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Old 09-13-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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Guide books to Campgrounds

Hi Folks, Is there a "best" guidebook to campgrounds. I like to know the level of security, type of hook-ups, etc. I have no interest in "dry camping" until I am fully acquainted with my new 25' Airstream. So, I do need help and am certain to get a couple of opinions if I just ask. Thanks much,
Happy trails and Good Luck
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Old 09-13-2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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Hi MsMoto, We use the Woodall's Campground Directory and it has been a great resource. It comes with a CD that has all the same information as the book.
I would equate their book to the AAA guide books for completeness and reliablity.
Rick and Joanna
On the road, cause she's always telling me where to go.
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Old 09-13-2008, 04:12 PM   #3
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There are two large printed directories, one by Trailer Life and the other, brought up by Rick56Safari, the Woodalls Directory. We kind of lean towards Woodall's (though only because the TL people that come by here every year are just a little snooty towards Woodalls).

There are lots of online directories, though I don't think any of them are as complete as Woodall's. (Some of them are technically pretty neat, incorporating a Google map into the interface, but they're are almost as well known for their errors as they are for their hits.)

There are also some campground review sites out there. The most well-known, I think, is However, the reviews there are quite subjective ("The place stinks because it was too cold: Bad review"), so best to use them along with the reviews in TL/Woodalls.

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Old 09-13-2008, 06:43 PM   #4
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As far as I am concerned the Anderson Campground guide was by far the best one ever published. Colman bought it several years back and wrecked it in one year. If you ever see and older one pick it up.

They only cover the east coast but the way the map was set up and the way the campgrounds were listed was the best.
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:30 PM   #5
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I have both the Trailer Life and Woodalls and I lean towards the TL as being the best - in fact I rarely look at the Woodalls. As far as levels of security goes there are none that I know of that even mention security. I've been camping for 8+ years and for the last 1 1/2 have been fulltime and I've never had the slightest problem with security - and I've camped several times in remote CGs where I was the only trailer in the park.
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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We use both the Woodall's and Trailer Life's on line directories to get their opinions of camp grounds and parks, and a usually comprehensive list of amenities, etc. We don't buy the hard copies any more, as we do most of our research on line. We also Google specific parks or recreational areas by name to find all sorts of information from different sources... By getting a variety of input from different sources we can usually figure out what to expect. As we narrow the field we go to specific parks' websites to get detailed information and hopefully pictures. In a new area there is always some things unforeseen, but you'll be amazed at how much information you can find on line. If you have internet capabilities while on the road, you can even do your research as you go. If not you can do it ahead of time and print out reviews, directions, contact information and put together a folder of all the pertinent info to refer to as you go.
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:44 PM   #7
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In another life, I worked for a company that makes (presses, not "burns") optical discs (CDs, DVDs). I ran into the lady that runs Woodalls at her booth at a publishing tradeshow.

She spent a lot of time just talking to me about how they get and verify the information, and just issues in general for her business.

Really nice person, and there's nothing she doesn't know about trailer camps...
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:58 PM   #8
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I would agree with all that has been stated above. I have every one of the Guides that are available and I alway check them out on IN ALL CASES, you must learn to read between the lines as none of the publishers wish to upset the folks that buy advertising from them. We visited a CG recently that was identified as having 350 sites plus all the amenities - swimming, sliding, playground, playroom, basketball, etc. & etc.. It mentioned several items available - it DIDN'T mention they had 300 FULL TIME CAMPERS!! And, believe me, most of the full timer's TT and 5ers were in a terrible state of repair. When you select the Guide you plan to use, learn to read between the lines - sometimes it is more difficult than others but it is usually possible. The more you use it, the more you'll see exactly what I mean. Good luck!!
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:22 PM   #9
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... what these folks before wrote...

When I look at the online reviews I immediately "throw out" the best and worst review and then look at the overall trend. Everyone can have an exceptionally good or bad day.

The most current reviews trump earlier ones, too. Things can change quickly.

Don't forget word of mouth! Best advertising :-D)

Happy camping!
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
As far as I am concerned the Anderson Campground guide was by far the best one ever published. Colman bought it several years back and wrecked it in one year. If you ever see and older one pick it up.

They only cover the east coast but the way the map was set up and the way the campgrounds were listed was the best.
Anderson's was great! I met them once at a campground- an older couple who full-timed while reviewing campgrounds (not a bad idea... hmmm..... ) I have a copy from 1994 that I still refer to! I often wondered what happened to them.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:11 PM   #11
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Should we use Woodalls we've learned that nothing below a WWWW rating suits us when we stay at private parks. We may just be too picky but that's fine too when paying twice the State and Federal Park rates.
In dog years, I'm dead!
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:24 PM   #12
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Woodalls also has a very informative website. You can get their ratings and do a search for campgrounds within a certain distance of a specific town. I hope you enjoy your 25' CCD as much as we do, it's a great trailer.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:54 PM   #13
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Frommer's for us

I spent hours looking at different CG guides at several big-box bookstores, and found that Frommer's gave us the best information. It includes ratings of up to six stars on the important things like view, insect control, security, quietness, and cleanliness along with details like numbers of spaces, amps, amenities, etc. The best part is that the reviews are written and submitted by people who have actually camped there! They usually indicate which spaces are the best for access to swimming or hiking or farthest from the activity of the area along with their own impressions like, "This place is run by a great couple who prepares breakfast from scratch every weekend!" or "The views are unbelievable and worth the stay if you don't mind being 10 feet away from your neighbors." It includes private, state, and national park CG information. We have been very satisfied with the CGs we've stayed at that were recommended in Frommer's.

Lori & Will

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