Sunday, September 18, 2016

Campground Reviews

We currently use a variety of sources for finding potential campgrounds:  Good Sam website (reviewed at least yearly), RV Parky (allows me to save potential stops), and AllStays Camp & RV (most comprehensive) along with Harvest Hosts and various other websites.  It's seems there is no one place to cover it all.

Park reviews are so subjective.  We're still newbies but after staying at several and reading reviews, here's what I've learned:

Location:  Many RV parks are near the highway because it makes for easier in & out with a big rig.  Also, many tend to be near railroad tracks or airports.  What we learned from hanging around airports is it's cheap (and usually flat) real estate.  It's interesting that I see complaints about trains or planes but never about highway noise.  Again, it's all subjective.  Is it a common overnight stop or long-term rv park?  

Price:  I love to keep the daily price between $20-30 (including electric, water, sewer, trash and wifi).  That sounds inexpensive compared to a hotel but we are part-time/full-time so that's approximately $700/month (cheap compared to a mortgage but expensive compared to anchoring out for free!). We've stayed at some wonderful campgrounds and parks for that price point.  However, sometimes you pay for convenience (ie. the only rv park in town).  For us, we appreciate a reasonable rate and in exchange we're flexible about having a little extra space, clean bathrooms/laundry rooms and nice surroundings (ie. trees or a view).

Pad:  gravel is fine but concrete is better since we don't have an outdoor rug for under the awning.  We're also known to walk around barefoot.  We don't mind backing in, but now that we have a car pull-thrus are nice and guarantee enough room for the car.

Landscaping:  We prefer campgrounds with lots of tree, grass and wildlife but will settle for a nice patch of grass between pads or ideally a park being surrounded by trees (Topeka).  A picnic table is a nice touch if I can drag it under our awning.  A fire ring or grill is nice for an extended stay.

Wifi:  Yes, we require wifi.  We have T-Mobile Binge On for streaming Netflix & Hulu but appreciate have decent wifi for checking email & FaceBook.  Being able to upload pics is even better.  

Bathrooms & laundry:  If we're on the move, we don't always use the bathrooms unless we want to take an extended shower or we're parked close enough to use them instead of ours.  If it's an extended stay without sewer/water at our pad then clean bathrooms become more important.  If I need to do laundry, I usually check reviews and plan the stop beforehand.  (They are pretty much always cleaner and cheaper than the boat!)

Short term or long term:  RV parks vary depending on if they are rural parks near a highway that caters to transients or parks in town with more long-term residents.

This is the criteria I'll use for future campground/rv park reviews.  Let me know if you have anything to add.

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