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Old 01-26-2013, 09:18 AM   #29
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We are moving from camping to RV camping, so we don't ask for much as far as amenities are concerned. We are planning to remove black water from our (yet to be purchased) trailer and replace it with a composting system, giving us more time without needing to access any services. Nature's Head sells a composting toilet that's getting great reviews from the boating community, it fits perfectly into RVs too.

The black water tank will then be replaced with a second fresh water tank that will be used for washing of bodies only. That way it can be filled from lakes, using a simple filtration system. I don't want frogs in my tanks .

For power, solar. When I am out on the bush, I don't watch TV. Our power needs are minimal, mostly powering the fans and lights. Oh yes, swap lights with LEDs.

For us, the wilder and more remote, the better. I'm planning to make our trailer as self contained as possible.

Reading the above I think my perfect campground would not be a campground.
It would just be setting up camp by a lake in the forest. Thankfully we're not exactly short of crown land up here in Canada where free camping up to 21 days is legal, similar to BLM camping down south.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:59 AM   #30
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Our camping goals are different that many other Airstreamers, so our perfect campground is also different.

We are "means" campers as opposed to "end" campers. For the most part, we use Lucy (our Airstream) as a way to be "at home" and still visit many places. We are not generally looking for serene, natural surroundings as we spend little time around the campground during daylight hours. We look for convenient locations with 5 point hook-ups. A level concrete parking lot campground works well for us.

Lucy's tow vehicle is a pop-up truck camper. We venture out from our base camp (the Airstream) in our truck camper, and stay overnight out in the back country. This way, we can experience camping in very remote areas where Lucy can't go. We do quite a bit of dispursed camping in the National Forrests, although we do sometimes use primitive Forest Service campsites. One thing about a truck camper, it fits in virtually any campsite anywhere. Very often we are not within sight of another camper.

We have found that our unusual configuration of Airstream and truck camper fits our camping and travel goals perfectly.

Below is a picture of Lucy, along with Fred and Ethel (the truck and truck camper) preparing to embark on a new adventure.

Brian
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:02 AM   #31
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Five point, five point. Lemme see. Water, sewer, power, wifi, and cable?

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Old 01-26-2013, 10:04 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by eubank View Post
five point, five point. Lemme see. Water, sewer, power, wifi, and cable?

lynn
exactly!
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:09 AM   #33
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Geez, I got it right! I really like FHUs with wifi, but cable is kind of optional, especially since it doesn't exist in a lot of the places we go! Heck, we don't have cable anywhere in this valley, either.

(Funny story. When we moved here, I called the cable company to inquire about cable. They excitedly agreed to lay in a cable, but only if I'd pay to lay it from here to the nearest location. 23 miles from here. Yup.)


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Old 01-26-2013, 10:29 AM   #34
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Proposed rating system for RV sites:

Point Allocation:
Acceptable / Great: 1 point
Questionable: 0 point
Terrible: -1 point

Rating Categories:
1) Entrance to / egress from park
2) Sites: level / sufficiently wide
3) Sites: entrance / exit
4) Utilities: water, electric / sewer
5) Cable / Satellite access
6) WiFi
7) Restrooms / Showers
8) Value
9) Swimming pool / Hot tub
10) Staff courtesy

A " 10 " rating is rare, but provides an "example of excellence" for comparison. We have all probably visited CG's not highly rated and question why such a low rating was given. And we have overnighted in Walmart parking lots which rate higher than some CG's!!! But this system is the one we personally use to provide some standardization in our own judgement. Enjoy!
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:43 AM   #35
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Trailer Life / Woodalls (with slash since they're now one outfit) have a similar rating system. Not that its results are that perfect; I think they have some problems with interrater reliability, a tough matter to try to deal with for them.

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Old 01-26-2013, 11:00 AM   #36
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Over the years, I have found the Woodalls campground ratings to be questionable at best.

Brian
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:13 AM   #37
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Why Not Use Air Forums?

If you select the "More" tab at the top of the page, you will find Campground Reviews. If more of us populate these pages with Airstream oriented campground reviews we could easily be more useful than Trailer Life/Woodalls.
P.S. We could all use Zigi's "Ten Point Rating Protocol."
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:25 AM   #38
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State Parks

Some RV parks that know how to do it are state parks. A recent example is Oliver Lee outside of Alamogordo NM. picture perfect, paved roads, no mud, hookups widely separated sites. As it's above the valley floor, TV reception was excellent. Received about 35 channels...31 of them Mexican.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:27 AM   #39
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We had similar findings, but especially when we crossed borders. Turns out that the rating people have certain geographic areas they're responsible for. When you cross from one rater's area to another rater's area, the differences would show up. Hence the suspicion of problems with interrater reliability.
Lynn

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Over the years, I have found the Woodalls campground ratings to be questionable at best.

Brian
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:11 PM   #40
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One detail not mentioned above is access to a wash station. After weeks on the road, or in areas with muddy roads, it would be nice for a campground to have a cement area far from others to wash the worst mud off. Or even a covered wash bay high enough to tow a trailer right in. I suspect many campers would be glad to pay extra for that option. It is often hard to find even a decent car wash in reach of many campgrounds just to get the truck cleaned up.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:26 PM   #41
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One detail not mentioned above is access to a wash station. After weeks on the road, or in areas with muddy roads, it would be nice for a campground to have a cement area far from others to wash the worst mud off. Or even a covered wash bay high enough to tow a trailer right in. I suspect many campers would be glad to pay extra for that option. It is often hard to find even a decent car wash in reach of many campgrounds just to get the truck cleaned up.
I'm used to looking for coin washes that I could get an 18-wheeler into & out of. This facility type is the usual American highway eyesore on the edge of every American town. It has also been designed to deal with wash water disposal. And a very high rate of consumption.

A campground that was out back of a convenience store / fuel retailer -- down a short road -- would also benefit from laundromat and coin car wash. It would be the model I'd use were I ever interested in having an RV campground. It's not quite what we see in the oilfield, but it'd be a millionaires property in short order if we did.

There's always room for overnighters or longer term vacationers slightly separated from long-term renters in the best design layout.


And, BLUE BEACON is a chain of truck washes that will do quite a nice job on TT & TV.

.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:09 PM   #42
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Our needs vary depending on the trip, however the difference between campgrounds we like the best and ones that we don't return to has a lot to do with:

- Spacing between sites and use of appropriate screening techniques.
- Availability of sites with suitable hookups. 50a in hot weather, water and sewer for stays of more than one night.
- Proper building and grounds management. Grass that grows, roads that are graded, fresh paint when needed, hookups that work, clean convenient trash disposal
- Attentive, friendly, organized office staff. (Everyone has stories of places where they'll never return due to rude or unreasonable staff. Offices that close early or are understaffed are also frustrating)
- Shaded sites.
- Reasonably effective control of biting insects and poisonous plants.
- Sites located away from highway noise.
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