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July 23, 2014

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Rolling in for a short stay at the Las Vegas KOA

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Leila Navidi

Robert Boudreau of Riverside, Calif., rests inside his camper hauled by his classic Volkswagen Bug at the Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus. Boudreau goes to car shows with his Bug themed in different ways, and he was headed to a car show in Boulder City the next day with a cowboy theme.

KOA at Circus Circus

Brothers  Justin Sawczuk, 7, and Marcus Sawczuk, 2, of Hollywood, Fla., climb a tree near their RV site on March 31 at the Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus. Their mother, Celia, said she enjoyed the fact that the park offered a site with grass, trees and shade, an amenity rarely offered at urban RV parks. Launch slideshow »

Children from Mexico, Sweden, Canada and California play in the heated pool. Americans and Canadians mingle and chat about ice hockey in the Jacuzzi. Germans drink Coronas and lounge on lawn furniture. A family from Hollywood, Fla. on spring break grills chicken under a tree. A snowbird from Saskatchewan sits in a chair, staring at the empty Fontainebleau looming over the end of another day at the Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus.

The campground, which has operated for approximately 35 years on the west side of the Strip, accommodates 366 RVs, 6 six tents and has two furnished Airstreams for rent. Of the approximately 60,000 people who stayed overnight here at the facility in 2009, 35 percent were international travelers. The campground is busiest in April and July.

On one windy afternoon, Pam and Smoky Ridgely pull up, towing their enormous RV with a tractor-trailer. The RV became their home after they sold their house in Maryland in 2005. They are passing through Las Vegas, like many are, on their way back from a winter in Arizona, heading toward Missoula, Mont. for the summer. Pam and Smoky are practiced and work quickly as a team to set up their RV as the wind whips around them. Pam Ridgely pauses after putting the wooden blocks under the tires of their RV.

“Home is wherever your stuff is,” says Pam. “Wherever you make it. Home is where you park it.”

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