Tennessee Campground Reviews

Here you will find reviews of campgrounds in which we have stayed in the state of Tennessee.

For details on how we choose a campground and our review criteria, go to our Main Campground Reviews page.

The reviews you find here will be from most recent to oldest since the older the review, the less relevant it may be. The "Overall Rating" is on a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being the best.

Also, you will notice that each listing shows a corresponding "Journal Site" number. This refers to when our stay occurred in our journey and the number on the Map Of Our Travels on our daily Journal. By going to our Journal for the dates indicated in the review, you may be able to find out more about the campground and the area - but no promises. :)

Direct Links To Tennessee Reviews Below

Defeated Creek Corps of Engineers (COE) Campground, Cordell Hull Lake, Carthage, TN - April 2011

River Plantation RV Park, Sevierville, TN - April 2011

David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN - October 2007

Best Holiday Trav-L-Park, Chattanooga, TN - May 2006

Shipp's RV Campground, Chattanooga, TN - August 2005

Tellico Plains KOA, Tellico Plains, TN - August 2005

Journal Site 188: Defeated Creek COE Campground, Cordell Hull Lake - Overall Rating: 8.5

Dates: April 21 - 28, 2011
Location: North central Tennessee about 65 miles east of Nashville and 15 - 20 miles north of I-40 (Exit 258). Follow the signs to Carthage and then to the campground on Cordell Hull Lake a few miles farther.
GPS Coordinates: 36.30098N 85.91165W
Our Site Number: 16
Reason Selected: Heard about this COE campground from an RV-Dreams reader, so researched it and decided it would be a great stopping point on our way to speak at a conference in Bowling Green, KY. We choose COE campgrounds whenever we can.
Setting: Typical Corps of Engineers campground with wooded sites on the lake or with lake views. Unlike most COE campgrounds, there are numerous full hook-up sites on the lake and they are a bit closer together than most COE sites. Still, it's away from any major highways so it's very quiet with wonderful water views.
Guidebooks:None used.
Big Rig Friendly: Numerous big rig sites. One-way roads aren't real wide, but they are large enough. Also, there aren't many roadside obstacles so having swing room for backing into the angled sites usually isn't a problem.
Hook-ups: 63 sites have full hook-ups with 50/30-amp electric; the rest of the sites have water and 50/30-amp electric only. There is a convenient dump station on the way out of the campground.
Laundry: Yes - one washer and dryer.
Price & Discounts: $26.00 for full hook-ups; $24.00 for water/electric sites. Those with Federal America The Beautiful Senior or Access Passes get half-price camping.
Other Factors: Staff was friendly. Rooftop satellite can be a problem in the many treed sites, but there are a few that will work. Tripods with enough cable can usually work. There is a marina and a cafe just outside the campground entrance. It's about 10 - 12 miles to a Super Walmart. Bathhouses are clean. Deer along the road to the campground and lots of birds for the birdwatching enthusiasts.
OVERALL RATING: 8.5 (out of ten)
We love COE campgrounds and this is no exception. I will say that we have been in four or five that we like better. Those have sites with a bit more privacy and better spacing. But it's hard to beat a COE campground out in the middle of nowhere with full hook-up sites on the lake (even if they are a bit close together). Our Site 16 wasn't a full hook-up site and definitely had the "it" factor. It may be one of the best sites in the campground. There are a few others that have enough privacy, spacing, and views to have the "it" factor as well.

Defeated Creek COE Campground, Cordell Hull Lake

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Journal Site 187: River Plantation RV Park - Overall Rating: 8.0

Dates: April 8 - 21, 2011
Location: Far east central Tennessee about nine miles south of I-40 (Exit 407). Between I-40 and Gatlinburg on US 441.
GPS Coordinates: 35.85378N 83.56362W
Our Site Number: 441
Reason Selected: Selected to hold our 2011 Spring Rally due to conference facilities, on-site catering, and central location.
Setting: Typical RV park with rows of side-by-side sites. On busy US 441, but road noise tempered by driveway down into park below the level of the main road. Bordered on two sides by the Little Pigeon River. Gravel roads with mostly gravel sites. Not bad considering the area development and traffic, but still no our preferred setting.
Guidebooks:None used.
Big Rig Friendly: No problem at all. Wide roads, nice big sites, and lots of pull-throughs.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50/30-amp electric in half the park; the other half is full hook-ups with 30-amp electric.
Laundry: Yes, nice laundry facility and reasonable prices. Four washers and dryers.
Price & Discounts: April - November: $30.50 for full hook-ups with 30 amps; $33.50 for full hook-ups with 50 amps; $35.50 for riverfront sites with full hook-ups; $49.50 for extra wide riverfront Signature sites with landscaping and concrete pads. Prices are lower in winter (December - March). Though not listed on the website, monthly and seasonal rates are available. Check with office for other discounts.
Other Factors: Very easy to work with for our Rally. Staff was friendly and even got us discounted tickets to shows for our group. Rooftop satellite is no problem in most sites but there are some sites with trees. The website is pretty good. With no stoplight at the entrance, it can be tricky getting in and out. Fortunately, there is a left hand turning lane into the park from US 441 going south. Close to all major attractions along the US 441 corridor going through Pigeion Forge toward Gatlinburg. Traffic can be easy or horrendous. Walmart Supercenter less than five minutes away.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
Though this type of RV park isn't our cup of tea, we have to admit that it is a nice place to stay in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area. We were provided a Signature Site on the river as hosts of a Rally, so that certainly influenced our rating as did the success of the Rally. Perhaps, if we were in an interior site, we would have rated it a 7.5. No "it" factor and it's not somewhere we would have ordinarily chosen had the facilities not been perfect for our Rally. However, but it probably deserves a pretty good score as RV parks go.

River Plantation RV Park

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Journal Site 81: David Crockett State Park - Overall Rating: 6.5

Dates: October 28, 2007 - October 29, 2007
Location: Off Hwy 64 about a 1/2 mile west of Lawrenceburg and about 15 - 20 miles east of the Natchez Trace Parkway
GPS Coordinates: 35.2599N, 87.3620W
Our Site Number: 75
Reason Selected: Our first choice on the Natchez Trace Parkway heading south was full. We try to avoid RV parks in favor of state or federal campgrounds and the David Crockett State Park was our Plan B.
Setting: There are two campgrounds. Campground 2 seems to be more suited to RVs, but we didn't actually see Campground 1. Campground 2 was a nice, wooded campground. However, there was some construction in the campground and we felt a need to move on. So, we really didn't get to check out the campground or the state park fully.
Guidebooks:None used.
Big Rig Friendly: Only a few big rig sites on "top of the hill".
Hook-ups: Water and electric hook-ups (50/30 amps). Dump station is in a funny place. It's right in the middle of the exit from the campground.
Laundry: None
Price & Discounts: $17.50 - April - October; $14.50 - November - March. The website says discounts are available for seniors over 62, but there are no specifics.
Other Factors: Very wooded. We managed to get satellite TV in our spot, but not internet with our rooftop dish. We didn't even look at the bathhouses. The website doesn't give much information on the campground.
OVERALL RATING: 6.5 (out of ten)
In all fairness, we didn't give this campground much of a chance. So our rating is based more on the fact that it didn't grab us, that no one was available in the state park office to help us when we arrived, and the construction in the campground. If we had stayed longer, we might have given it a higher rating. It was a decent setting, so I doubt the rating would have been lower.

David Crockett State Park

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Journal Site 26: Best Holiday Trav-L-Park of Chattanooga - Overall Rating: 6

Dates: May 1, 2006 - May 10, 2006
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee; Exit 1 on I-75 then follow the signs to the west
GPS Coordinates: 34.978N, 85.21566W
Reason Selected: Because we were getting warranty work done on the RV at Shipps RV just on the other side of the interstate; Actually, we tried the nearest state park since we did not want to stay in an RV park, but we could not find a level spot large enough, so this park was a last minute change of plans
Setting: This is a decent RV park, but it is just that - an RV park; There are a surprising number of trees in this park surrounded by commercial and residential area; There is an older section and a newer section; The older section was filled with long-term stays and the newer section rotated transients daily; The space between sites was small and the noise from I-75 was pretty loud
Guidebooks:We knew that this was a highly rated RV park from our prior visit to Chattanooga last August
Big Rig Friendly: No problem with the biggest rigs; Yet the sites are narrow and right on top of each other which can be an issue when turning and pulling out of the small spaces
Hook-ups: Full Hook-ups (50 amp electric at about half the sites)
Laundry: Very nice laundry facilites with six washers and adequate dryers
Price & Discounts: $29.00 (30 amp), $31.00 (50 amp%); 10% Good Sam & FMCA discounts; 15% Escapees discount
Other Factors: Very nice folks in the office; The bathhouse was excellent and very clean - nice private showers; Our biggest issues were the narrow sites and the noise; Not only did we have the interstate nearby, but the locals drove loud ATVs on the road right behind the park and there is a race track within range to top things off
OVERALL RATING: 6 (out of ten)
This campground has nice facilities and it was convenient for our service appointment which was stretched out over a week because parts did not come in. However, we didn't enjoy being there at all. Our journey is not just about finding a place to park and we certainly are not looking to pay above our budget for interstate stopovers. But as much as we disliked staying here, we must give this park some credit for its complete, well-maintained facilities, the friendly staff, and the discounts which eased the pain to the budget.

Best Holiday Trav-L-Park of Chattanooga

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Journal Site 4: Shipps RV Campground - Overall Rating: 3

Dates: August 17, 2005
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee; Exit 1 about 1/4 mile east of I-75 at Shipps RV and Camping World location
GPS Coordinates: 34.9894N, 85.1967W
Reason Selected: Because we were getting warranty work done on the RV at Shipps
Setting: Within the fences of the Shipps RV/Camping World Complex; there is a grove of tall trees within this small, tight-sited campground
Guidebooks:Didn't even consult them in this case
Big Rig Friendly: Has to accomodate big rigs, because the campground is there to accomodate rigs they sell and service; Yet the sites are narrow and right on top of each other; The trees can be an issue when turning and pulling out of the small spaces
Hook-ups: Full Hook-ups (water, 50 amp electric at a few sites, and sewer)
Laundry: No idea and didn't care
Price & Discounts: $25.00 and no discounts
Other Factors: No information about the campground on the Shipps website; the person handling the desk had zero personality or information, but tried to be helpful
OVERALL RATING: 3 (out of ten)
This campground served its purpose, but half the sites were filled with used rigs for sale and others were clearly for employees that lived on site with no requirements to keep their sites looking nice; Unless you are having a rig serviced at Shipps, avoid this campground; I gave it a three because it did have full-hookups and a pool

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Journal Site 3: Tellico Plains KOA - Overall Rating: 8

Dates: August 8, 2005 - August 17, 2005
Location: Southeastern Tennessee; 25 miles east of I-75 between Knoxville and Chattanooga
GPS Coordinates: 35.3641N, 84.2820W
Reason Selected: Because it was 25 miles off the Interstate on the edge of the Cherokee National Forest and because it was within a reasonable distance of our route to Chattanooga for RV service
Setting: Just outside the tiny town of Tellico Plains situated along banks of the Tellico River; sits in a small valley bordered by the river on one side (you can fish in the river on the property without a license), soybean fields on one side, an apple orchard on one side, a small field and apple orchard on one side; small trees within campground, but no shade to speak of
Guidebooks: Narrowed choices to several KOAs on the route to Chattanooga and Harrison Bay State Park (mostly due to review of Big Rig Resorts website); all KOAs had similar amenities, but Harrison Bay did not have sewer hook-ups and we were concerned about crowding with it being the last week before school started
Big Rig Friendly: Very big rig friendly; numerous pull-through sites and back-ins were accomodating; however, the sites were all side-by-side with nothing much separating them
Hook-ups: Full Hook-ups (water, 50 amp electric, and sewer); some sites had cable for an additional $2.00 per day
Laundry: On-site laundry was immaculate!
Price & Discounts: Normally we feel that KOAs are a little over-priced even with our KOA discount card, but this one was $25 a night and they were having a stay 3 weeknights get 1 weeknight free promotion; however, tax was outrageous at 12% and our average daily rate with the tax came out just over $25.00 per day
Other Factors: All KOAs have nice websites, but my complaint is that the photos are always of the office, the pool, and cabins to rent; You can rarely get a good feel for the RV sites; Staff was very nice when we called and during our stay
OVERALL RATING: 8 (out of ten)
This four year old campground was very nice, very clean, and quiet (except for the numerous motorcycles in the area); apparently, the ride on the mountain roads through the Cherokee National Forest are quite a draw for motorcyclists; all the facilities were superb and fairly new; the laundry, common bathrooms, and showers were absolutely spotless; had the camping sites had a little more character, beauty, and privacy, it would be hard to not give this campground a 10; we would definitely stay again

Tellico Plains KOA

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