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 > How do campgrounds really get their ratings?

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New Jersey

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Joined: 07/01/2013

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Posted: 07/24/13 09:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've been to many campgrounds. My wife researches them before we book. We always make reservations prior to leaving. She checks different sources and reads reviews from those sources.

I can't begin to tell you how many times we have been burned going to campgrounds that are just real bad but have great standings and reviews.

How do these campgrounds get endorsed? How can they have so many positive reviews when the place is a dump. By dump I mean the campground is dirty, garbage all over the roads, the sites are unkept, the bathrooms are gross, etc.

We recently paid over $75 a night for a site that was no wider than my driveway. The grass was to our knees, the fire ring was full of garbage and beer cans, the dirt road was strewn with dog droppings (we have one and clean up after him) and potholes the size of the Grand Canyon, the bathrooms were nasty and looked like they weren't cleaned at all over our stay as the garbage cans were over flowing. This place, as so many of them now do, has a 5 night minimum in season that must be paid in advance, with of course, NO REFUNDS FOR ANYTHING!

I think from now on we will just find places to boondock. I'll put the money saved from the overpriced campgrounds into a good quiet generator.

How do you choose the places you stay? Is there a really reliable source? Are we doing something wrong?


San Joaquin Valley

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Posted: 07/24/13 10:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As the song goes, you need to hang with a better class of losers.

Thee are way too many "PIGS" using campground/rv parks these days. The treat the parks like a garbage dump. Wonder if they live like that at home.

Working at these campgrounds/rv parks can be as bad a cleaning out chicken manure in the summer time.

The reviews come from campers of all types. We all have different tastes in what we want out of a campground.

I research a facility as much as possible , plan for the best, expect the worse, and with any luck you wind up in the middle.[emoticon]

Isn't that why the make JB in KY and JD in TN, to help our problems go away.[emoticon]


Fulltime, CA, USA

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Posted: 07/24/13 11:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sometimes each employee is writing a review, and ask their relatives to write a review too!

Just a guess.



Varies with weather

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Posted: 07/24/13 11:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've found reading blogs from somebody in the area that you want to camp at is the best way of getting info that is not slanted if you have things in common with the writer. Finding those blogs that covers your area you want is another trick. But with time you'll end up with a good long list of good places to go.

* This post was last edited 04/14/14 11:21pm by path1 *   View edit history


On the Road

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Posted: 07/25/13 03:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

threecamprs wrote:

...How do you choose the places you stay? Is there a really reliable source? Are we doing something wrong?

Ratings of a CG on ANY site is a joke, don't waste your time utilizing them to choose a CG. Even a 5 start resort might net you a 'clean' CG but you are parked in like sardines and a restrictions list so long you'd think you are staying at Rikers Island.

Google the address of the CG go to maps/direction and click on street view, and then zoom from above. Tells you everything you need to know about what it looks like. Seeing what is 'around' the CG is pretty important also. This is the ONLY way I use before heading out to any CG.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.



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Posted: 07/25/13 04:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have never experienced any of the things you complain about but I stay in state, national and COE parks. The worst I've had with regard to garbage was a cigarette butt on the driveway once, maybe a couple in the firepit. The smallest site I ever stayed in was at a private park once, where the sites were like a parking lot. I have never stayed at a private park again as that is not the camping experience for which I am looking.

Not sure where in New Jersey you are but PA, MD, and NY have some great state parks (New Jersey has very few that allow pets so I haven't visited yet).

I notice often that many reviewers on rvparkreviews knock off points for not have sewer, cable, or wifi so I typically disregard their point system altogether and just read the comments.

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Bellevue, MI

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Posted: 07/25/13 06:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If I owned a campground I would ask my relatives to send in great reviews. my pond becomes a lake, my six trees becomes wooded lots, my shelf of expensive items becomes a store.



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Posted: 07/25/13 06:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've also seen that we may find a campground or RV park to be much more appealing than the next guy or vice versa. For example, a lot of people rate CGs with small sites and low hanging braches low but it is not a big issue for us since we are in a small RV with no slides. We also don't travel with kids or dogs (yet.) We often use CG showers, others never do.

A place that is unkempt or have dirty restrooms may improve with a change of staffing the next year. Or a great place may go downhill after being sold. So unfortunately ratings are highly objective and subject to change.

If I were planning a long stay, I'd take the time to research more than usual, and take note on minimum stay and refund policies. If none of the other RV Parks nearby require 5 nights to reserve with no refunds, that would send up a warning flag.

This forum can be a good source. I asked this year about input for a town, and quickly had about four positive recommendations for the same campground.

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NH Seacoast

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Posted: 07/25/13 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've had very good luck with rvparkreviews. Everybody has different things they look for in a campground. Some hate resort style CG's and some want a resort style. Some have pets and some don't. Some camp in tents and never realize the power is bad. If you read all the reviews you see one may have been rated low because there were as lot of kids making noise and having a good time. If our grandkids are with us this a positive not a negative.

Millennium Prevost 2006
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Posted: 07/25/13 07:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've found most of the well known rating publications to be useless. Prior to the mid '90s that's all we had to go on though. They are good for finding campgrounds, but with the Internet you can usually dig enough anecdotal information to make a somewhat informed decision. RVParkreviews.com is one of the better sites. We've gotten reasonably accurate information from there. We also make sure we contribute our comments to give others something to go on.

Take any review with a grain of salt. Try to read between the lines. If the review seems too good, it probably is. If its a complete bash, its probably someone with a grudge. If a campground has 10 good reviews and 2 bad, its probably a decent place, and vice-verse.

Chuck D.
“Adventure is just bad planning.” - Roald Amundsen
2013 Jayco X20E Hybrid, 2008 GMC Sierra SLE1 Crew Cab Z71

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