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Old 09-09-2010, 11:12 AM   #1
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How Do You "Rate" CGs???

We frequently use sites like RVParkreviews.com to choose places to stay. We also try to contribute to those sites by leaving our own reviews but I've always found myself having a hard time assigning "ratings" because they don't really address "value".

For example, if we're traveling across the southern part of the country and need to overnight, we like this little place we found in Fort Stockton, Texas. It has large grass pull throughs and an on site cafe so we can grab a bite then hit the sack. It really has what we're looking for in an overnight stopover but it's not fancy and doesn't have a lot of amenities.

We've also spent 4 months at Outdoor Resorts in Indio California where we had our own golf course, fitness center, spa, tennis courts, 24hr security, etc.

Now, in my mind both of these places are outstanding for what we want them for but they are in no way similar. We pay $23/night in Texas and $80/night in Indio. Yet, the rating systems seem to want to measure both with the same yardstick without regard to cost or value.

So I'm wondering if others have come up with ways to somehow include "value" in your rating method. Just seems to me that if we used the same yardstick to rate all parks we'll end up with the most expensive rated highly and the cheaper ones on the bottom.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:41 AM   #2
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You have a good point. It realy depends on what additional amenities you want to use. I am always amazed by the comments on how clean the bathrooms are. I can't remember when I have been in a CG bathroom since I purchased my MH.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:45 AM   #3
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I dont think many even attempt to use the same rating system. That's why the comment section is so useful.
Personally, I use a comparison point system. If the park doesnt have concrete level pads its an automatic -1. If wifi is bad or non-existent that's a -1. If no cable that's a -1. No pool an automatic -1, and so on. For a park that is exceptional value,,ie takes Passport America for more than one day without discriminating on site assignments I add +1. Poor service, grumpy office staff, etc also get a -1. Usually the rating ends up around 6-8.
I see many ratings that end up 10, and nearly all that do, really dont deserve a 10, but you also have to consider the rater and their needs and wants, and vacationers nearly always assign different priorities than full-timers do.
The comment section usually allows me to make a fairly accurate judgement when I read all the different comments from different raters.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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Rick,

I think your short description of both campgrounds explained their value. I think a short paragraph on our reason for stopping, along with our individual likes and dislikes explains the value for us.

I stayed in a small campground outside of Austin for 4 months. When we left I decided to post a nice review. One post complained about the trains keeping him up all night. Passing thru Austin this spring we stopped back for a few day visit, I decided to take a long walk....... and sure enough there were train tracks within a 10 minute walk. In 4 months I never noticed a train yet they do run through a few times a day.

Sometimes where one see's value..........Another does not. Just part of life I guess.

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Old 09-09-2010, 01:46 PM   #5
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I would like to know if the power is good and sites are large and level. Also is easy to get in and out of the park and is in a safe area. Amenities are nice but they add $$$. Most of the time I am at a park for what is around the park not what is at the park.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:10 PM   #6
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Rick,

Great points. Although a written comments section would be great and should be part of any rating system, I think more objective rating schemes could be created. In your example, it brings to light a rating that would be of value to many. Why not rate a campsite for a 1 day/night stay an longer term stay?

I was disappointed to find campsite reviews to be so sparse. Having spent the last several years boating, marina and area reviews are much better on the water. I wonder why. It could be that the best information on marinas was created by boaters and boaters are the contributors.

[IMG]file:///C:/Users/Gil/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]Maybe I'll ping the owner of one of the best marina review sites and see if he would entertain creating a campgrounds version. Of course, lacking honest reviews from those that stay would be of zero value. ActiveCaptain - The Interactive Cruising Guidebook - Marina Reviews, Fuel Prices, Anchorages is the site I talking about. Unless you're a member, you won't see much.

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Old 09-09-2010, 04:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick&Cheryl View Post
Personally, I use a comparison point system. If the park doesnt have concrete level pads its an automatic -1. If wifi is bad or non-existent that's a -1. If no cable that's a -1. No pool an automatic -1, and so on.
And that would make it useful for you and for others who value those types of ammenities in a park, but not for us. While I do value level sites, I don't care whether or not they're concrete or gravel; we use a Verizon USB modem, so WiFi isn't important (unless we're in an area where there is no Verizon service); we have satellite TV, so cable isn't important to us (but I don't want a site where trees block the access to the satellite); and we also don't use facilities such as pools, recreation rooms, etc., so those aren't important to us.

So, in the end, the exact same park would most likely be given vastly different ratings from you and from me, because what we value in a park is so vastly different.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:29 PM   #8
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I think the secret is in the write-ups that folks enter. We aren't looking for amenities, we don't use them. If someone ranks a cg at 5 because of that but everything else is good, then it would be okay for us. I've seen write-ups that downgrade a park because there are kids, or seasonals, or don't allow pets...we are all different and looking at different things. I downgrade for poor power, bad water, very unlevel sites, campgrounds that aren't maintained in general, being in a bad part of town...so pretty much safety issues for us.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:32 PM   #9
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Now, in my mind both of these places are outstanding for what we want them for but they are in no way similar. We pay $23/night in Texas and $80/night in Indio. Yet, the rating systems seem to want to measure both with the same yardstick without regard to cost or value.
IMHO, from your description, both of these CG's have high value (COST/AMENITY ratio).

Restaurant reviews typically have a $, $$, $$$ type slot to show comparative cost (which alone does not describe value) . . . maybe that could be included??
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:44 PM   #10
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And that would make it useful for you and for others who value those types of ammenities in a park, but not for us. While I do value level sites, I don't care whether or not they're concrete or gravel; we use a Verizon USB modem, so WiFi isn't important (unless we're in an area where there is no Verizon service); we have satellite TV, so cable isn't important to us (but I don't want a site where trees block the access to the satellite); and we also don't use facilities such as pools, recreation rooms, etc., so those aren't important to us.

So, in the end, the exact same park would most likely be given vastly different ratings from you and from me, because what we value in a park is so vastly different.
I certainly agree that ratings are based on different elements being important or not important, but as long as you make descriptive comments in the comment section, how you actually rated a park wont much matter,,what's important to me when choosing a park is the consensus in the comment section. So as long as you explain to a degree why you rated a park at a particular level, its usually more than adequate for me to determine if the park is for us.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:48 PM   #11
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I don't put much stock in the number ranking system (although I do assign a number if the section is provided) because those are subject to interpretation. One person might think an 8 is great, where another thinks it's just good. On rvparkreviews, you'll see numbers all over the place for a campground & then you'll see one with a whole bunch of high numbers & 1 low number. I just don't rely on the numbers to help me decide whether or not to visit a CG.

I prefer to read the reviews since it seems to give insight on the experience that person had at the CG. Probably why I'm so wordy when I do a review here & on rvparkreviews. A person can write up all kinds of positives for a CG & yet only rate it a 5 & I've read others who had numerous issues & still gave the CG a 7 or 8 - the worded reviews don't seem to relate to the number rank they gave the CG. Another reason I take the number rankings with a grain of salt. Usually, by reading the written reviews, you can get a general sense of what the CG is like which can help the decision making process on whether or not to visit it easier.

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Old 09-09-2010, 04:54 PM   #12
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Lots of good points in this thread. Everyone has different things that are important to them, and they tend to rate the campground on those points. We use RV Park Reviews a lot, and we sometimes rate campgrounds ourselves. We try to be as specific as possible in the comments section about what we liked and what we didn't like so others have an idea of what is important to us.

Similarly, we read the comments carefully, especially the negative ones, and try to weed out extraneous information.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:01 PM   #13
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I'd rate them both very highly

In your example both parks would rate very highly for me. They were good for what you wanted to use them for and you were very happy. That is the important thing. You can explain in the comments, just as you did in the post, why you thought they were good.

Most folks don't give a really low rating to a good park so I scan for a park with high numbers and then read the comments to see if it is really what I'm looking for.

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Old 09-09-2010, 05:59 PM   #14
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We stayed in a CG in Custer, SD this summer that many people would probably downgrade for smaller spaces, tight getting into, etc.

The location, the view of Elk and Deer in "our" front yard every morning and night, and the wonderful Cafe and staff made it one of our highest rated CG's.

I read the reviews to see why people rated it high or low and then see if the same things are important to us.
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