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Old 12-21-2016, 09:39 AM   #1
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Beware KOA National Cancellation Policies

Beware KOA National Cancellation Policies as they are overriden by local Franchise rules. I just had a two time experience at the Myrtle Beach KOA. The first time was OK except although the the campsite was 80% empty I was parked next to a semi derelict trailer with flat tyres. Not a welcoming sight when you look out first thing in the mornng.
The second planned visit two weeks later had to be cancelled. I looked at the National cancellation policy and it said that it had to be done in not less than two days before and that there was a $10 cancellation charge. I phoned the Myrtle beach KOA and thay said the charge was $25 and that was their policy take it or leave it. The National KOA washed their hands of it and said it was up to the local KOA Franchisee and that they did post their cancellation policy! I looked and there was a small button on the booking screen that is easily missed and when one looked the screen that comes up reiterates the National policy Web screen except they add a line at the bottom in a smaller font to say that they charge $25. Deceitful at best and anti consumer deception at worst.
I'm washing my hands of KOA. They send regular entreaties to renew their membership. I use them as they are convenient while travelling to my final destination but I find many are run down and are nearly as expensive as staying at Days Inn or Super 8 which are comfortable and take the dog.
State Parks are the best with better sites and facilities and are geared to real RV snowbirds!
One wonders what the value of KOA National Policies are as its obvious they have little control over their Franchises and their standards.
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:53 AM   #2
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We had a trip reserved last year with several stops all the way from KY to
San Diego. Had to cancel when wife's retirement got bumped 3 months! Each stop had a different policy but all were friendly and we only wound up
paying small charges at some of them.
These were not all KOA but just saying each site typically has their own
policy.
Sorry you had a bad experience but if you say never a KOA again you are maybe limiting yourself from an option somewhere someday...

BTW I did read the cancellation policy on each one so there were no nasty surprises.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:41 AM   #3
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Every KOA has their reservation cancellation penalty clearly written on their web pages and you must actually read and agree with it before they accept your reservation and deposit. If you booked over the phone you should ask.


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Old 12-21-2016, 10:52 AM   #4
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Franchisee's always can make their own rules. Listen to almost every McDonald's commercial for specials. They almost always have a phrase similar to "at participating McDonald's."

If a franchisee doesn't want to participate, they usually don't have to. All depends on their franchise agreement.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:52 AM   #5
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Re

It's been my experience you can book a later date on the same deposit. I had to cancel a couple of trips to a later date.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:53 AM   #6
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I dont RV at KOA to avoid this issue. Seem to be overpriced compared to alternatives available and restrictive on things like this.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
Each stop had a different policy

No doubt.

We have one very close to our home that became a KOA about two years ago. It has an entire section that's full of seasonal's and a lot are actually the entire year because we are in the middle of the Marcellus shale gas region here in PA. The place is not bad overall but it's not a Taj Mahal either, and from what I can tell from walking the dog an a bike trail that practically runs through the place, they have not done much in improvements since becoming KOA. I personally do not see the draw but the place is packed on the summer weekends. All in what you like I guess and it is pricey.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:16 AM   #8
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Frankly, I am not surprised. I am new to the TT, RV, .. community and every time I turn around I discover new items identical to this.

The ENTIRE industry appears to me as being run as a mom and pop business (NOT talking bad about mom and pop businesses, many are FABULOUS! It is just individually specific as to good or bad).

There is no master plan, oversight, everything is handled at the lowest level, .... everything needs to be handled by the consumer as buyer beware! There is little to no recourse at higher levels. In fact higher levels make the problems worse most of the time.

Always, without exception READ EVERYTHING, especially fine print! Do not Assume.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:14 PM   #9
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There's a reason KOA is called "Keep On Adding".
In 30+ years of camping, we have never nor will we ever stay at any KOA.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:21 PM   #10
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There's a reason KOA is called "Keep On Adding".
In 30+ years of camping, we have never nor will we ever stay at any KOA.
Thought KOA stood for "Keep Out Always!"

I actually tend to check out campgrounds before I choose to stay there. Anything within a 3-4 hour drive, I'll just take a nice day trip or spend a weekend somewhere nearby and do a drive through.. Most KOA's I see that loo interesting on the web seem run down and overcrowded up close.. I dont know how they get 4 stars.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mr Havercamp View Post
No doubt.

We have one very close to our home that became a KOA about two years ago. It has an entire section that's full of seasonal's and a lot are actually the entire year because we are in the middle of the Marcellus shale gas region here in PA. The place is not bad overall but it's not a Taj Mahal either, and from what I can tell from walking the dog an a bike trail that practically runs through the place, they have not done much in improvements since becoming KOA. I personally do not see the draw but the place is packed on the summer weekends. All in what you like I guess and it is pricey.
KOA at Rivers Edge? (Connellsville)
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:50 PM   #12
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We have stayed at several KOA's over the years, yes some are nicer than others but than again I guess I read all of the reviews and try and scope them out myself.

Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch, stayed there several times during Sturgis, excellent place, has ice cream shop, wine tasting, pizza stop, all on the property, works great for us.

Bandlands KOA, nothing fancy, very friendly owner, who made it a point to come and chat with us and thank us for our stay, clean, well Kept.

Billings Montana KOA, nice place, friendly staff, enjoyed our stay.

Louisville KY Metro KOA. now this place was so tight could hardly squeeze between units with the slides out, but I knew that going into it. Very close to downtown Louisville KY which is why we stayed there, in town for convention and brought our Harleys and dogs. Wouldn't recommend it as a get away.

Kennebec SD KOA, pretty primitive but just fine for overnight stay.

Those are just a few I could think of off top of my head but I guess I knew what I was getting into when I booked them, cancellation policy, campground rules and all.

KOA's might not be for everybody just like the fancy "RV resorts" are not for everybody.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:00 PM   #13
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We have stayed at several KOA's over the years, yes some are nicer than others but than again I guess I read all of the reviews and try and scope them out myself.

Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch, stayed there several times during Sturgis, excellent place, has ice cream shop, wine tasting, pizza stop, all on the property, works great for us.

Bandlands KOA, nothing fancy, very friendly owner, who made it a point to come and chat with us and thank us for our stay, clean, well Kept.

Billings Montana KOA, nice place, friendly staff, enjoyed our stay.

Louisville KY Metro KOA. now this place was so tight could hardly squeeze between units with the slides out, but I knew that going into it. Very close to downtown Louisville KY which is why we stayed there, in town for convention and brought our Harleys and dogs. Wouldn't recommend it as a get away.

Kennebec SD KOA, pretty primitive but just fine for overnight stay.

Those are just a few I could think of off top of my head but I guess I knew what I was getting into when I booked them, cancellation policy, campground rules and all.

KOA's might not be for everybody just like the fancy "RV resorts" are not for everybody.
X2. We've stayed in many of them over the last 20 yrs and I can't recall one that I would say I'd never stay at again (and there are some privately owned CG's that I WOULD say that about).

Also be aware that KOA is now grouping their CG's into three categories:

1. A place to unwind - basically a travel stop along major highways
2. Adventures begin - what I'd call the "normal" CG
3. A vacation destination - staff-led activities, food service, etc (never have to leave)

KOA Campgrounds | What's Behind The Yellow Sign (Scroll down)
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:11 PM   #14
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I've had good experiences with KOAs.
Overall, KOA's staff has been friendlier to me than the 'Mom & Pop' places I've stayed at. They have been rather snippy or downright rude to me more than once.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:43 PM   #15
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I've had good experiences with KOAs.
Overall, KOA's staff has been friendlier to me than the 'Mom & Pop' places I've stayed at. They have been rather snippy or downright rude to me more than once.
Ditto here. I love KOA's cause I can count on a nice welcome and certain minimum standards. With their 3 tiered divisions, I can know exactly what kind of KOA I'm going into and get the ameneties I want. We definitely more than cover the cost of membership which gets you 10% off. As with any franchise...it pays to do your homework and I find the campgroundreviews.com site can tell me all I need to know about a particular KOA.
I always read the conditions of sale before I click "Buy" and will call if I have a question. I'd rather do diligence up front than be disappointed or mad down the road.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:52 PM   #16
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I like others will never stay at a KOA unless I must. Met a disabled friend in MOAB Utah. He wanted to stay there because of all the amenities. I think I had to pay over $60 a night. Just another parking lot campground.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:53 PM   #17
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I bought my Rockwood HW 18 months ago and for the first 14 months my first choice was KOA (7 locations, 12 nights). They will no longer be my first choice, I got nailed on a cancellation policy, they are overpriced, the ones that have cabins campers are second class, many of their spaces are smaller than non-KOA’s, I can go on. I will still use them but a last resort.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:54 PM   #18
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We use them as a last resort. Too expensive. For only a few dollars more, I'll stay at a Super 8.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:01 PM   #19
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I don't use KOA because of poorly maintained facilities we have seen in the past.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:02 PM   #20
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