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Old 09-25-2018, 02:48 PM   #21
Senior Member
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Georgia
Posts: 2,585
THOR #4735
I'll add a little snippet of information here, as to my own GS campgrounds, and more to how they 'rate' them:

Several years ago, while we were full-timing, I contacted GS and looked into our becoming 'raters' for GS for their campgrounds.
My initial assumption, as most of us might think, is that you would stop for several nights at an existing GS campground, or maybe one that is looking to become one, and take in the experience, the check-in process, the amenities, and the overall overview of the campground, providing then a 'rating' to be published. All this without the owner's knowing that it's a 'rating' stay, of course - kind of like a 'secret shopper'.

After discussing the details with GS management, I was taken aback by the 'real' story.
Here goes:
- you are assigned several campgrounds per day(really!?)
- you simple drive to each of them in your personal vehicle, NOT your RV, for a 'visit', all on the same day(really!?)
- of course, then, you're not really 'camping', you are only 'inspecting'... *or so I thought.
- you drive in, after calling the owner's prior to arrival, and meet with them... o.k. : /
- someone takes you around the campground, pointing out all the amenities, and important facilities, as well as the general campground layout, etc.
- you take in, quickly, what you can... ask any questions, and proceed back to the office
- you then meet with the owner/management and discuss how many more GS 'campground maps' they would like to purchase for the next year... you are then in the 'selling' mode for GS, as these are how GS actually makes their money. They ain't cheap.
- or, you convince/sell the campground on becoming a GS member park, and of course, the 'campground maps' that are required to be purchased.
-*the typical ride-thru 'inspection' is really just an overview of the park - you are not really 'inspecting' whether the bathrooms are functional, the electrical is up to par, etc... you are really just looking for anything obviously in disrepair or in need of changes. You are really just 'rating' the overall overview of the park as compared to others that you have seen - it's is really, really, subjective, and I suppose also somewhat dependent on the amount of 'maps' the park is re-ordering, etc, though I hate to admit that. The rater's fee is dependent on sales and new park sign-ups.. it's not a flat rate, so it's conceivable that these rating just as much reflect the sale, as well as some of the actual park condition and amenities.

And, since several parks are on the list to visit each day, I decided that my view of how this works felt more like a sales job, not a 'camping' rating scenario. Not my cup of tea.

I really don't see how any park can have a complete, and true 'rating', if the rater has not actually 'camped' there. It leads me to believe that 'ratings' are like online product feedback - take out the worst and the best, and realize that it's truly probably somewhere in the 'middle'.

We've camped at many GS member campgrounds and rv parks, most because they were also Passport America campgrounds, and have found that many times the GS 'rating' is nonsense. You can find some that seem to be highly 'rated', and they'll be just o.k., and yet some that don't carry the higher rating are actually 'nicer'. I rarely go by any rating for these sort of things - once you drive into the park, you'll usually gather quickly what it's really 'rated' at, at least for you.
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