I'm just planning a tour of California this summer. What are KOA campgrounds like ? Better/worse than other campgrounds ? Does anybody recommend any one in particular ?

I have stayed in some good KOAs and I have stayed in some bad KOAs. If I am just stopping for the night, I will by-pass the KOAs for another campground. If I was staying longer and knew the KOA to be a good one, I would stay there. It is a hit and miss proposition but they are more costly than most other campgrounds plus most charge for every little thing.

Enjoy the trip


We used to stay at KOAS all the time but soon figured out it wont take long to break the pocket book if u planning on full timing r rving for very long.WE have stayed in good and bad so its really hit and miss.WE purchased resale memberships for ttnltr,c2c,aor from campground memberships 1-800-722-0686 ( HAL ) and bought Passport america saves us lots of money and most of the time lot nicer campgrounds except Passport America a lot of those r really just a place to stay the night but i feel like still worth it because i really do not feel safe stopping in Wal Marts parking lots r some rest area.Well guess i got off subject of koas right sorry but hope may b this info helps some one.

:angry: I know what you mean by hit and miss and it a ouch waywe spent this past weekend at the Asheville East KOA and the sites are tight and not much room plus our brand new Dodge Ram got hit and when I called to report it the woman actually "horsed laughed" at me and said that it could have happened any where-yea right we hadn't had it two weeks and my husband wiped it down before we went to bed the night before.

We have reservations for the KOA in Watkins Glen NY the end of August. Anyone ever been there :question: Good or bad experiences.....would like to hear.

DL Rupper

Senior Member

KOA :question: . Expensive and full of little rug rats :clown: . If you have lots of kids and want a place with a pool and other recreation devices then, KOA is the place too be :) . If on the otherhand, you want a inexpensive, quite place to stay overnight, skip the KOA :eek: . Passport or Good Sams are a good bet, :laugh: if they don't have a pool and other expensive gimmicks not required for a peacefull night. Actually summer RV'ing is too be avoided if you want quite and peaceful. :dead:

Ditto to DL RUPPER, re expensive KOA's...usually the most expensive and not as nice as other. We usually go with Passport or Good Sams.
That said, we just stayed at an exceptional KOA in Hinton, Alberta. The price was very reasonable and the campground was outstanding.

We had traveled across United States from DC to Washington, staying a few campsites - both KOA's and others. We did find one in Michigan or was it Wisconsin? that we had stayed at and enjoyed. I have found that a few are good and others may be more difficult to stay at in the long run.
As for the California's KOA - they're more of a hit and miss - just keep an eye on the advertisments, check out the state parks - which might be cheaper to stay at than the KOA's as well as the different private parks. Some will say that they're close to the highway, but they're like 3 miles from the freeway - that's not close. Be aware and try some other places that you might enjoy. Don't limit yourself to KOA's.
Kudos to those who also state that America Passport for campgrounds - they're good and reasonable - the people who manage the campgrounds like to hear from you espcially about how they can improve.
Enjoy camping! :blush:

We spent a weekend at the KOA in Emmet Michigan. The sites were so small that it took us several tries to get our 28' 5th wheel backed in. Very loud and lotsa lotsa drinking going on. Our parking spot had been taken over by another campers 2nd vehicle, but we made due rather than upset a drunken group. Not a great experience....Much prefer the state parks in this area. :)

If you have kids, the KOA campgrounds are great. They tend to be more expensive then state or private campgrounds. Here are the ones that I like in Northern California. Camp Wyntoon, Trinity Lake, Cloverdale KOA, Petaluma KOA, and Willits KOA. The one in Eureka, California is TERRIBLE!
Re: KOAs

Our only experience in a KOA campground was a positive one. We stayed at the Oakdale KOA in Wisconsin. The place was nice, the management was fabulous. The price was a few dollars more than some, but not our most expensive stay by far. I would go back in a heartbeat. I understand they are all independently owned, so that may account for the variance from one campground to another.

I think that KOAs are expensive. We (Dutch family who spent the last 9 summers travelling in an RV touring the US) stayed 3 years ago in Las Vegas on the Strip campground and payed $43 for 2 nights in July . This year we stayed at the same campground (now owned by KOA) and payed $144 for 2 nights in August. And we have a KOA card, so the discopunt was included.
I really do not appreciate KOA.

We like staying at the state and county campgrounds.

We often break up the 8-hour drive between our favorite Central Coast beach campground and home, just east of Death Valley National Park, at KOA's in either Apple Valley or Barstow. Neither is anything special, but prices aren't too bad and they both have pools. Apple Valley KOA has lots of shade, Barstow doesn't - but Apple Valley also has kind of trashy full-time residents, and lots of kids. I feel like KOA is where you camp when there's nothing better nearby and you just have to get off the road.
Two very nice KOA's we've stayed at, only for a night at each, were in Gunnison, CO, and Cloverdale, CA.


We just got back from our stay at the KOA in Watkins Glen, NY. The staff were wonderful couldn't have asked for better people. The grounds weren't anything special but it was nice and well kept. They had a really nice pool/spa both indoors. Also game room with pool table and work out room. It was a nice campgrounds and I would go back again. The Watkins Glen area is beautiful and lots to see and do.:)