How to get started with your own family-friendly RV adventure

More than 22 million Americans will go RV camping in 2018 and more than half of them are families. Imagine a vacation where you can bring everything you want (including your pets) without any extra baggage fees. You can change plans on a moment’s notice with no change of ticket fees. Instead of stuffing the family into a hotel room, you’re staying in your home away from home where kids can be kids again. In fact, campgrounds are the neighborhoods of our youth where kids can detach from technology and spend their days outdoors. Whether you’re camping for just one night or spending an entire season at a campground, you’ll find some of the nicest and most sociable neighbors anywhere while your kids will make lasting friendships.

There are more than 18,000 campgrounds in the U.S. ranging from rustic to luxurious. If you’re visiting Dollywood, hiking the Great Smoky Mountains or just taking in the historic and quaint shops of Pigeon Forge then make the Pigeon Forge KOA Holiday your home base. Located on Little Pigeon River in Tennessee, this family-friendly KOA has everything you need for a memorable experience with an on-site store, dining at Sweet Mama’s café and plenty of organized activities for the kids such as biking, movie night, gem mining, arts & crafts, hayrides, group campfires, a jumping pillow and a beautiful swimming pool. Pigeon Forge KOA Holiday was the first KOA built east of the Mississippi River and has been in the Kelch family since its inception over 50 years ago. According to Leslie Kelch, over 15,000 families visited Pigeon Forge KOA Holiday in 2017.

KOA Holiday in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

KOA Holiday in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

If you don’t have an RV of your own, you can rent a fully loaded park model cabin with a bath, kitchen, queen bed and bunk beds at every KOA. We brought our Winnebago Intent motorhome which is perfect for families. It can sleep seven, with bunk beds for the kids and a private bedroom for the parents.  A full kitchen inside and an outdoor kitchen make this a great RV for those wanting all the comforts of home in the great outdoors. Being able to make your own meals means saving hundreds of dollars you would spend eating out while managing any dietary restrictions you have with ease. Stop at a local farm stand for fresh produce and plan easy meals around the camp fire.  Of course, you can’t skip the s’mores!  In fact, conversations around the campfire with your kids will become some of the most precious moments you and they will share that will last a lifetime.

How to start RVing

Rent an RV

Choose between a motorhome or trailer and spend a weekend at a campground within a few hours’ drive from home. You can pack it with all your favorite foods, games, clothes, bedding, gear – anything that you’d want for a weekend of fun. has a search engine for a rental agent near you.

Stay in a Park Model RV at a local campground

Park Model RVs look like a cabin and generally have a bedroom, full kitchen and bath and living area. Some have a sleeping loft and a front porch with a swing.  All you need to bring are your clothes and food for a great camping experience.

Pick the right RV for you

Find a local dealer where you can see the different makes, models and floor plans to decide which size, style and features best suit your needs.

Pick the right camping experience

Depending on your adventure, you may want to stay close to a city or out in the country; have a rustic experience or a full-service resort; drive a motorhome or unhook from a trailer and go sightseeing in your tow vehicle. One great thing about an RV is that they give you the flexibility to have many different adventures.

Visit a local RV Show

Click here and input your city and state to find the show closest to you. RV shows give you the opportunity to see nearly every make of RV available. You’ll also find representatives from campgrounds and all sorts of products you might want while you’re RVing.

Visit for help picking the right RV and campground, finding a dealer or rental outlet, lists of what to bring, sample road trips, recipes, advice – everything you need to know to help plan your great adventure.