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Old 04-21-2022, 08:10 AM   #21
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I have used the BBB 2 times. I didnt want to, but it got the results that should have just been, in the first place.
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Old 04-21-2022, 08:32 AM   #22
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There are a lot of KOAs in the black hills , which one?

Something seams off with this story, did you pick a campsite or did the campground pick the site?
Last time I tried booking a site at KOA I had to pick a site from a list that worked for my size RV and the dates I selected .
Each site had a description and size.

I agree if there is a cancellation fee noted in the policy it doesn’t matter what you decided , you canceled and you owe them the fee listed in there policy.

Consider yourself lucky, many campgrounds are changing there cancellation policies and keeping the entire deposit if you cancel.
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Old 04-21-2022, 08:45 AM   #23
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KOA Journeys are my go to for travel and had a membership for many years.

Site lengths are usually posted and if you have a profile indicating your length and whether you're towing or not, in my experiences, will not allow you to book a site if none are available for your length

The KOA app will show you every KOA on their map.

If looking now for this summer or fall pickings are going to be slim.

I made all my 2022 reservations in December 2021 or January 2022.

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Old 04-21-2022, 09:46 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by MillMitch View Post
After 4 years camping in-state at state parks and county parks, we were finally looking to camp out of state at a regular campground. I found a KOA in the black hills, went through the reservation process indicating a 35' TT (it's actually 29', but I don't want to mess with a small site), and booked a site for June. Within 2 days I rec'd an email from the campground advising me that the site 'was about 30', but that I could park the truck in the parking lot'. To me, "about 30 feet" means anything from 28' to 32', so I emailed back and said that won't work and please cancel my reservation. They cancelled the reservation and refunded my first night deposit except for a $10 cancellation fee. I emailed the campground and asked how they can charge a cancellation fee when I indicated I had a 35' TT and the reservation system booked me into a 30' spot? They replied back that the site lengths are on the website. I went back through the reservation process and there are NO site lengths listed anywhere, although 35' TT shows up while booking a reservation. I then went to that specific KOA campground website and poked around and still can't find site lengths anywhere.
Is this normal? How do you guys make reservations at private campgrounds that don't show you a pic of the site you are reserving and tell you how long the site is?
thanks,
Mitch
Mitch, give them a call and talk to someone, preferably the owner to try to get this resolved. I agree that if their system booked you into a site that can’t accommodate your stated trailer length plus a tow vehicle, then they should provide a full refund. If that’s all they have available then it should be entirely your choice whether to accept it or not. Hopefully it is just a new person who doesn’t have much experience and the owner can assist.

That said, calling a disputed $10 charge a “disaster” is an exaggeration.

We’ve booked KOAs in our home province many times over the last 10 years and never had a problem with an online reservation. If we didn’t have KOAs as an alternative to the extremely busy provincial parks we’d be camping less often. I consider them the Holiday Inn of campgrounds but they are getting very pricey these days.

I hope you get this sorted out to your satisfaction.
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Old 04-21-2022, 10:16 AM   #25
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I have never stayed at a KOA for several reasons, one being they are one of the most expensive CGs, and the OP's experience just adds to the reasons. Now with a long cross-country trip coming up starting in May and many "no reservations" nights included that doesn't mean at last resort I won't at least look at a KOA. I have been told their phone app is very accurate for making last-minute reservations.
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Old 04-21-2022, 10:40 AM   #26
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a few years ago we made reservations at a KOA in Pa on our way home from Fl to Nova Scotia. We decided to stay one week longer since the weather on the US east coast was not going to be good. Called KOA they make the change to the following week.. When we arrived there was a cancellation fee included on our bill. I questioned the gal and after a while she admitted she cancelled it instead of moving it to a later date--- then remade the reservation for the proper date.....She said I would have to go to the head office for my rebate -she could not give me the refund....she made the mistake...Never did get my $$$$ We normally do not stay at KOA's but this one is open 12 months and on our way home..Did not go to Fl for the last two years due to Covid!!!!
I always called the C Gnd...You have to reserve at least 10 days in advance since there are many Canadians returning to Canada early April!!
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Old 04-21-2022, 12:51 PM   #27
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I have never stayed at a KOA for several reasons, one being they are one of the most expensive CGs, and the OP's experience just adds to the reasons. Now with a long cross-country trip coming up starting in May and many "no reservations" nights included that doesn't mean at last resort I won't at least look at a KOA. I have been told their phone app is very accurate for making last-minute reservations.

depends on what you call expensive. I find the KOAs vary alot in price. The KOAs that are designated Journeys tend to be about as cheap as the state parks i camp in here on the East coast. they generally have no extra amenities other than a pool and if out in the boonies they may have a small restaurant (nice not to cook after all day on the road). The Holiday and Resort level KOAs - now there you get into being expensive as they offer alot of extra stuff.

we use the KOAs for overnight stops on some of our travels. They are usually the Journey level ones, are close the interstate and are spaced just about right for each travel day. as we are on a schedule (still work and have to make the most of our vacation time) we make all the reservations on-line before we leave and have had never had an issue with fitting into the site. Some KOAs are better than others, but for an overnight - i can put up with it. (but don't use them on a three day holiday weekend - they often have two night minimums... and they really get packed.
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Old 04-21-2022, 01:25 PM   #28
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Every time we go camping we make a choice between Camp Ground type: Picture one and Picture two. Yes, Picture two is a bit exaggerated for effect.

Last year we traveled to Texas. We had to spent one nite at a commercial Camp ground. Excellent WiFi. Terrific pool. Clean Laundry Room. Outstanding staff. Minutes from Interstate. Concrete level pads. Full Service hookup.

I was traumatized. Having to look at my neighbors black tank hook up 15 feet from my front door. Even worse listening to the screaming kids in every direction. Ok. Not really traumatized. Just not a happy camper. I don't get that kind of "camping". To each their own.

Not busting on anyone. Just saying.
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Old 04-21-2022, 01:49 PM   #29
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Every time we go camping we make a choice between Camp Ground type: Picture one and Picture two. Yes, Picture two is a bit exaggerated for effect.



Last year we traveled to Texas. We had to spent one nite at a commercial Camp ground. Excellent WiFi. Terrific pool. Clean Laundry Room. Outstanding staff. Minutes from Interstate. Concrete level pads. Full Service hookup.



I was traumatized. Having to look at my neighbors black tank hook up 15 feet from my front door. Even worse listening to the screaming kids in every direction. Ok. Not really traumatized. Just not a happy camper. I don't get that kind of "camping". To each their own.



Not busting on anyone. Just saying.
Definitely in agreement. I spend days planning my trips and finding as close as possible to yes yes spots even if just for 1 night while traveling. Last year on the way home from a long trip, I drove about 20 miles away from the Interstate just to stay at a Minnesota State Park - well worth the beauty, space, and quiet. Sometimes it's not possible.

Like you said, it depends on what you call camping, whatever a person's style happens to be.
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Old 04-21-2022, 04:49 PM   #30
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Definitely in agreement. I spend days planning my trips and finding as close as possible to yes yes spots even if just for 1 night while traveling. Last year on the way home from a long trip, I drove about 20 miles away from the Interstate just to stay at a Minnesota State Park - well worth the beauty, space, and quiet. Sometimes it's not possible.

Like you said, it depends on what you call camping, whatever a person's style happens to be.
I have to admit being very jealous of the campers out WEST! Those that can take advantage of BLM lands and other remote camping locations. What a way to camp! I had the opportunity to do that many years ago as younger man. In a tent. Anzo Borrego State Park, CA. Being a prime example. Among many others.

You Campers out West are incredibly lucky
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Old 04-21-2022, 05:34 PM   #31
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I have to admit being very jealous of the campers out WEST! Those that can take advantage of BLM lands and other remote camping locations. What a way to camp! I had the opportunity to do that many years ago as younger man. In a tent. Anzo Borrego State Park, CA. Being a prime example. Among many others.



You Campers out West are incredibly lucky
Yes, we are!
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Old 04-21-2022, 06:44 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by U.S.ArmyVeteran View Post
Every time we go camping we make a choice between Camp Ground type: Picture one and Picture two. Yes, Picture two is a bit exaggerated for effect.

Last year we traveled to Texas. We had to spent one nite at a commercial Camp ground. Excellent WiFi. Terrific pool. Clean Laundry Room. Outstanding staff. Minutes from Interstate. Concrete level pads. Full Service hookup.

I was traumatized. Having to look at my neighbors black tank hook up 15 feet from my front door. Even worse listening to the screaming kids in every direction. Ok. Not really traumatized. Just not a happy camper. I don't get that kind of "camping". To each their own.

Not busting on anyone. Just saying.
While I totally agree that your first picture is much more peaceful and usually preferable to the second, there are times when a KOA-style campground is preferable. For example, we often use KOAs not as a place to spend the week or weekend on site but as a place to park our trailer and use it like a motel room while we tour around the area. Our children are all grown and we have no grandkids yet, so we have no reason to need a high end, manicured "resort" style campground ourselves and haven't stayed in one since our kids were in high school. We only stay at KOAs rated as "Journey" or "Holiday", not "Resort". That said, we also use KOAs for extended family camping holidays with my siblings/step-siblings or my DW's siblings and their kids and grandkids. For those family camping holidays we need full service cabins because they don't all have trailers. The younger kids enjoy the amenities (pools and the big bouncing balloons) and the evening campfires roasting marshmallows, spider dogs and smores. And a Halloween weekend at a KOA is a lot of fun seeing all the kids and adults in their costumes. We give out 10x more candy at a KOA Halloween weekend than we do at home.
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Old 04-21-2022, 08:45 PM   #33
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While I totally agree that your first picture is much more peaceful and usually preferable to the second, there are times when a KOA-style campground is preferable. For example, we often use KOAs not as a place to spend the week or weekend on site but as a place to park our trailer and use it like a motel room while we tour around the area. Our children are all grown and we have no grandkids yet, so we have no reason to need a high end, manicured "resort" style campground ourselves and haven't stayed in one since our kids were in high school. We only stay at KOAs rated as "Journey" or "Holiday", not "Resort". That said, we also use KOAs for extended family camping holidays with my siblings/step-siblings or my DW's siblings and their kids and grandkids. For those family camping holidays we need full service cabins because they don't all have trailers. The younger kids enjoy the amenities (pools and the big bouncing balloons) and the evening campfires roasting marshmallows, spider dogs and smores. And a Halloween weekend at a KOA is a lot of fun seeing all the kids and adults in their costumes. We give out 10x more candy at a KOA Halloween weekend than we do at home.
KOA member and my opinion is many KOA Journeys are worth sticking around more than 1 nite while traveling. Matter of fact got a 5 week trip planned this summer and on longer travel days putting my feet up for 2 nites before moving along

Stayed at Holidays only because they were the only place I could get a site with FH while sightseeing for a few days

Not a boondocker, did plenty of wilderness canoe camping in the Boundary Waters in the 70s and 80s, not roughing it anymore.
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Old 04-22-2022, 04:43 PM   #34
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Consider yourself lucky to get a space at all these days.
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Old 04-25-2022, 06:40 PM   #35
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I've never stayed at a KOA campground - ever. I book my reservations by phone so talk to a live person for full understanding on both sides, them and me.

As a side note, I've stayed at the Rafter Bar J campground in the Black Hills several times - nice level sites and well managed/clean and quiet. Never used their showers/shopped the store or used the swimming pool as have zero use for such things. Also noticed they fill propane tanks too.
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Old 04-25-2022, 06:49 PM   #36
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But, if it were me, it isn't worth the time and aggravation of trying to get $10 back. It was a inexpensive learning experience with this campground, and specifically with KOA's online reservation system.
Agree with the above. But I would be reviewing them on-line.
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Old 04-25-2022, 06:56 PM   #37
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I'm with KOA

You made a reservation. They gave you a site bigger than your trailer. You want more space so you cancelled.
What do you think a cancellation fee is for?

And for the record, on what planet is a $10 cancel fee a "disaster". Get some perspective please. You cancelled and they have a cancellation fee. Just because you don't want to pay it doesn't mean you have been wronged.
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Old 04-25-2022, 07:01 PM   #38
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You made a reservation. They gave you a site bigger than your trailer. You want more space so you cancelled.
What do you think a cancellation fee is for?

And for the record, on what planet is a $10 cancel fee a "disaster". Get some perspective please. You cancelled and they have a cancellation fee. Just because you don't want to pay it doesn't mean you have been wronged.
OP indicated that he had a 35' trailer and they gave him a site 5' too short. So the reason for the cancellation was their fault.

That's like booking a hotel room with 2 queen beds and they say sorry, we only have ones with a single bed.
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Old 04-25-2022, 07:03 PM   #39
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OP indicated that he had a 35' trailer and they gave him a site 5' too short.
Trailer is 29, OP wants 35. They gave them 30.
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Old 04-25-2022, 07:05 PM   #40
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You can’t go by reviews. We tried that for a repair shop in Bishop, CA. We’ll be suffering for years to come because they apparently have their employees post positive reviews
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