View Full Version : Camping Smokies questions

04-20-2012, 08:28 AM
Wife finally got her wish and we're the proud owners of a 5th wheel RV.
I've been looking at Elkmont and others for fishing access while the family is camping etc. From the govt. websites I'm gathering there is no electric but I don't see many other details. Anyone use thier RV up there any or other Smokies campgrounds? Any tips, info? Do you dry camp and just pull it to dump stations, watering stations? Do any allow a generator or have electric? Thanks for any help, it's all new to me.

04-20-2012, 10:49 AM
Use to have a 24' travel trailer but have since gone back to tent camping. Couldn't afford repairs on it. But we have stayed at Elkmont and Cades Cove. Both have some electric hook ups, but not that many so you need to reserve early. There is no sewer hook ups, just dump stations. We would just not use the trailer's bathroom or sink. I also have stayed at the campground just below the wye in townsend, Tremont Outdoors, I think it is called, (It is where they repaired the bridge last year) just for the full hook ups. Was nice to have with three young kids. But they seemed to be getting a little pricey as of two years ago.

The last time we went down, the nps's website described the amenities pretty well. Just need to dig and find it. I remember having to click on the the camping tag and then each campground was described pretty well with what amenities they had. Trick was it goes to the reservation site to get the ffull descriptions and seeing if they had what you wanted avaialble. Here is one link for Cades and one for Elkmont:



Oh generators, I haven't used one there, but I know there is a specific loop in Cades Cove campground at least that allows them at certain times of the day. I always felt sorry for the tenters that were nearby though when they were in use.

Sounds like a great time. Can't wait for little league season to be done and camping to begin.

04-20-2012, 11:19 AM
You should look at entering through Alcoa-Townsend in to the park. You can stop by LRO on the way in. Otherwise you will be playing the bumper game on the parkway.

I would just call the park visitor's center and ask about RV camping. Also; call the Sevier County Visitor's Center and they should mail you out tons of information.


Dancing Bear
04-20-2012, 03:35 PM

The only electrical hook ups are for the campground hosts. You can use a generator at certain times but I know that Elkmont has a generator-free zone.
My wife and I bought our first pull behind last year and have been to Elkmont with it once. We tent camped for years. We learned the hard way that with water use in the camper you have to think like a tent camper if you're not hooked up to a drain. That is unless you want to pull it to Sugarlands to dump. Not fun when you're all set up. We also put two batteries on ours. If we conserve they last about a week. I know this is long. Hope it helps.


04-20-2012, 08:07 PM
You are correct there are no hook ups in the NP. Since you are coming down from VA. Come in from Pigeon Forge , not on the weekend. Take the bypass around Gatlinburg. Fill your tanks at the fill station across from Sugarlands. Then head to Elkmont. Be Sure to make reservations unless it's in next month and a half. You need to pick a site that is large enough for your rig. To make reservations through reserveamerica. If you are worried about filling your tanks they do have restrooms throughout the CG. Don't bring your own firewood as some states are quarantined.

I have stayed there for the last three years.

04-21-2012, 11:48 AM
Thanks everyone! I knew I could get some good info on here about it. I'm going to dig into all of the links you have posted and do some more research, but, it's just always good to ask someone who has already been there/ done that!http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif Thanks again, and anyone else who has any info, I appreciate any tidbits on it. When you're new to camping everything helps. All I've ever done was tent camp but I've never camped at all in the Smokies. That together with learning this RV thing should be fun.

Dancing Bear
04-21-2012, 09:25 PM

If you want, you can email me at mmwilson1@earthlink.net and we'll share with you what we've learned in the past year of trailer camping. It is new to us also but we've learned a lot and feel very comfortable with it now. We've done three Smokies trips and there's no turning back! The older we get the more we appreciate a wee bit more comfort. We'll be at Elkmont for Memorial Day weekend. My avatar is from the maiden voyage at Elkmont last year.


04-22-2012, 02:45 PM
I think that the generators cannot be run after 10 pm and cannot be run until 8 am. Another campground that avoids some of the Gat./PF crowd is Smokemont where you can fish the Oconaluftee and some of the streams that drain into it i.e.. the Bradley . Still some of a crowd from Cherokee , but .....not too bad.

04-22-2012, 09:07 PM
There is a nive RV camp ground on Lyon Springs Rd that connects to Metcalf Bottoms. It has electricity etc. It's an easy drive down Wear Valley Rd to Townsend or to Pigeon Forge and just a mile or so to Metcalf bottoms (don't take your camper to Metcalf bottoms as they aren't allowed across the bridge. There is also a small store on Wears Valley near the campground that has the basics. Just take Lyon Springs to Wear Valley and go left and it's down on the right, or go a few miles into Townsend to the IGA.

04-25-2012, 01:35 PM
Thanks again! BRF I had looked at that one I believe online. I have been studying on those around Townsend below the wye there some too. I think I'm going to give one of those a try sometime in June. Just probably have to go way up river to get away from the tubers.