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Old 07-06-2016, 07:44 PM   #1
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Tennessee

We decided to go to Tennessee this year. We drove to Memphis Saturday and arrived at our campground at the Tom Sawyer campground that's actually in West Memphis, Arkansas. It was a nice place. Right on the river. Not a terribly long drive to Memphis. It was very nice to be able to see the riverboats. The staff was friendly and the grounds were clean.

When we arrived, I noticed both of the rear RV tires were swelled up. Killing me. I had already upgraded my factory tires to Goodyear marathons. Turns out that wasn't an upgrade. I even had tpms sensors on them and only drive 65-70 mph. Grrrrr. Finding a tire dealership wasn't fun on a holiday weekend. We eventually found one when we left Nashville. Ended up going with Goodyear G614 14 ply tires. Wasn't cheap at all, but another member recommended them and so far I love them. Very heavy duty.

Went from Memphis to Lebanon KOA (55 mph still on bad tires). That is also a nice campground. The facilities were very nice and the staff was helpful. It is a 25 minute drive from town, but I think it all is. We were fortunate enough to plan this trip to be here for the Fourth of July. If you have the chance, do it. Very good show downtown.

Finally on Tuesday, July fifth began our trek to Gatlinburg, 55 mph still on bad tires. By now I have swapped tires around so that the spare is on the left rear, one ballooned tire is on the right front, and a still good marathon is on the right rear. I'm hoping this will save me a road side change and damage. Luckily, it did. I don't know how. I was fortunate enough to find a dealer halfway between Nashville and Gatlinburg that had the tires I wanted. I gladly shelled out the $$$ and got it done.

We are now at our park called the Smokey Bear campground. It is a beautiful park. It's not huge at all and is a 20 minute drive to Gatlinburg, but the owners are very friendly and the park is clean and quiet. The roads are paved and he sites are fairly level. There's not many pull through sites for the big boys. I would recommend it if you want peace and quiet and beautiful sites.

We went to Dollywood today. Tomorrow is supposed to rain so we will endure the towns with shopping and tourist attractions. Friday we are going to the Dollywood water park. Saturday we are crossing the smokies and hiking. Sunday we start heading home to Texas.

I hope the drive back is less eventful.

BTW. This is my first long trip with the 6.4 hemi. She is a dream. Truthfully. I have zero complaints. It rocks along even in the hills. The Rambox setup with the Reese sidewinder is working as planned. I really couldn't be happier.

I hope this helps anyone wanting to travel to TN. Enjoy...
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:12 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about the tire issues. We wemt through several states last year pulling with our 6.4 hemi Ram and spent a lot of time in Tennessee. Was a great trip and the 6.4 was great. We have towed several thousand miles with it so far and I would buy one agin without blinking an eye.
Glad to hear it was a great trip and the tires are replaced. That is a really scary prospect of having a blow out.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:08 AM   #3
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Sorry for the tire issues but glad you are enjoying TN. Might want to check out Townsend, which is close to Gburg and the GSNP, quiet area but still close to all the "action" of PF and Gburg.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:18 AM   #4
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You were overspeeding the Marathons they are only rated to 62 mph..
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgallagher View Post
I even had tpms sensors on them and only drive 65-70 mph. Grrrrr.
Check the speed ratings on the tires. Most ST tires have a limit of 65 mph. Any faster they heat up too much. Most of us with ST tires run about 62.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgallagher View Post
We are now at our park called the Smokey Bear campground. It is a beautiful park. It's not huge at all and is a 20 minute drive to Gatlinburg, but the owners are very friendly and the park is clean and quiet. The roads are paved and he sites are fairly level. There's not many pull through sites for the big boys. I would recommend it if you want peace and quiet and beautiful sites.
Great choice. We stayed there last Sept. Squeaky clean and the owner and staff (son and DIL) were fantastic. The owner's son (can't recall his name) even offered to blow the leaves off our trailer when were packing up. And they have a hot tub! We loved it there.

Make sure to spend some time walking around Gatlinburg. There are several places that have free moonshine tasting. Lots of fun. And there is a pretty good brew pub hidden away at the far end of the strip on the south side, close to the entrance to the park. The best place to park in Gatlinburg is a public lot at the east end of downtown, it's on the south side of the road at the intersection of 441, 321, and 73. 3 or 4 dollars for a few hours as opposed to $8-$10 flat rate at the private lots downtown.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for all of the information. Very helpful.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:01 PM   #7
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We enjoyed our stay in Galinburg. The Park was awesome. The owners are great. They came and visited with us as we were packing up this morning. They were good to keep my wife entertained with flower and tree questions while I loaded up. 😁
While its fresh on my memory, Dollywood and Splash ?? are CROWDED!!!!!! They are great parks tho. Several local folks said they are abnormally crowded. Me trying to earn the great Dad award for my 8 year old just smiled and waved.

The scenery is awesome of course. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are too crowded and touristy for my liking. It takes a long time to go through town. Absolutely avoid it with your trailer. At one point another pick up going the same way slapped my mirror. And yes they were folded in. My kid learned a new word at that moment. Maybe a couple words.

Back up.... The awesome staff at the Smoky Bear Campground gave us a "to do list" on arrival. On that list was their picks for hiking trails. Our last day in we decided to drive over the Smoky Mountains and enjoy the sights and find a hike. The drive over the mountains to N Carolina is awesome. We came back over the mountains and picked a trail called Grotto Falls Trail. Supposedly the only hike where you can walk behind a waterfall. You drive to it from a crowded intersection in Gatlinburg. We make the drive and about 1/2 mile from the trailhead we start hitting cars barely parked off the road with not really enough room for us to pass without meeting our doom down the side of the hill. All this to say we didn't hike there. No way.

On our way in we noticed an old log style cabin called the Bud Ogle cabin trail. We decided to hike that. Very cool and not crowded. Took us around an hour and a half. Nice easy hiking. It took us to his house, barn, and a mill on the river. Turns out he was one of the original settlers.

Another trail mentioned was right out of our park. When we got back we decided to give it a try. It's called the old settlers trail. You have the whole trail to yourself. I was literally worried for wildlife we were so secluded. The trail is nice though. You can see their old rock walls that follow the river. And one of their old barns. From the looks of the trail on google, you could follow it forever. We made about an hour hike out of it. The trail is amazing. It's not worn down and can be treachorous at time but very doable.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:17 PM   #8
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We made our way to Chattanooga this morning. Staying at the Holiday Travel Park. It's actually located in Georgia. I will say it's a great park. You're surrounded by the city, but you really can't tell it. It's a big park. The pool and facilities are nice. The staff is friendly. The spots are big. Quiet hour is enforced. Lots are big and reasonably level. Not concrete. Sights are not really that far apart but ok. Plenty of trees. Dog run. It's actually on a Civil War battlefield. All of the streets are so named. There's even a small trail to a monument. Too cool.

We are only here for a day, to my disappointment now that I'm here. We made our way to lookout mountain. Way too cool. If you go, go to the incline railroad. Look it up. Takes you to the top of a mountain where you can overlook the whole area. There's even a place called Rock City where you can see seven states from there. You have to drive to that tho. We didn't have time to go to that. From the train you can go to a 3D battlefields museum and a Peak Point park on the very tip of the mountain where you can see everything. Well worth it. You can even hike down from there if you want.

Unfortunately we are leaving tomorrow for Vicksburg then back home to Texas. We are traveling through Dallas. On that note, I'm dreading traveling through that mess right now, but ready to get home to the safety of my rifle safe. I feel certain the fellas that died on this ground that I'm camping on in my spoilt lifestyle are surely ashamed of the way things are turning out. I've had several people checking my license plate or ID for beer purchases tell me they are sorry for the Texas drama. I'm thankful there are such people still out there.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:23 PM   #9
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Our campsite at The Smoky Bear Campground in Gatlinburg
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:25 PM   #10
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Our campsite at the Holiday Travel Park in Chattanooga.
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