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Old 02-10-2013, 02:04 AM   #1
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We just purchased a Sunset Trail 32BH and are starting to plan our first trip. We thought about the beach but spring break will be in full swing, I saw some people coment on some places in TN like Jellystone and thought that might be fun for our boys (8,4). Anyone have anyother suggestions about campgrounds around the Smokies, TN or NC would be fine. Also I am a rookie camper puller with this size camper so I would like the campgrounds and campsites to be easily accessible so I don't crash my brand new camper into a tree.

Thanks

Chris
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:18 AM   #2
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Chris
I can't help you out on campgrounds in that area, but I can give you a little advise that might save your rig from finding a tree.
You and the wife will have to get together and set up some kind of communication between you that both are in agreement on and both understand. Then, when you get to the campground she has to get out and be your "other" set of eyes for places and things you can't see from the drivers seat.
Go slow and easy. If you have to get out and walk around your rig and see for yourself. AND, remember ---don't either one of you get excited and start yelling.


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Old 02-10-2013, 02:42 AM   #3
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Ha ha ha. Yeah, I'll have to teach my wife all the hand signals. We pull a 22 ft SeaRay boat so it's around 27 ft with the trailer but it is easy to see around. I will definately take it slow.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:55 AM   #4
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This isn't quite a Jellystone but when my
kids were closer to your family's age we used to go to Oconee State Park in SC.
It's in the foothills so you don't have to be concerned about towing through
the steep hills on your first trip. There's hiking, fishing and even mini-golf.
I suggest you try to get a paved site in the paved loop. Unfortunately the good
stuff doesn't start until after Memorial Day. (Swimming and Square Dances every
Friday night) Day trips into Highlands, Cashiers and many waterfalls are also
nearby. This state park is very family oriented, not sure if they still do this
but during the summer they used to have kids daily activities run by the camp youth
chaplain.</span><?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" />


http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/oconee/introduction.aspx
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:30 AM   #5
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Pirate, we stay at Smoky Bear between Gatlinburg and Cosby. Small but very nice campground. FHU and can handle big rigs. Pull through. Very nice owners. Clean place. Not far from Gatlinburg, but far enough to relax. Several campgrounds near here as well. Jellystone as mentioned, and a few others.
One of our favorite locations. So much to do in the Smokies.
I know several rave about a place near Cherokee too.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:32 PM   #6
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We stayed at Creekside RV Park in Pidgeon Forge a few years ago. Nice park, close to everything. About five miles to Gatlinburg as I recall.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:31 PM   #7
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I agree that Creekside is nice but I found their spaces to be extremely tight and difficult to get into. Last year we stayed just down the street from Creekside at Eagles Nest Campground and it was much easier to maneuver into. It's also a nice place but does not have all the ducks to watch like Creekside. Cheaper also.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:19 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the input. We decided to try out Jellystone because of the boys. My wife thinks she stayed there when she was a kid. My other choice was Riveredge in Pigeon Forge but we thought it might be just a tad bit quieter out at Jellystone.

Chris
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:19 AM   #9
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I would recommend Townsend, Tennessee. "The Peaceful Side of the Smokies." It isa pleasant 15 mile drive through Wears Valley out of Pigeon Forge. The town does not allow heavy commercial development, and it is almost exclusively a camping and crafts community. It borders the GSM National Park and is the nearest improved camping to Cades Cove. We usually stay at Tremont Outdoor Resort, but the KOA next door has a ton of stuff for the kids to do. All the campgrounds in Townsend are located along the Little River, which is stocked with trout and is a great tubing river during the summer months. There are bike trails along the entire "main drag" in Townsend where you can bicycle through the town without getting out on the road. Even if you don't choose Townsend this time, you ought to drive through and check it out. We've been going there three or four times a year since 07 and our kids love it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate

Ha ha ha.* Yeah, I'll have to teach my wife all the hand signals.* We pull a 22 ft SeaRay boat so it's around 27 ft with the trailer but it is easy to see around.* I will definately take it slow.
*
Thanks,
Chris

Skip the hand signals and get a Walkie talkie. Refer to things as drivers side/passenger side so there is no confusion. When I'm backing in DH tells me things like tree 3 ft on drivers side or come back 6 ft. It works really well and there is no yelling to disturb neighbors and I don't have to worry about not seeing him.



As for some good campgrounds:
If you are a coast to coast member:
We have been wanting to try R ranch in the mountains in dahlonega GA. It is a coast to coast resort but I think you can stay if not a member. http://www.rranchga.com/
sycamore lodge in Jackson springs nc is a travel resorts of America campground but you can stay here with coast to coast. It is our home campground. It has a pond with paddleboating and fishing, nice playground, shuffle board, volleyball, small mini golf course and a small rec center w/ games. They are near some good golf course in pinehurst nc. My 5 yr old DD loves it here. Sycamore lodge

The Boone area of nc is on our list for this year. There is a train that can be ridden in the area. So far doing research the Boone Koa looks the best in the area. Boone

A trip to Charlotte can be fun if you are in to NASCAR. There is the NASCAR hall of fame and Michael waltrip racing has a really good tour that gets you into the area where the pit crew practices and the area where the cars are built. I'm not very big in NASCAR (dh is) and I enjoyed it. His shop is a little north of Charlotte. There is a place called the Lazy 5 ranch and you can take a horse drawn wagon ride on a safari tour where you actually get to feed the various animals (like antelope, buffalo, water buffalo, giraffe, Texas longhorn cattle, Scottish cattle,, African deer, etc) there is also a petting zoo and there are camels there. It is also north of Charlotte. There is also a please touch discovery type museum in Charlotte.For an educational day there is the President James k Polk birthplace on the south side of Charlotte. We spent a week and during that time DH got to drive a NASCAR around Charlotte motor speedway.We stayed at the fort mill sc koa (south side of Charlotte). It wasn't the nicest place but it had a pool and a jumping pillow and was safe. To the northeast of Charlotte is Dan Nicholas park and it has lots to do there (partial hook up camping here). Lake Norman is also in the area.

There is a jelly stone campground in Cherokee nc that I hear good things about. Jellystone in cherokee

Jordan lake near Raleigh nc is nice. There are several state parks here. Poplar point and crosswinds are the better two to stay at with a TT. They have reserved and walk up sites. They have a small beach on the lake. You can stay at one and your pass will get you into all. If you have a boat or kayak there are some sites with direct water access that you can beach your boat at. There is also a boat ramp at both campgrounds. These are water/electric only. Camping here is not too far from Raleigh, Durham and chapel hill areas. Neat things to do... Museum if life and science, Sarah p duke gardens, duke chapel, duke homestead and tobacco museum, museum of natural sciences, marbles kids museum, etc. it is $25/night to camp here. We like the sites that back up to the water but be prepared for lots of no-see-ums and Mosquitos in the summer.

Myrtle beach SC has lots of good campgrounds. We stayed atPirateland family campground. The have mini golf, a pool, kids pool, lazy river, golf cart rentals, paddle boating and canoe rentals, playground, arcade, and snack bar. The inland sites are tight but have a little bit of shade the other sites are bigger but no shade. Sand dunes prevent true waterfront camping at any of the big 3 campgrounds. Ocean lakes campground and myrtle beach travel park are both extremely popular also. Edited by: anaro
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:00 PM   #11
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:58 PM   #12
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We are doing Townsend Memorial Day weekend with my hunting buddy. He's been going there for years. Should be fun.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate

We are doing Townsend Memorial Day weekend with my hunting buddy. He's been going there for years. Should be fun.

I think you'll like it. It's close enough to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to go in and do some stuff, but far enough out to be quiet. Which campground are you staying at?
Edited by: mike06081969
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:59 AM   #14
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Cove Mountain Resorts RV Park

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3958 Wears Valley Road
Sevierville, TN 37862
(865) 453-1041
covemountainrvresort.com‎</span>
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I think our campsite was number 50, or something close. Great view of Cove Mountain, only 5 minutes to the national park entrance. I would not say it's a great campground for kids, but for us, it was a great base camp. Just wife and I - in our 50s. They had a pool, but you had a good walk to get there. It was too early in the year for us and not open.

It seemed to me that the back part of this campground, road to the right, was 90% seasonal, but the spot we had was nice, large, full hookups, and we didn't even have any neighbors. But, we were there early in the season. Only about 15 minutes from Gatlinburg or Townsend.



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Old 03-17-2013, 06:43 AM   #15
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I work in live and work in Pigeon Forge. Rivers edge campground is one of our nicest and very clean campground. Jelly stone in cosby is also very nice you will enjoy it very much, we will be there the weekend of April 5th. Don't worry about hitting the trees the owner will lead you in and help you park the camper. They have added allot of new things this year. you can find them on facebook and see more pics. Happy Camping and safe travel!
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:50 PM   #16
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I 2nd the Jellystone in Cosby... The place was spotless and the owners/ host was very accommodating. He a retired Ca. police chief. Any yes don't worry about the trees the owner will guide you in and help you back into your site and level if you would like.

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Old 03-20-2013, 10:47 PM   #17
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My wife and I use to use radios but now use our cell phones on speaker phone.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:49 PM   #18
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We have stayed at Ripplin Waters campground just north of Sevierville for several years. They are located just about one mile south of the Smoky Mt Knife Works. When you get off Interstate 40 and head toward Pigeon Forge this park is very easy to get in and out of. You miss the profane traffic jams that occur in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. Traffic in the area detracts from the experience of being there!! I agree with posters who like the Townsend area but it looked like to me some of those campgrounds are very compact and crowded. To those who are new at this believe me it is intimidating sometimes in crowded campgrounds where no concern was given when the park was designed. I love pull-thrus and I have pulled trailers for years!!! Try to plan your arrival on Sunday evening when everyone is heading north to the Interstate. Southbound lanes are empty! Do not head home on Sunday morning because of this. Traffic will be backed up for miles. Do not plan on coming in Friday evening because the drive from Interstate 40 south to Pigeon Forge is bumper to bumper. It can take hours to get down to Gatlinburg!!

Heavy traffic is a real concern throughout the Smoky Mts area especially on weekends or holidays. There is a new "best kept secret" in the area. It's called Veterans Blvd. and it will take you from Sevierville all the way to Dollywood with practically no traffic or lights. All the business owners in Pigeon Forge do not want this known. Get yourself a detailed map of the area and learn how to avoid some of the mess. You are on vacation, you don't need additional stress!!
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:00 AM   #19
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Chris,
I have been in contact with Jim Carpenter and almost made a monumental mistake by booking at a less than desirable site. After a lot of digging and looking I chose Crazy Horse or Adventure Bound whichever name you chose to use:

http://abcamping.com/abgatlinburg/reservations.php

Now the DW and I don't have kids but if we were, I'm sure all waterslides and the bouncy houses would sure be a plus for them. Oh, and as been said here over and over...they recommend going around the city and coming in on the I-40 and getting off and using the highway 321 to avoid all the traffic lights. They did say it wold save over 1/2 and hour. Probably why I travel Monday to Monday...the weekend is for warriors...

Good luck with your choice,
Jim
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondavalk
My wife and I use to use radios but now use our cell phones on speakers for sale phone.

I too prefer to use headphone rather than using speaker phone. It is bit distracting.
Edited by: Thermor
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