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Old 08-02-2010, 04:46 PM   #1
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Campground ratings

Like most, we are a big believer in Woodall's and use it regularly when we travel to find the best campgounds for our purposes. Our last couple of trips has had us questioning how they are doing their ratings lately. In the past we have stayed at some really nice campgrounds. Top ones in my book are Lake George RV Park in NY and Granite Lake in Clarkston, WA. Both have immaculate grounds, paved sites, paved roads, and are just first class campgrounds. Both have five star ratings. The last two five star rated campgrounds we were in would seem to me to be more of the four or even three star variety. We were at America's Best Campground in MO and it was very nice, but the sites are gravel, the road coming into the campground is a tough turn, and they have very little other than the pool. Last week we were in Normandy Farms in Foxboro, MA. Again, a very nice campground, but gravel sites and a very spread out layout. Very easy to get into and out of, although the road into the campground is not meant for big rigs. My question is, how many of you find the ratings system for Woodall's and maybe others would seem to be a bit questionable at best?
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:28 PM   #2
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wnytaxman View Post
Both have immaculate grounds, paved sites, paved roads, and are just first class campgrounds. Both have five star ratings. The last two five star rated campgrounds we were in would seem to me to be more of the four or even three star variety... We were at America's Best Campground in MO and it was very nice, but the sites are gravel, the road coming into the campground is a tough turn, and they have very little other than the pool. Last week we were in Normandy Farms in Foxboro, MA. Again, a very nice campground, but gravel sites
I take it you pefer pavement over gravel. I figure as long as the surface didn't turn to mud after a rain it would be satisfactory.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:37 PM   #4
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I definitely agree that gravel is better than mud and we have camped in both. My only objection to gravel is that it can be uneven and if you have to get on your knees to access a compartment it gets to be darn uncomfortable. Same with the idea of paved roads and gravel. The paved just saves on cleaning because of the lack of dust being kicked up. My point is that I can't put Fort Wilderness in the same category as an unpaved campground with nothing other than a pool for campground amenities. To me a five star rating is truly superior in all respects. That's not from a snob standpoint, but from a bang for the buck standpoint.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:42 PM   #5
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You really need to know how these kind of "ratings books" work. Woodalls, Good Sam, KOA are all franchises more or less. In order to become part of the "affiliation" with one or the other all a park has to do is pony up enough cash to the parent company and they get their names listed as a (Woodalls, Good Sam or KOA, etc etc etc.) Honestly I don't know who does the ratings for Woodalls or how they come about it. This is the reason why some KOAs are really nice and others are scuzzy, same with Good Sam.

Personally I don't trust those types of books but stick with RVparkreviews.com. Conditions at a park can change drastically within a short time and if you trust a year old book you might not be getting the straight scoop. That being said RVparkreviews isn't infallible either. One persons paradise is another's dump. You really have to read between the lines of some peoples reviews on the site. I have seen where some people will give a park a really crappy rating because there wasn't a play room or pools for the kids to play on. Personally I don't think it's a parks job to entertain kids, that is what the camping is supposed to be for. I do pay more attention to details that matter to ALL RVrs such as: are the sites level, are the sites roomy, is the park kept clean, is there 50/30/20 amp power, does the management enforce the rules, etc, etc, etc.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:56 PM   #6
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We thought about Woodall's one time, and put our money back in our pocket. Glad we did. We also use RV Park Reviews :: Home exclusively. Written by people that have stayed there. Just watch the dates on the reviews. You have to read in to the reviews what people were wanting when they wrote them. We don't want pools, putt-putt, horseshoes, or anything else, that just means a lot of kids and noise. When we camp, we are hauling the motorcycles to ride. The camper is our motel room, not our destination, so as long as we can get in and out, and it's not crowded, we're happy. We like no pets, and few children. Don't care about television, wi'fi, satellite, big rig, or large space, althogh we don't like crowded spaces. Like a review with a clean bath house, but we have the camper, as long as we have electric and water, and a dump station on the way out. Most of the reviews are fairly accurate. Just when reading an unsatisfactory one, as you have posted, you have to determine what the person wanted, as in your own review, it is assumed you would prefer a paved site, paved roads in and out, and big rig friendly. You rated these campgrounds unfavorable, but we would probably enjoy them. Check out RV Park Reviews :: Home
and no I don't work for them. There is another post on here urging all to participate and make it a better site, with more reviews. We have added reviews for every campground we have stayed at. Hope you will also, so all can benefit.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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Taxman I may have been thinking you were being a bit snobbish, but you expalnation does clear things up.

Various people have different ideas of "perfect". You & I may rate a CG unfavourably because the access roads & sites were still mudpits 2 days after a rain. The next person might rate it 5 stars because it had a pool & rec' hall for the kids.
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:35 PM   #8
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I was aware that my post may seem snobish, but that really wasn't my point. I look at Woodall's ratings like I look at AAA's ratings for motels/hotels. My main point is that I'd like to see some consistency in the ratings. When we were at Normandy a number of people in the area said that it was voted one of the top five campgrounds in the US. I just scratched my head on that one. This isn't knocking the place. It was a very nice campground and the people who worked there were excellent. When I think of a top ten campground I think of views or some amenities that really set them off from the everyday campground. To me a five star campground should be like a five star hotel. Of course the five star hotel is usually one I avoid because I'm not comfortable in that environment and definitely not comfortable with that price structure.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:26 PM   #9
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Taxman, try one of the ritzy places in Las Vegas some time. We stayed at a gated RV park that didn't allow any rigs older that 10 years, was $50 per night and that didn't include the internet. They had their own theater, restaurant, bar, RV parts store and 3 different pools (kids, family and adult).

Although our rig was new at the time and we looked the part I still couldn't get over being surrounded by rigs in the 7 figure price range. Yah, not really my style but the wife sure liked the pool.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:00 PM   #10
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What was the name of that RV park in Vegas?
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