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BBear
ohmy.gif

I was browsing through the NJ reviews looking for possible campgrounds to stay at when we go camping there next summer (yes, I like to plan ahead, LOL), and I came across this recent review for Pine Cone Campground located in Freehold, New Jersey:

Paid to camp, asked for a full hook up, they didn't have one available. So, off to a water/electric site. Site was a good sized, one no real problems. It was time to dump the tanks, low and behold they charge $10 per dump, can you believe it! They charge $35 a night for full hookup, 30 for electric (30AMP)/ water and $10 for each time you have to use the dump station; unbelievable. Stay way from this dump, will never return again money hungry isn't strong enough to describe this place. Go up the street to Turkey Swamp $26 a night and you can dump until the cows come home. We camped here in a Motorhome in September 2005.

Okay...this caught my eye because this person gives very little detail about the park itself...notice the person goes from checking in to dumping the tanks and the only mention of what the park is like is when the person says the site was good sized and no real problems. It seems this person had a problem with spending 10 dollars for use of the dump station. This person gave this campground a "1".

Being the curious person that I am, I decided to contact this campground to get their side of the story. When I did, the first question I asked is if they charge 10 dollars to use the dump station and she said yes and the reason being is that it's not free for them to have it hauled away, which I totally understand, I mean, the sewer fairy isn't exactly going to pay for it, LOL.

This reviewer also states that you could go up the street to Turkey Swamp pay 26 bucks a night and you can dump until the cows come home, which is true, unless you just want to use their dumping facilities then it would cost you 15 bucks to do so...but a free service if you're a camper...but guess what, that service isn't free either...the taxpayers of NJ and Monmouth County are paying for you to dump until the cows come home, it's not costing the County Parks Administrator a dime, like it would cost the owner of Pine Cone Campground if she were to allow free service to the campers.

I did tell the owner about why I was calling in regard to this review and she seemed right off the bat to know exactly who I was speaking about. And, she told me that he came in and wanted a full hook up site for his 40 foot motorhome, she told him that their full hook up sites can accommodate only up to a 35 foot motorhome, and she then offered a water/electric site that would accommodate the size of his RV, he accepted it and paid for a water/electric site.

She also told me that they charge $40.00 for full hookups and $35.00 for water/electric sites...so, if this reviewer were to have gotten a full hookup site, this person would have been paying 5 bucks a day for sewer service, instead he got a site without sewer and the only way this person could have lost money would be if the reviewer would have only stayed one night. I know when I used to camp in a motorhome I only had to dump once in a 5 day period and my RV was a lot smaller than 40 foot...so if this reviewer stayed for five days he only would have had to pay 10 dollars for dumping with the site he was on, whereas if he were on a full hook up site the sewer hookup would have cost him $25.00 for the five days.

So...I feel this review was very unfair to Pine Cone Campground, calling the place a dump when the reviewer said that the site was good sized and no real problems. To me it seems this person seemed disgruntled to have to pay 10 bucks for something that probably ended up costing the reviewer less if the person would have just thought about it.

I've seen lots of posts on the forum of people saying this should be free and that should be free and this campground is too expensive, etc. and yes, there maybe are those that are overpriced, but think about it, do you know of any campground owner that's made millions on their campgrounds...most even charging a higher price than other campgrounds are probably just breaking even or making very little...taking into consideration of what it takes to run a campground...like this campground charging $40.00 per night...that has to pay for all the utilities, property, school and business taxes, salaries of employees, supplies and maintenance, insurance, etc...so, really how can this reviewer honestly say that the owner of this campground is "money hungry"....that's absolutely absurd!

I can't wait for July to get her fast enough, because I have decided Pine Cone Campground is where we're going to stay and upon my return, I will let you all "honestly" know what the campground is really like.
biggoomba
I agree with you to a point. I do have to admit that paying an extra 10 to dump would bug the heck out of me. I have never been to a place that charges extra for the dump station. Of course, I only camp at state parks and army core of engineer campgounds for the most part. Perhaps this sort of thing is common in other parts of the counrty.

Back to your point. The extra $10 would have bumped my rating of the campground by a point. So, if it was a nice campgound it would go from a 8 to a 7. Definetly not to a 1. The review is basically useless unless you are looking for places that charge to dump biggrin.gif
John Blue
BBear,

I also see a lot of problems with this write up. I have never had to pay to dump our tanks. We shower, run washing machine, wash dishs, etc. and Grey tank (110 gals). will last 4 to 5 days. I also understand the $10 charge on sewer dump service. Each time you check in people at desk tell you about any charges up front. If dump fee was to high or a problem to pay then move on and dump it at next campground. I would never write up a camp site as poor due to one item or one problem.

We also use State Parks & Core Parks with only one dump station. At times you may need to wait couple mins to dump, do you write up park as a "1" due to this?

Lot of people lock on to one item and do not think about the hold place before you rate a campground or park down. One problem is not a "1" rating. If you see everything wrong them rate the site down.

Remember, no free lunchs in RV land!

Read all comments before you pick a site.
BBear
biggoomba and John Blue,

Thank you both for your replies.

I, too, was rather surprised at seeing a fee for use of the dump station...that's one of the reasons why I went so far as calling the campground to see if that was true and to also give the owner a chance of explaining why there's a charge.

I spend most of my time as well at state parks and I know at least in PA the dump station is free to campers, but the service isn't free. The state parks have hundreds upon thousands of taxpayers paying the fee so the campers can have that service for free....a private campground owner isn't afforded hundreds of thousands of taxpayers to foot the bill at their campground to cover the cost to have a free dump station so I can see why they would charge to cover the cost...so you pretty well know that those private campgrounds who do offer the free service are taking a hit for it...something they shouldn't have to and one's that do shouldn't be brow beaten and called "money hungry" for doing so.

But, I'm glad you both got the gist of what my post was really about, this reviewer trashing the whole campground and making some very condecending remarks about the campground and its owner because of 1 thing the reviewer found wrong with the campground.

And, biggoomba, you read my mind about the review being useless except with regard to the dumping station. laugh.gif
Beastdriver
Bear:

You may recall that at some sporting events, where they have multiple judges, they usually throw out the lowest score and the highest score from the judges, so as to remove bias. This site is somewhat like that. You have to look at ALL the ratings and comments and then make a judgment. If, for instance, you find a campground that has been rated 10,10,10, 9, 9, 9, 10, and then 1, common sense would tell you to disregard the 1. Likewise, you have to read between the lines on comments to tell if the reviewer had a "bone to pick" with the campground owner. I agree with you that reviews like the one you mentioned are useless but, as the good people who run this site keep telling us, look at all the reviews and comments, not just one. By the way, I commend you for your efforts to get at the truth!
marxtrains
We stayed in Show Low County Lake Park in Show Low AZ. They charged $2 or $3 to dump, but the camping fee was only $18 and they gave 1/2 off for having a Golden Age Pass, So my camp fee was $9 + Dump Fee.
BBear
QUOTE(Beastdriver @ Oct 12 2005, 08:32 AM)
Bear:

You may recall that at some sporting events, where they have multiple judges, they usually throw out the lowest score and the highest score from the judges, so as to remove bias. This site is somewhat like that. You have to look at ALL the ratings and comments and then make a judgment. If, for instance, you find a campground that has been rated 10,10,10, 9, 9, 9, 10, and then 1, common sense would tell you to disregard the 1. Likewise, you have to read between the lines on comments to tell if the reviewer had a "bone to pick" with the campground owner. I agree with you that reviews like the one you mentioned are useless but, as the good people who run this site keep telling us, look at all the reviews and comments, not just one. By the way, I commend you for your efforts to get at the truth!
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I'm well aware of how to judge a review when there are multiple entries, but that technique usually doesn't work very well when there's only one entry.

And, with regard to reading between the lines, I usually do that a lot with reviews here, but in this case, one didn't even have to read between the lines to figure out that this person was upset with the campground owner for charging 10 bucks for use of the dump station and for them not having a full hookup site available for him.

And, until another review of this campground does come along, the one there is useless since it provides no real information for one to get a sense of what the park is really like. All of us who have been here for quite some time, will know the uselessness of this review...but new people to this forum may look at that rating of 1 and just bypass this campground altogether without even reading between the lines of what this person said in the commentary.....hence why these types of reviews drive me nuts!

And, thank you for the commendation...I thought it was the only fair thing to do.
BBear
QUOTE(marxtrains @ Oct 12 2005, 08:46 AM)
We stayed in Show Low County Lake Park in Show Low AZ.  They charged $2 or $3 to dump, but the camping fee was only $18 and they gave 1/2 off for having a Golden Age Pass, So my camp fee was $9 + Dump Fee.
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Thanks for the info!
denbroncs
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of pinheads making reviews. It seems that the majority of people on this site are wise enough to do their own due diligence (thanks BBear). wink.gif A solution might be to offer the camp an opportunity to respond to a review, like the aforementioned regarding dump fees. I like objective reports that help me decide if the park is for me or not - not meaningless rants due to hurt feelings or simple misunderstandings.
BBear
QUOTE(denbroncs @ Oct 12 2005, 07:59 PM)
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of pinheads making reviews.  It seems that the majority of people on this site are wise enough to do their own due diligence (thanks BBear). wink.gif  A solution might be to offer the camp an opportunity to respond to a review, like the aforementioned regarding dump fees.  I like objective reports that help me decide if the park is for me or not - not meaningless rants due to hurt feelings or simple misunderstandings.
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denbroncs, I totally agree!
opa
I'm glad you brought this subject up, BBear.

Too many people think that critiquing something is synonymous with criticising it.

In the case of this guy, though, you can tell by the subject of his review that he was obviously full of it. LOL
dmkkjacobs
QUOTE(opa @ Oct 20 2005, 09:29 AM)
I'm glad you brought this subject up, BBear.

Too many people think that  critiquing something is synonymous with criticising it.

In the case of this guy, though,  you can tell by the subject of his review that he was obviously full of it.  LOL
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And he was probably po'ed he had to pay $10 to empty himself biggrin.gif laugh.gif
Big Ben
I think that some of us lose site of how diversified a group we are. You are going to get a different review from some one who stays in a tent camper and a 40' MH. I had thought this site was to be used by all, no matter their economic status.
I recently tried to get a change where you could post monthly rates below $400. I was told by some they would never stay in a park in that price range and the seen no need for it.
Some of us are trying to get back to nature and others are uncomfortable to leave the city limits. This is a useful site that helps alot of folks enjoy this country. Lets keep it that way.
BBear, one of the things I do, when there is only one review, is to look at other reviews that the reviewer has previously made.
Beastdriver
Big Ben:

You are absolutely right in that we sometimes forget the diversity of campers. I frequently find myself reading reviews that are all positive and then I realize that most of the reviews were done by someone who stayed at the park in a pop-up or a tent and found it excellent. Then, when I go there in big rig, I find it doesn't work for us. I guess the key is to read carefully.

I am intrigued by your statement about looking at other reviews posted by the reviewer when there is only one review. How can you do this when the reviews are anonymous? Am I missing something? Thanks.
Cheryl Fuller
Good question Beastdriver, I was wondering the same thing, but chose not to ask.
Travelin Rose
I think the key part of the reviews are the comments and even then you have to read between the lines.

It would be great if all comments gave a good description of a park, including sites, roads, maintenance, easy in/out and anything else that would affect the decision to stay at a particular park.

The numerical rating is not very helpful, everyone has a different rating system. That is the reason comments are so important.

I have read several reviews of parks with a 10 rating. The only comment was "Great Park". To me, that is a worthless comment.
Big Ben
Right you guys are. I got my forums mixed up.You have that ability on Good Sam's Open Road Forum. I hesitate to suggest that that should be done here.
Cheryl Fuller
I think knowing who the reviewer was would be a good idea and would be quite helpful. I think it would provide insight into how that partucular person "rates" campgrounds by being able to view his (or her) other reviews. I have no problem in anyone knowing thta I am the reveiwer on any that I have done.
Browzin
This is a free service and WE all must remember that Admin is doing the best they can.
If your not happy with the review forum that people presently fill out, why not create a new one and submit it to ADMIN as a SUGGESTION for a replacement for what is presently being used.
I am sure many of you have the TIME and TALENT to accomplish this task. If admin likes what you submit, I would think they would consider it.
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