We now have two trips under our belt. (How does time get away so fast?) I really need to give you an update!
Our first trip to Pigeon Forge, TN was the last week of November. We stayed here:
Since this was, at the time our first trip to a campground, I didn’t really have a comparison. Now that I am REALLY experienced, with TWO more campgrounds under my belt, I know that it was a really nice place–especially for kids! The campground had a great playground with equipment for all ages of kids–even a swing that was on a roller-coaster type system that teens (or adults) would enjoy. There was a large air-filled jumping mattress that my kids loved. There were scheduled outdoor movies. It was too cold to swim, but a pool and splash pad area provided more entertainment for warm days. Even though we were really close to our neighbors, we had a fire pit and a small fireplace area. We made s’mores!
The first two nights with my littlest kids were rough. As I mentioned in the last post, we put Morgan on the dining-room-table bed with Lillian. Well, as expected, he didn’t want to stay in bed. I woke up in the middle of the night to find that he had fallen asleep with his legs dangling off the bed. It didn’t look very comfortable! After the second restless night, we bit the bullet and went to Walmart and bought a pack-n-play. Best $60 ever spent! Oh, my word. Once he had his own space again, all was right with his world. Sleeping for all was much better after that! It was also nice to have a place to contain him when there was a lot of going in and out of the RV. With two slide-outs in this main area, there was plenty of room for the pack-in-play. We decided to leave it up for the remainder of the trip rather then taking it down and putting it back up each night. I anticipate that we will probably need it at least until the summer.
We adapted nicely to having only one tiny bathroom for the six of us. The boys showered at the bathhouse. It was very close to our RV and I sent them together to watch out for one another–with a bag of supplies and flip flops. The bathrooms were very nice and had private areas to get ready with more room then we had inside. It enabled me to get ready in the morning with some amount of privacy (with the exception of my three-year-old and one-year-old under my feet!) as well.
To bathe my little ones, I had them sit down on the shower floor so they wouldn’t fall and used the hand-held shower nozzle to rinse them off. The shower door doesn’t open all of the way because of the placement of the toilet, so it was a bit awkward. I managed, though. I used command hooks to hang all six of our bath towels. Everyone had their own towel color. Like at home, the towels were to be used twice before being put in the dirty clothes hamper.
My family generates a lot of dirty laundry!!!! This, unfortunately, does not stop on vacation. We have a teeny tiny washing machine and dryer in the RV (located in the master bedroom area). This is truly a blessing, but I had to reorganize the washing a bit. After every cycle of changing clothes/showering, I had to run a load. Two or three loads a day had to cycle through with the six of us wearing winter clothes, PJS, using bath and kitchen towels, etc. At home, I would have separated all of our stuff into separate loads; in the RV, I just thew it all in together. There is NO extra room with six people in an RV for a bunch of dirty laundry!
Hook-ups and such
I didn’t understand all of this before I actually did it, so this is for others who may be ignorant, too. If you stay at a campground with full-hookups, you have basically unlimited water and power. The toilet stuff gets flushed down into the sewer drains the campground. The water flows right in from a hose–through the hot water heater–just like at home. This, in my opinion, is the truly only good reason to stay in a campground like this. I have way more privacy at home. I can literally see inside the homes of about ten people from inside our “home”. (At our “real” house, we see NO neighbors.) Taking a hot shower for as long as I want (or as long as my kids will let me) is nice. Sewer is nice, too. We were able to connect to cable to watch cartoons–you know, important things.
I want to write soon about the actual things that we got to do on this trip…and the next one, but I know there is curiosity about how one would do a trip such as this with four kids! We also have had quite a few problems with the rig itself that I want to write about as well. We knew it would be a learning process!
I would think the RV park has a laundromat you could use. My family had a pull behind trailer w station wagon in the 60s and 70s. We traveled 3-4 weeks each summer. Best memories ! We had our own towel and plastic cup that sat on counter while parked. Washed at end of day. Enjoy your adventures.
We did use the laundromat a couple of times on our second trip–especially on travel days. It came in handy! We don’t stay “home” very much. By the time we got home every night, we were into the bedtime routine. I just didn’t want to spend too much time each day washing clothes! I found it easier to wash a load in the morning while we were getting ready to leave and another while we were getting the little ones ready for bed. It’s so nice to have more than one option, though.