South to Nashville
Goodlettsville, TN - Events of Thursday, October 17 to Sunday, October 20, 2013
We extended our stay in Amish Country by three days because we really like it there and because the weather was fairly warm longer than we expected it to be. However, the forecast was predicting lows in the mid to lower 30s and even down into the 20s for the next week in Berlin, OH, so our departure on Thursday following our three-day extension turned out to be pretty good timing.
We expected to have about a four-hour drive to our overnight stop at the FMCA camping area in Cincinnati on our way to Nashville. The morning started out sunny in Berlin, but by the time we hit fog, a detour that took us about half an hour our of our way, rain, and stopped at Flying J for fuel and propane, it took us almost five hours.
The detour was particularly frustrating because we hit the same detour on our way north in the spring, so we went online before we headed south to try to find out if the road was open. A small bridge was being replaced, and it was supposed to have taken 45 days starting sometime in the spring. There was no mention of any delays, so we erroneously assumed the bridge was open. Had we known it wasn't, we could have found our own alternate route that would have been more direct or would have at least been on a better road than where the detour took us.
We finally arrived at the FMCA camping area located at their mail sorting facility on the eastern side of Cincinnati. There are 15 or 16 full hookup campsites plus about 15 more electric-only, overflow sites. Camping for FMCA members is free for up to two nights and $20 a night after that.
FMCA recommends calling ahead to make sure there are sites available because they occasionally have special events there. When we did that a few days prior we found out the FMCA Executive Board meeting would be going on when we planned to stop, and most of the full hookup sites would be taken. There would likely be plenty of electric-only sites available, but we wanted to arrive early to make sure we didn't miss out. As it turned out, several of the board menbers had opted for electric-only sites, so there were still two full hookup sites left when we arrived.
All the sites at FMCA are back-ins. The overflow sites are lined up close together on a parking lot.
The full hookup sites are fairly widely spaced. There are wide, paved pads and nice grass between the sites. Electric is 50 amps, and there is free Wi-Fi that is nice and fast. The camping area also has a strong Verizon 4G signal.
The free campground is a nice perk for FMCA members. The down side is all the sites are back-ins, so you have to unhook your toad. They apparently didn't have quite enough room to make the sites pull-throughs. The other minor negative is the campground is located in a light industrial area, and there is a lot of traffic noise from trucks during the day; but the good points far outweigh the bad - especially since it's free.
On Friday morning, we unhooked the utilities, hooked up the toad and got going shortly after 9:00 a.m. The drive to Nashville was a little over 5 hours, but we gained an hour going into the Central Time Zone, so we arrived at Nashville Country RV Park shortly after 1:00 local time. Our preference for camping in the Nashville area is for one of the COE campgrounds, but with the government shut-down that was in place when we made our travel plans, a COE campground was not an option this trip.
Nashville Country RV is located about 15 miles north of Nashville in Goodlettsville, TN. There are about 100 sites, and about half are pull-throughs and most of the rest are back-ins. We got one of the 5 sites in front of the campground that are "head-ins." They are for motor homes and you pull into the site frontwards. We ended up there because those are considered their "satellite-friendly" sites.
Most of the sites at Nashville Country RV are full-hookup, although there are a few that are water and electric only. About half the full-hookup sites are 30 amps and the rest are 30/50 amps.
The roads are paved, but they are very narrow as are most of the sites. Ours was supposedly a premium site, and we still barely had room to park our car between us and the motor home next to us. The pads are gravel, and some sites have wood-deck patios. A few of the pull-throughs, like the ones shown in the photo below, were a little more roomy than ours, but satellite reception was a little iffy because of trees.
Nashville Country RV also has free cable and free Wi-Fi. Even though we were near the office and had a strong signal, the system was pretty slow most of the time because the campground was full for the weekend. Fortunately, there is a very strong Verizon 4G signal in the area, so we used that when the campground system bogged down.
The one thing Nashville Country RV has is plenty of traffic noise. It is sandwiched between busy U.S. Highway 31 in front and I-65 behind. Our site was in the front, and U.S. 31 ran about 20 feet behind our rig. Fortunately, 31 quiets down somewhat after dark, but the trucks on the interstate whine all night.
The nightly price for our three-day stay for a premium 50-amp site was around $38. That included tax and a 10% discount (Good Sam, AAA, FMCA, AARP).
When we scheduled our stop in the Nashville area, it wasn't because we had any major sightseeing planned there. It's just that we don't like to travel more than two days in a row, and we don't like to travel on weekends if we don't have to. Nashville happened to be conveniently located about the right distance from Berlin, OH for a two-day drive, so we stopped there for the weekend. Just because we didn't plan our stop around sightseeing doesn't mean we didn't do any. We'll let you know what we found in our next post.