As an analyst for over 40 years, you might suspect that our rating system would be quite complex. On the contrary, it is very much a subjective rating. We each choose a rating between 0 and 5 and our rating is the average.
Our ratings are mostly for the RV sites, that is, how much we enjoy our time at the site. Cleanliness and well maintained go into the rating. Or it might be the view, size, quality of grass or patio or hard-surfaced pad. We are rating the site, you can judge about the facilities. We might be at a park with free 18-hole golf, but we don't golf. So we leave it to you to make that judgement.
Note that we don't take the attitude of the personnel into the rating. That may seem a bit odd. However, we usually have little interaction with staff. They are, many times, overworked and could have a cranky moment. Tomorrow, they will be nice, give them a break! However, if they are consistently ornery and they are the owners or long-term manager, then they go into the rating mix.
Generally the rating means:
0=We will never go there again. Only 2 parks ever got this rating. We saw many 0's but were fooled by only two.
1=Would stay again, but would rather not. This could be for a number of reasons.
2=Park is okay, but lacks typical facilities, e.g. sewer.
3=Typical park in quality and value. Has gravel pads, electric, water, sewer, maybe cable, wireless internet or a spa.
4=We really like and prefer it. Everything looks new or well maintained. All facilities are working.
5=We would like to live there. Great pads, large sites, plush landscaping, all the facilities and stores within easy access.
First, let us review the typical park, a type 3. You saw it on the web and it looked good in the pictures. But when you get there, you are wondering when the pictures were taken! It's clean but it could probably use a little more maintenance. The people are nice so you stay and have a good time. But you leave thinking, "I wonder if the park across town would have been better".
From a 3 we go up or down. We descend to a 2 if the sites are too narrow or have water puddles or are weedy, the spa is not working and the cable has only 10 channels. And a 1 is even worse: perhaps many of the facilities are not working and other disappointments.
To advance from a 3 to a 4, the park will have to have clean, level and very manicured sites. Most likely this means concrete or asphalt pads, but we have been to a few 4 parks with really nice gravel pads. You must have quality cable, and a working spa. Overall, it just needs to make you happy to be there.
To reach the pinnacle of 5 the park has to be nice enough that you would want to live there. The only parks that have received a 5 from us are ownership parks. These are parks where people have purchased a lot and you rent your space from the resort or an owner.
Elks RV Parking: The Elks lodge provide RV parking as a service to their members. Members generally come and stay for a day, maybe up to a week. The Elks are not competing with private RV parks. They are not providing pools, spas, fitness centers or other amenities just for the RV guests. Many Elks have phenomenal facilties such as the above or even an 18-hole golf course. Your low fee for RV parking may or may not give you access to these facilities, it varies by lodge. Our Elks lodge ratings are for the RV parking only and are relative to the other Elks. They are not comparable to the private RV parks where we expect more.