We love the freestyle RV life as much as anyone, but it can be a little nerve-wracking when your end-of-day destination is an unknown. Will the campground gates be locked when you get there? How close will you be to the crags, rivers, and trails? Will you put your feet up by a cozy campfire this evening or will you be parking, leveling, and setting up camp into the wee hours?
Sometimes the element of surprise is the reason we travel, but when you want to balance daytime adventures with the reassuring knowledge that you have a reliable base camp (and even some of the comforts of home!), set up camp at a KOA. Here are nine reasons why you should reserve a spot at a KOA campground the next time you set out on an RV trip.
1. KOA is Everywhere
No kidding, literally everywhere. There are almost 500 KOA campgrounds across the U.S. and Canada, meaning that when you book your stay at KOA, there’s bound to be a national or state park, wilderness area, scenic byway, or other outdoor playground close by. Our online directory shows you exactly where you’ll be camping and what amenities you’ll find at the campground. You can also book months in advance, which is pretty much required in peak summer travel months at the most popular sites near national parks and major attractions.
2. A Reputation You Can Count On
For seasoned campers and RVers, Kampgrounds of America’s yellow and red emblem guarantees quality and service. KOA has made it easier to get outside for over 50 years by making sure campers have everything they need to enjoy the outdoors. From a family road trip through Yellowstone to setting up base camp to paddle Pictured Rocks and hiking the Grand Canyon, KOA is close by.
3. Helpful Staff
KOA staff can also give you the local perspective on your destination and are more than happy to share the best eats, events, and attractions to take in during your stay. They can help get your RV parked and set up if it’s your first (or second or third) time. They truly are there to help and always seem to pull it off with a smile on their face.
4. Forgot the Marshmallows? Not a Problem
No matter how well you plan, most of us inevitably set up camp only to find that we’ve left something back at home. Maybe it’s sunscreen, matches to light a campfire, or those peanut M&Ms for tomorrow’s hike—but everything you need, and probably a bunch of stuff you didn’t even realize you wanted, is just a few steps away in the KOA campground store. It’s also the best place to grab a cup of coffee in the morning, tap into the free campground WiFi, and check directions to the trailhead or kayak launch before you get on the road.
5. Glamping Options
Whether you’re tent camping, RVing, or staying in a KOA cabin, you can count on Kampgrounds of America to offer unexpected amenities that you may think you don’t need, until you do with unique glamping options. Don’t feel like cooking? Some KOAs have snack bars and cafes. Take a mud dive on the local singletrack? Throw a load of laundry in so you can ride another day. First-time campers and families with small children will love the sites with furnished patios and cabins with private bathrooms.
6. Your Kids Will Never Want to Leave
Many KOAs offer a variety of family activities, making them a great option for groups and reunions.
You might start the day riding bikes or walking the campground trails, and later you can hang out at the pool or head to the lake for a swim.You’ll find lots of fun options like shuffleboard, water slides, climbing walls, mini-golf, and family programs like crafts and movie nights. Remember each campground is a bit different so be sure to take a look at what’s available online before planning your trip.
7. Dogs are Welcome
Some of the most awesome dog parks you’ll find around the country are at KOA campgrounds. Some even come complete with ramps, seesaws, and other agility obstacles. Other campgrounds have plenty of open space for long walks, and there are fenced areas for off-leash play and socializing as well.
8. Ways to Save
Camping’s an affordable way to travel to begin with, but you get a lot of extras with your KOA campsite that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. KOA campgrounds also offer their own discount specials and discounts on longer stays. If you camp often, KOA Rewards is a must—get 10% off each time and additional discounts the more often you stay.
9. Not Just for RVers
You don’t have to be living the #vanlife to stay at a KOA. Some areas of the property are more remote and reserved for tents only, but are still close to amenities. On the other end of the spectrum, a variety of cabins give you the essentials—electricity, beds to sleep in, and even a barbecue—but keep it simple and economical. Similar types of sites are clustered together, so you won’t have to pitch your tent between two RVs or miss the view from your cabin porch swing.
Learn more about the KOA difference here.
Written by Ann Gibson for RootsRated Media in partnership with Kampground of America.