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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.


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Old 02-10-2013, 02:18 AM   #2
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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.

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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
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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.

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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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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.

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.
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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