5 Regrets of Staying at a KOA RV Park

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A dark KOA sign is not appealing to enter with a dark cloudy sky behind it.

KOA RV Parks are a popular choice when it comes to camping locations across the country. With over 500 parks across North America, you’ll likely find a campground near you or your next travel destination.

However, despite their reputation in the camping community, some RVers regret staying at one of these campsites. Today we’ll share five regrets from those choosing to stay at KOAs across the country. Let’s get started.  

What Are KOA RV Parks? 

KOA RV parks have been popular camping locations for tent and RV campers since 1962. Their parks typically have family-friendly amenities like pools, games, and a playground. Many RVers love KOAs for their long pull-thru sites conveniently located near highways.

Whether you want a place to call home for a vacation while you explore or for a quick overnight stop, KOA RV parks can be a great choice. They have lots of amenities to keep you busy and everyone happy. 

Top 5 Regrets of Staying at a KOA RV Park

You may experience buyer remorse when choosing a KOA RV park despite typically having a generous amount of amenities and activities. Let’s take a look at a handful of regrets you may have if you decide to stay at one of these parks.

1. They’re Expensive

When a park offers full hook-up sites and many amenities, they typically come with an increased price tag. You should expect to pay a premium when booking at a KOA too.

Prices will vary from one KOA to the next but generally range from $40 to $80 per night. If you stay in a popular location or during peak season, you can pay even more. In some areas, you may find a cheap hotel for less than a night at a KOA RV park. When you stay for multiple nights, the costs can add up quickly. 

2. Sites Are Close Together

You may also spend an arm and a leg on a cramped site. Tightly packed spots mean you may have very little room or privacy.

You may even find it difficult to enjoy a campfire as you feel too close to your neighbors.

Cramming as many RVs into the campground as possible is great for the bottom line of the KOA RV park but can leave you feeling like an unhappy camper.

Pro Tip: Have a large RV? You need to read our how-to on finding big rig RV parks.

3. Lots of Rules

KOAs have lots of rules. They’ll typically provide you with a copy of the list upon your arrival.

While regulations can help ensure everyone has a good time, many RVers think KOA’s have excessive rules.

It’s important to note that rules will vary from campground to campground. So just because you have a terrible experience with one KOA doesn’t mean that you’ll have the same experience at the next.

However, if you don’t like restrictions, you may regret staying at a KOA.

4. Extra Fees for Additional Cars and People

You may also regret staying at a KOA RV park due to the extra fees that they charge. When you’re already paying a premium price for your site, it can feel a bit like they are nickel-and-diming you.

Depending on how many cars or people you have at your site, they can charge you additional fees.

These can add up quickly, especially if you stay for multiple days. If the campsite’s price already frustrates you, the extra fees may push you over the edge.

Pro Tip: Learn how to save money on the road by finding free camping.

5. KOA Campgrounds Can Be Crowded

Despite premium prices, cramped sites, and many rules, KOA campgrounds still seem crowded.

If you enjoy privacy and a bit of space, a crowded campground can have you regretting your choice.

If you plan to camp during peak season, you can expect full and crowded campgrounds.

Additionally, depending on where the KOA is, it may not have much of an off-season. This means no matter when you choose to camp, you’ll likely find the place packed.

Benefits of Staying at a KOA

Despite these common regrets, you’ll find plenty of reasons to enjoy your stay. From plentiful amenities and great locations, here are some benefits of staying at a KOA RV park. Let’s take a look!

Wide Network of Campgrounds

KOA has over 500 campgrounds across North America, meaning you have plenty of options to consider.

Whether you want a quick overnight stop or a place to relax for multiple days, KOA has a vast network of campgrounds available to you.

Driver reading a paper map as she lays it against the stearing wheel with the windows down.

Some Have Excellent Amenities

While amenities vary from campground to campground, you can typically expect to find a lengthy list of amenities at a KOA.

This can include pools, hot tubs, and other games and activities. They typically have something for all ages to enjoy during your stay.

The parks pride themselves on creating a family-friendly atmosphere to help make positive camping memories.

Close to Desirable Destinations

You’ll find many KOA campgrounds near popular tourist locations and highways.

This makes them easy for navigating and helps minimize driving to and from local attractions. You can easily find the nearest KOA campground to you or where you want to camp.

A family sets up their camping chairs on the pavement by the ocean with their motorhome parked next to them.

Is Staying at a KOA RV Park Right For You? 

Depending on your camping style, a KOA RV park can be an excellent choice for camping. If you prefer boondocking or lots of privacy, you may want to drive on by when you see the bright yellow KOA signs. However, if you prefer a place with many amenities and activities, a KOA may be an excellent choice for your next camping trip. Everyone in your family may find something to do, and you can make tremendous memories.

  1. I have also found that since these campgrounds know that their campers are one-timers they are under no obligation to worry about return business. For instance we are currently staying at the KOA Holiday in Flagstaff where they advertise laundry facilities. Half the washers and half the dryers are broken and by the looks of the signs on the machines have been broken for a very long time!

  2. I found this article to be very informative and helpful. We are total ‘newbies; just purchased our first class A motor home two days ago! We are checking out every bit of information we can find. Thank you for sharing; it will help us in the future, make us more aware, and help us to prepare for the different situation. Keep up the good work!

  3. I guess it’s attack KOA month,, this is the 5th blog I have seen regarding how “bad” KOA’s are. Everything here applies to private campgrounds as well with the exception of amenities, KOA’s normally have more amenities then private campgrounds.

  4. KOA all absolutely claim to be dog-friendly but won’t allow a list of specific dog breeds they have deemed vicious (site unseen).

  5. We’ve stayed at several KOA’s here in New England and have toured through others in order to see how they are. A lot depends, IMHO, on the owners, as far as maintenance and hospitality go. Yes,some of them are open parking lots with as many campers as possible crammed in on open, flat places. Some of them are poorly maintained. the last one we toured prior to a reservation had a pond with a fountain as you drove in—covered with algae—after you’d driven by a lot full of old, apparently abandoned campers and their dumpster lot. No brush trimming and enough leaves and pine needles to completely obscure the roadways. Others are friendly, clean, and comfortable. We’e stayed at both newer and older KOA’s and, like many traditional camp grounds, they vary by ownership. If you can go through before you book, do it.

    While this is only our first year in an RV, we’ve camped since the late ‘80’s, so we’ve seen our share.

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