Welcome To Our Campground Reviews Main Page
We started doing campground reviews for a couple of reasons. The selfish reason is to provide ourselves with a historical account of the places we have stayed and what we liked and did not like. The other reason is to help you decide whether or not you would like to stay at a particular campground we have visited.
Our disclaimer is that these are our opinions only and the reviews are based on what is important to us. Our criteria may be completely different than yours, so read the reviews with that in mind. :)
At first we had all of our campground reviews listed on this page in reverse chronological order. However the page was becoming too long and too cumbersome. So now this page simply sets forth our "Review Criteria" and provides links to the actual reviews below the explanation of our "Review Criteria".
Also, and this is NEW, here is a link to a page that sets forth how we go about selecting places to camp - Choosing Campgrounds - How We Do It. I spend hours doing research and this new page explains how I go about it including all the online research tools I use.
As for the actual reviews, you may link to the reviews by state or by year or by using our Campground Reviews Map. The state by state listings show the campgrounds from most recent (and therefore, most relevant) to the oldest. The pages that are year by year list the campgrounds from top to bottom in exactly the order we visited them. The Campground Map allows you see all of our campgrounds, zoom in, zoom out, and link to individual reviews. We hope you like having three ways to navigate to the reviews. :)
Our review criteria is similar to our selection criteria, so let's look at how we decide upon a campground once we've located some options.
Location - First and foremost is where the campground is located in relation to our intended route. We don't mind venturing off our main route an hour for a campground that meets our criteria.
Setting - We look for campgrounds with more natural settings. We will always shy away from popular overnight campgrounds along an interstate and we will try to avoid RV parking lots with no "character". Peace, quiet, natural surroundings, and space between sites are VERY important to us. We prefer public campgrounds with nearby hiking trails, paddling opportunities (lakes, rivers, etc.), and natural beauty. What we are really looking for is what we call the "it" factor. The "it" factor is hard to describe, but we know we've found it when we get parked and the only thing we want to do is get out our chairs, sit under the awning, and enjoy the view, the peacefulness, and the serene feeling that overcomes us. Setting is by far the biggest factor in our reviews, however, we do give credit where credit is due for RV parks that have great amenities for good value.
Guidebook Consensus - Initially, we relied on five reference books to help us choose campgrounds. But after our first two years on the road, we never look at them. In fact, if I didn't have to go through and change every review, I'd take this criteria out completely. :) See the "Choosing Campgrounds" link above for details as to why we no longer use guidebooks.
Big Rig Friendly - Out of necessity with our rig being almost forty feet long and thirteen feet high with four slideouts, the campground has to have large enough sites and clearance. Pull-through spaces are nice for convenience, but often are not the best sites - we prefer back-ins. Printed and online information on RV length limits is often incorrect, so we rely on a phone call directly to the campground/RV park for the true story.
Hook-Ups - This was a bigger issue for us when we started out than we originally thought. However, as we have learned our holding tank capacities and added solar panels, an inverter, and a significant battery bank, full hook-ups have become less and less a factor. We still prefer electric hook-ups, but water hook-ups are not that big a deal as long as we can fill our 100 gallon fresh water tank. Sewer hook-ups are a great convenience, but not necessary either. We will forego all hook-ups when our options of places to stay is limited or the location and natural beauty are over-riding factors, especially if staying two weeks or less. We prefer to not have to use bathhouses, but we want natural settings so much, we have no problem with bathhouses or "comfort stations" as they are called. Because we have our own satellite TV options and satellite & cellular internet options, cable, Wi-Fi, and other internet hook-ups are non-factors for us.
Laundry Facilities - Since we do not have a washer/dryer in the rig, laundry facilities are a slight factor. In practice, as we've gained experience, laundry facilities are almost a non-issue anymore. But we still note the presence of laundry facilities in our reviews as they can be a great convenience in the remote areas we like to park.
Price & Discounts - Price is a factor in our campground selections. But our preference for public campgrounds over private RV parks and resorts makes price less of a factor. We originally budgeted $25 per night for campground fees, reduced it down to $15 to account for months of free nights while workamping, and now have adjusted it up again. By boondocking outside campgrounds, parking without hook-ups inside campgrounds, accepting offers of free parking on private property from people we've met, taking advantage of weekly and monthly rates, and using Passport America discounts when moving quickly, we keep our average nightly rate down. Our criteria for natural settings and lack of need for amenities tends to put us in less expensive campgrounds. However, price and discounts may be deciding factor between multiple options to ensure we stay within our monthly budget.
Other Deciding Factors - When we are choosing campgrounds and we are having a tough time choosing, we determine which choice has the more inviting website or which choice is friendliest when we call. We know these are not exactly rational deciding factors, but they usually tell us something about the management of the facility and rarely are we disappointed when making a final decision this way.
In addition, when choosing between multiple options, we also look at nature activities on site and look at distances to parks we would like to visit, rivers we'd like to paddle, and other natural attractions. Another factor for us is whether the campground is heavily wooded or open as we need at least a few sites to be "open" for our rooftop satellite for internet and TV which we prefer to use. However, since we now have a portable tripod and satellite dish for TV and we now use cellular internet in addition to satellite, the open vs. wooded issue isn't as much of a factor anymore. In our earlier reviews, you will likely notice more of an emphasis on open views to the southern sky than in later reviews.
Campground Review Links
Map Of Campgrounds We Have Reviewed
Campgrounds & RV Parks By State
New Mexico Campgrounds
North Carolina Campgrounds
South Carolina Campgrounds
West Virginia Campgrounds
Campgrounds & RV Parks By Year Visited
Our 2011 Stays
Our 2010 Stays
Our 2009 Stays
Our 2008 Stays
Our 2007 Stays
Our 2006 Stays
Our 2005 Stays