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Old 11-27-2018, 08:53 AM   #1
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New to RVTripWizard and have questions - Long

First, thanks for allowing me to be a part of this forum and for any and all replies.

Background - We're fairly experienced with thirty years in tents plus another twenty in small trailers and have a strong preference for public lands. Our tow is a 2012 4WD double cab Tacoma and the camper is a 19' Scamp. Rather than making reservations, we tend to identify a half dozen or so prospective camping options within fifty miles or so of our destination and take the first one that looks good. Boondocking is fine, just need to dump and refill water every 5-7 days. Rarely used EU3000 genset so no need for hookups.

I recently purchased the RV Trip Wizard utility as an aid to planning a multi-week trip from NC to several western states next Spring. In setting this up, I've hit a few snags.

How responsive is the support desk? I sent in two questions last week with no replies yet, not even an acknowledgement of receipt.

The filtering seems to be somewhat unreliable. I have five favorites set in my Trip Preferences, 1) National Parks, Forests and Reserves, 2) BLM Campgrounds, 3) Corps of Engineers Campgrounds, 4) TVA Campgrounds and 5) State Parks, Forests and Reserves. The "Show only preferred campgrounds" option is checked. From the Map screen, when I display the Research tab and choose the "Show filters" option, these five are displayed along with six others - 1) Commercial and Private, 2) Canadian National Parks, 3) Canadian Provincial and Reserves, 4) City Parks, 5) County Parks and 6) US Forest Service.

a) The "Commercial and Private" on the particular map I have displayed shows three campgrounds available. These are all public campgrounds - None are private. All three are designated at NPS or state managed facilities when individually "clicked". The improperly designated campsites are identified with the correct icon but are hidden if the "Commercial and Private" group is clicked off.

b) Why is "US Forest Service" shown as a separate group? USFS campgrounds seem to always be grouped under the National Parks designation. It would be great if they were segregated into a unique classification as there are distinct differences between them.

c) Five of the groupings are highlighted. Highlighting does not indicate my selected groups as "BLM and DNR" is not highlighted. There are no BLM campgrounds on this particular display which might lead one to think that is a requiremenmt but that is not correct as "TVA Park" is highlighted and there are none of them either.

Is there a defined process for reporting errors and what is the likelihood and time-frame for corrections?

I've had difficulties with other features as well but need more "hands on" before asking for help on those.


Thanks - Al
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Old 11-27-2018, 10:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huachuca View Post
First, thanks for allowing me to be a part of this forum and for any and all replies.

Background - We're fairly experienced with thirty years in tents plus another twenty in small trailers and have a strong preference for public lands. Our tow is a 2012 4WD double cab Tacoma and the camper is a 19' Scamp. Rather than making reservations, we tend to identify a half dozen or so prospective camping options within fifty miles or so of our destination and take the first one that looks good. Boondocking is fine, just need to dump and refill water every 5-7 days. Rarely used EU3000 genset so no need for hookups.

I recently purchased the RV Trip Wizard utility as an aid to planning a multi-week trip from NC to several western states next Spring. In setting this up, I've hit a few snags.

How responsive is the support desk? I sent in two questions last week with no replies yet, not even an acknowledgement of receipt.


---- I usually have an answer back in a day or 2 and do receive an acknowledgment


The filtering seems to be somewhat unreliable. I have five favorites set in my Trip Preferences, 1) National Parks, Forests and Reserves, 2) BLM Campgrounds, 3) Corps of Engineers Campgrounds, 4) TVA Campgrounds and 5) State Parks, Forests and Reserves. The "Show only preferred campgrounds" option is checked. From the Map screen, when I display the Research tab and choose the "Show filters" option, these five are displayed along with six others - 1) Commercial and Private, 2) Canadian National Parks, 3) Canadian Provincial and Reserves, 4) City Parks, 5) County Parks and 6) US Forest Service.


--- I tried t play with this a bit and it appears if yu turn th filter on(green) RVTW eliminates that type of campground


a) The "Commercial and Private" on the particular map I have displayed shows three campgrounds available. These are all public campgrounds - None are private. All three are designated at NPS or state managed facilities when individually "clicked". The improperly designated campsites are identified with the correct icon but are hidden if the "Commercial and Private" group is clicked off.


--- I would look at that as an error in the designation of a park wherever they get their list from, report it under "missing park"


b) Why is "US Forest Service" shown as a separate group? USFS campgrounds seem to always be grouped under the National Parks designation. It would be great if they were segregated into a unique classification as there are distinct differences between them.


--- Again database designation


c) Five of the groupings are highlighted. Highlighting does not indicate my selected groups as "BLM and DNR" is not highlighted. There are no BLM campgrounds on this particular display which might lead one to think that is a requiremenmt but that is not correct as "TVA Park" is highlighted and there are none of them either.



Is there a defined process for reporting errors and what is the likelihood and time-frame for corrections?


--- Just report the problem, I can't answer when something will be corrected.



I've had difficulties with other features as well but need more "hands on" before asking for help on those.


Thanks - Al

There are a lot of little "bugs" in any planning product. None are perfect. I like what RVTW is trying to do and am willing to live through the growing pains. Like you, I would like the little things addressed faster but we don't know what other priorities they have. Recently they incorporated RV Park Reviews which was a major enhancement and very welcome. Saves a lot of time.
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Old 11-27-2018, 10:30 AM   #3
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huachuca Al,
Thanks for asking these questions. I have not yet purchased RV Trip Wizard so I'll be watching this thread with interest.
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:35 AM   #4
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Sue and Tom (Sue46) - Thanks for such a detailed reply. I really appreciate your taking the time to replicate and respond to many of my concerns. I too like what RV Trip Wizard is trying to do but, for my needs, their responsiveness and the accuracy of their data are critical.

Fred and Mary (EZDZIT) - Appreciate the welcome. Maybe the Support Staff got caught up with the Holiday. With that in mind, I sent in two support requests this morning. One used the "Missing Park" feature to request the addition of the BLM Horsethief Campground near Moab, UT. Its dry camping but centrally located between Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Dead Horse Point State Park. The second was reported through the "Contact Us" tab and outlines the mis-identification of the Oregon Inlet Campground in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. It displays with a NPS icon but disappears when the "Commercial and Private" tab is clicked off.

I'll update this thread with all responses.


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Old 11-28-2018, 08:49 AM   #5
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Good news - There were receipts for both support requests when I went back to check my in-box. The one related to the addition of the Horsethief Campground included this text "We have over 17,000 campgrounds in our database, but we know there are many more for which we do not have a listing. This one will be added asap. It's folks like you who really help make RV Trip Wizard™ even better, and we really appreciate the help. The Wizard Team" I can certainly live with that.

Better news - A third email was just received indicating the NPS Oregon Inlet Campground had been properly reclassified. I tested it and the icon now displays correctly.


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Old 11-28-2018, 09:00 AM   #6
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Al,


I really don't think their accuracy is any better or worse than any other system. One systeam may be better at showing BLM but falls down on Commercial. There is no one database that seems to have everything(as much as we wish one would). And then throw in all the campgrounds that are Mom and Pop and don't do any advertising, one just finds them along the road.



I don't know where the data is found in general. Some are obvious, Passport America, KOA etc. Others aren't so obvious and then throw in the changing formats of the different databases.



When planning a trip(I only plan for a week or 2 at a time) I visit 4-6 different systems to see what campgrounds are available.



I wish someone would come up with a solution but I sure don't see how.
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:02 AM   #7
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Al,


Happy to hear the good news.
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Old 11-29-2018, 07:46 AM   #8
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I have been using Trip Wizard to plan out some trips. Great Tool. However, it does not have all the campgrounds listed. So I often have to supplement my search with other online tools like GoodSam or KOA to find RV campgrounds when I start to reach my driving radius. I especially like the reviews categorized by type of RV in whether or not to choose an campground.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:20 PM   #9
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dphillipssr - Thanks for the reply. For my needs, the biggest problem with the product so far is the mis-identification of campground affiliations and not so much the absence of data.

We never stay in private campgrounds and I have my filters set to reflect this. Yet, I find commercial operations displayed and identified with a NPS icon. As Sue noted in a previous reply, these can be hidden by clicking the filter but sometimes they really are Federal/State campgrounds with the correct icon that somehow got tagged so they contribute to the Commercial/Private filter campground count and these are hidden on the map if the filter is removed.

it certainly raises some data integrity issues in my mind. Are there other settings that cause public lands campgrounds to be 'hidden' with my filters? Forty years in a commercial IT application taught me 'no data is better than bad data'.

On the positive side, I reported a campground with the problem described here before starting the reply and it has been corrected while I typed.


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Old 12-05-2018, 07:01 AM   #10
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I too have noticed that the icons sometimes don't seem to match up. For example, a Thousand Trails park shows up with a Passport America icon.

I think this is because the TT park also accepts Passport America. How the system determines which icon to show is the question...
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