Family friendly RV trips across the US
RV travel anyone? RVing has always been something on my bucket list of things to do. In these crazy times of social distancing, we needed to get away with the most minimal risk possible. What better time than now to check that one off my list right? So I looked into what it would actually take to do this, and realized I am going to need a plan.
So in times of social distancing and all that 2020 has thrown at all of us we all needed to get away in my house. To include the dogs. They feel what we feel after all! I did not want to stay in a hotel because, well let's be real, I have heard many stories of people staying in hotels that were infected with COVID and did not want to risk it. So what else could I do? A ha...and RV offers the car rental along with the hotel option all in one. I can also clean it before anyone gets in. This was something sat well with me. So the only other question was, where do we go? GA? We been there a few times in the Jeep lets go a little further up. LA? TN? The other concern I has was, we live in the south after all. We are multi cultural family, how will we be received? I am no dummy and I know what I look like. Unfortunately this is something we people of color also have to plan for depending on where we are going. I was not interested in taking any routes through MI or AL. Considering the storms that just passed through LA we decided that TN it was.
I do not own and RV but there are ways to rent one. It is helpful to know ahead of time what type of vehicle you want ahead of time. Do you want something you can pull with your own vehicle? Do you want something with the vehicle attached? Keep in mind that when you have the all in one option, parking and travel can be difficult in some areas. There are websites such as Outdoorsy and RV Share that allow you to to connect with RV owners to make this bucket list adventure happen! Our RV owners of THOR were Gary and Valerie. Amazing people! They made sure we were full stocked up and ready to adventure. We were able to accommodate 5 humans and 2 dogs on our trip. Our RV came fully loaded with 3 TV's, 2 fridges, outdoor lighting, lounge chairs, a grill, full hook up, and full function. (https://www.outdoorsy.com/rv-rentals https://rvshare.com) It took me hours of looking at different options before deciding on THOR. I submitted a request for the dates of my trip and right through the website there my trip was approved and secured.
Next I had to plan the things I wanted to see and where I was going to park the RV. There are communties for people looking for specific types of RVing but you can also do as we did and plan to park close to your destination. I calculated the drive time in which we should reach certain areas and looked for RV parks close to those locations. In GA we stayed overnight at Twin Lakes Rv Park which is beautiful, pet friendly, and kid friendly. The people there are extremely nice and welcoming. I recommend you stop here for sure if you can. (www.twinlakes-rvpark.com keep in mind you have to pay to park in all RV parks, call ahead for info) We ended up there twice. IN TN we stayed at Clabough Camp Ground which offered some great ammenities as well such as a pool, dog park, and park for the 5 year old. It is also not too far from the Smoky Mountains. You can catch a trolly right in front that will take you to the Island or right to the Smoky Mountains. (claboughcampground.com). I do not recommend you try to drive the RV up the mountains there, especially not in the rain.
We were able to do some gem mining at Anakeesta as well as a great meal with a great view (https://www.anakeesta.com). If you are afraid of heights I do not recommend this for you. I enjoyed a nice moonshine tasting with my sister at the Island at Ole Smoky as well for $5 and ended up walking away with a bag of purchased goods. Get in line and enjoy a drink. (olesmoky.com)
You can also do some farming along route to store in the fridge. Just make sure the farm you are wanting to go to is open. Some vegetation is seasonal and they may not be open year round.
We were able to prepare meals in the the RV however we still ate some meals out in order to enjoy what each city has to offer. Make sure you are scheduling time as well to load up and load down. It does take some time to pull in and out all of the hoses. If you have a place to fully hook up then you can conserve your generator gas while driving. The RV can get hot when the ac is not running but that can be remedied by the dash ac or the time of year you travel. If you like hot water make sure that you rent and RV with a water heater. The RV we rented has a 60 gallon tank which held up amazing. We were never without water. I also looked for RV's that had seat belts. Some do not and I did not feel comfortable with my 5 year old not being in a seat belt. This is a moving vehicle after all. There are plenty of places to walk the dogs at rest stops and such so that was not a problem at all. One of my dogs is not a fan of car rides and he did just fine on this trip. Treats tend to help keep them calm as well. Beware...this may make the dogs gassy and we all know that is never good on a road trip.
If you are looking to road trip, now is the time to do it! This is a COVID friendly way to get out and enjoy what nature has to offer. There are plenty of things to do and much to see. For my next trip I think I may try RVing locally. Sometimes the best gems are right in your backyard. If you need my help planning your next trip....for a small fee I am happy to help! Live and let live!