the applications seem awkward to me, but I'll muddle through. Any practical hints? I submitted a review a few days ago and I have yet to see it show up. How long do these things take? Just curious. Cheryl, I had to chuckle at your story about how you came to own an RV. My husband and I used to attend RV shows as well, and tried two summers in a row to rent one from a local dealer just to try it out. We struck out both times due to the RV's being always booked - even 6 months out. (Just goes to show that they're really popular.) So instead of renting, we just bought one on a Wednesday, and left on our first vacation on that Saturday. The rest is history.

I would appreciate any helpful hints anyone can offer up concerning hitting the road in an RV with kids...activities, easy meals, road crafts, etc. I have three... 8, 7, and 4.
mpj
Just a comment on both Woodall's and Trailer Life: both directories are aimed at different audiences. Trailer Life is primarily aimed at the over 55, or empty nesters, while Woodall's is aimed at familys. Example: Trailer Life does not mention tenting or cabins; Woodall's does. Different audiences means different rating values. If a campground or RV park is where you want to be, contact them directly to ask specifics before making the reservation or showing up only to find it is not what you wanted. The directories are REFERENCE material only and should not be taken a gospel. Thanks for listening!
Cheryl Fuller
Sarah - renting an rv beforehand would have been a wise way to go, but we didn't. My husband had never even driven one until we picked ours up. Fortuneately, it turned out well and we love it. We bought one of those Puzzle Savers, which is basically a big piece of felt attached to a cardboard tube. That way we can always have a jigsaw puzzle going but when tired of working on it, can roll it up and put it away until we are ready to tackle it again. That might be an idea for your children. If they are old enough, give them notebooks and ask them to take notes on places they gp and things they see. I have heard of people doing this and then the kids are able to use the info to write school papers. I'm not much help in this department as our kids are grown and so we have never traveled with children.
Cheryl
When our kids were younger, they always took their gameboys and walkmans (guess that would be today's iPod) for the drive. Once at our destination, those "toys" were put away and the bikes, basketballs, and footballs came out. That with the site seeing and the inevitable amusement parks kept us busy. My kids were and still are Roller Coaster fanatics. My kids also always loved an evening fire.
Cheryl Fuller
Sarah - our wonderful webmaster manually posts those reviews so it can sometimes take several days as we keep him quite busy. Your review will show up soon. You asked about easy meals - I have a crockkpot in the rv. It really is easy to just throw something in it in the morning before we head out for sightseeing. Then dinner is all ready when we get home in the evening. Pot roast is one of hubby's favorite, so the slow cooker insures that he can have it while we are rv'ing. Of course that won't work on days that you are on the road. Hamburgers, hot dogs, sloppy joes, taco's - things like that are usually our staples on days that we are traveling. They can be fixed rather quickly once we stop and get set-up.
Cheryl Fuller
Sarah asked about easy meals to make in the rv, and I know each and every woman here has faced that question. Okay, some of you guys too, but I said women because my husband can't even make a sandwich so I automatically thought of the ladies when cooking came to mind. Maybe we should start a different topic field for us to post our favorite recipes to make while "camping". Think I will start that and hopefully others will add to it.
hrrvr
mpj made some excellent points about the directories. When we were full-timing, we always went to the web sites of the parks we wanted to stay at. If the pictures didn't show what we wanted to see, we went back to the directories and found another one to look up. If the park did not have a website, we probably wouldn't stay there. As stated, the directories are just guidelines.

Ratings are not bought, either. We know when a representative is in the resort, and they do not get treated any different from anyone else. The ratings are given to us and discussed with us long before there is any conversation about advertising. Even if I didn't advertise, I still earned the 5 stars and 9.0/9.5/9.5.
Kimo
hrrvr..........................are you ever going to open a can of worms....lol
BBear
QUOTE(hrrvr @ Aug 13 2005, 11:18 PM)
Ratings are not bought, either.  We know when a representative is in the resort, and they do not get treated any different from anyone else.  The ratings are given to us and discussed with us long before there is any conversation about advertising.  Even if I didn't advertise, I still earned the 5 stars and 9.0/9.5/9.5.
*



I beg to differ...ratings can and are bought by campgrounds listed in Woodalls...not all, but more than one might think. As you said, even if you didn't advertise, you'd still earn your rating and I don't doubt you, but you're not exactly the type of campground Woodalls would make an adverstising buck from. They make their advertising buck from pitching "over-advertising" to campground owners who don't exactly have the nicest campgrounds and lure them into this by offering them in exchange for their advertising bucks, an inflated rating.

The #1 thing drilled into the minds of Woodalls' reps is to sell, sell, sell....advertising space.

Here's a web site you might find interesting:

http://www.woodalls.com/Rep/
Cheryl
hrrvr,
Where is your campground and can you give us a link to your website or at least the address?
Beastdriver
Hrrvr:

you suggested that we go to a campground's website and look at it, and I believe you also said you probably would not stay at a campground that did not have a website.

We, too, always look for websites but, let me assure you, these can be as misleading as Trailer Life and Woodalls. We recently travelled to Polson, Montana, and planned to stay at the KOA in Polson. Their website, while never claiming that their sites were "waterfront" did emphasize "waterview" sites, and had photos showing happy campers overlooking the beautiful Flathead Lake. When we got to the campground, we were shocked. Every photo they showed was taken with a telephoto lens--they were on a hill and the actual lake was miles away from them. The lens made it look like the campground was overlooking the lake and, I must say, it was if you looked at the lake through a 500mm telephoto lense.

They should enter this campground's advertising in next year's Putlizer Prize fiction competiton. So beware of websites too! The safest method of picking a campground is ALWAYS this site.
hrrvr
Kimo....I knew what was in that can before I opened it, and I just didn't have the good sense to push it aside and leave it alone, did I?

Sure, I've been burned too by ratings when traveling. I've shaken my head at campground ratings more than once, just as I have at forum reviews. But that is why I used the directories as a guide and not a Bible. At least I had a general idea of what the facility offered before I booked.

The ratings are important to us, and the cost of the advertising is expensive, but necessary. If my ad can draw a camper to my web site, my best form of paid advertising (word of mouth is by far the very best form), I have a better chance of booking a reservation.

I feel comfortable that the investment in the facilty got the ratings, and not the investment in the ads. I hope that's it anyway, because the investment in the facility is a whole heck of a lot more than the investment in the ads! smile.gif

Cheryl: www.hornrapidsrvresort.com
Cheryl
Hrrvr,
You have a very nice website. I really like your aerial view of the whole campground. If we're ever in your neck of the woods, we'll definitely consider your park.
Cheryl
Here's a perfect example of the review contradicting the rating.

QUOTE
This park had everything we needed for a fun, relaxing stay. There is even free coffee, cappucino, and hot chocolate in a nice lounge in the AM. Awesome laundry facilities, playground and bathrooms. It is extremely close to the west entrance of Yellowstone. We would return again in a heartbeat!  We camped here in a Tent Trailer in July 2005.


This rater gave the campground a 3. If I didn't have the review to read, to me a 3 would mean avoid at all costs.
hrrvr
Gosh, I wonder what it would take to get an 8 or 10! rolleyes.gif
Cheryl
Perhaps maid service, personal chef, and a butler at every campsite? biggrin.gif
genestoy
Well hrrvr,

A "9-10" -- It would take for us--
Nice large sites
Shade trees with shrubs/grass between sites
Paved interior roads
Concrete or paved "level" sites
Free WiFi service (more and more important these days)
Cable TV
Full Hookups including 50 amp service with proper voltage (important)
Friendly/helpful help
Easy in/out access
Clean restrooms/showers
Nearby garbage disposal
Quiet and not "on" a major highway
One fee in the average range of $25/nite for everything with no add'l charges

Others may want --
Swimming pool
Kids playground
Store
Propane
Pet run
Sunflyer
QUOTE(genestoy @ Aug 15 2005, 05:03 PM)
One fee in the average range of $25/nite for everything with no add'l charges


I was with ya until that line. They are out there but becoming more and more rare. When we find one we are very happy.
Cheryl Fuller
We haven't found one of those yet - usually pay around 35-40 per night, but would love to find a nice $25er.
hrrvr
Wow, what am I doing wrong? huh.gif We're $27 before discounts for GS, AAA, AARP. With discount plus tax = $26.81. But we're also not a big destination area. I think that makes a difference in pricing. We try to catch the traffic heading west to the coast or east to Glacier and Yellowstone. Our prices are representative of all of SE Washington/NE Oregon, except for KOAs.
Cheryl Fuller
You're not doing anything wrong - wish more parks thought about the guests in a financial sense. Will definitely give your park a shot when we are up that way.
hrrvr
Cheryl,
Off the subject, but important. smile.gif What kind of horse?
Dan
genestoy
Well we just completed a 5000 mile trip in CA, OR, WA, MT, ID, UT, AZ and the average pricing was $23 to $25 a night for full hookups most with cable TV and some with WiFi except for one KOA (which we rarely stop at because you pay too much for too little and most are old) in Utah near Bryce Canyon that was $33 a nite plus $6.99 for 12 hrs WiFi. Glad we are in the western USA as prices seem to be higher in the east? tongue.gif

Beautiful state parks in Oregon & Washington run $20 nite for full hookups!
Cheryl Fuller
Dan, she is a pure black registered Quarterhorse - 15.3 hands high. And yes, she truly is a pain in the butt most of the time - has a mind of her own and I swear she PMS's every month right on schedule.
twins89
IMHO (for the newbie this is In My Humble Opinion), I think the number one factor of a campground is the friendliness of the staff!!!! I feel this because if one cannot deal with the staff than any problems you encounter will remain problematic. The next factor should be honesty when calling - yes we have or no we don't have, yes we can or no we cannot (accomodate slides, etc.) I find so many of the CG will say anything to get you there. The other thing I'd like people to know is that the Woodalls and Trailer Life Rating People, CALL AHEAD to let the CG owner know that they will be arriving on such a such date. If that doesn't beat all. If my mother-in-law called ahead to say she'd be stopping buy, you darm well know my house would be cleaner, etc... One must take these for not much more than the paper they are written on. As one said earlier in this thread, they are good to let you know where a CG is located. On our 8200 mile trip last year, we used Woodalls, the Good Sam Itinerary Locater via the website, AAA camp book and I did a lot of research based upon where we would be to search for campgrounds in the area we would be visiting. Then I inquired via websites, etc for more information. I was extremely disappointed in the KOAs and the $$$$ they charged and extremely pleased with some of the county-owned parks that we overnighted in out west, as well as some of the gasoline stations that had 15-20 RV sites out back for less than 20 bucks. We needed Electric as it was Very HOT and needed to run the AC.
rvingman
I just wanted to mention that I have been trying very hard to put in some honest reviews about places we have stayed, since I have had real appreciation for this site and the helpfulness of having "real people" reviews; however, a recent review of mine was personally attacked by a later reviewer. I found it very disturbing that a personal attack was allowed by the moderator of this site. Just because I disagreed with the general concensus of the park, and because perhaps my wants and needs of a park might differ from someone else's, there shouldn't be room for personal attacks. The poster suggested that I might be more interested in a rest home than an rv park. I would love to meet this person on level ground and see if they still felt that way. Naturally, that won't happen, since their remarks were cowardly. The bottom line is that we will all have different ideas on what we like and dislike in a park, and this forum/site is a marvelous way to get information and ideas on where to stay. Is it possible the poster might have a vested interest in the park, even though they checked the disclaimer? Please check "reviews" for inflammatory content. Thank you.
ronipowell
I too was attacked by a subsequent reviewer who said he "smelled a rat" and accused me of being friends with the campground owner. I live several hundred miles away and have never met the owner, but I have stayed at the campground several times and particularly enjoy it there. I feel the facilities, staff and campground deserve the "9" rating I gave, and I provided support in my comments for my decision. My review is simply my opinion which I feel I have a right to express. Should a subsequent reviewer disagree with my assessment, he also has a right to express his opinion, but his comments should be limited to a review of the campground itself and personal attacks should be prohibited.
Cheryl Fuller
Ronipowell and Rvingman, I am so sorry that you had that experience. I hope that it will not prevent you from posting further reviews, as so many of us depend on them and do appreciate the time you take to do them. Some people just aren't happy unless they are undermining someone else.
Cheryl
I agree, please don't let one or two "negative" people put you off of this site. I have felt "under attack" on 2 occasions by the same person, but over all, the people here are great.
rvingman
I definitely won't let it stop me from giving my opinions, because this is a great site with wonderful information that you can't find in campground publications. It also shows that we aren't all looking for the same thing when we look for a place to stay and this site allows a chance to see ALL viewpoints. Thanks for making it available. I will continue to give my opinion, and understand that someone might disagree, but I hope they will keep their opinion directed at the park and not at another person. Thanks! biggrin.gif
M and F
I would love a "rating" on the laundry at parks. Just retiring in January, we made a 6-week trip in February-March and just returned from another 6-week trip. Some of those laundries have allot to be desired. Also the fees. I've paid anywhere from $1.25 to $2.25 per washer. Same with dryers.

We made both trips using RV Park Reviews. Reading between the lines one the bad reviews.

As I tell DH, we aren't buying the plot of land, only renting it for one night. If it is fairly level, no mud holes at the door, and can open the slides - after we hook up the water, electricity ( can do with 30 amp if it isn't too hot) and hopefully the sewer (especially if staying more than 2 nights). wink.gif
Butch
Campground reviews are made, positive or negative, by one's experiences with the campground in question. One's opinions may or may not agree with others, but should have the right to be made. I also look at all the information I can obtain on a campground, and then decide to use the establishment or not. Even then, upon arrival, all may not be as advertised and was very much misleading, and I have made the wrong decision. I know that I'm not the only one who has experienced this. But this format gives one the opportunity to read reviews, comments, and experiences from others on this and other subjects. Most informative, and educational, but one must realize that the review is anothers thoughts, experiences and opinions on such. Thank you for this opportunity to express my opinions. Have a good day, safe travels, and above all, enjoy !

Butch
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