We have been using Rick's guides and watching his program for many years now and have often taken his advice in our numerous trips and have usually found them very helpful.
Last summer (2015) my family (me, wife, and 2 teenagers) made our second trip to France. This time we spent a week and a half in southern France (along with the ubiquitous stay in Paris and trip to Normandy). We decided to spend about half our Southern France stay in Arles, which Rick strongly recommends (or at least highlites) in his books and programs.
While we found Arles to be well situated as a home base, and contains a great antiquities museum, we felt it was not an ideal destination or place to stay. We found Arles town itself to be dirty with lots of garbage strewn about on streets and sidewalks, and graffiti all over. In addition, we encountered many younger men lounging around, apparently jobless/idle, in some cases trying to look menacing to an obviously American family (at 6'2" 200 lb, these guys didn't particularly worry me, but given the demographics of Arles and the racial and religious tensions in France in general, travellers need to be aware). I have pictures of the garbage and graffiti (in one case, I found it ironic that a sign pointing to the local tourism office was covered with graffiti).
Admittedly, Rick's advice about Arles may be dated and based on his experiences from some years back, and Arles may have gone downhill since. And to be fair, I should be clear that beyond feeling a bit uncomfortable being sometimes stared at with apparent hostility, we had zero issues and we did find good, but not outstanding food....and the evening walks along the Rhone were a highlite of our trip. That said, as a current destination to stay, I would not return and I should note that we found both Nimes and Avignon (which we daytripped to) to be much cleaner and lacking the large numbers of lay-about young men trying to look menacing, though both cities are a bit "touristy".