Why we love KOA’s – Kampgrounds of America

koa campgrounds

When we first started on our RV journey 3 years ago, we didn’t know much about RV campgrounds. (Let’s face it, we didn’t know much about RVs or RVing in general either!)

Our first stay at an RV campground EVER was a small city-run park in Nebraska. The site was in a small campground, near a lake, and was an electric-only site. The campground had a water fill and a dump station, so on arrival, we dumped out tanks, filled up our freshwater, and settled in for a few days.

While this campground was nice, we had no access to a shower house (which is no problem- we have a shower in the RV) or laundry. The price was right (only $15/night) so we couldn’t go wrong there, BUT as we began to RV more, we learned about the different campgrounds, amenities they offer, and what seemed to be a good fit for our family.

RV campground
Our very first rig!

Staying at KOA’s

This past summer we were finally full-time RV’ers! Planning out our 3-month trek to the Gulf Coast, East Coast, and then back to Colorado, I did a lot of research online about where we would want to stay. We chose several KOA campgrounds for many reasons.

  1. We are KOA Value Kard members – this means we save 10% off the top for all of our stays
  2. With the Value Kard – we earn points on our stays. This summer we redeemed $75 towards our stays at KOA campgrounds. (This is about 2 free nights).
  3. Playgrounds for our kids – most KOAs have playgrounds & swimming pools and are very family-friendly.
  4. Clean facilities for showering & laundry.

Different kinds of KOA campgrounds

There are 3 different types of KOA campgrounds.

  • KOA Journey
  • KOA Holiday
  • KOA Resort

The KOA Journey is more of a place to stay between stops. We stayed at the KOA Journey in Amarillo, TX and it was a great place for a 1-night stay. I did a load of laundry and the shower house was nice and clean. They also had a pool and a playground for the kids. It was a great 1 night-stop type of campground. The downside to the particular location we stayed at in Amarillo was there was BOTH a train track and an airport adjacent to the RV park. It was a fairly noisy place. We also stayed at a KOA Journey in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For more information on the KOA in Santa Fe, check out our video review on our Youtube channel.

RV campgrounds
KOA Journey – Sante Fe, New Mexico

The KOA Holiday is designed to be a place where you can stay and have a lot of fun things to do without ever having to leave the campground. Most KOA Holiday also have cabins (which is great for the family to get together that do not have an RV). We’ve stayed at several KOA Holidays including:

RV journey
Roasting Marshmallows at the KOA Holiday, Asheville East – North Carolina
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Baton Rouge, Lousiana
  • Ashville East, North Carolina
  • Smoky Mountain/Gatlinburg, Tennesee
  • Arlington (Dallas), Texas
  • Naples/Marco Island, Florida
  • Savannah South, Georgia

KOA Resorts are just what you might imagine – a resort-style experience. One thing to be aware of is most of these KOAs do charge some sort of “resort fee”. Most of these KOAs will have staff-led activities, food on the weekends, (think pancake breakfasts and ice cream socials), and resort-style pools. Our favorite KOA resort is Palmer Gulch(Mount Rushmore) in South Dakota (we started staying here even BEFORE we had an RV – and we stayed in their cabins). To find a full list of all of the KOA Resorts in the USA and Canada, check the KOA website.

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  1. We Love KOA’s! Thanks so much for posting this article on Kampgrounds of America! We prefer to stay at KOA’s over many campgrounds because they are so clean and the staff is very friendly.

  2. Thank you for great article! We have a travel trailer and are looking for different adventures for our family to go on. We have stayed at the Palmer Gulch KOA cabins and will be pulling our trailer up there next year!