KOA campground glamp shutterstock (Photo/Ken Wolter)
(Photo/Ken Wolter)

KOA Campgrounds Turn Trendy With These Glamping Experiences

With its new, five-star hipster aesthetic and luxury upgrades, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) encourages you to try a new way of glamping this summer.

When thinking of KOA camping or parking lot glamping, I remember pitching a tent among a sea of RVs; hot, clammy, and sticky in the summer, frigid at night and in the winter. I recall the smell of hot dogs and the barking of other dogs — the wafting odor of people’s damp feet and their wet animals.

Well, grungy no more — KOA campgrounds across the U.S. have gone fancy. From vintage trailers to covered wagons, KOA is working to modernize to reach a new generation of experience-seeking travelers.

KOA Campgrounds Get Styled

(Photo/KOA Pressroom)
(Photo/KOA Pressroom)

Once simply offering standard RVs and campsites, KOA now provides a contemporary lodging selection, including yurts, cabooses, teepees, Airstreams, not-so-tiny treehouses, and more.

Here’s a sampling of KOA’s unique, fancy, and fun options to choose from and reserve for your next comfort-camping adventure.

Airstream Trailer

If you like RV camping, you’ll likely dig camping in an Airstream. Airstreams have a vintage, rounded bullet-like body and a shiny, polished aluminum finish.

Wally Byam designed the first Airstream travel trailer in 1929. The brand lives on as an American icon. Airstream cabins offer cozy — and super stylish — comfort while still allowing campers to enjoy surrounding nature.

(Photo/Micah and Jenna Kvidt via KOA Pressroom)
(Photo/Micah and Jenna Kvidt via KOA Pressroom)

Camping Caboose

Back in the days of railroad travel, the caboose — the last car of the train — was where the crew could go to rest and relax from their duties, as well as check for any damage to the train or its cargo.

Today, most old railroad trains and their cabooses have since been retired. However, some industrious folks are refurbishing the caboose. At select KOA locations, they now have renovated historical cabooses for your historical camping accommodations and adventures.

Caboose (Photo KOA Pressroom)
(Photo/KOA Pressroom)

Covered Wagon Camping

Conestoga wagon camping, or “covered wagon camping,” mixes the joy of sleeping under the stars with the luxuries of a home. Unlike the pioneers who slept under their utilitarian wagons, Conestoga wagons are like tiny homes on wheels.

They have a large dome canvas top and ample room inside, fitting a king-size bed and two sets of bunks. KOA also offers climate control settings within the wagons, ensuring that campers are never too hot or cold.

Ventura Ranch KOA Holiday
(Photo/Dan Armstrong via KOA Pressroom)

Treehouses, Yurts, and Teepees

Teepee camping is a more traditional form of camping. According to KOA, like a classic camping tent, teepees were used as living structures by the Plains Native Americans through the 20th century. Teepees are sturdy, sheltering structures that provide the necessities for outdoor living.

Or, let your inner child out, up, and into a treehouse on your next KOA stay in the wilderness. Furry friends are welcome!

For some real glamping, opt for a luxed-out canvas yurt. The multiperson tents come with ample floor space and are tall enough for most adults to stand up comfortably. They even come complete with a doorframe.

KOA glamping yurt
(Photo/Dan Armstrong, KOA Pressroom)

Booking, Rates, and More

For rates, dates, and locations, head to koa.com.

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Hrisafie Hariklea Hadgis

Chris was a runner. She played field hockey and lacrosse in high school and college. It wasn’t until almost a decade after graduating undergrad that she discovered cycling. Love at first ride, Chris raced road and gravel. Now she rides for fun and to raise money for local charities, rare diseases, and cancer research. She is a Pas Normal Studios ambassador and is a part of the women’s PNS International Cycling Club. Her work is published in Bicycling Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and The Pro's Closet, among other magazines and newspapers.