Workamping Experiences: KOA Ouray

Heading To Ouray

While staying at Sundance RV Resort in Yuma Arizona for the winter, we started looking for a summertime gig. We spoke with a lot of campgrounds but the interview that went the best was with the KOA in Ouray Colorado. After our hour-long interview, we accepted the position of housekeeper couple. We now had our next workamping job lined up.

After leaving Sundance RV Resort and sightseeing for a couple of weeks we pulled into the KOA in Ouray Colorado. The employees in the office greeted us warmly and called the owners to let them know we had arrived.

Arriving On-Site

One of the owners, Dave, introduced himself and said he had a choice of two spots that we could take. We walked the campground with him and decided on our spot. He told us to get set up and we would get together in a day or two to get started.

The campground was split into two parts by a stream and we chose a spot in the main section. To see our review on the KOA in Ouray, use the link below:

KOA Ouray Colorado Campground Review

A couple of days later, all the paperwork was completed, we met Dave’s wife Deborah (the other owner), and we had our exact start date. The procedure was that everyone who worked the morning shift would walk up to the office at 8 am and get their daily assignments from Dave

Turned Around And Sent Home

The first couple of mornings we walked up to the office only to be told there was no work for us and to come back the next morning. This did not sit with us very well as we were already past the original start date that we had agreed upon during the phone interview.

There Has Got To Be Something To Do

It was still very early in the season and quite cool in the morning. The campground was not that busy but we felt we could have been given some projects to work on for a couple of hours since we had already gotten up and dressed and made our way to the office. After all, there is always something to do at a campground.

Thought About Leaving

A couple of more mornings being sent home and we were rethinking this whole thing. There were still other jobs open and we considered starting to make some calls. We were not getting a good vibe from this place. We decided to give it one week. If we were not working by the end of that first week we were going to leave.

Finally, Some Work

On about the third or fourth morning, we were told there was still no housekeeping for us. At this time, however, we were told the restrooms were spot-checked and “spruced up” at the beginning of each day and the deep cleaning of the front (main) bathrooms were done at 11 am. The satellite bathrooms were deep cleaned at 1 pm.

Weed Whacking & Mowing

There was one other housekeeping couple at the time and we were told other than the bathrooms they had no other work so we would have to do some landscaping. Dave said after the bathroom sprucing we could weed wack and mow. Then at 11 am and 1 pm we could deep clean the bathrooms.

Chris Weedwacking

Ok, now we are getting somewhere. We finally started to get some hours. It went on like this for a couple of weeks which was fine with us. At least we were working. Chris actually weed whacked and mowed for the first time in her life!!! What? Yup, she had never weed wacked or mowed before, ever.

Falling Into Place

It was at this point some other cabin work started to come in. Things were starting to fall in place. There were 22 rustic cabins and 6 deluxe cabins. The other couple was taking care of the deluxe. All laundry was done in-house and we would help the other housekeeping couple with that. There was the cabin laundry and the cleaning rags to wash so there was always some kind of laundry to be done.

Ah, A Monkey Wrench

Things were going pretty smoothly and the place was getting busy when the first monkey wrench was thrown in. To this point (after the short landscaping assignments) we were doing all the restroom work, all the rustic cabin work, and some of the laundry. This arrangement was working out great and keeping us busy.

We Were It

We were then approached by the owners and told the other housekeeping couple had been let go. We would now be taking over all of housekeeping. I won’t get into all the details of what happened with the other couple but the bottom line is now we were the only housekeepers.

Lots To Do

This KOA is very busy and the cabins were constantly being turned over. Some days Chris and I would split up and she would start in the deluxe cabins while I would knock out some of the basic ones which would help us complete our daily list much quicker.

Between keeping the cabins cleaned, grills cleaned and doing the cabin laundry the bathroom duty started to be picked up by maintenance as we had no time to stop cleaning cabins to clean the bathrooms. The owners wanted every cabin to be cleaned and ready by the end of our shift. The cabins were rented just about every night so they wanted to make sure they were available each day. On the slower days, which were not many, we would do the bathrooms.

Good Relationship With The Owners

Everyone here worked well together and pitched in where needed which made the days go much smoother. There were some hiccups between staff and owners but none that concerned us. We did our jobs and the owners were appreciative of that and left us alone.

Two Sets Of Owners?

I should add at this point that the KOA had been sold. It was the last season for the prior owners who had owned this particular KOA for about 30 years. The new owners (who were awesome) were on-site to learn the operations and help out during the season. On the really busy days (there were many) the new owners helped us out by doing some of the laundry and even helped cleaning some cabins. They cleaned the cabins on our days off too!!!

Our Site Facing Restrooms
Snow In The Spring?

The weather was fantastic in Ouray with hot days and cooler nights. We would have many campfires while we were there. Since our site was in close proximity to the satellite bathrooms there were some nights while we were having a fire relaxing we would hear the guests say things to each other like “there is no toilet paper in that one” or “the toilet is clogged in that one” so since we were so close and the housekeeping closet was right there we would hop the fence ( it was a very low fence…lol) and just add toilet paper or unclog a toilet.

No Big Deal

The guests were super appreciative and it literally took us 5 minutes and we were right back to our fire. Our site actually backed up to the satellite bathrooms so a lot of times people would see us out having a fire and just start talking to us on their way to the bathrooms. We actually met some cool and interesting people.

Getting Supplies Was Not A Problem

This workamping experience was a positive one. Although there was some hiccups along the way everyone for the most part got along and helped each other out. When we needed supplies, they were always ordered. As a matter of fact, we would make a list each week and turn it in. The supplies were never questioned and we always had what we needed.

Pros About This Job

  • Everyone Worked Together
  • Always Had The Supplies We Needed To Do The Job
  • Beautiful Work Surroundings

Cons Of This Job

  • Got Off To A Rocky Start (being sent home)
  • On Multiple Occasions, Guests Were Allowed To Check In Before The Regular Time Putting Extra Pressure To Get A Particular Cabin Done
  • The Altitude At This Location Was Approximately 7200 Feet

Final Thoughts

As you can see from the list of “cons,” there was nothing that was really terrible. Only minor hiccups. Overall this job was a lot of fun and a great experience for us. Both the original owners and new owners were good to us and the surrounding area was beautiful. We stayed the full length of our assignment but moved on before the snow and cold weather arrived…lol


Have you ever stayed or worked at this KOA? Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.


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