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Old 08-12-2010, 06:19 AM
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Guides are OK but I like word of mouth better, most every popular RV/camper forum has a campground sub forum where you can get personal opinions of just about every campground out there.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:54 PM
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
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Originally Posted by Cornerguy1 View Post
Private publications such as Woodalls concentrate their efforts of privately owned facilities for a very simple reason: money.

Those publications sell advertising to various private operators. The guides usually have roving crews which "inspect" private RV parks on a yearly basis. While doing the inspection, most reps also happen to mention that a small, complimentary listing is given if the RV park meets standards, but that larger colour ads are more effective.
Originally Posted by EarthBound? View Post
Those add can also be very deceiving. Best bet is to go look at one if you can. Sometimes those adds hide the fact that your camping practically on top of each other and they're party centrals. I know some folks that tried to use the KOA's and they couldn't even use their slid outs, because they were to close. In fact the could hear everything going on in the next camper . YOU GO GIRLFRIEND, GET SOME!!!!!
Originally Posted by leorah View Post
We don't tent camp; we have a van camper. But we find the website RV Park Reviews :: Campground Search to be more helpful than any of the printed guides. The problem with those is that the folks who rate the campgrounds are the ones who sell the ads. We've found so many disparities between the reviews in the guides and the actual conditions that we've learned not to trust them much anymore. The reviews on the website above are written by actual campers and tend to more accurate, at least in our experience.
All of you touched on the topics that were why I found many printed guides to be essentially useless for my purposes. First, they are advertiser driven. Second, they tend to highlight mostly private campgrounds that cater to the Class A RV crowd, because that's who their advertisers are. This is not the type of campground I'm usually interested in, though I have camped in them occasionally.

Stealthrabbit pointed out the USFS maps and regional maps as good guides, which I agree they are, but often they don't provide enough detail about the campgrounds to help me make my decision. As far as the USFS maps, they generally only cover a single national forest, or in some cases, just a portion of one. In a state like Colorado or Utah, that would mean you might need as many as 7 to 10 maps, or maybe more, and at a cost of about $10 each, that's a lot of money. Even then, you don't have listings of non-USFS campsites, except in some cases where other federal lands (such as national parks or monuments) are within the area covered on the map.

I appreciate all the other suggestions, and will start looking into some of them. The "Coleman Guide" that was suggested by Off Pavement is, more or less, what I was looking for. I can use it at home to help me find some campgrounds in the areas I want to stay, and then I can research them further on-line if necessary. Many of the other guides (and websites) suggested look interesting, too, so I will also look into them, as well.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I guess I've got a lot more research to do to decide which of these books I want to buy. There are some great suggestions, many of which I was unaware of, so you've all helped me in my quest.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:21 PM
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FOGHORN OUTDOORS. I have the pot smoker Tom Stienstra's book. I have used it for several years. This is the best guide to all public campgrounds in California.

Foghorn Outdoors :: Title Search
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