This KOA takes hospitality to a whole new level. It doesn’t state on the website whether this KOA is family owned or not but the employees really do treat you like family, or at least like very welcome guests. It’s a relaxing full service KOA in mature oaks but conveniently just off I-44 in Southwest Joplin. It gives the feel of camping and walking around in a county park. But if you need service or easy in-out gasoline, there are actually four large truck and traveler centers within 1/2 mile.
This exit is where many truckers stop for a few hours or for the night but you would never know it once you pull in to the KOA, which borders a small forest of large oaks and some pines. Nearby stops include Love’s Travel Stop, Pilot Travel Center and Joplin 44 Petro. I stopped at Rapid Roberts Conoco for gas with my motor home and tow vehicle and it was very easy to pull in and out and it is right next door to the KOA entrance. There are also a McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and several local restaurants in the same area as the exit, just down the road from the KOA.
This KOA features the usual K9 Kamp dog park, swimming pool, laundry, pull-thru sites, back-in sites, and tent sites. But they also had more than I see usually. There is a duck pond (also a catch-and-release), a turtle/large carp and catfish pond (with free fish food in the office), bike rentals, free pizza delivery, and a very large picnic area under mature oak trees. We had a heat wave while I was there and it was very enjoyable being able to walk the dogs in the cool grass under the trees rather than out in the hot sun. The swimming pool stayed busy all weekend. They do allow guests for an additional fee.
I checked in mid-Friday and took one of the lower priced sites with just 30 amp and no TV cable. However, these sites are in the area of the campground that has no mature trees and with the heat warnings in the news, I decided it might be prudent to try and change. The 50 amp/cable TV sites are under full sized oak trees so I asked about those. I was able to move for an additional $7.00 per night. It was definitely worth the extra $21 to be in the shade all weekend. While I was here, the spots out in the sun were about 25% full, the spots in the shade were almost 100% full, and the back-in spots were about 65% full. Some of the back–in spots appear to be for long-term residents. There were also people using the cabins, the tent area, and the picnic area during the time I was here.
On Friday night I thought I would take a chance with their pizza delivery after the check in person told me about it and circled the phone number on the campground map. I have ordered delivery pizza about 4 times in the past two months and this was, by far, the best I’ve eaten. I know they cook it right there at the KOA office and deliver it piping hot but it was much better than the last Pizza Hut or Dominos that I’ve eaten. I ordered a medium cheese & sausage and it came to about $12.00 and was delivered to my site in about 30 minutes.
I would recommend this KOA as a stop along the way or as a vacation spot if you want to get out of the city but don’t want to travel too far. While here, I drove to the Petsmart and Cunningham Park on Saturday with the dogs and Dollar General on Sunday. Cunningham Park has a memorial to the 161 victims of the Joplin tornado in May 2011. You can read my article about that visit here.