KOA Campground Membership

Every six months Chris and I have brainstorming sessions. In these sessions, we go over things like travel plans, memberships, and maintenance items that we have “overlooked”. We also talk about things like what items have we used and what is collecting dust. Then it’s time to decide on actions on each topic/item that comes up. For us, it usually means at least one trip to the dumpster, a day or so of overdue maintenance items, and memberships and subscriptions get either dropped or added.

Pros and Cons

We just had one of those brainstorming sessions recently. When we got to the memberships and subscriptions part we took a look at what we have, what we use, and what has not been used. We then weighed the pros and cons of each one and decided to either keep, renew or discard it.

Currently, We Have 3

We currently hold three campground-related memberships and of those three, two we have had for a while and one is brand new. The new membership that we absolutely love (and if you follow us at all you would know that) is Passport America. We have saved a ton of money on this one in a short amount of time so it’s a definite keeper. We also hold a Good Sam membership.

Check out our articles including the pros and cons of Passport America and Good Sam memberships  

Let’s Get Started

KOA campgrounds are usually located in big cities and near main roads which makes them convenient. They are usually clean and have great customer service including deliveries to your site. Some have lots of things to do for kids such as jumping pillows, bike rentals, and activities. Some are just overnighters with limited amenities.

Super Easy System

They probably have one of the easiest online reservation systems around. It is so easy to jump online, find a campground, enter your info (your info is saved as a VKR member) and dates, and book your reservation. It is so easy it can be (we have done it) booked from your car as you travel.

There is now a new feature that for $20 you can reserve a specific site.

Here’s How It Works

Ok, let me explain how the membership works. It will cost you $33 to join and an annual fee of $33 to maintain the membership. If you are a value card member you get 10% off your reservation cost. You also get 10% off anything you purchase in the camp store.

Side Note

Just a side note. KOA usually offers a “free” night of camping during their “Rewards Weekend” each year. Keep in mind not all KOAs participate in this promotion. You also get discounts on other vendors & services. See the KOA site for a current list of vendors.

Building Points

You also build points that are good towards certain dollar amounts off your next stay. See the chart below to get an idea of how many points per stay you earn.

VKR Point Chart

We do have one piece of advice when using these points. What we have noticed is that at almost every KOA we have stayed at and tried to use these points there was a problem. It seems a lot of KOA employees don’t know how to apply these points. It has always been resolved and we have always been able to use them but it’s something you need to be aware of. Make sure your discount is applied before you check out of the campground!!!

Problem In Virginia

The closest we ever came to not getting our points discount was at a campground on the way to Florida.  When we arrived we tried to use some points during check-in at a campground in Virginia. The employees were very nice but didn’t know how to apply them. When we left the next day it still wasn’t resolved. They said they would straighten it out for us and not to worry and would call us when it was completed.

Time To Call KOA Corporate

Long story short, after not hearing from the campground, we decided to call KOA corporate. After speaking to someone from corporate, they said because we checked out already there was nothing they can do. Just when we thought we were out of the discount, the campground called.

True to their word, the campground itself wound up straightening it out.  See our review on KOA Harrisonburg for the complete VKR story.

Final Thoughts

As I stated above, for the most part, you know what you are getting when you stay at a KOA. When you pull into a private campground you are taking a crapshoot as to the cleanliness, atmosphere, and level of customer service.  At a KOA there is a certain level of expectation that you expect and most hit the mark every time.

The reservation system is easy to use and you can even make a reservation using an app on your phone. Just don’t do it while you are driving…lol. You can even reserve a specific site for a few extra bucks.

If you enjoy clean campgrounds with awesome customer service and a kid and pet-friendly environment, then the membership would be something you should consider.

Leave a Comment