1. eriefisher

    eriefisher Member

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    We have a trip coming up fast in just over a week. It will be a 4 night adventure. We made a reservation at a KOA in an area we are investigating for a future move. I have never been in a KOA and was wondering what to expect for there standards. The CG is in the Gravenhurst ON area. There are other CG's in the area and one in particular we are avoiding due to it likely being overrun with children(Santa's Village). What are the general thoughts with the KOA franchises? Should I look elsewhere or should they be a good choice. We will be using water and hydro hook ups this trip for sure. Let me know what you think if you have ever camped in a KOA.
     
  2. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    I have never stayed at one simply due to cost. Some charge as much as a hotel on the beach.
     
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  3. eriefisher

    eriefisher Member

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    The cost at this one is not bad for the area ~$45/night with hook ups. The general area can be expensive anywhere you stay during the season. Some where $75-$100/night. A cottage in the area could run $2000-$5000/week. It falls in the Muskoka area north of Toronto.
     
  4. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    As you've noted yourself KOAs are franchise businesses and thus will vary considerably. Never have been to the one in Gravenhurst but 100 yrs ago when we first started camping we stayed at the London, Ont KOA which was just awful in about every aspect. :( In contrast we later stayed several nights at a KOA when visiting Washington, DC and couldn't fault it in any way. [A] KOAs for us are great for overnight stops when long distance traveling, convenient because many are located just off major highways and always have a pool - don't care now but when our boys were young a pool after a long day driving was a godsend. Can't say any of this answers your question but you did ask for "general thoughts". :)
     
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  5. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    If you want to avoid being overrun with children, you may want to look somewhere else. We (and many other families) choose KOA because they are great for kids. What you'll find is tight spots, but hopefully it isnt too crowded so you may not have campers right next to you. You will find planned activities for kids. You'll also find a pool more than likely. Every one we've been to has had a pool, save one, and it had a lake with plenty of inflatable attractions.

    What is it you are wanting to do in your four day adventure, and are you bringing kids?
     
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  6. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

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    We only stay at KOA's more of less right now. We have 3 young kids so having things for them to do and good bath facilities are very important. As for price for most of the places I visit only state parks are cheaper and they do not always have things to do for the kids.

    As the kids get older, or if I had a TT with a shower I might consider other places.
     
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  7. eriefisher

    eriefisher Member

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    I don't have an issue with children running around. Just that the CG associated with Santa's Village will likely have there kids wound up from seeing Santa all day. Besides if as you say planned activities should keep the young'ns busy and we will likely be out of the park during the day a fair bit. Thank you for the info.
     
  8. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    KOAs vary a lot, and even from time to time - for instance, traveling when school is in session usually means a lot fewer kids, holiday weekends can be busy and it's not just the kids who are loud and busy. They have different evels of amenities. To get an idea about the one you'll be using, visit the KOA website and look at the photo section of th elisting for that campground.
    Even facilities vary quite a bit - several of the ones I've stayed in over the past couple of years have been upgrading the facilities.
    KOAs are one of those things that people love to hate, For us, they fill a niche for overnight stops, or when using the camper in lieu of a hotel room. The Tucson one is resort-style, but handy for visiting friends if I don't stay in a state park. (A friend and I also stay in one of the deluxe cabins when we visit in Feb.)
     
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  9. HappyTraveler

    HappyTraveler Active Member

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    When I was a kid, my folks liked KOAs b/c they had hot showers, laundry and pool. And b/c I'm a baby boomer, tons of other kids to play with. ;)
    Back then, SPs didn't have great facilities, maybe toilets, but no showers.
    We stay in KOAs usually for overnight stops mainly b/c they are conveniently located near the highway. The ones when we were kids weren't like that, so not sure what that was all about.
    I did a sat view on Google Maps and the KOA you mention seems to not be so much like a parking lot as some I've stayed in in recent years. Capture.JPG
     
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  10. eriefisher

    eriefisher Member

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    Sat maps! I never thought about that. Thanks.
     
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  11. eriefisher

    eriefisher Member

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    Looking again at the map, I forgot about the federal penitentiary up the road there. Haha.
     
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  12. BigAl

    BigAl Member

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    In July we stayed at 2 different KOAs in Michigan's upper peninsula - one in Munising and one in St. Ignace. Picked them both because they had pools, playgrounds and stuff to do for our 2 kids. No complaints about either one; the spaces were much closer together than I am used to, but then we stayed at a MI state park and they had the same small close together sites, so maybe WI state parks are an outlier? Definitely cost more than state parks, but there was more amenities so we were fine with it.
     
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  13. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    We stay at KOAs when we are on our cross country trips for those one nighters! We have also stayed a few nights at KOAs due to no other campsites available at state parks. All in all we have probably stayed in at least a dozen or so and never really had any issues. Only one we stayed at in Wyoming that was just not nice and is no longer a KOA.

    Depending where you go we have found the KOAs seem expensive, but are still a bit cheaper than a local hotel. We always prefer full hookups anyway!

    As for cost, we have paid as low as $30 a night and as high as $70 a night. If you staying at one because you are looking to move to the area then I think a KOA is a good deal at $45 a night.
     
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  14. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    As mentioned each KOA I've been to has been so different. One I went to years ago was just a glorified trailer park with a pool and small playground. One I went to was wicked expensive and campsites were fairly close with not much buffer, but had a small water park, multiple playgrounds and tennis court. Personally I wish they had an option to not pay the steep cost if your not using the amenities. However for both I had to deal with drunks, golfcarts, and loud people past quiet hour. However for what you are doing just staying while you check an area out, should be fine. Then again the places I camped are on the east coast.
     
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  15. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Yeah, us East Coasters are a pain in the A$$ [LOL]
     
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  16. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Just too many dang city folk out this way. They like to get away as much as I do but many city folk have a "me"only mentality.
     
  17. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Every campground is different, we've had nosy and obnoxious neighbors in all types of campgrounds. In fact, there is a state park in Utah that we will not be using again unless we find out they're actually enforcing quiet hours and other regs. The camp hosts ignored all manner of problems, so much so that we ended up leaving early.
    There are more reviews available for KOAs than for public campgrounds, since each one has a section of reviews on the KOA website. As usual, with an type of review on Yelp or anything else, one much take them with a grain of salt. One I stayed in this year had many mentions of interstate noise (it seemed reviewers were liking to jump on that bandwagon) Let's see, it's a "Journey" KOA, as in handy to main roads, the description and directions make no bones about it being close to the interstate, etc. It was actually less noisy than I expected given location and complaints.
     
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  18. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    We generally had good luck with KOA for overnight stops on our recent four week journey. None of them were truly bad as far as cleanliness and sites were concerned, although Sioux Falls had tiny spots, but we ended up leaving the KOA Des Moines/Newton location a few minutes after checking in. Nothing on their website indicated that they were located next to some kind of car racing facility, and the noise from the little NASCAR motors was a non-starter for us. Nothing in the reviews warned about this, either, and the review I left warning others seems to have been "deleted for profanity."
     
  19. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Yup, that's how we feel, so we generally don't camp in this area. We have a campground down in Bayville, NJ we like and it's off the beaten path. It's a private CG. Someplace just the DW and I go. Nice pool and not crowded, best part is "It's Quiet!".
     

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