Campground Ratings

Ratings: Our Position on Potties – A Woman’s Perspective

 As women campers, bathrooms have a high priority. We do not have any restroom facilities in our RV camper van. The idea for our bathroom rating system for campgrounds comes from years of travel. Many of the resource books (i.e. AAA, Trailer Life, KOA) are informative, but they are only as good as the person or ambassador who checks the facilities. In many ways we consider ourselves “mystery campers”. Our philosophy has been built on the idea that if the restrooms are well maintained then the campground is likely to be well managed. If not, then other areas often fall below satisfactory standards things (like quiet hours, safety and overall maintenance of the camp). We met a very experienced RV’er on our first trip across country. What she suggested would become our MO: “Girls, check the restrooms first before you register, if they aren’t what you like, move on.”

Our goal is to develop an ongoing bathroom rating for campgrounds visited. We refer to this as our Position on Potties or the PP list.

Each campground has five facility areas that we rate. Each of the five areas are rated from 0, .5, 1.

O = does not meet our minimum standards.

.5 = meets half our standards.

1 = meets or exceeds our standards.

The total and highest rating a bathroom can receive is 5 potties. The lowest is 0.
PP:
1. Clean bathroom floor. Is the floor free of fallen toilet paper or paper towels?
2. Clean stall. Lots of toilet paper available. Is the toilet seat and bowl clean? Does it flush properly and efficiently? Is there a special container for sanitary napkins? Has it been emptied?
3. Sink and counter free of dirt and hair. Is the faucet easy to use and have a good water flow? Are soap and paper towel available? Is there a mirror? Is it clean? Are there hooks and shelves available?
4. Some convenience that makes the bathroom look attractive, inviting or pleasant. (i.e. lotion, chair, curtains, flowers, hair dryer, etc.). Does someone come around and spot check several times during the day. Is there a schedule kept up to date on the door? Is the shower clean?
5. Smells clean. Are the trash receptacles maintained and readily available?

Connecticut

KOA Mystic, North Stonington, Connecticut

PP: 3 toilets

1-1 Floors were cleaned each day.
2-.5 The toilets were only surface cleaned. Couldn’t use one stall due to a mess.
3-.5 Sinks and counter tops were in good shape. There was soap in some of the containers and the battery in the touch-free paper towel dispenser was not working.
4-.5 Overall nice bathroom but very institutional in it’s look. Nice showers though and they were clean.
5-.5 Smelled clean but the trash was not taken out each day, seemed like the staff just rotated the trashcans. The one’s with less trash were moved to the place were most people threw their trash.
There were New Managers who seemed very interested in improving the park. We don’t find Corporate KOA owned parks to be as friendly or well managed as owner parks. Some of the corporate parks we have visited have employee’s that don’t seem happy or invested, so it will be interesting to see how this one does as time goes by.

Kansas

KOA Goodland, Goodland, KS
PP:

1-1

2-1

3-1

4-1

5-1
(Great campground, friendly, warm, quiet)

 Maine

 KOA Saco/Old Orchard Beach, Saco, ME

PP:
1-.5 (Toilet paper on the floor.)
2-1
3-1
4-1 (There is a “beach” feel to the place, tasteful decorations, showers tiled and water saving showerheads that work well. Staff spot check the bathrooms, and refreshed.)
5-1
One of our favorite campgrounds. Lots of staff, they are always visible and friendly.

Maryland

KOA Hagerstown/Antietam Battlefield, Williamsport, MD

PP:
1-0 (There was a leak from one of the sinks. It took until the next morning to be attended to. Toilet paper was left to soak up the mess with no signs to explain the problem.)
2-1/2
3-1/2
4–1/2 (The paint job was nice. First glance, gave you a positive impression, but when you looked under the surface, it was not so clean.)
5-1

Michigan

Wandering Wheels, Munising, MI
PP:
1=0
2=0
3=1
4=0
5=0
(There is only one bathroom, which is not enough for the size of campground. It appears no one is checking)

Minnesota

KOA Bemidji, Bemidji, MN
PP:
1- 1
2- 1
3- 1
4- 1 (Chair, curtains, neat decorations)
5- 1
(Great atmosphere)

KOA Cloquet/Duluth, Cloquet, MN
PP:
1-1
2- 1
3 – .5 (needed paper towels, hooks or shelf)
4 – 0 (no spot checks, looked institutional, no pictures)
5- .5  (Hard to find a trash can)

Montana

KOA St. Mary/East Glacier (Main bathroom), St. Mary, MT
PP:
1-.5
2-.5
3-0
4-1 (nice curtains)
5-1
Special family bathrooms
PP:
1-1
2-1
3-.5
4-1
5-1
(Our favorite, great to have privacy and well maintained.)

KOA West Glacier, West Glacier, MT
PP:
1-.5
2-1
3-.5
4-.5  (looked worn)
5-.5

New York

KOA Cooperstown, Richfield Springs, New York

PP:2 1:2 toilets
1-0 It was cleaned once all weekend and only when we asked. Lots of cobwebs.
2-.5 The bathroom was cleaned when we asked. But it seemed like it was not a priority since it was the last weekend.
3-.5 There was hot water, and updated countertops. No paper towels.
4-1 There were great little framed sayings on the walls. Even though the restrooms were older facilities, felt cozy.
5-.5 Smelled OK.
The water did not taste good, it had a lot of iron. Glad we had our own water with us. Showers were not clean.

Crown Point Campground (NY State Campground), Crown Point, NY

PP:
1-1
2-1
3-1
4-.5 (Shower stalls large with several hooks for clothes. The restrooms were old, but well maintained. )
5-1
The manager was great, we would go to any camp where he was in charge. Ken runs a tight staff and is visible.

KOA Lake Placid, Wilmington, NY

PP:
1-.5 (lots of times there was toilet paper all over the floor.)
2-.5 (sinks were not always clean.)
3-.5
4-1 (Aesthetically the bathrooms had some nice features. The showers had several hooks, tiling was well done.)
5-.5 (The co-ed bathrooms were dirty and smelly.)
This was a big campground with over 200 sites. Could use more staff especially through the night. Restrooms needed to be spot checked, one cleaning a day was not enough.

Scaroon Manor Campground (NY State Campground), Pottersville, NY

PP:
1-1
2-1
3-1
4-1 (The Adirondack style architecture of the restrooms was a nice fit. The campground was ADA friendly. Bathrooms had an outdoor dish washing sink with hot and cold water that was activated via foot pedals. Very clean.)
5-1
New facility that opened mid-summer 2011

Thompson Lake State Park, East Berne, New York

PP:3 1:2 toilets
1-.5 Floor kept clean.
2-1 Very clean toilets.
3-0 The restroom sink area was hard to keep clean, water sprayed all over the sinks and made a mess. No paper towels were available to dry up sink area or help with removing stray hair. No hooks or shelves were provided for your soap or to hang a little towel. There was no hot water.
4 – 1 Nice tile work with integrated 1960’s old photo tiles. Craftsman style of building was nice. But the building could be more functional.
5-1 The restroom smelled cleaned and looked maintained.
Great new bathrooms, really upgraded the look of the park. Too bad that the behavior of patrons could not be upgraded, we ran into issues with folks partying. It made it hard to sleep. We had planned to spend two nights but after had enough after one.

North Carolina

KOA Asheville East, Swannanoa, NC

PP:

1-1
2-1/2
3-1/2
4-1 (We liked the black shower mats and great hooks in the shower stall, spray from the shower stayed contained, stalls had a bench, the whole facility had A/C so it handled the humidity from the showers well.)
5 – 1

North Dakota

Juniper Campground, Theodora Roosevelt National Park
PP:
1-1
2-1
3-1
4-0 (no shower, plain)
5-1

Lewis and Clark State Park, Williston, ND
PP:
1- 1
2- 1
3- 1
4- 1 (welcome mat, pine panel, air freshener in second pit bathroom)
5- 1
(Overall, this is a great facility, but very difficult to get to from heavy traffic from Williston)

Ohio

Geneva State park Campground, Geneva, Ohio
(No out-of-State rate)
PP:
1-1
2-1
3-1/2 (Electric hand dryers, no paper towels available.)
4-1 (Informative bulletin board with emergency numbers, calming colors (not industrial looking). Had 4 hooks in each shower stall and hooks in the main area of the bathroom)
5-1
(There was a great bike trail to the beach, passing a marina and lodge; plus you can ride into Geneva On the Lake which is a small resort town, nice rental cabins, great camp store, nice swim beach on Lake Erie , all sites have 30 amp electric available.) Definitely the place to stop going East or West on I-90.

Pennsylvania

KOA, Erie (Main bathroom), PA
PP:
1=0
2= 0
3= .5
4= 0
5= .5
(Very disappointing, this place was top-notch in the past)

Locust Lake State Park (has electric hook-up), Mahanoy City, PA

PP:
1-1/2
2-1
3-1/2
4-0 (loved the architecture of the building but when they mopped it the ventilation was poor so it felt damp and gooey.)
5-0
There was a nice short bike trail that connected the two campsite loops and circled the lake.

Utah

North Campground, Bryce Canyon National Park
PP:
1-1
2-1
3-1 (hot water was available, most National campgrounds have only cold water.)
4- .5 (nice tile work, sky tubes, and dish washing sink but no showers)
5-1

KOA Richfield, Richfield, UT
PP:

1-1

2-1

3-1

4-1 (great laundry room near the bathrooms, and really hot water at the dish sink)

5-1
(Initially, we were skeptical when we drove through a Mobile home park to get to the entrance. But we were nicely surprised.)

Town and Country Inn Best Western –RV, Cedar City, UT
PP:

1-0

2-0

3-0

4-.5 (nice tile work, no shower)

5-0
(This place pretended to be an RV park with about 10 sites. They were really only set-up for RV’s that were self-contained that included their own bathroom facilities. The one stall bathroom was not semi-available. It was shared by all the hotel guests and staff and located in the main lobby. The front desk clerks were not at all welcoming when we came in to use the restroom. In the end they seemed more interested in our money and than service.)

Quality Inn – Zion Canyon Campground, Springdale, UT
PP:

1-0 (The floors were hardly ever clean.)

2-.5 (There was toilet paper but it just never felt very clean in the stalls.)

3-.5 (Some sink spigots worked others didn’t, many times the soap was everywhere.)

4-0 (Nothing extra special. One bathroom looked like it was in the remodeling stages but seemed like it need more work.)

5-.5 (Many times the restrooms didn’t smell very clean. Did have coin operated showers but the tokens were tricky to use and you had to time it just right. You had to pick up tokens from the camp store, but you did not pay extra to for your one token per person.)

Virginia

KOA Natural Bridges/Lexington, Natural Bridge, VA

PP:
1-.5
2-1
3-1/2
4-1/2 (The bathroom was very dated, could have made it seem retro but did not, mismatch of sinks made things look worse because they were not in a consistent pattern.)
5-.5

Shenandoah National Park
Loft Mountain Campground, mile 79.5

PP:
1-1
2-1
3-.5
4-0 (no shower with the bathrooms, pay showers were available though at the camp store and it was nice.)
5-1

Wyoming

Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park
PP:
1-0
2-.5
3-.5
4-0
5-0 (Smelly)

Signal Mountain, Grand Teton National Park
PP:
1-1
2-1
3-1
4-.5 (The restroom had windows but no showers)
5-1

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7 Responses to Campground Ratings

  1. Deb Smith says:

    This is a great idea…but I once shared a bathroom where mosquitoes were landing on me as I showered! Worse yet, our camper was right next to the bog where the bugs lived. I woke up in a panic, unable to sleep everytime I heard a dive bomber approach the window’s netting at night. It didn’t help that my parents tended to be (very) slow about closing the camper door when going in and out. So, while a potty rating is good, a bug rating is right up there with me (but pehaps I’m just not cut out for camping either). –djs

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  4. Molly Houck says:

    I like your rating system. We have stayed in several of these campgrounds and I think you are right on!

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