A Day at KOA

During our recent RV trip we decided to stay at parks that had electric and water hook-ups as a minimum and a pool for the kids. Sure our motorhome can be self-sufficient. We can camp in more primitive parks without hook-ups, but with three little ones and a spouse who is not into the wild, power is essential. I have to agree.

Kampgrounds of America (KOA), who by the way I have no financial interest in, run campgrounds all over North America. Almost all sites have electric and water as a minimum, many others also have sewer connections.

To illustrate this I will take the KOA in Billings, Montana. Located just off Interstate 90 (I-90) at first glance it appears rather plain, but after you exit and enter the park one finds it’s in a beautifully wooded area right next to the Yellowstone River. Huge shade trees at throughout the park. Amenities include pool, hot-tub, playground for kids, restaurant serving specializing in ribs, store, and showers.

After registering at the office, you are given a map directing you to the site. Some KOAs have staff who actually take you to the site and ensure you are happy before leaving you.

Our site was close but not too close to neighbors, fairly level, and best of all a pull-through. What is a “pull-through” you ask? Access to your individual site is by driving in and out, with no backing up. This is a big plus when you are driving a 25 foot motorhome from which you have zero visibility out the back other than via rearview mirrors.

After spotting our RV on the level pad and making sure access to the hook-ups was easily available, translation does my electrical cable and water hose reach, the family piled out. I made the electrical and water service connections in less than ten minutes. This was important because the temperature was in the upper 80’s F. Running the air conditioning was a priority.

The site we had also had a cable TV connection so the kids were able to watch their favorite cartoon channels. Trust me this is essential.

We had arrived at about 5:00 p.m local time. I took the kids to the playground while Cindy started part of supper on the stove. Once I got the kids looked after, I returned and barbequed some burgers on our portable propane grill. After supper our six-year old did some skateboarding (the laneways were paved), then we all went for a swim to cool off and relax.

Swimming tired the kids out, so back at the RV they got into PJs and family movie night started. A DVD was selected and they watched along with mom and dad before retiring after a long day. By the way noise or party animals are not an issue at this or other parks. Quiet time after 10:00 p.m. is strictly enforced.

We had planned to stay only one night, but the family so enjoyed the park we signed up for another night.

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10 Responses to A Day at KOA

  1. stamperdad says:

    Fascinating Kip. Look forward to hearing more. Camping is great for kids. Ours loved it.

    Steve

  2. Kip de Moll says:

    Steve,
    I could go on and on (and probably will on my blog at some point) about the merits of camping. We took great trips year after year growing up, all through New England and out West. The best was 1968 when we shipped a pop-up (serious luxury for us) to Europe for 10 weeks. We witnessed the riots in Paris, camped on Chateau grounds and Alpine Mountainsides. and were on the Hungarian/Chezch border 2 weeks before the invasion! What a lesson to be fearing communists and living among the People!

  3. stamperdad says:

    Thanks to all for the comments.

    Cindy I think the kids will enjoy it even more next time. they were just getting used to camping.

    Steve

  4. Cindy Davis says:

    Steve we had a wonderful vacation! Can’t wait for next year! Cindy

  5. stamperdad says:

    Yes I agree but as long as their happy, I’m happy. My son and I could care less though. He wants to be close to the pool and playgrounds.

    Steve

  6. Dennis Price says:

    I had girls, and on the rare occasions that I got them to agree to camping, we camped very near restroom facilities. Not always the most scenic spot in the campground. Pappy

  7. stamperdad says:

    Yes we had way too much fun. It was really difficult to get back into regular routine. Thanks.

    Steve

  8. Sounds like lots of fun! Glad you guys had a good time!

  9. stamperdad says:

    There are sure lots of the big rigs like yours still out there regardless of fuel costs.

    Steve

  10. Doreen Orion says:

    That’s what I love about the mobile life: If you like a place, stay longer. If you don’t – pull up stakes, early.

    For us on our year-long adventure in our bus (we didn’t have kids, but did have a 60 lb dog and 2 cats), the only essential for an RV park was a hot tub. If it was adults-only and open late, mores the better. Well, that and they had to accomodate our 40 ft rig. Once we got up to Alaska, both requirements became a little harder to come by – the hot tub much more so than our size, but we did manage to find one on the Kenai.

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