The Business of Work Camping: Why leave a review?

11

By Sam Suva
Whenever we travel somewhere new while full-time RVing, whether we’re work camping or just commuting at a campground, it’s a first-time experience. The place we are camping, the places we stop at for fuel, the times we need to get a meal, some service on the camping unit, groceries, area attractions and of course the actual place where we are going are brand-new to us. The turns, the turnarounds, the stops and the pauses didn’t exist before we saw them (according to a very funny friend of mine).

It’s safe to say that if it is our first, then it is, or will be, someone else’s first too. Leaving a review for the place of business, much like a customer satisfaction card, written or verbally with the staff or submitted online, tells others who would venture down that same stretch of road of our experiences. This helps those travelers to have some information and our opinion of what we have encountered.

Let’s look at some examples of leaving reviews for where we travel.

What would we review?
We can leave reviews for gas stations, restaurants, retail outlets, repair shops and even city parks and rest areas. Some police stations even have a social media page or presence that posts can be written to or directed to in these forums. Important, too, is to make sure we leave a review for the campgrounds we have stayed at along the way and the one where we work camped.

How would we review?
Each place that we frequent probably has an online presence, so feel free to leave a review online. Before tapping away, however, take a moment to really determine if the review we are about to leave is relevant and fair. Did the gas station have clean bathrooms? Were the staff friendly? Did they have wheelchair access and did they have our favorite snack on their well-stocked and neatly arranged shelves? Perhaps, and if so, we could in good conscience leave a positive review. However, what if the store is less than neatly arranged? What if there are cobwebs on the ceiling fans and smudges on the glass door? What if the soap dispenser in the bathroom is crusty?

In being fair and relevant, have we approached staff or the manager and let them know of a spill or a mishap, or shortage of or misplaced item? Is the situation temporary and perhaps even a developing issue, or has it been awhile since it has been addressed? Most managers and staff understand that quickly resolving an issue or shortfall is good business, so let’s give them a chance to make it right.

However, if the experience is excellent, the service sublime and takeaway tremendous (nope, not going to apologize), then feel free to let their good deeds, their above-and-beyond helpful service be known to all. Leave a review on their website, social media and even at places that rate and review services or businesses locally, like web browsers and sites that are industry-specific.

Please share with me some of your reviews of places, good and bad, and we can laugh or weep together at the insanity or the pleasure of it.

Thank you for reading my articles, see you down the road,

Sam

Sam Suva and his wife are work campers. They began work camping more than 10 years ago and have spent a lot of time working as they traveled. In this new weekly feature, they will share their experiences with you, with an emphasis on how to incorporate work camping into a full time RV lifestyle.

Read more articles about Work Camping.

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Rusty
1 month ago

Some reviews are just pure mean spirited hurt feelings types while others are useful and funny. Read a review about a camp ground located near Yellowstone Park where the individual complained the wild animals wouldn’t pose for a picture.

Leonard Rempel
1 month ago

I have only been RV’ing for a year, but leave campground reviews on Campendium; for two reasons.

  • First off, I use them, so it would be nice if my review could help anyone in anyway to make a decision.
  • Second is that it keeps an online record of where I have camped and I can refer to those same reviews when planning another trip!
Drew
1 month ago

I’m like some of the people who read reviews and then try to interpret them. The place we visit all the time had very iffy and some average reviews. If I had just made a decision to stay away based on those we would have never enjoyed the years (now decades) of friendships and terrific views. However, I’ll agree that a huge number of stinky reviews can probably be trusted as mostly factual.

Ellen L
1 month ago

I always look for reviews when choosing a campground. Sure, there will be some that don’t like “anything” but you have to look for a pattern in the reviews. One place we looked at had multiple reviews over time talking about the water system going down and having to boil water. THAT one was off our list immediately. Now that I am workamping at the front desk we ask people if they had a nice stay. We ask for reviews. It’s the only way people can find out about a business that isn’t paid advertising.

Bluebird Bob
1 year ago

I used to leave a review everytime we moved to a new location. Now, I don’t review anything! Leave a positive review and good luck on getting a spot in that same campground in the future. Wrote of my concerns to Campground Reviews and never got an email back, which, to me, means I am spot on.

Sam
1 year ago
Reply to  Bluebird Bob

Our industry is getting crowded, that’s for sure Bob. Most campgrounds are full to overflowing with the recent sales of RV’s and everyone finding out about our little, not-so-well kept secret. Still, I feel it is important to be honest about my experiences and hopefully someone will build more places for us to review! Thanks for your comments Bob.

Sally G
1 year ago

Google maps typically allows reviews and photos of places, and I always look at reviews for places we are planning on staying. I post reviews, especially if there aren’t many, or if previous reviews haven’t covered factors that are important to me (eg ease of access for a larger rig plus toad, facilities for campers, size of sites). It’s frustrating (to me, anyway) when reviews just give stars, or say inane stuff like “friendly staff”.
Hubby says I write too much and nobody reads it, but I certainly appreciate and read detailed reviews. I’d be interested in knowing what other RVers find helpful in reviews of campgrounds / RV parks, and gas stations!

Bob Godfrey
1 year ago
Reply to  Sally G

We have used Campground Reviews for many years and have found them to be very helpful in determining where to stop along the way. I do, however, pay particular attention to how many reviews a person has in his/her profile when accepting their viewpoint.

Sam
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Godfrey

In today’s cyber world where reviews can be purchased or manipulated, it is good to look for those signs of tampering, thanks for the reminder Bob.

Sam
1 year ago
Reply to  Sally G

Hello Sally, I have been in campgrounds in destination areas where the blacktop road to the sites was impassable, the trees were dragging on the camper and the dumpster was not convenient! Having that information would have been very useful and I am sure you would have added that in your review. Thank you for your comments.

Sally G
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam

Thanks, Sam – yes, that’s exactly the kind of stuff I would comment on !