River Plantation RV Resort
1004 Parkway (TN Highway 441)
Sevierville, TN 37863
6/10/13: I chose River Plantation as my first homebase in Tennessee because its location in Sevierville was convenient but without nearly as much traffic as the more busy, touristy towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Although the campground has been open since 1992, it became a member of the RVC Outdoor Destinations family in 2013. When I was invited to check them out, I told them I usually avoid anything with “resort” in the title because I’ve found there are really no differences between most of them and regular RV parks except for more ridiculous pricing. They assured me they are most definitely different, and I did find that to be true. I liked their concept of providing true RV resort amenities, with larger sites, more natural settings, but without all the “hoity-toity” attitude and restrictions on age of RV, motorcoaches only. However, in the whole month I was here, all RVs were well kept and clean. You can check out their comparisons here, but here’s what I found:
Every single camper I talked to here mentioned one of their favorites as being the quiet and peaceful atmosphere. This is partially due to the campground being so far removed from the main road (Parkway). I never heard road noise the entire time I was here. This shows part of the long entrance road looking toward Parkway. You get to the registration office and pool area before you get to the campground sites, which are set even further back from the road.
The Registration Office is large with a nice front porch with rocking chairs, a fire pit and 2 large TVs featuring activities planned around the park or sports games to watch. There is also a store within this building with snacks and RV supplies. The Fitness Center is also housed here.
There are also 3 extra large RV lanes in front of office so there’s no problem with parking during registration. You can also get your propane tanks filled right across from the RV lanes with very easy access.
You feel like you’ve walked in to a nice hotel lobby when you walk in and are greeted by the friendly staff.
From left to right: Amber and Sylvia (Front Desk Clerks), Mike Hale (Manager)
Back row: Steve Hale (Maintenance Supervisor), Jim Conner (Owner), Lisa, Alex and Bryan (Front Desk Clerks)
The fireplace in the lobby is a nice touch, along with complimentary coffee service.
That’s Alexis (Jim’s daughter) at the Guest Services desk with concierge services with info and booking for area attractions and activities.
The side porch has a firepit, big screen TV and the front porch has comfy rocking chairs for pure relaxation purposes.
The campground being right on the Little Pigeon River is a big plus. Here’s Ed and grandson Steven walking down to do some fishing. As I was talking to them, I caught video of Steven catching a little fish! They’re from Maggie Valley and Ed said this is his and family’s favorite campground for the last 8-10 years because the people here are wonderful, service is great, and there’s so much to do. They used to go to Riveredge Rv Park (further down in Pigeon Forge and situated right on the Parkway), but found it noisier, more traffic, sites too close together and not as good for kids, so they come here exclusively now. This scene shows the Riverfront sites on Flora Blvd. (east side) starting with Site 407 seen occupied.
Click here to watch on YouTube – it seems to play better there.
I have always been jealous when watching other campers with their kids and grandkids. But I had never been exposed to it as a child and hadn’t even heard of RVing until I was in my 50’s. I would love to bring them here!
Also check out River Plantation’s YouTube with a great overview of sites, services, amenities and fun!
There are two pools, one more designed for kids with the mushroom falls. And I think all RV parks (especially those calling themselves “resorts”) should have hot tubs! Especially for us fulltimers without soaking tubs, this is an especially special treat for me.
Even though I always use my own facilities when I have full hookups, I have never seen such modern and clean restrooms and showers in any RV park before.
There’s also a Fitness Center, an Arcade room and nicely equipped playground for kids (big and little).
I chatted with Trevor in the Fitness Center and he said his family has been coming here for two years and really like the family atmosphere: “It’s an awesome place to be.” When he said he was a UT (University of Tennessee) student, I said since I was from Texas, I always think that relates to the University of Texas. We laughed together when he said, “We’re the real UT.”
I also thought this big sister was really nice acting as a human footstool for her little sister to reach Ms. Pac-Man.
Pavilion with scheduled entertainment, get-togethers and kid activities
Laundry facilities with modern equipment (2 locations)
I met Frank in the laundry room. This was their first time here (from Chatsworth, GA) and he likes the quiet, peaceful atmosphere and security patrol. Comparing to Riveredge in Pigeon Forge: since that’s right on the Parkway, there is constant road noise and since adjacent to red light, they heard loud motorcycles revving engines all the time. Campsites there are a lot closer together.
Cabins, Conference Center (great for rallies and group get-togethers)
Cabins 1-4 seen here with the Conference Center to the left rear
Pet Friendly: No extra charge for pets. There are three designated pet areas; owners must clean up after pets. All dogs must be on 6′ or shorter leash. No dog pens are allowed outside the RV.
Kid Friendly: No extra charge for kids under 6. Separate kiddie pool, arcade, playground. While goal is to provide safe area for kids to ride bikes and roam around, electric scooters are not allowed. Regularly scheduled activities for kids (crafts, etc.).
Satellite TV/Wi-Fi: Several wi-fi towers throughout campground. As for TV, some sites in the older section with more mature trees can get a signal with tripod, but not rooftop. The newer section on the south side has less mature trees and I received DirecTV from my site 223 on Hale Street.
Amenities (no charge): Cable TV, Wi-Fi (6 towers, each with 2 antennae), Pet areas (3), Playground, 2 Pools/Hot Tub, Fitness Center, Pavilion (entertainment & activities), Bathrooms/Showers (3 locations), Concierge desk (booking activities, local info).
Other Services: Store with snacks and RV supplies, Golf cart rental, Propane tanks filled, Laundry (2 locations), RV storage, Cabin rentals (8), Conference Center for groups/rallies
Readers have asked for short recaps of pros and cons about the parks I visit. I realize this is subjective stuff and what bothers some people, others won’t have a problem with, and vice versa. As a fulltime RVer, I like things that weekend campers can do without. But, based on my own observations and/or comments from others, here goes:
|Little Pigeon River back-in sites available with easy access to the river even for others not able to snag one of those sites. Sitting by the river and listening to the peaceful sounds of the water and birds was very enjoyable.||6/12/13: There is a sign by the river from the TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation: “This body of water contains elevated levels of … bacteria… Avoid swimming, wading or fishing in these waters.” That’s why the fishing camper I mentioned above, Ed, said they strictly catch and release. I will update if I hear this warning has been removed.|
|The park is quiet (set back far enough from the road not to hear its noise). I also like how it is nicely lit, but not like an airport with ridulous bright spotlights, etc. so the stars are actually visible at night.||Traffic – even though not nearly as bad as Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, it’s still not easy sometimes getting onto Parkway (Hwy. 441). Guess that’s the price you pay when everybody else wants to be here, too (and it’s worth it)!|
|Hot tub and two separate pools, one more adult oriented and kiddie pool with mushroom fountain.||My only problem with my entire stay was not with the park itself, but with some inconsiderate campers letting their kids splash around and use water guns in the hot tub, disregarding the signs and the comfort of other campers. This didn’t happen all the time, thankfully. After talking to Mike the Manager, he said that complaints like this will be handled when brought to their attention. And the office doesn’t close until the pool does, so I wish I would have let them know when it was happening.|
Malia’s 2 Cents: Besides the pros listed above, here are other things I most appreciated: It’s so peaceful and quiet at night, I leave my bedroom window open and the beautiful sounds of birds chirping are all I hear. I don’t recall ever being in a place where I heard birds singing at night! That and the fireflies flitting about and the soft light of campfires make for magical night-life. The planned entertainment and events at the pavilion is also a fun touch!
After interaction with the staff and meeting Jim Conner (owner), Mike Hale (Manager), Steve Hale (Maint. Supervisor), and Buddy (Security), I could see why every camper I spoke to mentioned the great people here and why they come to feel like family.
I also like how they have two sewer hookups on each site (middle and rear) for easy reach depending on where your hookups are located.
Did I mention the hot tub?