Tuesday, November 28, 2023


How important to you are online ratings of an RV park when making a reservation?

Do you check online reviews of an RV park or other campground before making a reservation? If so, how important is it that it has a high, or at least a decent rating?

Or do you simply return to familiar places, where you already know if they’re up to your standards or not?

Curious minds would like to know. Remember, it may take a few moments for the poll to load. So stand by, partner!

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Steve P (@guest_183536)
1 year ago

We use the online ratings when planning. We read the reviews and evaluate the rating based on what the comments are. Some “poor” rating are just sour grapes and we usually ignore these. There are multiple places to see ratings and we try to review several.

Jill B Jacques (@guest_182854)
1 year ago

Ratings help, then I read the comments. The comments help to determine if the RV park is a fit for me.

Jeff Craig (@guest_182828)
1 year ago

When we are on a long trip, we tend to stay in Military FamCamps every other night. They are almost always exceptional (though there are a few USAF bases that need to work hard to catch up to the USN….) like Whidbey Island, Pensacola, Memphis and Hill AFB in SLC. I use Larry Fahrquars MilitaryCampgrounds.us to check them out, and CampgroundReviews.com to read up on regular places we plan on staying at.

That said, we tend to stay at Walmarts or Rest Areas on our ‘travel days’, and if weather forces us to find ‘any porthole in a storm’, then we just go where we can get in.

Donn (@guest_182827)
1 year ago

Any more, I simply hope for an open space.

Steve (@guest_182817)
1 year ago

We never use Good Sam ratings for parks because we had first-hand experience with the lack of objectivity of some paid raters. And Good Sam charges the parks thousands, even 10s of thousands of dollars per year for publishing those reviews!

We use Campgroundreviews.com and Campendium.com, where campers, not paid raters, are writing the reviews. I currently have 86 reviews on Campground Reviews and have been perfectly honest about what we like and dislike about those parks and campgrounds. In fact, one of my most viewed reviews is for a private park I absolutely panned. Several years later, the park changed both owners and names, perhaps because of the negative reviews.

Mark Olsen (@guest_182813)
1 year ago

I used to trust and rely heavily on the online ratings however I’ve found especially Good Sam ratings are horrible and many times very inaccurate. I have come to think that if you as an RV park join the Good Sam park program you will get a good rating no matter how good or bad your park is so I don’t trust them anymore.

Chuck (@guest_182809)
1 year ago

I read the comments with a brief look at the stars, smilies (whatever they use). I don’t understand why people waste time, theirs and mine, complaining about the other campers, the weather, the barking dogs, etc. Tell me about the campsite, the people running the CG, hazards around, things that won’t change. That makes the difference. Also why I will leave a rating at almost every place I stay, following my own rules.,

C Bonelli (@guest_182808)
1 year ago

Yes, but on online ratings (star / happy face system) are just one of many things we consider. Written reviews in social media, aerial maps (to check crowding, tree coverage, etc), word of mouth,

Barnjai (@guest_182803)
1 year ago

I am the designated campsite/campground picker in our travels. Most of the time I’m AWESOME but there have been some losers, too. I use all the well known sites and also Campsite Photos. They don’t always have the campground I’m curious about listed but, when they do I can look at pictures of each site and try to pick a good one. I agree with those of you who read the reviews. Complaints about noisy neighbors or the weather are useless. Reviews that actually review the site they stayed in are great and even better are the ones that review surrounding sites. Nice to know if a site is shaded, level, sloped, secluded, etc.

Last edited 1 year ago by Barnjai
Jim (@guest_182798)
1 year ago

They are important but only from the two or three sites I know to be reliable.

Zeet (@guest_182790)
1 year ago

As fulltime travelers we are almost always going to areas where we have never been. We use campground review sites and have found them to be mostly accurate, ignoring the complainers. We will supplement with google reviews when there are no recent reviews. We are looking for level sites, no issues with utilities, reasonably sized and not junky. The campground’s photos are often misleading showing only their best and often outdated. I agree with others, it’s not the stars but the content of the reviews. I also look at how many reviews the person has done. If its only one and its a glowing review or a very bad review its less meaningful then a regular reviewer. I encourage everyone to write reviews to help those of us who don’t know the area.

James DaVanzo (@guest_182786)
1 year ago

When we’re checking out a new campground, we look at the reviews but then also check out the gallery photos. we then look at google maps to get a bird’s eye view of the campground.

Neal Davis (@guest_182784)
1 year ago

How much we rely on ratings depends on how well we know the campground, the park. We don’t even look at ratings for places that we frequent at least annually. On-line ratings only matter if we know nothing or very little about a place and it is near a place that we want to visit. We have several RVing friends who travel more than we do and we certainly ask for their opinion.

Timothy Johnson (@guest_182782)
1 year ago

We only stay at state parks or c c c or federal land.. We try to stay away from private parks. we stayed at a private park in chula vista and it was a hundred a night and it was very nice and the only reason we stayed there was with my father and his wife..

Steven N (@guest_182781)
1 year ago

I normally don’t rely on how many stars it has but pay attention to the comments. Much like reading any review on Amazon for example you have to pay attention to not only what they are saying but how they say it. It doesn’t take much to see that they person is just a complainer who isn’t happy with anything and someone that is genuinely giving an insightful review that is useful. How many Amazon reviews have you seen where a one star is given complaining about the packaging and not how the actual product performs? You see the same thing in a lot of park reviews. Same with places getting upset if you don’t give them a five star review for what I would consider standard service.

Spike (@guest_182783)
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven N

I agree completely. With a long motorhome I look for comments on unreasonably unlevel sites, low tree limbs, etc. The “star” rating is not as important as thoughtful comments.

Funny example. One campground we were considering was surrounded by large farms and there were several comments about some manure smells along with 1 star ratings. Those comments all had early springtime dates on them. Those familiar with farm country know many farmers spread manure on fields in the spring before planting, then till it in and plant crops at which time the smell subsides. Looking on Google earth, there were no actual farm buildings or cattle yards within 5 miles of the campground, so any smell would be limited to a small springtime period.

We stayed there a week in August…nary a single farm odor and it was a wonderful campground.

KellyR (@guest_182797)
1 year ago
Reply to  Spike

Being brought up in rural areas and then having been stuck in an urban area most of my adult career, “complaints” of farm smells most likely would attract me to the area. As my little brother, when kids, and he wanted to be a vet, would say “AH! …. the smell of fresh manure”. And for me – nearby train tracks would probably attract me. Review stars are worthless without the comments. I want the country when I go to the country.

Deborah Mason (@guest_182779)
1 year ago

The one time I really, really was careful about ratings & checked the comments, not just the stars was when we needed a place within reach of Berkeley CA. One had several comments about how difficult to get in because of how narrow the sites were. Another noted drug deals, discarded paraphernalia, etc right across the fence. The one we chose had some very discouraging comments about dog limitations, but those were for the long term spaces in the back. It was a tight RV park, but served our needs. You can only ask for so much when in a huge city environment. It got us within a “reasonable” commute with our toad. We were only in the Bay Area because a daughter lives there & does not drive.

Joe (@guest_182775)
1 year ago

I usually do a Trip Advisor or other such review search and never look at the reviews on the campgrounds web site. However I seldom look at the 4-5 star reviews as no owner or associates of the owner will give bad reviews. What I look for are repeating themes and dates of the 1,2, & 3 star reviews, if they are something that concerns me such as complaints by many current or past full time occupants then I move on. I also do a Google Earth search to look at the location and layout of the area.

kat (@guest_182767)
1 year ago

Very important! Our first time out as “snowbirds” I checked so many parks. Found out after the first one I needed to have on-line comments rather than just the park comments. What looked like a nice park was an okay park in a not so okay area. If I had read the comments I would have found out it wasn’t the park for us. Now I check all comments, good and bad.

Bob (@guest_182766)
1 year ago

If the ratings are published by a third party travel site, such as tripadvisor or Good Sams, etc. I very seldom rely on them. Those are usually edited reviews. I always look at the campground map to see the layout of the sites, and how many are seasonal. The more seasonal sites, the less likely I will stay. Then check Google maps satellite view.

CAREN KELLY (@guest_182765)
1 year ago

I read the ratings and take them with a grain of salt. I like to see photos from actual campers to see how much space you really have between campers. We stayed in a campground in Saskatchewan and it was beautiful, but our site was facing the camper beside us and our awnings touched, picnic tables were next to each other. Impossible to have a private conversation so we just included our neighbours whenever we were outside together.

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