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Old 03-11-2012, 09:54 AM   #1
Newly retired and ready
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Carlisle, Iowa
Posts: 46
Retirement - Finally

Retirement is finally here. After 34 years of going on camping vacations only to check my Blackberry every hour or so, we are ready to head out. We live in a small town just out side of Des Moines. Our plans are to head south through St. Louis and down into southern Illinois. We are then going to travel east through southern Kentucky and settle in over around the Great Smokey's in Tennessee.
Due to the fact that I just turned 62 this year and have the coveted Senior Pass we would like to use Corp of Engineer campgrounds as much as possible.
Once we leave Tennessee we are heading north to Ohio and then back west to Des Moines.
Our plan is one month of uninterrupted camping in our Flagstaff 5er.
I would welcome ony information from any of you out there that may have camped along the way we are heading. I find corresponding with fellow campers refreshing and honest. Also wonder about the mountains around the Tennessee/North Carolina area. Some things I read talk about how hilly they are and others not so much.
Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 03-11-2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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Location: Jefferson County, MO
Posts: 4,689
Congratulations on your retirement and you’re gonna love having the America the Beautiful senior pass.
Depending on what roads you drive, you probably will encounter some mountain grades in the Smoky Mountains. You might consider buying the Mountain Directory East for truckers and RV’ers. It contains information about the mountain grades and where they are located. I have both the East and West directory.


Bob and Joyce
2013 CC Silverback 29RL
2010 Ford F250 XL Crew Cab 6.4 liter diesel
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:17 AM   #3
Newly retired and ready
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Carlisle, Iowa
Posts: 46
Great idea, never knew such a thing existed. Will search on the internet today and see if I can get my hands on one.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 2,592
Congrats on your new status! I have only once taken an extended trip camping (6 weeks) and have to say that sometime into week two, I was more relaxed than I had been in the preceding several decades. You'll have a blast.

In eastern TN and Western NC be sure to check out the smaller (many) state parks and especially county parks. Many counties and townships have small campgrounds in out of the way and lovely places. They are undiscovered gems.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:34 AM   #5
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Location: Central, Fl.
Posts: 653
Good for you.......hope you enjoy every minute of it !
2012 Ford F-150 Ecoboost, Screw, H/D, 3.73
1930 lbs CCC
2010 Flagstaff 26 RLSS (Sold 05/16)
2014 Jeep Rubicon JK
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Grand Ledge Mi
Posts: 581
Smile Happy retirement.

Congratulations on the retirement. In about a month if not sooner you'll wonder how you ever had time to go to work.
Have fun in your travels and welcome to a very enjoyable lifestyle.
2011 Cedar Creek 36B2 ordered with outside kitchen removed and a nice big wardrobe in it's place.
Pulled with a 2011 F-250 Super Duty 6.7 Diesel Crew Cab and 8' box with a Hensley BD-3 Trailer Saver. F R O G members.

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Old 03-11-2012, 11:46 AM   #7
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Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
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Good for you!! I retired 2 years ago and have never looked back. Enjoy your new freedom! And reduction in stress! My blood pressure has literally gone down 25 points since retirement.

I'm just north of you about 3 to 4 hours in Mpls, MN. We're headed down to Arkansas/Mississippi/Louisiana the first week of April.

Enjoy your trip. And remember you don't have to be anywhere at any specific time. It took me a good year to learn that lesson and to slow down and enjoy myself more. Hard to de-program yourself sometimes after years of limited time and rush-rush. HA!
2012 F150 FX4 Ecoboost, 2016 Surveyor 274BHS
2003 Yamaha FJR1300, Demco Premiere Slider
1969 John Deere 1020, 1940 Ford 9N, 1948 Ford 8N
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:11 PM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 226
We also love COE campgrounds and there are some great ones in TN and KY. We love Dog Creek on Nolin Lake near Mammoth Caves and Seven Point near Nashville. We just bought a book from Amazon that lists all COE parks. We start with the book for ideas and then check the rvparks review website.

We retired 8 months ago and are amazed how busy we stay. Best of luck on having a long and healthy retirement!
Jim & Nicky
2012 Forest River XLR 29 MBV
2010 Dodge 2500 Cummings
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:40 PM   #9
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Posts: 627
Congrats on your retirement!! We hope to one day get to where you are and be healthy enough to wander about the country!!! Enjoy!

Felicia & Jeff - Missouri
2013 Columbus - 320 RS 2012 F350 CC DRW - 6.7L PSD
2012 Camping 59 DAYS; 2013 50 DAYS; 2014 WAITING
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:32 PM   #10
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Location: Concord, NC
Posts: 23,897
We live in Concord, NC a suburb of Charlotte and have pulled a Flagstaff 831RLSS with a Silverado 1500 Ext Cab west on I40 and never had a problem. It does shift down to 2nd gear if I want to maintain 55mph, but usually just keep it in 3rd and speed drops down to 40. The truck has a 5.3L v8 and a 3.23 rear end. We have towed around 25-30,000 miles with it and have never had a problem. Very seldom do we ever tow over 60 or 65 on level ground. Have come out your way a couple of times to go to the Knoxville Nationals and visit our home town of Trenton, MO.
Enjoy your retirement.

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