Last week, as winter swept across the country, my husband and I found ourselves driving from Nashville, Tennessee to Asheville, North Carolina.
It’s straight highway in between the cities, which usually means a not-so-pretty drive, but the fresh snow made the view out the windows much more beautiful.
The drive took longer than we thought. As the sun was setting, the Smokey Mountains began to feel more treacherous. We opted to spend the night rather than risk the icy roads.
Besides, there are worse places to stop than just outside The Great Smokey Mountains, America’s most visited national park.
I hopped on Passport America and found a cluster of RV parks off I-40 near Pigeon Forge, TN. The first one, although cheap and conveniently close, had terrible reviews – including the dreaded comments about “poor ownership” and being “rundown.”
Anything that claims to be “premier” is usually a good, but expensive stop.
The newly-built park claims to be the only “Big Rig Friendly” RV park in the area and is ranked #1 on TripAdvisor, so we decided to give it a try.
According to the RV resort’s website, you can book your stay online, but I gave them a call instead.
A nice woman answered the phone (but I first had to press 0 to talk to someone) and helped me book a site. She answered all my questions about free WiFi, directions, and if there would be ice on the roads.
The RV park is about 15 miles off of the interstate, but the roads are dark with sharp corners and no shoulder. Our rig is 29 feet and I was nervous, so I’m not sure how easily big rigs can navigate these mountain roads.
When we arrived after dark, the owner, Kelly, was standing outside with a flashlight ready to guide us to our site. We were able to pull straight through to a level, gravel site, despite the RV park sitting on a steep hill.
There’s plenty of room for larger rigs, though the resort itself is on a slope.
We liked the large, graveled parking spots.
Indoor amenities include washers and dryers, kitchen appliances, and bathrooms.
And a pool.
There’s a general store for emergency supplies.
And a gated entranceway to greet you.
Kelly used his flashlight to help my husband hook up the RV, as there aren’t streetlights throughout the park. He also let us know to fill up on water and then put away our hose since temperatures would plunge below freezing that night.
Our stay was comfortable and we felt very welcomed by the owners. We only stayed one night for $31.58 using a 50% discount through Passport America. We camp in a 29-foot, class C motorhome by the way.
I would definitely want to return in warmer weather. There’s a lot to explore near Gatlinburg.
Near Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Nice, helpful owners
New, clean, and well-maintained facilities
Decent, free WiFi
Difficult to get to and from the Interstate
You can see more pictures and get more information about Smoky Mountain Premier RV Resort on their website here.