I absolutely love staying at KOA campgrounds with Wynston. If you’re not familiar with the term KOA, it is the acronym for Kamgrounds of America.
KOAs are located throughout the entire US, and there are plenty of them scattered along popular travel routes. There are over 500 KOA campgrounds located throughout North America.
KOA campgrounds are dog-friendly, and you’ll often find that each KOA you visit has a Kamp K9 Dog Park.
Since I’m such a big fan of staying at KOAs, I put together a dog-friendly guide to staying at a KOA campground. This information will help you prepare for your next visit with Fido!
Dog-Friendly Guide to Staying at a KOA Campground
First up in the guide I’ll answer some general questions about KOA campgrounds.
What is a KOA?
KOAs are family-oriented campgrounds with luxury amenities such as bathrooms, showers, community kitchens, dog parks, laundry rooms, a pool and sometimes a cafe and gift shop.
Throughout the year KOAs offer holiday celebrations and special annual activities. They also have exclusive discounted months and weeks if you’re looking for a deal.
There are three types of KOAs; Journey, Holiday and Resort. The Journey is the type of KOA you will see signs for along highways and byways.
How much does it cost to stay at a KOA campground?
Staying at a KOA costs less than typical hotel lodging, but more than your average campground. Prices tend to range from $40-$100/night for RV parking spaces with hookups. It seems that I pay an average of $65/night for a 30/20 Amps hookup spot.
Tent sites at KOAs only cost around $20-40/night, while cabins will run upwards of $150/night.
Is there an extra cost for dogs to stay at KOAs?
No! There is no additional fees for bringing your furry friend to the campground. KOAs are very dog-friendly.
What kind of camping is available at KOAs?
It’s common for KOAs to offer several different types of camping options including RV hookups for large and small rigs, tent spaces, cabins, tiny homes and yurts. I like that there’s something for a camper on any budget!
General KOA Campground Amenities
You can take advantage of the following amenities while staying at a KOA campground:
- 50 Max Amp
- 70ft Max RV Length
- Free Wi-Fi (though in my experience it’s super slow)
- Cable TV hookups
- Pool and hot tub
- Community Kamping Kitchen
- Bike rentals
- Showers and bathrooms
Your KOA may also have these additional amenities:
- Kamp K9 dog park
- Climbing wall
- Game room
- Kids playground
- And more!
As you can imagine, when you stay at a KOA you are getting your money’s worth in terms of amenities. Now let’s break down the pros and cons to staying at a KOA.
Pros and Cons of Staying at a KOA Campground
- Excellent atmosphere for families, plus plenty of activities for kids.
- Great for solo travelers who are looking to spend time around happy people.
- Always clean showers, bathrooms and other public areas.
- Lots of helpful staff available at all times.
- Very safe, with cameras, front gates, security, etc.
- Incredibly dog-friendly. Gift shops carry an abundance of pet items, and the dog parks are fun.
- Cost. I personally think the prices are great considering the amenities, security, cleanliness and convenience.
- Lots of dogs – this could be good or bad for you! If your dog is reactive toward other pups, you may want to steer clear of KOAs.
- Lots of kids. I visited a KOA at the end of summer, and it was overrun by children. I shouldn’t have been surprised. I learned my lesson. I later visited when school was back in session and there were very few children. Keep this in mind when booking your trip.
- No privacy. When you stay in a KOA, you are right up against your neighbors. There isn’t privacy, but people always seem to obey the quiet hours from 10pm-7am.
KOAs are Dog-Friendly!
Kampgrounds of American cater to pets so that the entire family can enjoy the ultimate outdoor camping experience.
KOA makes traveling with your four-legged family members easy and fun. Our Kamp K9’s provide a fenced area where your pup has room to roam off leash and ample seating for you to watch them romp while you are camping. You’ll find cleanup stations, fresh water and, at some KOAs, dedicated areas for large and small dogs. Kamp K9’s get pawsitive reviews all around!
How to Find a KOA
To find a KOA or book your stay, I suggest using the KOA app! It’s super easy to use, and it has all of the information you need to locate the perfect KOA for you.
On the KOA app, you can search for a campground by name or location, then expand your search via a map of the US. I use this feature all of the time to explore what the different KOAs have to offer.
You can also locate KOAs when you’re driving down the highway! KOAs are always marked with their iconic logo so you can easily find your way to a restful night’s sleep.
How to Choose an RV Spot at a KOA
I had no idea what I was doing the first time I booked a hookup spot for my van at the San Diego Metro KOA. Thankfully I ended up reserving the perfect spot, and I learned so much after that. (Like how I needed an adapter for the electrical box at my campsite. Watch the video here).
Firstly, there are several types of hookup sites available at KOAs. The prices differ greatly, depending on the size of your space, the location in the campground, and amenities at the site.
On the KOA app after you enter your initial reservation information (such as what type of rig you have, if you have slideouts, etc.), there will be a list of campsite options from most expensive to least expensive. If there aren’t any spaces available for the dates you’d like to reserve, the app will tell you.
The priciest campsites are typically 50/30/20 Amps for the biggest rigs out there. They have full hookups and a lovely patio area.
For my van, I like to reserve a spot labeled “Back In, 30/20 Amps, Full Hookups.” These standard spaces are perfect for smaller rigs.
When reading through the description of each available campsite, be sure to read EVERY detail! The description on my favorite campsite type at the San Diego Metro KOA states as follows:
“The STANDARD back in sites offer shady trees and are located throughout the park. Perfect for tent trailers and smaller rigs, these sites are close to restroom and shower facilities.”
I will tell you that the above description is completely accurate. Don’t skip over any sentences! One tiny thing may change the type of space you choose to reserve. In some KOA campgrounds, the only different between two types of campsites is the surface either being gravel or asphalt.
The photo below is where I like to stay in San Diego:
I’m a huge proponent of the KOA app for choosing the best campsite for you! So go download it! It’s a must-have!
Now, you don’t have to make a reservation to stay at a KOA, as you can drive into a campground and pay for a spot. However, there is no guarantee there will be any available camping spaces for you if you don’t make an advance reservation.
Without booking in advance, you’ll be at the mercy of whatever spaces are available at the KOA when you show up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do KOA camprgrounds have showers?
Yes! They have private showers, that are clean and well-kept in my experience.
Can you drink alcohol at KOAs?
Yes! Pack your cooler full of beer and pop a cold one around the bonfire. Remember to bring some hot dogs to cook over the fire and share with your pooch!
What are the check-in times for KOAs?
Check-in and out times differ by campground and lodging type. Check-in is generally from 12pm-1pm, while check out seems to typically be around 11am.
Is there Wi-Fi at KOAs?
Yes, but it’s pretty crappy, if I’m being honest. I just need basic internet to get work done when I’m at KOAs, but even my mobile hot spot (I have Verizon) performs 100x better!
Thankfully I’ve had memorable experiences staying at KOAs thus far. I seem to end up chatting with some nice people each time, and Wynston always makes a friend. As a solo traveler, it is nice to be surrounded by people and families.
Kampgrounds of America have been redefining what camping means since the 1960s. These incredible campgrounds provide an oasis for any type of getaway that you and your doggo are looking for throughout the US.