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Campground Recommendations & Ratings

Campground recommendations and ratings are a very subjective process.¬† This is something that I have thought about many times since I started my website, This Old Campsite, to provide recommendations on campgrounds that my wife and I have visited. What we think of a campground in terms of quality my not be what someone else may think. There are a lot of websites making recommendations using scales of 1 to 10, with Trailer Life and Woodalls being the most well known of the group. It is my assumption that they appoint different individuals to visit campgrounds and then give their opinion using some guidlines. A few months ago, we met a couple who were working for a website that puts out campground recommendations. Our opinion and theirs didn’t match in regards to the campground where we met.

When we first started camping, we relied on info from various books such as Trailer Life, Woodalls and a few others, to find a campgound. This campground thing was new to us, so we had to rely on info from whatever source we could. It didn’t take long to find out that someone elses opinion of “Resort” was far different than ours. Most of the books only have written information about what is available at a campground and then a rating number. Wouldn’t it be neat if you could see pictures of the campground as well as having the written info? That way you would have a better idea as to the quality, if that matters to you.

Okay, I know that this is camping, but I still don’t want to end up at a campground where the camping rigs are older than I and are eye sores as well. You know what I mean and if you are new to camping, you’ll eventually find out. There are campers who don’t care as to the quality of a campgound but most of us, I think, do care. Therefore, we need to have a reliable system of finding a place where we feel comfortable.

This brings us to the subjective part of campground recommendations and ratings. I mentioned that we met a couple at a campground, Drummer Boy Camping Resort in Gettysburg, PA, who were working for a website doing campground recommendations. (See also Drummer Boy Camping) Our opinions were quite different. We loved the campground but they were absolutely enraged and said they were going to give the campground a very bad rating. Their primary reason was because of the road noise and the fact that they were not offered an escort to their site. Well, the road noise was a little distraction but it wasn’t that bad. This is a large campground and I didn’t get an escort but I didn’t have a problem finding my campsite. Everything else about this campground was wonderful, so how can a rating site give a bad rating based on the feelings of two individuals?

What then goes into a recommendation? The big boys use restrooms, park and visual as a way to rate a campgound. Those are certainly good metrics, but what one person sees is not the same as what someone else sees. I would use the same metrics but also would add pictures taken by an ordinary camper not a professional photographer who knows how to get the right angle. With the pervasiveness of the internet, it is easy to find pictures of the most popular campgrounds for your planning purposes.

Until I can visit every campground in the US and Canada and put pictures of those camgrounds on This Old Campsite, you’ll still have to rely on written info on campgrounds as well as the websites for each camground. Even the campground website pictures don’t always tell the true story.

This is my opinion. Let me hear yours.


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