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easyrider65_01
I am relatively new to owning an RV and I was wondering if KOAs as a whole are nice or if it better to stay non-franchise cg s. I f have stayed a few KOAs and I get the feeling that KOA does not monitor the cgs that are not in the more tourist areas. I plan on doing a lot of traveling and KOA has a great website to locate a cg. I hope that my poor experiences have been the exception rather than the norm. So, as a whole are KOAs to be avoided mad.gif or enjoyed biggrin.gif ?
Cheryl
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.
Beastdriver
Its like any other campground chain, as Cheryl says, with some good ones and some bad ones. The ONLY campground information site I know that is generally dependable in telling like it is about a specific campground is this one. Check here before you make a reservation.
Sunflyer
We've been fulltiming since 1999. At first we also thought of KOA as the Holiday Inn of campgrounds.....predictable....reasonably priced place to stay. We don't regard them that way now due to experience. There are some nice ones, but as a whole we have found them to be overpriced for the facilities they offer, and many in poor repair, especially older ones that haven't upgraded in years. As a rule KOA's are now our last choice and the reviews on this site have helped us make better, more informed and economical choices as we travel. The variety and condition of campgrounds varies widely across private and public campgrounds. Opinions directly from other campers is your best guide.
John S.
We use our MH to travel and put on many more miles than the average RVer and stay at lots of CG where we have no choice but to stay close to where we need to be. I will say that as a rule most KOAs are higher priced and lower quality than others. I will say as a rule most Jellystones are high priced and nice so it is not that I am against franchises. I beleive KOA does not ck or if they do their standards are so low that I specifically exclude them from my search unless there is nothing else there or this site says that they are ok.

Nost are older parks with smaller roads and sites and on the east coast livin gon the reputations of the brand for a little while longer. I was talking to an owner of a park that was going to be a jellystone park and he had to rip out the old pool and put in a whole new area and update a nice CG to super status before he could be a Jellystone.
Cheryl
One KOA that I would stay at when in the area is the one closest to Mount Rushmore. It has beautiful views, lots of activities, pools, waterslide, etc. It lives up to what the KOA name used to be.
rscraig
We camp in a pop-up, so the cleanliness of the showers and bathrooms is very important to us. We've found that with a few exceptions, the KOA bathrooms are always clean and in good repair. We've also found that most KOAs are pretty well run--certainly better than the average independent CG. Our biggest complaint is the small site size in most KOAs. We usually just stop at a KOA for an overnight while on the road. Once we get where we're going, we look for a nice state or national park campground. Yes, there are bad KOAs, but a relatively small percentage.
vegasken
sad.gif We also used to stay at KOA's but they priced them selves too high & let many of their facilities run down. Also the attitude seems to be that because they are KOA they don't need to "try harder". We stay at one now only when nothing else is available in the area.
mittshel
Some good, some bad. Most overpriced. KOA was sold and new owners are trying to weed out the bad ones and clean up the rest. There standards are a little higher now.
zipper1
We've had mixed experiences with Koa's. We just stayed at a great one in Jackson Hole. Great staff,trees, Teton views & convenient location. We extended our stay to 4 nights from 2. Another nice one in Polson, Mt. They do tend to be a little overpriced even with the %10 discount. Mt. Home Idaho was mediocre.
Camper Man
I have stayed at a few KOA campgrounds. They are generally higher priced but I have found their restrooms worth the extra money. A few that I can speak for is the Littleton, MA, Twin Mountain KOA in NH, and Brattleboro, VT KOA. They were very nice, CLEAN, organized, and friendly. I'm sure there is a wide range of quality in the KOA's but these three are dependable.
rustysf350
I stay at KOA as a last resort. They are over priced and most time full of "Live ins" Transit workers and in most cases, run down. I joined Passport
America and find the parks in this system to be for the most part good. Just my .02$
RVman3252
There are good and bad KOA's... but I have always thought the majority of them were over priced!

RVman
philhoey
KOA seem to be trying to improve their image. 25 years ago when we were tent camping we always stayed in KOAs and found them to be as someone mentioned - The Holiday Inns - of the camping world.
Last summer we wanted to go to Myrtle Beach and did not book into the KOA because a friend had stayed there about 3 or 4 years ago and found the place really run down - we stayed at Ocean Lakes instead and had to deal with the kids in golf carts trying to run you down and the fireworks debris in my camp site. We later found out the KOA in Myrtle Beach has evidently changed hands and looks very well kept up and clean.
Since we got the TT, 3 years ago, we have not had much good luck with Good Sam recommended sites. The biggest problem seems to be data about site width, hookups etc is either very very outdated or recorded incorrectly.
The KOA in West Chester PA is kind out of the way but a real nice place and quite centrally located if you want to hit Philadelphia and Lancaster from the site base camp. We stayed there for a few days last fall when we had to go to PA on family business. It was a pleasant susprise.
Most of the time when we go out we are only looking for a base camp - nice level sites, reasonable width (more than 20 feet) quiet place, with good facility maintenance. We don't require or use the 'resort' features of lot of the newer places and so far (keep your fingers crossed) we have found that the KOAs have satisfied our needs.
Art D
I consider KOA as an overnight stop that you can reserve. I've stayed at two so far. One was fair to good and one was good to better.
partyof5
We have stayed at a few KOA's and some were good and some not. I don't think you can group them all together. It really depends on the mangement, like any other campground. I don't really find them over priced.....I have been finding a lot of campgrounds are raising their rates.
mmnava
If you get a chance...stop at the KOA in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Nice layout, friendly owners, and a deliver-it-to-your site chuckwagon.
buddybleau
If you're just going to be there overnight, why not just find a Wal-Mart? If you buy a Rand McNally Road Atlas at Wal-Mart, it has all of the Wal-Mart lots that invite you to stay overnite for nothing. And just think, the wife get's to shop. What a deal.
When it come's to KOA, some are good and some are bad, but they all suck.
Just my opinion.
TheHabu
I'm just getting started as an RVer too. I've stayed at 2 different KOAs and both seemed consistently predictable - clean restrooms & clean showers. The sites seem small but have been adequate to my needs. The staff at both sites were friendly and helpful to this newbie. I stayed at a National Forest campground a week ago... no services other than a restroom and some water down the street. I was spoiled on my KOA experiences... I wanted a shorter walk to the toilet, a shower, and some staff assistance when needed. The NF campground was very shady, private, large site, and quiet, almost spooky. I hardly ever saw anyone walking around - at least anyone as friendly as you do at a KOA. So far, I'm satisfied with KOA until I see/experience something negative. dry.gif
Beastdriver
KOAs are just like any other chain of campgrounds--some are good, some are mediocre, and some are bad. I have noticed, however, many KOAs that are improving their facilities, cleaning up, and so forth. Your best best has been, and continues to be, checking this site for the experience of others. biggrin.gif
skippy
We've stayed at a couple of KOA's and I think what's been said in previous posts is generally true--some are good, some are not. We found a nice one in Hot Springs SD--management helped us a lot when we stayed there recently since we had some propane problems. The CG itself was very nice as well--but what most folks will say about KOA's is that the sites are really close together (KOA=Keep On Adding).

I've been a little disappointed in Woodall's and Good Sam park reccomendations, and have found that the very BEST site for reviews is this one! Again, because the reviews are written from a camper/rver perspective. I always check this site out first before making any reservation decisions. biggrin.gif
Cheryl Fuller
Like most, I find KOA's to be generally over-priced. All that we have stayed at, have either been right alongside a busy highway or next to a train track so always very noisy at night. The nicest one we have stayed at was in Colorado Springs, CO. Had hayrides, bicycle rentals and a very nice store. As a rule, the stores at KOA's offer a greater variety than most campgrounds. We usually look for something else in the area, staying at KOA only as a last resort. Even with the discount card, they are higher than most campgrounds. If someone would come up with a nice chain of parks that you could stay at with full hook-ups for around $20, they would probably make a fortune.
Navigator64
We stayed at 21 different KOA's on a cross country trip last fall. They are very much a mixed bag. Some were great and I'd go back there again. Some were terrible. The Mt Rushmore one mentioned was very nice as was the one outside of the Mall of America in Woodbury. So was the one north of Carlsbad Caverns. I would NOT recommend the one between Bryce and Zion NP. Lousy sites, facilities and unfriendly staff. I'd check a Woodall's or this site for specific campground reviews. We have the 15% discount which helps with the price. KOA's seem to have become just places to give you access to nearby attractions and less of a place for a real camping experience IMO.
genestoy
Navigator64,
Could you elaborate a little more on the KOA "between Bryce & Zion"? Is that the one in Glendale? There are only 4 KOA's in the area and we will be in that area next month. smile.gif
Thanks - Gene
michaelforce
Thanks to everyone who created this site and to those who spend their time reviewing and passing information along to those of us who really expect to have a great camping experience everytime we go.

We had a "night and day" experience with KOA's in Michigan....Petoskey was incredible but Newberry (UP) was poor. The costs were the same..we won't be going back to Newberry again.

This site will help us pick the best....my thanks to you all! biggrin.gif
rz8425
We agree that there's some good and some bad KOA's (Just like other camping sites). We have stayed at the Mt. Rushmore KOA and found that for cable TV, the daily $10 extra was a bit much for the few channels offered. Since, we installed Satilite! Having just retrned from the Cape Hatteras KOA, we weren't impressed with the non-existant WiFi (HotSpotzz) support and low voltage. The 50amp units get power first before it's trickled down to the 30amp sites. However, both CG's where extremely hospitable. I'd check here first before I frequented any CG, as Woodalls and Trailer Life reviews aren't always accurate or forthright. I know of one CG operator that was presured to purchase an item is they wished a higher evaluation.
Navigator64
Yep, it was the Glendale one. Skip it. Lousy sites and unavailable staff. When we pulled in there was nobody around and when she did show up it was like we were inconveniencing her.
denbroncs
Like private campgrounds, KOA's can be good and bad - but to paint the whole system with a brush is silly. We've noticed a trend over past few years with KOA to "filter" the bad places out of the system - and that overall KOA's are pretty good places to camp. wink.gif
jim1632
My wife likes to make reservations and we have relied on KOA in the past. However, I have told her that we will no longer reserve at a KOA without an initial inspection. We were tent campers at first and used the KOAs every 3 days or so to have showers. Now the KOA system has become very unreliable - and still prices above the alternatives - so I prefer that we seek any alterative first.

In fact, some of the campgrounds that we have enjoyed were probably KOAs in the past because they had the traditional A-frame KOA building.

I just started on this review forum and intend to submit and refer to the rankings before making any plans for a campground.
Cheryl
QUOTE
I just started on this review forum and intend to submit and refer to the rankings before making any plans for a campground.


Smart move, oh yeah, welcome to the forum. laugh.gif
DrSus
huh.gif

As most reviewers have noted, KOA's are a mixed bag -- some good, some bad. We have come to rely on them when we are in an unknown area and have to choose between a KOA and another campground with similar ratings in Trailer Life. Now that we have discovered rvparkreviews, we have another good resource for recommendations, and we will be consulting it frequently. KOA's right off the interstate have been our best bets for quick overnights in a pull through site so that we don't have to disconnect our towed vehicle. As we are two adults with no children in tow, some of the recreational amenities in KOA's just don't matter. But several have offered some of our favorite options: cable TV, WI-FI (free at some), good satellite reception and good cell phone reception. We love the technology perks and never use the pools or game rooms.
John Blue
Over the past years we have only found two KOA's in US that we like. The other KOA campgrounds were very poor to me. Most need a lot of rework to get up to 2005 standards. You find sites that only have 30 amps if it works, bad water, very small sites, poor WiFi that is good in the office only, very old buildings, pot holes, next to interstate for noise, and dust every place. Couple were so bad we drove in and out the other side and left. KOA was very good in the tent days. You did not receive much and they did not charge you much. That is over, now you pay for everything. We only use site to sleep in and $50 per night is high. I dropped our KOA card and will not renew it.

People need to read the write up from Carol Linde owner of Billings KOA over the "RV road trash" who park free in Billings. We will never return to her campgrounds or Billings again. What a joke!
Butch
Our experiences with KOA campgrounds run the full gamut from good to very poor. As a gold card camper, we stay in KOA frequently. The best one we have found is the KOA at Wilmington/Lake placid, in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. But this campground also has it's problems. I'll list a few: lack of escort to assigned site, as the layout of the campground can be confusing to the first timer. Lack of rule enforcement unless it is to the owners benefit. Enforcement is required to protect all users of the property, as to safety, and the assurance to provide a positive & enjoyable stay. The reservation policy is now (fall of 2005) out of hand. The owners are now accepting reservation for the 2007 camping season. The reservations were being accepted during the 2005 camping season. This is nonsense, almost two years in advance. We have used this establishment five to six times a year for the last ten years, but has reached the point where we are looking for another campground.
The KOA at Cooperstown NY leaves a lot to be desired, water dirty and discolored, pull through sites short, overhead branches need trimming, some of the sites are not level, would only stay here again only in a pinch.
The KOA at Saugerties/Woodstock (New York) is about in the same category, sites short, poorly drained, water pressure is very low, but does have a small pool.
The KOA at Canaan/Skowhegan Maine, is not to bad, but has some unlevel short sites, also has a pool. I do feel they are all over priced but that is KOA for you!!
jensjems
biggrin.gif We are new Rver's, sold everything and went full time right off since June 2005 - left Las Vegas, NV and our first stop not knowing where to stay, but thanks to the highway sign was at Flagstaff, AZ KOA: a large park very much more of a CG to us than the RV Parks. They signed us up as KOA members. Showed us how to use their book and web site - we woke the next morning to the most refreshing quiet, cool temps., clean air and we were sold on using KOA's - - We are wintering right now at Starke, FL KOA & it is Super Fantastic - We have a Class C 30 ft. and have already traveled 19 states. We have stayed in 21 different KOA's returning to several as we went back through. With the exception of one all were well maintained, clean, quiet, convienent with friendly staffs. We also along the way have stayed at non-franchise rated by Good Sams, Wheelers, Trailer Life and info from different RV forums. Both times I used Wheelers we ran into dirty trashy parks that did not deserve the ratings they had listed, made me wonder who gave Wheelers the info as I don't think Wheelers would just print anything. Much better luck with Good Sams, Trailer Life and forums. I keep a file with the map/info from each RV park we stay at and make notes on them as to what we liked, names of staff and other campers we meet. As for price I research each park along the highways we are traveling & use their listed rates (not necessarily what we have paid, usually less) as my quideline for laying out our driving schedule - rates compaired to motels/hotels/eating all meals out and the KOA's are within line of all other CG's and RV parks. I found if we stay just outside the cities the rates are lower and we are still within the area. Nothing in life is perfect and when we travel we can now have our home with us and what few little things along the way that are just not as nice as we think they should be are not that earth shattering - enjoy the view!!
Beastdriver
jensjems:

Welcome to this site and welcome to the world of RV'ing. I found your comments about KOAs most interesting. We've been doing this for several years and, during that time, have had literally hundreds of conversations about KOA with full-timers and almost full-timers. Most, but not all, feel that many KOAs, and the KOA chain as a whole, is analagous to K-Mart. Tired, outdated, not much spent to modernize, overpriced in relation to other "discount" stores, being poorly lighted and poorly stocked, and, in general, not a good place to go anymore, although it used to be. We have stayed at a few KOAs that are excellent (Petoskey, Michigan, for example), but most of those where we have stayed are second rate with ridiculously high prices for what you get. Perhaps you've just been very lucky in your choice of places, and we've been very unlucky. Still, I find that, almost without fail, this site will forewarn me of KOAs to avoid (most of them) and, whenever I get a real KOA dump, it's because I didn't pay heed to those comments on this site. Anyway, again, welcome!
Cheryl
Beastdriver,
Since you seemed to take great delight in correcting my spelling error, I thought I would return the favor - it's analogous, not analagous. tongue.gif
Beastdriver
Cheryl: Thank you for the correction. May I quote your post of four days ago?

"And I'll say it again. I NEVER corrected anyone's spelling but my own. I don't deliberately launch attacks against other posters."---Cheryl

Ain't total computer recall grand?

Have a nice day.
sbryant6
We like the KOA's for the cleanliness of the facilities. It seems to be consistent for us from KOA to KOA. Not all KOA's are as equipped as others. The ones that have the "Kamping Kottages" (marked in blue on their map) seem to have more amenities.
http://www.koa.com/where/usa.htm
Cheryl
At that point in time, I hadn't corrected anyone's mistake. And I still haven't launched any personal attacks, as I said, I was just returning the favor. Can you say the same?
genestoy
Now children! Take a deep breath--the holiday's are upon us! smile.gif
Beastdriver
Genestoy: Thanks for the humor.

Cheryl's problem is that she operates with a double standard. On August 11th, she said, and I quote, "Please don't feel the need to apologize about any spelling/grammatical errors. Most of us don't care about things like that as long we can read/understand the post."

Earlier, on June 28th, she said, and I quote, "I certainly wouldn't criticize anyone when I don't claim to be perfect myself." Then she turns right around and does exactly what she said she would not do.

I'm sure she is a perfectly nice lady but, when she criticizes, it's simply doing you a favor; when you respond, it's a "personal attack." As I said earlier, you have to be like a duck in water and let it run off your back, not taking it personally. Obviously, she cannot do this because she is "being personally attacked." Sad. But you are correct, Genestoy, it's time to get off of it, and I won't dignify any more of her criticism and paranoia by responding. The folks who read this site are intelligent enough to understand what's going on with this lady. rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif
Cheryl
I do not operate on a double standard and I don't criticize on here either, I leave that up to you.

I asked for spellcheck, for myself, when the webmasters asked for suggestion for this site. You turned it into an issue with your post:
QUOTE
As you often remind readers of this site, PLEASE use spell check. Diesel is spelled DIE not DEI.

Here's another example.
QUOTE
Depending on Trailer Life and Woodalls. I think I had rather have hemmoroids. Did I spell that right, Cheryl?


Other than last Wednesday, when have I ever corrected your spelling? Seems to me you are the one suffering from paranoia.
danshula
Hi,
KOA is more of a family oriented C.G and they are more expensive than others in the same area.
If you have young kids with you, it is the place for you, if you are looking to relax and not have all the commotion around you, don't go there.
Everafter Camper
rolleyes.gif
Hello everyone, I'm going to try and fumble my way through this. Pretty new at this. Just purchased our Travel Trailer in 2005 and have been on 3 trips. I really love the places we've been and my favorite was the KOA in Maderia Beach / St Pete, FL. Staff was great, location fun and beach nearby. Sites were ok. Lots to do for families. The price is a little high but I really think they were worth it. We stayed there for Christmas 2005. They received the KOA president's award. Restrooms are spotless. Also, I'm planning a trip in 3/06 to Rock Crusher Canyon in Crystal River, FL, was wondering if anyone had any updated reviews for this park.
Dogbone
I am with the majoroty here, I stay at them as a last resort, I find them over priced, most times there are campsites very nearby at less the price and the same quality.
aMazin
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
mjhoffman
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
Travelin Rose
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.
denbroncs
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.
gwbischoff
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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