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> KOA, Good or Bad?
Fitzjohnfan
post Jun 9 2012, 11:41 PM
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We just finished a trip where the last leg went through Utah and Colorado and we stayed in KOA's twice in a row. Both times they charged $4.00/child. I know I should have done my homework before planning on staying there, so I don't blame the park completely, but I still felt "burned" a bit because I selected these parks partly on price. One time, the advertized price was $35.00 to stay there, but with the fees for our two kids and additional fee for pull through site (they didn't have any back-in sites) the price came to $51.00, the next time, same thing, price advertized was $32.00, but after additional fees, it came to $47.00.

I know it's been discussed before, but I really wish they wouldn't charge for additional people unless the count goes over 4 (assuming two adults and two kids).

The KOA parks themselves were very clean, well organized and the staff was friendly, so no other complaints.


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Chris G.
Westminster, CO
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JBH
post Jun 10 2012, 12:42 AM
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For us KOA is usually good for an overnight or two but that's about it. We have stayed at a few we wish we hadn't and a few we were glad we did. Basically, prices are a bit higher than other close by parksand the amenities are not much different. We stayed at the East Glacier/St. Mary KOA a few years back and the location was great, the park was just a jumping off point for viditing Glacier NP. We will use a KOA if we have to but prefer not to simply because the norm for a KOA is to pack as many sites into the available area as possible and then charge as much as they can for it.
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HP_Happy_Campers
post Jun 12 2012, 06:30 PM
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For my family, we have stayed at several KOAs. They are definetly priced higher than other non-chain campgrounds for the same amenities. The difference in KOAs can be staggering with some being run-down and some being worth the price paid. I do not like how they charge for kids over 3. What I do like about the KOAs I have stayed at is that the seasonals were all pushed to a corner of the campground and sites nearest the activites were for the transient campers. Overall, I will stay at a KOA if is convenient for my travel plans and the reviews on this website are decent.

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jenbooks13
post Jun 30 2012, 02:11 PM
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I have stayed in only 3 KOA's. We prefer national forest or certain state parks. That said, we stayed in:

1) Artesia, New Mexico. It was very well kept, they were very friendly, the bathrooms were super clean. The only issue I had was not their fault, it was that there was methane gas from drilling in the area, that made me nauseous.

2) Lake Park, GA. They are really nice, too. It is in pretty decent shape. There is a big recreation area to sit in if you wish, and a restaurant and pool hall/bar. People are nice. The owners are very accomodating.

3) We visited but were rebuffed and extremely badly treated at the Cartersville KOA in Cartersville, GA north of Atlanta. We couldn't stay. The owner has bad reviews all over the web anyway, including two from perfectly reasonable sounding people who were escorted out by police the owner called (one for apparently letting his dog off the leash the day before?). The owner is indeed terrifying rude and angry, and probably has a personality disorder of some kind. If you make a wrong turn in your car, he will chase you down and yell at you. The park isn't too popular, probably because he's so difficult and rigid.
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Kalama Traveler
post Jul 7 2012, 11:30 PM
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We usually don't stay at KOA's for the main reason expressed: Price. We have also found the great variations in the parks. However, this past spring we found a great KOA: San Diego CA. It actually is in Chula Vista, south of downtown San Diego, but the park is great. A piece of the country in the middle of the city. We stayed there for six weeks, and enjoyed every one of them. The cost came to $31/night, based on the monthly rate.

We drove by the one between Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon and decided that is not where we wanted to stay. So it varies. Check out this website for reviews, and talk with other RVers. I have found that doing some research will help you find the right place to stay, KOA or not.
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JEFF J.
post Aug 9 2012, 08:02 PM
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Traveling through Idaho for the first time in my Motorhome I needed to find an RV dump, propane, water and garbage facility. I had recently become a member of KOA a couple weeks earlier in Wendover NV. I took advantage of my new membership and now being part of the KOA family stopped by the POCATELLO KOA to take care of some needed business with the facilities. Went into office and walked up to counter. People were in the back and one (a male) came out to great me. I explained I needed to use the facilities (as mentioned above). He said I could but not the water. "Not the water?" I asked. "your not staying here are you?" was his question. "No, just passing through" I replied. "Water is not available". I told him I was a member of KOA and he said and I quote "I DON'T CARE". I said "You don't care?" No was his reply. I said "Okay, have a nice day" and I left. I went up the highway on I-15N to the Snake River RV Park and they took care of all my needs and charged $6.00 for the dump and free water. I never mentioned to them what just happened at KOA. I wound up spending $66.00 at the Snake River RV Park. I have been Rving for 17 years and never was turned down for any service from anywhere. I guess there is a first time for everything. If you are passing through and need a full service dump facility I would pass up POCATELLO KOA.
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Texasrvers
post Aug 9 2012, 08:55 PM
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Jeff,

I have a question or two.

First, does the KOA membership allow you to use the facilities at any KOA free of charge even if you are not staying there?

Would you have been able to use the KOA facilities and water if you had paid a fee there like you did at Snake River?

There have been a few times when we have gone to an RV park and asked if we could use their facilities to dump our tanks. In every case we were charged a fee to do so.
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RFCN2
post Aug 9 2012, 08:56 PM
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Jeff - This was your first post. I have not stayed at the KOA you talked about but in my humble opinion you are being too hard on them. Did they have a local water shortage. Was the person you talked to supposed to tell you what he did and he did not make the rules? I also belong to the KOA club. I would not presume that I had the right to stop by and use the facilities at a KOA without staying there.


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Bob & Barbara
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JEFF J.
post Aug 10 2012, 12:25 AM
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QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Aug 9 2012, 08:55 PM) *

Jeff,

I have a question or two.

First, does the KOA membership allow you to use the facilities at any KOA free of charge even if you are not staying there?

Would you have been able to use the KOA facilities and water if you had paid a fee there like you did at Snake River?

There have been a few times when we have gone to an RV park and asked if we could use their facilities to dump our tanks. In every case we were charged a fee to do so.


I guess I should have been more clear in my post. Price was never discussed. It was implied that I would pay for it since I have never gotten or expected to get free service anywhere except a rest stop. I'm 100% certain he understood I was to pay for services since I was buying propane as well. My notifying I had a memebership came up at dead last when he made it clear I was not to get water. I just can't imagine him thinking I was asking for free service. I walked in and said hello I'm going to need a RV Dump,, propane, I 've got some garbage to throw out and water to fill. I have asked for these services like this for 17 years and they always simply pointed out where and how much. Never has anyone thought I was asking for free services. Again the membership conversation came at the end when he made it clear I was not getting water "unless" I was staying there. I thought by mentioning the membership he might realize I'm part of the KOA family and not be so strict about not getting water. My honest impression was he did not want to accomodate someone passing through and wanted me to stay there to use the facilities. I saw it no other way. Jeff J.
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Texasrvers
post Aug 10 2012, 12:33 AM
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Thanks for clarifying. Your story seems a little more reasonable now.
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joez
post Aug 10 2012, 07:16 AM
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QUOTE
My honest impression was he did not want to accomodate someone passing through and wanted me to stay there to use the facilities.


Imagine that. A business that depends on overnight stays for there livelihood is not very interested in someone wanting to use their septic and trash dumpster for a very small fee.
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WVA3185
post Aug 10 2012, 10:43 AM
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QUOTE(joez @ Aug 10 2012, 05:16 AM) *

Imagine that. A business that depends on overnight stays for there livelihood is not very interested in someone wanting to use their septic and trash dumpster for a very small fee.


Most campgrounds here on the "right coast" that I have stayed in have a charge from anywhere of $10 - $20 if you are just wanting to dump your tanks. Never saw a charge for garbage disposal but I guess if you had a trailer full of trash they probably should since most do pay for garbage disposal.
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JEFF J.
post Aug 11 2012, 11:52 PM
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QUOTE(joez @ Aug 10 2012, 07:16 AM) *

Imagine that. A business that depends on overnight stays for there livelihood is not very interested in someone wanting to use their septic and trash dumpster for a very small fee.


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JEFF J.
post Aug 12 2012, 12:35 AM
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QUOTE(joez @ Aug 10 2012, 07:16 AM) *

Imagine that. A business that depends on overnight stays for there livelihood is not very interested in someone wanting to use their septic and trash dumpster for a very small fee.


Imagine that?

In business you never turn a client or customer away from a sale unless you are so upscale and can afford to pick and choose who you want to do business with. It's my understanding failing campgrounds go the way of KOA backing because they could not make it on there own, thus the reason for higher nightly rates at KOA's over others on average since KOA has to take their cut. The rudeness of this guy who either was the owner or employee was way out of line making me feel like I'm the odd one asking for the use of general services.

I retired early (51 years old) from the furniture business I owned because I catered to my customers needs no matter what. Not because I was rude or "didn't care" like the guy at POCATELLO KOA said to me. There was no call for that at all and KOA HQ is going to be informed. I'm pretty certain they will not follow up on it because they know there is not much they can do about it except yank the plug which they are unlikely to do.
POCATELLO KOA is a failing business in my view.

When I called Snake River RV Park and asked them before I took my time out to show up and be denied service, if they allowed people passing through to be able to use the facilities his response was "Sure you can use it" with a tone in his voice like what a strange question I was asking.

I realize times are tough but to be rude to customers and then in essence force them away I can assure you is not the answer to business success.

Moreover, if I was that guy at POCATELLO KOA and he was me I would have said "Of course you can use the facilities. Here are the rates for a dump etc and since you are passing through, here's a 10 percent off coupon for you when you travel through next time and want to stay here."

It's all in the attitude....and treating someone respectfully is always going to be remembered and rewarded with repeat business.
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OldSoldier
post Aug 12 2012, 10:20 AM
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KOA, now a days, is JUST OK. Nothing special. They are reliable, but dated. Most KOA facilities were built 20 or more years ago before slide-outs and super rigs. I have a 30 foot rig now. It's not excessively big, but it does have 3 slides; 2 and 1. I find KOA facilities now too narrow for most of my needs.

Unfortunate. KOA needs to get updated and in touch with the current market.

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