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Old 02-17-2014, 03:25 PM   #1
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Allstays Camp & RV AP Reviews

My wife and I, a while back, started traveling on the roads less traveled and have been depending on ALLSTAYS Camp & RV ap on our phone and pad to find campgrounds on the roads less traveled.

We have a word of warning about ALLSTAYS campground reviews we have learned the hard way. You can not depend on the reviews. We recently pulled into a private RV Resort with a 4.+ out of 5 rating by 17 reviewers who all gave it glorious praise. It was one of the worst private campgrounds I have seen in all my years camping. I think the owner had friends and family post these reviews to get a super rating on ALLSTAYS. I am sticking with reviewers like Good Sam and Trailer Life in the future.

We were also expecting to stay in state park campgrounds during the winter months in the southern states. We ran into a number of southern state (not FL) campgrounds closed for the winter. Perhaps this is a budget issue. When we lived in Tennessee we often camped in Tennessee state parks during the winter. I need to be better at checking for this before I just expect a state park campground to be open in the winter because it is south of Tennessee.

I should know better.

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Old 02-17-2014, 03:45 PM   #2
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My opinion is that "reviews" should be taken with a huge grain of salt. For instance, the resort I am staying in right now, if someone were to write a review based on a stay when the pilots from the local AFB are up in their F16's would likely say this is a noisy place. But there are other periods when days go by and the pilots are not flying proficiency training. In that case, like today, it's actually very quiet here.
Reviews for sure can be misleading.

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Old 02-17-2014, 03:50 PM   #3
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One thing I like about All Stays is that there is a phone number for the campground. If it is a National Forest Campground it is the regional office which maintains it. A quick call to them during the daytime hours will confirm if it is open or not. I have run into NF campgrounds closed temporarily for tree thinning, fire, and paving. So, call ahead. Same for State and National Park campgrounds.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:56 PM   #4
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When we bought our first trailer we wanted to do a weekend run not too far from home. We looked through a Woodalls and chose a place in Gadsen, AL - it had top ratings. When we got there though it wasn't anything like we were hoping for. Everyone was so close, you couldn't open your awning. The river was not very pretty etc. But they did have a nice big laundry, game room, meeting room with kitchen and I realized that while some campers would rate this highly, it wasn't our cup of tea.

I do use AllStays and Trip Advisor and find I get the most information from people's descriptions. Remote setting? Check. Plenty of privacy and space? Check etc

I also write down campgrounds mentioned on this site ifthe description is good. I think the more info you get, the better chance of no surprises.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:36 PM   #5
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I've used AllStays extensively for the past couple of years and have been very satisfied with the contents. I haven't had a horrible experience, but I also don't rely heavily on the reviews. Very often, I'm more interested in location than anything else.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:04 PM   #6
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Sorry your experience with the camp wasn't good.

I'm happy with Allstays because I use it mostly for the data, the directions, links to websites, pics, lists of amenities and for planning purposes. But i don't necessarily trust reviews anywhere. Just too many variables, including personal tastes which vary - well - by person. Some people love poodles, some don't. It's easy to find reviews with both perspectives and if you've never seen a poodle before, how would you know?

Reviews would improve if they were written more like.....

For x-type of person/family, the y-type feature could provide z-type benefit.

For example...

For families who prefer very close camping quarters, ABC park's awning-to-awning campsite proximity could provide that tight-knit community feel you're looking for.

Some people might read that and think - great! Just what I'm looking for! Others will think - good Lord - that's the LAST place I ever want to go!

Seems that would be more helpful than, "I love it!"

Happy camping!
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:20 PM   #7
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Reviews are ALL subjective, made by people who filter their experiences through their own expectations. That means they tend to be truthful, but not necessarily factual. "I had a great time" does not mean "This is a great campground." But often non-professional reviewers mistake one for the other.

When I read a review, I pay attention to these things:
1 - How old are the reviews? A review in 2013 might still be valid in 2014, but a review from 2009 is usually meaningless. However…
2 - What did people complain about the most? If several reviewers had the same complaint, that's something to pay attention to. Especially if that complaint is spread over multiple years, because that's an indication the problem is not getting fixed. This is where older reviews become valuable.
3 - How long did the reviewers stay? If they stopped overnight, that's different than if they spent a week. I'll only pay attention to reviews from someone who has spent at least as long as I intend to spend at the campground.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:33 AM   #8
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Worth the price

I like Allstays because it offers us more options. The Good Sam books do not have all campgrounds listed or pinpointed on the map. Allstays lists lots more campgrounds and also lists fuel and food stops. We've been surprised several times at rated campgrounds and have learned that any rating service can miss the mark.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:34 AM   #9
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In my experience, all of the ratings systems can be gamed by management that wants to do it. With and other places that distribute anonymous reviews, it's easy for management to incentivize people to post good reviews. Either they ask friends and family or offer a discount to seasonals or hosts or whatever. There are, I understand, also places that employ writers to post fake reviews for a fee.

There are also fake negative reviews out there.

But Woodalls and similar guides can also be gamed. Savvy management will figure out that there are specific, objective criteria that these places use that can be satisfied relatively inexpensively, like the presence of a particular amenity or feature. These guides field check once a year at most and rely heavily on self-reporting. They can miss things because they typically do not show on holidays or at peak times.

On the other side of the coin, there are some excellent campgrounds that aren't listed in the major guides. Some of these are smaller county and municipal campgrounds, and others are privately run places that don't believe that a listing is worth the time and money.

I usually write reviews for campgrounds I visit. Writ large, that is the way to improve the quality of these services.

When I read reviews, I usually look more for specific, verifiable information rather than an overall rating, e.g.:

- All the full-hookup sites were taken by seasonal and long-term campers
- The 9:00 p.m. deadline for late arrivals is strictly enforced
- Adjacent sites use a shared pedestal so a long shore power cord is needed
- It was a hot day and voltage on our loop dropped below 100
- While they advertise propane we were unable to get any because <whatever>
- There is no Verizon coverage in loop B

I usually look at maps to try to gauge site size, either a campground map provided by management, or satellite images, or a combination.

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