Since we are posting campground reviews and everyone’s definition of a perfect campground varies greatly, I thought it would be good to talk about our idea of a perfect campground. The reviews we post will be measured against this ideal vision of our perfect campground :-), and the final grade will reflect how that campground measures up to our definition of perfection.
There are several categories of “campgrounds”, and our vision of ideal will vary a bit across the categories.
RV Resort: Deluxe, high-end park with all the amenities, including full hookups, pools/hot tubs, sports courts, on site lake or pond with fishing, club house and pavilions, very clean level sites with picnic tables and fire pits / BBQs, well-stocked camp store, good WiFi and cell signal, fitness center, on-site restaurant. Reasonably quiet atmosphere and overall excellent appearance, nicely landscaped throughout with generous tree coverage for shade, and located in an area with good proximity to local attractions and/or peaceful natural surroundings. All facilities should be very clean and well-maintained with minimal to no defects.
RV Park (also RV Campground): Fewer amenities than the resorts, but at least having clean fairly level sites with full hookups, laundry/bath house, picnic tables, BBQs, limited / slow WiFi, decent cell signal, and camp store. Generally quiet atmosphere and attractive landscaping in common areas with overall good tree coverage for shade. May be off the beaten path with limited proximity to local attractions. Facilities should be clean and generally in functional condition with only minor defects.
National/state park: Basic sites sometimes with limited to no hookup access but with dump station available. Ideally, sites would have picnic tables and fire pits / BBQs and be reasonably level. Overall quiet atmosphere with excellent proximity to peaceful natural areas along with opportunities for hiking, fishing, boating, and other outdoor recreational options. Availability of picnic pavilions, camp store, ranger station. No expectation of WiFi and very limited to no cell signal. Facilities should be functional, clean, with minor defects.
Boondocking: While many use this term very broadly to include dry camping / overnight parking in truck stops and parking lots, we will only use this category to capture stays in off-the-grid remote areas usually on public lands. These sites will typically have no hookups or site improvements or facility amenities at all. No WiFi will be provided, and cell signal may be very compromised or non-existent. Of course, the draw for this kind of camping is the potential for absolutely peaceful surroundings, privacy, beautiful vistas, and proximity to outdoor recreational opportunities. Surroundings should be clean (little to no litter) and any provided facilities (e.g. vault toilets) should be functional.
The sections of the review form are intended to keep us somewhat consistent in the kinds of information we’re capturing and posting. In the Site Details section, we’ll check those features that we used or had available at our site. In the Amenities section, we’ll check the amenities that we observed. If walking trails and/or biking trails is checked, then there are trails for that purpose other than the obvious campground roads. Our expectation for big rig friendly is that we can maneuver our 45′ tag axle diesel pusher coach to and within the park and in and out of the site with little difficulty. We’ll provide an indication of the property conditions we observed at the time of our stay — of course, things may improve or worsen since the time we stayed there. The rate per day is what we paid when we were there; we will note if we had any special discounts. At this time, we are not getting any direct compensation or benefit from these reviews; if we do in the future, we will include that information in the review.
We will designate an overall grade for the review from “A” – “F” (no “E” 😉 ), and we will probably be pretty tough graders.
- To get an A, the location must meet ALL of our expectations for that category.
- A “B” means the location is very good and we’d be happy to recommend others staying there.
- A “C” means the location is adequate and acceptable for limited stays but we wouldn’t want to stay there for longer than 4-7 days.
- Any location with a “D” should be avoided unless there are no other options in the vicinity.
- If we assign an “F” to a location, it means we would never want to go back and would absolutely not recommend it to others.
In each campground review post, we’ll provide a link to a printable review form for your convenience. We hope this overview of our campground expectations is helpful and we welcome your thoughts.