RV Having Fun Yet?!
RV living might be the life for me.
It sure sounds that way after talking to several RV park owners around East Tennessee.
“You’re not locked up in a hotel room,” says Worley Fain, owner of Lakeview RV Park in Bristol. “You’re in your own bed surrounded by your own things. And, we have so many amenities, like a saltwater pool, and a lake where we rent pontoon boats, and a playground, individual bathrooms, and a grill.”
Individual RV parks have their own character and are popular with different types of campers.
“They come because it’s laid back and quiet,” explains Pat Bracken about her customers. She is co-owner of the Spring Lake RV Resort in Crossville.
Pat says her place is near Fairfield Glade, a big retirement, golfing community just northeast of Crossville.
“We don’t have a swimming pool or playground, so we get almost exclusively retirees,” she says. “We have a lake and fishing and a lot of sitting places.”
They also have a great following, having taken over the park in 2007 and expanding RV sites from 24 to 63. The place has become popular with the “rally” folks. What is a rally you might ask? A rally is basically a get-together, usually with some RV connection like Good Sam RV Club members who come to Spring Lake.
“We’ll host 30 or 40 rallies a year,” says Pat, a veteran of more than 20 years of running RV parks. She says she and her husband have tried to retire a couple times, “but we start missing our RV folks.”
Lakeview, Worley’s place, has been open since 2007 and holds 151 sites. He gets a steady flow of snowbirds headed north in the spring and south in the fall, but his biggest weeks are when NASCAR is in town for its two events at Bristol Motor Speedway in March and August.
“In that August one especially we fill up,” he says. “We only have a few sites available for the August race right now. NASCAR fans head to all the races. They’ll go to Richmond and Atlanta and come here.”
Festivals, such as Townsend Spring Festival and Old Timers Day draw a lot of visitors to Townsend. Many RVers go to Big Meadow Family Campground.
“We are almost completely full [for] most of the festivals and all the major holidays,” says Malcolm Johnson, who together with his wife, Barbara, and their son, Greg, own and operate the campground along the Little River.
Opened in 1995, the campground has 78 campsites for RVs with full concrete pads and patios, security gate, bathhouse and laundry facilities, plus storage for RVs. It is located adjacent to the outfitter Smoky Mountain River Rat, an added convenience for families who want to coast down the river.
The Johnsons are seasoned motor home travelers so they know that visitors like to begin unwinding the minute they pull off the road and turn off the ignition. They don’t want headaches caused by poorly designed campgrounds. The Johnsons provide campsites where the driver can simply drive through and not have to back into a campsite. They make sure the electrical service is adequate for the amperage a unit needs, and they maintain water and cable hook-ups so visitors can connect without a lot of effort.
With the great amenities of our RV parks and all the beauty our state holds, it’s no surprise that Tennessee is a prime destination on any RV enthusiasts’ map. So put the pedal to the metal today. And be sure to let us know in the comments about your favorite place to park and play!