EPDM Coatings
Desert Valley RV Park
RV LED Bulbs offer Sponsored by Spotless Water Systems rvupgradestore.com Composet Products EVDO

Author Topic: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?  (Read 4493 times)

seaninst.cloud

  • ---
  • Posts: 5
We have been to the Smoky Mountain NP a few times and we plan on returning there this summer with our first travel trailer. From what I remember, some of the roads can be pretty windy and steep. Has anyone driven through there with a travel trailer? How was your experience? Any major concerns? I would like to camp at Cades Cove for a few days with the family and I was wondering if anyone knew the most friendly TT route in and out? We wanted to come in from Townsend, Tn and leave out through the southern end of the park in NC. Though terrain will most likely dictate my route. According to the nat parks site, Cades Cove campground can accomodate up to 40' rvs. I assume ;D, this means they travel in and our of the park without major problems.

I have no experience pulling a trailer in the mountains, but I have a moderate amount of experience pulling trailers. Before we leave for out summer trip I will check and service the brakes on the truck and trailer.

I have dual axle brakes on the trailer, wdh, I am going to install a sway control bar, and I should be below my GVWR for my tow vehicle by about 1000-1200 pounds after accounting for gear, family, tools, water, etc...

Thanks
Sean

2005 Ford F150 Supercrew 4x4 5.4L
2002 Fleetwood Wilderness 27H

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44394
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2009, 08:12:42 PM »
It's been several years since we ave been that way, but I would think that a trailer up to 30 feet would be ok on those roads. You can do longer, but it might get a trifle scary. I recall one place coming in the South Entrance (from Cherokee) where the road does a 360 degree loop. We dragged a 29 foot fifth wheel all through there ourselves. My wife's nerves got a bit ragged with the tires at the very edge of a rather narrow road, but is was certainly do-able.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

ffstreetdoc

  • ---
  • Posts: 17
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009, 11:02:37 AM »
Dont know where you are coming from, but having made several trips from South Carolina to the Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge area a few of those with the 5th wheel i can tell you if you have a choice take I 40 over the mountain, the route over 441 from Cherokee is nerve racking in a car, i can't even imagine towing over it, it is very steep and is pretty much a non stop curvy road for 30 miles, i have also heard of many smoked transmissions on turcks towing over that mountain..  towing I 40 to Hwy 411 to Severeville to Hwy 321 in PF, takes you to Townsend is not so bad, from Townsend into Cades Cove is like Hwy 441, well then again all those Mtn roads are like a snake on steroids...  hope this helps

Marsha/CA

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 4259
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 09:17:31 PM »
If you are planning on staying at Cades Cove Campground, call them and ask them the best way to come into the park.  They will have the best information on roads and how to get to and from there.

Marsha~
Allegro Bus Diesel Pusher with Hyundai Tucson SUV toad.

meyerhaus

  • ---
  • Posts: 132
  • Jon, Amy & Sam
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2009, 12:02:08 PM »
If you are planning on staying at Cades Cove Campground, call them and ask them the best way to come into the park.  They will have the best information on roads and how to get to and from there.

Marsha~
Always the best idea.  I'm taking the easy way out in two weeks and staying at the Jellystone!
Jon Meyer - Cincinnati, OH
1996 Fleetwood Wilderness 22LW
2005 Dodge Durango Limited w/5.7L HEMI
2008 Eureka Tetragon 1210
Wish I was here

seaninst.cloud

  • ---
  • Posts: 5
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2009, 08:02:45 AM »
Thanks for the input. Marsha, Calling the park does seem to be the best idea, thanks. I think I will play it safe and find a campground out of the park and we can drive the truck in without the trailer to visit the park. We have two girls, ages 3 and 6, and I do not think there is much for them to do at the camp site inside the park anyway.

ffstreetdoc, thanks for the detailed routes. I think I will check those out when I am there because I know this will be the first of many to that park for us.
Sean

2005 Ford F150 Supercrew 4x4 5.4L
2002 Fleetwood Wilderness 27H

meyerhaus

  • ---
  • Posts: 132
  • Jon, Amy & Sam
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2009, 06:43:07 PM »
I'll post a nice review of Jellystone when we get back in 3 weeks.  It may work very well for your kiddies.  They even have a day camp for the little ones over the summer.
Jon Meyer - Cincinnati, OH
1996 Fleetwood Wilderness 22LW
2005 Dodge Durango Limited w/5.7L HEMI
2008 Eureka Tetragon 1210
Wish I was here

John Bridge

  • Posts: 3
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 04:31:17 PM »
Burnt the front brakes of my TV coming down off the Blue Ridge last summer with our very large and heavy fifth wheel trailer. Had the brakes replaced near Ashville and headed up over the Smoky trail to Gatlingburg. Almost burnt the front brakes again. Had to stop three or four times and wait for the drums to cool. I've never had that problem in any other part of the country including a trip to Alaska and back and all through the Rockies. The roads in that area of the country are steep, amigo. Next time I'll go around. :)

Marsha/CA

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 4259
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 09:00:44 PM »
One thing you might think about is setting your trailer brake controller to a higher "gain", that way they will come on and be a bit more "grabby".  What it does is cause the trailer brakes to help hold the truck down the hill and will save your truck brakes.  So instead of your truck holding the trailer down the hill ,the trailer will hold the truck back.  However, remember that when you get down the hill you need to back off of the gain so that the trailer will not "grab" the brakes.

Marsha~
Allegro Bus Diesel Pusher with Hyundai Tucson SUV toad.

meyerhaus

  • ---
  • Posts: 132
  • Jon, Amy & Sam
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 07:36:51 AM »
One thing you might think about is setting your trailer brake controller to a higher "gain", that way they will come on and be a bit more "grabby".  What it does is cause the trailer brakes to help hold the truck down the hill and will save your truck brakes.  So instead of your truck holding the trailer down the hill ,the trailer will hold the truck back.  However, remember that when you get down the hill you need to back off of the gain so that the trailer will not "grab" the brakes.

Marsha~
I usually turn up the "gain" on my Prodigy and set it to the highest boost level so the brakes kick in at a higher level when the pedal is first applied.  It doesn't increase the prolonged braking, but it does increase the original "grab".
Jon Meyer - Cincinnati, OH
1996 Fleetwood Wilderness 22LW
2005 Dodge Durango Limited w/5.7L HEMI
2008 Eureka Tetragon 1210
Wish I was here

Marsha/CA

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 4259
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 04:09:05 PM »
I think most people usually set their trailer brake system and never change it.  I pulled horses and sometimes it would be 1 horse and the next time it would be 3 horses; and then there were a couple of times I hauled it empty.  The trailer would handle entirely differently with the different loads, so I became use to adjusting the amount of braking the trailer would do.  It sure helps when going down hill.  If I was fully loaded, I would do like you, increase everything to get the most out of the braking system.  The last thing I wanted was my horse trailer pushing my truck down a hill.

Marsha~
Allegro Bus Diesel Pusher with Hyundai Tucson SUV toad.

vertikal

  • Posts: 1
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2009, 05:03:47 PM »
We have been to the Smoky Mountain NP a few times and we plan on returning there this summer with our first travel trailer. From what I remember, some of the roads can be pretty windy and steep. Has anyone driven through there with a travel trailer? How was your experience? Any major concerns? I would like to camp at Cades Cove for a few days with the family and I was wondering if anyone knew the most friendly TT route in and out? We wanted to come in from Townsend, Tn and leave out through the southern end of the park in NC. Though terrain will most likely dictate my route. According to the nat parks site, Cades Cove campground can accomodate up to 40' rvs. I assume ;D, this means they travel in and our of the park without major problems.

I have no experience pulling a trailer in the mountains, but I have a moderate amount of experience pulling trailers. Before we leave for out summer trip I will check and service the brakes on the truck and trailer.

I have dual axle brakes on the trailer, wdh, I am going to install a sway control bar, and I should be below my GVWR for my tow vehicle by about 1000-1200 pounds after accounting for gear, family, tools, water, etc...

Thanks
Thanks for asking that Smoky Mtn. Pass question....been thru 441 several times in motorhome and did see lots of overheated trucks.....,I-40 would be solution to going to Cades Cove from Florida....thanks for asking that question...your a genius...as I'm novice in 30' fifthwheel.

joelmyer

  • ---
  • Posts: 997
  • Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA
    • The Retirement Saga
Re: Concerns about pulling a TT through Smoky Mountains National Park?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2009, 08:07:31 AM »
Thanks for the input. Marsha, Calling the park does seem to be the best idea, thanks. I think I will play it safe and find a campground out of the park and we can drive the truck in without the trailer to visit the park.

Good plan.

One of our early trips we planned to stay in one of the parks in the park and a neighbor at the campground before talked us out of it.

We made it over the mountain from Cherokee and probably could have made it into the campground with lots of stress.

Camping outside and day tripping in is a better plan imho.

Joel
Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA