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Old 03-02-2008, 09:48 PM   #1
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Trailer Life Directory Ratings

OK, I will say it, I am slow. My wife and I are on a two month road trip and most of the time flying by the seat of our pants. When we find a place we want to stay, we check our trailer life directory for an RV park. We always look at the ratings ie.,8/8.5/8 or whatever. We have stayed in some parks with high ratings that were sad to say the least, we are now seeing that the parks that run the biggest adds are recieving better treatment on their ratings, to the point where their ratings are 50% to 60% higher then we think they should be! Well, are we slow to figger this out or in left field? Is there a better system to find accurite parks?
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:58 PM   #2
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We don't always agree with the TL ratings either...or with Woodall's for that matter...we do compare them and get the basic information from them to make our own minds up...and we always read the "comments" on parks if there are any recorded...we also try to find a website for any park we might really be interested in and check it out...gathering a lot of info and not really relying on any one rating... And we ask here if there are any experiences with specific parks...or for recommendations for parks in an area...
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:00 AM   #3
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Here is a good site with reviews of most RV Parks.
RVparkreviews.com :: Home
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:23 AM   #4
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When we took our cross-country, maiden voyage and a few other of our long trips, we made our decision on RV campgrounds based only on the bathroom facility ratings and distance from the freeway. Since we were, for the most part coming in just before dark and enjoying dinner in the trailer, we weren't concerned with the view or other amenities. Also, being less than a half mile or so from the freeway was a plus. In the morning, we would have a quick breakfast and shower before hitting the road. Not too often were we disappointed with our decision and in most cases pleasantly surprised. If we make either of these trips again, there are some of these campgrounds we will definately make it a point to return to.

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Old 03-03-2008, 08:01 AM   #5
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Azflycaster, Great sight we will use this sight for reference.Thanks
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:21 AM   #6
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It's kind of complicated.

a. The TL and Woodalls people really want parks to buy ads; park ratings are secondary. And when they do come -- once a year, but sometimes they skip a year -- the rating is pretty quick and cursory. So far, I have no reliable evidence to show that buying an ad helps the rating, but the suspicion is always there.

b. The Woodalls/TL people have the country divided into regions, with different raters assigned to different regions. The problem is that these different raters use different ratings yardsticks, so to speak. As a result, you can observe a park in one region with a rating of, say, 8/8/8, and then drive across the regional border and find a very similar park with a rating of 6/6/6. Duh. Poor training, to put it mildly.

We use the Woodalls directory (and TL, only as necessary), but basically use them as location markers. The ratings have to be taken with a pretty good-sized grain of salt.

RVparkreviews.com can be pretty good at times, too, and we use it for our travels as well. Alas, this resource also has to be used with care, for the assignment of ratings is subjective, and you don't know who did the rating. As a result, you get an effect that is pretty similar to TL/Woodalls:

a. Because the raters are untrained, there's no unified system, so what is gold in the eyes of one rater is pyrite in the eyes of the next.

b. Of course, RVParkReviews doesn't want to sell ads to parks (no suspicion of ratings influenced by ad money), but there is the suspicion that some of the reviews are, in fact, done by the park owners themselves. Again, I have no reliable evidence to show that this actually happens, but it's tough to overcome suspicion.


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Old 03-03-2008, 09:17 AM   #7
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I have written elsewhere that one MUST learn to read between the lines when going through any of the campground guides. Personally, I would NEVER select a campground that scores less than 25 points on the TL scoring guide. That means 8/8/8 doesn't score high enough for us to use. I understand that we could miss out on a wonderful campground but, that's the criteria we've chosen to use. We also take recommendations from other travellers. But, we all know someone could highly recommend a campground but they have much lower tolerances than you might have. Just because one person really likes a CG certainly doesn't mean you'll like it. I know of folks that love shushi but that doesn't mean it will appeal to my tastes! Nothing is guaranteed because we all have different tastes. But, I have been happy with my minimum of 25 points in TL to qualify for a night's stay. My favorite example is a campground in southern Ohio that always advertises heavly. They show a tube coiling down the hill into the lake - kids loving the swimming and the beach full of folks. They have over 300 places to spend the night - electricity, water and sewage available. What they don't say is they have over 250 full time residents nor do they mention that over half of them haven't visited their trailer in over a year - it was a mess!!! Fortunately, their TL score was less than 20 - but they do advertise regularly. Reading between the lines has become a full time job when my wife and I plan our outings. Enjoy!! And like someone has already said, "the best day at work isn't nearly as enjoyable as the worse day on the road."
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:30 AM   #8
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I would second this site, the reviews are from campers, and they have a nice set of rules. You must post three reviews before they allow your posts to show up. This helps to avoid a false review. We use this site along with a TL/Woodalls, and have always found the reviews accurate. Just like any review system, you sometimes have to wade through the muck to get the truth.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:02 AM   #9
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Don't forget the Forum, if you find a real pit or a really great spot let us know here.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:37 AM   #10
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We prefer Woodalls over TL. We don't pay much attention to ratings except if it's a one or two diamond. That's usually a bad sign. We hit a one diamond last year in Liberal, Kansas. It was down wind of a feed lot and the cable didn't work because they hadn't paid the bill.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:37 PM   #11
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We've had our share of disappointments over the years. Campgrounds in Fl. rated high with beach front camping, only to find upon arrival that your extended awning is almost touching the vehicle next to you, to absolutely beautiful campgrounds that have so much road noise that your stay outside is miserable. Railroad trains, landfills, you name it we've seen it.

Many times however it's what we expect and we are glad we used the guide to steer us to the campground. Thankfully with the advent of the Internet we now have some additional resources to follow up with.

We tend to do one big trip a year and when we've never been to a locale before and you need to reserve in advance, it's sometimes a big crap shoot.

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Old 03-05-2008, 08:03 AM   #12
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Thanks,Lynn Your park is one of our favorites and no park out there treats you better.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen H
Thanks,Lynn Your park is one of our favorites and no park out there treats you better.
Oh, gosh! That's really nice!

Remember, though, that we're sort of extra-special partial to Airstreamers and to our WBCCI unit members! And to our friends. And to our our retiree ski crowd and to our retiree summer crowd, bless their hearts (even though they still haven't figured out that they should own Airstreams!).

But back to the topic. Currently, I don't think there is a perfect resource for travels. Basically, I think it best to know what resources are out there -- both print and electronic -- and to sample all of them. Maria and I have learned that one the hard way, after staying at some really neat places and some disasterously bad ones!


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