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RV trip end of March with 3 kids

nj
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98 posts
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RV trip end of March with 3 kids

Hi all. We are doing an RV trip to Great Smokey Mountain NP the end of March with three kids 8-14. I would appreciate some recommendations of what we should see & do. I read it can be chilly in the mountains. I wanted to know how chilly! and what are some realistic expectations of what we will be able to do and see at this time of year and what are some rainy (or too cold to be outside for anything length of time) ideas as well in case we need those. As first time RV renters, I welcome any advice on the RV experience as well. Thanks so much.

Townsend, Tennessee
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for Townsend, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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1. Re: RV trip end of March with 3 kids

At the end of March you can expect temperatures anywhere from the 30's to the 70's, wind, rain, sun in the foothills. Typical spring weather - that can change quickly. And as much as 10 - 15 degrees cooler at the top of the Park in the 5,000 ft elevation range. The leaves will not be fully out on the trees so you can really see a lot of the Park that you wouldn't be able to see in the summer. Be sure to find a couple of hikes that fit the ability of your family and enjoy. http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/

Atlanta
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2. Re: RV trip end of March with 3 kids

I would not bring an RV to the Smokies unless I had a tow/car. It will be hard driving some of the roads in the park. Some of the roads you will not even to be able to go down.

Why not rent a 3 bedroom cabin with a great view and a gameroom for the children. Would be a lot cheaper than a RV. You can get one with all the amenties of home and cheaper than the RV. You would also save a ton of money on gas. Check out vrbo.com for cabins. Trust me this the way to go not an RV.

Missouri
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3. Re: RV trip end of March with 3 kids

We have tent camped in the Smokies, prior to kids, but have since rented cabins with 8 year olds in both February and March. They love the hot tubs in the winter! Some high altitude roads are closed in early spring, so be sure to research your routes. Some of our non-summer favorites include short hikes, Cades Cove and Roaring Fork auto tours (don't think the RV will go thru Roaring Fork though), visitors centers, and the English Mountain Trout Farm. Things you might do, that we haven't (outside of the park) include gem mining, cave tours, and the Wonder Works magic show. Just sitting around a camp fire will be fun for all! If your RV plans are not firm, you might reconsider and save the RV trip for another destination. You will be limited on where you can travel in the park and might miss out on some beautiful sights.

nj
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4. Re: RV trip end of March with 3 kids

Thanks for the quick replies. I have already booked the rv as part of a loop from our home up north stopping in Gettysburg, Shenandoah, Damascus Va, GSMNP, Ashville, Charlotte, Montecello and back home. I could cancel I guess but would have to endure the wrath of three angry children who are very excited to camp without a tent for the first time. Would you suggest I skip GSMNP altogether and head somewhere else? Or should I do a drive by on my way somewhere else? Are there a few highlights I could hit safely? One of my children has a school assignment on TN so we were camping in Gatlinburg for 2 nights before heading to Ashville. thanks so much for the advice.

Townsend, Tennessee
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for Townsend, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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5. Re: RV trip end of March with 3 kids

Several campgrounds in the Park accept trailers and motorhomes up to 35 and 40 ft in length and you will see full sized touring buses at Clingman's dome regularly, so if your RV is in that range or smaller, RV'ing the Smokies is popular. A smaller vehicle might be more convenient for getting around, but you will find RVs on just about every road in the Smokies. Get an early start and travel Little River Road to the 11 mile Cades Cove Loop. Later in the day head up to Newfound Gap and Clingman's dome. Be prepared for some curves in the roads and 3,600' of elevation gain from Gatlinburg to Newfound Gap but the road grade is 5% or less. That would make a full day, then enjoy some of the attractions in Gatlinburg and PF on day 2.

nj
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6. Re: RV trip end of March with 3 kids

Thanks so much! Our rv is small (as rvs go)- 25 ft. Thx!

Eastern Tennessee
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7. Re: RV trip end of March with 3 kids

We camp with our children near Gatlinburg at The Great Smoky Jellystone http://www.greatsmokyjellystone.com/. Dave and Marta are the owners and over the years they have become close personal friends. You will receive that personal touch at Jellystone, Dave will help you out with any problems/questions and the entire staff are there for the children. There are karaoke and hayrides. Candy bar bingo and crafts on Saturday mornings. We've stayed at almost every campground in and near Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Townsend and Jellysone is by far our favorite. You will have a GREAT time. Don't worry about the weather, it will change from one day to the next anyway.

Eastern Tennessee
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8. Re: RV trip end of March with 3 kids

ps. You should call and talk to Marta or Dave. Explain to them about your concerns and let them help you out. You can trust what they tell you.

Cinn, OH
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9. Re: RV trip end of March with 3 kids

When our kids were younger and we camped, we always brought along some warm clothes, even in June. Try to limit each child on what clothes and toys, etc. to bring, have them pack them in a clothes basket that you could also use to take dirty clothes to the laundry mat. If you don't want to rough it, don't camp in the Smokies (no water or electricity) , camp in Townsend, PF or Gat. for water or electric, sewer. In case of rain, there is always shopping, Acquarium in Gatlinburg, shows in PF like Dixie Stampede, etc. There is a movie cinema in PF or bring along some videos if camper is equipped. Make sure you bring ingredients for smores and more food than you think you will need, kids always, always, eat more when camping

Bryson City, North...
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10. Re: RV trip end of March with 3 kids

I would say plan your time and consider the journey as part of the adventure. At the time of your visit, Hwy 441, which bisects the park and is the access to Cherokee side of the park is closed due to a landslide.

Lots of stuff to see on the TN side, things to do, go rafting (it will be wet but depending on the weather, bring and wear layers) hiking, see the Elk at Cataloochee, go on the ziplines. Lots of rafting and ziplines to choose from. Rafting takes place at Hartford (on the way to Asheville) at exit 447 on I-40. Wildwater has both a zipline that crosses the river (10 yrs and older) and rafting (8 yrs and older for the Upper, 4 yrs and older for the Lower). you'll have a great time, RV or not!!

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