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RE: Skull Island, TN

Thanks Ken. We pulled the trigger & made reservations for the first week in May. We'll see. We're still researching eateries and such in the area, but there doesn't seem to be a lot to choose from. Guess we'' bring the old Cobb grill and cook our own. First week in May?? You will be missing the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburgh TN. It's just west of Chattanooga. Might be a 45 minute drive from Skull Island. It is April 29 and 30th. We are going this year again and will be staying in the Cleveland KOA. IF YOU CAN try to come a couple days earlier and go to the festival, it's a great time and the cornbread is very creative and delicious. South Pittsburgh is where the Lodge cast iron cookware foundry is and they open it up for public tours. It is a must do if you can. You might big can a cornbread festival be you say? They close off main street in town and party for the weekend with live music on 2 stages and the cornbread competition and all sorts of vendors. It's big. We enjoyed it so much we had to go back this year. Look up their website.
ken56 01/23/23 06:10pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Central CA to Cincinnati?

The wind can be an issue when you hit Texas all across the pan handle. I had to hold up for 2 days on one trip in Amarillo because the wind was gusting to 50 with sustained winds at 35. I had a half ton 1500 Chevy pulling a 30 ft 7,000 lb. trailer. It blew me around to the point I didn't feel safe pulling and bailed off the road. It's been some years since that trip so I can't inform on the road conditions. Other than having to go through St. Louis and Indianapolis your route seems to be the most direct. Traffic can be very heavy in both cities. Bring your patience.
ken56 01/16/23 05:18pm Roads and Routes
RE: Skull Island, TN

I've been through Harrison Bay just south of Skull Island and it was a nice park so I think that one would be similar. The TVA parks are usually well kept and nice. I love TN state parks too.
ken56 01/16/23 05:02pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Roadtrip by car vs RV, a couple of thoughts...

My brother in law has the mindset of fly there and rent a car to see the area and stay in a hotel. I have had discussions about how you have more freedom when you have an RV. His way you are held to the plane tickets you bought as to when you go home. I get to decide when I want to go home. I've told him I get to Stay at any RV park I choose and for how long I choose. I like to take my time and see the attractions and not be rushed around because I only have 3 days. I CHOOSE. My trailer is MY trailer and MY toilet and shower and MY food and kitchen and I don't have to wonder how well its been cleaned .... AND I get to take my cats along with me. IT IS MINE to do as I please. That is what I like about it. I still use hotels at times but if I can't take my trailer somewhere then I usually don't go. In my analysis of costs I fine my trailer to be cheaper in spite of the cost of gas. Hotels, the ones we like anyway, are in the 130 dollar a night range or more. No Super 8's for the wifey. The cost of a campground is in the 40 to 50 dollar range most times with higher cost for higher end destinations. The cost of eating out is off the charts today...and the grocery store is bad enough as it is today but I like to cook so in the long run we save money. For us its no question.
ken56 01/13/23 04:00pm General RVing Issues
RE: My fault

I only did 3 trips last year. Went to a park in Georgia for the first trip just because in March, Chattanooga for the National Corn bread festival in April, and Myrtle Beach for the Shrimp Festival in September. Have 2 trips planned this year. Again going to the Corn Bread fest the end of April and then up to Montgomery Bell State Park the very next week. Still looking to add a few more yet.
ken56 01/08/23 06:02am General RVing Issues
RE: FDR state park directions

FWIW KOA Chattanooga North, actually at Cleveland, is a good stop, handy to getting to the Dalton Pike / Bypass. BTW, I found the north end of the Dalton Bypass to be a bit rough back in June. Certainly not giant holes though. Take it a little slow. I can vouch for the KOA north CG. Stayed there last year for a week and am booked again this coming April. Great place.
ken56 01/07/23 07:58am Roads and Routes
RE: Southern luxury rv resorts. Need Ideas

A Camp Margaritaville recently opened on the Bolivar Penninsula across the bay from Galveston. Looks to be very nice. One opened last year in Pigeon Forge that we went through and it is excellent also. All the amenities you could ask for along with the price. It's not that far out of line with the surrounding CG's though. I live 25 miles north of it and would consider staying there myself.
ken56 01/07/23 07:46am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: FDR state park directions

If time is not too critical then sure, get off the e-way and do the secondary roads. If you want to miss Chattanooga then bail off 75 at Cleveland TN and take TN 74 over to TN 60/GA 71. It's 2 lane but I've pulled my 37ft. on it before and for me it's worth missing Chatt. It takes you into Dalton GA. At GA 52 head west to 75 again until you want to bail off and go over to 27. I have not been on 27 so can't advise you there. Look on Google maps satellite view to see if the route is acceptable. My guess is that it is fine. I just looked at it, it looks to be mostly 2 lane divided hwy. Looks like a great choice. Another point, from where 81 hits 40 it's a 50 mile trip over to pick up 75. I live almost where 81 hits 40. You can save some miles by picking up 129 (airport hwy) in Knoxville and go toward Maryville and then get on 411 all the way to Ocoee and hit TN-74 there. That's how I go any time I head toward Chatt.
ken56 01/06/23 07:51am Roads and Routes
RE: Park pet peeves, Park owner’s turn

Here's one for the park owners. Not controlling who occupies any particular site has been problematic a few times for me. Someone with a pop-up camper takes a site that can fit a big rig when there are other sites that will accommodate the pop-up. Yep, they pay the same price for the site as a big rig does, but if it's the only site that big rig can fit in and they can't then they go down the road and you lose revenue. I've noticed more parks are controlling sites by size of rig and that to me is a good thing.
ken56 01/06/23 07:30am General RVing Issues
RE: Pet Peeves in RV Parks

Never thought dogs would get more complaints than kids would. I've only had a couple of times that barking dogs were ever a problem and then I just ignored it because it was through the daytime. Most take the pup with them when they go. Dogs everywhere policy. Places don't restrict dogs like they used to. My peeve has always been site encroachers. Just keep all your stuff in your own site.
ken56 01/05/23 05:43am General RVing Issues
RE: Pet Peeves in RV Parks

I will make an admission here and surely some posting here were "That guy" at least one time in their time camping. Early on in our beginning days of camping with our new trailer we were at our 'home' resort. It has a grill and Putt Putt and playground and all that good stuff. The grill has music on all day and it's piped to the Putt Putt area too. One night we went to bed and I could hear music very faintly. I got up and stuck my head out the door and it appeared to be coming from the grill area. I called security to have them check. Went back to bed and never did hear from security but still was able to go to sleep. I got up the next morning and went out to fix breakfast and I could hear music. I went to the outdoor speaker on the trailer and sure enough, the radio was on, the outdoor speaker was on and THAT was the source of the music all night. I apologized to my neighbor when I saw them but he said they never heard anything. It was very low volume so Thank goodness we were the only ones who really heard it. We've all done something I would bet that made us "that" guy at least once.
ken56 01/01/23 08:56am General RVing Issues
RE: Pet Peeves in RV Parks

Campsite encroachers. I have had to move bikes, chairs, and picnic tables because they were so close to my trailer I didn't have clear access to empty my tanks. Kids are kids and I get they drop their bikes where they jump off of them but...adults moving picnic tables so close to another trailer is beyond inconsiderate. Same with fire rings being close to other sites...granted, that is the fault of the CG but some rings get moved by the campers when they are not supposed to be moved. Basic inconsideration of others is the big issue. For the most part, the good experiences out number the bad.
ken56 12/29/22 01:56pm General RVing Issues

Part of the problem is people have champaign taste on a beer budget. Expectations do not meet reality. What is it that turns you off to a campground? What makes a campground unacceptable to you? Is it for a 2 week/2 month stay or an overnight stay? I've run the gamut of put your money in the slot in the door CG to the high end resort CG. All depends on what my needs are at the time. I have never been in any CG that I have felt unsafe in and wanted to leave. I've had the neighbors from that hot place that I had to tolerate until THEY left. I've had some of the most wonderful people as neighbors too and have had great times around the campfire with them and that reflects MOST of my experiences, the good ones. It would take a lot of negative issues to turn me off on any campground.
ken56 11/29/22 06:32pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Need help with route north

At the WV NC border on 77 there is a very long pull uphill, like 5 miles of fairly steep road. It's fairly straight though with only a few gentle curves. Going through WV on 77 is toll road and can be up and down the hills and lots of curves. It would be my suggestion to get to I-40 and head to Knoxville. You will have the Pigeon River gorge to go through and it is curvy and mostly downhill going west and not terrible steep but somewhat steep in a few places. Hit I-75 from K'ville. Bypass K'ville on 640 to 75. You have no real good options for a flat or flatter roadway when you're on the east side of the Appalachians. You gotta cross the hills somewhere. The Gorge is not hair raising but with minimum experience in mountain driving I'm thinking the I-40 way is the least of the bad options. You gotta start somewhere. I pull my 37 ft. 10K lb. trailer through there no sweat but I've done it quite a few times. Formerly from the Flint, Flushing, Davison and Harrisville areas.
ken56 11/28/22 07:01pm Roads and Routes

Letting my membership expire. Not worth it anymore.
ken56 11/28/22 06:26pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Influenza 2022-2023 Experiences - Comments Etc.

We went to Myrtle Beach the first 2 weeks of October, right after the hurricane went through. The first week the wife and I were fine but the second week we both became ill with 'something'. We thought was allergies with the sneezing, runny nose stuffy head symptoms. I got body aches for 3 days along with the other symptoms....and no, we had not gotten our flu shots as yet. The stuffy head and sinus issues lingered for 2 more weeks after we got home to East TN. We have since gotten our flu shots. Schools here in TN are being closed because of a high rate of illness among the kids. Looks like we will just keep avoiding crowds and limiting our contact with others.
ken56 11/22/22 07:29am Around the Campfire
RE: Heavier Blue Ox load bars?

My trailer had a brochure tongue weight of 1280. When I purchased it I told the dealer to upgrade the hitch also....what did I get? Another hitch 10,000/1,000 rated but the Equal-I-Zer brand this time...I already had a 10K/1K hitch. It was adequate and I used it the whole first year BUT, it just felt 'wimpy'. The push-pull when trucks passed, the side winds pushing you around the road on windy days etc. I upgraded to a 14K/1,400 and it was a HUGE difference. Steady when trucks passed, the winds didn't push me around like before and the bumps in the road were smoothed out. Get the higher rated hitch.
ken56 11/11/22 12:40pm Travel Trailers
RE: Grease Lippert electric tongue jack?

As far as I know you have to take it apart. It isn't that difficult to do, I've done one and yes, it helps to grease it. A nice sticky axle grease is what I used and it did quiet it down and made it work easier.
ken56 11/08/22 03:50pm Travel Trailers
RE: GSMNP close trails to allow black bears to feed

ken, X2. a few years back, my husband and I were camping at the KOA in Cherokee, NC around early September. We were visiting the Great Smokies Ranger Station nearby.. While viewing some old cabins(which was in the rear yard of the station and had been moved there from a high mountain valley), herds of elk swarmed across a stream into the yard and out into a large meadow for grazing. Since I was cornered and no way out, I penned myself against the outside wall of one of these cabins so that I would not be trampled. The young ones in the herd were in no way afraid of me; they stopped and then came closer and closer as if they were waiting on a hand out. When the large stag returned to edge them on, I was a little scared, but they moved on. These young elk must have been hand-fed at some point in their life. When that situation happens then YOU need to scare THEM. Wave your arms and make noises so they understand that people are not to be approached. They generally won't trample you but the big adult bulls will defend their harem and territory. They can be taught to fear people if people become the aggressor and try to scare them. The Oconaluftee visitor center and the surrounding fields is known for the Elk coming in to feed and attracts many people just to see them. They are majestic animals. One Photographer managed to get a young bull euthanized because he wanted "that" picture. Yeah, he was charged and fined.
ken56 10/31/22 06:42am Around the Campfire
RE: JT's Strong Arm Travel Trailer Stabilizer Kit

A friend put the JT Strong arm on his and he said it made a big difference. He was happy with what it did.
ken56 10/30/22 06:32am Travel Trailers
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