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  1. Default Chicago to (near) DC...advice please

    Hi all,
    We are renting a 25ft Class C to drive from Chicago to VA (close to Washington, DC). We will spend a few days in Chicago before we pick up the RV & will take a train home from VA.

    We have 7 nights for this trip & here are our thoughts:

    - Through Indiana to Louisville, KY

    - Mammoth Caves NP, Kentucky

    - Nashville, TN

    - Gatlinburg, TN

    - Blue Ridge Parkway/Great Smoky Mountain NP

    - Ashville, NV

    - Shenandoah NP

    Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions? Tips on good RV parks for a family (2 adults & 2 kids)?

    We will be going at the end of April.

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Trip activities for children.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Sounds like a great trip you have planned there. Even though I have traversed through all the areas you mention, my experience is not detailed enough to give you any specific advice. But I do have some other thoughts I'd like to share.

    You do not say how old the children are. If they are school age, be sure to take advantage of the Junior Ranger program at National Parks and Monuments. They will learn a great deal about the areas and score some free souvenirs as well.

    A journal is another great idea for children. My grandchildren have learned a lot from this. Even though some are not yet in school, with Mum's help, they were able to write what interested them most. They were able to draw pictures of what they saw, and stick in pictures from brochures of the places they visited. At times they would also include something they may have found, such as a leaf. It is great to have a four year old use the journal to tell family members all about the trip. The six year old was able to share his journal and trip with his teacher and class mates.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Spots to Consider

    With several national parks already on your itinerary, you and your kids are going to have a great time. I would heartily second Lifey's recommendation that you sign them up for each and every Junior Ranger program. I know that my grandsons really go a lot out of those.

    As for 'RV parks', I would steer away from such things as that nomenclature implies commercial sites where the rigs are shoulder to shoulder and access to woods and open areas is minimal. Smaller, out-of-the-way state parks are generally your best bet, both in terms of cost and out doors ambience. Near Mammoth Cave, there's Nolin Lake; within Great Smoky Mountain park itself there are several sites that accept RVs as long as 25'; and the same is true of Shenandoah.

    Additional activities you might want to look into might include some history such as any number of Civil War sites such as Appomattox, presidential homes such as Monticello, even world-class nuclear research facilities.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 12-27-2013 at 10:35 AM.

  4. Default

    Thank you for the replies! I should have given more information:) My kids are 9 and 7 (turning 10 and 8 around the time of the trip). We did a big National Park trip in Summer 2013 & I based our itinerary on advice that I got on this forum. It was an amazing trip (by car, not RV). The kids did the Junior Ranger program in 7 parks, and it was very educational.

    I was wondering if anyone has done this or a similar itinerary & has suggestions as to best places to stop & how to break up the nights (7 total).

    Thanks again!!!

  5. Default RV campgrounds

    Oh, and I was looking into some places for camping with the RV. I noticed that some within the parks will not yet be open when we are there (late April). I will definitely look into Nolin Lake.

    I think that my kids would enjoy a combination of the more nature/beauty centered campgrounds and the Jellystone kind with all of the activities and chaos!

    Thanks again!

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