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Old 09-12-2013, 08:03 AM   #1
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How do you choose a campground?

What method do you use to choose a campground? I have tried rvparkreviews and GS, are there others that are better?
Thanks and happy camping.

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Old 09-12-2013, 08:58 AM   #2
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Internet! Word of mouth! Location! Prefer Full hook up with sewer on RV site.

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Old 09-12-2013, 09:29 AM   #3
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I agree with bobsanchez. However be aware some reviews may not paint the whole picture for or against the park.

We just recently took out travel trailer from San Antonio to upstate New Hampshire and back. I used the GS phone app and stayed a couple of GS campgrounds (read reviews on line-can be very misleading for and against) along with non-GS affiliated campgrounds on the way there and back. Needless to say I was quite disappointed with a couple of GS affiliated grounds and no issues with the non-GS affiliated ones we stayed at.

Examples of issues with the GS affiliated campgrounds included: no live person to sign you in or out and had to slip cash through a mail slot at one. They said they had swimming and Wi-Fi. There was no place to swim and no one available to provide a password to the WiFI. At another one the trailers were stacked on top of one another, I literally could open the window and shake hands with the person in the trailer next to me and had issues with high voltage all night long. Another one was so run down looking and had 80% full timers in it that it looked more like a mobile home park with all their junk piled around their trailers.
I also stayed at a few non GS affiliated and was more happy with them. Just spend time doing a lot of research on those you will be staying at for a more than one night.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:37 AM   #4
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One additional thing to do... go on Google maps satellite view and look at the campground from a satellite perspective... The view may be a few months old, but you can get a general idea as to how it looks.
It workded for us when setting up our trip out west to CO
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:07 AM   #5
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We look at every new campground as a "test".....some stay on the list some don't. But for us it's about location first and next is safety. Is it close to something we want to do or see and will we live through it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:09 AM   #6
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First, you need to know what you want in a campground. That generally comes with a little experience. Do you want a resort type place with a pool and concrete pads? Or do you want a more rustic experience with a wooded site that's at least semi-private? Do you mind being in a family oriented CG or would you rather it be more adult/big rig oriented?

Personally I find GS, AAA, and other commercial "rating" systems to be useless. RVParkreviews is really good because its real RVers that post the reviews, but only to the extent that there are lots of recent reviews for a CG, and you have to "read between the lines". In other words, if you see 4 good reviews and one bad, you should be able to discern if its a legitimate complaint or just a single bad experience.

Most CGs have web sites with photos. Look at them. See what it looks like. If the photos aren't showing you good views, it may mean that they are hiding something. I also do what Don said, look at a satellite view. That can tell you a thing or two also.

Depending on what we are doing, sometimes we like the state parks for a more rustic experience, sometimes we want more amenities. We look for clean, neat sites that aren't on top of your neighbor. Fire rings are a must for us. Even though we don't always use the public showers and toilets, are they clean? That says a lot about the owners and how much they care. Family oriented CGs are OK if we go in the "off season". Not that we don't appreciate kids, the older we get, the more we just want peaceful evenings. State parks typically have enough of a mix of people and semi-private sites that noisy kids usually aren't an issue.

But a lot of these things are not easy to discern on Internet review sites and message boards. That's where you sometimes just have to take a chance and hope it all works out.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:36 AM   #7
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Because I like privacy, I often call the camp and ask for a site with shade.. this sometimes helps me out. I like the fact that a lot of the state parks are now showing photos of each site.. this also helps. However, one thing I would suggest is that when you check into a camp ground if you do not have a site pre chosen, then ask to chose one before paying...

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Old 09-13-2013, 04:13 PM   #8
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I use rvparkreviews.com and an Android app called ALLSTAYS which costs $10 but worth the money, in my opinion (I think its also available on I-Phone). Between the two, I can narrow down my search pretty well and have not been disappointed yet...well not VERY disappointed

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Old 09-13-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
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For us, there's no standard procedure, formula or whatever- just a lot of variables of what will satisfy our needs that we prioritize to come up a choice. A lot depends on what we plan to do once we get there and how many nights we're staying. However, if it's just a "one night stand", then I lean toward the lowest price as why pay top-dollar for amenities you'll never use (I don't practice "Wallydocking" -- no offense to those who do. I just feel safer in a campground, even if it costs me a few shekels). As senior citizens, it doesn't take a lot to make us "Happy Campers". A Full hookup site, though, tops the list as most desirable.

For sources, I mostly use the AAA Campbooks or the Internet.
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Old 09-15-2013, 02:59 PM   #10
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We like staying at State Parks and we're lucky to have a great reservations system here in WA. We try to avoid parks where the rv sites are "line-em-ups".

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