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Old 08-26-2016, 12:10 PM   #15
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I like to keep options open so I renew my KOA value card every year. Each CG is independently owned and operated. Evaluate each on it's own is my advice. Many are very nice campgrounds with lots of activities for the kids.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:13 PM   #16
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We avoid KOA (KeepOnAdding) campgrounds whenever possible and patronize privately owned RV parks. As far as wi-fi we use our Sprint Phone personal hot-spot for connecting to the internet.

Best regards & safe travels to all...
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:31 PM   #17
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KOA Rant

We've probably stayed at a couple of dozen KOAs over the past four years. We find them to be not very different from any other campground. That is, there is some variation from one place to the next.
Remember, KOA is not a monolith. There are something like 450 KOAs in the US, and only about 25 are wholly owned. All the rest are franchises. Their ubiquitous national branding is a two-edged sword.
On the one hand they establish certain standards, following the old Holiday Inn "no surprises" ad theme. So, in a general sense you know what to expect. On the other, a dissatisfied but vocal customer can paint the entire chain with a very broad brush, all because of that big yellow sign. A similar disappointing experience at "Fred's Campground" somewhere in Idaho would go largely unnoticed.
Our experiences with KOA have been largely pleasant. Nice people, nice locations. One or two are off the list, but only because of unlevel sites, broken roadways, etc. As a whole we are still KOA users.


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Old 08-26-2016, 12:38 PM   #18
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We've probably stayed at a couple of dozen KOAs over the past four years. We find them to be not very different from any other campground. That is, there is some variation from one place to the next.
Remember, KOA is not a monolith. There are something like 450 KOAs in the US, and only about 25 are wholly owned. All the rest are franchises. Their ubiquitous national branding is a two-edged sword.
On the one hand they establish certain standards, following the old Holiday Inn "no surprises" ad theme. So, in a general sense you know what to expect. On the other, a relatively small number of vocal dissatisfied customers can paint the entire chain with a very broad brush, all because of that big yellow sign. A similar disappointing experience at "Fred's Campground" somewhere in Idaho would go largely unnoticed.
Our experiences with KOA have been largely pleasant. Nice people, nice locations. One or two are off the list, but only because of I level sites, broken roadways, etc. as a whole we are still KOA users.


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X2 John I have been a member since '09 and use them from time to time around the house for long weekends. I get a "free" membership card every year from KOA for the points I acquired camping that year...........I have used them across the country, some better than others, but always a great experience at all of them I have been to..........
There is just a "Ton" of Private campground owner's every year joining with KOA and all that I have talked to said their business has "Spiked" on a large scale............
One place around my house was a private campground for over 20 years, joined with KOA 4 years ago......then added a 1m expansion with patio sites, the owner said his business has never been so good!
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:27 PM   #19
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Park Wifi is really not meant for anything but emailing and quick searches. Streaming makes it unsatisfactory for everyone's use.

A good percentage of RVers have their own Hotspot so you'll generally always have a connection. Yes, you'll have to pay for it yourself.

We full-timed and traveled constantly and never relied on park Wifi. We got our own service even out in the boonies.

RE: television....would you rather stay in a park barren of trees? To us, trees make the park rather than a gravel parking lot.

If you have a dome you're pretty well locked into a site with no trees. If you go with a portable dish at least you can move it around.


We don't do KOAs and usually just public campgrounds. We don't watch television. Easy for us to find nice scenic campgrounds.
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:21 PM   #20
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KOA is generally my last place of choice when looking for a campground. SO may o f them are run down.

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Old 08-26-2016, 07:19 PM   #21
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KOA Rant

KOA is a good choice when I choose by what I read in the reviews. So are other CGs!
I saved 50 bucks (via bonis points) on 6 stays. And my KOA dues are paid for me each year.
Read the reviews on ALL campgrounds. Only go to the good ones!
You may color me happy....becuz I do my RESEARCH.
If ya don't, ya won't!
Nuff said?
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:32 AM   #22
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We like KOA as a concept. But it comes down to location, price and reviews. Like other said, do your research.

Unfortunately we've hit three that we didn't like. One the road in was just awful- cow path comes to mind (in VA) the second in mid GA - and the third OVER PRICED with a view of the regional landfill.

But we've also picked a couple of Good Sam rated places that we'd not use again.


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Old 08-27-2016, 06:23 AM   #23
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We've stayed at a number of KOA's and for the most part have had a pleasant experience. Pricey, but they do offer a number of things that a family with kids will take more advantage of than will older couples. I have also found that KOA should remove their names from some as they are dumps.

I find WIFI/internet access in all campgrounds to be poor, will use it when it works, otherwise will just use my IPhone as a hotspot (when cell service allows it). Providing adequate bandwidth is a losing proposition in that no matter how good a system you provide, it will never be enough. I was at a KOA recently where they were honest about it. Their flyer said the WIFI was free but not guaranteed.

I also have no compassion for those that try to run a business using free campground WIFI and then complain. If it's that important, provide your own access point.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:58 AM   #24
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I also have no compassion for those that try to run a business using free campground WIFI and then complain. If it's that important, provide your own access point.

X2! 👍


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Old 08-27-2016, 06:43 PM   #25
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Plenty of us could start a similar thread and just swap out the KOA with xxxx.

And i wouldn't doubt any of the experiences. I mean, I have seen plenty of trailer parks with big ole smiling sam signs hanging out front.

While KOA's (and all other non COE/State Park campgrounds)are generally near the bottom of my list of places to pull over, I still find myself staying at them occasionally. But, like others have said, I do my research first and have a decent understanding of what to expect.

Most recent example is my last trip to Colorado. A good "get me closer" point to stop was in western Kansas. Goodland has two campgrounds. The not KOA had reviews that suggested camping in the interstate median would be a better bet, and the reviews for KOA said it was just okay for a quick stop. And it was. Just okay for a quick stop. It's Goodland, KS, I wasn't expecting the western version of Fort Wilderness.

WiFi? I stopped trying CG WiFi years ago. I have a hotspot on my phone and the connection has ALWAYS been better than CG WiFi.

BTW. Since this is a titled KOA bashing thread....
There are two I will NEVER stay at again.
Little Rock, Arkansas - Trailer park. Sorry, that KOA is an insult to trailer parks.
Estes Park, Colorado - Open your door, reach through the neighbor's window, take his bacon and eggs, and close your door. All without taking a step out of your camper.
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:42 PM   #26
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I can say the KOA in pigeon forge has really revamped its campground although it is pricey for the deluxe spots they are in a great location if you don't want to pull a toad.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:00 PM   #27
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KOA and all other campgrounds we have selected have always been good to us, but.... We use the Allstays ap and rvparkreviews.com
We always know the campground quality and the demeanor of the staff before we get there because of the reviews. Try the ap. It will save you from the grief.
I wouldn't even think of making a reservation at any RV park without consulting a review guide. We stay at lots of KOA's but only after looking at the reviews.

KOA's are franchised parks; some are better than others. "Good Sam" parks aren't owned by Good Sam nor are they franchises, they are just those that agree to advertise their relationship with Good Sam. Comparing KOA and Good Sam is like comparing apples and oranges.

And as for wifi in KOA parks, I'm not sure why anyone would expect that it is either all good or all bad. Amenities such as wifi are totally under the control of the local management and ownership. There's no way anyone can make generalizations about wifi at all KOA parks; there's no relationship between the wifi at one and the wifi at any other. It's unfortunately true that the wifi at many parks leaves a lot to be desired.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:37 PM   #28
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We've stayed at several KOAs and are at the one in Dubois, WY right now. We didn't choose any of them because they are KOAs but more because of their location. I always look at reviews and the satellite maps before making a decision. Most stays are for one night only as we are traveling mode but we are staying in Dubois for 2 nights because it's such a cute town!

The next two nights we'll probably stay at KOAs too because of their location and they have better reviews than other campgrounds in the areas.

I don't expect usable WiFi nor much more than snow on cable. I do expect clean but fairly close sites and decent showers but have been disappointed in some.
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