RV Lengths in NPS Campgrounds, Pigeon Forge Activities, Dewinterizing (RV Atlas Q+A)

The RV Atlas Podcast
RV Lengths in NPS Campgrounds, Pigeon Forge Activities, Dewinterizing (RV Atlas Q+A)

We are back with another Q+A episode of The RV Atlas podcast. On this week’s show we tackle questions about the following three topics from the RV Atlas group on Facebook:

  1. Is a 37′ 6″ rig a good choice for someone who wants to camp in national and state parks?
  2. What are the best family friendly activities in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee?
  3. Should an RV Atlas group member dewinterize before heading to Florida? Or when they get there?

To listen to Jeremy and Stephanie answer these questions and share answers from the group–click on the media player above or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your favorite shows.

RV Lengths in NPS Campgrounds


Kelly Harper wrote in to the RV Atlas group on Facebook and asked….

“Is 37’6″ too big to park at state parks and national parks? That’s where we plan to do most of our camping.”

Jeremy Puglisi answered…

I think 37’6” is gonna be really tough for getting into most National Park campgrounds. The vast majority of them were built in 40s, 50s and 60s when RVs (generally speaking) were much much smaller. As for state parks—that’s going to vary widely and also depend on when the campgrounds were built.

Craig Dashner answered…

In state and national parks, the longer you are, the fewer options you will have, and there will be more competition for those fewer sites. Camping is a game of give and take. The benefits of a longer camper cost you access. Good access costs you size of camper – you have to find your sweet spot between the two. We’ve always tried to stay on the shorter end of what we want in a camper to maximize the sites we can fit into.

Kristin Seals answered…

It depends. It can be hard to get into some campgrounds in National Parks because of road conditions. For example you cannot get into the Chisos Basin Campground in Big Bend National Park with more than a 24ft trailer (I might not have the exact measurement correct) due to a tight, narrow road with switchbacks. I have seen the same type of situation in several other NPs. However, you can usually find another campground outside the park in those instances….and sometimes even within the National Park. As far as state parks that will depend on the state and each park. We live in Texas and only 1 time in our 6 years of camping have we had trouble at a campsite with our 29ft TT, and that was more due to my error as a newbie RV camper. I booked a site that was much too small. Most of our state parks here in Texas are massive and have very accommodating RV spaces

Judy Tanner Taylor answered…

GA and surrounding states have state parks with larger sites. Some even have full hookups. Not all sites are that large, but some are. I am 38 ft (plus my tow bar hitch) and have stayed at GA, SC, AL state parks within the last year. I do usually have to make reservations early for weekends, especially at busy places like Myrtle Beach State Park.

Pigeon Forge Activities for Families

Clay Johnson wrote in to the RV Atlas group on Facebook and asked things to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with kids…

“Hey guys,

This is such a great group! I thought I’d see if anyone had suggestions of things to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? We’ll be staying at the KOA so close to the action. Planning a five day stay for Spring Break. Of course there is the obvious Dollywood, but what else do you recommend for a family with younger kiddos?

Thanks in advance, and happy motoring!”

Jeremy and Stephanie responded…

There are so many things to do in and around Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. First and most importantly–get yourself into Great Smoky Mountains National Park for some scenic drives and amazing hikes. Drive the Cades Cove loop and hike to Abrams Falls. Also make sure to drive up to Clingman’s Dome and hike up to the dome itself.

Back in town we love Dollywood, pizza at the Mellow Mushroom, and shopping for camping gear at the Lodge Factory store and REI!

Liz Davenport Pollock responded…

“Depending on how young your kiddos are we highly recommend Magiquest – it is awesome!!


And depending on age, the Titanic Museum!

https://maps.app.goo.gl/XeWVHPSNUZLtnM3b9?g_st=ic “

Renee’ Foltz Herin responded…

Anakesta hands down! Just go for the views and the chandola ride unfortunately it rained most of the time we were there so we ended up doing a lot of touristy indoor things but the indoor snow tubing and ripleys museum were a lot of fun. There’s a ton to do with shops and walking in Gaitlinburg. We also did the Hatfield and McCoy dinner show. The show was amazing but the food was just ok.

Amy Borger Crouse responded…

The Apple Barn in Gatlinburg is Amazing. Great food and fun to visit. Hillbilly golf and check out a show. We did Dixie Stampede . We spent the rest of our time exploring trails and overlooks in the national park including clings and dome. We also enjoyed the Log cabin pancake house

Elisa Reule Hartung responded…

Top Contributor

Not going to Smokey Mountain National Park would be a crime. It’s beautiful and they have several shorter hikes that you can do with younger kids. We also enjoyed The Stampede, Hillbilly Golf (in Gatlinburg) and ice cream at several small ice cream places.

Clingmans Dome—-Cades Cove—Abrams Falls Hike—Alum Cave hike—we did lots of great hikes with little kids!!!!

Eric Adkins responded…

Cades Cove and Clingmans in the national park. We loved Dolly Parton’s Stampede dinner show. Kids will enjoy the Wonder House (the upside down mansion). Hillbilly Golf has been a family tradition since before I was born. The Island has a small rides amusement park (think county fair) that you can get a 48 hour pass for, we spend two days there, they also have shops and food. If you are into knives then Smokey Mountain Knife Works. Ober Mountain or Ober Gatlinburg (whichever they call it these days) was fun but I don’t know when they switch from snow to summer (we did summer/fall). We also like Five Oaks Stables and Ziplines. And the KOA has a heated lazy river and a nice playground.

Dewinterizing to Drive to Florida

Lisa Moxey-Swan wrote in to the RV Atlas group on Facebook and asked…


“Our camper is winterized with pink stuff.  We’re taking it to Florida next Friday. It’s been unseasonably warm here so we were hoping to de-winterize it before we leave, however, the forecast is calling for temps of 27 and 24 the 2 nights before we depart. We will be driving directly to our camp site I. Florida where we do not have sewer (just a dump station). Would our best plan be to stop at a truck stop along the way and de-winterize there?  I’m hesitant to tie up the campground dump station for that as soon as we get there.

Thanks for any advice!!”

Jeremy Puglisi responded…

Why not dewitnerize at home and get all of the pink stuff out and flush out system —then blow out lines with compressed air after doing so. Then just keep heat on low at night until you leave. I think that is what I would do if I was in that situation. Then when you show up at the campground you can plug into water and get camping!

Steve Kocher responded…

“Don’t worry about tying up the dump station at the campground. The busiest time will be towards check-out time. If you’re getting there in the afternoon you’ll be fine. Safe travels!”

Rick Simmons responded…

Except that you would need fresh water on board with which to flush the system, since the water at the dump station is non-potable.

Lisa Moxey-Swan responded…

“Rick Simmons ahh, thanks! Glad you thought of that for me.”




The RV Atlas Podcast
RV Lengths in NPS Campgrounds, Pigeon Forge Activities, Dewinterizing (RV Atlas Q+A)

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