Analysis of Bad RV Park Reviews Finds Interesting Camper Insights

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

Analysis of Bad RV Park Reviews Finds Interesting Camper Insights

Have you ever read a bad RV park review? Better still, have you ever written one?

Today we’re diving deep into the mentality behind bad RV park reviews. We’ve surveyed over 300 RV owners to see how they react when reading a bad review. We also analyze why RVers have bad campground experiences and if they’ll share it online.

Let’s dive in!

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Where Do You Read RV Park Reviews?

There are a lot of RV park review sites online. However, only a handful of them have large amounts of valuable data.

Additionally, many of the review sites cater to a specific type of RV travel (small RVs, free camping, van camping, etc). Below you’ll find the most comprehensive RV park review sites online.

Campground Reviews

Campground Reviews is one of the largest (and longest running) RV park review sites. The best aspect of this site is its review quality. Each reviewer is prompted to answer a series of questions not only about their experience, but about their specific RV.

This info allows the reader to understand if the review is in alignment with their RV style. For example, a Class B camper has drastically different expectations from a Super C camper.

Campendium

Even though this is our go to review site for boondocking, it also has a lot of great RV park reviews.

Campendium is great because it really highlights user-generated photos. You can get a great sense of a park from looking at previous campers pics.

RV Parky

RV Parky is one of the newer review sites. Nonetheless, it’s been collecting a lot of reviews over the past few years.

We enjoy the simplicity of its functionality and design.

AllStays

AllStays is a popular app for RV parking resources. It’s good for reading reviews while you’re on the go or scouting out a new RV park.

Google Reviews

Google Reviews is a great tool for RV park research. The reviews appear directly in Google search results making it super convenient to find. These reviews tend to be less in-depth.

What Review Sites are RV owners using?

The top two review sites used by the RV owners we surveyed are Campendium & Campground Reviews. The least popular is Google Reviews.

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Have You Ever Left an RV Park Review?

Camping is a uniquely outdoor experience. We wanted to find out what percentage campers are actually leaving online reviews.

The number was staggering! 78% of the RVers we surveyed have left an online review. Additionally, of those who did, 82% said they’ve left a negative RV park review.

RV Park Reviews

If an RVer had a bad campground experience, they aren’t always apt to share it.

Of the RVers we surveyed, only 55% of them will share a bad campground experience.

When asked is a higher nightly rate would make them more likely to leave a review, 74% of RVers said “no.”

Additionally, we asked if a lower campground nightly rate means lower expectations. 69% said yes, their expectations will be lower.

Are Bad RV Park Reviews Legit?

In the age of online shopping, we’re all pretty good at understanding the nuances of online reviews and reading between the lines.

Amazon, for instance, can have “fake, good reviews” that have been paid for by individual sellers. They can also have lots of unjustified, bad reviews.

Do RVer owners see this as a problem when researching? RVers clearly think unjustified, bad reviews outnumber fake, good reviews.

74% of the RVers we surveyed question the integrity of a bad review.

RV BAD REVIEW

While the majority of RVers question the integrity of bad reviews, they also seek them out. In fact, 79% of RV travelers seek out bad RV park reviews as part of their research process.

However, unlike a comical trip down the rabbit hole of bad reviews on amazon, most RVers don’t find bad RV park reviews entertaining. Only 31% of RVers read negative park reviews for fun.

What Issues are Causing Bad Reviews?

If an RV camper decides to leave a bad review, we want to know what issues cause the negative experience.

Here’s what the RVrs we review said:

  • Poor communication either written or verbal
  • Dirty restroom
  • Campground Owners
  • Bad Attitude by Park Staff
  • Noise
  • Poor condition of facilities and electrical service
  • Feeling unsafe

Campground Rules Can Lead To Bad Reviews

One rule in particular can lead to bad reviews even if a camper doesn’t actually stay.

The 10 Year Rule (find out the deets here) has inspired many bad reviews from the reservation process alone. It’s one of the most detested rules among RVers.

Additionally, 55 and over RV parks have also spurred a number of bad reviews from their supposed “age discrimination” (even though the government has said it’s legal).

The Best FREE Camping in the USA

We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.

If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.

 

5 comments

  1. I have not done more than 5 reviews in my 20-years of motorhoming, and we are out and about in our motorhome 6-mos a year. We are in a 35′ Class A. The reviews I have made seem to all have been in addressing previous BAD reviews. The last one dealt with BAD reviews on a Texas Passport America Campground. We were passing through thus only stayed one night in a large pull-thru site that was dirt/grass. I think with the PPA discount overnighting with 50-amps was $15 to $20……yet previous reviews were bitching about some permanent RV in the campground, the bathrooms were not spotless and or brand new, not an adequate dog walk, they could hear traffic on the interstate……just a litney of silly stuff (at least in my opinionion). What on earth do people expect for $15???? Some of us have never set foot in a campground bathroom/shower, do not have dogs to walk, do not care if there are several permanent residents. Especially when paying $15 a night.

  2. I have two complaints about RV parks in general and they are why I’ve never stayed in one lol!
    One. Sites are too close together! I don’t think it’s fun to be within spitting distance of your neighbors.
    Two. I’ve seen RV parks that are, literally, gravel parking lots. Yet they had a lot of RVs there. I guess people today are desperate for hookups.
    So if I’m going to pay I would rather be in a national or state park where you usually have more space.

  3. There seems to be lots of opinions about RV sites. Information is always welcome. If people availed themselves of information before they go, then there would be fewer complaints and disappointments. With online info and perhaps people like myself that don’t mind helping others to find the sites that would suit them the best and therefore have a better chance of being happy and comfortable where they stay. Yes, if you are only paying 15 dollars —-that should be the red flag. What could you expect for that???? But sometimes, when you are self contained it would be good to find a spot where you can stay and there be appropriate “natural” features that would make up for some of the others——like full hook ups. That is what makes RVing so appealing. You have the freedom to choose: where to go——perhaps there are no motels/hotels/ or other types of accommodation available. Then you are completely comfortable in your self contained unit. But people passing on their personal opinions can therefore be invaluable. Right now I am looking for accommodation in Anahim Lake in British Columbia. I have some information but if you have stayed there I could benefit. Are there full hookups on site—or do you have to go to a dump station??? Are the sites close together or in your opinion adequately separated??? Is their space enough to park in a spot without making four or five adjustments in an attempt to get into a space? In a semi-wilderness site; it is important to know if there is garbage collection and is there precautions—like an animal proof receptacle. I was in an RV park and the sites were so wet that many of the Rv/s and tow vehicles were down to the axles and were stuck through the stay —-with tow vehicles having to be called to get them out. Well, I guess one should assess when you get there and not get into that situation. But if you driven a hundred miles expecting ther site to be serviceable and it isn’t and your options are to drive back your 100 lies——anyway I hope you get the point. There is no substitute for information from people that have stayed before.

  4. If I’m going to write a negative review, I first look at the causes. Many times I’ve backtracked on writing a negative review because the bad experience was of my own making or uncontrollable situations such as weather.

  5. I have left both good and bad reviews. I would much rather leave a good one. However, I look at it as I read both good and bad reviews and make a call on booking a campground based on what made the campground “bad”. If someone is going to take the time to write a review, there had to have been something about it that made the stay poor or wonderful. For me, the biggest negatives are cleanliness and park staff. If it’s just an overnight stay, it’s got to be something huge for me to post a bad review.
    I’m always sceptical about parks that have nothing but glowing reviews or a park that has no reviews at all.

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