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2011 US trip

Boston...
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2011 US trip

This conversation started on the FAQ sticky, but I though it'd be more appropriate here.

4kiwitravellers: "Thanks for the website reference - just in the 'dream phase' of planning our next trip to the States and was not sure about the Great Smoky Mountian National Park - always wanted to visit but have been slightly put off by the reports of the crowds. Have visited Yellowstone and Yosemite in the past - Yellowstone was a bit like disney - and in a RV found it frustrating as unable to stop easily but as Yosemite was compact (relatively) and with the shuttle buses plus we went during the week it was not too bad. Thanks again for the info. Regards, Kiwi"

Bluecuzco: "Kiwi, crowds in the Smokies aren't a deterrent from going; they only pose a problem during the peak seasons in the summer and October, between 10 AM and 6 PM, on the beaten-path areas of the park, and on four or five trails. If you'd like any help with your East Tennessee/West North Carolina dreaming, the folks on this forum and on the Chattanooga forum are happy to help. Good luck with your planning!"

4kiwitravellers: "Hi Bluecuzco- Thanks for the reply - as I said we are in the dream phase of planning a trip. It won't happen until mid 2011 but saying that our last trip in 2008 took 12mths of planning and working out - you have to make sure all the 'I's are dotted and the T's crossed' when you are travelling from so far away.

"Having read the forum's I have some concern regarding the Great Smoky Mountian National Park and driving an RV there. We were disappointed last year when several of the State Parks esp (in California) and a couple of the National Parks we visited had areas we were unable to take the RV - none of these areas had postings about this on their websites which I had read throughly before leaving.

"With two tall teenage sons we are going to have to hire a 28-30ft RV. We won't have the luxury of a separate car so hope we would be able to get to most places. I have looked at a 23-25 RV but as we will be in it for at least 3-4 weeks (we are looking at also doing the Blueridge Pathway up to Shenandoan NP and then find our way up to Maine to see family)the RV needs to be big enough so we have some space.

"But as I said this is all at the 'dream phase' and I have to sell it to my hubby who is a reluctant traveller. So I have to put together a pictorial 'bussiness case' to him (he is an avid photographer) before I get my next overseas trip to the US. Regards, Kiwi"

Boston...
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1. Re: 2011 US trip

Balsam Mountain, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Elkmont, Look Rock, and Smokemont campgrounds can all accommodate RV's up to 30'. If your RV was down to 25' you could also stay in Cosby and Deep Creek as well, but the other campgrounds are fine. All the major roads in the park can be managed with a 30' RV, though you'll have to pull over often to be courteous and let cars by. You wouldn't be able to do any of the back country roads in the park, though, and some of the unpaved access roads could be tricky.

In general, though visiting with an RV is quite doable (especially so if you're only visiting for a few days), tent camping or staying in a cabin or other accommodation outside the park is preferred so you can navigate more easily. I don't think of the east as great RVing country.

Christchurch
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2. Re: 2011 US trip

Hi Bluecuzco

Thanks for the info - I take your point about the East not being great RV country - however it has the attaction of only having to unpack once during the trip, being able to stay in the Parks, not having to drag our camping gear all the way from NZ or buying more then having to put it up and take it down everytime we move on - living out of suitcases out of the back of the car, and having the kitchen available when ever my two ever hungry teenages want food. If the dream comes true this would be our third RV trip in the States - both other times we have really enjoyed staying in the Parks, seeing the wildlife and being in 'the wild'. Also we find camping (even in an RV) more our style of travel - we have never been keen on hotels. But I will watch the forum for advise, keep dreaming and hopefully start planning for another adventure.

regards

Kiwi

Boston...
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3. Re: 2011 US trip

An RV sounds like the best option, then! ;) Good luck with your planning/pre-planning/dreaming.

Boston...
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4. Re: 2011 US trip

Has your dreaming progressed at all?

Christchurch
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5. Re: 2011 US trip

Hi Bluecuzco

Yes it has progressed - all the way to the Pacific Northwest. After having had a lovely holiday in the Bay of Islands here in New Zealand - hubby and I have had time to have a long chat. He is not keen on trying to RV anywhere on the East Coast - so the Pacific Northwest is somewhere we have always wanted to go - so we are now exploring this option.

We will keep the East Coast until the kids have grown up and left home (here's hoping!). Then we can do it in a hire car and enjoy it without someone in the back going 'are we there yet'.

Thank you for all your information and insight. It was enormously helpful.

regards

Kiwi

6. Re: 2011 US trip

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