Sunday, December 3, 2023


Another take on the Campground of the Future

By Chuck Woodbury
Here’s another take on the “Campground of the Future” as presented by KOA at the recent RVX Industry Show (and Lovefest) in Salt Lake City. In case you missed my first impression of this, click here.

The hosts of this video (below) are my friends Mike and Jennifer Wendland, who seemed to take the whole idea hook, line and sinker, even though, in my opinion, the concepts are wacko. I wrote Mike to give him my five cents’ worth, but surprisingly he still likes me (I think).

I left a comment on the video on YouTube. I wrote:

This is fantasy. While every one of these “campgrounds” would be technically possible, they absolutely make no sense financially because of the enormous cost of building them. Remember, most KOAs are mom and pop businesses, and do you really think they have millions of dollars to create some of these parks?

A normal RV park today, built from scratch, costs about $10,000 to $25,000 per space, plus the cost of the land (hence, why so many KOAs are by train tracks).

Okay, maybe there are some rich people out there — or will be one day –, who could build one of these dream parks. But a campsite would need to be $500 a night for them to earn a profit.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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JBC (@guest_43419)
4 years ago

If you want all the amenities anything is possible. Be prepared to pay a big price. It appears to be an idea that is moving well away from the experience of ‘camping’. That said – my concern regarding all campgrounds (present and future) is the issue of upkeep and maintenance. So many things get built (public and private) today – roads, parks, campgrounds, etc. and the budget for upkeep and maintenance never covers what is needed day to day/year to year and too many get rundown very quickly. Costs are already pushing the limit for many campgrounds and any increases will only make it worse and well out of the average person’s budget. As for the campgrounds outlined in this video – are they campgrounds or ‘vacation’ destinations that put a premium on offering endless entertainment amenities? What happened to the hike in the woods, a walk on the beach and a gathering around the campfire? I am a ‘keep it simple’ kind of person and these ‘entertainment’ destinations are not camping. This type of destination may fulfill a market niche but it’s not camping, it is even beyond ‘glamping’.

Relaxing (@guest_44248)
4 years ago
Reply to  JBC


James Beirlein (@guest_43416)
4 years ago

I can recall as a little boy reading a Popular Science magazine a cover story about travel in the future and how folks would be crossing the country in large vehicles that were self contained and had beds and small bathrooms and even cooking areas. Now I see large motorhomes all over the roads but in the 50’s it was a dream.

Bill Mullinax (@guest_43343)
4 years ago

You can’t improve what God created.

chipper (@guest_43213)
4 years ago

Lots of people can’t afford a week at a KOA now. What will change that in the future? It’s great to dream of the future. I remember the NY world’s fair and all the futuristic things they predicted. Now let’s dream of a nice, clean well kept campground accessible to more people and you’ve got something to crow about.

Elaine L Schuster (@guest_43071)
4 years ago

Some of the ideas that go with the big picture are doable now and look really good, like the dog area, the reservation link, the solar power. Little by little we will get there.

John Candler (@guest_43018)
4 years ago

We’ve been serious about camping since 1999 – RV Life – KOAs on east coast in same areas as other parks seem more per night – not really offering anything to justify an extra cost –

That being said this years trip west I have found more KOAs in the area we want to stay in – so a small additional cost is worth it to us

Jeff (@guest_42959)
4 years ago

I rarely use KOA, mainly because so many of them are RUN Down dumps and need serious work and upgrading!

Earl Balentine (@guest_43084)
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

I have talked to owners of RV Parks and they said its very difficult to make a profit let alone try and remodel or upgrade the park. Anything beyond what’s available today will just cost more money. Staying at good rv park is already getting costly and soon it will be more than hotel resorts per night. Only the rich will be rving, the rest of us will be dry camping.

tom (@guest_42956)
4 years ago

Dreamers reach for the Stars and bring the rest of us along. This may not be financially viable, but practical ideas can be used elsewhere.

Drew (@guest_43218)
4 years ago
Reply to  tom

Did anyone read Greg Gerber’s response to the idea? I have to admit he has a point. I personally don’t agree at all with these concepts of future campgrounds but Greg’s opinion illustrated a convincing view.

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