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> KOA, Good or Bad?
aMazin
post Jan 31 2006, 10:39 AM
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KOA's are a mixed bag of good and bad.

We prefer the state campgrounds and private ones that have good recommendations. This site is a great for looking up reviews on any campground.

I've been a lurker here for a while and thought I'd better jump in and add a little also. This is an awesome site for the money. tongue.gif
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mjhoffman
post Jan 31 2006, 03:27 PM
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Okay guys, this is my first time in the pool but I'm going to dive right into the deep end on this one.
As great as these reviews are, I do hope people use their own common sense when choosing campgrounds as well.
Back when I was a college student, about 17 years ago give or take, I worked at a KOA campground in Arkansas. I will say that at that time it was a very nice campground. The owners were extremely motivated people and cared about their customers. Having said that, I've checked out the reviews for this CG on this website and on another website and it's gotten some scathing reviews recently. This particular campground has changed owners since I was there so I realize things could have changed. But one of the biggest lessons I learned working there is that you can't please all the people all the time and some people you can never please. We had people complaining about the high prices all the time (as if I had any control over it). rolleyes.gif However because the campground was so meticulously taken care of and had a pool and a playground and was close to major attractions, I thought it was worth it at the time. We had people coming in who would request a level site that was private yet close to the restrooms, that was shaded yet got morning sun, that was easily accessible to the highway yet didn't have highway noise.....blah, blah, blah....those people were never pleased and should probably have been sitting home in their living rooms watching golf. wink.gif
I really love this website and see how it can be a useful tool (my family and I have been camping now for about a year), but because of the experiences I had working at this CG, I can also see how people should still be a little guarded when putting their faith in these reviews. One man's treasure is another man's junk. The reviews on this website for the afore-mentioned CG were pretty evenly split....some people loved it, some hated it......go figure...
This is all just my opinion and not intended to incite anything.....how's that for a disclaimer? biggrin.gif
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Travelin Rose
post Jan 31 2006, 04:34 PM
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Everyone is looking for something different in a campground. That is the reason the comments section of the review is so important. We need all the information we can get to help us to make a more informed choice and find one that meets our needs. Sometimes you still have to read between the lines to understand what the reviewer is trying to say.
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denbroncs
post Jan 31 2006, 06:32 PM
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We stay with them often. Like all camps there are good ones, and there are bad ones - but it seems the good ones are becoming the norm. What I also like is if I ever do have a problem, I don't have to deal with some @#$$@ owner who is tired & could care less (like a private camp) I can just call the KOA corporate 800# and tell them how I feel. (which also usually results in a free night) biggrin.gif It seems like overall they at least care.
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gwbischoff
post Jun 22 2007, 02:51 PM
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QUOTE(mjhoffman @ Jan 31 2006, 04:27 PM) *

Okay guys, this is my first time in the pool but I'm going to dive right into the deep end on this one.
As great as these reviews are, I do hope people use their own common sense when choosing campgrounds as well.
Back when I was a college student, about 17 years ago give or take, I worked at a KOA campground in Arkansas. I will say that at that time it was a very nice campground. The owners were extremely motivated people and cared about their customers. Having said that, I've checked out the reviews for this CG on this website and on another website and it's gotten some scathing reviews recently. This particular campground has changed owners since I was there so I realize things could have changed. But one of the biggest lessons I learned working there is that you can't please all the people all the time and some people you can never please. We had people complaining about the high prices all the time (as if I had any control over it). rolleyes.gif However because the campground was so meticulously taken care of and had a pool and a playground and was close to major attractions, I thought it was worth it at the time. We had people coming in who would request a level site that was private yet close to the restrooms, that was shaded yet got morning sun, that was easily accessible to the highway yet didn't have highway noise.....blah, blah, blah....those people were never pleased and should probably have been sitting home in their living rooms watching golf. wink.gif
I really love this website and see how it can be a useful tool (my family and I have been camping now for about a year), but because of the experiences I had working at this CG, I can also see how people should still be a little guarded when putting their faith in these reviews. One man's treasure is another man's junk. The reviews on this website for the afore-mentioned CG were pretty evenly split....some people loved it, some hated it......go figure...
This is all just my opinion and not intended to incite anything.....how's that for a disclaimer? biggrin.gif


I *loved* this post.

If you work in any job that deals with customers in any industry you'll know that there are always gonna' be people who you can never please. And unfortunately, they're usually the most vocal.

To stay on topic. I generally like KOA's because for the most part, you know what you're going to get. There are great ones and awful ones. But that's the beauty of the reviews on this site.

Do your homework.

Oh, and please stop the "overpriced" complaints. I traveled for 13 years staying in hotels sometimes paying $300 a night. $40 to sleep in your own bed is a bargain. With the rates for utilities here in California, I can't stay home for that. Everything's relative.


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Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1759.
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rangiebob
post Jun 22 2007, 05:09 PM
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QUOTE(gwbischoff @ Jun 22 2007, 02:51 PM) *

$40 to sleep in your own bed is a bargain.
...Everything's relative.



Well said! We became working (not retired) full-timers a little over one year ago. For us, this lifestyle is the best of all worlds. Sleeping in my own bed, with my own kitchen, bathroom and office is priceless.

We have stayed in several KOA Kampgrounds and they have all been clean, nice grounds, easy for our big rig to park. The ones we visited had excellent customer service and have been well worth the price, and we will visit them again when we are traveling through in the future.
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Sunflyer
post Jun 23 2007, 07:43 PM
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$40 to sleep in your own bed is overpriced when a competitor offers a better campground for $30 or $25 or whatever. That is why experienced rvers and fulltimers tend to comment about the pricing for KOA's. In our experience of fulltiming for 7 years they often charge the highest rates in town whether or not they have been maintained. We used them at first when we were less experienced. As time went on and we had access to better resources for researching campgrounds like this site, we have had no problem finding excellent facilities for less money.
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gwbischoff
post Jun 25 2007, 04:32 PM
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QUOTE(Sunflyer @ Jun 23 2007, 08:43 PM) *

$40 to sleep in your own bed is overpriced when a competitor offers a better campground for $30 or $25 or whatever. That is why experienced rvers and fulltimers tend to comment about the pricing for KOA's. In our experience of fulltiming for 7 years they often charge the highest rates in town whether or not they have been maintained. We used them at first when we were less experienced. As time went on and we had access to better resources for researching campgrounds like this site, we have had no problem finding excellent facilities for less money.


If that is the case, yes. You'd be silly to stay at a place that charges $40 when if you can find one that charges $20 for the same thing. But I don't think that is what people are complaining about.

From what I'm reading, it's people from more rural areas (not judging, just sayin') coming to "resort" or more developed areas and complaining that the prices are higher.

I'm sure you can get a hotel room in Des Moines for under $100. Try getting one in Manhattan for that price.

A quick look at the KOA website shows me I can get a weekend, FHU in Clayton New Mexico for $31. Whereas near the ocean in Santa Cruz, CA it's over $80 a night.

It's about value. Don't like what they charge? Stay somewhere else. God Bless America.

It's like negotiating for a raise. You're only as valuable as your options.


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Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1759.
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popup6
post Jul 6 2007, 07:05 AM
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I am a gold card KOA-er, and I have to say that I much prefer KOA's over private campgrounds.
I like the gift certificate idea they have, we get enough in gift certificates through out the year
to pay for a campsites for two weeks a year and earn credit toward our next gold card and the 15 per cent discount is a plus in our minds.

I feel with KOA's there is a standard that needs to be met and in my experience the KOA's that I have stayed in met or exceeded that standard, as opposed to the private ones in which I have had bad experiences on a whole. Yes you do pay a bit more to stay at a KOA as opposed to some of the private ones, but at least I know with a KOA that if I do have a problem and the owner/manager does not address it I can take it to the headquarters where I will be heard.and I don't mind paying extra for the amminities that KOA offers, there are not many places you can get a hotel for yourself and family for about 40 bucks a night and if you do find one I am sure
that the "guests" will be coming and going all day and night.

The only KOA that I found did not meet the standards set by KOA was Rapid City, but in consideration I was staying there it was jammed packed and Sturgus Bike Rally had just ended the day before, so it's not fair to judge the campground at that time due to that fact. The staff was working there tails off with a smile trying to keep everything up to par, the guests on the other hand were working just as hard to trash the place, I am sure if I had visited it a few weeks before or after it would of been much different.

I know that if Billings gets enough bad comments about a campground and the issues are not addressed that KOA will no longer carry the KOA name or depending on where it is located
it will be bought out and run by KOA such as the Virginia Beach KOA, and brought back up to the standards.

At private campgrounds I have run into to many owners who need major attitude adjustments
it's a chore to even check you in, some police the grounds like a jail warden. I had one yell at me because my 3 year old son found that the bathroom echo'd and it was 2 pm in the afternoon
and he was getting a kick out of saying Hi and hearing it said back, yet a seasonal camper
could blast there music well into the night and nothing was said.
I had one scream at us for the way we backing the camper in and I mean scream! No one showed us to our site and we sat there for about 5 to 10 minutes trying to decide which site was which, and just where the sites were as the distinction between the two was non exsistant, so we decided to give it a whirl, and the owner/staff must of been watching as soon as we got backed in (luckily we were not all set up) he came flying over on his golf cart and screamed
at us and then and only then in no uncertain terms told us where to put the camper.
Due to this I tend to shy away from private owned campgrounds.
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Sunflyer
post Jul 10 2007, 11:38 AM
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To each his own, but shying away from private campgrounds because of a few bad experiences.......well if you have a couple bad experiences at a KOA will you stop going to them?

One has only to look everyday at the new reviews coming in to see that private campgrounds appear to get 4-5 stars more often than the KOA's. A lot of private campgrounds must be doing something right in this consumer driven market.
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Big Ben
post Jul 10 2007, 02:27 PM
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We some time use Koa when in rout to our destinations.. There are both good and bad. Sallisaw Ok. was one that I remember from a couple years ago and it was excellent. Just checked to see its ratings 8, 7, 8, 8, 10, 10, 6, 8, 10, and 9. not to bad for a KOA.
Point is they are like all business, some good and some bad.
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mollie
post Jul 13 2007, 12:12 PM
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QUOTE(Cheryl @ Sep 30 2004, 06:41 AM) *

We have stayed at some very nice KOAs and some very bad ones. I think this website is the best to use to locate a good campground.
Just click on the map of the state that you want to visit (on the front page - http://rvparkreviews.com/ ) and you will be able to view honest opinions on a lot of different campgrounds, opinions posted by "regular" people just like yourself.


Now you do know that most of these parks are owned by just nomal people trying to make
a living. And go by other parks around them to decide their rates. KOA it's self does not
give them money to do upgrades or anything. And of course, some of the owners should
not be doing this anymore. It really is a FULL TIME job.
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fireproof74
post Jul 15 2007, 12:39 AM
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When staying at any KOA i always take a look at the website first and see the photos. I have had some good and some bad experiences, but as a general rule I try not to expect to be wowed by the KOA experience.
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denbroncs
post Jul 16 2007, 08:12 AM
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KOA's are like doctors; most are good & some are bad. Are you going to quit going to see the doc because of a few bad ones? I didn't think so. It's not much different with KOA - most are very good. It is simple minded to lump them all together as all good - or bad.
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Old Dan
post Jul 27 2007, 03:24 PM
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I'm a newcomer at RVing but this summer we started traveling and one thing I like about KOA is the ability to reserve on-line. No submitting dates and waiting for a reply. You know right away if a site is available. Since this spring we have stayed in a number of KOA campgrounds from Pennsylvania to Maine. I have found all the owners to be friendly and all the facilities to be adequate and clean. Some were better than others but all were OK. My experience with non-KOA campgrounds was more varied with terrible results in Shelburne Vermont and outstanding results in Lake George, NY. I don't consider the KOA's too pricey since I paid more in both my other experiences. I especially liked the KOA in Brattleboro, VT and in Freeport , ME. Unadilla, NY KOA was OK but seasonals were unsightly and party-central was just down the row from us. Allentown, PA was nice with plenty of shade while Saugerties, NY was rocky with plenty of mosquitos! Based on my very limited experience, I will continue to use KOA's unless something better comes up and, after reading reviews here, I'm doubtful that anything will. Good luck---Old Dan rolleyes.gif
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