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How Are Good Sam RV Parks Rated?

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November 4, 2010 by · 11 Comments 

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Each year, 28 husband–wife teams take to the road in their RVs to inspect RV parks across North America for the Trailer Life RV Parks, Campgrounds & Services Directory. Educated by a Standardization and Training Team to ensure all are following the same criteria, these Trailer Life Consultants take their jobs very seriously.

Since they are RV enthusiasts themselves, they truly understand the importance of accurate ratings. They know what it means to arrive at a campground which doesn’t have the appropriate facilities or meet expectations. That’s why they also conduct random quality checks throughout the year.

Grading Criteria
RV parks receive scores from 1 (worse) to 10 (best) in three categories. Campgrounds with a 10/10/10 rating have more facilities, are better maintained, and are more visually appealing than 5/5/5 – rated campgrounds. Less than 1% of parks or campgrounds receive a rating of 10. You can learn about the top-rated Good Sam Parks listed in the Trailer Life Directory on our site. Here is the breakdown of each category that makes up the rating:

Category 1: Completeness of facilities
checkmark interior roads
checkmark sites
checkmark registration area
checkmark hookups
checkmark recreation
checkmark swimming
checkmark security
checkmark laundry
checkmark services
checkmark internet access

Category 2: Cleanliness and physical characteristics of restrooms and showers
Cleanliness tops the list of almost any RVer when deciding on a campground. So this category includes two subcategories: cleanliness and physical characteristics.
checkmark Cleanliness of toilets, walls, showers, sinks/counters/mirrors and floor
(Full points in each of the above earns a star rating)

checkmark Physical characteristics of restrooms
checkmark interior construction
checkmark adequate supplies/odor free
checkmark adequate number of facilities
checkmark exterior appearance and location to park spaces
checkmark interior appearance

Category 3: Visual Appeal and Environmental Quality
Parks score points in four subcategories that measure how well they blend with their natural surroundings:
checkmark easy identification, and first impression of the park entrance
checkmark landscaping and appearance of the park grounds and sites
checkmark park grounds and sites free of litter and debris
checkmark size and types of sites available and maintenance of the park
checkmark aesthetics of park and surrounding area

Good Sams official 2011 Trailer Life Directory is a must have resource for RVers. Order your copy now!

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11 Responses to “How Are Good Sam RV Parks Rated?”

    My wife and I have just become members and will be hitting the road pretty much. How do you pick someone to score Good Sam Parks? We would like to do this.


    Wayne Middlebrook

  2. Robin says:

    You can apply to be a Trailer Life Directory Consultant. They are the teams the score the parks. If you are interested, you can email Robert Chamness who heads up the team. [] He’ll send you a description of the job and an application. Good Luck.

  3. Ollie Bryson says:

    Please contatc me at your earliest convience to advise you of a situation with someone who claims to be a representative of yours. It is very important and requires immediate attention. Ethnis slurs were used by this individual as well as either lying or just using poor judgement.

    After you contact me at I will give you a phone number to call.
    Please this is very important.

  4. Ollie Bryson says:

    Ethnic slurs sorry my keyboard is really messing up

  5. pap2 says:

    Stopped at Tombstone Territories RV Resort, Huachuca City, AZ 85616. Was very disappoointed at the charge for electricity. Appears on there website to be for long term stays, but it is for everyone. Wasn’t told about it on phone when made the reservation either. The free WI-FI is available only in the small library not at the sites. Didn’t have a very pleasant stay, due the feeling of being deceived, by their website, and ads in trailer life & Good Sam camp books no mention electric charge or the limited availability of WI-FI

  6. LeRoy Cook says:

    On 5/10 my wife and I stopped at ON-UR-WA RV park in Onawa, Iowa owned by Becky and Ken Tanner. I chose their park instead of the KOA in the same vicinity based on the Good Sam endorsement. Becky directed us to site 26. The road and site appeared to have a recent coating of crushed stone. When I extended the leveling jacks of my class A motor home they pushed through the crushed stone into the soft, damp dirt. I retracted the jacks and placed double 2x10x15 inch boards under them. When I extended the jacks again (while my wife observed the evoliution) the front jack forced the boards into the soft earth at an angle. She advised the jacks be retracted. In the process of retracting the front jack the angled boards caused the foot pad to separated from the jack and the front end dropped into the hole that was now eleven inches deep.

    The result is a damaged jack that could not be retracted and had to be removed at an estimated cost of $1600 to replace it. Until then, we are proceding on our travels without being able to level or MH. Neither Becky nor Ken Tanner acknowledged their liabilty for assigning us a parking site that was not suitable nor their responsibility for my damaged jack. They avoided us until we confronted them the following morning and, even then, made no offer to ameliorate our situation or to refund our reservation fee.

    I recommend Good Sam include an additional rating criteria to endorse a RV park. That is, that the parking sites are adequately engineered to support large rigs. Simply spreading a few inches of crushed rock on soft dirt for cosmetic purposes is insufficient. The site should be properly engineered. If it is not, the park should receive a qualified rating only for smaller, lighter RVs. Clean rest rooms, friendly smiles, and a swimming pool are poor substitutes for a $1600 repair bill to replace a broken jack caused by a parking site that is incapable to support the weight of a large RV. I also recommend the Good Sam endorsement of ON-UR-WA RV park be reconsidered based on the behavior of the owners.

    In the future I will view the Good Sam endorsement with suspicion and look for a KOA.

    Good Sam says: Leroy, thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear about your experience at On-Ur-Wa RV Park and the damage to your jacks. We will reach out to the park to check on the accommodatations for Big Rigs and share your concerns with them. Thank you for your feedback and for being a patient Good Sam member!

  7. Linda McEachern says:

    We will NEVER stay at Lionshead RV Park, West Yellowstone, MT again. They misrepresented the park with a picture that looks like the park sits on a lake. WRONG – they took the pic from the other side of the POND to make it look larger. The bugs and misquitoes eat you alive due to the stagnet ponds – can’t even sit outside. Should have know it was not No. 1 since there are only 10-12 rigs of which 2-3 are permanent workers. The KOA 1/2 mile down the road is GORGEOUS (we know someone staying there) Level sites indoor pool with hot tub, am breakfast and pm cookout everynite for all campers. If we wouldn’t loose our last 2 nites $$ we would move to KOA in a heartbeat. We are prisoners in our rigs due to being eaten alive. I will never recommend this RV Park.

    Good Sam says: Linda, please accept our most sincere apologies for this camping experience. We will certainly forward this onto those in charge of the RV Parks’ ratings. Thank you for your patience in this matter and for being a Good Sam member!

  8. Dave Hamm says:

    I have been a life time member semce the 1980′s . I think that you need to retrain all the people you are using to check parks. The ratings they are passing out are for a lot of real bad parks . I have been to some of these parks and would not stay their at all. example Klamath falls oregon , this park is a 3/3/3 if that, you need to take a look on park reviews . I consider a most of the listings in your as rv parks and not resorts, the use of the word resort means the price goes up just like codo. so if you want to go to a resort stay at outdoor resorts not some rv park that thinks its a resort.( the park in oregon is motel 8 rv park )

  9. Bev Barrott says:

    I have to agree with Leroy’s comments on rating for Good Sam Parks. We travelled from North Dakota to Washington this summer and stayed at some Good Sam accreddited parks and were not happy with them. I think proper level sites should be a bigger criteria than clean washrooms as most rigs are self contained now anyway. It is time to overhaul the ratings as I will go to the competitionnow before picking a Good Sam Park. We stayed at a Good Sam in Idaho(Wolf Lodge RV Park) and due to recent flooding, the ground was very soft, but we were sent to a grassy site for our 34′MH. It rained during the night so made things soft again so we were not even sure if we would make it out of our site safely.

    Good Sam says: Please accept our most sincere apologies for the difficulties you experienced. I have forwarded this comment to our Trailer Life department for further investigation. If you remember any other parks that were disappointing, please reply to the email that I sent with their names and locations and we will check into them.

  10. carrol cook says:

    Have stayed at the Sleeping Bear RV Park in Lander Wyoming ,very curious as to how you rate these parks,You are tototally Wrong on this one, Rated far above where it should be. Shame,Shame on you.

    Good Sam says: Our Triple-rating system is composed of the completeness of facilities, the cleanliness and appearance of the restrooms and showers, and the overall visual appearance. You can read more details here:

    Veteran RVers visit the facilities and complete a detailed inspection report. We also make unannounced random visits to ensure continued qualification. If you ever feel that the rating we gave to the facility is inaccurate, we will look into it. Thanks for letting us know.


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  1. [...] Not only is it convenient to be able to search Good Sam Club-friendly campgrounds right in one place, but there’s also some comfort in knowing that you’ll be staying at a clean and respectable place. [...]

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