What Do People Expect In A Campground?

Discussion in 'Destinations and RV Parks' started by springhill, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. springhill

    springhill
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    :blink: We just got home from our first long trip in our motorhome. We started in New Mexico, drove 3 days out to California, stayed in Paso Robles, went to Hearst Mansion, drove up Pacific Hwy 1 (which everyone told us not to do and I'd recommend it to most), stayed in San Franciso, went to Alcatraz, drove to Lake Tahoe and stayed 3 days and then drove home through Nevada, Utah and Colorado. We were gone 14 days. I used this site to plan our stops and found few surprises at the RV parks we stopped at due to great reviews.

    My question is this... As I go back to write (and read) reviews on campgrounds we stayed in during our trip, I am surprised to read some of the reviews they have been given. I think the ones that call themselves "resorts" and charge around $50 a night are fair game for some hard criticism as they are charging for nicer park accomodations.

    My problem is the little mom and pops we stayed in along the interstate and highways that we chose because it was getting dark and we wanted somewhere to park, plug in, walk the dog, and get a good nights sleep. I think the most we paid at these was $25 and we stayed in 5 or 6 different little "spot on the map" type towns. These seemed to be run by mostly retirees who spend their days mowing the lawn, emptying trash and cleaning the bathrooms.

    I read review about...
    --Sites not being leveled or concrete... Have you checked bulldozer or conrete prices lately?
    --Yelled at me about my pet being on the grass... I am a dog lover and took 2 on our trip and I was amazed at how much poo there was that wasn't picked up by irresponsible pet owners. I'm surprised many allow pets at all and there are signs everywhere to keep pets of grass.
    --Full-time residents junking up the park... How much income do you think these guys get off people who choose them over parking at Wal-Mart in these small towns? Full-time residents aren't bad people... maybe they just ran out of gas money and decided to stay there.
    --Traffic/train noise was constant... I would think that traffic noise 100 ft off an interstate might be something to be expected and not the park owners fault.

    So my question is this? What do people expect in these little side of the road type parks that noone probably stays in for more than 1 or 2 nights?
     
  2. John Blue

    John Blue
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    We see the same thing all the time. I had a bad experience due to the rain, owners did not like by dog, the train was loud, the person next door was bad, trees over our site, no tress over our site, the showers were slow, on and on. We talk to people in parks that were unhappy yet will stay a month. If you do not like RV life stay at home or as we do move on down the road to a new place. You will never find a campground that 100% of the people who use it will be happy. In our years on the road we find that someone is always ill over some small item. This will never change! :D
     
  3. Bud in Florida

    Bud in Florida
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    I think the key is for people to say exactly what they don't like. If you want a paved site and have a space like your driveway and get one that has trees and you don't like that-- say so in the review. I hate reviews that just say the place was terrible and don't say why. I will not give a 10 to parks that do not have sewer, but I have given a lot of 9's to parks w/o sewers, but I always say this is why the park did not get a 10. There was one review of Disney's Fort Wilderness-- they review gave them a 2! Why, because he/she did not read that in order to get cable you had to have a premium site. It is clear on the web site. But he was mad at Disney because he booked a full hook-up site and did not have cable. Hey read the website. I agree with John-- you have a different standard when you are booking an overnight stop rather than long term. In an overnight stop, I look for nice people and a clean campground. It is nice if they have clean showers, but ytou can even pass that for one night. Sometimes I think posters expect the world for $20/night
     
  4. Happy Camper X2

    Happy Camper X2
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    I agree, sometimes you have to read between the lines and many times the the rating does not match the review. I love the ones that say the park was great etc etc but the owner caught me sneaking in a guest and made me pay the visitors fee so I am giving them a 1 because the owner is mean. The other one I love is the security or the owners told us to quiet down at midnight, what they enforce the rules?

    Some of the small places are the best places to go. Many cannot compare to the resorts in what they offer but a nice clean small park can be vary enjoyable.
     
  5. Big Ben

    Big Ben
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    I'm in total agreement. People down grade parks for a lot of WRONG reasons.When we are traveling and stop for the night, we usually try to find a small park for between $20 and $30. For that price I expect a gravel site. If there are permanent residents so what. I may be one some day.
    Thats some thing I never understand, why people want to put them self in some category. Another great complaint, The seasonal people have the best sites, DAAA!
    springhill, sounds like you had a good trip. We love Hearst Mansion also. I enjoy driving rt. 1 too.
    Bud, you must not stay in COE parks. I have been in several that certainly rated a 10 without sewer.
     
  6. Cheryl

    Cheryl
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    How about the review where the poster gave a low rating because the campground owners expected them to "watch" (be responsible for) their own kids.
     
    We2RV likes this.
  7. mastercraft

    mastercraft
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    My wife and I get a kick out of reading all the low reviews, especially the low reviews of the campgrounds we have been to. I like the reviews that blame the owners for enforcing the rules. We recently were at a campground out west where someone came in without a reservation. The campground made them move to a different site each day since the other sites were booked already. All this person did was complain on a daily basis for having to move his motorhome. We also like the ones with low ratings due to mud from recent rainstorms. I get no help from reading the reviews about bad experiences between the owner and camper that are isolated at best. I usually laugh and disregard.
    Ben, we have also stayed at excellent COE campgrounds in Georgia. There are 2 that we frequent each year and we give them 10's without cable, sewer, wi-fi, etc.
     
  8. springhill

    springhill
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    :D
    Enjoyed reading your responses today! When I wrote that last night, I was a little cranky from driving all day and having to return home to the real world after a great vacation. I was a little worried I was going to be chewed out for being negative toward other posters opinions.

    I am soft hearted and when I go into the office and see these nice, friendly older people who are probably veterans, retirees, etc. who run these campgrounds still trying to make a few dollars, it moves me. Then when I get on the internet to try and throw them a little business for their park in the middle of nowhere that I thought was mowed, clean, and friendly and read bad reviews because of traffic noise, unlevel sites, etc. it makes me a little bitter.

    I'm happy to read that most people read between the lines. This is a great website and like I said, I used it to plan all but 2 or 3 of our stops. The internet can be a valuable tool.

    P.S. What are COE parks?
     
  9. Big Ben

    Big Ben
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    COE Parks stands for Corp of Engineers. They are generally in conjunction with a water way that was put in and controlled by the COE. Most in in a great setting and well cared for.
    You thinking is well in line with many of us. Glad to have you aboard.
     
  10. Sunflyer

    Sunflyer
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    I would rather people lay it all out and I'll make my own decisions based on what I'm looking for.

    The flip side of the coin is people who give 7-10 to a park that doesn't deserve it. I read one the other day and it was comment after comment about this didn't work that wasn't maintained, sites weren't level, this was dirty and the elec. was iffy and then they gave it a 7. Good lord, what would this person give a 5 or less to.

    However, the other opinions put it more in line with an appropriate rating.
     
  11. mgoblue911

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    QUOTE(Sunflyer @ Aug 14 2007, 06:08 PM) [snapback]7973[/snapback]

    I would rather people lay it all out and I'll make my own decisions based on what I'm looking for.

    The flip side of the coin is people who give 7-10 to a park that doesn't deserve it. I read one the other day and it was comment after comment about this didn't work that wasn't maintained, sites weren't level, this was dirty and the elec. was iffy and then they gave it a 7. Good lord, what would this person give a 5 or less to.

    However, the other opinions put it more in line with an appropriate rating.



    Ratings are in the eye of the beholder. Different things are important/valuable to different people. The most important part of any review is the details/stated reasons that they like or dislike a campground. State the facts and particulars in your review and let others judge if it is what they are seeking for that price. Isn't that what this site is designed to accomplish?
     
  12. Big Ben

    Big Ben
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    [/quote]

    Ratings are in the eye of the beholder. Different things are important/valuable to different people. The most important part of any review is the details/stated reasons that they like or dislike a campground. State the facts and particulars in your review and let others judge if it is what they are seeking for that price. Isn't that what this site is designed to accomplish?
    [/quote]

    There are a lot of reviews that are written with such venom that it is more like a vendetta than a review. Usually when you see this it is a new member.
    This is also true of some saying " we have been coming here for years and it is the greatest park in the world".
    In 12 years of full timing,,we have never experienced a park as bad as some of those I read about. May be it is the way I look at life but I disregard all the negative reviews because I figure there is a personal problem that caused it.
     
  13. dmsscs

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    I would have to agree, the negative reviews often sound like it's personal, maybe they had to ask them to keep their dog on a leash or they got caught doing something against the rules, or asked to leave. Unfortunately, anger is a great catalyst (sp?) to writting a review. People needing to vent are more likely to write in order to relieve their anger than are people that leave happy and are moving on to their next experience. If a park is really that bad, I just don't go back, if it is bad as all that, then eventually the customer base will shrink and it will become another housing developement or shopping complex. I have noticed that a lot of complaints are really abut fellow campers not the park so much. Smokey fires, drunks, early rising kids, late night loud campfires (although I think I have sat at a fire or two and got a little loud with laughter without realizing we ere getting loud, losing ourselves in friendship) Sometimes it is not so much the park we complain about. We were in a park in Fla., last winter and a fellow camper was using a power tool to buff his camper, all day while we tried to read we had the whirling noise in the background, it was very distracting, even annoying. I don't think he thought about it in that light, he just wanted to get his camper clean. But i wouldn't rate the park as noisey because this one guy was trying to take pride in his RV. Unlevel sites? We view them as a challenge, I haven't gone to a park yet that had a site that a few boards didn't fix. I personally thnk cement sites take away from the whole camping feel of a park. I like trees, I respect the difference in opinion, but i wouldn't rate a park low for an unlevel site. If every park was "perfect" I'd get bored with camping. my favorite parks have always been family run parks, they are almost always not perfect, but almost always the staff is friendlier.
     
  14. RLM

    RLM
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    I think what all of us would mostly like to read is objectivity. That would be a review that eliminates attacks, minimizes personal opinion, and takes into consideration the different classes of recreational equipment.

    If there is a problem with a campground it is appropriate to make it known. It’s hard not to have a personal opinion about something that really bothered us, but a reviewer’s credibility goes south when the review is an essay about how they got bent out of shape over the issue.

    As written by Mqoblue911 - “State the facts ……and let others judge if it is what they are seeking for that price.”

    Springhill> You may be a newbie to this site, but you bring a lot of wisdom with you.
     
  15. thecyr

    thecyr
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    When I write a review, I write mainly for the tenting, but still observe closely for my parent's 5th wheel.

    I think that a review is based on an individual comfort level, and gear. I fully expect a different take on a campground that I reviewed compared to somebody who came in a motorhome.

    However, when you get burned by a campground, you can't help but relay that story to others. I've done it.
     
  16. kwilliam10

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    While I agree that noisy neighbors should not warrant a decreased rating, for a campground. I DO feel that how a campsite DEALS with noisy neighbors....is. Case in point, I just submitted a review (still pending, since it was only my second) for a state campground where the ranger was no where to be found....all evening. Could not complain about the noise level, that went into the late hours of the night (3:00 AM.) No Ranger in the station....and definitely not walking the beat, so to speak. So, for THAT...I did rate lower.

    Just my humble opinion.

    Regards,

    Keith Williamson
     
  17. gwbischoff

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    Ya'll can follow the other threads on this topic, like:

    "experience" Vs. "review" , et. al.

    Just stayed at a place near the beach in CA where the previous reviewer complained that there was sand everywhere.

    Geez, Louise.
     
  18. dmsscs

    dmsscs
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    Just when you think you have heard it all, I once was in line to check in when the lady in front of us asked for a site with no wind. I also heard a woman complain that there were birds and they woke her up in the morning....what [i]do[/i] people expect in a campground???
     
  19. Texasrvers

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    Uh-oh, I hope you weren't behind us. We frequently stay at a west Texas KOA where the wind blows constantly! We have stayed there so many times that we have gotten to know the staff so when we register we always ask for a site with no wind. I suppose someone just standing in line behind us could misunderstand the joke. However, we have never complained about birds so we won't take blame for that one. Although one time we did mention to the staff that 2 mockingbirds in a tree beside our site kept our cats entertained. But that wasn't a complaint. It was fun to watch.

    While I'm on this thread let me add that there was a recent review of a membership park that the reviewer was very mad because they had to move when the lot owner showed up on short notice. The reviewer gave the park a very low rating because of this. I had to think about this one. I'm sure it was very inconvenient to have to move. But it was a membership park after all, and the reviewer knew it when he made his reservation, and the lot owner paid big bucks and should expect to get his site when he wants it. I know for a fact this is an outstanding RV park. Did it deserve such a low rating over this incident? What to you think?
     
  20. Butch

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    Not knowing the wording and limits of the ownership contract makes opinions just that, opinions. But on the surface, if an individual(s) has a purchase agreement for a designated site, then that site is his/hers to use at anytime the spirit moves them. When one knows that the park is a membership park, that individual most be made aware that the member may require his/her purchased site during their stay on that site. Personally, I would have second thoughts on staying at a membership park for that very reason. Just my thoughts on the subject.
     

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