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Old 05-18-2014, 07:50 AM   #1
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First Trip Question

My wife & I are heading to Marion NC this week to have some work done on our RV. We thought it would be nice to leave the dealership & go to Gatlinburg TN on our first trip. However we don't know where the best place is to go???? We are really new to this whole RVing thing, but excited @ the same time.

We have a 40' class A with (4) slides. We do not have a "toad" & we would like to be able to go into Gatlinburg to shop, dine, & see some shows. It would be nice if the resort we stayed at also had things to do in case we wanted to stay there @ the resort.

My wife said to me the other day... I hope buying this RV was not the wrong thing to do? She is worried we won't be able to find places to park the RV on our travels & all the good places will be booked up.

My wife & I are in our late 40's & would enjoy places that are fitting for our age -- We don't qualify for the 55 & over parks.It would just be the two of us traveling.

We live in Virginia & are interested in Florida & all places near the water.

Thanks for all your Help.

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Old 05-18-2014, 08:12 AM   #2
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Buy the AllStays app from Apple's App Store. It's probably also available for Android smartphomes too. It will provide good descriptions for campgrounds. Buy a campground directory from Camping World. Also good.

I would recommend getting a tow vehicle. Be certain that it's towable 4 wheels down without modification. DON'T TRUST WHAT A SALESMAN TELLS YOU! Call Remco at (800) 228-2481. They will tell you if the car is or isn't towable without mods or what it will take to make it towable. Don't even consider a tow dolly. You'll REGRET it!

If you're ever along the gulf coast of FL, AL, MS, contact us. We can tell you some good places to camp, eat & see.

Enjoy your RV, we do. You'll meet some really nice people along the way.

FMCA Local Chapter Secretary - Bay Area TravelerS (BATS)

Jim & Shirley & Abbie (Scottish Terrier)
2013 Newmar Canyon Star 3911, 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan - Braun Accessibility Modified Toad, Remco Lube Pump, 5 Star Tune, Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C, Coach Net Emergency Road Service, FMCA 378968
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:38 AM   #3
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Location: Southern Illinois
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We camped locally for the first few time to see what we needed to have on the rig. This past march we took our first long trip in our motor home. We went down to Florida for a month. Sure was a nice break from the polar vortex. We bought a Honda CRV to tow right before the trip and got it fixed up to tow. Pretty nice when you get there to have your car along. Didn't even know it was back there. I could watch it in the camera. The only thing I could tell was a little less power off of the stop light and a little less fuel mileage. We got the Good Sams campground guide and I used the internet a lot for trip research. I have the Good Sams, KOA and RV Parky apps on my Android phone. You can search while you travel and call ahead for vacancies. I had all of my fuel stops and an overnight camp set up on my GPS before I left home. I looked at the satellite view on google maps of my stops to see how to get around in the fuel and camp grounds. The trip went really well and as planned. I also have the FMCA road atlas that was really good while traveling. It shows the camp grounds, walmarts, sams, cracker barrels, etc. There are many ways to help you on your trip. This forum is really handy to learn things you need to know.
Happy Camping
Ron KB9TF, Fulltime
2008 Tiffin Phaeton 40 Foot QSH
2011 Honda CRV with Blue Ox towbar and brake
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:44 PM   #4
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While trying to decide on how and what to pull, we are making the first trip across Canada without a toad. We ran out of time to figure it out,so, we will use Enterprise rent a car. They will pick us up and drop us off. Another way to go is Public Transit. Google Maps can provide trip time,routes and stops.
Truckers have found lots of places to park rig twice the size of your. As for not getting 'a good place' just make reservations sooner. At lest you will have somewhere to sleep every night, regardless of whether the good places are taken or not.
Remember - RELAX - you never know where the road will lead you......
Bon Voyage
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:13 PM   #5
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You're asking for some specific information so I'll give you a specific answer. Stay your first few nights at Twin Creek RV Resort. It is a very nice campground, focused on big rigs, beautifully manicured sites but with a nice rustic feel and setting. It is also on the Gatlinburg shuttle route so you won't need a car.

Then, once you get your Gatlinburg touristy fix, travel a few miles into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and stay a few nights at the Elkmont Campground. You can still catch a shuttle to Gatlinburg from Elkmont. Your services in the campground will be more limited but that will allow you to check out all the cool features of your new RV that allow you to be self-contained. Finally, and only if you are willing to accept some narrow roads and tight campground spaces, head to Cades Cove Campground, deep in the Park. Cades Cove is our favorite Smoky Mountain campground by far. We have no problem getting our 35' Class A into Cades Cove and you'll find room for your 40 if you choose your site carefully. Be prepared to head back out if you can't find a suitable site that day though. Cades Cove is worth the trip, even if it is just a day trip. You can put your coach in the parking lot and see some of the sites. Whatever you do, don't try and do the Cades Cove Loop Road in your coach! It's not a good idea.

On your way in or out, make sure you take HWY 441 across the mountains and visit Clingman's Dome. You can easily do the Clingman's Dome road in your coach and, if the traffic isn't too bad, you may be able to find a parking place and take the short hike to the view tower. Even if you can't though, it's a cool drive up and over the mountains.

Having said all that, I agree with the other posters. You are going to need some form of transportation separate from your coach. Flat towing a car is by far the best way to tackle that problem but it does limit your choices of tow vehicles. Your wife's concerns about not being able to go everywhere you want will be realized if you try and do it all in the coach. At some point you'll want to park the bus and venture out in the toad. Rental cars work but they are a lot of work! We tried it and it isn't easy, particularly when your traveling in more remote areas.

Best of luck with the new Coach. You're going to love it!
Randy and Tina & pups; Cinnamon, Cookie & Coco
2010 Winnebago Journey 34Y
Freightliner / Cummins 340hp ISB, 2014 Ford Focus
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:21 PM   #6
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Glad to have you here. Good luck with your new MH. I've found a good CG directory it is put out by Woodalls and the ratings always seem to be right on the money. At least at the places I've stayed at. Camping World carries the book
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee,with Hemi, hooked up with a Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:28 PM   #7
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F14av8r, great post!! I'm saving this info for MY trip to the Great Smoky Mtn Natl Pahk ( we're from Boston). It's on our list for next summer.
Mike & Jo
2005 Itasca Horizon 40KD ISL 400 Freightliner
2006 Jeep Rubicon Toad+BlueOx - LostInOurTravels.com
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:17 AM   #8
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Thanks for all of the great suggestions. We are leaving today to go to the Tom Johnson Service Center in Marion NC to have a few things checked out & they have a campground there that we can stay & then we will be off on our adventure. Thanks again!!!
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:29 AM   #9
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Relax, enjoy, share a glass of wine. Go forth & revel in the opportunities! You will have plenty of them.

FMCA Local Chapter Secretary - Bay Area TravelerS (BATS)
Jim & Shirley & Abbie (Scottish Terrier)
2013 Newmar Canyon Star 3911, 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan - Braun Accessibility Modified Toad, Remco Lube Pump, 5 Star Tune, Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C, Coach Net Emergency Road Service, FMCA 378968
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:06 AM   #10
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Tom Johnson probably have some suggestions for you. They might even have a tow vehicle they will sell or loan ??
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:17 AM   #11
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We stayed at Creekside RV Park in Pigeon Forge. We liked it and the shuttle came right into the park and we rode it wherever we wanted to go including Gatlinburg.

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