East Coast RVing–Camping in the National Parks

RV dealerships all across America are filled with dreamers, those planning scenic road trips of a lifetime to the National Parks. Camping in the National Parks is a major reason why many people purchase RVs, and a fantastic way to spend time in nature. But with 63 National Parks in the United States spanning 84 million acres, how will you ever decide where to camp? Here are some of the best National Park RV friendly campgrounds to choose from.

Elkmont Campground, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Located near North Carolina and Tennessee’s shared border, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park, totaling over 12 million visits in 2020, despite being briefly closed due to the pandemic. This is more than three times greater than the second highest total of 3.8 million visits at Yellowstone National Park.

What makes the Smokies so popular? Its location is convenient for many travelers, being far closer to major East Coast population centers than the parks out west. And its neighboring town Gaitlinburg, Tennessee offers several full days worth of tourist attractions, and several hotels. 

Luckily, Elkmont Campground has 200 drive up sites for a lovely camping experience in the mountains, no hotels necessary.

Schoodic Campground, Acadia National Park

Another East Coast favorite, Acadia National Park boasts Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the East Coast, where the sunrise can be seen the earliest in the United States. Its beautiful summit is famous for attracting sunrise spotters for this reason. The park has beautiful ocean views from its place on the Atlantic Coast, and is mostly located on Mount Desert Island, near Bar Harbor, Maine. 

However, Schoodic Campground is Acadia National Park’s newest, and it’s the only campground on the mainland section of the park, located on the quieter Schoodic Peninsula. 

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

America’s newest National Park is still somewhat of a secret, having just gained National Park status in late 2020. While the park “provides opportunities for primitive camping only” according to their website, that won’t stop adventurous RVers from boondocking on the gorgeous riverside! There are several campsites along the park’s main road. 

For more RV campground tips in the National Parks, check out Campendium’s extensive list! 

Going Unhooked: Give Dry Camping a Try

Going Unhooked: Give Dry Camping a Try
Wednesday April, 30th 2014 16:08:03

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For those who have not tried it yet, ever thought about giving dry camping a shot?

It means going to a place where there is no electricity, water or sewer hookups and living exclusively off your RV’s internal utilities.

Preparing for a trip where you’ll be dry camping requires a different approach and set of questions before you heading out. If you are new to RVing and leaning more towards dry camping in more remote locations versus full-service campgrounds, it is important to know how well the RV you are shopping is equipped to accommodate your needs. Along with researching online, talking to an experienced RV sales consultant is highly recommended.

Since you will not have an endless power or water supply, or sewage connection, conservation is the key to dry camping. Things, like turning lights on only when they are needed and not running water wastefully down the drain, are a couple of good dry camping habits. Here’s a few more:

  • Learn how much your RV’s fresh water tank can hold and consider bringing a separate supply of drinking water
  • Be crystal clear on your RV’s waste water (black) tank capacity and educate the family on the importance of taking short showers or excessive toilet flushing. Many folks go by the old rule to leave #1 in the bowl and flush when there is a #2.
  • Understand how many hours you will get from a full battery and what it will or will not power. For example, say goodbye to the luxury of an air conditioner and microwave. Most RVs can only power 12 volt appliances when working solely off a battery.
  • Along with hot water and cook tops or grills, many RVs are equipped with dual-power refrigerators. Therefore, you need to know how long your propane tanks will last.

Solar panel battery chargers are becoming more prevalent in the camping community. They can recharge an RV battery during the day when lights and other electric appliance are not being used. Converters can also be purchased that will allow you to use fans, radios and charge cell phones.

One of the best trains of thought you can have when packing for a dry camping trip is not to bring unnecessary electrical gadgets. Bring board games, flashlights with extra batteries, a camping lantern, and Tiki torches. With limited refrigeration and the convenience of microwave cooking, it’s also good practice to think accordingly when stocking your grocery and food supply.

This hardly dry article on dry camping was provided by Chuck Lunberg. See more of what he and others are liking on the TalkCampingNH.com Facebook page!

Walmart App Guides RVers to Overnight Parking

Walmart App Guides RVers to Overnight Parking
Wed, 27 Jul 2011 21:13:25

iexitwlogo120x114For the most part, RVers new and old are aware that a number of Walmart’s thousands of locations in the United States and Canada offer a complimentary night’s stay for their weary bones. The challenge is determining which ones allow, or do not allow overnight parking. AllStays.com removes such guesswork with their Walmart Overnight Parking app for iPhone and Android smartphones.

Well worth the $1.99 (we’ve been using it as a logistics tool for our North American Delivery Program), the Walmart Overnight Parking app is searchable by location and provides remarks from those who actually stayed there. In reviewing this app over the past couple of weeks, we were pleased to see that there are continuous updates on the addition or withdrawal of participating Walmart stores. You can imagine how frustrating it would be to pull into a lot after a long, tiring day only to be turned away. Another nice feature is the ability to toggle an advanced search for Walmart locations with pharmacies, groceries, diesel refueling, or open 24 hours.

If you do not have a smartphone, the AllStays.com website does provide basic information and updates on overnight parking at Walmarts in the United States and Canada.

If internet access is a no go, Walmart Atlas, Second Edition (Roundabout Publications) is available in paperback for under twenty bucks.

Give the Walmart Overnight Parking app a spin!

Pete’s RV Center is an exceptional dealership group serving the United States and Canada since 1952. With multiple locations, Pete’s RV provides sales, service, parts, accessories, and education to our community of RVers all across North America.