Coming soon to Outside Interests: “Campground Stars”, a regular feature about top-rated campgrounds.
We’ll be making selection from among the 5-star user rated sites at campendium.com, an interactive website that helps RVers find and share great campsites. Founded by Leigh and Brian Easterling, the fulltimers you know from Aluminarium.
“We started working on Campendium a little less than three years ago in our Airstream while we were camping at Half Moon Bay State Beach,” said Brian. “We felt there was a need for such a website ever since we hit the road for the first time in 2005.” Campendium went live to the public at the end of January this year.
“Prior to Campendium, campground information was scattered throughout the web and print,” he said. “Websites that focused on camping were too narrow, and didn’t include ALL of the places you could camp, there weren’t any photos or modern features for sorting and filtering search results.”
“Yelp for camping” is a good way to describe Campendium. Users post reviews by typing the campground name they would like to share information about in a search box, clicking through to that page, and simply selecting “Write a Review.” To maximize the number of reviews, Campendium requires only a star rating in various categories—Access, Location, Scenery, Cleanliness, Site Quality, and Noise. Extra details (and photos) are encouraged, and fun to both write and read.
The Easterlings are uniquely qualified to build Campendium.com—together, with their dog Curtis, they’ve camped all across the USA and spent more than 2000 days on the road. Where is their best 5-star campground? “Our favorite spots are boondocking locations,” said Brian. (Upper Teton View, and Forest Road 611 East Rim at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon are their current favorites.) “Now that we have access to all of this data, bad camping is far and few between,” he said. “Though we did recently stay at a county park that had campsites under the freeway overpass next to some train tracks.”
Airstreamers planning a trip and shopping for a campground can search by city, state, or zip code; National Park, National Forest, and State Park name; and sort by “Highest Rated” and “Most Reviews”. From there, other sort options include price, hookups and discount clubs.
User reviews about Campendium itself (on a recent t-shirt fundraiser site) explain and promote the concept. “It’s the best way to find a place to call home for awhile, from rugged boondocking sites with sweeping vistas to private RV parks in the heart of a city,” states a user. “Who can beat the idea of the whole camping crowd making great camping recommendations? This is gold!” said another.
The Campendium online fundraiser has concluded, but donations to support web development and programming are welcome at any time.
Share a review of a campground you visited this summer, and enjoy the featured 5-star rated featured campgrounds, Campground Stars—coming soon to Outside Interests!