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December 04, 2004

(VENTURA, Calif. - - The 2005 Trailer Life Campground RV Parks & Services Directory (TL Directory), the most widely recognized and used campground rating system in the country, features a new campground ratings system to address the changing needs of RVers. The 2005 edition publishes the first major revision of the ratings system in 10 years.

Below you will find a press release with further information on the Trailer Life Directory. To view this press release via the Internet, simply click on the link below or copy and paste to your browser:

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Julie Calzone
Calzone & Associates
Lafayette Atlanta New Orleans
337.235.2924 ext. 3
337.237.0556 (fax)

December 2, 2004

Campground and RV Park Campground Directory Reflects the Changing Traveler and Times
2005 TL Directory Now In Distribution

VENTURA, Calif. - - The 2005 Trailer Life Campground RV Parks & Services Directory (TL Directory), the most widely recognized and used campground rating system in the country, features a new campground ratings system to address the changing needs of RVers. The 2005 edition publishes the first major revision of the ratings system in 10 years.

TL Directory used both systems in the field in 2003 so campground owners could see the impact of the upgraded system. It also gave the TL Directory publisher an opportunity to check for consistency between both systems. The ratings period for the 2005 edition was completed in time for the current directory. "After extensive research, analysis and testing, we are certain we have developed a rating system that accurately reflects what the consumer today is seeking," says Joe Daquino, Affinity Group, Inc.'s Multimedia Division president and TL Directory publisher. "We encourage consumers to take a closer look at the detail we are providing on the campgrounds and RV parks. There are lots of hidden treasures."

The RV industry is experiencing a trend toward the purchase of larger rigs, more motorhomes, more Internet usage and other 21st century amenities at campgrounds and RV parks. The recreational vehicle capital of the world, Elkhart, Indiana, is in the midst of a hiring boom for the giant rigs that feature all the comforts of home.

"This is an exciting time for the RV industry as we are seeing substantial increases in both RV ownership and rentals," says Daquino. "The Baby Boomer generation is definitely making a difference in expectations at the campground and RV park."

Sales of RVs are expected to reach their highest level in 25 years, fueled by middle-aged Americans' increasing affinity for the big fuel-thirsty rigs. Although Wall Street has worried that high fuel costs could curb consumers' enthusiasm for RVs, the industry so far shows no sign of slowing. The improving economy and Americans' desire to spend more time with their families are helping to set the pace.

"In response to consumer demand, we performed market research with the help of campground owners and active RV customers to help us determine how the system could be adapted to meet today's expectations. The result is an improved system that gives credit for things like phone line availability for Internet hookups, WiFi and the ability to accommodate bigger rigs," said Daquino. "Refinements were also made in visual appeal to make it more objective and easier to understand."

As more families with children join the traditional RV market of active retirees, the age of the average buyer has fallen to 49 from 51 three years ago. More and more enthusiasts have a college education and white-collar jobs, mirroring changes in the U.S. population overall.

To reflect these changes and needs of the consumers it serves, the TL Directory rating system added criteria to its current three-part rating system. The campgrounds are rated on a one to ten scale for three different attributes: facilities, restroom construction and cleanliness, and visual appeal.

"Lifestyles have been dramatically changed by technology, which impacts leisure activities for today's traveler," said Daquino. "RVers, their rigs and their needs have changed as well. We needed to serve this community by doing a comprehensive check of the places they might visit."

Over 300,000 rating changes are in the 2005 TL Directory, which was just released. It is the first change in the ratings system in over 10 years. "We see the TL Directory as an advocate for the consumer," said Daquino. "It is important for the RVer to have a reliable and impartial resource to evaluate and select a campground."

TL Directory has a database of over 1,000,000 RV Park Sites, Internet-friendly locations, and local tourist attractions. RV parks and campgrounds listed in the TL Directory are inspected and rated annually. A campground index for the United States and parts of Canada and Mexico is also contained in the TL Directory. TL Directory is circulated to 300,000 paid customers annually. Additionally, TL Directory is available on CD-ROM and online.

About TL Directory
The Trailer Life Campground RV Parks & Services Directory is a one-stop-shopping resource for complete at-a-glance campground and RV Park information. The TL Directory lists more than 1,850 Good Sam Club discount locations. The Directory has over 12,000 RV Parks & Campgrounds, Internet-friendly locations, local tourist attractions as well as an inspected and rated campgrounds for the U.S. and parts of Canada and Mexico. Visit for more information on TL Directory, the TL Directory Campground Finder on CD-ROM and other AGI publications.

Contact: Joe Daquino, Multimedia Division Vice President/TL Directory Publisher
805-667-4305 o

Julie Calzone, President/CEO Calzone & Associates
337-235-2924 ext. 3 o

Reference Page
How to Read The Current Trailer Life Directory Ratings

How to Read Trailer Life Directory Ratings
Our readers tell us that cleanliness ranks high in importance to them. Therefore, when a park receives full points in the cleanliness of restroom sinks, toilets, showers, walls, floors and mirrors, a star will appear next to their restroom rating.

Located near the top of each campground listing is our exclusive Triple-Rating. It looks like this:

TL RATING 10/10 /10.
All three ratings are on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. Less than 1 percent of parks or campgrounds receive a rating of 10. Campgrounds with a 10/10/10 rating have more facilities, are better maintained and are more visually appealing than 5/5/5 - rated campgrounds. Campgrounds are inspected annually by dedicated RVers like you. Unannounced, random Quality Checks are also made throughout the year.

Completeness of facilities
10 / 10 / 10
The first campground rating evaluates completeness and quality of facilities. In this category we rate interior roads, sites, registration area, hookups, recreation, swimming, security, laundry, services, and Internet access.

Cleanliness and physical characteristics of restrooms and showers.
10 / 10 / 10
The second rating category concerns restrooms, which RVers are very particular about; therefore, we divide this rating category into two subcategories: cleanliness and physical characteristics. Trailer Life rates the cleanliness of toilets, walls, showers, sinks/counters/mirrors and floor. (Full points in each of the above earns a rating) We also rate physical characteristics of restrooms such as interior construction, adequate supplies/odor free, adequate number of facilities, exterior appearance and location to park spaces, and interior appearance.

Visual Appearance/Environmental Quality.
10 / 10 / 10
According to our research, nature is the barometer by which most people judge a campground's visual appeal. Parks score points in ten subcategories that measure how harmoniously they blend with their natural surroundings: Function and identification of signage; appearance of park entrance, park grounds and sites; park grounds and sites free of litter and debris; overall exterior building maintenance; trash disposal; noise; site layout; and aesthetics of park and surrounding area.

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