Some campgrounds have it, some don't quite, others never even come close. Today we went exploring the area around our daughter's house to look at other campgrounds, just in case we can't get a spot in the Wood Smoke campground (2 miles from her house) when we need it.
We've stayed at all kinds of campgrounds and resorts in the more than 20 years we've been RV owners. Our absolute favorite place to stay is Disney World's Fort Wilderness Resort in Florida. Of course, it is expensive so we seek out the value seasons when the prices are more reasonable, usually January and the first half of February. Fort Wilderness is beyond clean and neat, immaculate comes to mind. For us, it has the ultimate "It" factor.
Today, we looked at nearby campgrounds that when we drove around them, sadly, we found them to be on the other end of the scale.
Most of the campgrounds were not campgrounds at all but were long term trailer parks with old recreation vehicles and trailers instead of mobile homes. They didn't have any transient sites. Many of the trailers that were there were of ancient vintage, covered with leaves and pine needles and were various shades of green from the moss growing on them. All kinds of items were laying around the units, old toys, grills and various trashed boats or dead cars. It's a shame to see places where old RVs go to die.
Understandably many people could be down on their luck and these accommodations are all they can afford. Not to be judgemental, but it makes you wonder why the campground owners let their parks deteriorate to these levels, when simple things like cut grass and litter being picked up would go a long way to making things much nicer. It may be a pig, but at least it could be a clean pig.
The campground we're in has many long term residents, but it is clean, neat with no trash or non-running vehicles around. They have a good standard and they stick to it.
We prefer full hook up sites, preferably with 50 amp power. We do enjoy a little shade, but like a clear shot of the sky for our satellite TV (I loathe having to set up our portable dish and avoid it whenever possible).
If we have a cement pad, that is a plus, but a nice, level site works well, too. The showers and restrooms don't mean much to us because we never use them. Occasionally we use the campground laundry if we have such an overload of dirty clothes that overwhelm our little washer/dryer.
Pools are nice, but for us a hot tub is the icing on the cake (with a cherry on top). That combination is pretty rare.
Price is another factor. We budget $750 an month ($25/night) because we have and will spend much of our travels east of the Mississippi River, where things are more costly.
One gem for us has been military FamCamps. They are usually very nice, have good amenities and often are located in killer locations, like San Diego, right on the bay, or Key West just a block or two away from Duvall Street. The prices are very reasonable, too, we save money on our budget by using them.
Location is always important, but for us, location is a little different. We like to be close to our spread out kids and grandkids. Since we've hit the road full time, we've been able to spend much more time with them than ever before. That's a major "It" factor for us.
As we progress further into our full time life, we'll be able to visit the National and State park campgrounds, the Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds and enjoy all they have to offer.
Right now the world is our oyster. :c)
What makes a campground have an "It" factor for you? We're always looking for other's ideas and opinions.
Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.