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Old 08-08-2008, 12:49 AM   #155
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Do they really have any competition, in terms of being a national chain of campgrounds? I don't think so, just asking to be sure...
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:55 AM   #156
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Thumbs down Mystic, CT KOA (North Stonington, CT) - I-95 Traffic Noise

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Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
All of the KOA's I've stayed at fit a mold of right next to a busy interstate (re: Noisey) and stack the camper very close together. Neither fit my idea of a campground, more like a place to spend a night. The upkeep has varied as widely as the posted comments.
Mystic KOA in North Stonington, CT is adjacent to I-95. Traffic noise is pretty bad. I wouldn't recommend it for a rural, listen to the crickets at night, experience.

The safari field where we stayed - and the rest of the campground - is adjacent to I-95 and the traffic noise was really bad and it I didn't feel like I was getting away from the hustle of everyday life when in the middle of the night I was awake listening to tractor trailer traffic zooooming by. Nights are quieter in our home "small town" of 20,000+ residents.

The Mystic KOA was our first camping trip with our airstream -- one week after the purchase the it from the PO. Mystic was close enough to home for a trial run to see what we needed for future trips. There wasn't a pool or maybe I hadn't considered it since it was October. It was 90 degrees and humid that weekend and a pool would have been a pleasure.

My expectation was that we would be in a rural, scenic, quiet area since Mystic, CT is a pretty tourist town and North Stonington is a rural town at the CT/RI border. The KOA was the location for the NEU Lost Dutchman Rally. The rally was a blast and we loved it even considering the traffic noise. The New England Unit was great and we joined WBCCI / Region 1, NEU that weekend. And I am thankful to the organizers of this rally had great plans and we had a fun time so I really feel badly to make a negative comment about the campground.

If you're looking for a quiet spot, this is not the place to be. If you're looking for a place to overnight on your way through, it's right off the interstane, easy on/off. It's also okay if you are planning the tourist trap stop in Mystic (aquarium and olde mystic village) but hopefully, you'll have an airconditioner and can cool off while also drowning out the road noise at night. Lots of drivers hit the grooved pavement - rumble strip - at night...
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:37 AM   #157
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I-10

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I'm interested to know what you and others think of the ones along I-10 from San Diego to Key West. I am taking the kids to Disney World next June and thought the KOA system might be easier to book than the public(fed, county, state) campgrounds I have been using in California. Haven't been in a KOA in 20 years. Have they slipped that much?

There is an excellent KOA just East of Houston. I think It's called Houston East.

The KOA in Slidell, LA used to be pretty nice, but it was really flattened by Hurricane Katrina. Last time I was there (about a year ago) they were still really struggling to get back in shape and the place was a dump.

I live in San Antonio and haven't even seen the one here. If you are military/retired military and can get on a base, you can't do better than Fort Sam Houston.

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Old 08-08-2008, 09:23 AM   #158
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Spent the night in a KOA outside of Durango, CO two nights ago. Wonderful place, highly recomended...
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:05 PM   #159
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We haven't been doing this very long, but have stayed at one KOA, the one in Ely, Nevada, described above in # 107. I do recall the extra charges. I don't think we wanted either since we went into town that evening and didn't need TV and were 2 days from home, so we could skip wifi. I got the impression that extra charges were a KOA thing, so we have avoided them. There were 2 RV parks in Ely that were open in November, so we called the other one first, but they didn't answer the phone, so we stayed at the KOA.

It was nothing out of the ordinary. In looking through books on campgrounds, it seems KOA's often have the highest prices, but their rating and amenities are the same as the average place. So, why stay at a KOA when other places are cheaper for the same thing?

When we have traveled and stayed at motels, we try to avoid the chains also. We never feel like we've gone anywhere—all the same. We especially dislike the motels that are basically a big box filled with little boxes (called "rooms"). To reserve a room at almost any motel, a credit card is required and I think, as eubanks says, is a necessity for any lodging business.

In our so far limited travels around the SW, trees are a rarity in many campgrounds. I wouldn't blame that on KOA. It's the desert, after all.

In our limited experience, the campgrounds range from crummy to fine. Most seem average (of course). Mostly, we are tired, hookup, go inside, eat, read and watch TV or listen to music, sleep, eat, shower, move on. Sometimes we go to see things in the area or eat a meal out. Just like in a motel, the blinds are closed and we don't much care what's outside. Sometimes we talk to neighbors or to an A/S owner, most often not. So the campground isn't that important so long as it has wifi, pull throughs, hookups and cable is nice, but not needed every day. Larger sites are good, but sometimes they just aren't available.

Next month we go on our longest trip and will probably be staying at some places for more than a night. Then we'll look for something more like a destination. We will avoid that "resort" in Astoria since it seems like a zoo.

Gene
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:22 AM   #160
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I had some time on my hands and wanted to summarize the comments I saw in this thread, so I made an Excel file of them all.

Now I have no idea how to post it. Doh!

Anyone have an idea? I'll send it to you if you like, just PM me your email address.

Cheers,
Aage
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:55 PM   #161
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Now I have no idea how to post it. Doh!
I think I figured it out.

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Old 08-09-2008, 10:58 PM   #162
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:00 PM   #163
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3rd and last page



The "rating" number is my take on the overall tone of the review, as left in the posts on this subject in this thread.

Your mileage may differ, please let me know if it does.
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:27 PM   #164
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Hi all, I actually just returned from my inaugural trip with my trailer and part of my stay was at the Yosemite West / Mariposa KOA and it was just fine. Keep in mind this is the ONLY one I have been to and hopefully the first of many camping adventures to follow! The owners were very nice, the facilities were clean, and yes there was a pool, but it was COLD! :-) I had to laugh at your title, because we did notice an "odor" each evening that seemed to be sewage related; hence your post caught my attention. Aside from this mysterious odor, no other complaints. More importantly, if you haven't been before, Yosemite National Park is truly amazing; absolutely beautiful. Hot this time of year, but the trade off is that the rivers are very warm this time of year and there are many beautiful spots to go swimming.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:52 AM   #165
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Twin Grove KOA in Pine Grove, PA is an outstanding KOA. The campground has been around FOREVER, probably long before KOA was established. There is a mini-amusement park with rides and and antique merry-go-round for the kids, a nice arcade, and a very nice pool.
I was raised in that area of Pennsylvania. If I remember correctly, there was a small amusement park at Pine Grove where our church picnic was sometimes held back in the 1930s and 1940s. I assume that nay have been the predecessor of the present mini-amusement park on the site.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:12 AM   #166
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Some KOAs

We recently returned from the International at Bozeman. Before leaving, I bought a KOA card. I picked KOAs mainly because it is a long way between towns in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, etc., and I could be assured of at least a reasonable place to stay and a firm reservation.
  • Denver East KOA at Stroudsburg, CO. I was underwhelmed. Nice folks, but the park was originally non-KOA and poorly laid out. We were packed tight against the adjoining trailer containing a very large, noisy family with two cars full of family guests. Lots of foot traffic through our site.
  • Rawlins, WY KOA was much better. Decent space between sites and super friendly owner.
  • Cody KOA was much like Rawlins as far as facilities, but not nearly as friendly. Expensive, but everything in Cody is overpriced. First KOA I have ever stayed at that didn't know how to make me a reservation for the next stop.
  • Raton, NM KOA was nice and the sites are decently spaced. We opted for just a W/E hookup and had two sites empty on each side of us for a nice, quiet stay.

We also stayed in non-KOA parks in:
  • Sweetwater, TX (west on I-20, lots of space)
  • Dumas, TX (friebdly, nice site)
  • West Yellowstone (Grizzly, best park ever)
  • Cheyenne (friendly, fair site. great BBQ in park)
  • Post, TX (OK)
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:26 AM   #167
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Lake Conroe/Houston North KOA

This was an independent resort that KOA bought several years ago. It is NOT a typical KOA by any means. It is huge and they cater heavily toward rallies. They have a huge meeting room that is often rented for weddings and the like, but there is plenty of parking away from the RV sites.

I stayed there first for a unit rally about 5 years ago, then for a midwinter IBT meeting. Both those times were before KOA bought the park.

We decided to use the park for our Texas Vintage Rallies, and I have stayed there 4 times, twice to prearrange the rallies and twice for the rallies. All of these were after KOA bought the park.

The park has several hundred concrete, full-hookup sites with excellent paved roads. There is plenty of space between sites with trees and excellent grass. They also have a nice pool and a large air conditioned lounge.

I consider this KOA to be one of the nicer places I have stayed.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:16 AM   #168
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There is a KOA down the hghway (50) from us in Shingle Springs (about 35 miles east of Sacramento) that was built about 15 years ago. It has nice rolling hills and lots of trees. It is right along the busy freeway. The brush that was planted back then has just about blocked the view from and to the freeway. I have never gone in there but have heard some nice things from people who have had friends/relatives visiting them that put their rigs there.
Neil and Lynn.
We have to agree with Neil on this one. We spent last night at the SS KOA (they call it Placerville KOA, but it's in SS). We got a nice shady spot and the people are very friendly. Their rule sheet also showed a sense of humor: "Pets are welcome but they must be on a short leash at all times. Visitors are also welcome, they don't have to be on a leash, but they must register". There is freeway noise, but we would use this KOA again for an overnighter. Ron
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