Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-05-2011, 11:46 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 4

Hi, I'm new at this. Im looking for a nice campsite for thanksgiving weekend in San Diego area. Found out KOA sites are way more expensive than others. Are they so much better? Thanks!!

Kaffeetee is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-05-2011, 11:53 PM   #2
Senior Member
Mr_D's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 31,279
KOA = Keep On Adding
In 55 years of RVing I can count on one hand the number of times we've stayed in them. Just too expensive for what you get and then there's the added charges. Last time was to one at the beach, had two grandkids with us so wanted the extra's for them. HAD to buy the "optional" "free breakfast" bracelets. They, naturally never told us in advance about the required "option". Cost us close to $100 a day and thae park wasn't THAT fancy.

2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
Mr_D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 12:13 AM   #3
Community Administrator
NLOVNIT's Avatar

Pond Piggies Club
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
LA Gulf Coast Campers
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 23,772
Blog Entries: 1
IMO, it depends on the KOA. I've stayed at some that were modestly priced (i.e. 50a fhu $45), they didn't charge extra for ammenities or activities & were way better than other nearby campgrounds. I've also stayed at others that were over priced (i.e. 50a fhu $85), there were all kinds of additional charges for this or that & they weren't any better (if not worse) than nearby campgrounds.

You just have to do your research & decide what you're willing to pay for what you get.

Lori & Dave - FMA #3415 | FMCA #F419886 | RV/MH Hall of Fame Lifetime Member
2006 Fleetwood Bounder 36Z & 2014 Honda CRV EX-L AWD, My iRV2 Photo Albums
How is it one careless match can start a forest fire but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
NLOVNIT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 06:15 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 452
Ditto Mr D. We avoid them like the plague. We did not know any better when we first started out, but have not been to one in over 4 years. We will go to a Walmart before we ever go to a KOA.

2006 Fleetwood Bounder 35E
Bob and Inga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 06:46 AM   #5
Senior Member
George Schweikle's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,307
There seem to be a lot of negative KOA comments. We tend to use KOA in the midwest, don't see a lot of overcharging, and are generally satisfied. We do a lot of one night stops when traveling to or from autocross events. Walmart, or other dry camping, isn't suitable in the summer due to the need to plug in for A/C and not run a generator all night. We like to have wifi every few days to check on bills & banking. We also check for pet restrictions since we travel with a 90 lb GSD (German Shepherd Dog). Also, our MH and car trailer measure 52 ft. long, and KOA's tend to have pull through sites for this length.

We do see some individual campgrounds with traditional KOA buildings that, for whatever reason, don't have a current KOA franchise. A few of these were obviously very successfull, so maybe didn't need the KOA organization & advertising to be profitable.
George Schweikle Lexington, KY
1999 Safari TREK 2830, FMCA 190830, Safari International chapter
1995 Safari TREK 2630, 1983 Winnebago Chieftain, 1976 Midas Mini
George Schweikle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 06:57 AM   #6
Senior Member
RJay's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,589
I agree with the others about KOA and their extra charges. I stopped using KOA when they became activists in enacting ordinances preventing overnight parking at Walmart.
2007 Newmar DSDP 4023
Discovery is seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.
If you want to see what man made go East; if you want to see what God made go West.
RJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 06:59 AM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
TXiceman's Avatar

Vintage RV Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Oklahoma Boomers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Full Time, TX Home Base
Posts: 17,169
Blog Entries: 21
There are a few KOA's that are pretty good, but in my opinion, for the most part, theey are now so good and over priced. I generally avoid KOA unless they are the only option in an area.

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
TXiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 07:18 AM   #8
Senior Member
Doug Sage's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Originally from near Portland, OR
Posts: 699
Originally Posted by NLOVNIT View Post
IMO, it depends on the KOA. I've stayed at some that were modestly priced (i.e. 50a fhu $45). I've also stayed at others that were over priced (i.e. 50a fhu $85)
I feel that $45 is more than "moderately priced". It should be about $35! KOA is always about $10, or more, higher than other parks.
Doug Sage
Full timers roaming the good old US of A
2007 Itasca Suncruiser 38J
2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Doug Sage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 04:04 PM   #9
Senior Member
Ronnie Bledsoe 2006 Dutchstar 43''s Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Manteca, Ca
Posts: 1,340
You get what you pay for! I use KOA's because for the most part one gets uniform facilities. For families they have the amenities wanted. Those that have unique location do seem to charge TOO MUCH and I avoid them and I don't use them for overnight stays as I would not use the facilities.
The KOA in San Diego/Chula Vista is a park I use as a destination and usually stay for a month...it cost about $950 plus electricity. Sites are large, level, and well maintained.
2008 Jeep Sahara '4Dr"
Ronnie Bledsoe
Ronnie Bledsoe 2006 Dutchstar 43' is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 04:15 PM   #10
Senior Member
docj's Avatar
Official iRV2 Sponsor
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4,067
This is a question that has been asked numerous times. We use http://www.rvparkreviews.com/ to evaluate our CG options in places we want to stay. When a KOA is the best value we will stay there; we almost always get full-hookup sites. Sometimes, even for overnight stays, KOA's have turned out to be the best choice for us. For example, in Laramie WY there aren't many CG choices; the KOA was acceptable for the night.

As for price, we find some KOA's are rather pricey while others are not. Where they are high it is usually because they are either located near big cities or prime destination areas. No one forces anyone to stay there; I have always assumed they wouldn't charge those prices unless they knew people would pay them. That's not price gouging, it's capitalism.

By the way we have never paid any extra at a KOA beyond the rates given on the KOA website at the time we made our reservation.
Joel Weiss--WiFiRanger RV Ambassador
RVParkReviews administrator
2000 40' Beaver Patriot Thunder Princeton CAT C-12
docj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 04:23 PM   #11
Senior Member
kalynzoo's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northridge, Ca
Posts: 751
KOA San Diego is a lovely park. KOA's do charge more than many parks, but less than other "resort parks." I find KOA's to be at very least consistant. It is a franchise, so there are differences between parks. But all that I have visited are clean, maintain clean restrooms and offices, have working hookups, are secure, tend not to maintain "perminant residence campers" , and are friendly. Many if not most are gravel. Being a franchise, if you have a complaint you can direct it to both the facility and to the main company.
Many KOAs have family activities, such as pancake breakfasts, movie evening, playground, bike rentals, and even supervised activities for kids.
Is it worth the extra cost...that is truly an individuals evaluation.
KOA is a family destiniation as is KOA Petaluma, KOA Circle of Pines Williams, and KOA Santa Cruz.
Happy Trails.
kalynzoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 06:25 PM   #12
Senior Member
1ciderdog's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 4,370
We lived in a 5th wheel at San Diego KOA for a few years but that was over 10 years ago. It was a nice facility and fit our budget as a monthly rental space. Now when in that area we stay at the Chula Vista Marina & RV resort or at the San Diego County Sweetwater park. Last time I checked Chula Vista Marina & RV Park was a tad less expensive than the KOA and it is a very nice park. Sweetwater park recently went through upgrades and should be pretty nice but you will need transportation and it is also less expensive.

EDIT: As an add on I think that both KOA and CVM&RV both have shuttles that will take you to the trolley station. You can get to downtown SD and south to the border at Tijuana if you want. Both have or used to have weekly rates. Also CVM&RV has good food within walking distance.
Safe Travels
Bob, Sandi & Marmaduke the Big Pug
SW OREGON 2004 Journey 39K, 330 Cat
If towing: a 2006 Mini Cooper or 2015 RAM Limited 4X4
1ciderdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 09:45 PM   #13
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 71
I have to agree with the people that like the KOA's. I do agree that we certainly prefer to be in a 'resort' park when we stop, but we feel that we can blindly pull into a KOA, and have a decent idea of what we will get. There is one in IL that put us in a horrible site without working power, but aside from that one-I can't really recall any that have been a let down. Sometimes they do cost more, but since I'm traveling on a per diem, I don't let that bother me too much.

I keep seeing that rv park review website mentioned on these boards. I checked it out a few times, and didn't agree at all with the reviews, so I stopped using it. It had totally false descriptions of the last park we stayed at, and they were on there with recent dates as well-so I don't suppose it was a refresh in the mean time.
TravelingJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2011, 09:56 AM   #14
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 4
Thanks guys for the input. Since this is our very first trip with the trailer, we want to make sure to land at a nice spot and have good memories. Thanks Bob for suggesting the Chula Marina and RV resort. I looked at their site, seems like it is exactly what we need- hopefully it's not too cold by the beach! I called and made a reservation for a pull thru site- again, first timer, want to be safe With AAA discount, it came out a little less than KOA. But it has heated pool, my kids are going to love it!

Kaffeetee is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Veterans Day weekend @ Glamis North KOA scotte28516 Toy Haulers Discussion 0 11-05-2011 01:50 PM
Anyone camped at KOA in Bandon/Port Orford, OR? meant2shop Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 3 08-29-2011 08:04 PM
Beware The KOA Cancellation Policy!! adg8165 Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 48 07-23-2011 07:59 PM
KOA ranting Nedra Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 29 04-26-2009 06:36 PM
Reedville, VA KOA glenda1908 Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 10 12-31-2006 07:03 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.