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Guest Author: Kimberly & Jerry Peterson

"One man’s treasure is another man’s trash". What a perfect way to describe finding which park is best for you. When searching for a park to stay at, it is always important to think about your personal preferences, these are what makes the difference for finding the right one for you.

Campground RestroomsWhat good is it to have clean restrooms available when you prefer to use your own? We are usually in a reviewing mode so we always check their facilities out just to see what they have to offer. We have to admit that even though we prefer our own amenities in our RV there have been times theirs have been so exceptionally designed, we had to use them instead of our own.

There are folks that evaluate the need to have a pool, sauna or a Jacuzzi at the top of their lists where others do not even consider them a determining factor for choosing a park. Many consider top priorities as what activities the park offers or if there are any local attractions nearby when others do not need any of this sort of entertainment at all. Another factor for selecting a park can be your budget…this will make a big difference in the choice of parks to consider.

How much time you plan to stay will also make a huge difference in your choices. If you are just passing through for one night...the amenities are not that important but if you plan an extended stay then your preferences may change. Many things can be overlooked if you are just looking for a place to hookup and sleep, We have been noticing a trend which we hope catches on and that is certain campgrounds offering a "Traveler’s Special", a lesser charge for just hooking up for a night to sleep before moving on down the road.

Once you determine what your preferences are then there will be several different paths to take in finding the good ones. We suggest combining all these techniques listed and not solely making your decision dependent on just one of them.

Many parks have their own websites where you can browse through and get all the needed information to make your decision. Just keep in mind that most parks will only show you photos of their best areas, leaving out the less desirable ones.

There are several reputable rating systems used in this lifestyle to determine how a park measures up, these rating systems are only as good as the company that supplies them are and what standards they uphold. With several of them out there, this will be a personal decision for which to rely on. We determined which ones to depend on by paying attention every time we went to a park and looked for the rating which is usually proudly advertised and then compared that rating to our own opinion of the park. Soon, we knew which ones we could trust and then looked for them when searching for a park to stay.

Woman reviewing campground websites onlineAnother useful tool to use for selecting a good park would be the many websites that offer park reviews, including the America On Wheels RV/Campground Travel Directory. This is also an area where you have to decide which website is best for you and which reviewers opinion you trust. Some reviewers have not stayed there themselves or have an ax to grind, they will become apparent to you as you continue to view these websites. When we look at review sites, we try to review the reviewers to see how they have spoken of other establishments. Also, what may be acceptable to one person is not always acceptable for another.

Last but not least, we base a big percentage of our choice on customer service. We are able to overlook many things if the person taking care of us has the right attitude. We want to feel special everywhere we go…it’s just part of being human…the park that can offer that along with some of our personal preferences will get a higher rate than others. There have been some establishments we have visited that were not at the top of our lists but when an employee whether an owner, manager or worker goes out of their way to make us feel special…it is noted and goes a long way in rating a park. Great customer service…the kind that gets you to thinking you are special…goes a long way in our travels.

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