We have reservations for our very first stay at a Good Sam park next week.
I'm sorry if this has been asked before but do any of you recommend a KOA membership also? Or are they some good, some bad? I have looked at the RV Park Reviews & someone
said a KOA in Branson was great.
No offense but we don't want to stay where there's lots of kids since we're younger seniors,
not grandparents, and will have our dog along. Is it just a mix of age groups or mostly younger families?
You asked so here is my take on KOA campgrounds. Some are good, some not so good. Many are crowded and often with kids. I find nothing wrong with kids or nice dogs but if kids are a criteria for you then you might look to other RV parks. KOA is not the serene experience of being alone in the woods or by the ocean. Nobody puts out pink pelicans or flags in front of their RV. It is much more like being part of an event with many other campers, if that is what RVing is now called, mixed with tents and folks of all ages. If you are looking for a senior type campground KOA is probably going to be a disappointment. My last KOA experience was so tightly packed that putting out the awning was not possible. And it must have been kids weekend for all the towns and communties for a hundred miles in any direction. But, some nice kids come by to say 'hi' to the lab and he enjoyed the attention.
'05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually 3500 white quadcab auto long bed.
'09 299bhs Tango.
By asking your question you will have re-opened one of the endless threads on this and every other RV forum--KOA or not-KOA.
I think there is probably general agreement that KOA's cost, on the average, a bit more than the arbitrary CG that exists in Anywhere, USA. For that you get some degree of standardization and uniformity, but not as much as going to McDonalds. In other words, you're likely to see an A-frame office and people in yellow shirts, but some KOA's are really nice, some are average and some are marginal. I have to say that we've never experienced a truly awful KOA. We always check out any CG on RVParkReviews before going there, KOA's included.
As for the KOA membership, over the course of a year we almost always stay enough nights to get more than the cost back and usually even get a few bucks back in their rewards program.
No doubt, there will lots of other people jumping in here with lots of other opinions, so keep on reading.
Sandie & Joel
2000 40' Beaver Patriot Thunder Princeton--425 HP/1550 ft-lbs CAT C-12
2009 Chevy Malibu LTZ with ReadyBrute tow bar/braking system
Official WiFiRanger Ambassador WFRAMB303
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I often favor KOA's because they are consistant: clean, maintained, usually graded dirt or gravel but clear. Hookups are maintained, water pressure is acceptable, and they are owned by families with an interest in the business. This may not sound like a great recommendation, but it represents a safe, known, place to stop. KOAs are "family friendly" and often offer pancake breakfasts or group dinners, evening family movies and evening family activities. Their business model is designed to attract families. Many have bike rentals, petting zoos, tour transportation, and childrens fishing ponds. You can expect to find "little ones" riding bikes, using the pool, and joining in offered group activities.
If your looking for a senior adult sactuary, most KOAs may not be for you.
Sometimes, when we are looking for a quiet evening we will choose a site that is not a KOA and does not offer "activies", but usually we enjoy family central campgrounds.
We love KOA's. While they tend to be more expensive than many other campgrounds, they offer a lot of activities....for kids! We have an 11 yr old and this is important for us. We would much rather her be out enjoying those activities with other kids, rather than sitting inside watching Hannah Montana reruns. So if you don't want to be around kids, then skip the KOA's.
Before purchasing any memberships, I'd recommend camping in several kinds of parks over a season. The KOAs and Jellystones offer a very different camping experience than the smaller mom-n-pop commercial parks. City/County/State & Federal(including C.O.E) parks have a distinction of their own.
If you are 62 y/o, pick up the America The Beautiful "geezer" pass to take advantage of the 50% discount on camping fees in Federal parks (concessionaire operations excluded). Cost is only $10 and is good for life. If you are doing a considerable amount of travel, perhaps a membership with Passport America would be worthwhile, about $40 a year. Entitles you to 1/2 price camping at participating parks. Restrictions apply.
Figure, after a season testing the waters, you'll figure out your style of camping and can make an intelligent decisions on memberships, if any at all.
We do use KOA quite a bit but it's not our first option. We look for value. If there is another comparable park that got good reviews for less money, we stay there. The KOA's we choose that get good reviews we always like. We have never had a problem at a KOA with kids. The ones we've stayed seem to try to put us in a spot not near the pool or playground. We like the rewards program and feel that we always get our money's worth.
Lonny & Diane
2004 Country Coach Allure 33' "Big Blue"
Towing 2008 Chev Colorado 4x4
I'm a single, retired camper and I seek out KOAs. Normally, they are a known quantity and quality. They do draw families, but the kids tend to hang around the pool and/or play areas. Choosing a CG that doesn't have things to do for kids just means that they will make their own fun almost anywhere. I've never asked for a space away from the playground, but they seem to put me in a non-play area anyway. That's fine with me, and I imagine families with kids want to be nearer to the play areas.
Retired and visiting as much of this beautiful country as I can.